The 6th and 5th Centuries are the fifth section of the Iron Age.
|Iron Age Pt. 4:|
|Iron Age Pt. 5|
|Iron Age Pt. 6:|
The Egyptian Empire stepped into the 6th century BCE as undoubtedly one of the strongest nations to stand. With prosperous trade flowing from India, trading in Anatolia and the Levant, and even trading with the now the much larger and more powerful nations that were rising in Europa. Though these much larger nations gave both Egypt and its trade partners the much needed economic boost they needed; it presented a problem Egypt had rarely dealt with, a fear of one of these nations becoming powerful enough to challenge Egypt's might. Egypt needed to raise their army to such a great amount that no nation could even challenge them, and with newly developed military doctrines, the Egyptians raised an army of roughly 30,000 strong at its highest peak strength. Even with one of the largest armies known at the time and one of the largest naval capabilities, the Egyptians were still paranoid of an eventual attack on its Empire. In 543 BCE, the Egyptians eventually made a shaky agreement with the Enetis to expand their empires into the Anatolia. Although the Egyptians claimed most of the land in their expansion in the region, the deal with the Eneti secured the deal that war would not be fought between one another. This act of cooperation was the first successful usage of an alliance system.
Egypt even made hasty agreements with those they neighbored. The Carthageans were able to cut a primitive non-aggression pact with the Egyptians, which helped relieve the soldiers that bordered Egypt's vassals that bordered the Kingdom of Carthage. Egypt eventually turned their focus on their southern border too deal with the growing city states that conglomerated across Middle Ifran. The plan to peacefully vassalize these nation do not fall through and many nations either ended up being annexed or vassalized by conquest. Egypt eventually caught word of these smaller nations uniting under an alliance in attempts to protect their homeland, though Egypt possessed the power to conquer the alliance, it would take considerable time and resources to merely subject these small nations. Though Egypt was still in constant contention with the Assyrians the Egyptian were always able to keep them in check with their might, but the Egyptians could not stop the Assyrian expansion into the east. The tensions would continue between the now newly formed Persian Empire and the Egyptian Empire.
Abyssinian Trade Confederation
Egypt had been exiling the native Ethiopians from their area up north for years, pushing them down farther and farther south. Tribal states were formed, somewhat using Egyptian technology smuggled southward. After a while of fighting in the mid-500's, two of these states entered into a military union, promising help against the ever-advancing Egypt. They also helped tribes in the south form actual nations, especially tribes that would join their alliance. After a while, all of the tribes not taken over by Egypt were in their military union, although that would change over the next two hundred years. Egypt called them the Abyssinian states, although later historians would nickname the union the Abyssinian Trade Confederation.
Eneti decided to put aside their two-thousand year old differences with Egypt in order to not get crushed for the second time. They made a shaky agreement with the Egyptian pharaoh in 543 BCE, saying that Eneti will help Egypt in all wars concerning matters in Anatolia. The Enetian kings held up this offer over the next century, and aided Egypt in their systematic conquering of Anatolia. However, they didn't get any major land from it. Phrygia was saved from the Enetian conquests, although a few of their coastal towns were raided by way of so-called Euxine Sea (the Greek name for the sea had overtaken the long Enetian name for it by this time). Bithynia was completely collapsed, and a completely different client state was set up in the region. The rest were taken and absorbed into regular Egypt, in order to have more effective rule on the more populated and civilized former-states. Trade with Egyptian states was good for Eneti, as Egypt now controlled a large part of the Euxine Sea. Eneti made trading agreements with the Greek states as well, in order to stay as alive as possible. However, most of these agreements would be betrayed when Macedonia came to conquer...
Assyria was a backwards, barely-expanding state for most of its lifetime. It seemed to be a poor reminder of the once great Akkadian Empire, which had failed many centuries before. It was a miracle that Egypt hadn't gotten the guts to take them over by that time. However, due to technological advances from Alshe and Urartu to the north, Assyria was bringing itself into a new age of prosperity, the first in around fifteen hundred years. Instead of going after the states to the north first, which had benefited from Eneti's innovations, Assyria began to conquer the states to its east. However, while the states in the region weren't very civilized, they were still highly populated. The power axis of Assyria shifted farther and farther east as time went on and its culture spread.
The first emperor of this greater Assyria was Emperor Bailnam I, who begin his conquests by taking over Medes in 561 BCE. After this, he rethought his previous decisions about not attacking the states to the north. Alshe and Urartu were quickly absorbed, as their military was no match for great Assyria. Bailnam used a crest that would be known as the "Desert Eagle", which represented all that the Assyrians stood for. Bailnam, having reformed his army to be more efficient for future battles in 528 BCE, made peace agreements with Armenia. However, Bailnam died in 523 BCE with his son, Abudemio I, taking over as his successor. Abudemio was much more expansionist, and quickly executed the leader of Armenia with someone much more loyal to him. He also claimed vast stretches of land in the Persian desert, and sent explorers to build towns in the region to consolidate his claims. Needless to say, the public rejoiced when he died in 508 BCE.
His son Mandaru took over for him, and put more emphasis on expansion along the coast. People from the original land of Assyria were purposefully enticed to spread out, in order to keep the culture uniform and the people happy as well. He was a relatively good Emperor, but died of supposed starvation (on a trek in the desert) in 496 BCE. With no clear successor in sight, one of his advisors took the reigns, and killed off any of the others who claimed the throne. This man, known as Man'nah I, was even more expansionist than any of his previous counterparts. However, he also had a good eye militarily, and knew that he shouldn't attack the civilized states on the Indus River just yet. He died in 479 BCE, and had his son, Khammo I, take over. Khammo wasn't educated the same way his father was in the military arts, so he immediately went for the states in India. Luckily, due to the empire's giant strength at this time, he won basically every battle against them, quickly absorbing these states. He died in 448 BCE, and helped bring the collapse of the entire Indus Valley Civilization as a whole. His successors weren't able to do much compared to him and his ancestors. The areas to the north weren't worth capturing, and no future emperor was as eccentric as Abudemio was. The areas to the east were completely different cultures, and most people realized it would not go well with the Chinese if they tried anything risky.
During Bailnam's reign Assyria stopped being known as Assyria, due to it basically merging with the cultures and small states it had taken over in the previous. While Mandaru tried to spread the Assyrian culture throughout the desert, he was only emperor for a very short time. The name Persia originated in Rome, a small state in Europa at the time. Through trade and expansion the name stuck as the new term for Assyria in most other nations around the White Sea (OTL Mediterranean). Egypt began using it later on as well, leading Persia to officially call itself that around 465 BCE.
While Egyptians and Persians clashed and other nations rose, the Cogotas I Empire continued its rise to power in Europa. Aeneas Remus' actions of uniting the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula brought forth not only just the Cogotas but also the various other nations. With the defeat of the Celtic raiders, other various nations followed the Cogotas' idea of unification. Though they all lacked a strong leadership that Remus displayed, even though many feared Remus' heir would not live up to his expectations, Remus already had this planned out. He would ensure that his heirs and predecessors would be required to learn from the best educators and were forced to learn the predecessors history within the kingdom and their interactions with other nations. By the mid 5th century the Cogotas had been on a grand conquest streak throughout all of Northern Iberia and eventually expanding southward. The Cogotas even set up small colonies along the southern coast of Francia.
Along with the Cogotas' rise came another kingdom, one that was developing quite well and very quickly, the Kingdom of Macedonia. The Macedonians rose to power so quickly thanks to a strong central leadership under their kings, their military tactics, developed trade, and the lack of other nations that surrounded them; leaving the land ripe for expansion. They posed a great threat to the city-states that inhabited Greece. Though one nation across the Mediterranean was not sharing the same luck and fortune as the Macedonians or Cogotas. The Romans were suffering from continuous raids from northern raiders that had came from Iberia. The southern Italian nations also suffered from the invasion of the Carthgeans from Northern Ifran.
After a period of increasingly exhausting warfare, Qi, Qin, Jin and Chu met at a disarmament conference in 579 BCE and agreed to declare a truce to limit their military strength. This peace didn't last very long and it soon became apparent that the bà role had become outdated; the four major states had each acquired their own spheres of control and the notion of protecting Zhou territory had become less cogent as the control over non-Zhou peoples, as well as Chu's control of some Zhou areas, further blurred an already vague distinction between Zhou and non-Zhou.
In addition, new aristocratic houses were founded with loyalties to powerful states, rather than directly to the Zhou kings, though this process slowed down by the end of the seventh century BC, possibly because territory available for expansion had been largely exhausted. The Zhou kings had also lost much of their prestige so that, when Duke Dao of Jin (572–558 BCE) was recognized as bà, it carried much less meaning than it had before. At the same time, internal conflicts between state leaders and local aristocrats occurred throughout the region. Eventually the dukes of Lu, Jin, Zheng, Wey and Qi became figureheads to powerful aristocratic families.
Starting around 583 BCE, Jin used aid to solidify an alliance with Wu, which then acted as a counterweight to Chu so that, while Jin and Chu agreed to a truce in 546 BCE to address wars over smaller states, Wu maintained constant military pressure on Chu and even launched a devastating full-scale invasion in 506 BCE. In 506 BCE King Helü ascended the throne of Wu. With the help of Wu Zixu and Sun Zi, the author of The Art of War, he launched major offensives against the state of Chu. They prevailed in five battles, one of which was the Battle of Boju, and conquered the capital Ying. However, Chu managed to ask the state of Qin for help, and after being defeated by Qin, the vanguard general of Wu troops, Fugai, a younger brother of Helü, led a rebellion. After beating Fugai, Helü was forced to leave Chu. Fugai later retired to Chu and settled there. King Helü died during an invasion of Yue in 496 BCE. Some sources list him as one of the Five Hegemons.
He was succeeded by his son King Fuchai of Wu, who nearly destroyed the Yue state, imprisoning King Goujian of Yue. Subsequently, Fuchai defeated Qi and extended Wu influence into central China. In 499 BCE, the philosopher Confucius was made acting prime minister of Lu. He is traditionally considered the author or editor of the Spring and Autumn annals, from which much of the information for this period is drawn. In 482 BCE, King Fuchai of Wu held an interstate conference to solidify his power base, but Yue captured the Wu capital. Fuchai rushed back but was besieged and died when the city fell in 473 BCE. Yue then concentrated on weaker neighbouring states, rather than the great powers to the north.
In 489 BCE, Duke Jing of Qi died. The major cadet branches of the Jiang clan, the Guo clan and the Gao clan, favored the accession of Prince Tu to the throne. On the other hand, Tian Xizi supported Prince Yangsheng, expelled the Guo and Gao clans, and then installed Prince Yangsheng on the throne as Duke Dao of Qi, with Tian Xizi himself as Prime Minister. After this, the Tian clan's status was paramount in Qi. In 481 BCE, Tian Xizi's successor Tian Chengzi killed Duke Jian of Qi, as well as numerous members of the Jiang clan. He then installed Duke Jian's brother, Duke Ping of Qi to the throne. Following this, the Tian clan became the de facto rulers of Qi.
Rest of the World
The rise of Carthage was both advantageous and very quick. As the Egyptians had been dealing with the great empire that bordered the largest portion of their border, the Persian Empire. The Egyptians were solely focused on handling with the situation and did not expect the Carthaginian to rise. The Carthaginian peoples were mere descendants of both the Libyan and Nubian raiders who had also posed as a problem to the security to those cities or towns near the borders of the Egyptian Empire. The Carthaginian were able to conquer or unite the tribes who bordered the North Ifran coast, establishing great trade opportunities in the Mediterranean Sea and with the various nations that used the sea for trade. The Carthaginians did not just expand in Ifran, they expanded into mainland Europa soon after their conquests along the North Ifran Coast. The Carthaginians were able to expand into Southern Iberia, thanks to the Cogotas defeating the Celtic raiders centuries before. The Carthaginians were even able to expand into Southern Italia, thanks to the Italian nations being raided by northern tribes and barbarians.
Meanwhile, the once united Indus Valley Civilization had finally reunited. After many centuries of being divided into various nations and city states after the Indus Valley Civilizations collapse. With the rise of the Persian Empire just to the west of them. The Indo and remaining Aryan peoples united to defend against the Persians. Who were once descendants of former Indo-Aryans.