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251-300 (Abrittus)

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250s

251

Roman Empire: Roman legions triumph over Gothic invasion troops led by King Cniva at Abrittus. Consequent military successes against the Carpi and later, in a joint campaign with several foederati, against another Gothic coalition, which now barely sought to defend its settlement nuclei, secures the Danubian border for a long time. Great numbers of slaves are brought into the Empire, while Rome's allies are supposed to be relocated in the following year.

Emperor Decius founds the first Academia Martiana in Rome, a university for military strategy.

Valerian becomes the first powerful Censor after a long time and immediately begins deep-reaching reforms not only in tax collection, but also in the amount of information Rome gathered about its citizens and the peregrini within its realm and the way it gathered it.

252

Roman Empire: As the renewed Censor office makes itself felt in the lives not only of those groups which are openly targeted by Decius' policies (Christians, etc.), but also among the wealthy, senators begin to repent their decisions of last year and criticism is aimed at Valerian - since no senator dares to criticise Decius, the Gothicus Maximus.

Decius intensifies the persecution of Christians. Several thousands are killed. In increasing numbers, Christians flee the Empire and seek refuge in Armenia, Arabia and the Sassanid Empire. Those who don't flee are forced to go underground. The election of a Bishop of Rome has become impossible, respectively different theologians claim having been elected by a synod. Cornelius, a politically opportunistic Roman aristocrat, is supported by many "moderate" bishops, while Novatian, who opposes the re-integration of "lapsi" who have confessed their betrayal to a priest, is backed by radicals who increasingly question the policy of non-interference into imperial political matters. Roman Christianity is split.

All Carpi, Costoboci, Bastarnae and Roxolani as well as the largest part of the Gepids and Tervingian (= woodland) Goths are relocated; each single clan is split up upon Roman orders: while half of their members are settled in the Roman provinces of Dacia Superior and Dacia Inferior (the males having to serve in Roman military units composed of older colonists and the new arrivals), the other half is relocated to the region which had been part of Dacia Inferior between 106 and 117, where they are allowed to govern themselves. If they keep the peace with the Empire, Rome would use its (now quite large) military presence to protect its Gotho-Sarmato-Dacian client kingdom, too - but if they make any trouble, their relatives, factually held hostage by the Empire, would have to suffer the consequences (and with Decius the Cruel as Roman Emperor, one did not wish to imagine what these consequences might be).

Armenia: Anak Suren-Pahlav kills the Armenian King Trdat II. on Shapur`s behest. He and his family are killed by the Arsakids. His son Gregor is saved and brought to the court of the King of Lasika, since a Christian monastery in Cappadocia is not an option due to continuous Decian persecutions.

253

Roman Empire: Alemanni intrude deep into Gallic and Raetic territory and raid Argentoratum and Cambodunum. Decius is determined to repeat his successful "Gothic strategy". Against advice from diplomats, spies and senators, who warn him of an impending Sassanid attack, Decius decides to sort out the weaker northern barbarians thoroughly first, so he would have his hands free to deal with the Sassanids later. He gathers eight legions and leads them into battle, confronting the first band of Alemanni in the land of the Raurici. The first quick success is followed by a series of more than twenty extremely one-sided battles, after which Gallia Belgica and Raetia-Vindelicia are cleared of Alemannic invaders, who are either killed or enslaved. Seven Alemannic "kings" had already been captured.

In Rome and especially in the Eastern provinces, calls to move the legions to the border with Persia become ever more urgent; the Alemanni, it is argued, have been shown not to represent a serious threat.

But Decius remains determined to root out the Alemannic problem just like he had done with the Goths. Acting on advice from the new Academia Martiana, Decius orders to prepare for war with the Sassanids only in the middle run by training new cavalry units which would be required to effectively beat the threat from the East.

His legions march into the Agri Decumates. Decius is outraged at the miserable state in which he finds the last outposts of Roman civilization there, and he is greeted by the remaining Roman settlers (and Romanised Germans and Celts) as the greatest hero of all times - no Roman Emperor had bothered to send troops to defend the Agri Decumates for two decades, let alone ride there with his legions himself. Throughout the Agri, small Alemannic villages have appeared, which Decius' legions now plunder and burn, marching the villagers to Roman vici and villae rusticae where Roman citizens "take care" of them. Where there are too few Romans to control the Alemanni, some Alemanni, who swore allegiance to the Roman Empire, are integrated into an auxiliares unit. At Arae Flaviae, the Roman legions encounter a larger group of armed Alemanni under yet another "war king" preparing to defend the land, and annihilate them as well. Decius orders to re-inforce the limes forts with new auxiliares and restore Roman civilization and infrastructure North of the Alps. While his popularity in Syria and Mesopotamia is dangerously low, Decius is celebrated as the best emperor of decades in the Balkans and in the Celtic provinces.

South of the Alps, his administration continues the persecution of Christians. Jews, Zoroastrians and people from less Romanised areas who cling to their respective deities also suffer from harassment and persecution.

Among the Christians, the supporters of Novatian, who name themselves "cathari" or "katharoi" (=the clean), have become more numerous than their opponents in the underground grassroots communities. Among more official circles of leadership, the moderates have lost momentum, too, after the death of both Cornelius and his elected successor, Lucius.

Among the Cathari, Novatian, who wants a "church of saints", but rejects the use of violence to defend it, increasingly faces internal opposition, too. The most radical group of Cathari are the "Agonistici", who openly prepare a Christian uprising against Roman tyranny. Their stronghold is the Mauretanian colonia of Thelepte, where they have killed the local representatives of the empire, celebrated a holy mass in a temple formerly dedicated to Ceres, helped the slaves and coloni of the nearby latifundia to rise against their owners and landlords and take control over their estates, where they also practised mass baptisms of the newfound allies. Together, they prepare Thelepte against an imperial military assault by fortifying the town as best they can.

Sassanid Empire: Sassanid shah Shaipur puts invasion plans on hold to build up additional infantry units of exiled Christians.

254

Roman Empire / Sassanid Empire / Gothia / Bosporan Empire / Lasika:

The Roman Empire comes under attack from two sides. Remaining steppe Goths and / or Sarmatians attack Rome's vassals, the Bosporan Kingdom. Although the latter can defend Chersonesos, a part of their navy is captured by the invaders and used in attacks against Rome's Moesian and Thracian provinces.

Decius sends a considerable detachment of the Classis Romana into the Black Sea, which manages to confront a part of the raiders, while another part manages to escape and withdraws into the hinterland of relatively unprotected colonies on the Northern shore of the Black Sea.

While the navy is still on the Black Sea, the Sassanids attack. Within weeks, they have taken control of Mesopotamia, Armenia and Syria.

Decius decides that the Roman cavalry cannot yet put up with the Sassanids, and prefers to secure the Northern shore of the Black Sea first. This is no longer just heatedly disputed, though. Decius' opponents now take action.

Probus declares himself emperor in Byzantium. He leads several legions into battle against the Sassanids, but they are defeated at Barbalissos, and Probus is killed in the battle. Antiochia falls to the Sassanids.

Roman trade in the Eastern Mediterranean and on the Black Sea is highly endangered. This, together with the Sassanid occupation of territories that cut off Asia Minor from Arabia and Egypt, and the harsh quarantine measures imposed by Decius against the smallpox pandemia leads to shortages and growing dissatisfaction in the towns and cities of the East.

In the midst of this climate of chaos and decline, revolutionary groups quickly grow. Cathari Christians form the backbone of a network of underground groups spanning from Numidia to Syria which organises the poor and rightless coloni and the slaves, but also ethnically oppressed groups like Berbers and Egyptians. The first neo-Sicarii groups form among Jews and join the network. Among the Cathari, the death of St Novatian strengthens the position of the radicals led by the Thelepte group, while the moderate Catharian position is represented by St Cyprian. Non-Catharians rally behind Dionysius of Alexandria, who formulates the position of confession-remission most eloquently, but is also forced to hide in the desert and cannot organise his group very well from there.

Because Africa Proconsularis lacks a legion of its own for more than a decade now, Proconsul Aspasius Paternus gathers an improvised mercenary army backed by the province`s latifundian elite against the revolutionary Agonistic community of Thelepte. Although numerically superior and better equipped, the proconsular troops cannot break into the fiercely defended town. They lay waste to the coloni-held manors in its vicinity, though. In the Battle of Thelepte, not only thousands die - for the Agonistici, they have become martyrs -, but also thousands of refugees flee into all directions, bringing the story of the heroic "civitas Dei" Thelepte into other provinces. Among them is also a Jewish Christian named Simon, who brings the idea of a Christian and coloni revolution combined with Catharian strictness to his Palestinian home towm, Nicopolis Emmaus.

Decius' campaign against the steppe Goths and Sarmatians (and possibly also Alani) is concluded successfully after three months, though. Fresh masses of slaves are deported to Cilicia, but also to the hellenised cities on the Northern shore of the Black Sea, which Decius decides to strengthen with a larger and more permanent Roman naval presence. To this end, he renews Rome's alliance with the Bosporan Kingdom and the Kingdom of Lasika.

255

Roman Empire / Persia: Eight legions complete with auxiliary units with increased cavalries are sent into war against the Sassanids. Before the end of the year, Antiochia and the entire Mediterranean coast are regained. The situation appears to calm down - but only on the surface.

Far away from the centres of Roman attention, alliances of rebellious slaves, coloni, local tribes and religious rebels begin to assault the owners and managers of large Roman estates in Libyia, Egypt and Africa, and to take over several hundreds of latifundia themselves. Roman elites in Africa call for a return of the Legio II Traianis Fortis to crush the rebellion. Decius is seriously considering this because due to the uprisings and occupations, insufficient taxes in kind (mostly food) are reaching his troops from Egypt. But on the other hand, abandoning the entrenched positions on the Sassanid front could expose the entire East to being overrun by Sassanid forces. As a makeshift, he authorises his prefect in Egypt to negotiate with the nomadic Blemmyes to attack the insurgent peasants and the fortified positions of the Agonistic revolutionaries and conspirators.

256

Roman Empire: Although inflicting serious damage on the agricultural infrastructure and killing a significant number of rebels, the Blemmyes are ultimately defeated and driven out of Roman Egypt by a coalition of Agonistic revolutionaries with neo-Bucolic Kemetist separatists.

Now, next to no resources from Egypt reach the troops on the Eastern front. Decius raises the taxes for the rest of the empire, further removing tax exemptions in Italy, which creates unrest in hitherto calm regions.

In July, Decius is forced to abandon his campaign and conclude a humiliating treaty with the Sassanid shahanshah, in which Armenia, Assyria and important forts further West are ceded and Rome commits itself to paying considerable amounts of gold each year over the next seven years. The sole aim of this desperate move is to be able to throw all the legions exhausted from the fight against the Sassanids into a campaign against the revolt in the Levante, in Egypt, Libya and Africa.

But the legions` achievements in crushing the rebellions and restoring the old order are very slow. Throughout the Syrias, rebel groups led by Agonistic and Simonist Christians and neo-Sicarii Jews use their knowledge of the terrain and the absolute conviction of their fighters very effectively against Decius` much better equipped and trained, but exhausted and badly supplied armies. Decius` troops are forced to plunder countless towns to secure their supplies, driving the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of people into the revolutionary camp. Simon, who dealt a numerically far superior Roman detachment a fatal blow near Tiberias, has become a legendary hero already, celebrated not only by Jewish Christians and local Agonistics, but also hailed by other Jews as the new Messiah. The red cross, common sign of the (Jewish Christian) Simonists and (non-Jewish Christian) Agonistici, is seen in more and more towns and occupied latifundia across the South-East of the disintegrating Roman Empire.

Aksum: Jewish and Christian refugees establish small neighbouring states in the Semien Mountains loosely controlled by the Kingdom of Aksum, out of the Roman Empire`s persecutive reach. They become the statelets of Beta Israel and Ekklesia Christiana.

257

Roman Empire: Decius continues his bloodbath in the Levante, massacring entire Palaestinian towns and extending the fights to Egypt, too, now, restoring Rome`s grain supplies at least to a great extent. But his campaign is plagued by ever more frequent setbacks. In a series of suicidal attacks, the provincial governor of Syria Palestina and his guards in Antiochia as well as the priests of Roman temples in Pergamon are killed by Simonist Christian rebels who shout, with their last breath, that they are the "martyrs of the great revolution". In the ensuing chaos, another group of Antiochian citizens takes control of key positions and declares their "Polis Antiochena" to be an independent city state, which does not send any tax money to Rome.

In other cities, the situation is equally tense. Militia and paramilitia form; weapons seem to be everywhere. While decurional elites, though hard-pressed with the task of collecting the exorbitant tax demands, are still loyal to Decius because they fear to lose everything if the mob prevails, the collegia of craftsmen as well as the impoverished proletarian masses and slaves become increasingly self-confident and fed up with over-taxation, endless warfare and religious harassment.

Just when his legions seem to have restored oligarchic imperial control at least over the empire`s Egyptian-African breadbaskets, everything changes with an event in Rome. On August 3rd, a conspiratory suicide commando of Agonistic or Simonist background manages to kill Emperor Decius - in Rome! -, their imperialist and anti-Christian nemesis.

Even though he is not every senators' darling, the Senate endows Valerian, Decius' designated successor, with the powers of the princeps. Shocked by the assassination by an Eastern sect in the heart of Rome, Valerian even toughens the counterinsurgency strategies and sends an army against Antiochia, which crushes the secessionist republic and kills thousands.

At the same time, Frankish invaders raid Germania Inferior and Gallia Belgica. Valerian decides that the revolt in the South and East, not to mention the continuing threat by the Sassanids, whose tribute demands prove impossible to meet, do not allow a large deployment of troops against the Franks. The Franks reach Tarraco in Hispania, and still there is no reaction. When they return with their loot towards their home lands, Marcus Cassianus Latinius Postumus confronts and defeats them with his Legio I Minervia, one of the few forces which had not been withdrawn from the region. His soldiers proclaim him Emperor. In most of Roman Germania, Gallia, Britannia, Hispania and Raetia, Postumus finds support and is preferred over Valerian.

258

Roman Empire: The empire descends into chaos and completely breaks apart. Slave and coloni rebellions are spreading to Sicily and Hispania in spring, and even into less Christianised Gaul in early summer. In the Southern and Eastern parts of the Empire, Agonistic and Simonist guerrilla warfare and suicide attacks continue. Villas of the upper class are plundered and burn by the hundreds. With more and more non-Christians joining the revolution, defeated local aristocrats and their rural administrators are often crucified by the revolutionary mob - a practice which outrages Agonistici and Simonists and creates tensions within the revolutionary alliance. The more the oligarchic public order breaks down, the more coloni and slave rebellions occur.

Increasingly, the revolution reaches larger towns and cities, where decurional elites are targeted by revolting common craftsmen, workers and slaves. Between March and August, Carthage, Oea, Utica and Leptis Magna become "civitates liberae" ruled by revolutionary groups, who revive the ancient tradition of Plebeian Councils to regularly gather the populace and rally it behind the common goals which evolve in the Empire´s South: no military campaigns against imperial citizens, freedom (eleutheria) of religion, equal political participation (isonomia), and keeping provincial taxes and resources in the provinces.

This is also the return, and even a heyday, for political philosophy, which had laid dormant for centuries. In Alexandria, the South-East`s intellectual capital, Platonists like Origenes depart from long-standing traditions by denouncing the rule of the state by "warriors". They speak to the educated among the dissatisfied, and call for rational reforms of the political system, political engagement of the educated, regardless of their backgrounds, and unity, which preserves and restores the long tradition of law and peace around the Mare Nostrum.

Valerian is faced with Postumus` usurpation in the West, the revolution in the South and South-East, a Sassanid ultimatum, and then also another usurper in Illyria: Regalianus. He barely manages to hold on to power in Italy. Less and less taxes reach his coffer. He meets with Postumus to negotiate a common attack on Regalianus and a common effort against the Sassanids in exchange for a recognition of the Gallo-Roman breakaway empire`s independence. The two reach an agreement, but before Valerian can mobilise his legions, he is assassinated - by whom, we do not know.

Postumus himself has serious problems with Bagaudae in Gaul and Hispania and Valerian`s Praetorian Prefect Silvanus, To stabilise things, he convokes several hundred locally important people from the various parts of his breakaway empire into a Senate at Lugdunum. While the new Gallo-Roman senators formalise his caesarship as a consulate with potestas tribunicia, Postumus rewards them with the privilege to levy taxes - both individually, in which case a senator would have to provide troops himself, or collectively. Exempting local oligarchs from passing on the tax money to a faraway capital stabilised local elites and the acceptance of the new polity, but it raised the question of how to finance the three remaining legions.of the breakaway empire.

Sheba: The influx of great numbers of (often well-educated) Christian refugees shows its effects: the King of Sheba converts to a miaphysitic type of Christianity, and with him his entire beleaguered kingdom.

259

Roman Empire: While Gaul has managed to stabilise itself, restore order and trade, and fend off another Frankish invasion, the situation in the (rest of the) Roman Empire continues to worsen, especially after renewed Sassanid attacks.

Since the beginning of the triple crisis of Simonist / slave revolts, Sassanid war and the breakaway of Gaul, trade has more than halved empire-wide, and living standards in the cities have declined sharply.

For the first time in centuries, well-organised protest marches of Roman citizens are seen in the streets of Rome, Corinthia, Alexandria, Cyrene and Carthage. The banners of Christian groups often flie above the heads of the protesting masses.

Also for the first time since the end of the republic, Plebeian Councils gather spontaneously on large public places in the context of the protest marches. In these councils, the political instability, over-taxation and endless usurpations are denounced, an end to the military counterinsurgency is demanded - and increasingly, opinions to end the Principate are voiced.

In the countryside from Italia to Lykia and from Illyria to Africa, coloni (landless peasants) have taken over many farms collectively, killing the landowners and their placeholders, and forming "societates liberorum". In brutal battles with official troops and/or paramilitary units hired by the landowning elite of a region, tens of thousands are killed on either side.

260s

260

Roman Empire / Gaul: Valerian is assassinated by a usurper named Iulianus. Iulianus stops the counterinsurgency strategy, withdraws the troops which fight against rebellious peasants in the countryside of the Roman heartlands, and gathers legions for an attack on Gaul.

In Lutetia, Postumus plans his defenses. He anticipates a Roman attack in Gallia Narbonensis and stations most of his troops there.

But Iulianus manages to surprise Postumus. The Roman legions march through Noricum and attack in the South-East of Gaul. In Bratananium, they encounter the Gallo-Roman army, and defeat them. Iulianus marches on Augusta Vindelicorum, lays siege to it and conquers the town. The Gallo-Roman defense proves too weak for the Romans in Cambodunum and Brigantium, too.

Postumus had to march his legions across the Alps. When Iulianus and his troops approach the land of the Raurici, they are finally faced by the main Gallo-Roman army, which manages to defeat the Romans at Vindonissa. In this battle, emperor Iulianus is killed.

While in Rome, Carinus and Herennius contend for the succession, Gallo-Roman divisions confront the retreating Romans near Bragodurium and kill several hundreds.

At the same time, a province-wide, organised slave rebellion in Cilicia (Simonist and non-religious groups fighting side by side) succeeds. Thousands of soldiers, magistrates and aristocrats are slaughtered. While the mostly Gothic and Sarmatian slaves flee back North into the lands from where they had been deported, the radical political faction declares a democratic and egalitarian Republic of Tarsus.

In other parts of the empire, more and more Plebeian Councils form and continue to occupy public places. Increasingly, they demand all the political power, which had gathered in the hands of the military-monarchic complex of the Principate, for themselves

Contacts are established between the urban protesters and their Plebeian Councils on the one hand, and the rebellious peasantry, the armed radical groups, and the established Societates Liberorum on the other hand. Both radical and more moderate Christian and Jewish revolutionaries, whose parishes stretch across both urban and rural communities, play a vital role in establishing these contacts. The alliance between the revolutionary countryside and the revolutionary towns and between Greco-Roman citizens and other ethnic groups strengthens both, while Iulianus' war against Gaul and the withdrawal of troops from the civil war gives them time to consolidate and organise their defenses.

Under these circumstances, the newly reformed and centralised tax collection system in the provinces breaks down. Even with ever-faster debasement of the currency, Rome has severe difficulties paying its army. The resources allocated to the Cura Annonae are halved, causing even more violent riots on the streets of Rome and a further strengthening of the radical factions in the informal Plebeian Council of Rome.

261

Roman Empire: During the first months of the year, the revolution seems to succeed in most parts of the empire. Except for the regions close to the Danubian border and remote mountain regions, almost everywhere urban Plebeian Councils or similarly named assemblies and rural Societates Liberorum have established their own forms of co-operation, maintenance of public order and public services. These local revolutionary republics increasingly call themselves "civitates". More and more networks between civitates form to prepare a common defense.Rome has lost control over its empire and faces bankruptcy. It cannot pay its legions any longer. The broad alliances do not always hold - in some places, especially in Palestine and Numidia, radical and moderate groups fight against each other over religious, socioeconomic and political differences.

But then, military commanders of the troops, which are mostly stationed in the border regions, take over the entire control in several provinces and suppress the revolutionary structures. Marcus Quintus, who commands the troops who fight against the Gallo-Romans in Raetia, squeezes as much tribute in kind as he can out of the Alpine provinces, which had been rather quiet before, but now become dissatisfied, too - although the strong military presence prevents any popular uprisings here. Marcus Quintus manages to hold the ground against the Celts in the North-West.

Similarly, Marcus Veracilius Verus manages to establish a military administration in Dacia, Moesia and Pannonia, although the maintenance of his troops does not weigh too heavy on the population of these provinces since many legions had been withdrawn from the Danube and thrown into battle against the Celts.

In Africa and Cyrenaica, the Plebeian Councils in Leptis Magna, Cyrene and Carthage haven taken over the whole administration and negotiated alliances, common action and mutual protection with the Societates Liberorum and also with the few soldiers stationed here. The latter have agreed to act under their command and receive their soldes from them. A bloodshed is averted when Lucius Messius, proconsul in Africa, acknowledges the rule of the Plebeian Councils and the real ownership structures in the countryside, too. Africa, the Empire's breadbasket, stops sending grain, oil and garum as tribute to Rome, and sells it to wholesale traders instead, who make great profits when selling the grain to the Cura Annonae and to retailers.

In Aegyptus, things have taken a similar turn as in the Africa province: the revolution has taken control and the province acts factually independent from Rome, the Senate or any Emperor. The revolutionaries from Africa to Aegypthus, from Leptis Magna to Memphis begin to coordinate their reconstruction of the public services, their re-establishment of law and order and their defense. But in the South-Eastern corner of the changing Empire, things are not so peaceful. Military commanders of the troops stationed in the region to guard the Empire`s border against the Sassanids commit bloodbaths among Jewish, Christian and other rebel groups, and they must attempt to crush the revolution in Egypt and Africa, too, now in order to feed their troops.

In November, Publius Petronius marches with the Eastern legions on Alexandria. The revolutionaries have erected barricades and put up fierce resistance. Petronius' legionnaires and (mostly Arab) auxiliaries slaughter hundreds, perhaps even thousands of civilians in the insurgent city, until mutinous sentiments spread among the soldiers, too. Emissaries from the Plebeian Councils of Alexandria and Memphis negotiate with leaders of the conspiracy among the soldiers. They promise to cover the troops' costs if they defend the revolution instead.

On December 2nd or 3rd, the soldiers in Aegyptus mutiny against Petronius. They form revolutionary comitia centuriata - but in contrast to those of the old republic, every soldier's vote has the same weight now - and incorporate themselves into the new democratic state that emerges between Carthage and Antiochia. Jewish and Christian groups from Galilee join the alliance, bringing the land between Petra and Samaria under their control and restoring public life and order there.

In Rome, impoverished urban masses begin to starve - and to rebel in earnest.

The noble families and the well-off, who still have enough reserves to buy African products, begin to panic. On December 10th, the Senate nevertheless makes a decision which would have shocked everyone ten years ago, but which now seems belated and half-hearted: They revoke the separation of the potestas tribunicia, which had served as a republican fig leave for the emperors' unlimited powers since the times of Octavius, from the person of the office holder, and demand that the censor Aulus convoke a Plebeian Council with the duty of electing a new tribune of the plebs. The public opinion considers this move as an attempt to appease the revolutionary, anti-principate mood and domesticate the movement of the spontaneous Plebeian Councils.

The next day, Rome's self-convoked Plebeian Council formulates a declaration that it does not need Aulus to tell them what they're supposed to do. An immediate rejection of the idea of electing a tribune does not find general consent, though.

In the next few days, internal divisions become visible within Rome's Plebeian Council. Should they stand together with the old establishment, accept the limited amount of reforms that the upper class would be willing to grant, and reconquer Africa and Aegyptus in order to acquire the food that is needed to feed the starving masses? Or should they overthrow the old system entirely, extend a hand to the much more revolutionary Plebeian Councils in the South and East, and build a new state, in which Rome would have to cede much of its privileges?

Lasika: The person who would later be named St Gregor is converted to trinitarian Christianity by a Cappadocian monk. He returns to Armenia.

262

In January, the Sassanids break the ceasefire and invade Syria. The new army of the revolutionary provinces undergoes its baptism by fire, and it succeeds in defeating the Sassanid besiegers of Palmyra and pushing the Sassanid army back across the Euphrates. Shahanshah Shapur is forced to negotiate for peace with a junta of elected soldier-representatives who call themselves "collegium militum".

Meanwhile, the revolution finally succeeds in the revived Greek poleis in Achaia, Macedonia, Bithynia, Asia Minor, Lykia et Pamphylia and Galatia. The democratic poleis form new koina and send ambassadors to the emerging republic of rebellious urban citizens, rural collectives of former coloni, improvised armies of formerly oppressed ethnic and religious groups, former slaves and mutinous soldiers that forms in Northern Africa, Aegyptus and Syria.

In February, inner conflicts break out among leading revolutionary groups in Syria and Arabia. While Simon himself and his more pacifist and separatist faction declines fighting alongside heathens against other heathens, a more integrative faction led by Zacharias sees the revolution as a chance to obtain religious, social and political freedom alike, and wants to see their communities integrated into the defensive structures of the new republic, even if this means accepting some laws that are not inspired by the Holy Writ.

Meanwhile, the radicals take over the revolutionary movement in Rome and across Italy. The senatorial and equestrian aristocracy becomes the target of manhunts. Large landowners and their families across Italy are killed as impoverished tenants unite with slaves and take over the villae rusticae in this heartland of the Roman Empire, too. Only the Praetorian Guard puts up a significant resistance against the revolution, killing countless rebels and terrorising quarters of Rome where the insurgents are in the majority. After the rebels, badly armed but numerically far superior, finally defeat and slaughter the Praetorians, the Cura Iulia is stormed, but the senators have already fled. The Quirinal and the Palatin Hills are ransacked and set on fire. Amidst this mess, Rome`s greatest philosopher, Plotin, dies. A considerable part of Rome's upper class flees into other Italian cities, and as the revolution succeeds there, too, to the Gallic provinces, where Postumus keeps things quiet in the cities so far.

In Alexandria, Origenes, and with him a large group of philosophers in the Platonist Academic tradition, expound political ideas supportive of the revolution. The radical shift in Alexandrian (Neo-)Platonism may be attributed either to real convictions, or to their hope of being financially supported by the new power-holders (which they eventually were), or to a desire to influence and moderate the popular movement, or to a combination of both. Origenes and his group support an order of peace (pax romana) through a constitutional channelling of popular power (res publica populara; politeia demokrata). They gain many followers among educated Alexandrians, who attempt to control and moderate the revolution, contending for power in the Plebeian Council against radical Christian and Kemetist-separatist groups.

In early spring, civil delegates from the Concilia Plebeia in the revolutionary civitates, which now include all of Roman Africa, Cyrene, Aegyptus, Syria, Arabia, Achaia, Asia Minor, Cilicia, Lycia et Pamphylia, Galatia, Cypros, Sicilia, Corsica et Sardinia, parts of Illyria and the greater part of Italia, as well as military envoys from the Maximum Collegium Militum negotiate the foundation for the new democratic federation, its defenses, its public services and finances. A constitution, written in marble, is planned for next year. For now, the top priorities are to feed the starving masses of Rome without exploiting the provinces, and to defend the revolution against the troops of the old order, which still control Moesia, Thracia, Dacia, Pannonia, Raetia, and the entire Gallic breakaway empire ruled by Postumus.

During summer, the free peasants of Italia, Asia, Aegyptus, Africa and other revolutionary provinces (many of them former slaves) manage to work their (often newly acquired) land. The revolutionary provinces are not entirely peaceful, since especially in Africa and Palestine, competing sects - Jewish ones, too, now - attack each other, but overall stable.

In Gaul and along Rhine and Danube, the autocrats consolidate their foothold, too, and gather means for an attack. Veracilius slowly advances through the sparsely populated Rhodopes, where the rural population has shown no inclination to join any of the conflict parties yet. In August, Veracilius' troops attack Maximianopolis. Dramatically outnumbered, the revolutionaries must abandon the city and flee. Revolutionary troops across Macedonia and Bithynia organise a rather improvised defense. Revolutionary troops from Asia Minor set sail to support their brethren. But Veracilius defeats the citizens' army at Traianopolis and the landing party at Maronea, too.

Across Macedonia and Achaia, plebeian councils increase the fortification of their towns, while in Antiochia and Alexandria, two great leaders of the revolutionary army, Silas and Atenos, organise the training of huge armies of former slaves, who have joined the cause of the revolution.

Perhaps the boldest step of the Maximum Collegium Militum is to send envoys to Shapur and request his assistance in the fight against Veracilius and the liberation of Thracia, Moesia, Pannonia and Dalmatia. If Shapur sends his well-trained cavalry against Veracilius, the MCM promises that the Sassanids can plunder the houses and vaults of the legates, imperial magistrates and large landowners in all of the above-mentioned provinces.

Before the Sassanids arrive, the revolutionaries must withstand the siege of Thessalonica and suffer the devastation and plundering of their fields and vineyards, which awaited harvest now (in September).

In the meantime, the fleeing Roman and Italian senators and equestrians press for Marcus Quintus and Postumus to settle their differences and join their numerous legions in a co-ordinated war effort against the insurgent plebs, aimed at reconquering Italia and perhaps later Africa.

In October, the civil war escalates with all-out offensives on both fronts. The joint armies of Sassanids and Roman revolutionaries confront Veracilius' legions in Larissa and defeat them soundly. Veracilius retreats, but he is pursued. At Scupi, he suffers another major defeat and is killed by his own soldiers. While the three remaining legions try to sort out the question of leadership, Silas' large army of former slaves confronts them in several places and slaughters them. Significant numbers of legionaries, especially those of lower rank, give themselves in and join the revolution's troops. With the defenders of the old order gone, Shapur's mounted troops comb much of Thracia, Moesia and Dalmatia and plunder the villae of the wealthy, except for those who openly submit to the new order and lend their means to support the revolutionary troops. MCM envoys accompany the Sassanids and make sure that the peasant population is left unharmed. Across the Balkans, Rome's former elite has packed what it can carry and flees Westward across the snowy mountains of November and December in a desperate hurry.

In the West, things don't go so well for the revolution, though. The legions of Postumus and Marcus Quintus move into Northern Italia by sea and by land on three different routes and join to confront the revolutionary troops near Mediolanum. The battle ends in a victory for the counter-revolution. Without attempting to besiege the smaller fortress towns of Northern Italia, Postumus and Marcus Quintus march on Rome, where they arrive, after several minor confrontations, in December.

Gaul: While Postumus has thrown his legions against revolutionary Italy, the peasants in Gaul and Northern Hispania begin to rebel, too. Bands of "Bagaudae" kill landowners and their farm managers and plunder their villae.

263

While the Sassanids ride home with lots of gold, silver and jewellery, the militia of the revolution take control in many regions of Thracia, Moesia, Dacia and Dalmatia. In some places, popular support for the new order is strong, while elsewhere, different traditions and languages impede popular mobilisation.

In Athens, Longinos formulates a political philosophy which competes with Origenes` Alexandrian school for supremacy among educated urban revolutionaries. Longinos agrees with Origenes that an Empire-wide peace and a popular constitution are necessary, but he stresses the necessity of liberty (eleutheria) in the new political order and warns against an omnipotent centralised popular government. Backed by the Greek koinists, he supports a looser confederacy and a subordination of the political sphere under the rule of the various traditional laws of the various lands, with the Empire as arbiter and peacekeeper.

On the Western front, the revolution suffers its worst defeat. In January, the legions of Postumus and Marcus Quintus overcome Rome's defenses, evidently aided by anti-republicans from within, slaughter those who put up resistance, confiscate food reserves for their troops, hunt down the leaders of the revolution and set heavily populated quarters of the rebellious underclass on fire. As the revolutionaries manage to hold out for a few days, they strike back against those within the city`s walls who had cooperated with the counterrevolution, and soon the entire urbs is on fire.

The counter-revolutionaries restore a (severely decimated) Senate. Postumus and Marcus Quintus both become "caesares" and share the potestas tribunicia. After this has been achieved, Postumus returns to Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensum, where he assesses his options for dealing with the simultaneous threats of Salian Frankish marauders pillaging Batavia and moving Southwards, and "bagaudae" consolidating their rule over rural areas in Aquitania and Hispania, which means that these regions no longer provide resources for Postumus' wars, and the Gallo-Roman elite is panicking and questioning his leadership.

Although many Roman leaders of the revolution are killed or have escaped to the South, Marcus Quintus does not manage to restore order in Rome. Hundreds are killed every week, hundreds of thousands hold out in a cold February without shelter, and the city is still starving. Tens of thousands of Romans flee the city and strengthen the ranks of the revolution in the Italian countryside. Marcus Quintus, too, focuses on regaining control over rural Italia to ensure both necessary supplies and senatorial and equestrial support for him. This, too, does not work well. Even though his legions are numerous and well-trained, they are unable to quell all the rebellions and destroy the peasant armies, and his resources begin to run out, too.

The escaped leadership of Rome's Plebeian Council needs some effort to convince the revolutionary troops in Egypt, Africa and Macedonia to fight for the liberation of Rome. They promise complete equality of rights and far-reaching autonomy for all civitates in the future republic. Counselled by Origenes and other Neoplatonist Constitutionalists of the Academy of Alexandria, the MCM finally accepts. When the help from the East arrives, Marcus Quintus and his legions, evidently warned of the danger, have already left the devastated capital behind. An unknown number of soldiers retreats to Lucca, while the navy secures another part of the army at Ravenna.

Those rebels who had held out in Rome realise that there is no time and no point in building provisional shelters in the midst of a relatively cold winter. Tens of thousands of uprooted, hungry, homeless, freezing and desperate young Romans join the gradually consolidating armies led by the MCM. They move quickly Northwards through the Latium, incorporating all the peasant armies that had managed to hold out, as well as more supporters from the urban proletariat into the new military structures, which have adapted to the challenge of quickly integrating relatively untrained masses of men. Structures of political co-operation between liberated towns and rural collectives are significantly improved, and those staying behind engage in fortifying their towns and preparing for another attack from the North.

In March, the huge army of the revolution confronts and almost completely annihilates the much better equipped legions of Marcus Quintus in Lucca, even though they do not even have a cavalry of their own. Marcus Quintus is crucified along with more than a hundred leaders of the old order.

Under these conditions, Postumus begins to change his policies. He switches his allegiance from the Gallo-Roman landowning elite to the rebellious peasants and the simple commoners in the towns. He seeks negotiations both with leaders of the bagaudae in Aquitania and Hispania, and with the revolutionary MCM.

Postumus invites Bagaudae leaders as well as loyal bureaucrats and public managers from several towns to replace the seats in the Senate vacated by disowned or killed senatorial families. In this Senate, the two classes who fight against each other are now sitting together, and entrusted with the task of formalising peasant ownership over the manors they already firmly control, while attempting to stop the spreading of the revolution, as well as with integrating the new Bagaudae collectives into the military system and subjecting them to regular taxation.

In Anneianum, Postumus signs a peace treaty with the MCM. Rome's new republic would recognise his rule in all of Hispania, Gallia, Germania and Britannia, with the Alps, the rivers Arula, Rhine, Hilara and Danube as the border between the Second Roman Republic and the Imperium Romanum Galliarum. Postumus will not support the property claims of the senators and equestrians who fled into his territories, and both sides will refrain from attacking each other or meddling into their internal business.

264

Gaul: Postumus' new troops defeat the Salian Franks and drive them off Gallo-Roman lands. When Postumus returns victoriously to Lugdunum, he must discover that parts of the old Gallo-Roman elite and exiled senators from Rome have conspired against him. They have gathered in a "Senatus Romanus" in Burdigala, and declared Laellianus as the new emperor.

An extremely bloody civil war between the well-equipped legions of Laellianus and the larger peasant army led by Postumus begins.

Roman Empire: The new republic's constitutive process turns out to be much more difficult than anticipated. Dozens of religious and philosophical groups try to shape the constitution in the spirit of their faith or ideology; civil and military decision-making structures contend for the ultimate control of the republic's armed forces; some politicians of the revolution favour a confederal structure with a maximum of self-government in de facto city-states and their federations or koina, while others prefer a federal structure with a powerful imperial army and the safety of the Roman law applying to everyone. Ingenui and recently self-liberated former slaves, peasants and urban trades- and craftsmen turn out to have different views on how their polity should be structured, and then there are still those at the old empire's fringes who don't see themselves as Romans and would prefer to be left alone. No political institution enjoys sufficient authority to take decisions based on a mere majority, so every single constitutional provision requires a consensus of all the relevant cities in the empire AND the major peasant collectives in the Republic's breadbaskets AND the soldiers, too. Amidst all these complexities, there are hundreds of thousands of former inhabitants of Rome, who have been integrated into this or that provisional military or rural structure, but for whom a permanent solution, place and source of income is needed if the new polity is to gain any stability.

In March, after nine months, everything the delegates can agree to carve into marble is the principle that the res publica is an indivisible union of self-governing civitates / poleis. While works on the constitution itself drag on, great achievements are made in the field of delimiting the territories of the civitates.

During the rest of the year, the informal structures both in the civil and the military domain stabilise themselves in the heartlands of the revolution and develop further, creating a de facto constitution, albeit one with major local differences. The most common structural changes are:

  • the civitates / poleis prove to be a working structure; civil power is concentrated here. Factually, the liberated part of the Roman Empire has become a collection of small republics
  • the civitates organise their own military defenses, often co-ordinating themselves with neighbouring civitates
  • the large standing imperial army, partly remnants of old legions, partly new divisions drafted in the civil war, has in part settled down and become a part of the local defense, while another part, which has to live on the (after the war: decreasing) allotments from the civitates, becomes a driving force behind the constituting process of the republic, pushing for professional structures that could defend the republic against both Sassanids and Gallo-Roman revisionists.
  • On all levels, soldiers act in accordance with what the democratic bodies, which pay them, decide, but internally, they govern themselves, electing the centions who directly command them and who in turn elect a collegium militum, which nominates higher-ranking commanders and elects members of the Maximum Collegium Militum, which appoints supreme commanders and negotiates with republic-wide conventa of civil prepresentatives. Old differences like those between legions, auxiliares, praetorians and limitanei are abandoned.

The civitas of Alexandria concludes a contract with the Academy on the Museion which guarantees its public financing in exchange for a somewhat limited autonomy of the Academy.

265

The Imperium Romanum Galliarum is about to fall apart. Postumuis and Laellianus fight against each other in Gaul, while in Hispania, new Bagaudae armies, here and there supported by a few Agonistic Christian revolutionaries from the Roman Republic, who want to help their brethren in constructing the New Kingdom of God on Earth, fight against para-military units of the landowning elite. All sides often confiscate the resources of towns outside the immediate conflict zone, e.g. Narbo, Massilia, Tarraco and Caesaraugusta.

Roman Empire: Social tensions are still high. In the Egyptian, African, Palestinian, Syrian, Asian, Greek and Sicilian heartlands of the revolution, structures have settled and the economy begins to recover.

In places where the revolution had found less ample support - in some parts of Italia, Illyricum, Corsica and Sardinia -, traditionalists and members of the old upper middle classes continue to put up resistance to the expropriation of large estates. They often boycot the new republican institutions and assemblies and often continue to treat their legally emancipated slaves and coloni as if nothing had happened. Infrequently, armed conflicts between republican forces, who enforce the new provisions, and reactionary groups still erupt.

Especially in the Greek-speaking part of the republic, the abolition of slavery has brought down wage levels among unskilled workers. Only few civitates can afford to distribute free grain like it was common in the urbs of Rome. Poor people try to find employment both in the countryside and in all domains and trades in the towns. The brothels are full of impoverished women.

Italia is particularly badly hit, with its huge army of homeless and unemployed new paupers.

While in the first months of the year, the confederalists seemed to prevail due to the weakness of the revolutionary groups in some parts of the empire, while autonomous political structures like the Panhellenion in Pergamon and the Conventum per Africam and Aegyptum in Cyrene consolidate themselves in the heartland of the revolution, the threat of an attack by Laellianus and a devastating flood finally tip the balance in favour of the federalists in the second half of the year, since many different regions are forced to stand together and require each other's help in an organised fashion.

An interim formula for funding and controlling the common troops while preserving local autonomy is developed, which will prove very viable: common infrastructure and command over the common troops will be organised by magistrates elected by a body of representatives, who can also recall the magistrates at any time. The number of representatives a civitas sends correlates to the amount of taxes it has transferred into the common budget over the preceding period of legislation, with payments in kind being mathematically converted into sums of money based on general market prices as observed by the Censors. The new body of representatives - the Conventum Omnium Civitatum - resides in Alexandria for the time being - a large, wealthy city and stronghold of the revolution, a place which has not been capital of one of the federations, and a safer place than Rome, considering Laellianus' plans.

The representatives in Alexandria elect two Consuls, who, together with representatives of the soldiers, devise a defensive strategy especially in the North-West and remain in contact with Postumus.

In autumn, news of a terrible flood in Asia reach Alexandria. The republic decides to send construction corps to help with evacuations, reconstructions and the deliverance of food, water etc. This creates temporal jobs for a few thousand Italians, who are shipped across the Aegean Sea to Asia.

Sheba: At the behest of the King of Sheba, Christian immigrants of Roman background produce a first (philologically questionable) translation of large parts of the bible from Hebrew and Greek into Sabaean South Arabian.

266

Gaul: Octavius Sabinus, provincial governor of Britannia Inferior, declares Britannia Inferior and Superior independent and neutral in the fights between Postumus and Laellianus. He replaces the imperial publicani with censorial magistrates he trusts, making sure that no taxes leave the island anymore. His troops try to prepare the island against invasions by the Picts from the North and by the rivalling Gallo-Roman armies from the South, which is quite a demanding task and one they do not manage to complete.

The towns along the Mediterranean coast also refuse to be taxed twice - by Postumus and by Laellianus. Although they are not run by Plebeian Councils and do not exhibit great revolutionary zeal, they establish relations with the new Roman Republican Consuls with the aim of obtaining military protection and, if needs be, joining the Republic.

In a meeting between Postumus, the decuriones of Narbo and the Consuls and MCM of the Roman Republic, the coastal townsmen can be convinced that only the victory over the old order can stop the endless conflicts. A common offensive against Laellianus is planned after a number of Roman demands have been agreed upon: Roman goods and citizens will travel freely in Gaul, no customs will be charged, and the allied Mediterranean towns will trade grain, olive oil, wine and other agricultural products at a fixed quantity and fixed prices with Rome over the next ten years.

Postumus, for whom the civil war has not gone very well so far, must draft more troops. His only option is to integrate and legalise even more Hispanic Bagaudae, and to appeal to the Alemanni within and beyond the Agri Decumates to join his campaign - in exchange for land in which they may settle.

Postumus' troops, the Alemanni, and the Roman troops encircle Laellianus' forces. In a final battle near Tarasco in Gallia Narbonensis, Laellianus is killed, along with several thousand of his soldiers. The Romans withdraw immediately after the victory - the Conventum does not have sufficient funds to pay the professionals any longer, and the conscripts are eager to return to their fields.

Although the exiled elite has already fled from Burdigala before Postumus and his troops arrive, many of the formerly influential conspirators are finally caught, bereft of their belongings, which are distributed among Postumus' followers, and often killed. New Bagaudae leaders must replace anti-Postumus members of the old Gallo-Roman and Hispanic elites in the Senate at Lugdunum, where the "new Senators" are now a majority. But their process of acculturation has already begun...

Roman Empire: The Maximum Collegium Militum decides to continue the Academia Martiana for the training of republican officers, renamed into "Academia Collegii Militum". The body of representatives in Alexandria agrees to provide sufficient funds to allow former slaves and other poorer soldiers to climb the career ladder, too, if they prove themselves as capable. After all, thousands of skilled military leaders of senatorial or equestrian rank must be replaced as quickly as possible.

Also, the Centralists achieve a victory by mobilising the representatives of the other civitates to contribute funds for a reconstruction of Rome, which is planned to begin in the next year already.

The Civitas of Athens reacts with a contract that supports its own Academy, headed by Longinos, as an academy of the polis, modelled after the Alexandrian rival.

In Syria and Northern Arabia - within and beyond the borders of the former Roman Empire - conflicts between different Christian sects, Jews and followers of pan- and polytheistic Aramaic, Greco-Roman, and Arabian cults have reached the level of a civil war. The MCM abstains from an intervention, although revolutionary troops are involved in the fights, sometimes even against one another. Shapur, on the other hand, does intervene, supporting specific sects against others and creating loyalties in the region. Similar conflicts take place in the Berber / Libyan civitates of the African hinterland, where radical and moderate Christians, Jews and polytheists contend for power. Here, without foreign intervention, the radical Agonistici seem to gain power in the countryside, while a coalition of moderates controls the coastal towns.

Sheba / Himjar: The Kingdom of Sheba wins a decisive battle against the Himjar and regains control over the entire South-Western part of Arabia, including a portion formerly held by the Kingdom of Aksum, which loses its last foothold on the Arabian peninsula. The Jewish refugees of Himjar are granted religious tolerance.

267

Gaul / Alemannia: Postumus knits an alliance with Octavius Sabinus - and with Huno, one of the most powerful Alemannic petty kings, who controls lands in the Rhine-Neckar region. Huno has left the Romanised Celtic and Germanic provincial population in peace - and promises to do the same across the rest of the Agri Decumates as Postumus' vassal, should Postumus provide material support to his campaign.

Britannia resumes its tax payments; in exchange, it receives help in organising its defenses.

Roman Empire: The successful crisis management of the flood, the military success over Laellianus and the beginning reconstruction of Rome have broadened the support base for the republic. Resistance becomes more and more marginalised, and almost everywhere the founding fathers of the revolution had delineated civitates, these civitates have now begun to work and their republican legal and socioeconomic framework also slowly establishes itself.

As symbols of a resigning opposition, many former slave-owners are declaring their former slaves "liberated" by themselves - although they are already free by the Republican law, which they despise -, and former owners of large estates sell parcels of land to their coloni at very low prices to prevent a forcible collectivisation into a Societas Liberorum.

In the bloody conflicts in Arabia and Syria, various armed Christian groups federate and declare their loyalty to a political federation of Christian-dominated Roman civitates in the region ("Chuyodo Christé"). Two rivalling Jewish militia have not yet managed to unite, though. Practically, they all form separate military structures. The MCM in Alexandria is disquieted and begins serious talks.

268

Gallo-Roman Empire: Postumus consolidates his administrative structures.

In Alemannia, Huno defeats the Brisgavi under their petty king Vadomar and extends his control Southwards.

Roman Empire: All along the Danube, cities and towns are fortified by their inhabitants, and the republic's border along the river is endowed with multiple protective devices against barbarian incursions from the North. Bridges over the Danube are guarded by troops of local federations. In many places, complex evacuation plans are worked out. The paradigm shift from the Principate, where the border provinces served to secure the imperial centre, to the Republic, where the citizens of the border provinces have a high interest in protecting themselves and their wealth, becomes clear. This devours a lot of resources, so living standards in the border civitates are relatively low.

The possibility to appeal to the highest judicial level in the republic is created with the election of twelve Praetors who shall remain in office for twelve years. The Praetorium is seated to Ephesos to avoid a concentration of power in Alexandria.

Negotiations between the MCM and the Chuyodo Christé remain inconclusive, but the various Jewish militia are incorporating themselves into the vigilia of Jewish-dominated civitates and, to a small extent, into the federal forces. All major Jewish groups agree to a compromise, which also results in the formal reinstatement of a Great Sanhedrin as the federation of Jewish-dominated civitates.

269

Gaul: Postumus appoints new praetors and many hundreds of new judges. The new and smaller judicial districts are called "pagi" in the countryside (alluding to pre-Roman Celtic structures). Both in rural pagi and in the free cities (coloniae and municipia), the death penalty can only be passed on with the unanimous consent of twelve jurors drawn by lot.

Sheba: Sheba reconquers Hadramaut. King Far'am Yanhab starts maintenance of the dams and irrigation systems.

Roman Empire: The Gladiators, now free men, have formed their own collegium and refuse to fight for life and death. Bloodless gladiator fights find considerably less spectators in the Colosseum and other arenas across the republic. Desperate for a replacement, Italy's population flocks to all sorts of other sports events: fistfights, cart races, wrestling and a lot more, mostly imported from Greece. Several civitates sponsor their own regular games after the model of the Olympic Games.

After Sassanid-supported Mithraists from outside the Roman Republic attack the Christian-dominated Roman civitas of Petra, destroying its aquaeducts and killing thousands, the Chuyodo Christé strikes back, tacitly supported by the MCM.

270s

Roman Empire: The process of constituting the new republic on its foundational units, the civitates, is completed in this decade.

Slowly, a modus vivendi among opposing socioeconomic and religious groups establishes itself. In the republican armed forces, the concept of "libera concordia" develops, which allows soldiers of incompatible religious convictions to observe their own cults while symbolising clearly that they all hope and pray for the common goals.

An unintended result of the principle that the civitates constitute the republic is that the map of the Roman Republic shows some white spaces: the mountainous inland of Corsica, Sardinia and Anatolia as well as parts of the Alps and the Balkan Mountains is practically not civitatised (divided into organised civitates). This "terra barbarorum" would take centuries to become integrated into the Republic.

The republic`s centre is still Alexandria. As the "reformatio urbis" continues as the biggest tax-financed public work in recent history, the new Rome begins to take shape. Large spaces are reserved for public assemblies; the buildings destined for the new republican institutions are ostensibly modest. Living quarters are designed for merely 300,000 inhabitants, but equipped with unpretentious yet functional public infrastructure (baths, sewers, etc.). On the Quirinal and Palatin Hills, where almost all the villae have been plundered and razed to the ground, their material used as building blocks, an African, an Egyptian, a Judaean, a Syrian, a Greek and an Illyrian proxenic quarter are planned, where proxenies (political delegates from the various regions of the Empire, but also representatives of their economic associations and religious communities) find a small place of their own within the walls of the Republican City, officially cementing (quite literally so) a development which has already spontaneously (and rather chaotically) happened in Alexandria.

Alemannia: Huno unites the Bucobantes, Suebi Nicrenses, Brisgavi and Lentienses and defeats the Juthungi, then re-distributes Roman latifundia among the tribes, delineating their territories and defining their Ting districts ("Gaue"). He leaves the remaining provincial Roman population of the towns relatively untouched and allows them to keep a bit of land in their perimeters. Huno's reign stops the migrations of the Alemanni and lays the foundation of considerable population growth.

270

Roman Empire: To ease their hard daily work, Societates Liberorum often indebt themselves to craftsmen who construct watermills for them and, in return, reap a part of the increased profits. The installation of such debt-financed watermills, in which the frequent inventions of cranks and connecting rods are used, spreads across the entire Republic.

Gaul / Alemannia: Huno builds several castles guarding over the Rhine and Neckar valleys.

271

Roman Empire: Advised by the Academia Collegii Militum, the Conventum Omnium Civitatum, the Consuls and the MCM agree on the new republic's military doctrine, which envisages a division of labour between guards and troops of the member civitates and their federations, consisting of conscripts, who are meant to secure order in their regions and hold back potential invaders for just long enough to allow evacuations to be carried out and republican troops to arrive, and a professional republican army with a powerful navy that protects the safety of the republic's traders across the known world, well-trained officers who have studied at the Academia Collegii Militum in Alexandria, and a large cavalry that can rival that of the Sassanids. The republican army is designed to be large and flexible enough to conduct war on two fronts at once.

  • Both military forces receive their orders and funds from the respective assemblies and their elected consuls, but both are also structured internally democratic, with comitia militum electing their own centuriones and centuriones sending enoys to Collegia Militum - and on the federal level those again sending envoys to the Maximum Collegium Militum -, who have the strategic command over the troops.

272

Sassanid Empire / Albania: Shapur invades Albania.

Roman Empire: While the "pro-Caucasians" (militarist federalists and representatives from Cappadocia and other border civitates) are in favour of assisting the Albanians against the Sassanid invasion - they also favour a Roman military presence to protect Armenia - the "small but safe" faction (pacifists and many civitates in Sicily, Africa and Greece) gathers a majority in the Conventum Omnium Civitatum. An intervention in Albania is rejected, and for the next year, fortifications of the Euphrates and, farther to the North, the Roman-Armenian border are announced.

273

Sassanid Empire: The university of Gundishapur is founded.

Albania is entirely brought under Sassanid control. Shapur orders the building of castles, fortresses, walls and other border protection measures against the Alani in the North.

Alemannia: The Lentienses acknowledge Huno as their high king, too. Whether this was preceded by a battle or not, remains unclear. Huno now controls the territories along the Rhine Valley, the Lake Constance, the Black Forest and the Northern side of the Hilara valley.

Roman Empire: The Great Sanhedrin moves its seat from Caesarea to Aelia Capitolina, which has regained a Jewish majority.

274

Roman Empire: In order to know what the barbarians beyond the limites, the Sassanids, the Celts and others are plotting, the Roman Consulate installs, in co-operation with the MCM, an office for the gathering of military intelligence about foreign lands.

Alemannia: Alemannic Juthungi plunder Aquileia (OTL Heidenheim an der Brenz).

Sassanid Empire / Kushana: Shapur's armies defeat Kanishka III., the last independent ruler of the remaining (Eastern) Kushan Empire. Kanishka III. steps back; his son Vasudeva II. accepts Sassanid overlordship, receiving the title of "Kushanshah". A large sum of Kushan tax money flows into Shapur's coffer from now on, enriching the Sassanid Empire even more.

275

Gaul: The pro-Gallo-Roman Alemanni under Huno confront and defeat the Juthungi. They enslave many, cooperating with the provincial Roman population of Aquileia, where some enslaved Juthungi are forced to rebuild the town. Some loot is returned, but Huno's warriors also keep some as a reward for their service. The lands of the Juthungi are defined and redistributed by Huno just like he had proceeded in the other petty kingdoms.

Roman Empire: At the Council of Theveste, which is dominated by radical Christian groups like the Agonistici, the lapsi are declared excommunicated.

276

Roman Empire: In its autumn session, the Conventum decrees a statute of the republican treasury in Alexandria, which defines a set of rules for monetary policy aimed at protecting the value of the republican currency against debasement. At the same time, it serves as a founding document for the establishment of exchange relations between private banks and the republican treasury.

The Christian Patriarchs of Rome, Alexandria, Antiochia and Corinth disagree with the decision of the Council of Theveste. They prepare a counter-council.

277

Roman Empire: To protect themselves against the continuously low wage levels of the unskilled, skilled professions like the medics and the architects, who have formed their own "collegia", try to find political support for restricting access to their job market. In the Greek quarters of the republic, they succeed for the first time: The Panhellenion declares that only those who possess a medical degree from a polis- or collegium-run academy may offer medical service.

New medical academies are founded or formalised across Achaia, Macedonia, Asia Minor etc. within months.

The Council of Mediolanum declares the decisions of the Council of Theveste null and void. The schism between the majority of Roman Christians and the Agonistici in Africa deepens.

Gaul: Franks invade. They burn down the Rhine fleet and cross the river south of Bonnae. Postumus calls together imperial, colonial, municipal, British provincial and allied Alemannic troops under Huno's command. They confronts the Franks in a series of smaller battles and a large one near Augusta Treverorum and defeat them. Postumus pursues the fleeing Franks across the Rhine. Imitating Decius' example, he goes for not a small punitive campaign, but an all-out war to eradicate the Franksih threat. Tens of thousands are killed, while a similar number is caught and forced to work on the fortification ot the Rhine border and many towns in its vicinity. Postumus intends to leave many of the improvised castra in Francia manned, but cannot afford to in the end. Nevertheless, the new Empire has passed its first serious test, and Postumus can call himself Francus Maximus.

Sassanid Empire / India: Vasudeva II. explains sinking tribute payments with his loss of control over the Western and Northern Kshatrapas. While other former Kushan vassals like the Xiyu city states in the Tarim Basin are duly paying their tribute, the Western and Northern Kshatrapas evidently consider themselves independent now - this is, at least, how their leaders, Rudrasena III. and Bhartrdaman, see it. Shapur threatens them with an invasion.

278

Gaul: Postumus dies. He is mourned and venerated as a half-god by the majority of his subjects. He is succeeded, as decreed in Postumus' last will, by Tetricus, hitherto head of the provincial administration (praeses provinciae) in Aquitania. Tetricus continues Postumus' alliance with Huno and his policy of military imperial restoration including as few new power-wielding groups as possible, but as many as necessary.

Sassanid Empire / India: In a huge and bloody battle, to which Vasudeva II. contributes his Kushan troops as is his due, the Sassanid Empire defeats the Saka under their leaders Rudrasena III. and Bhartrdaman. Shapur I. expands his empire to the Yamuna and creates his son and later shahanshah, Narseh, as "Sindhu-Shakanshah". The Chenab River becomes the delineation between the Kushan satrapies, which are rewarded for their loyalty with far-reaching autonomy, and the Sindhu-Shakan satrapies, which come under central imperial control.

Roman Empire: Hasingian Vandals arrive in Pannonia and subdue the Iazyges.

The republican constitution is amended with the secularisation, restructuring and redefinition of the office of Pontifex Maximus into the new collegium of magistrates termed "Pontificium Maximum", where several religious groups are represented. It is responsible for defining the Roman calendar and maintaining the "concordia inter religiones". The Conventum Omnium Civitatum elects one representative for the traditional Roman cult, one Mithraist, one for its Hellenistic counterpart, one for the Egyptian cult, one Tannait Jew, one Apostolic Christian and one Manichaeist. Traditionalist Roman groups protest this measure and begin to form private, often anti-republican "temple societies".

279

Roman Empire: In the middle of protective construction works on the Danube, Vandals and their Iazygian vassals invade Pannonia. The armed forces of the civitates of Carnuntum and Aquincum defend their cities and prevent lootings, beginning a chase after the intruders, who split into small groups. When the federal cavalry arrives, the Vandals are an easy prey on the open Pannonian plains.

In a punitive campaign, thousands of Vandals are killed.

280s

In Transdanubian Pannonia, the weakened Vandals and Iazyges begin to live together and establish a division of labour between agriculturalists and nomads, the former providing infantry and the latter cavalry.

In Alemannia, years of inner-Alemannic fights ensue after Huno's death. No gau king manages to install himself as High King. The provincial Romans suffer even more destructions and plunderings during these years. Emigration to the Roman Republic increases. In Western Alemannia, those who remain in towns like Arae Flaviae, Aquae, Lopodunum and Aquae Mattiacorum not only fortify their towns, often moving them further uphill, but also send emissaries to Lugdunum and Rome, requesting help.

In Italia, Dalmatia, Sicilia and elsewhere in the Roman Empire, pro-republican and voluntary reinterpretations of the cult of (formerly often Augustised) communal Lares have established themselves, corroboating the cultural basis and coherence of the young Republic. Upper class anti-republicans have formed "temple societies", too, though, in which conspiratory plans brood.

Sassanid Empire: High Priest Kartir persecutes all non-Zoroastrian religions in the huge empire. In the West, many Christians, many of whom had come a generation ago fleeing from Decian persecution, return to the Roman Republic or flee into Arabia or the Caucasus. The same applies to Jews.

In the East, after the first homicides, Kushanshah Vasudeva II. holds a protecting hand over the Buddhists in his satrapies. Things look grimmer for the followers of Indian religions farther to the South East, in the newly formed Sindhu-Shakastan, where Narseh fully cooperates with Kartir's agenda, enforcing general attendance at yasnas, declaring Nowruz an obligatory celebration, destroying sculptures of Hindu deities and Buddhist monasteries and replacing them with Zoroastrian fire temples and religious schools. Revolts begin to shake the land between Indus and Yamuna.

280

Alemannia: Huno dies. An "Alemannenthing" gathers near Lopodunum, but there are few Lentienses present and almost no-one from the Juthungian lands. Brisgavi, Nicrenses and Bucobantes quarrel. No clear result. Vilmar claims the throne.

Gaul: Tetricus raises taxation levels once again, this time to finance the acquisition of innovative ships (naves lusoriae) for a reconstructed Rhine fleet.

Roman Empire: The Censorial office issues translations of the Republican Constitution in (Coptic) Egyptian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Neopunic and Gothic.

The comitium civitatis Aeliana Capitolina and the Great Sanhedrin decide to jointly erect a Third Temple. Constructions begin immediately.

281

Roman Empire: Fortifications of the Danube are completed. No Markomannic, Vandal or Sarmatian invasions any longer! with separ

Agonstic Christian bishops found the "Communio Sanctorum" with separate ecclesiastical structures.

Sassanid Empire / Armenia: Shapur invades and conquers Armenia. Upon Kartir`s orders, the Christian and Jewish minorities are persecuted. St. Gregor manages to lead 400 Christian refugees to Lasika and safety.

282

Roman Empire: New academies are founded across the Greek East, Africa and Italia, and new professions manage to have their qualifications formalised and their monopoly on specific services legalised. In these professions, "academic" education has come to replace traditional apprenticeships.

The Chuyodo Christé agrees to integrate its armed forces into the common republican command structure led by the MCM. Radical groups (mostly, but not exclusively Simonist) withdraw themselves, but cease to be a relevant military factor.

283

Lasika: Since the Roman Republic no longer sends troops to assert Roman control over the area like the early imperators had done, their former vassal King Malaz II conquers the lands of the Svani and other post-Kolchian tribes and unites them in resistance against Gothic aggression.

Roman Empire: A conspiracy of formerly equestrian Italians based around a temple society, but named after the dominant family "Coniuratio Calpurniorum", attempts to seize the opportunity of heated debates between different collegia and public discontent about meagre games for a coup in which Publius Calpurnius Pulcher claims a potestas populi tributa and revokes the decisions of several municipal censors who had legitimised the collectivisation of latifundia into Societates Liberorum, while paramilitary forces hired by the conspirators terrorise the peasants into submission. Calpurnius promises better games next year and announces to outlaw and crack down on strikes, which over the past months had been caused by the attempts of different collegia to obtain similar job market protection as other collegia.

His attempt to appeal both to the former elite of rural landowners and to the poor Roman underclass. He lacks the authenticity for the latter, and the deposed Consuls as well as leaders of important factions of the Roman civitas and of powerful collegia manage to mobilise tens of thousands of people who chase the conspirators out of the city. Lacking resources to fund their paramilitary forces any further, a peasant alliance between several Societates Liberorum manages to defeat the former landowner's mercenaries.

284

Roman Empire: In many regions of the empire, rural cooperatives are caught up in debt spirals. To break out of them, they search for measures to increase production. So far, new crop rotations appear to be the most promising ones.

In the aftermath of the Coniuratio Calpurniorum, several dozen of the conspirators are convicted for high treason and sentenced to death by the Republican Praetors. The image of their crucified peers deters other anti-republican groups and temple societies from executing their own counter-revolutionary plans.

Gaul: As their living conditions go from bad to worse, more peasants rise in revolt across Gaul and call themselves Bagaudae, like their predecessors in the 260s. Their two charismatic leaders are Aelianus and Amandus.

285

Gaul: Fortification of the Rhine is completed. The Frankish slaves who have survived the construction works are auctioned off to villae rusticae. Rural compounds controlled by Bagaudae, who had seen themselves as rebellious, freedom-loving peasants, buy some of them, too - a clear sign of their conversion into "normal" latifundia, which are simply owned by a larger group of non-kindred individuals.

The new Bagaudae control a fifth of Gaul's agricultural territory, but are forced into defense by Tetricus' counteroffensive. Because Tetricus devotes most of his scant resources to this counterinsurgency effort, his new Rhine fleet commanded by Carausius commits acts of piracy to sustain itself. The cries for help from the Agri Decumates fall on deaf ears, too, as Tetricus considers the land East of the Rhine as lost.

Roman Empire: Gaetulian Berbers attack and plunder the civitas of Volubilis (in Mauretania Tingitana).

Tamilakam: An alliance of hill tribes and warriors of unknown Northern or Central Indian descent lays siege and conquers Urayur, the capital of the Chola Kingdom. A few Chola leaders manage to escape to the Chola port town of Kaveripattinam, which they begin to fortify.

Lasika: King Malaz II. is converted to Christianity by St. Gregor. He donates land for a monastery and orders the building of a cathedral in his capital, Archaeopolis.

286

Sassanid India: Caused by Kartir's perseuctions, a revolt of established kshatriya clans of the Yaudheya and Abhira against Sassanid rule breaks out. Narseh commits a bloodbath among them, crushing the revolt.

Gaul: Tetricus defeats the Bagaudae and has Aelianus and Amandus executed. Old ownership structures are restored, but many villae are destroyed. Over the next years, the rebuilt ones show less luxury and a greater emphasis on fortification.

While Tetricus was still fighting Bagaudae in the mountains of central Gaul, Saxons maraud the Batavian coast. Carausius, whom Tetricus has condemned to death for his piracy, leads the Rhine fleet into a victorious war against the Saxon invaders. His marines, also threatened by persecution for piracy, declare him emperor. Carausius rallies the Channel fleet behind him, too. His breakaway empire consists of Batavia and Britannia.

Roman Empire: In a synod, the Communio Sanctorum instigates all faithful Agonstici to wage holy war against the Gaetuli - which is undertaken in a mixed manner: merchants from Berber towns assume the roles of missionaries, while other crusaders sneek in and attempt to kill tribal leaders in potentially suicidal missions, before larger masses of "martyrs" sweep across the dwellings of the Gaetuli, join forces with local supporters and kill those who oppose them.

287

Gaul: A first attempt by Tetricus to reconquer Batavia fails. Carausius invites Salian Franks to join his side and allows them to settle on the islands in the Rhine-Mosa delta claimed by the Gallo-Roman Empire. Together, Salian Franks and Carausius' marines defeat Tetricus' troops.

Roman Empire: In its winter session, a moderate-conservative majority in the Conventum decrees the consequential "continuatio iuris communis". Intended merely to provide a minimum of common legal standards, it becomes the source of many disputes since the revolution had turned many provisions of the traditional Roman law upside down.

The Agonistic crusade against the Gaetuli is concluded successfully. A large confederacy of tribes, controlling large parts of OTL Southern Morocco and Central Algeria, is brought - nominally under "Roman" control, factually under the control of Agonistic Berbers under their leadership in Theveste.

Tamilakam: The hill tribe alliance conquers Madurai and holds the royal Pandya family and the high priest as hostages in Urayur. Members of the five assemblies escape to Korkai, where they prepare the Pandya navy for a defense against incursions from the hill tribes and their associates.

Iberia: St Gregor converts Parnawas, the King of Iberia, to Christianity. He, too, donates land for the erection of a monastery, and orders the construction of a cathedral in Mzcheta, which could rival that which is currently being built in Archaeopolis.

288

Roman Empire: The teachers of several academies of different collegia in Alexandria form their own collegium to organise themselves in the conflict with a faction in the city's Comitium, which wants to define a legal maximum price for tuition.

The Conventum is compelled to clarify that slavery is indeed abolished empire-wide because some former slave-owners have begun legal disputes based on the "continuatio iuris communis". The "confirmatio libertationis" finds a huge majority, though.

The Third Temple is completed. The comitium civitatis decides to add "Yerushalaym" as second name of the civitas Aelia Capitolina, and Hebrew and Aramaic as additional languages of administration, besides Greek.

The civitates of Sigilmassa, Taierdaitum and Tamdultum officially join the Roman Republic - formerly dangerous tribes in a large hinterland of Rome`s African coast, who are good horse-breeders, too. The Communio Sanctorum has established new parishes there and brought the various tribes under their firm control.

289

Sassanid India: New revolts against Sassanid rule begin in Indraprashta and quickly spread all over Sassanid India. Narseh (nicknamed "the terrible" among his Indian subjects) requires assistance from the rest of the empire, which he receives. With the entire Sassanid military might, the rebellion is crushed in yet another bloodbath.

Gaul / Britannia: Carausius further improves on the defensive structures of Britannia's East Coast.

Aksum: Conflicts break out between Beta Israel, a Jewish state in the Semien Mountains led by King Phineas, and the neighbouring Ekklesia Christiana.

290s

The population of Lasika and Iberia, especially that of the valleys, towns and along the coast, is converting to Christianity, which acquires more and more the status of an official religion - in both countries. It therefore does not become a national religion. The two kings, Malaz and Parnawas, maintain friendly, but competitive relations. St Gregor convinces them, for the sake of spiritual unity, to allow for the establishment of a common ecclesiastical structure, united under himself as the first Patriarch, a single hierarchical church, independent of both royal courts. Thus, in this decade, the Gregorian Church is founded.

290

Roman Empire: Rome's reconstruction is complete. A majority coalition of conservative federalists and conservative confederalists in the Conventum Omnium Civitatum decides to move its seat to Rome in 297 (at the urbs' 1050th birthday), while the office of republican Censors, the Republican Mint, the MCM and the Academia Collegii Militum remain in Alexandria. The hitherto informal parts of the constitution are carved in marble, too, in both Latin and Greek. Tamilakam: The hill tribe alliance, which calls itself the "Kalabhra dynasty" now, conquers Karuvur, the capital of the Chera, too. Here, too, only few leaders manage to escape to Muchiri, where they found a new dynastic line of Chera kings.

Gaul: A sea battle between the new Gallo-Roman Northern fleet and Carausius' navy ends with a victory for the latter.

Sassanid India: A reorgnisation of Sindhu-Shakastan is begun. Land, which previous rulers had gifted to the Brahmins or to Buddhist monasteries, is confiscated and allotted to Iranian azatan, who replace local kshatriyas as the military backbone of Sassanid Sindhu-Shakastan.

291

The Roman civitates of Augusta Vindelicorum (OTL Augsburg), Abudiacum (OTL Füssen), Cambodunum (OTL Kempten), Guntia (OTL Günzburg), Castra Regina (OTL Regensburg) and Boiodurum (OTL Passau) sign treaties of peace, mutual protection, free movement of unarmed people and goods in each other's lands and the joint construction and protection of bridges with the provincial Roman towns of Aquileia, Scuttarensis and Biriciana and the gau king of the Alcmuni (a new Alemannic group which had emerged after the defeat of the Juthungi).

Sassanid India: High Priest Kartir dies. Narseh suspects murder, and orders another pogrom. The Brahmin elite is decimated and forced to flee from Sindhu-Shakastan.

292

Sassanid Empire: At the solemn age of 77, Shah Shapur I dies. He leaves behind a huge, consolidated empire stretching from the Euphrates in the West to the Yamuna in the East and from the Arabian shore of the Persian Gulf in the South-West to the Ferghana Valley in the North-East. Under Shapur, the crafts blossomed (also due to highly skilled Christian and Jewish immigrants who took refuge from Decius' persecutions in the Roman Empire) and universities were founded. Shapur has made lasting peace with Rome and established good friendly relations with Wei and later Jin China. In comparison to OTL, the Sassanid Empire's / Eranshahr's centre of gravity lies farther to the East. Also in contrast to OTL, the concept of shahanshah-hood does not absorb so much deification and idolisation due to the redefinition of its Roman role model and the constitutional changes in Eranshahr's Western neighbour empire.

Roman Empire: In its summer session, a progressive majority in the Conventum passes the "Lex Foederalis Agri Sociorum", which sanctions and defines the status of the Societates Liberorum empire-wide.

293

Gaul: A new offensive by Tetricus against Carausius is successful. He annihilates the Batavian presence in the battle at Bononia. In Britain, Carausius is assassinated and succeeded by Allectus, who maintains control over Britannia.

Sassanid Empire: Conflicts between Shapur's sons for the succession are resolved in favour of Narseh..

Gothic Empire / Lasika: Under the leadership of King Malaz II, Lasikan troops can defend Pitsunda and fight off the much more numerous Gothic invaders. The miraculous events will be narrated in heroic tales and songs of Caucasian literature for many centuries to come.

Roman Empire: In March, the comitium civitatis Lambaesensis, dominated by Agonists, collectivises a number of larger workshops erected by Roman legions in the times of the Principate and appropriated by influential leaders of the Revolution in the 260s, who have amassed considerable wealth by now and employ wage labourers (mostly Agonistic Berbers). Three weeks later, the comitium civitatis Cirtensis officially protests (a considerable number of workshop-owners in Lambaesis are citizens of Cirte). The Consuls delegate the case to the federal Praetors. In October - the Praetors, where an egalitarianist minority prevents the passing of a verdict -, Cirte stations its vigilia at the boundary between the two civitates and prevents products from Lambaesis to enter into Cirtensian land (which is the shortest way from Lambaesis to the Mediterranean). Lambaesis files its own protest with the Praetors.

294

Roman Empire / Berbers: Once glorious and powerful, the Garamants are at the verge of their downfall. Their fossil water supplies are running dry, and their prime export product - slaves - no longer finds a market in the Roman Republic. To make matters worse, Agonistic Berbers have copied the model of the Gaetulian Crusade and infiltrated themselves among the Garamants, or rather among their slaves, preparing a revolution. Sensing this dangerous situation, King Aisa of Garama leads a raid against the prosperous Roman civitas of Leptis Magna.

In the dispute between the civitates of Cirte and Lambaesis, the vigilia of both civitates are mobilised and confront each other in a skirmish which costs dozens of lives. Two weeks later, the dispute is settled by a Praetorian verdict which condones the collectivisation of all property which had been on Lambaesian soil at the moment of the constitution of the Roman federation, but obligates the Lambaesians to return or compensate citizens of other civitates for the loss of all property which was added or improved later on. Both civitates accept the verdict.

A federation of civitates in what used to be the provinces of Dacia and Moesia Inferior gathers its own army of conscripts and joins forces with Dacians, Roxolanians and other tribes outside of the Republic's borders in an offensive against the Goths, who have obviously recovered from Decius' campaign and have exerted pressure on each of them in the past years. The Goths are soundly defeated. The close political, economic and military co-operation between the Dacian and Moesian civitates and their neighbours will last over the next decades.

295

Roman Empire: The collegium magistrorum in Alexandria admits teachers from outside the professional collegia (e.g. litteratores, grammatici and rhetores) into their ranks, too. Only the (neoplatonist) Academy does not join them.

Federal troops defeat Aisa`s Garamants and kill many of them. When this news reaches Garama, the Agonstici give the signal to start the long-prepared slave rebellion. The former leaders of Garama are killed in their own town or upon return to that place. Their former slaves and their "friends" from neighbouring Roman Berber civitates swear oaths of loyalty and friendship. They call themselves "Imaziyen" from this day on - "the free people", because they freed themselves from the yoke of slavery.

Tamilakam: The Kalabhras consolidate their support with the rural population of the valleys and the coast by expropriating Brahmins and converting brahamdeya lands into imperial property which the villagers are free to use without taxation for thirty years.

296

The North-East African port town of Essina, a former Roman emporium, is abandoned. The end of slavery in the Roman Empire had diminished the town's importance, which had been a major slave market. The withdrawal of the Roman classis led to a lack of security for Roman merchants, while Rahaweyn clans progressively abandoned the hinterland, which was beginning to dry out due to climatic change, and moved farther South.

Gaul: Tetricus dies of measles. The Senate at Lugdunum condones his succession and the transfer of all of Tetricus' former powers on his son, Tetricus II.

Tamilakam: Land-owning clans of the Thanjavur region (Muthurajas) raise a rebel army against the Kalabhras. Fights continue for more than two decades.

Roman Empire: The Civitas Venosta in the Alps joins the list of members of the Roman Republic, its territory neighbouring the existing civitates of Vipitenum (in the North), Bolsanum (in the East), Tridentum (in the South) and Tinnetio (in the West) is included in the federal map of the Republic. It sends one representative to the Conventum's autumn session for the first time.

An incredule Roman Conventum accepts the commencement of admission talks with the new Imaziyen.

297

Roman Empire: The Conventum Omnium Civitatum moves to the eternal city of Rome, which celebrates its 1050th birthday. They change the name of their institution to Conventum Romanum.

Since the "Decian Plague", the persecutions of Christians, the revolution and civil war, the manhunt after the former elites, the fires that devastated different quarters, the famines and the temporarily loss of political significance, Rome has lost 40% of its population, many of whom have not died, but moved to the former provinces, where they were able to find a patch of land or a decently paid job. On the bright side, the reconstructed city offers its 620,000 inhabitants a functioning infrastructure, clean streets and houses, and a vigilant and incorruptible urban police which has reduced crime rates in the eternal city by more than half.

The new republican Conventum has become a symbol of unity across the vast empire again.

Politically, the main divisions between confederalists and federalists as well as anti-militarists and pro-militarists have survived, but other divisions have become important, too: pro-free grain vs. pro-market prices, pro-collegia vs. pro-societates liberorum... and of course religious questions continue to be important. Majorities vary according to the political subject. The delegate of the Dalmatian civitas of Narona, for example, may well vote for the initiative of the Jewish delegate of Sinope to increase the budget for the classis (navy), but vote against the same delegates' motion to deploy the classis to defend the Bosporan allies against the Goths; he may vote alongside a Christian representative from Cypros against a republic-wide tax on fishing claims, but if he voted with the same Christian representative in favour of a republic-wide ban of abortion or the practice of infanticide sanctioned by patresfamilias or a ceiling of 5% for interest on loans, his Comitia in Narona, where banks play a significant role and bleeding-heart Christians are a minority, would recall and replace him with another senator in all likelihood.

The new building of the Conventum Romanum also symbolises the republican "libera concordia": Outside the main assembly hall, there is a large and very inclusive Pantheon, but separate synagogue and church sections are included, too. Before important decisions, the representatives attend their respective religious duties, then return to the main assembly hall.

298

Sassanid India: In the context of Buddhist monasteries and Hindu gurukulas (schools), more and more young non-Zoroastrian subjects of the Kushan and Sindhu-Shaka satrapies of the Sassanid Empire are learning martial arts (both armed and unarmed) in order to be able to defend themselves against the frequent harassments and oppression. Unlike prior kshatriyas, they do not openly declare themselves or seek to attain political power. Instead, they remain in the underground, prefer to be invisible and strike only when and where absolutely necessary in order to deter and defend their fellows.

Alemannia: Bands of Burgundians, Langobards and Boiovarii from beyond the old Limes Germanicus-Raeticus plunder and pillage Biriciana and Scuttarensis (OTL Weißenburg and Nassenfels). The half-Romanised Boii and the provincial Romans here call their allies for help. Provincial town militia, Alcmunian warriors and the vigilia of the Roman civitates across the Danube together defeat the intruders, capture them and coerce them to rebuild what they had destroyed.

Aksum: King Endubis sides with the Ekklesia Christiana, converts to miaphysitic Christianity, and subdues Beta Israel, forcing King Phineas to accept him overlord. Some Jews emigrate to the Roman Land of Israel.

Roman Empire (Imaziyen): The civitas Garama joins the Roman Republic.

299

Roman Empire: The city guards of Porolissum commit a bloodbath among mounted Sarmatians, who had entered the grounds of the civitas and were suspected of planning to plunder the town and its agricultural periphery.

________________________

Across the Second Roman Republic, the citizens of the towns, oases and villages near the endangered borders (the Danube, Dacia, the Cappadocian mountains, the gates to the deserts of Arabia and the Sahara) have taken a number of measures from fortifications over city guards, boat patrols, signalling systems, cavernous shelters to fosses against attacks with horses, etc., which, in their sum, have secured the republic's borders quite effectively. Should they be threatened by a larger invasion army, then the professional republican army can always intervene. All Consuls so far have sought to maintain the peace with the Celts in the West and the Sassanids in the East, though, in order to avoid a situation where the republic would be threatened by too many enemies at once.

At the same time, the self-confident Roman citizens at the fringes of the republic also interact with the barbarians beyond the limites. Cross-border trade has multiplied over the first decades of the republic; more and more Roman businessmen dwell in the lands of their neighbours, Roman towns send envoys to their neighbours to find out about their situation, their plans and possible dangers. Those neighbours who co-operate peacefully become more and more integrated into the economic and even political networks of the Romans. In contrast to the First Republic or the Principate, the Second Republic has fuzzy boundaries, and in the next centuries, it will become increasingly unclear whether, for example, Vandals in Pannonia, Markomanni at the Middle Danube, Carpi in Eastern Dacia, Bosporans, Garamants in the Sahara or Nabateans in Arabia are part of the Republic or not.

With peace having returned to the Roman Empire and its new socio-economic structures stabilised, the citizens of the republic enjoy a small but perceivable improvement in their living conditions, which adds stability to the new republic, whose rather informal and decentralised constitution might prove to become a problem in times of great challenge, but which so far accommodates both overarching goals like imperial security and divergent local interests.

Salvador79 (talk) 01:13, February 28, 2014 (UTC)

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