Alternative History
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TERRA COGNITA

Terra Cognita is an Alternate History timeline with three major divergent points, leading collectively to many world shaping changes, as well as an abundance of smaller ripples throughout. 

TC is a timeline which takes place in a dimension that did not witness a "collapse" of the Western Roman Empire. Though suffering invasion and conflict the Roman realm lingers and spins through history in fits of growth and decline but as a constant.

TC witnesses a unification event in southeast Africa which plants the seed of a powerful trade realm, shaping the continent and the world around it, with no accidental introduction of Rinderpest (as occurred by Europeans in Our World's 1890s Africa) and therefore no follow-up tsetse devastation, Africa flourishes.

TC sees China keep its sea lanes open and reach out across the world with a banner of trade and goods, spreading technology and innovation far and wide, linking with Rome and forming a budding friendship that enriches both and spreads into Africa to boot.

Further changes echo through history, caused by events preceding them. Norsemen, fleeing the turbulence caused in Scandinavia by Roman involvement, move in greater bulk to North America, opening that continent to the world earlier and for good - unknowingly saving an entire culture from veritable annihilation by early disease introduction and subsequent immunity as well as access to technologies from Europe to Asia. 

Terra Cognita is recognizable because it is a story of humans, discovering themselves and their world, shaping it into ways we are familiar with today in an unavoidable and inevitable march forward, progressing earth. Yet it is unrecognizable because it is inhabited by different characters, different rivers of time that flow to familiar seas. 


Traveler’s Guide

Hello intrepid dimension traveler, welcome to this Alternate World. Here I will lay out some of the basic differences to help avoid confusion in your meanderings and explain this Alternate History.

Time and Dating

In this alternate world the years are dated as A.U.C. (often written AUC preceding the numbers), meaning Ab urbe condita. Ab urbe condita literally means "from the founded city", meaning from the traditionally held day that the city of Rome was founded. The Gregorian calendar introduced in Our World by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 AD does not come into being in This World.

AUC is the most common dating system in the “western world” in Terra Cognita. The conventional dating system in the "eastern world" is the Sinaean (Chinese) Lunar calendar. So 2019 CE/AD in Our World would be AUC 2772 in the western world and 4717 in the eastern world. The global community defaults to one of these two calendars, where the AUC version is written in whatever the local languages equivalent of the term Æra Vulgaru (so English would probably write it as VE or CE, being either Vulgar Era or Common Era). ÆV (Aera Vulgaru) is the Roman form of 'Common Era' which is the term used by those nations which use the AUC calendar (while the term is used in Romania, but AUC is the far more common term and writing used there). A variation of Lunar Calendar is used for the Sinaean form (so in English it would be LC perhaps, if English existed in Terra Cognita in the form it has from Our World).

The other widespread and commonly used calendars include the Era of the World calendar, used across the Christian world (excepting Egypt). In this system the date today is 7527 AM (Anno Mundi, the Latin-based translation of Year After Creation, this is written ε.Κ. in Greek, among who the calendar is common). The Islamic world uses the Hijri calendar with today being 1440 AH. Other more regional calendars are common around the globe in This World. The Egyptians use the Alexandrian calendar (where the year 2019 CE is 1735) for example, Hesperia has two dominant calendars based on systems devised in Ganonsia (Iroquois-land), and then also principally uses the AUC system; a number of dating systems exist, just as in Our World. The four mentioned dating systems (Ab Urbe Condita, Sinaean Lunar, Era of the World, and Hijri) are the most widespread however, with the AUC and SL being the ‘global systems’ of dating – the two sharing a status that is very similar to Our World’s Gregorian system.

That said, even those states that adhere to a more localized cultural calendar will default to either the AUC (in the form Vulgar Era) or the Sinaean (in the form of Lunar Calendar) as a more common form of date keeping.

Eras, Ages, and Periods

Historians in Europe order history according to Ages/Eras and, on a smaller scale, Periods. Periods are based on smaller scales of time and fluctuate from very short to relatively long, usually covering specific historical events. The commonly accepted division currently sits at six Eras and this is broadly used in Europe, most of Asia, and variously in other parts of the world. Each periodization carries two names; firstly is a numerical Age and secondly is a common Era name, descriptive as best it can be. They are as follows:

Golden Age/Prehistoric Era: 3.3 mya to AUC -2245 (OTL Prehistory)

First Age/Ancient Era: AUC -2245 to -46 (OTL Ancient History)

Second Age/Classical Era: AUC -46 to AUC 1370 (OTL Classical Antiquity)

Third Age/Postclassical Era: AUC 1370 to AUC 2100 (OTL Middle Ages)

Fourth Age/Middle Era: AUC 2100 to AUC 2500 (OTL Late Medieval through Early Modern)

Fifth Age/Modern Era: AUC 2500 to Present (OTL Modern History)

AUC to BCE-CE (aka BC-AD) Guide

Useful links: Roman Date Converter and Salvi Roman Date Calculator and Roman Numeral Converter

A useful Gregorian calendar to Ab urbe condita conversion guide:

2000 CE = AUC 2753

1950 CE = AUC 2703

1900 CE = AUC 2653

1700 CE = AUC 2453

1600 CE = AUC 2353

1500 CE = AUC 2253

1400 CE = AUC 2153

1200 CE = AUC 1953

1000 CE = AUC 1753

900 CE = AUC 1653

200 CE = AUC 953

1 CE = AUC 754

200 BCE = AUC 554

400 BCE = AUC 354

600 BCE = AUC 154

753 BCE = AUC 1

800 BCE = AUC -46

Words and Terminology

You might notice a word that is unfamiliar, different, archaic, or new to Our World. This is based on the preference for common usage from This World. This is a tricky thing to do since in This World the English of our reality does not exist. The Anglo-Saxons, though settling in Britannia, never came to dominate the island and so Old English never came to be in the form we know it, rather lingering as a minority language in a way not dissimilar to Our World's Welsh.

The global Lingua Francas in This World are Roman, Sinaean (Standard Mandarin of Our World), Cambrian (the dominant language of Britain, evolving from the native Celtic language), Arabic, Persian, Azanian (the Oromo language of Our World), Ganonsian (Iroquois), Meshican (Nahuatl), and Tavantinsan (Quecha), among others.

It is in this light that I pick and choose what words to give pseudo-English translations to, what words to just use the translation from Our World, and what words to use directly from a dominant language from This World. There is no rhyme and reason beyond flavor - all words could simply use the English form from Our World, so it is with artistic flair that we weave along linguistically.

Terra Cognita Glossary:

Our World, This World - I refer to the world you and I live in, this timeline or dimension or plane or however you'd view it, as Our World. I refer to my alternate timeline, my parallel dimension, my counterfactual story, as This World.

Homophile – Homosexual; Gay; LGBTQ. The term homophile is from love ("-phile" from Greek φιλία). The first element of the word, the Greek root "homo-", means "same"; it is unrelated to Latin homo, "person". The word gained traction in the gay-rights movement in the Christian world of This World, where such rights were under attack, therefore Greek terms were used (as the Greek world was predominantly Christian and the Christian world heavily Greek). In the equivalent of Our World’s 1925 CE (AUC 2678 in This World) the term was adopted broadly across Europe during the rise in global gay-rights of This World. The term has remained in place, used widely as the predominate terminology for what Our World would term ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’.

Septentrional, Meridional, Oriental, Occidental, Austral, Ultimal - These are words typically used in reference to "cultural spheres" in This World. Unlike Our World, where the term Oriental fell from use due to imperialistic attitudes and exoticism attached to the term, This World's terms are broadly accepted and without baggage. 

Septentrional Culture refers to the "Northern Culture" or that of Europe, North Libia (North Africa), West Asia, and, sometimes, Vinland in Hesperia.

Meridional Culture refers to "Southern Culture" or that of Libia (Africa) excluding the northern part. 

Oriental Culture refers to "Eastern Culture" or that of Asia excluding West Asia (the Middle East). 

Occidental Culture refers to "Western Culture" or that of Hesperia. 

Austral Culture refers to "Southwestern Culture" or that of Antillia. 

Ultimal Culture refers to "The Far South" or that of Antipodea. 

Hellene, Hellenism - Hellene means one who practices the religion of Hellenism. Much like a Christian practices Christianity. When not capitalized (hellene) it is referring to a practitioner of the traditional Greco-Roman belief, the unreformed version before Julian. Lower case hellene is synonymous with pagan, traditionalist, folk-belief, and greco-roman tradition. 

The name Hellene was given the meaning "pagan" by the early Christian church, and retained that meaning until the end of the millennium in Our World. It is believed that contact with Christian Jews led some Christians to use Hellene as a means of religious differentiation. Jews, like Greeks, distinguished themselves from foreigners, but unlike Greeks, did so according to religious rather than cultural standards. The Jewish people of Jerusalem, during Julian's time, named him Julian the Hellene for his notion to rebuild the temple. This literally meant Julian the Pagan or, essentially, Julian the Not-Christian, and was meant as a compliment. The term was used by Julian as well, and his circle. 

Roman domination of the Greek world enhanced the prestige of the religious institutions that remained intact. Early Christians differentiated people according to religion, so the sense of the word Hellene as a cultural attribute became marginalized and then supplanted by its religious element. Eventually, Christians came to refer to all pagans as Hellenes.

St. Paul in his Epistles uses Hellene almost always juxtaposed to Hebrew, and in disregard of all other ethnicities (Romans, Syrians, Egyptians, etc.) living in the area at the time. The aim was probably to represent the aggregate of the polytheistic and the monotheistic religious communities, who respectively believed in many gods or one god. Hellene is used in a religious sense for the first time in the New Testament. In the Gospel of Mark 7:26, a woman arrives before Jesus kneeling before Him: "The woman was a Hellene, a Syrophœnician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter." Since the nationality or ethnicity of the woman is stated to be Syrophœnician, "Greek" (translated as such into the English of the King James Version, but as haiþno "heathen" in Ulfilas's Gothic; Wycliffe and Coverdale likewise have heathen, ergo heathen and hellene mean the same thing) must therefore signify her polytheistic religion. A broadly similar terminology is found in John 12:20–23: "And there were certain Hellenes among them that came up to worship at the feast ... Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified". This could have one of two interpretations: either that Jesus meant that the time had come for his religion to spread to the pagans (in which case the term "Hellenes" is religious), or that it would spread by using the Greek language (in which case the term "Hellenes" is meant to be linguistic). The development towards a purely religious meaning was slow, and complete by approximately the 2nd or 3rd century AD: Athenian statesman Aristeides, in his written Apology to Emperor Hadrian, picked out the Hellenes as one of the representative pagan peoples of the world along with the Egyptians and the Chaldæans. Later, Clement of Alexandria reports an unknown Christian writer who named all of the above Hellenes and spoke of two old nations and one new: the Christian nation.

Emperor Julian's attempt to restore paganism failed in Our World, and according to Pope Gregory I, "matters moved in favor of Christianity and the position of the Hellenes was severely aggravated". Half a century later Christians protested against the Eparch of Alexandria, whom they accused of being a Hellene. Theodosius I initiated the first legal steps against paganism, but it was Justinian's legal reforms that triggered pagan persecutions on a massive scale. The Corpus Juris Civilis contained two statutes which decreed the total destruction of Hellenism, even in civic life, and were zealously enforced even against men in high position. The official suppression of paganism made non-Christians a public threat, which further derogated the meaning of Hellene. Paradoxically, Tribonian, Justinian's own legal commissioner, according to the Suda dictionary, was a Hellene (pagan).

In This World the term simply remained as it had become - pagan. But more specifically, when capitalized it became the new reformed religion, as we know from sources Julian had intended, had he lived, in Our World. Hellene and Hellenism were to be the title of the reformed/official version of the old pagan Greco-Roman tradition.

Gentile, Gentilism, Gentilic - These terms are used as a broad categorization of the European 'post-pagan' or 'reformed-pagan' religions in This World, such as Hellenism and Romuvism. This is much the same way as how Our World uses 'Abrahamic' to group Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. It is suggested that those beliefs put under this umbrella-word come from one spiritual/culturally-religious source or origin - ultimately stemming collectively back to some distant Proto-Indo-European belief system.

New World Crops, Animals, etc - Different people are shared the food stuffs that we are familiar with today. Therefore they largely obtain different names - much of the source for the Europeans comes via the Romans, what they decided to call the items, and so I will list them as such. The Cambrian versions stay largely true to the Roman style: batate - sweet potato; papate - potato; tomate; - tomato; mais - corn; socolata - chocolate; tobaco - tobacco; lisocita - vanilla; uesolote - turkey.

People and Culture

The thoughtful traveler will notice some famous individuals who reflect or mimic those from Our World very closely, exactly, minimally, or just mildly. We can assume that no one, after the point-of-divergence, is the same as Our World (not necessarily that they do not exist. Perhaps a reflection of a person). Though, truly, this world is different from the ground up. Though the history preceding the survival of Our World’s Julian the Apostate (This World’s Julian the Philosopher) is nearly identical, it is still different in itself. What butterfly flapped its wings in that more distant past may never be known. But there are subtle differences, tiny ripples, from before This World’s defined PoD. Furthermore, there are many other PoDs after the Julian one, some small and some big, across the globe, perhaps rippled by these other, older, wing-flaps. Therefore no one is really the same, not one hundred percent, from time before to time after.

Even so, people and ideas of familiarity will guide This World. This is in part for familiarity and slightly for believably. This is also due to my personal belief that much of our collective human ideas would ultimately be reached. The world need not be a radically unrecognizable place at all. So there is mimicry, perhaps due to fate or a natural flow of the river of life. Humanity seems hardly different in any radical base mindset in Our World, ergo This World glides among as if mankind will be mankind. Different, yet the same.

Music - Music comes to fairly similar ends as Our World but it is still different. Take rap – it never evolves along the lines it did from the cultural melding of the United States, as there is no United States, but society reaches a sound that echoes this genre regardless. The melding of sounds in This World culminated in a birthing of something akin to rap from a meld of African and European influence. London is a veritable melting pot and there is an abundance of cross culture travel, much of it on more equal footing.

The sounds are far more influenced by the African continent but the arrival of and influence of European instruments and sounds still occurs. So we end up with music that echoes Our World's Afropop, Trip-Hop, African-Rap, and African-Jazz, for example.

Technology

In This World technology is, roughly, five years ahead of Our World.

That is for the most part, in some areas things do not exist at all. This World witnessed many ideas and inventions that Our World did, only perpetrated at different times, by different people, in different places. But the human mind eventually got there anyway. The traffic light is invented, but there is no Tupperware, no basketball, volleyball. Some things are different, with the barcode being a circular symbol rather than a square, and there are personal computers, cellphones, and so on.

On the high advanced end of things This World is not overtly different in an obvious way. A glance around the world would not strike one as much changed, but many things are so in subtle fashion. Above ground power lines are incredibly rare, for instance, almost always buried worldwide. Many cities are much larger and more built up, with London being more relatable to Our World’s New York City.

Airships, descendants of dirigibles, are widespread. Though surpassed by planes for travel, they never phased out and continue to be employed for leisure in a style similar to cruise-liners, as well as for cargo transport and other things. Tanks (Landships in This World) progressed differently but culminated to end up largely the same as Our World, only from a different origin point. This World has self-driving cars, though they are not near the majority for personal use just yet, but make up a vast amount of train cargo and truck transports; nanotechnology is used in computers resulting in a blazingly fast internet and the internet is additionally far more widespread across the globe; drones constitute about 20% of deliveries; electric vehicles are fairly normal as is renewable energy, though still not quite a massive majority on the power end of things, evens so – solar energy is very widespread; bio-printing exists with arteries available, and more complex organs like hearts and livers, along with better technology across the medical world.

The reason for this minor technological boom in This World is manifold. In the Roman sphere there was no Renaissance, there was no need, rather there was a consistent built up, largely unbroken from antiquity. This faced some dips along history, particularly during the loss of territory to the Barbarian Invasions, during the reconquest of said lands, and during the Black Plague, etc. The Romans otherwise do not lose their emphasis on the beauty and movement of the body in sculpture. Painting and freestanding sculpture do not gradually fall from favor in the artistic community and are not replaced by interests in mosaics, architecture, and relief sculpture (note this does happen in the Eastern Roman realm, or Greek Empire). The Greek texts, science, philosophy, and ideas were never lost to them and the Latin never submerged beneath piety. This gives the Medieval Romans in This World an art and architecture closer antiquity without the so called Dark Ages. Imperial and later Republican money and unity contribute immensely to these endeavors. The lack of extreme fragmentation within Europe also results in less information lag and less information loss.

Trade links that grew in the 1300s also aided global growth. Roman connections to Hesperia (Our World’s North America) and west Libia (Our world’s west Africa), Chinese growth into east Libian (East African) markets, making the Western Ocean's regional integration and increase in international circulation of people, ideas, and goods. It also provided a platform for cosmopolitan discourses. For the first time in its history, the maritime region from China to Africa was under the dominance of a single imperial power, China, and thereby allowed for the creation of a cosmopolitan space. Aiding this growth is the internal and earlier development of Azania, a state in east Africa that becomes a power of its own. Rome would play this role on the other side of Africa and across the Atlantic. China nor Japan close themselves off, never shutting off ports (Japan only a bit, though not for such a duration nor such an extreme fashion), and no missionary threat arrives to give them an extra cause (though the causes in Our World were manifest certainly, the missionary threat was a significant cause). The Sino-Roman linking and trade post established on the Cape of Good Hope solidifies this global growth exponentially.

The world is cleaner and greener, if only a little; it is connected earlier and therefore longer, with a certain globalization occurring sooner and on more equal footing; gender equality is more widespread as is general stability, technology is about a decade ahead, roughly speaking. That said, the world is not utopian: it is full of prejudice, conflict, and lingering doubt as it is, after all, a human world.

So, What's Different?

Here I will give a quick list to show some difference throughout history.

The New World - The New World in this alternative timeline consists of the two continents Hesperia and Antillia (North America and South America). The inhabitants have a different experience. Due to a large movement to 'Vinland' via the excessive and extensive Scandian Wars (civil wars in Scandinavia in This World) there is a much larger movement. The Norse who make it to this new land are never enough to 'take it all' and they never intend to - the idea is far too insane sounding a task. They essentially remain largely on the island Our World calls Newfoundland and trade furs to Europe. Folks in the Old World are aware of them but they don't think much of the land they are on - cold woodland as far as the eye can see is assumed to be most of it. Ultimately the rest of Hesperia is opened up, quite a bit more up-to-date in technology when it does. Steel is used, cities are built up, walls of stone are present. The level of technology of This World's 1400s AD is comparable to the 1400s AD Sami or perhaps Mali or perhaps medieval Ethiopia - they use steel lamellar armor, weapons, stone castles. Essentially they are comparable to their Vinlandic neighbors - 'behind' Europe or Asia but not as lagging in terms of war-tech as Our World. Disease also came about via the Norse, in milder doses across 400 years before the other Europeans arrive on the scene. This trickles south but doesn't quite make it beyond the Isthmus of Panama and never reaches the islands of the Caribbean. Ergo those folks suffer mightily still in the realm of disease. The Rocky Mountains give another barrier to disease, which will impact the people of "Western Hesperia" once the later Europeans do arrive.


The World of Terra Cognita

An array of nations exist across the globe and most of them work together in the collective global organization known as the League of Peace, as well as in smaller pan-national organizations created to maintain stability, trade, and peaceful cooperation among nations.

Europe, Asia, and Libia have traditionally dominated trade and ideas while Hesperia has consistently been on the rise as a competitive continent. Antillia and Antipodea are often on the backburner in geopolitics and diplomacy and additionally tend to miss consideration by the players of global politics, much to the complaints of those nations within these two continents.

Topographic world map including political boundaries

Current world issues include global warming, food security, human rights, refugees, gender equality, environmental degradation, inclusive growth, global trade and investment and regulatory frameworks, healthcare, among other things.

Languages of the World

The Global Languages, or Bridge Languages (or Trade Languages/Lingua Francas) are Sinaean, Roman, and Cambrian, these three are the global languages, dominating business, media, and industry around the world, acting in a very similar way that English does in Our World. These three are widely understood and used globally and garner a great deal of prestige, spanning continents.

Arabic and Azanian are sometimes thrown in with these three, with the former spanning continents and easily working its way to be a dominant international language, while the latter is broadly used as the language of Libia.

Languages - detail on the languages and scripts of Terra Cognita

Continents

Europe

Modern Europe

Europe

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Europe, in particular ancient Greece and ancient Rome, was the birthplace of Septentrional Culture.The splintering of the Roman Empire into two permanent halves in AUC 1375 marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Postclassical Era from. Humanism, exploration, art and science led to the modern era, born largely from within Romania. Since the Age of Exploration started by Romania, Europe played one of the predominant roles in global affairs.

Asia

ModernAsiaTC.png
Asia

Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Sina and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from AUC 750 to 2550. Sina was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce and exploration. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route, The Spice Current, terminating in Melinde in Libia. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the Modern Era. Asia was the birthplace of many of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.

Libia

ModernLibiaTC.png
Libia

Libia is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent; it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Eritrean Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Malagasy and various archipelagos. Libia is considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the human species originating from the continent. Anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation perhaps as early as 7 million years ago and Libia is therefore deemed the womb of humanity. The historical record opens in Northern Libia with the rise of literacy in the Pharaonic civilization of Ancient Egypt. One of the world's earliest and longest-lasting civilizations, the Egyptian state continued, with varying levels of influence over other areas. Libia possessed perhaps as many as 10,000 different states and polities characterized by many different sorts of political organization and rule. These included small family groups of hunter-gatherers such as the San people of southern Libia; the city-bound kingdoms of the Bantu-speaking peoples of central, southern, and eastern Libia; heavily structured clan groups in the Horn of Africa; the large Sahelian kingdoms; and autonomous city-states and kingdoms such as those of the Asante, Benin, and Oyo in West Libia; and the Swahili coastal trading towns of Southeast Libia. The Mali Empire, along with Azania, Benin, and others would consolidate these regions by the mid-2000s AUC and develop Libia into a trading and exploring powerhouse.

Hesperia

ModernHesperiaTC.png
Hesperia

Hesperia is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Seric Ocean, and to the southeast by Antillia and the Altinean Sea. Hesperia was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Chukchi land bridge approximately 40,000 to 17,000 years ago. The Paleo-Hesperian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The continent was opened up to the rest of the world with the arrival of Roman and Malian trade ships, which would have a profound change on the attitude and shape of the continent.

Antillia

Antillia
ModernAntilliaTC.png

Antillia is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere. It is bordered on the west by the Seric Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean; Hesperia and the Altinean Sea lie to the northwest. Antillia sat with relative isolation compared to other continents, opening up globally with the arrival of Malian ships on the eastern coast of the continent. Subsequent Roman and Meshican trade ships would further open the continent up from the north and allow Tavantinsa to bolster its already significant power-base to become the dominant force on the continent, a role which it has retained in competition, historically, with Mali and Cambria. Antillia has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers (6,890,000 sq mi). Its population as of 2771 has been estimated at more than 423 million. Antillia ranks fourth in area (after Asia, Libia, and Hesperia) and fifth in population (after Asia, Libia, Europe, and Hesperia). Most of the population lives near the continent's western or eastern coasts while the interior and the far south are sparsely populated. The geography of western Antillia is dominated by the Andes mountains; in contrast, the eastern part contains both highland regions and vast lowlands where rivers such as the Araguaia flow, the largest river by discharge volume of water in the world, and the disputed longest river in the world. Most of the continent lies in the tropics. The continent's cultural and ethnic outlook has its origin with the interaction of indigenous peoples with European traders and Libian immigrants.

Antipodea

Antipodea

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The continent of Antipodea consists of the land masses which sit on Antipodea's continental plate. This includes mainland Antipodea, Trowenna, and the island and nation of Papua. It is the smallest of the seven traditional continents. The continent includes a continental shelf overlain by shallow seas which divide it into several landmasses. When sea levels were lower during the Pleistocene ice age, including the Last Glacial Maximum, they were connected by dry land. During the past 10,000 years, rising sea levels overflowed the lowlands and separated the continent into today's low-lying arid to semi-arid mainland and the two mountainous islands of Papua and Trowenna. The Antipodean continent, being part of the Indo-Antipodean plate, is the lowest, flattest, and oldest landmass on Earth and it has had a relatively stable geological history. Aotearoa and the rest of Polynesia, as well as Melanesia, are considered part of the continent of Antipodea (though not the geological continent). Papua, a country within the continent, is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse countries in the world. It is also one of the most rural, as only 18 percent of its people live in urban centres. The first settlers of Antipodea, Papua, and the large islands just to the east arrived between 50,000 and 30,000 years ago.

Australia

ModernAustraliaTC.png

Australia is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,200,000 square kilometres (5,500,000 square miles), it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of Antipodea. At 0.00008 people per square kilometre, it is by far the least densely populated continent. About 98% of Australia is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km (1.2 mi; 6,200 ft) in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Australic Peninsula. Australia, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Most of Australia is a polar desert, yet 80% of the world freshwater reserves are stored there. The temperature in Australia has reached −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) (or even −94.7 °C (−135.8 °F), though the average for the third quarter (the coldest part of the year) is −63 °C (−81 °F). Anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at research stations scattered across the continent. Australia is noted as the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered, unseen until 2570 when a Scandian expedition sighted the Fimbul ice shelf. The continent, however, remained largely neglected for the rest of the century because of its hostile environment, lack of easily accessible resources, and isolation. In 2646, the first confirmed landing was conducted by a team of Scandians. Australia is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Australic Treaty System that have consulting status - a similar situation as the Moon. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations.

Entertainment

Roman Television & Cinema

Literature

Narcissiaid Teg, Egalitariaid Diwysyk: An Romanek hag Gonisogeth

Film

Cleopatra

A Tale of Fire and Stars

Valeria

Television

Video Games

Super Mariu

Din: The Sacred Realm

Nations of Interest

Romania

Roman Republic - Information and History of Romania
Roman History - History of Romania
Romans - People of Romania
Roman Language - Language of Romania
Roman Symbols - Flags and Emblems of Romania
Roman Sports - Sport in Romania
Roman Dioceses

Romania is among the leading countries of the world and once held the status of preeminent power, alongside Sina, from about 2200 until 2700. A financial and cultural powerhouse and possessing what is considered the world's most powerful army, Romania retains a position of global influence. Romania is among the leaders in technological development and in higher learning, with a great degree of ability in space sciences, mathematics, computer sciences, neurosciences, and physics. One of the world's largest economies, Romania is a leading player on the global stage and is often thought of as among the leading players, though despite this it is increasingly seen as a twilight-power, beginning to be eclipsed internationally as it slowly lags behind in many areas. No longer the hegemonic force in the world, Romans continue to determine if a collaborative position is the way ahead or if they should attempt to regain a globally dominating position and return to the more glorious days once held for five hundred years.

Cambria

Cambria
Cambrian Language - Language of Cambria

Cambria was the world's first industrialised country and has remained among the foremost powers since the dawn of the Fifth Age. With considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally, Cambria is one of the world's most powerful states. Cambria is often considered to have the most powerful navy in the world (along with Sina) and has the most formidable airforce. It is the leading financial center of the world and Cambrian political and economic philosophy has reigned supreme across the globe for centuries, with commercism’s home often considered Lundein, the chief financial and institutional city on the planet. Cambria is also the world leader in higher learning with its Universities the most sought after. Cambria is believed to be the nation whom Romania has involuntarily passed the torch to as hegemonic world power, alongside Sina. The Cambro-Roman friendship is therefore both close as well as rival-esque.

Sina

Sina
Sinaean Symbols - Flags and Emblems of Sina

Sina is perhaps the most powerful nation on earth, when examined in terms of economic and military might as well as influence and duration. The World Duo, or Golden Duo, has long been the description of Sina and Romania, with Sina playing this role alongside its longtime ally. Sina is particularly known as owning one of the most powerful naval forces, considered by some to be the most powerful, globally and being among the top educationally and technologically. Sina is an invention powerhouse and a manufacturing powerhouse - the world's leading, with a manufacturing and thus trading capability unmatched by any other nation. Made in Sina has earned a mark of respect for not only quality but quantity, an aspect found nowhere else. Among the most populous countries, Sina faces on-going population issues and also contends with its growing role as the likely sole-hegemonic power in the world, a solitary Super Power, with Sinaean people trying to determine what this means for them. Despite having held its position for a long time, Sina does not appear to be on the decline and, in fact, appears to be continuously rising, perhaps the globe's longest running powerful state.

Persia

Persia
Persian Symbols - Flags and Emblems of Persia

Persia has long been an oil powerhouse, the leading producer and exporter of the substance and subsequently quite rich. Persia has high standards of living and civil rights in the green as well. A center for technology, Persia is specifically proficient in robotics, aerospace, and biomedical sciences as the top ranker in all three. Scrutinized for its political system known as Interventionism, Persia has a penchant for favoring government intervention in market processes to impact the economy and in the political sphere to prevent dissension or radical diversion from government plans. This has led to a two-faction system in Persia that many abroad argue is a single faction split into two, where no other political faction is able to gain much ground. Despite these accusations, Persia has retained a high degree of political autonomy internally and the rights of Persians are on par with much of the developed world. Persia and Romania are long-standing rivals and many global actions by each are sometimes seen as attempted foils against one another, to the potential detriment of global cooperation.

Azania

Azania

Azania is a technology, trade, and global rights powerhouse, one of the most advanced states in the world, and the leader in microchip production and medical sciences. Azania is among the leaders in in aeronautics and aircraft manufacture. The economic framework of the country is decentralized and self-managed in autonomous economic units; public services such as healthcare and education are collectively owned. A universal public health system paid largely from taxation, the entire population has equal access to health care services and one of the highest life expectancy rates globally. Azania has among the highest standards of living globally and is considered the bastion of liberty for many, often found as a champion of human rights internationally and the leader in aid. Consistently ranked as among the least corrupt states and the happiest, Azania has a remarkable standard of living. The country has largely avoided international conflict, being semi-isolationist, and avoiding touchy alliances, though remains a player on the international stage, particularly for human rights. The nation has one of the highest literacy rates on the planet and among the top education institutions with an eleven year free, compulsory cycle of primary and secondary education.

Ganonsia

Ganonsia

Ganonsia is a country in northeastern Hesperia with a confederal and decentralized government, considered by many to be the forebears of the political philosophy Equalitarianism. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. Ganonsia's long relationship with Europe has had a significant impact on its economy and culture and it is considered by many to be among the most connected globally of the Hesperian nations. A highly developed country, Ganonsia has the sixth-highest nominal per-capita income globally and among the highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the sixth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Ganonsia is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings and has long been the principal (peaceful) in-road into Hesperia for European powers, and the most prominent go-to for access to Europe for Hesperian powers. Ganonsia's staying power has been the result of its deft navigation of international politics from its earliest days, with a long-term and enduring alliance with Cambria seeing both nations through difficult times. Onondaga is a world-class city and among the top five major cities of the world, as a significant trade and business center.

Tataria

Federal Republic of Tataria - Information and History of Tataria
Tatars - People of Tataria
Tatar - Language of Tataria
Tatar Symbols - Flags and Emblems of Tataria

A transcontinental country, a portion of Tataria is in Eastern Europe and a portion in Northern Asia, divided by the Ural Mountains. As its geography suggests, Tatar history has been divided between the two spheres of Europe and Asia and this has been a boon and a bane for the country. The very strategic position of Volga Tataria allowed it to create a monopoly between the trade of Arabs, Norse and Avars, founding a strong Kingdom in the 15th century AUC atop Mari lands. The waning of the overland trade between Asia and Europe resulted in Tataria getting left behind - its once preeminent position, before, during, and after its absorption into the Mongol Empire - having lapsed. The 2400s brought about a return of Tatar power, with over a century of dominance and preeminent position, only to see it submerge into Mongolia once again in the 2650s after a series of devastating internal and external conflicts, setting the stages for global conflict. Post-War Tataria has become an oil and coal powerhouse with a dominant petrochemical focus, bringing about widespread development and trade power of a new type, reminiscent of its old glory days. Tataria excels in aviation development and is the leading helicopter producer and designer and has a large and sophisticated arms industry, capable of designing and manufacturing high-tech military equipment. A move from GOLA to the Central Treaty Alliance in 2767 caused mild alarm and frustration on the global scene, particularly in GOLA countries. Tataria remains a prominent player in North and Central Asian and Eastern European politics while also barely holding onto a more influential global position, which nearly eludes the republic.

Conflicts of Note

Modern Wars

  • The Great Global War (2536-2586)

Early Modern Wars

Post-Classical Wars

  • Third Sacred War (1999)
  • Second Sacred War (1936-1938)
  • First Sacred War (1663-1665)

Individuals of Note

Constantine the Impious

Julian the Philosopher

Brief History

Julian Parthicus

(This is an excerpt of this Alternate Timeline's history, focusing on the most overt initial Point-of-Divergence - 363 CE to 373 CE. This highlights the victory of Julian in Persia and his death in Armenia. More detailed history can be gleaned from the many pages within Terra Cognita.)

The provided information is composed of excerpts from historian and author Arthyen Columan’s following books: Himnu Ad Roma: A History of Romania.

Various additional sources of history found throughout the timeline's wiki include: A Concise History of Romania; Pirate Kings; Cup of Solid Gold: A History of Sina; Libia: Womb of the World. Additional excerpts from historian Eledh Eseld Nanscoll’s following works: Looking East, A Brief History of Asia; Looking West, A Brief History of Hesperia; Looking North, A Brief History of Europe; Looking South, A Brief History of Libia; Kingdom of Light: A History of Azania.

Translations from the original Cambrian provided by me, with excerpts arranged chronologically and highlighted on events that will interest the reader due to counter factual events.

A note on translation, transliteration, and the non-existence of English: English, as we know it, is a non-existent language in this world, this dimension, this universe. The Angles, though invading Britannia with the Saxons, Frisians, and Jutes were only half successful. Ultimately, the invading Germanic were defeated by a Romano-Briton coalition reinforced by Syagrius and a mass of refugees from the continent. Though allowed to settle along the eastern portion of Britannia, their power was broken and they never came to dominate, becoming a fringe cultural region where their language lingers today, on the edges and getting close to forgotten. Instead, a dialect of the Britons from the southwest corner of the island came to be the lingua-franca of what is called Cambria. The two primary sources I use to explore, explain, and translate from are Cambrian and Roman. I will subsequently use the best English-language equivalent for names and locations when available or develop one that seems like the most plausible English-language version when such a thing does not exist in parallel from our universe.

I have chosen to begin our study of history at what, in this alternate world, is considered to be the Late Second Era, also known as the Late Classical Era. My choice is based on items of importance to counterfactual readers and so our travels begin here. This period, though perhaps a great many little things predated it that edged this world in this direction or that, it appears to me is important in that the victory of Julian in Persia heralded a large divergence from our own timeline.

So it is here that I will place excerpts from Mr. Columan's books and Ms. Nanscoll's as well, translated from Cambrian into our world's English.

Julian the Philosopher

☀Julian has long been held in a great dichotomous view: on high in the Hellene West as a genius and one of the greatest emperors produced by Rome. In the Christian East, a villain and the original source of the splintering of a once mighty Empire (though perhaps ironically an empire despised by many of these same writers as imperial Latin oppression). Our world view, supported by the distance of time and an increase in secular thought, has allowed us a more nuanced view of Julian the Philosopher, less tethered by Christian antipathy or Hellene laurels.

Julian the Philosopher

We could examine the more positive fulcrum of Julian’s success. This route, however, has been gone down in the West, the Hellene world, since the Emperor first rose to power. It therefore seems a fairly redundant avenue to travel. I will say that I am not against Julian the Philosopher and that my intent is not to be controversial and swim against the accepted current of history, rather I prefer to see him as the complex character from the past that he was, just like all of the other rulers of all of the realms of the world. I will certainly and without qualms say that Julian is to be ranked among the top rulers of the Roman Empire, though I will not venture to rank him in the top three as has so often been done in the west. He had faults but he was also stocked full of positives. Julian’s revenue reforms were an undeniable boon to Romania and his tax system aided to realm from his time onward. His martial prowess and successes are laudable and undeniable as well. One can also delve into him as a thinking man and the examine his immense popularity, during his life and after, to the Romans.

Julian was, however, with many faults which we heirs of the West may highlight through this new understanding of history. His reformation of the old Greco-Roman tradition into an organized Henotheist religion, Hellenism, might be, with just reasoning, a principal source of the undoing of the Roman Empire and what would lead to a rift between West and East that became permanent. With whimsy, we can speculate that had Julian perhaps embraced Christianity the whole of the Roman realm, from Hispania to Anatolia, may have remained intact to this very day. Christianity is estimated to have constituted approximately 10% of the populace of the Roman Empire by AUC 1053, with a bulk located in the Eastern and southern parts of the empire. The growth in numbers, however, was significant and these numbers coupled with the overt influence the religion had on the Hellenistic Reformation and the ultimate dominance of Christianity in the east suggest a plausible scenario of being fully embraced in the West. It may seem fancy to say that now and we do know that Hellenism, or rather the old Hellene Traditional belief, was still prevalent in the Western Roman world which makes it seem inevitable that Christianity would never truly take hold there. But I believe, and history suggests, that Christianity was taking hold regardless and, without Julian’s interference, may have spread just as it had in the east. The rift caused from the fallout of the Hellenic reformation also planted the seeds of the endless-to-come Wars of Religion with all the myriad zealotry and carnage wrought by all sides that would not only include the Hellenes and Christians, but Zoroastrians, Muslims, Jews, Manichaeans, and others. Additionally, Julian seemed to tilt from popular to mockery throughout his reign, despite rose-colored reviews from later generations of the inhabitants of Romania - likely colored so by the successive eyes of devout Hellenes as that religion solidified and dominated. His successor, Procopius, wisely removed animal sacrifice from the reformed Hellenism, a practice Julian favored but which was outdated and viewed unfavorably by most Romans; rightly called an ‘animal holocaust’ by historian Elestren Marghek. It is through glimpses such as this that we might rightly see Julian as human and fallible with his success sometimes teetering on a precipice of disaster or success – the latter of which he ultimately fell into. History is nothing if not chance and whimsy!

The Roman-Sassanian War

By mid-May AUC 1116 the Roman army had come to the outskirts of the Persian capital, Ctesiphon. It was here that Julian unloaded his fleet and ferried his men across the Tigris under cover of darkness. The stunning tactical victory won by the Romans, with a loss of 70 men to the Persian 2,500, was complicated by a lack of siege equipment in which to take, by force, Ctesiphon. The headache was alleviated by the fortuitously arrival of Procopius, which allowed the Roman emperor the completion of his desired pincer to snare the approaching Shapur II in a vice.

Europe and Western Asia on the eve of Julian's invasion of Persia, AUC 1115

The battle beneath Ctesiphon did not end as decisively for the Romans as had the previous engagement. The losses to both sides were stunning and, after the dust had settled, Shapur II lay dead at the hands of Julian himself, so recorded history from the victors claim. The death of the King of Kings compelled the Persian city to open its gates to the new Roman conqueror and by days end Julian had gained the city and the honorific of Parthicus. Ctesiphon’s resistance had fallen.

The Romans installed Hormisdas, exiled brother-in-law of Shapur, as the new Persian King and annexed all the land west of the Tigris to, and including, Armenia (previously a joint venture between the Romans and Persians, now fully Roman), Ardhania, and Hiberia – all now Roman Provinces.

Julian became the first, and last, Roman emperor to sail the Persian Gulf as the Roman’s mopped up the last resistance led by Ardashir II, self-proclaimed King of Kings and rival to the Roman appointed Hormisdas. Ardashir’s death in the Autumn of AUC 1116, at the hands of his own Persian nobles, ended the campaign on a whimper though decidedly.

Eurasia after Julian's victory over Persia, AUC 1116

Trouble brewed for Julian on his return home. The population of Antioch, which had ridiculed the emperor on his journey east to fight Shapur, followed up with more and amplified protests on Julian’s return. Julian had left the city with as a broken relationship, in no small words declaring that, aside from his return journey westward, he would never visit the city again. The royal break with Antioch had a devastating impact on the psyche of the city and loomed with potential economic fallout. His victory in the east had done little to impress the citizens of this ancient city who, perhaps justly, felt that their religion was under attack by the emperor. Julian would hold to his promise and strip Antioch of its regional capital status, replacing it with his beloved Tarsus, a city noted for its Greco-Roman religious adherence. It would take not be until the splintering of the Empire into two that Antioch would regain that status and the subsequent financial boon that goes with. The divorce between Emperor and City was painful.

The Armenian Revolt

Julian was forced to change direction after the Alamannic campaigns were wrapped up. In 1125, the rebellion of Papas of Armenia, self-proclaimed King of Armenia, broke out in the eastern provinces. This rebellion was driven by the continued religious unrest among the Eastern Romans. Julian pursued Papas through Armenia, eventually besieging him in a fortress in Van. Unbeknownst to Julian, Papas was fleeing to rendezvous with the remainder of his army. The Romans and Armenians engaged in a massive battle on 10 July 1126. The battle lasted days, but in the end, the Romans were worn down to nothing and Julian was killed by a spear thrust from a heavily armored horseman, who lost his head as a result via one of Julian's bodyguards. The emperor-killer was thus to remain unknown, dead on the battlefield for his heroics. Julian’s body was hurried back to camp where he waxed about poetry and officially announced Procopius as his successor - Julian had spent the years since his return from Persia grooming his cousin for just such a purpose, despite the emperor’s self-declared disdain for nepotism. Julian was given a full state funeral in Rome and buried in Athens. His death, like his life, divided the empire. The West mourned while the East celebrated and prepared.

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Disclaimer

Counterfactuals, that is Alternate History, can be fraught with issues and controversy. Tending to any of the world's cultures in any fashion can invite critique and problem. I attempt to bring the world of Terra Cognita into a reality with dirt and grime, just as our world has, and therefore there will be unsavory characters and events. These are things I in no way support or desire. Terra Cognita is not meant to be a utopia, not meant to be my 'ideal world', but rather a different reality with scars and bumps along the way. Stereotypes are held and exist in TC and these, just as in our world, are fraught with errors and misconceptions and lacking the nuances that real people and cultures have. I in no way support the borders or cultural take-overs that may be found in Terra Cognita nor all the beliefs, platforms, ideologies, cultural views, etc. Along those same lines I disavow racism, sexism, discrimination (be it of religion, identity, sexual orientation, and so on), stereotypes, and prejudices of all kinds.

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