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Alternate History

1st century AD (Vae victis!)

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PtolemaicCivilWarVV

Rebels fight against the new Christian king of Ptolemaic Egypt

The Life of Jesus

In approximately 4 BC, a man called Jesus was born in the Jewish area of the still struggling Ptolemaic Egypt. While much of his life was largely unremarkable - one would not expect much more of a lowly carpenter's son - rumors that he was the long expected messiah swirled around him. In around 24 AD* these rumors were all but confirmed as he began to travel around Egypt and Judea, preaching and supposedly preforming miracles. While their is much contention over what exactly he did, many of his gatherings are very well recorded, and it is largely agreed upon that he claimed to be the son of god, and started a renewal movement within the Jewish faith. However, it is clear that by 28 AD he had gathered a significant following, and his message was beginning to spread across Egypt and parts of the near east.

As Jesus continued to travel around Egypt, he became more and more well known. This encouraged many people, including followers of native Egyptian religions to support him, listen to him, and even help spread his word. However, despite his otherwise universal appeal, the deal was broken for many by Jesus' claim to be the son of god - and the followers of Serapis were especially eager to denounce him. In fact, this spawned an active movement against him, and more than once prompted Jesus to have bodyguards while he preached. As the movement grew stronger, riots began to break out, often at locations were Jesus was preaching. Eventually, the movement opposing him became became too strong and violent for the limited number of bodyguards Jesus was willing to use, and he was killed by a group of them well preaching in 32 AD*.

What happened after he was killed is a hotly debated subject. While most non-Christians generally mark this as his death, Christians believe he was resurrected after three days and continued to preach for 11 months. While the 11 months are fairly well recorded, they are spotty at points, implying they may have been invented. Another widely accepted interpretation among scholars is that Jesus was not actually killed, but rather severally wounded. Whichever of these interpretations is correct, Jesus did manege to start a church in his final days, appointing Peter - one of his closets disciples and personal friend - as his successor and founder of the Christian Church. Jesus was one of the most influential characters in history, and one of the most widely recognized in the present day.

*Precise dates are heavily debated

Rebuilding Etrusca

After the devastating 3rd Safinei war, the Italian peninsula was left in tatters. While the main damage was done to former Safineim, Etrusca was also severally destabilized, with many politicians, generals, and other powerful figures dead. This left the almost unharmed Dardanian family in perfect condition to take control of the newly united Italy. Using their newly refurbished private army, they seized Veii, and declared themselves the rulers of Etrusca. After this, most of the former Etruscan army, and elements of the former Safinei army swore loyalty to them, thus solidifying their claim. In 20 AD, Alexander Dardania - the first king of Dardanian Etrusca - took the Throne, and began to rebuild the tattered nation.

His first goal was to reassemble the broken economy of Safineim, and fully integrate it with the Etruscan economy. His efforts were primary concerned with agriculture, and these efforts were largely successful. This would eventually turn former Safineim into the agricultural center of the new nation, and would even supply the Senone republic and the Gallic Empire at times. Additionally, Alexander worked to improve and rebuild Safineim's navy, which had been more powerful than Etrusca's even after the Mediterranean war. Over time, these improvements would create a powerful and united state out of Italy, eventually leading to s series of wars. However, for the immediate future, Etrusca would remain a stable, powerful and influential nation.

Forming the Gallic Empire

After Heldarc unified the four major Gallic states, he needed to unify their cultures and form a coherent empire. While the cultural aspect was at least partially done for him, forming a coherent empire would be much harder. Before the war, Orleans had been the only Gallic nation to expand more then a few miles outside of their respective cities, leaving the Gallic Empire mostly uninhabited. Heldarc's main job - and the only significant thing he did during his reign - was to try to expand the populace into this unused area. The first way he did this was by building four roads to connect the cities to one another. This inevitably lead to way stations, and several smaller cities rising. Additionally, this allowed for easier trade between the cities, and helped make the empire more centralized.

With the population slowly expanding outside the four main cities and into the area in between, Heldarc began to cobble together some sort of government. Taking inspiration from the former Etruscan Senate, he formed a 60 person senate with 20 appointed and 40 elected members. While this body would not really do much until around 50 AD, it's formation did herald the beginning of an at least partially democratic nation. Lastly, Heldarc began to create a military. This was something he did terribly - almost all the soldiers were former Orleanian soldiers, leading to tensions in the military that would lead to its reformation in 167 AD. Overall however, Heldarc was able to lay the foundation for a successful and powerful Gallic Empire.

A New Religion

In the years after Jesus death, his disciple Peter continued his efforts to build a church, and continued to preach content similar to what Jesus did. However, without Jesus Claiming he was the son of god, the message was able to spread much faster. After several years of this, in 37 AD the current king of Egypt, Ptolemy XVI, invited Peter to Memphis, the city that had become Egypt's capital after the fall of Alexandria. After listening to Peter's case, Ptolemy agreed to convert to Peter's religion, and gave him funding to build a church in Cairo. The religion - quickly dubbed Christianity almost immediately began to spread through Egypt. Several more churches were built, and Christianity began to compete with the cult of Serapis.

However, despite the conflict it caused, at least initially, Christianity appeared to be good and stabilizing for Egypt. As more and more people adopted it, the civil unrest - which had started after the Carthegian-Ptolemaic War - began to wind down, and is widely considered to have ended by 40 AD. In addition to cutting down on civil unrest, the new religion proved far more effective at controlling the nation then the cult of Serapis did. As a result, most members of the government quickly made the conversion, as well as most people in urban areas. by and large the army did as well, though there were many exceptions. by 50 AD, it looked like Egypt would peacefully and successfully convert to Christianity.

Egyptian Civil War

Despite the apparent ease of Christianity's spread across Egypt, under the surface there was strong resistance. This mainly came from a persistent minority that was particularly devout to the cult of Serapis. Others simply did not like the rate at which Christianity was spreading, while still others believed it would stifle trade in the long term. This, somewhat obviously, lead to a lot on tension between Christians and the various groups that opposed them. While the Christians only made up 35% of the population, most of the non-Christians either looked favorably on the new religion or were completely apathetic. Those who actively opposed the religion made up of less than 10% of the population, but they were incredibly vocal.

Finally, in 57 AD, a general named Nicanor, who had already been vocally anti-Christian, took these complaints to heart, and rallied his devout solders. After he captured several small cities along the Nile, notably Meydum, he drew the attention of Ptolemy, who deployed troops to stop him. After six weeks of fighting, Nicanor was defeated. His remaining soldiers were taken to Memphis and executed - Unless they converted to Christianity. This essentially confirmed that the war was exclusively about religion, and made the Christianity option more appealing to many. It also legitimized the king's choice of religion - after all, if their god was fake, how would they win a war against someone who's god was real? In the end, the war was not the most significant part of the war, the aftermath and spread of Christianity was.

Spread of Christianity

By 60 AD, just 7 years after the Ptolemaic civil war, Christianity began to rapidly spread across the near east. In 61 AD, it arrived in the falling Parthian Empire, whose populace and rulers quickly adopted it. By 66 AD, it had been adopted by the royalty of Armenia, Galatia, and Capadoccia, as well a numerous other smaller states. Its unprecedented success quickly made it even more appealing, and by 80 AD, it became almost impossible to find an area in the near east without also finding Christians. While the religion had not yet fully immersed itself in the culture of the region, it was becoming more and more widely accepted. As if to affirm this, several minor civil wars sprung up over the religion between 80 and 90 AD, it still remained largely a stabilizing force.

In 90 AD, it became apparent that Christianity had spread about as far as it would naturally in the near east. While most areas had large amounts of Christian citizens, a large contingent of governments refused to recognize the new religion, with some even actively persecuting Christians on their nations. While none of these governments were particularly powerful, they were a thorn in the side the the Christian governments, specifically Egypt and Persia. Both began to use their armies lightly against several non-Christian states, launching raids against other nations near there borders. While these small raids were not nearly the same scale as the rest of the war, this is largely considered to be the start of the war of Christian expansion.

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