Alternate History

Middle East, 900-1050 (Saint Muhammad)

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The following is a timeline of the Saint Muhammad timeline, for the 150-year period between 900 and 1050 AD.

  • 901: The Kingdom of the Straits begins expanding southwards into the Ethiopian Highlands, seeking to get a power base from which to regain Aram. The small but rather highly-populated state is able to colonise a large part of the OTL Djibouti coast, as well as build small settlements in the tip of Somalia and Soqotra.
  • 902: Tired of waiting, Bilal sends troops into the border with Ethiopia. More secretly, a company of European assassins is bought by the Qallu government so that they expulsed the Zagwe dynasty off Ethiopia.
  • 903: The Emperor, Empress Crown Prince and first five children (out of seven) of the Ethiopian dynasty die. Only Gudit, Zauditu (Musa's wife) and the two younguest sons of the Emperor survived the attack, the last two children fleeing to the Ethiopian Highlands with Aramaic and Axumite refugees founding a new town, Masih Katama (King's Town) and founding the Ethiopian Kingdom. The former Axumite Confederacy is absorbed into the Aramaic Empire.
  • 904: Chaos starts sweeping the large Aramaic nation as several noblemen continue on the path of the commoners and convert to religions other than the Aramaic Church. While Bilal continues staunchly Nestorian, his song Musa adopts his wife's beliefs and becomes a Copt, while Bilal's brother Bassi becomes a follower of a sect rampant amongst the lower-class Qallu, called Gbara Christianity, a syncretic mix of Christianity and Mandinke beliefs.
  • 905: A large envoy of a nation in the east reaches the South Arabian shores, claiming to come from a nation called Sri Vijaya and asking them for a priest of their religion to know more about Christianity. The religious chaos in Aram does not allow a missionary to be sent; instead, the conversion of some Eastern areas to Western religions will occur through trading.
  • 906: Siyavash II arranges a marriage with Bilal's daughter, Gudit, begining to work for closer relations with the Empire to the west.
  • 907: Worried about the bad relationships the Nestorids left behind with Byzantium, Bilal continues to establish the Nestorids' position of embellishing and building on the region, although this time trying to impress everybody instead of just show their glory. An expedition is sent south to recover as many riches, plants and animals as possible from Africa, the land where the Qallu originated, as well as building the Qallu Palace some five km off the Nestorid ones. A subject similar to Afrêm I's Hanging Gardens is planned to be built, with flora and fauna similar to those in Eastern Africa.
  • 908: The Qallu Expedition reaches the isle of Madagascar, taking in several different and very varied animals; according to the Captain Shimun bar Shimun, chief admiral of the Expedition's letter to the Emperor, "at least thirty-five types of a small simian called the maky by the natives, at least three of them are very large; cat-like animals that the natives call the fos-sa, one of which was so large it had to be restrained by itself and its mate in one of our iron cages, another large and unruly animal, very much like the Hippoppotami of the Nile, and the small treeborne creature called Tandarka; close to five hundred Geckoes and Chameleons, yet not a single of the zarafe, zorse or elephant of which you have so thoroughly described". In the shores of Madagascar, they also left behind a preacher to spread Christianity in the area amongst the few inhabitants they found, and twenty-five colonists to establish a fort which would later become a trading outpost.
  • 909: Siyavash II begins improving the quality of the Persian army, which had fallen into disrepair through the years. In the east, Bilal continues trying to improve his position.
  • Bhutan dzong at paro

    the first Bodthani-like structure in Persia, the dzong at New Lhasa, the capital of Druk Yul

    910: The Expedition reaches a civilised city-state in Swahilia, and buys thousands of slaves, mostly children, that will be raised as the new generation of Qallu. In Persia, the Bodthani soldiers begin doing the same, as well as settling as a civilian people as yet another foæderati, Druk Yul, at the western end of the Hindu Kush. The Tokwar from Sasñom also begin migrating south into the city of Bukhara, and converting to the local Nestorian faith.
  • 911: The Great Expedition reaches home through Sumer, bringing several hundred different species of African animals, as well as a few thousand new slaves. Bilal is pleased and he begins to build one of the first zoological parks in the world.
  • 912: Siyavash II begins building his "largest temple to Ahuramazda" in Abad-Shahr, as well as a huge royal palace to compete with the Qallu. The Tokwar move both northwards, starting to expand into the Kazakh steppe, and southwards migrating into Bukhara.
  • 913: With the Great Expedition over and Siyavash II not interested in any foreign treaties, Bilal attempts to re-establish Nestorian dominance over Aram (a nation in which Christianity ranges from being 40% in Judea to 65% in Egypt, and whose Nestorians range from almost none in Ethiopia and Egypt to 40% in Aram proper) by establishing taxes on other religions and banning the praying of any religion other than Nestorian Christianity. This angers thousands of locals.
  • 914: Unbeknownst to most of the population, Bassi and Musa begin planning a coup to kill Musa and re-establish the benign neglect that previous rulers gave to the other religions. Several other important courtsmen, especially those Qallu following Gbara beliefs, join the plot.
  • 915: Bilal is murdered in the steps to the Patriarch's Cathedral in Ctesiphon. Soon enough, Musa is crowned as Emperor of Aram, but starts returning to Bilal's own problems, establishing a tax on all non-Copts instead. He is murdered by Bassi and other Gbarans, establishing the Year of Three Emperors. However, several local governors (especially in Coptic Egypt and Ethiopia, and in Nestorian Syria and Mesopotamia. Soon enough, local governors begin planning independence.
  • AchaemenidSoldiers

    The new Persian royal guard, the Zhayedan, were designed to emmulate the Achaemenid Immortals and act as a personal military unit for the king; they would last until present days.

     916: Siyavash finishes his military reforms; amongst them, he establishes a new kind of Zhayedan, returning them to their infantry status in order to bring up the Achaemenid Immortals' ancient renowned prestige; he established a fixed military for every satrapy and demanded a fixed military tribute from the fœderati, establishing a strong military attempting to emule that of the Achaemenid Empire of old. A plague meanwhile begins in eastern Iran, with the fœderati seeming to have brought it in.
  • 917: The governors of Elam, Mesopotamia and Syria establish a plan to bring back the Nestorids (currently either on the Three Cities in the Gulf of Aden, currently under rule of King Abdisho or on a refugee status in Abad-Shahr under the self-proclaimed Afrêm III) and destroy most of the upper-class Qallu; a similar plot begins to be planned in Egypt, where the descendant from the Antonid dynasty, Androus, soon returns from Tripolitania, while another Pagan pretender, calling himself Ahmose III (but whose name was most likely actually Banoub shre-Wassef, a wealthy Coptic convert to Egyptian neo-paganism) rises in Embo, near Bedhet.
  • 918: The Aramaic army is sent to Embo to fight the Pagan Kimit revolts in Embo and that has been spreading across the Nile as far south as the Nubian states, where Ahmose III establishes his court on Swan for a more central location.  Provincial militias are raised in the south.
  • 919: Aram battles the Egyptians just south of Waset, after which the provincial governor of Kimit in the north declares Androus Emperor of Kimit in Alexandria, blocking supply routes to the south. Alexandria's own army is raised. Jews revolt in Jerusalem as well, and throughout the Negev. This starts the widespread revolts known as the Qallu Collapse.
  • 920: Siyavash II finishes with his modernisation of the armies at last and begins secretly helping the rebels throughout Aram in order to re-establish its influence in the east Empire. Byzantium begins doing the same thing. 
  • 921: The provincial governors in Sumer and Babylonia declare Afrêm Nestorid Afrêm III, Emperor of Aram under Persian backing. Soon enough Assyria follows suit. However, the Nestorids have grown large and divided in their 25 years of lack of power, and Assyria crowns Afrêm's cousin twice removed Avahu bar Simeon as King, breaking Aramaic unification. Bassi's court is soon expulsed to Damascus.
  • 922: Mecca and Medina follow suit and crown Ali Nestorid as Emperor of Mecca on condition that he returns to his Ali'id title instead of his Nestorid one. The Muhammadids, lords of Rub al-Khali, return and march on parts of Oman, in order to return to previous Medinan government.
  • 923: The West South Arabian populations and the Ge'ez revolt near the Kingdom of the Straits, crowning Abdisho of the Straits as King of Saba. Aram sends troops to Egypt in order to recover the land,  as well as Judea and the other revolting provinces. Many of the soldiers, however, revolt against the Aramaic army, as they are fighting against their townsfolk for a ruler that comes from another nation. In the north, Byzantium, seeing the weakness of Aram, soon sends troops to attack Armenian Cicilia, Arsacid Armenia and the Kingdom of Iberia, establishing the Byzantine Incursions on the Qallu. At the same time, Siyavash sends his armies west and occupies Babylon and Nineveh bloodlessly, establishing Babylonia and Assyria as all but de jure Sassanid vassal states. Afraid of any Qallu resurgence, the Nestorids in both nations agree.
  • 924: The turmoil in the Qallu Empire spreads to Ethiopia after the Nubians and Ge'ez in Aram declare independence; soon enough, the Oromo Kingdom of Axum begins losing a lot of territory. In the east, East South Arabians revolt following the King of Saba as Abdisho of the Straits' brother Simeon is crowned King of the Hadramaut. The Soqotri, however, remain staunchly pro-Qallu.
  • 925: Bassi is murdered in Ctesiphon by his guards, and his son Musa, aged 13, succeeds the throne. While he continues warring, he flees to Socotra, seeing it to be the last loyalist region to be defendable in the Empire.
  • 926: Phoenician nobles in Tyre rebel and mobilise a relatively large army, which is defeated by the Qallu off the city. The Phoenicians once again destroy the bridge to the city and stock up on supplies as the Phoenician Kingdom is declared. The Qallu avenge themselves by burning Ushu, the equivalent in the mainland.
  • 927: Syriac and Greek speakers in Phoenicia (which form the overwhelming majority) both swear allegiance to the Phoenician king. The Qallu army is isolated off Ushu, and left alone to starve as the Tyrian fleet blocks it from sea.
  • 928: The fleet at Antioch refuses to leave to attempt and block the Tyrian one; a noble from the city declares Syria independent, and another of the Persian Qallu is established. The Jerusalemite revolts soon declare an independent Kingdom of Israel, although that is changed as soon as Samaritans and Mardaites to the north, as well as Arameans throughout the nation, complain. The Levantine Kingdom is declared in November.
  • 929: One of the Muhammadids in Oman takes power, and refusing to return to the old Ali'id-Muhammadid balance, proclaims independence of the Omani Empire. Afraid of the Muhammadids seizing stragetically-vital Bahrayn, the Sassanids attack from Shahafwaj and establish another puppet, the Kingdom of Bahrayn. In the west, the pro-Qallu Nabatean region falls under a warlord, Aramo-Arabic general Severus ibn Ali, who proclaims the Kingdom of Nabatea in Ammon. 
  • 930: Emperor Musa is assassinated and his cousin Kalaba rises to power; he abandons any pretenses of restoring the Aramaic Empire, instead staying in Socotra. While he still styles himself Emperor of Aram, this is mostly a ceremonial rule. The final pieces of Qallu leadership in the mainland fall apart, leaving only the Kingdom of Soqotra
  • 931: Kalaba of Aram begins building a royal palace in Socotra, as well as officially crowning one of his cousins, Maghan, Patriarch at Soqotra, establishing an officially Gbara state. Works on converting the Nestorian majority begin.
  • 932: Katsiu bar Nehor, the Syrian duke who was proclaimed King of Syria, is murdered by a half-Nestorid, Nahir bar Afrêm, who swears allegiance to Sassanid Persia. However the cities in the west of Syria, who have a Roman identity, are not pleased. In the east, the plague that had ravaged eastern Iran for so long at last seeps into Mandaestan. They blame the Qallu, as the armies had burnt large parts of tha nation. They name the sickness the Black Plague.
  • 933: While the plague begins striking the countryside of Mandaestan and Ahvaz and New Susa being infected, and the plague has started to infect many in southern Persia, it has not yet swept into Mesopotamia. The Western Syrians declare Konstantyn bar Afrêm, a local pro-Byzantine noble, as King of Syria, while Nahir is forced to flee to Palmyra.
  • 934: The disease pops up in Ctesiphon and quickly spreads up the Tigris and Euphrates. Close to a fifth of the population dies within a year, including the King of Aram, Afrêm III. He is replaced by his son, Annas, who is crowned in the Palace at Babylon with almost no attendance on fear of the plague. Babylon is isolated from Ctesiphon. Meanwhile, the court at Syria retains at Palmyra, and the Euphrates and the coast feel very violent conflicts followed by the coming of the plague. The whole northeastern portion of Syria is devastated, and plague creeps from there outwards. Cicilia gets the plague in August, Nabatea in October and Anatolia has its first victims in November.
  • 935: A third of all Jerusalemites die in the year, as does an extra fifth of the Ctesiphonian population. The sickness appears in Tyre and Antioch, from where it spreads to Constantinople and Alexandria. However, the war in Syria rages on, with battles being fought in Aleppo, Sura, Beroea and Emesa, with only the Mediterranean coast firmly under Konstantyn and only Palmyra and the Sham firmly under Nahir. It is said that there were parts of the Euphrates red with blood and "in which not even the most resilient of fish could live in; were they not choked by blood, they were killed by the sickness". In the east, close to a third of all Mandaestani have died, as has about a fourth of all Persians. Emperor Siyavash is forced to withdraw to Istakhr, less populated and spared from the sickness.
  • 936: The whole of Anatolia is infected, with almost a tenth of even the rural populations dying. Grain and dates farming in the south collapse, starting a famine. However, at the same time, the fœderati stop feeling the plague, after about a sixth of the area dying.

The Allied Golden Age, Aram's Splendour and the IX Century


The Plagues, Persia and the Foreign Kings


Under Construction...


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