Alternative History

Could I please have the creation of a template called IR350 for this new Timeline? --Henneth 17:05, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Theophilus speaks: 350 is too late for a Peloponnesian scenario. In 350, Thebes had been engaged in the Phocian War (356-346) for six year. Their "ally" Philip II of Macedon, had won magnificently at the Battle of Crocus Field in 352. In 348, Demosthenes and Aischenes would argue over who Athens should support.

In Syracuse, Dionysius I died in 367. He was replaced by his son Dionysius II the Younger (367-356), who was killed and replaced by his brother-in-law Dion between 356 and 354. Calippus held Syracuse 354-352, but was deposed by his rivals, Hipparinus and Aretaeus, who fought for control between themselves from 352 to 350, when Nysaeus seized power. Nysaeus held on until 347, when Dionysius II returned. Dionysius II toppled Nysaeus in 346, but died in 344, when Syracuse became an oligarchy. Plenty of clients available for Democrates.

So your saying that instead of him going to athens he goes to Syracuse? --Henneth 02:50, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I would say it would be a better immediate market, and it also has a navy. If Syracuse had this technology, I would say that it would use it against Carthage. Perhaps Athens borrows the idea from the Syracusans (just as it borrowed many literary figures). Syracuse, however, might strike a deal with Philip and his primarily land-based troops.

Ok I'll change it around... --Henneth 22:26, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Of course, steam powered "oar wheeled" warships, such as the one depicted here, became common on the Mediterranean. The ship's need for fuel led to rapid deforestation in the region, and caused successful city-states to become aggressively expansionistic and ultimately imperialistic in nature.
--AirshipArmada 01:52, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

technological development

One thing to bear in mind though is that any adaptation of a basic principle into actual applications would take time. Today if I discover something big, I can log on to the internet and spread the news. I can then receive preliminary feedback on my research within hours and on adaptation of it within probably less then a fortnight.

Only one or two hundred years ago, a person that discovered something would publish it in a book (or send out letters) and then have to wait for months before getting any kind of "peer reviews" feedback.

So before the current era, before a concept can travel, be read, experimented on and put to good used, it would take a much longer period of time (more then a decade for the simplest ones and many more for others). Its not that people were less inteligent but simply that the mean of comunication at the time where not well suited for research.--Marcpasquin 03:47, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

In this timeline, An academy was formed which top greek scientists could share thier information with hundreds of other scientists residing at the academy. Its also close to the government too. --Henneth 14:52, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The meme of steam would spread quickly if it were used successfully in warfare. Many folks gather and travel the world to kill each other and, in the process, see the new wonder weapons. They carry the idea of steam power back with them when they leave the battle field. Thus the idea of a steam warship would spread more quickly than the idea of a steam powered trip hammer used by a blacksmith. --AirshipArmada 19:33, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)


One issue to solve about so earlier Industrial Revolution is how an expensive(?) technology would compete with cheap slave labour. — Carlos Th

Slave labor, at least for the Greeks and Macedonians was not cheap and in greek ships, money for rowers was hard to come by. If a steam engine could have been devolped, I would've been a godsend to the millitary minds in Greece and Macedon. --Henneth 14:52, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I wonder - can technology only be successful if it has an economical advantage? There is more than just economy involved; what are the cultural, political, and religious attitudes to steam?
A culture may also favor machine goods just because they were produced by machines (the Untouched-by-Human-Hands effect). Also, if machine-produced goods were considered superior to hand made objects, then people would be willing to pay more for them. --AirshipArmada 19:41, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Though, they usually AREN'T superior in the early stages. Once the technology is mature, they may well become superior to hand-produced, but in the early stages there's generally no advantage other than cost.
Machine-produced religious icons might be an interesting phenomenon, though ... - Nik 00:06, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

How about costs of coal? Costs of engineering and precision manufacturing? (precision enough to perform their work) What would happen with comparatively cost-effective early technology when confronted with peoples with more cost-effective slave manpower?...
Let's take Democrates original steam engine: seen in modern terms that machine is pretty much inefficient. It is like using the Niagara falls to light a candel. It is very interesting to liht candles in the Niagara falls but if you prettend to light New York you would require millions of Niagara falls by using that technology. For a toy, Democrates engine was fine, but the step to adapt that technology for a practical use in each boat of a navy is still large. It is not a thing you get by just tryal and error: you need at least a fair understanding of physics (definitvely no Aristotelian physics). You either need more time to put Democrates steam engine into a roar boat, or an earlier POD that would favor a cientific methot by the time Democrates came back to Syracuse. — Carlos Th

Just some stuff:

  • I can find no reference to Democrates, it seems the steam engine was invented by Hero of Alexandria sometime around the year 50. So maybe we should be talking about Roman steam engines and not Greek.
  • I don't put much credence in the economic argument against steam. We are not talking about a free market society here. Also military technologies are often foolishly expensive but they are developed and deployed anyway.
  • Hero's type of steam engine was used to operate sawmills in the 19th century (called an Avery engine). They had a very high rpm and reportedly produced up to 20 horse power.
  • This discussion may prompt me to order the book: "The Forgotten Revolution : How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why it Had to Be Reborn". If I get it, I'll let you all know what it has to say on the subject,
  • One of the hazards of alt hist in general is that single changes in time may result in NO changes in a timeline. Technologies tend to not be adopted if the surrounding culture is not "ready" for it or if surrounding technologies are not already in place. The phaestos stone, for example, evidently used movable type but Western civilization had to wait over a thousand years before it was prepared to take advantage of movable type. And the ancient Norse experimented with rod bearings on their axles but they lacked the proper materials to make the idea really work.

At what point do you just throw your hands up in the air and say "So what! I want to have some fun!" --AirshipArmada 22:05, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Expanding the timeline

Yeah, I like this time-line; I've always liked the idea of the ancient Greeks being better than Romans & beating them. May I make a suggestion or two?

  • You say Syracuse had control of Sicily, why not they develop some form of geo-thermal power around Mount. Etna after a team of scientists & miners try to find out why it spouts fire/lava?
  • Your after After Steam (A.S.) way of tracking time is a nice touch, but it may confuse some people so I advise putting the normal BC/AD date next to it in brackets
  • Some maps to show expansionism in order to aid visualization of this world
  • I think your idea of them being an unrivalled sea power makes sense, but a strong land power as well? I'm not too sure about ancient Greek armies but I know Sparta & Athens were powerful, especially Sparta.
  • What about them Persians?

--VonGlusenburg 17:58, September 24, 2010 (UTC)

YEah i might try revive this... VonGlusenburg (talk to Von!) 05:34, January 8, 2015 (UTC)