Alternate History

1012-1066 CE (Superpowers)

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Pre-Schism Years:
1739 (986)-1765 (1012)
An Empire Divided:
1765 (1012)-1819 (1066)
A New Dynasty:
1819 (1066)-1892 (1139)

Following the murder of Julianus I in the Roman Forum in front of the Senate House, the Empire was in absolute turmoil. The British Isles were being steadily conquered by rogue Legions, who'd already taken Londinium and set up a military dictatorship, and now the Senators had declared a New Republic, calling it the Second Roman Republic. In their plot however they missed out one important thing, the emperor's family. The Emperor's sixth son, Sextus Pellatius Flaminius managed to flee with his wife and much of the court to the city of Constantinopolis. Here, support for the Emperors was a bit higher than the Imperial City, mostly due to their separation from the Pope and the high proportion of rich equestrians, who were usually the most supportive and so the Emperor declared the continuation of the Imperial Line in the new capital of Constantinopolis.

Second Imperial Civil War

Initially, the two capitals were not at war. A lot of consolidation was still needed to be done and both sides were de facto at peace. However, with two states claiming to be the rightful Roman Empire, a conflict of enormous proportions was bound to happen.

On one side were the Western European Provinces, Germania and Phoenician Africa, where support for the Republic was highest, as nearly all states had been Senatorial Provinces for a long time now. On the other side were the Greek and Asian provinces along with those in Aegyptus and Axum. Many of these were still Imperial Provinces by the time of the Revolution and others had strong ties to the Emperor. The Republic, which historians call the Loyalists due to their loyalty to Rome itself, had most of the control over the remaining legions, which they recalled from the Eastern Provinces after power was taken, in preparation for the war. Had they left them there, control may very well have fallen into the hands of the Imperials, the other faction, and this was not wanted by the Loyalists. The Imperials however had a large supply of non-citizens and so were able to field enormous armies of auxiliaries, more than 3 times the size of the West's Legionary forces. As well, 3 Legions and several thousand men in the Praetorian Guard remained with the emperor to fight for him.

In late 1012, to consolidate their rightful place, the Republic began a three year long spree of paying back all standing Roman debt, thereby seeming to legitimize their position as the rightful state. The Eastern Empire however contained both the economic center of the Empire, the Greek provinces, and the primary gold and silver mines of the Empire. As well, the Jews were still loyal to the emperor, adding further to the East's economic potential. Surprisingly though, since the West continued much of Rome's international trade and maintained control of three-quarters of the Fleet, they somehow managed to have equally as much money at their disposal as their rivals.

Meanwhile, by 1013 the Revolutionaries in Brittania had finished bringing Hibernia and Caledonia under their control and had officially become their own "Republic". Luckily for the West, they had no intention of wasting resources on a prolonged war with any other Roman successor state and so aside from Piracy, they remained out of other affairs during the Civil War.

Finally, war erupted with the attack of Pannonia Superior by Imperial forces in 1015, a battle which they managed to win and begin to press onwards to their goal of Rome. Almost immediately, the Legions which had been preparing for this over the last year came into the fray and started to work on holding back the East. It was at this point that the most interesting battles of the War began.

Since 650 CE, large bases known as Star Forts were in use by the Roman military, and by the time of the Civil War, these forts covered virtually all of the Empire's territory. During the battles in Pannonia S, the Imperial forces found themselves in need of capturing a Star Fort, something which had never been done before and was widely considered to be impossible at the time. Nevertheless, they tried and with the help of two Testudos, managed to break through the main gate and take it. Battles set at Star Forts came to be a defining feature of the war, seeing some of the greatest skirmishes and so the taking of a Star Fort was almost synonymous with the Civil War itself. Over the entire course of the war more than 200 of these forts were besieged and taken, dozens of them ending up destroyed in the process. Due to both sides having access to numerous Testudos literally nowhere was fortified enough.

Weapons development was also rapidly accelerating during this time. Both sides, wishing to gain the strategic edge in the war, tried their best to built new innovative and as powerful weapons as could be made. For instance, in 1018 Republican scientists created a Polybolum (mounted automatic crossbow) that was powered by batteries and an electric motor. This gave it twice the rate of fire and made it so that only one man was needed to operate it. Despite the weapons being incredibly expensive, more than 20 times more than a normal design, they were produced en masse to assist on the frontline, with more than 12,000 being built before the wars end.

To counter this, the Imperial scientists in 1019 invented a Testudo which was partially powered by electricity, allowing for less people to be needed to move it forward. Despite the heavy use of both weapons, among others as well, very few things developed during the Civil War remained in use afterwards. The designs were simply too advanced and too expensive to maintain and were completely useless except against an enemy as advanced as other Romans. Some developments remained however, including celerite arquus (semi-automatic hand crossbows) with larger magazines and higher firepower and also improvements in armor manufacturing.

As well, tactics and techniques were evolving in order to better fight these battles. The most notable of these innovations was the development of a new hand-to-hand fighting style by Eastern Roman General Marcus Publius Pugnatus. Called Deluctatis, it took parts from Chinese wushu fighting styles, as well as adding its own moves which made it highly effective in close quarters combat. Deluctatis required swift but simple movements which focused on keeping the limbs as close to the body as possible, maximizing speed and minimizing cumbersome mistakes or worries about hitting a wall or such. As a relatively simple fighting style, it could be learned by any fit soldier within less than a month, something which the Eastern forces benefited from greatly during Urban Battles, which were all to common during the War.

The three nations also developed their own unique methods of government during this time period. The Western Roman Empire retained its Senate, though it was increased to 1000 members, none of which had any affiliation with a Roman territory. Special Governors, former Senators, were established as provincial heads and the consular system of maintaining national federations within the state continued. However, these Consuls were made more important with the creation of a second parliamentary organization, the Consular Congress, which took up the executive powers once held by the government. Conversely, in the Eastern Roman Empire, a Praetorian Council was founded to support the Emperor and offer a measure of representation for the populace. This one, unlike Congress, was very unpopular amongst most Romans and was a continued source of grief for the Imperials.

By 1022 the fires of the Civil War had died down somewhat and soon a stable but fluctuating border emerged along the frontline, with back and forths occurring over it constantly for the next four decades. The populations of both sides, and in Brittania, never grew accustomed to this constant state of war and resentment for both governments only increased as time went by. The only constant was the Roman Catholic Church, which emerged unscathed from the war, with many people on all sides flocking to its ministries to escape the horrors of the war. The three wartime Popes were especially saddened by the needless violence and on Pope Horatio's death in 1061, his successor had had enough.

The new Pope Aegranus, eager for change, spent a long time contemplating what he could do to end his people's suffering. Convening with the Curia Episcopates one day in 1064, he put forward the radical idea of simply asking for the Imperial throne from the people of the Empire. His own popularity and that of his position was higher than any single other person in Europe and it seemed like such a thing might even be possible. Deciding over the next two years how the Pope could possibly take power, it was decided by the Episcopates that the positions of Pope and Roman Emperor had to become one. Following arguments over how the two positions could be integrated, namely on the problem of succession, it was eventually privately decreed that an Papal Imperial Line could be founded.

It was therefore in 1066 that the Pope for the first time in decades called for a public announcement in the Coliseum. Having already had his Cardinals and Bishops spread the message to their own Diocese and ministries, the Pope boldly asked the Roman people to unite behind him as the new Emperor. Within days, the Senate House in Rome and Provincial/Imperial Palace in Constantinopolis were stormed by angry citizens and both governments forced to give up power to the Pope. At the same time, the population of Brittania, as well as many of the legionaries themselves, overthrew and killed General Moratius the Younger, bringing the Isles into the renewed Imperial state.

Mayan Conglomerate

Once their armies were rearmed by 1014, the Mayans began their Third Age of Expansion, moving towards the south, the north and into the Gulf of Mexico all at once. All 600,000 Mayan soldiers were armed with the latest in Mayan weaponry, the musket and flintlock pistol, along with their standard steel sword. With better weapons, tactics and more men than any of their enemies, there was not a single civilization yet on the continent who could even hope to stand up to them. Furthermore, along with their infantrymen, were 30,000 double-barreled cannons, one per battalion and 1000 of what was called in OTL Korea a Hwacha, essentially an artillery piece which fired hundreds of arrows in one direction at once like fireworks.

Although Mayan colonization of the Antilles and rest of the Caribbean was little more than subjugation of the natives, with only small settlements being established, all other conquest involved the gradual foundation of a Mayan city in each new region conquered and the near total enslavement of the tribal populations. All of this was in the hopes of creating a new Mayan State in the area, thereby expanding the actual borders of the Conglomerate over its conquered territories. Towards the south, their approach was especially harsh, with entire areas being completely depopulated and no one being shown any mercy. This was largely due to Mayan indifference towards the region, as well, once the Mayan Holy War began, the south experienced the harshest treatment.

Expansion in the direction north was far more orderly and occurred at a slow and careful pace, like the methodical conquest of an enemy. The standard procedure was for an army to approach the native settlement and direct their cannon and artillery towards it. Then, an ambassador with up to 10 guards usually entered the village to negotiate their surrender. If they complied, some troops remained to establish Mayan rule and several "offerings" were taken as part of the Mayan tax on their new subjects. If things went less peacefully, then the ambassador released a flare and a Mayan Bombard cannon, massive weapons, fired on the tribe.

If they still did not comply after this show of power, then all cannons fired onto the settlement to cover the escape of the ambassadorial party. To the ambassador and his men, this part was almost like sport, and was especially liked by many soldiers due to the real danger and challenge of such an action. Courtesy of Mayan armor technology however, very few died during this part of the procedure. Once the natives recoiled from the continued cannon fire, they typically sent out an attack party ranging in size from 100 to 200 men. At this point, standard Mayan firing drill was followed whilst the enemy was at a distance between 200 and 20 meters, at which point pistols were fired and the soldiers drew swords to mop up the rest. Things rarely reached that point however due to the sheer volume of Mayan firepower.

Things changed quickly, though the procedure remained the same, when 61 separate tribes to the north formed a union to fight against the Mayans. Included amongst these tribes were several major Apache and Sioux groups, and once learning of this, the two nations were removed from "protected" status and were fair game for Mayan conquerors. The most powerful of these tribes at the foundation date of 1017 was the Navajo, whose population consisted of over 40,000 people. Although initially meeting in the Hopi "capital" of Orayvi, the city was taken by 1019 and eventually the union simply become an agglomeration of nomads, all fleeing the mighty Conglomerate. In 1037, along with more than 200 tribes, they formed the Great Chiefdom, known to them as the Infinite Houses, effectively the largest united tribe in history up to that point. For its entire history, these natives continued to add more and more tribes into their alliance, growing larger every year. The Mayans however were completely indifferent to this development, and since the tribes couldn't form massive cities or stone forts, conquering cities of the Chiefdom was as easy to them as anything else.

Another interesting development occurred in 1024 when the Mayan Federal King Palenk'ua III, following a serious stroke which he shockingly survived, declared that he had received a vision from the god Kinich Ahaw. He said that Ahaw was the only true God and that all others were a misinterpretation of his awe-some power on the part of Mayan priests. Though the priests, and even the populace at large, were skeptical of this revelation, the circumstances in which it had occurred and the general faith given to the King brought most people over to this new faith within two years and the King then declared Holy War in the name of Kinich, now known simply as Ahau, towards the continents south. Towards the north and the colonies, it was decided to send missionaries convert the native populace, though no sort of sanction of any kind was offered for their conversion and they were still equally as likely to be a sacrifice.

Notably, the Great Plains region, the source of Mayan "human farming" was hardly conquered at all, with Mayan armies mostly moving East and West along the coastline and slightly inland. Although the Great Chiefdom did bring the tribes there into their nation, this changed very little. The area was even more dangerous than anywhere else to the natives and so establishing cities there to get away from the conquerors made very little sense.

Over the same time period, the Mayans made an interesting discovery near the Chumashi State. A large source of silver in the area, when in raw form, causes continued pain to any who are near it for too long and eventually the failure of certain organs. For three years after its discovery in 1052, more and more people fell victim to this Sickness of Ahau and eventually the government decided that something needed to be done about it. Instead of not permitting anyone into the area, it was decided that the only way to appease Ahau was to destroy the offending material. Preparations were made for much of 1055 so that by February of the next year, the explosives were ready. Whilst this was a wholly unscientific method of solving the problem, no Mayan academic could explain why the "silver" was killing people and it was generally accepted that something inside of it was causing the problems. Blowing it up seemed to be the only solution.

The removal did not go as planned at all. The resulting explosion was over one thousand times larger than was expected and a large area around the blast was completely vaporized. Furthermore, a small village a few km away had many of its residents blinded in the light, whilst many more developed the Sickness. It was decided among the scientific community that whatever was in the silver was now removed, and within the religious community that the explosion represented the "evil"'s removal, at least partially, from this world. Regardless, the entire area was finally quarantined, with no one being permitted to come within ten km of the blast zone ever again. A large stone wall was even built to block off the area, many believing that the "evil" might still remain there, particularly as people continued to get the sickness. This remains the first recorded nuclear explosion in human history.


Amongst all the turmoil in Europe and Columbia, the rest of the world wasn't faring much better either. First, the Shi'ite Kingdom launched a Second Jihad in 1043, this time against the Federations of Germania through the Caucasus. The cause of this was an offending speech made by their King about both Mohammed and the reigning Islamic Caliphate to the south. With their honor at stake, the Shi'ites attack the Federations with full force.

Much like the last Islamic incursion into Federation territory, this one was a bloody mess. Both sides had armies numbering in the several millions, more than four million for the Federation, and both felt a great deal of bloodlust towards their enemy. Following half a dozen clashes in the Caucasus between 1044 and 1047, the Shi'ites finally managed to break the Germanian resolve and advanced with little opposition into their territory. Two years later however, Caliph Hasim Ibn Kaluhke was killed in battle by Roman mercenaries working for the Federation and as per the custom, all Islamic forces returned home to mourn his death. This time, however, as he left no line of succession, and the Imam's were divided on the issue of succession, a civil war ensued from 1049 to 1052 after which Kaluhke's female cousin's daughter's wife was decided as the new Caliph.

The pains of the Muslim world were not over though as in 1057, Seljuk Turks from the Asian steppes moved past their border into Shi'ite territory. With the Muslim forces thinned by both a foreign and civil war, they could only partially resist the Turkish conquest. Due to their resolve, the Muslims managed to hold them back from their capital for many years, beyond the time after which the Roman Civil War ended.

Back to Timeline or Superpowers

Also see Geopolitics

Pre-Schism Years:
1739 (986)-1765 (1012)
An Empire Divided:
1765 (1012)-1819 (1066)
A New Dynasty:
1819 (1066)-1892 (1139)

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