The Empire of Aram was a nation in the Middle East between the Treaty of Babylon in 653 and ???. Ever since its inception, due to its strategic location and high population, Aram was one of the chief players of the Middle East up until its decline during the reign of weak Emperor Nestorius II (681-704) although slightly restored under his son Nestorius III (704-733) and more vitally under Illi-bāni-apli/Afrêm I (733-749), Yamel Illi/Simeon I (749-???) before slowly declining once again.
more to come
Independence from the Treaty of Babylon and Nestorius I
Aram has been jokingly referred to as the "land whose decline starts as soon as it has declared independence" as an unjustified reaction to the quick isolationism by Aram's first emperor, christening himself Nestorius after the first Patriarch of the Nestorian Church. more to come...
The Nestorian Emperors
Afrêm and Simeon: Trading and Rebuilding
Agbar and Afrêm II: War and Expansion
Husayn the Great
Although generally Husayn's reign is considered among the best on Aramaic history, it is true that it had a tremendous cost of human life. Husayn inherited the empire in peace but was forced to bring it to war twice; once against the established threats (Byzantium and the Sassanids) and once more against a new, more mysterious foe (the Lordship of the Aegean). The two wars proved to be devastating to the nation, although it is true that Husayn's great managing of the war led Aram into its Golden Age.
Husayn's reign started in 819 and ended slightly under 50 years later on. On the moment of his crowning after Afrêm II's abdication, Aram was quickly going into its golden age; the Levant and Arabia had been forcefully annexed into the nation after a dynastic struggle, and only two years later, Kimit passed into the Aramaic reign after a plague of smallpox killed the Egyptian royal family (and in its one year plague, something around 15-20% of the Egyptian populace). Husayn acted quickly and decisively after having inherited many of the Middle East's trade routes; he established a customs tax on every non-Aramaic ship crossing several important choke points, and a tax over property landing at large Aramaic cities. Soon afterwards, the practice was extended to land.
This less than pleased Aram's neighbours (mostly Byzantium and Persia, those with a capability of actually countering Aram militarily and not be crushed now that the careful balance of Aramaic-Arabic-Egyptian power was broken). Carthage and its semi-possession in Morocco started looking for new resources south into Ghana and north into the Lombard Empire, while Pentapolis and Tripolitania could only be forced to pay its taxes. Byzantium's emperor Basil, offended by the fact of a blockade, declares war in 831, leading to a long conflict across Cicilia and Anatolia, which ended in a tactical Aramaic victory (with the Aramaic government allowed to continue taxing, while there were no boundary changes).
Shortly afterwards Peroz IV declares war on Aram as well. This war was far more deadly than the Byzantine front, with troops moving as far east as Persepolis and a single corps as far as Afghanistan, before tides turning and Babylon itself being threatened at least once (in which African soldiers, the Qallu were able to defeat the Persians), leading to an eventual, yet very bloody, stalemate in the Khuzestan and western Persia. While technically a strategic Aramaic defeat, with more Aramaic deaths than wins and more Aramaic territory threatened than Persian one, the Aramaic army was also able to keep trading east.
A far more successful and far more minor campaign for Aram was the war against Ethiopia, started in 851 and ended only three years later, had Axum's military horribly defeated and its government humiliated. Soon enough, large swaths of land were given to Ethiopia, and the ruling Amhara dynasty, the Axumites, were replaced by the Agaw Zagwe, and forced to flee south into the Highlands.
A short period of peace followed the end of hostilities, in which Aram flowered and recovered, as did to a lesser extent Persia and Byzantium. Huge new cities were built and date palm production was highly increased. Population boomed; Ctesiphon-Seleucia-Veh Ardashir-New Opis (CSAO) grew to almost 900,000 and Alexandria to 300,000. The economy hugely increased.
The rest of Husayn's reign was mostly spent in peace.
note: after Nestorius III's adding of Akkadian to the regal languages, the Aramaic kings have had both a Christian and an Akkadian name
- Nestorius I (653-681)
- Nestorius II (681-704)
- Nestorius III (Amel-Nestor, 704-733)
- Afrêm I (Illi-bāni-apli, 733-749, d.~766)
- Simeon I (Yamel Illi, 749-788, d.788)
- Agbar I (Abdu Illi, 788-808, d.830 also king of the Levant)
- Afrêm II (Arratu ka Musseru, 808-819, d.circa 835, also king of the Levant and prince regnant of Arabia)
- Husayn I, the Great (Rabûttu Abdu, 819-891, d.891, also King of the Levant, Emperor of Arabia and King of Egypt)
- Hozal I (Illi-na-id, 891-899, d.899, also King of the Levant, Emperor of Arabia and King of Egypt)
note: the Qallu refered to themselves not as traditional Emperors but instead as the African term, Mansa'
- Bilal I, Salmu (Darû Illi, 899-March of 915, d.March of 915, also Sonni of the Levant, Aska of Arabia and Sonni of Egypt)
- Musa I, (Hḫāsisu Mēsuqu, March of 915-October of 915, d.October of 915, never crowned as anything other than Emperor of Aram)
- Bassi (Ešēru Rubû, October of 915-925, d.925, also Sonni of the Levant, Aska of Arabia and Sonni of Egypt)
- Musa II (Ašarēdu Abdu, 925-930, d.930, ceased being all but de jure Mansa of Aram in his first regal year, reigned in Soqotra)
- Kalaba (930-???, d.???, remained de jure emperor of Aram despite only being King of Socotra)
Restored Nestorid Dynasty
note: these are the kings of Aram before it officially changed its name to Babylonia
- Afrêm III (Išaru Ašarēdu, 921-???, d.??? was de jure Emperor of Aram in exile in Abad Shahr since 912, under Sassanid support, later a vassal of the Empire)
Mesopotamia felt a large demographic transition during the period of the Empire, mainly comprising of the revival of the Aramaic populace, previously somewhat subdued by the Persian ruling class in the Sassanid Empire, that occurred throughout the Empire.
The Empire is thusly divided into two periods according to the chief reason of the nation's name, Aram (instead of the more locally used term, Erak). The first period, roughly between 655 and 729 (between the independence of Aram and the "Re-Semitisation" of the court with the addition of Akkadian to Aramaic), is known as the "Empire of Aram", in which Aramaic integrity was based not on the language of the people, but in the Christian feeling, which united both Monophysite (who still felt Roman) and Nestorian (mildly Persianised) into a non-Orthodox, non-Zoroastrian bloc.
Wars against Byzantium and Persia slowly destroyed the feelings of Roman and Persian feelings, although they still remained prominent, with large rivalry between Syria and Mesopotamia and the westerners advocating pro-Byzantine relations and the easterners pro-Sassanians. However, overall the government begun to emphasize the Aramaic language across the Aramaic kingdom. This second period is known as the "Aramaic Empire", and lasted from 729 until the collapse of Aram in 930.
Aram, except under Husayn Empire, was mostly Aramaic-speaking.