Alternate History

Egyptian Civil War (Vae victis!)

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Egyptian Civil War
Part of Vae victis!
Serapis rebels charge the Egyptian forces
Date 57 AD
Location Southern Egypt
Result Victory for the Egyptian Government
  • Christianity solidifies its position in Egyptian Society
  • Christianity begins to spread out of Egypt
Egypt Serapis Rebels
10,000 3,000
Casualties and losses
200 600
  • Survivors later executed

The Egyptian civil war was a short conflict taking place in the summer of 57 AD, mostly in and around the city of Meydum. While it was short, and did not cause noticeable harm to Egypt's development. It caused almost no civilian casualties, and very low military causalites. The only reason it is of any historical note is because it solidified Christianity's position in Egypt, and its eventual domination of large parts of the world.


As Christianity spread across Egypt, a lot of negative feelings began to be directed at the new religion, primarily from particularly devout members of the cult of Serapis. As tensions grew between 40 and 50 AD, religious violence, perpetuated by both sides, was on a rapid rise. In the later years of that decade, there were even several riots, though causalities were low - the only known records show around 50 people dying as a result of them. However, despite this unrest, by around 50 AD, it looked as though Christianity would successfully become the dominate religion in Egypt, in relatively peaceful fashion.

However, by 52 AD, the anti-Christian movement became much more organized, notably under generals such as Nicanor, and Seyutka. These generals actively encouraged attacks on Christian, and many pushed for the resignation of Ptolemy XVII, who championed Christianity after his father had started the process. While these movements did foster violence against Christians, they did little to stop the spread, and by 55 AD, an estimated 35% of the Egyptian population where practicing Christians, while many more identified as Christian without actively practicing. Realizing that his movement was largely ineffective, Nicanor decided to take matters in his owns hands, and by 56 AD began to gather troops.


After gathering around 3,000 troops in the year of 56, Nicanor rallied his army, and in the summer of 57, he and his troops began to capture cities in central Egypt. Notably, he captured the heavily Christian city of Meydum. However, before he managed to enact his planed genocide of the Christians in the city, an contingent of Egyptian troops arrived in the area. Making a major mistake, Nicanor allowed himself to be baited out of the city. This fatal error gave him no room to recover - within 4 weeks his army was destroyed, and the survivors taken captive. They would later be executed in Cairo, which would solidify the power of Christianity in Egypt, and allow the religion to begin spreading.


Following the execution of the captured soldiers Ptolemy XVII issued a royal decree, declaring all citizens of Egypt Christians. While this decree was generally unpopular at first, there was no coherent resistance, meaning that after several years, it was essentially excepted. While there was a minority that still practiced other religions, this was soon put down via enslavement of non-Christians and, less often, execution. Three years after the decree, non-Christians, except slaves, where essentially extinct in Egypt. This newfound homogeneity made Egypt much more stable and powerful, increasing its influence and overall power. These factors put Egypt in a powerful position to spread the new religion across the near east.

As Christianity became a more and more entrenched institution in Egyptian society, it began to spread across the near east. Notably it spread to the Parthian Empire, as well as Armenia, Galatia, and Capadoccia. Arguably, the introduction of Christianity saved the Parthians from impending collapse, and paved the road for the creation of Anatolia. Later, as Paganism began to spread across Europe, this would put the two regions in direct competition with each other, leading to several major wars. Ultimately, the Egyptian government's victory in this war would shape the path of the near east, and the relations between the near east and Europe. Despite its small nature, it was arguably the most impotent war that ever occurred in Egypt.

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