Alternative History

Pax Romana (Orbis Romanum)

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Timeline: Orbis Romanum

September,14 26BCE

A period of unprecendented peace starts in the Roman world. There are no powerful external enemies and local revolts are few and easily suppressed. Greek and Roman scholars are now in contact with Indian ones. The greatest center of education in the world is Greece and particularly the scholars of the island Rhodos.

April,5 10BCE

A Jewish revolt in Judaea is easily suppressed by a Roman legion from Syria. The ringleaders are crucified as usual. The Jews are still restive and keep praying to their god to blast the Romans. In other areas the locals are quite pleased with the Roman justice system, tough but fair.

January,1 1CE

Pax Romana has one big disadvantage: a shortage of slaves. With no big rebellions or wars going on there are now too few slaves to satisfy the demand. August decides upon a double strategy. Engineers are encouraged to find ways to minimize manual labor. General Tiberius is sent east to extend the republic into India, in the process making many slaves.

September, 21 9CE
Teutoburger Wald

Three Roman legions are lost in an ambush in Teutoburger Wald in Germania. August is stunned by the defeat in an area thought pacified. The Roman response is quick and decisive. Eight legions are sent to the area. The fortress of Aliso, still holding out against besieging Germani is relieved. Roman legions start ravaging Germania to teach the Germani a lesson they will not likely forget.

August,19 14CE

Augustus dies leaving Rome prospering as never before. In his will Tiberius is designated his successor and the hope is expressed that Germanicus as the adopted son of Tiberius will eventually become successor. Germanicus has been very successful in Germania, suppressing revolts and defending the eastern border. He is already the most popular Roman general.

January,24 25CE

There is another rebellion in Judaea. This time two legions are needed to suppress it. It is found that troublemakers usually adopt the name "Christ" or liberator therefore use of the name is forbidden. A dozen Christs are crucified as a warning. Jews start leaving Judaea fearing that their god has abandoned them.

August,19 26CE

Tiberius retreats to the island of Capri, bored with the business of government. He adopts Germanicus and leaves him in control of Rome.

January,30 33CE

A Judaean troublemaker dares to call himself Jesus Christ and is promptly arrested and crucified at the gates of Jerusalem with a dozen followers as per standing orders. Surviving followers make the mistake of trying to bribe the guards to steal the body of their idol. The guards are true Romans all, of XIV legion and incorruptible. The misguided followers pay in blood for their mistake.

March,16 37CE

Tiberius dies and Germanicus is named his heir in his will. This officially makes Germanicus the princeps of Rome.

May,4 37CE

Germanicus renounces the title of princeps and creates the new office of Imperator Maximus (greatest of commanders). He knows that the Roman people would resent the title of king which would correspond more closely with reality. An Imperator will in the future appoint his own successor, theoretically subject to approval by the senate. In this way the informal habits perpetuated since Julius caesar now become law.

June,30 39CE

Roman legions cross the Indus and gain a major victory over the Western Kshatrapas empire. The Indian army uses elephants to no avail. Roman artillery has improved so much that it dominates the battlefield. Several elephants were knocked out by catapults at a distance of 500 meters. Indians were disconcerted by the Roman tactic of hacking at opponent's legs. This tactic not only disables an opponent but requires manpower when victims have to be carried away.

May,4 40CE

Hero of Alexandria makes a primitive steam turbine for use in a toy, an aeolipile. A visiting Roman trader sees the toy and laughingly remarks that he needs a toy one hundred times larger to mill his grain now that slaves are so expensive. Although this is meant as a joke it sets Hero thinking.

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