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This timeline explores a world which diverged from history at two independent points:
Marcus Aurelius is followed as Princeps Civitatis by a more competent, adopted son, maintaining the period of the "Good Emperors" for another two centuries. With a stable hold on its territory and a clearer form of government, the Roman Empire does not fall. On the other side of the world, one of the city-states of the Maya civilization comes under the leadership of its own "great unifier" (ala Temujin or Charles the Great) - a man of great charisma and a breaker of old traditions. His effort to unite the Maya into a confederation of cities creates a lasting state, centered on the captured metropolis of Teotihuacan.
From these points, the alternate history goes in an entirely different direction from actual history. Industrialization in one part of the world is fueled by water instead of coal, a pure representative method of democracy is never established, and no existing states are recognizable as countries that exist in the modern world (differing in name, territories, government, or culture).
For the foreseeable future, a major rewrite of this timeline will be underway - largely invalidating the modern world presented in articles such as the Roman Empire or the world wars. Those pages will be left untouched for the enjoyment of readers but anyone wishing to see the final form of this timeline should start reading the timeline from 180 CE (933 AUC). A snapshot of the Roman Empire in the year 580 CE (1333 AUC) stands as a milestone to summarize developments to the reader.
Anyone interested in plausibility may be inclined to read an explanation for the historical fall of the Roman Empire, which can be compared with the events in this timeline as a measure of the plausibility of a surviving Roman Empire.
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