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POD: Commodus, rather than his twin brother Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, dies at the age of four. Thus, Commodus' reign, his murder, and the resulting succession crisis is avoided. This has profound effects on world history.
NB: All dates are AUC, the dating system used by historians ITTL
Reign of Fulvus Antoninius (930-971)
Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus was born the son of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in 914. His twin brother Commodus and younger brother Annius both died of natural causes in 918 and 922 respectively. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, his father made sure he had a complete education in history, philosophy, and tactics. In 930, he was made joint Augustus and heir to the throne by his father. This was unconventional, as all Emperors since Nerva had been succeeded by adopted heirs.
Fulvus became sole Emperor upon his father's death in 933. He continued his father's campaigns against Danubian tribes. His reign marked the greatest expansions since the reign of Trajan. In the East, he sent his brother-in-law Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus, who had been one of his father's advisors, to the east to fight against Parthia. Back home, he focused on strengthening the Roman economy. He was an avid writer, much like his father. He also continued his father's persecutions of Christians.
Pompeianus' campaign against the Parthians was extremely successful. In 943, he finished conquering Armenia, killing its kiing Vologases II. After his victory, Pompeianus died on his way back to Rome. Fulvus immediately had the Senate deify him, and celebrated a Triumph. Fulvus also adopted Pompeianus's son, who had the same name, as his heir. Pompeianus Minor, just nine years younger than Fulvus, began to make his own career in the Roman military. In 947, he finished Marcus Aurelius conquering of Marcomannia and Sarmatia. However, he died of an illness in 955. Fulvus then adopted his son, Lucius Aurelius Pompeianus Antoninus. In 971, Fulvus Antoninus died, and Lucius Aurelius became emperor.
Increasing External Threats (971-1060)
Lucius Aurelius reign was as successful as his predecessors. His premier military campaign was the conquest of Caledonia. Caledonia, north of Britannia, was inhabited by the Picts, a Celtic tribe. They had long resisted Roman conquest. In 976, he took his legions north of the Antonine Wall to fight the Picts. By mid-979, Caldonia was under complete Roman control.
However, some of Lucius' most lasting achievements were not military. He greatly expanded the famous system of Roman roads. He also put more regulation on the Roman mint, whose workers were in the habit of taking silver meant for coins. He is also remembered for his Constituo Successionis Augustorum (Decree of Succession of the Augusti). This formalised the idea that the Emperor would be the heir of his predecessor, and would be declared by the Senate. With this law, Lucius hoped to settle future disputes and outlaw emperors declared by their troops. Lucius Aurelius made his son, Gaius Aurellius Antoninus his heir, and died in 996.
The most significant event in Gaius Aurelius' reign was the celebration of the thousadth year of Rome in 1000. The year was marked by great festivals and games in the city and throughout the empire, culminating with the celebration of the founding on 21 Aprilis. Gaius' reign saw increasing attacks by Germainic tribes, notably the Goths. A major Gothic invasion was stopped in 1006 by general Marcus Aemilius Aemilianus. Without a son, Gaius named Aemelianus his heir, and he became emperor upon Gaius' death in 1008.
Aemelianus was faced with increasing raids by Germainic peoples from the north. In 1012, Aemelianus promoted Lucius Domitius Aurelianus to the position of Maister Equitum, in command of the entire Imperial cavalry. In this position, Aurelianus stopped many invasions in Macedonia and Thrace. In the east, the Sassanids, successors of the Parthians, began making gains. To deal with all the invasions of the Empire, Aemelianus made Aurelianus co-emperor in 1013. Officially, they both ruled the whole empire, but in practice, Aemlianus was to deal with the crisis from the north, while Aurelianus was to travel to the east to deal with the Sassanid Persians. This was the first case of a geographical division between two emperors. Aurelianus made major gains against the Persians, gaining a few years of peace in the east. Aemelianus was also successful, holding back Germanic invasions. Aemelianus contracted an illness while campaigning, and decided to retire from the purple, leaving Aurelianus sole emperor in 1023.
Aurelianus's independent reign was not as tumultuous as Aemelianus' or his joint rule. The greatest event in his reign was his religious reform. In response to some gains by Christians despite continued persecutions by the emperors, he officially established the cult of Sol Invictus. Sol was ment to be a universal god for the entire empire, not representing any particular people. He called the worship of Sol the Cultus Catholicus Romanorum, or the Universal Cult of the Romans. The worship of Sol Invictus spread throughout the Empire, having the exact effect Aurelianus hoped. Another one of his reforms was the extension of citizenship to all free men of the Empire in 1029. Combined with several more military victories, Aurelianus died in 1032 as one of the most popular emperors in history.
Aurelianus's son, Publius Aurelius Antoninus Aurelianus, became emperor upon his death. His reign was a return to the military situation of Aemelianus' reign. Publius named military commander Marcus Aurelius Probus governor of the Eastern provinces. Probus was almost auonomous in the east, but was not named Augusus. However, Probus' son by Publius' sister, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Probus, was adopted by Publius. Probus fought off Persian invasion and increased infrastrucure, particularly in the grain-producing province of Aegyptum.
Publius was suceeded by his nephew and adopted son Antoninus Probus in 1052. Antoninus' reign was marked by ever-increasing outside pressures. He adopted military commander Marcus Flavius Valerius Constantius as his heir in 1056. Antoninus died of illness in 1060, leaving Constantinus as emperor.
Division and Survival of the Empire (1060-1238)
Constantius died suddenly in 1061. His son, Flavius Aurelius Constantnus was elevated to the throne. Constantus immediately elevated his half brother Iulius Aurelius Constantus to co-emperor. Constantus regarded the task of administrating the Empire too much for himself, so he gave the rule of the east to Julius. From that point on, the Roman Empire was never again under one emperor.
Julius first had his capital at Antioch, but decided it was inadequate. He established his capital at the Greek city of Byzantium. He rebuilt it, and called it Julianopis.
The divided Empire flourished. Both Julius and Constatinus regained territories that had been lost by the invasion. Constantius even expanded the Empire, conquering Hibernia. Julius initiated a massively successful campaign against the Persians in 1069. By the summer of 1070, it had stagnated, but he was reinforced in the spring of 1071 and captured Persian emperor Shapur's harem and treasury. Shapur sued for peace, and the Romans gained the territory up to the Tigris river.
The Roman Empire enjoyed a new Pax from the reign of Constantus and Julius until the mid-12th century. Beginning about 1160, more Germani began invading from the north. Both halves of the Empire were strong enough to withstand the barbarians. However, the greatest threat came in 1204, during the reign of Flavius Aurelius Constans in the west and Valerius Aurelius Canstantius in the east.
The Huns, under Atilla, had invaded the Empire. They began ravaging Gallia. Constans sent his best general, Flavius Aetius against Atilla, but he was killed at the battle of the Catalaunian Plains. Atilla moved toward Italia, but Flavius Momyllus Orestes defeated Atilla before he crossed the Alps. Orestes' vitory was a crushing blow to the Huns, and their assault fell apart. Combined with an Eastern Roman assault on the Huns' territory across the Danube, Atilla was forced to flee out of Roman territory, and died later in 1207.
Constans named Orestes his son and heir, and he became emperor in 1218. Orestes' reign was consumed by reconquering and rehabilitating the territory ravaged by Atilla. When he died in 1238, he left a strong Empire to his son, Flavius Aurelius Romulus Orestes.
A New World Order (1238-2245)
Romulus Orestes' most notable achievement was the pacification of the Danube frontier. In 1242, he celebrated a triumph against Odacer, a German king.
During Romulus's reign, in 1262, Chlodovechus became the King of the Franks. The Frankish kingdom would become a major player in the region. After Chlodovechus' conversion to Christianity by missionaries, he converted his state into a Christian one.
Another significant religious event in the late-1200s was the start of a new religion in Arabia, called Waiib. Waiib meant "duty" in the Arabic language. After a few generations, most of the Arabic people had been converted, and saw their "duty" to spread the faith by conquest. By 1400, the new Arabic Empire had conquered the Persian Empire. It did not move on Roman territory, as the Eastern Empire was still too strong. A major change for the Eastern Empire came in 1405, when Flavius Aurelius Valerius Iulius made the offical language Greek. This was a practical measure, as most of the East spoke Greek, but it caused alienation and distance between the Empires. This divide was deepened by the toleration of Christianity by later Emperors.
By the mid-1400s, both China and India had stabilized, and a new Empire was arising in Africa, the Ethiopian Empire. In Europa, the imperial landscape would change once again with the Frankish king Karolus. In 1527, he conquered other Germanic peoples and created the new Germanic Empire. He was crowned emperor by the leader of the Germanic Christian church, and modeled his administration on the Western Roman Empire.
During the 1500s, the northern reaches of Europa were raided by Viccingi from the north. Although the raids did not have a lasting effect, contact with these people would.
In 2000, emperors Flavius Aurelius Valerius Aurelianus Romulus and Flavius Aurelius Constantius Julianus jointly celebrated the new millennium, with Julianus traveling to Rome on 21 Aprilis, the first time two emperors had met in centuries. Julianus took the opportunity to introduce his colleague to the new calendar being used in the east, as the original Julian calendar was inaccurate. He also introduced Aurelianus to new mathematical concepts from India, such as their numerals and the concept of zero. The West subsequently implemented these changes.
In Asia, the Mongols began to carve out a great empire under Ghengis Khan starting c.1960. It conquered an extremely large amount of territory, however, it was beginning to recede by 2100. The Eastern Roman Empire subsequently moved north into Slavic territories left by the reduced Mongols.
By 2100, new artistic and scientific advances were beginning in the Western Roman Empire. In addition, new science and technology from India and China spurred the Industrial Revolution, which started in the Eastern Roman Empire. By 2200, these advances were spreading throughout the known world.
A Brave New World (2245-2400)
In 2243, Roman explorer Coelius Columbus Heliopher embarked on the most important sea voyage in world history. He was a merchant who had traded with Viccingi. He had heard their stories of a land to the West. He gained an Imperial charter, and in 2245 landed on Isla Nova. This spurred a number of new explorers, including Aurelius Americus Vespucius, who discovered the American Sea and the Islands within.
The most important discovery, after Columbus' was that of Iacobus Cartius in 2296. He was the first to reach the mainland of the new continent. He explored in the area of the Laci Magni. He named the area Kanata, which he thought was the native name for the place. Really, they were directing him toward their kanata, or village. Cartius made contact with the mightiest tribe in the area, the Iroquessi. Cartius quickly made them allies of Rome.
Julianopolis was not idle during all this. They sent Arianos Cortos to the southern continent of the new land. There, he conquered the native people, gaining territory for the Eastern Roman Empire.
By 2400, all the territory of the "New World" was either conquered by or a client state of one of the great empires of the "Old World"
Revolution, Reform, and Stabilisation (2400-Present)
The world was in peace again, after initial scrambles for territory in Columbia and Cortosia. However, internal peace was soon disrupted in the Western Roman Empire.
Beginning about 2500, problems arose in the Empire's Columbian colonies. They wanted autonomy. These were joined by Christians, who had gone to the new world, thinking they were beyond the emperor's laws. In 2528, unrest turned to open rebellion.Aurelius Valerius Flavius Romulus responded harshly to the rebels at first, but was overwhelmed as the revolutionary movement spread to other provinces, as well as East Roman Cortosi and Isla Australis.
In 2536, Flavius Romulus met with his Eastern counterpart Aurelius Flavius Iulius Contans. Together, they made the first joint Imperial decree since the establishment of the Corpus Iuris Civilis in 2005. The Constitio Provinciana made radical democratic reforms. It allowed each province to petition the Emperor to allow the formation of an elected Comitia for local laws. Each Comitia would elect a Princeps from among its members to represent the province to the Emperor's appointed provincial Proconsul. In addition, all religions were declared tolerable, as long as their first earthly duty was to the Emperor. The revolutionaries accepted these terms, and both Empires once again had peace. These reforms also spread to other parts of the world.
In 2683, both Empires made a decree extending citizenship to women. New unity was reached with the re-establishment of the ancient Olympic Games as a sporting competition between the two states.
In 2713, the emperors Aurelius Flavius Romulus Nipellon Ioannes Kinnedes of the west and Aurelius Flavius Iulius Niketas announced a new goal for the entire Roman people: to go to Space. In 2718, the first humans entered space. In 2722, the first humans landed on Luna. After their reigns, unmanned missions were sent to the planet Mars, as well as the Ioannes-Nikitas Space Station in 2751.
During 2710s, new youth movements began. This was mostly spurred by a new movement of music. For centuries, there were two groups of music:regional folk music and empire-wide classical music. However, beginning about 2705, musicians in Kanata invented electric instruments. They used these instruments, particularly the electric guittera, a descendant of the lute to make new music. This, combined with the new ways of mass distributing music, through recordings and the radio, caused an explosion of new Electric folk music. This music failed to reach the youth of continental Europa, but it became extremely popular in Hibernia and Britannia, despite official opposition. In Liverpolium, a Britannian port city. many youth applied to these instruments to Hibernian folk music, and combined it with the Columbian folk music and music from and Germanic and Ethiopian immigrants. The result was a whole new creation:Musica Pulsatio. The most successful Pulsus band was the Coleopteri.
The effects of this musical revolution spread like wildfire throughout the world. Originally, the Imperial governments decried it, favoring the old way. However, they soon calmed. Activists succeeded in lowering the voting age to 16. Music became a force of modern politics, and popular culture such as films and television became extremely popular. Pulsatio was popular throughout every nation in the world. By 2750, the world was more globalized. And it was all because of the Roman Empire.