Alternate History

Syria (Fidem Pacis)

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Rome map (Fidem Pacis)

Syria within the Roman Empire

The Exarchate of Syria is an autonomous administrative division of the Roman Empire, covering much of the south-west of the country. Its capital and largest city is Antioch, while other major cities include Damascus, Aleppo and Tyre. The predominant ethnic group is the native Syrians. Although it has largely been replaced by Greek in professional usage, the Syriac language is still commonly used in private and is spoken as a first language by up to 60% of the population.

Syria was an integral part of the ancient Empire for some 1600 years, but was annexed by the Majmi Empire in 1667 as Rome fell into decline. Under Arab rule it flourished at first, becoming a centre of culture, but by the 19th century it had begun to stagnate as Arabia grew increasingly conservative. The Majmi defeat and dismemberment in the Second World War resulted in the return of northern Syria to Roman rule, but the southern region of Palestine became a separate entity due to Egyptian security concerns.

For 80 years Syria was administered just like any other province, but discontent was growing over the imposition of Greek language and culture and the concentration of power in far-off Smyrna. Matters reached a head in the great economic recession of 1997, when large protests transformed into full-scale rebellion led by the SNA and other Syrian nationalist groups. An influx of imperial troops eventually led to a stalemate, until an Iranian-brokered peace deal was finally agreed on in November 1999.

In the aftermath of the rebellion and as part of the peace terms, Emperor Constantine XXIV personally demanded and oversaw a great reorganization of the Empire. In early 2000 Syria was elevated to the status of Exarchate, with control over taxation and spending, limited military autonomy, the right to elect its own devolved government and legislature, and sole control over its natural resources such as oil. The generous concessions reconciled many Syrians to imperial rule, and Emperor Constantine remains extremely popular in Syria to this day.

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