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  1. #1
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Default The Course of History

    I thought this might be entertaining: I'm wondering how you think the world might be different if some very crucial events did not happen or happened differently. Since some events are going to be past others, I'm going to say pick one and roll with it from there. (These examples will be some obscure history and some common history in the ancient era) Feel free to come up with your own, these are just a few of mine.

    Alexander the Great is killed in Anatolia (Turkey) while fighting the Persians at the Battle of Issus, suffering a terrible defeat.

    Hannibal Barca succeeds in his Italian Campaign, besieging and even conquering the city of Rome; the Carthaginian Senate follows through with his demands for reinforcements instead of bickering until Scipio Africanus lands.

    Julius Caesar suffers an incredible defeat at the Battle of Alesia, Vercingterox kills Julius Caesar by running him down while Ceasar and his legions are retreating.

    Julius Caesar does not burn the Library of Alexandria during the siege of Alexandria (or indirectly burn).

    After Caesar's assassination, Brutus and Cassius were victorious over Mark Antony and Octavian at the Battle of Philippi, thus ending the Roman Empire before it began. (Brutus and Cassius were the liberatores, fighting for the Republic)

    During the Year of Four Emperors, Vespasian fails to take over Rome (I have no idea how this might happen, it was a pretty crushing defeat for the defenders of Rome)

    Constantine the Great dies somehow before beginning his Christian conversion of the empire and before he accidentally creates the Great Schism.

    I'll post my choice and outcome after a few responses have been made

  2. #2
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    SSDD

    Was my taking from The Man in the High Castle.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    What a coincidence. I just read an entire chapter of the book What If? about the counterfactual history of if Alexander had been killed before rising to power. This will serve as a good memory refresher...

    Basically the author proposed that that whole middle eastern area would not have fallen under Hellenistic influence and would have continued to have been dominated by the Ahura Mazda and local deity worshipping peoples of Persia, while Athens would have risen to power but through conflict with Carthage would have greatly diminished its influence in the long run of history. Rome would have arisen without much of the Greek lineage, and would have kind of coexisted with and in a similar way to the Persians. This kind of empire would have been anti-individualist and would have slowed or stopped the progress of both science and the rise of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    What a coincidence. I just read an entire chapter of the book What If? about the counterfactual history of if Alexander had been killed before rising to power. This will serve as a good memory refresher...

    Basically the author proposed that that whole middle eastern area would not have fallen under Hellenistic influence and would have continued to have been dominated by the Ahura Mazda and local deity worshipping peoples of Persia, while Athens would have risen to power but through conflict with Carthage would have greatly diminished its influence in the long run of history. Rome would have arisen without much of the Greek lineage, and would have kind of coexisted with and in a similar way to the Persians. This kind of empire would have been anti-individualist and would have slowed or stopped the progress of both science and the rise of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
    I want to read this book you speak of, who is the author?

  5. #5
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    I want to read this book you speak of, who is the author?
    Here ya go.
    http://www.amazon.com/Collected-Emin...ywords=what+if

    Badass book. Very long lol. But insanely interesting. Just what this thread is discussing - "counterfactual" histories, or what might have been if seemingly small changes had occurred in history. For instance, I can't remember the exact name of the battle and am too damn busy and lazy to look it up right now, but Alexander was damn near beheaded in one of his first battles. An ax smashed his helmet and knocked him down, and the wielder was about to take the final swing when Alexander's assistant speared the dude just in time. So in a sense, everything came down to that moment.

    Of course, a grain of salt is still quite necessary. Technically everything came down to the moment in which Alexander's sperm beat his 200 million siblings' as well. But the point is still the same.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    By the way, another very interesting element of the chapter was what would have happened if Alexander hadn't died so young and had continued conquering. Both immensely good and bad scenarios were presented.

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    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Nice thread.

    Being a big fan of 'Age of Empires' campaigns, I usually wondered how different the world would be if certain battles had different outcomes. I think there's a decent chance that Europe could have become a Muslim continent if the Moorish invasion hadn't been stopped in Spain (around year 700).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alea_iacta_est View Post
    After Caesar's assassination, Brutus and Cassius were victorious over Mark Antony and Octavian at the Battle of Philippi, thus ending the Roman Empire before it began. (Brutus and Cassius were the liberatores, fighting for the Republic)
    The dawn of the Roman Empire was inevitable. If it hadn't happened then, it would have happened sooner or later. I'd be more interested to see what could've happened in the course of Byzantine history. What if there had been no Islam? Would the Byzantine Empire's growth had continued unhindered? What if the Ottomans hadn't taken Constantinople in 1453 AD and the Turks had been turned back? Would the Byzantine Empire had continued into the Modern age? If so, which side would they take during WWI, Allied or Central Powers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    Here ya go.
    http://www.amazon.com/Collected-Emin...ywords=what+if

    Badass book. Very long lol. But insanely interesting. Just what this thread is discussing - "counterfactual" histories, or what might have been if seemingly small changes had occurred in history. For instance, I can't remember the exact name of the battle and am too damn busy and lazy to look it up right now, but Alexander was damn near beheaded in one of his first battles. An ax smashed his helmet and knocked him down, and the wielder was about to take the final swing when Alexander's assistant speared the dude just in time. So in a sense, everything came down to that moment.

    Of course, a grain of salt is still quite necessary. Technically everything came down to the moment in which Alexander's sperm beat his 200 million siblings' as well. But the point is still the same.
    I have it! It's pretty cool. I used to be obsessed with alternate history. Ever read Bring the Jubilee?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Alea_iacta_est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyedecker View Post
    The dawn of the Roman Empire was inevitable. If it hadn't happened then, it would have happened sooner or later. I'd be more interested to see what could've happened in the course of Byzantine history. What if there had been no Islam? Would the Byzantine Empire's growth had continued unhindered? What if the Ottomans hadn't taken Constantinople in 1453 AD and the Turks had been turned back? Would the Byzantine Empire had continued into the Modern age? If so, which side would they take during WWI, Allied or Central Powers?
    The Roman Empire probably would have happened nonetheless, but it would be much different without the glorious characters of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Vespasian, Titus, and even Constantine.

    If the Byzantines were not met by an Islamic (or at the beginning of the Byzantines, Zoroastrian), I'm sure that they would have expanded, but this also entails more than merely the Byzantines if we removed the Islamic peoples, for the Moores would never have warred against the Early Spanish kingdoms. Truth be told, the Byzantines would be able to conquer the entirety of the Middle East (assuming that no faction had arisen in place of the Arabs), and the early Spanish would have been able to conquer from present day Morocco to Tunisia. Thus, we would have three super-powers 400 years after the demise of the Western Roman Empire: The Byzantines, The Early Spanish, and most likely a Germanic state such as the Franks with the Carolingian Empire (one of the Germanic tribes would eventually gain power, I merely chose the one that actually did). Now if we fast forward, history in Western Europe would not change that much I would assume, excepting that Spain would have more power than it actually did, but it would still have to contend against the Holy Roman Empire and France, and possibly the British (who I think would be unaffected by any of our changes and would have developed similarly had they not engaged in conflict with France yet). In WWI, I would take the position of saying that the Byzantines would side with the Central Powers if Serbia and the Balkans were not already under their control, if it was, then they would most likely side with whatever side was juxtaposing Russia and Austria-Hungary (if it were to even still exist under these circumstances), who also wanted Serbia and the Balkans for themselves. This would be an interesting time-line.

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