Alternative History

Timeline 53.

53 B.C.-The Roman Army under Crassus defeats the Parthians under Surena at Carrhae, through use of Syrian cavalry. Rome is thus able to subjugate the Parthians within the year and begins to move eastward, in a mimicry of Alexander the Great.

52 B.C.-The Gauls under Vercingetorix defeat the Roman Army under Julius Caesar at Alesia, killing Caesar and effectively ending Roman designs upon Gaul and Allemania. As a result, Crassus takes control of the Triumvirate and, after defeating Pompey, becomes Dictator, ushering in a new, fascist Roman state based upon the hereditary line of Dictators (the House of Crassus). Rome thus becomes an empire and turns its expansionist views to Egypt and the Near East. Gaul and Allemania, on the other hand, are loosely united by Vercingetorix and his descendants and gradually shaped into the Gallic Alliance, which has its borders at the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Vistula, the Dniester, and incorporates southern Hordaland and Gotaland.

50 B.C.-200 A.D. Rome expands into the Near East, moving as far east as the Indus River, as far north as the Oxus River, and as far south as the Third Cataract. Further attempts to conquer Gaul in the 2 B.C.-45 A.D. Gallic Wars end in Roman defeat with Gallic alliances with Sarmatian khanates, eventually incorporating them, and the Gallic Alliance extends to the Dnieper by 200.

33: The Roman governor of Judea, Maximus Strabo, is presented with the dilemma of executing one of two Jewish radicals: Barabbas of Jerusalem, or Jesus of Nazareth. As Barabbas represents the more militant threat to his administration, Strabo has him executed by crucifixion, setting the stage for a militant, bellicose sect of Judaism to spring up in Barabbas’ name across the western portion of the empire. Meanwhile, seeing his sparing as a sign of mercy from God, Jesus continues to preach his gospel throughout the eastern portions of the empire; here he encounters Buddhism, and merges Judaism and Buddhism to create Christianity, which becomes popular in the eastern empire.

316-In response to the increasing hostility between the Barabbites and Christians, the Empire divides the nation into two segments: West Rome, which includes all territories west of Byzantium, and East Rome, which comprises all territories east of Byzantium. East Rome establishes its capital at Jerusalem, while West Rome keeps dominion over Rome itself. The two empires, while nominally joined under the rule of the Emperor (Aurelius Diocletianus), are for the most part independent states, and border wars become frequent as religious tensions build.

377-An attempt by East Rome to invade the Gallic state of Carpathia via Dacia ends in Roman defeat at the hands of Alaric I at Timisorium. Consequently, West Rome and the Gallic Alliance form the Pact Germanicus, which allies both nations against East Rome. The fighting comes to a standstill at the Bosporus and ends in 382, keeping borders status quo antebellum but creating a deep divide between the two Romes.

432-After years of migration through Asia, the Huns arrive at the borders of the Gallic Empire, crushing a Gallic force under Theodoric II at Volen. Fearful of possible Hunnic penetration into their own lands, West Rome agrees to renew the Pact Germanicus and declares war on the Huns. However, seeing a chance to obtain an edge over their western rivals, East Rome allies with the Huns, and thus bogs West Rome down fighting in the Balkans.

November 9, 433-An allied Hun/East Roman force annihilates a Pact army at Leordeni, and proceeds to march on Vindobona.

November 433-March 434-The Huns and East Romans besiege Vindobona. However, as this happens, a Gallic force, largely comprised of Geats and Varangians moves into Dacia and in January 434 crushes the Hunnic/Roman rear guard at Dinogetia, cutting the besiegers off from their supply line. The Gallic army consequently marches to relieve Vindobona, and does so on March 2, 434. The combined Pact army now marches on Byzantium, and the fighting again grinds to a standstill.

435-The Huns and East Romans sign a treaty with the West Romans and Gauls, expanding the reach of the Gallic alliance to the Don River and forcing the Huns to seek asylum in East Rome. Consequently, East Rome declares itself the Empire of Jerusalem, eschewing all ties with Rome, and, following a brief war with the Gupta Empire, grants territory along the Indus to the Huns, which the Huns use as a springboard for actions against the Guptas.

435-501-The Huns and Guptas fight a series of wars over the Punjab, Pradesh, and Delhi. The wars end with the Hunnic conquest of Delhi in 501 and subsequent establishment of borders with the Gupta at the Yamuna River.

435-558-The Pax Postbellum, an uneasy peace following the Hunnic War, occurs in Europe, as the three main empires maintain a tenuous tranquility over the region.

557-The Avars arrive in Jerusalite territory near Astracium; the resulting Battle of Astracium ends in a decisive Jerusalite victory, and results in the splitting of the Avars, with one group incorporated into the Jerusalite empire and one group marching northwest to the Gallic states

565-The Avars arrive in the Gallic state of Lusatia; despite initial victories in skirmishes they are decisively defeated at Wolin in October, with the surviving men executed and the surviving women and children forcibly integrated into Gallic society. The Avars thus cease to be as an ethnic or political group.

576-Spurred on by Gallic settlement from the south and encouraged by initial Avar successes against the Gauls, Nordic warriors begin to wage war on the Gallic state of Gotaland, leading to the defeat of a Gallic army at Trondheim by a Norse/Lappish army under Althaz in August 576. Seeking to maintain control over the verdant areas of southern Scandinavia, the Geats bring heind them the force of the Alliance, which attempts to revive the Pact Germanicus; however, the Romans, preoccupied with the Succession Crisis and War of Imperial Succession, extricate themselves from the deal, forcing the Gauls to send their own forces in and fight the Nords themselves.

576-581- The Nordic Wars occur, which consist of heavy fighting between the Gauls and the Nords, culminating in a gradual Gallic advance which eventually pacifies most Nordic lands by 581 with the Norse defeat at the Battle of Stokheim. The Gauls now turn their attention to border wars with Finnmark, the Slavic Khanates around Viborg, and the Khaganates of the Volga Bulgars (the rest having joined the Gallic Alliance)

576-the last Dictator of the House of Crassus (Gaius Pontificus X) dies, leaving open the seat of Dictator of the Two Empires; both the Romans and Jerusalites tout their own candidates for the throne, with each side claiming that theirs is closer in blood and thus that they have the right to rule over the other side’s lands. This results in the War of Imperial Succession breaking out in August, with the Romans and Jerusalites allegedly fighting over the throne but in reality simply waging war for the other’s lands.

October 30, 576-The Battle of Varna results in a Jerusalite victory over an overwhelming Roman force; the Jerusalite army is thus able to divide itself in half, with one force moving down the Balkans towards Athens and the other proceeding up the Danube.

December 1, 576-Athens falls to the Jerusalites with the aid of the Jerusalite navy, and the Jerusalite army marches on Sparta.

December 2, 576-The Jerusalite Army of the Danube fights a fierce battle with the Romans at Nova Siena; although the Jerusalites are victorious, native resistance, coupled with disease, loss of supply lines, and massive casualties force the Army of the Danube to withdraw to Belgardium.

December 576-June 577-The Romans besiege the Jerusalites at Belgardium.

March 8, 577-After months of heavy fighting, the Jerusalites capture Sparta, again aided by their navy. Though the Army of Hellas is exhausted, they are forced to, with the navy’s aid, sail to Latium in order to assault Rome and force the hand of the Romans.

March 31, 577-The Jerusalites land in Latium and capture Taras, and begin their advance towards Rome itself.

April 18, 577-The Jerusalite army is crushed attempting to capture Neapolis; they thus retreat to Taras and, like their comrades in the north, prepare for a long siege.

May 3, 577-The Jerusalite navy wins a decisive victory over the Roman fleet at Messina, allowing them to resupply their forces at Taras.

June 577-The Siege of Belgardium ends with the capitulation of the garrison; with no current Jerusalite threat to the north, the Romans send a large portion of their army south to recapture Taras.

August 11-14, 577-The Battle of Taras culminates in the city’s fall to Roman soldiers; much of the garrison escapes by sea, however, and returns to Sparta, fortifying for what the Jerusalites feel is an imminent Roman assault.

September 25, 577-In defiance of what the Jerusalites expected, a massive Roman force (complemented by Gallic mercenaries) assaults and captures the relatively undefended Byzantium. Consequently, the Jerusalite garrisons at Sparta and Varna are cut off from the rest of the Jerusalite empire, prompting a massive response. Three days later, Roman forces lay siege to Sparta from the sea, and five days after that a Roman army besieges Varna.

October 577-In response to pressure from Jerusalem, the Huns enter the war in opposition to Rome. As a consequence, by the beginning of 578, Byzantium has been retaken, Sparta and Varna have been relieved, and a combined Roman force defeated decisively at Trieste on January 25.

February 578-The Jerualites and Huns launch a two-pronged attack on Rome, with the might Jerusalite navy sailing through the Sicilian straits (capturing Messina along the way) and heading for the Tiber, and the Hunnic/Jerusalite army marching into the peninsula from the north.

February 28, 578-The Alliance army defeats a Roman army at Venecia, and moves from there across Latium to Rome. Five days later, the Jerusalite navy reaches the mouth of the Tiber, and, though slowed by the narrowness of the river, proceeds east to Rome.

March 17, 578-After much careful planning, the two forces of Jerusalem converge on the city of Rome itself. In the resulting Battle of Rome, both sides fight each other to a standstill, and a long siege begins.

August 3, 578-After nearly five months of siege, a massive Roman army from Iberia and Africa arrives outside of Rome; the resulting battle ends in a further stalemate, with Rome relieved but unable to dislodge the invaders. At the same time, a Roman-Berber force in Africa makes a surprise attack upon and captures Alexandria, putting them in a position to strike at Jerusalem.

September 8, 578-The elite Ordo Bellum, the guard of Jerusalem itself, assaults and slaughters the Roman army in Alexandria, removing the threat to Jerusalem. When word of this (as well as of the new Jerusalite-Berber army now marching on Cyrene) reaches Rome two weeks later, the Romans decide to open negotiations, and on September 22 arrange a ceasefire with the Jerusalites.

October 9, 578-The Treaty of Massilia officially ends the War of Imperial Succession; as a compromise between the two nations, the House of Crassus is officially disbanded (replaced by the House of Antoninus in Jerusalem and with a Jerusalem-backed leader in Rome) and Jerusalem awarded all territories in Africa west to Cyrene and in Europe south of the Danube and west to Trieste. In addition to their new Jerusalem-backed ruler, the Romans are also forced to pay war reparations to Jerusalem, and are prevented from building or using a military (in much the same way as Carthage was forced seven centuries prior). As a result, Rome languishes as a state while Jerusalem and the Empire of the Huns grow stronger.

579-582-the Second Hun-Gupta War occurs, culminating in a massive Hunnic victory at Varanasi and the Guptas almost entirely subjugated by the Huns (with its southern territories occupied by various Dravidian states).

600-the Sui empire makes itself known to the Huns and Jerusalites during its expansion into Tibet and the Pamirs; having just fought a massive war against the Goguryeo in Korea, the Sui are in no mood to test the Jerusalites, still exhausted from the War of Imperial Succession, and thus the two nations mutually establish a border at the Pamirs/Tian Shen.

619-The Huns and Sui sign an alliance declaring war on Tibet, and make a joint invasion of the nation. Despite initial successes, the mountainous environment of Tibet is alien to both sides, and a decisive victory by the Tibetans at Lhasa in December effectively ends the war, along with any real attempt to invade Tibet for several centuries.

18 April, 621-The Battle of Bishkek occurs as Jerusalite and Sui forces clash over the city, a strategic point in the mountains. The battle ends with both sides withdrawing from the field, and the two nations decide not to press war any further, agreeing to a pact which maintains peace in the region.

624-Internal strife emerges in Jerusalem as Arab tribes under Muhammad revolt against the Jerusalite garrison at Bakorium. The so-called Mohammedan Heresy quickly spreads across Arabia and prompts the Jerusalites to send in an army to put it down.

625-The Mohammedan Heresy is crushed and remaining believers prosecuted, thus finishing the heresy once and for all and preventing new heresies from arising in Jerusalem for several centuries.