Alternate History

Parthia (Ætas ab Brian)

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Nations to speak of

Parthia Magna
— Subdivision of the Roman Empire
Timeline: History of Rome-After Ætas ab Brian (Ætas ab Brian)
(and largest city)
Magistrate name of head of province
Quaestore name of deputy head of province
Established 920AUC(167)

Truthfully the term Parthia actually referred to Parthia Magna, as Cæsar Aurelius divided the Parthian Empire roughly based on it's vassal borders, creating Media in the north, Persia in the south, and Parthia proper for the remainder.

Parthia Magna

Parthia Magna, 920(167), usually referred to as just Parthia

Like Assyria, Parthia's troubles caused its admittance to the Senate to be held up until 2123(1370).


Social Structure

The Askanian Empire had a rough class system of the King and royal family, the lesser nobility and priesthoods, the merchants and civil servants, and finally farmers and herdsmen. The peasants of Parthia lived lives not so different from the provincials in the Empire, and the higher levels were posaulicista (~feudalist) owing to Parthia’s decentralised administration. Even under Roman control the provinces were rather autonomous until the 1080’s(327+) when the depopulation during Licinius’ Secession War permitted greater Romanisation.


Parthia’s nobility was not a strong adherent to Zoroasimus and so it coexisted with many indigenous pagan tribal religions. Parthian religions had been illegal in the Empire, but upon Parthia’s subjugation and because of the weak control able to be exerted by Rome over the countryside for some time they were soon permitted practice. The Zoroasi had some implications in the unrest in Parthia during Diocletion, wherein Zoroasimus and other Parthian religions were again banned but poorly persecuted, and Constantine again legalised the faith. By the time of the Parthian peoples’ near extermination during the Licinius Secession War the religions had spread enough in the empire that Rome did not bother banning the religions again.


As the Parthians in general were less urban than the Empire and its ruling class had nomadic ancestry, Parthian family systems were simpler, large families were for many farmhands, and horsemanship was valued. After the recolonisation of Parthia this changed little until the 19th century when increasing urbanisation and integration pulled the average family into a more Roman format.


Parthian marriage customswhatever they were^^;; would live on in Parthia and with Parthians of the diaspora elsewhere in the Empire, dwindling but surviving into the 22nd century.


Parthian names became romanised slower than they would in India partly because of the weakness of central control for some time. As centuries passed romanised Parthian names started being given to non ethnic Parthians even.


During peace and especially after the conquest the Parthian wilderness was trolled for exotics to power the arenas. By the 13th century Parthia was bereft of bears, boars, wolves, jackals, panthers, etc. Fine for the pastoralists and farmers if not the ecosystems themselves.


Throughout Parthia’s and Rome’s relations recipes have been trading back and forth. By Parthia’s conquest bread, bean, chicken, and lamb dishes among others were commonly available from Rome city eastward, while the Roman recolonisation of Parthia further integrated boths’ culinary traditions.

Clothing and Accessories

The coiffed and bobbed hair style for men had a short fad in the 930’s(177+), the V jackets and tunics had varying degrees of popularity starting in the 940’s(187+). Parthian style ornamentation on clothes transcended actual clothing shapes, entering Roman fashion in the 920’s(167+). The fancy headdresses were largely seen only in theatre.

Drama and Theatre

Despite the revival of native culture during the Parthian Empire over the Hellenistic Seleucids, the Arsacid court still enjoyed Greek theatre and at times entertained Roman satires.

TV and radio

Forum televisa were brought quickly to Parthia in 2139(1386) to help in diffusing unrest, the fear that the province’s senatorial seat may be revoked a constant worry for the provincial government. With the gradual opening up of the private sector and the market for home sets in the 2150’s the friction and dissatisfaction remained, but was more understated. Parthia would produce few aeralexy and televise shows.


Until the Asia/Africa reclamation Rome had only cared about the major cities regarding the enforcement of Greek and Latin, counting on the settled veterans and colonists to do the rest for the rural areas. The various native languages continued to survive well especially with the adoption of the Roman traditions of writing things down. After the reclamation Rome began a much harder implementation of making Latin and Greek the first languages (More people had already known Greek), banning the teaching of native languages in schools but not the teaching of them altogether. This contributed to the unrest in the province but the only compromise made was that the government allowed private accredited schools to have the native languages on their syllabuses in the mid 22nd century.


Parthia had extensive poetry, but they were never written down until the time of the conquest, resulting in a number being lost.


Parthian art was generally known for its value of frontality over depth of realism in scenes. During the Parthian conquest many great works in stone relief and frescos were taken to Europe, subsequently inspiring some styles. As time continued more works were taken or copied, and the province produced very little in the way of great artists until the 1510’s(757+) and the development of oil paint, reviving again native art.


Parthian architecture was influenced by the Achaemenid and Greek styles but still distinct from them. Notable elements of the Parthians were barrel vaults and the aiban (iwan) (a large space enclosed on three sides). It was only after the Parthian recolonisation that the aibon was sometimes adopted in the elsewhere in the Empire.


Athletes were held in a regard closer to the Greeks than the Romans, often being celebrities in themselves. Wrestling and horse racing were popular sports, but the native invention of bazi (polo) almost never caught on in the Empire and was adopted at best as a novel experiment played with rules made up on the spot.

Martial Arts

The Parthians’ formidable cavalry were often the key in defeating Rome’s heavy infantry based legions but Rome hardly adapted to accept a greater cavalry segment of the army until the reforms of Cæsar Marcius in the 13th century. The training and equipment were inspired by both Parthian and Hunnic forms, and until their obsceletion cavalry would be a standard part of the legions. Practice of the Parthian shot became a popular exercise for some patricians, sometimes going even so far as to try to lean backwards, firing upside down rather than twisting to look behind.

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