Alternate History

Notes (Ard Marjhoola)

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These are my notes on Ard Marjhoola, and largely mention parts of which ATL is different from OTL, or bits I have yet to incorporate into the pages so far.

POD (889): Ibn Aswad discovers something, although I purposely leave it open to whether it was genuine/anywhere near south america. This is partly because in factual history, we don't know enough about him. Stories of him were apparently common in the area at the time. The POD is effectively not that he discovered anything, but rather he brought back enough of the right things to make people interested. As a result, exploration gets more weight, and this eventually leads to the discovery of South America in the 930's. You can assume that OTL borders remain until 933 AD.

Battle of Simancas (939): Rahman III's reign is made easier by the popularity and support he gains for the colony in Ard Marjhoola. Due to this support, things go better for him against Leon, particularly Ramiro II. OTL, Ramiro II routed Rahman III's troops at Simancas, but in this timeline, he is actually killed and leads to his sides surrender. An old ally of Ramiro II, who in OTL went against him at points when allying with the Caliphate suited his needs; Fernán González of Castile goes the full way. He converts to Islam and practically ensures Castile is annexed; but on his own terms. Fernán González was fairly routhless over Castile independence with himself in charge in OTL, and is virtually the same in this timeline. He acts as Governor until his death.

Al-Hakam II (956): Al-Hakam II, who leads after Rahman III's death was supposedly known for his homosexuality. This was so much a problem that in OTL he apparently had to have a woman dress as a man and take a male name in order for him to produce a heir. With greater Cordobian strength and visibility on the world stage, his advisers forced him to do this 10 years earlier than he did. The result becomes that his son; Hisham II is 20 years old instead of 10 when Hakam II dies; giving him a chance to rule and not become a puppet.

Catanzaro: Due to a bit of a boob, I mixed my centuries up, the Emirate of Bari was in the 9th century, not the 10th, meaning it was pre-POD. To correct this, the Emirate of Sicily being founded in 965 OTL, is the stepping stone to a newly formed Emirate on the mainland at Catanzaro soon after. Bari is taken as well, but the former is used as the new capital.

Muhammad Ibn Abi Aamir (976+): better known as Almanzor in OTL, Muhammad creeped his way up the ladder all his life. His main chance in OTL came when Hakam II died, and his son wasn't old enough to rule; he installed him anyway and led the country from the background. His actions led to general choas in Cordoba, and control shifted several times between him and his rivals. In this timeline, he is still sneaky, but is unable to grip control due to Hisham II being older and more capable of ruling. Hisham II knows what he is like, but realises he is going to have to have him on board anyway so they agree to rule together. Eventually, Muhammad tries his luck with Berber mercenaries but it doesn't pull through.

Hisham II successfully defends his linearage from the disruptions that OTL had; and also leads to Berber-Moorish relations. Within his rule, Cordoba sees a similar sized land as the OTL Almoravid dynasty of 1040-1147. This sparks conflict, originally with the Fatimids which controlled much of north africa.

No destruction of Church of the Holy Sepulchre (1009): Land gains from both Caliphates into Christian areas leads to less Christian pilgramige into the Holy lands, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre isn't destroyed by the Fatimids. As a result, Pope Sergius IV doesn't mention it, and it doesn't become fuel for Crusades. However, the land gains itself is ample enough and leads to the first Crusade in Muslim controlled Italy (date yet to be decided), instead of Turkey.

Election of Gregory VI (1012): Instead of Pope Benedict VIII winning election in 1012 OTL by a slim majority, his main rival does instead. His rule was short and mostly useless, and actually resulted in larger Fatimid gains. His poor leadership forces a new election a year later in which Benedict wins. Benedict VIII joins with the Normans who end up settling in Italy, and calls the First Crusade, while earlier than in OTL, its goals were different and on a smaller scale. Al-Hakim Caliph of Fatimids, doesn't magically disappear in 1021 (which in this timeline is the end of the Crusade); and obviously rules longer.

Pope John XIX (1024+): Brother of Benedict VIII, follows on from family and starts the second Crusade to defend Turkey from the Abbasids. His replacement and nephew, Pope Benedict IX is mostly useless being so young. Unlike in OTL, the first time he is kicked out properly (1044) he never has the chance to come back. Sylvester III who replaces him is capable of being popular enough to hold his position till his death, as opposed to OTL in which he served officially for about a year at most. This in itself halts some reforms, as 7 other Popes are missed out including many notable German born Popes.

Future: Further Crusades will include: another (Third) in Ard Marjhoola, effectively marking Christian expansionism in the new world. This one will most likely be led by the English and French Crowns, which are in itself in competition due to the Anglo control over 1/4-1/2 of modern day France. Cordoba will notably make ties with the French, making up for its lack of allies in the Muslim world and continuing its mix of European and Arab culture.

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