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Old January 12th, 2017, 01:19 AM   #11

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Carthage would rule the ancient world. All diseases, animals and plants would have phoenician names. Many european languages would be based on vulgar semitic language. There would be no anti-semitism at least would mean completely different thing.
In general history would be same. The representatives of the right Sinagogues would slaughter, burn and forcerly convert representatives of wrong Sinagogues for centures.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 11:31 AM   #12

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Another city state in central Italy could have dominated the ancient world. In that sense the world today would look about the same.

Maybe, if the Greeks weren't conquered their civilization would continue to develop continuously (ancient technology peaked around 150 BC which was the time when the Romans took over) and the level of technology we have today would be reached much earlier like by 750 AD or something.

Although the world would become so different that we would be looking at something really weird: our modern world characterized by very fast technological progress is a product that of the decline and fall of Rome: the reason is that world population increased while civilization declined since the level of civilization attained by the Greeks around 150 BC was incredibly advanced and the world had about 200 million people only in 1850 AD the world had over 1 billion people but it's level of tech was not much more advanced except at North Western Europe. The extremely fast progress we made since 1850 was a product of this extreme potential that was held back for 2 thousand years, now, the economies of developed countries are as of now relatively stagnating because we have achieved that potential already.
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Old January 13th, 2017, 07:07 PM   #13
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If Rome never rises, Early on the Mediterranean is dominated by Carthage and Greeks. Genghis Khan sweeps in taking Europe since it consists mainly of tribal kingdoms which didn't grow into empires. After the dust settles and widespread revolts tear the Mongolian Empire apart in Europe, it's still divided and relatively un-advanced. Carthage still dominates much of the Mediterranean to this day. America isn't invaded by Europeans. Instead trade is established by Saxons. Who after realizing raiding isn't profitable use their sailing skills to become the "Venetians" of the northern seas. The native tribes in America develop metal working, thanks to the Saxons. And build their own empires which last to this day as world powers, alongside China, Carthage, India, And Mongolia which consists of modern day Russia and pushes down to the border of Afghanistan.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 07:58 PM   #14

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Originally Posted by Frederick II View Post
If Rome never rises, Early on the Mediterranean is dominated by Carthage and Greeks. Genghis Khan sweeps in taking Europe since it consists mainly of tribal kingdoms which didn't grow into empires. After the dust settles and widespread revolts tear the Mongolian Empire apart in Europe, it's still divided and relatively un-advanced. Carthage still dominates much of the Mediterranean to this day. America isn't invaded by Europeans. Instead trade is established by Saxons. Who after realizing raiding isn't profitable use their sailing skills to become the "Venetians" of the northern seas. The native tribes in America develop metal working, thanks to the Saxons. And build their own empires which last to this day as world powers, alongside China, Carthage, India, And Mongolia which consists of modern day Russia and pushes down to the border of Afghanistan.
they had it. most peoples around the world had it long before Europeans.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 09:29 PM   #15
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Christianity probably wouldn't be able to spread, if it would even exist.
I agree and have always said that there is no way Christianity today would enjoy even half of its global reach had emporer Constantine not had that vision of a cross in the sky before his victory in the battle at Milvan Bridge.

As the legend goes, the vision was of a Christian cross with the words Conquer Under This below it. This ad I recall happened in the early 4th century.

So...Constantine's troops kick butt, and he's deluded into believing that the Christian God was behind it all. He then ceases all current persecution of Christians and declares that religion...Then little more than a radical sect of Judaism...To be the official religion of the Roman Empire. Wow.

Christianity......Right place, right time. Simple as that. It was foisted upon the coattails of a dominating empire and grew like a virus.

Pity, that.

Last edited by Yossarian; January 17th, 2017 at 09:33 PM.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 11:20 PM   #16

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- Roman model - social tensions overflow into conquest. When conquest stops, splintering
- Post Roman Christian Model - feudalism, military state, submissive peasantry kept down by that opiate called the Church

Neither of these would have existed, meaning other forces might have occupied their vacuum.

- Tribal Kingdoms - based on immense tensions, but unlike Rome, transient. Die with their Kings
- Carthaginian model of expansion - trade, defined classes (thus far more submission and natural unity than in Rome), no experience with rapid assimilation. Some vassalization (as demonstrated by Hannibal and his father in Spain)
- Greek model of expansion - Colonization... that's about it, and only coastal
- Macedonian model of expansion - conquer with state of the art military methods and assume the traditions of the locals. Manage tensions by keeping the locals submissive and a greek ruling class in place to man the military. Natural "limit" to these empires as there are never enough Greek settlers
- Persian model - Sassania embodied the later Persian tribal/urban fusion with highly personal governance by the King. Possibility to loosely control a large amount of land
- Later Turko-Mongol empires - syncretic, based on rapid tactics, vassal states, extortion, frequent civil wars
- Early Turkic empires (Huns, Magyars) - function basically like tribal Kingdoms on horseback, collapse quickly if not "civilized" like the Magyars were.
- Existing Kingdoms - Dacia, Illyria, etc. - non-systematic, unable to absorb large amounts of territory

If Rome had never been, the civilizations around it would have had an easier time expanding. Pyrrhus, aspiring to build an Alexandrian Empire in the West, would have easily rolled over the Etruscans and Gauls, then repressed Sicily and held back the inferior armies of Carthage (though probably not defeated them), creating a fourth major Diadochi Kingdom, and perhaps one to absorb Northern Greece and Macedon.

Carthage would have continued trading and become one of the most powerful and prosperous trade empires in history, with no conceivable threats. They would eventually get around to exploitation Hannibal style using vassal tribes, and enforce hegemony over a huge portion of Spain and Gaul.

Persia (I'm liberally lumping the Parthians with the Sassanids) would exist just like it did, and gradually exhaust the Diadochi, especially the Seleucids and Ptolemaics, which would not have had the Roman ability to replace their losses due to smaller Greek populations. Various Persian dynasties would once again rule the entire fertile crescent.

The Islamic invasions wouldn't have happened. There is a possibility that they are exactly timed with a Persian royal feud or civil war, but without a draining conflict with the Eastern Romans, an Islamic conquest succeeding seems unlikely.

Israel would have seem some periods of independence as the Diadochi weakened, then inclusion in Persia probably as a loose vassal, as was Persia's style. Needless to say the Jewish exodus would have never happened.

The Persian Zoroastrian and Manichean religions would be huge creeds, and the latter would spread into the master morality society of the Greeks. If the Pyrrhic and Ptolemaic dynasties would establish any state religion at all, it would have been Manicheanism, while in Persia, Zoroastrianism as a state religion probably would have prevailed.

Everything would change come advances in cavalry warfare and thus the first Turko-Mongol empires.

The Huns would have swept with ease across the East and ravaged Carthage, disunited Greek colonies (perhaps vassals by this point), and the Macedonians.

I'm not going to count Genghis as a historical certainty - he was a determined man who perfected the Turko-Mongol art of war, but really he could have "spawned" anywhere on the steppe. But it's inevitable that a Turko-Mongol Khanate sweeps across Persia eventually, probably in a moment of weakness, and establishes Turkic dynasties mirroring the Zengids, Seljuks, Chinghizids, and Timurids, in cycles of invasion against one another.

Zoroastrianism, always an elite religion, would not have appealed to the newcomers who would probably have converted to Manicheanism, a much more mass religion.

They absolutely ravage the Carthaginians in Europe and what's left of European Macedonia, and the Greco-Egyptians if they're still around.

By the time of gunpowder and the decline of mass cavalry, uprisings would have liberated Persia from the Turks and spawned an Ottoman-like entity in Egypt or Greece, the former heartlands of other "civilized" people who the Turks could absorb the governing traditions of, not unlike how the Ottomans and Safavid Azeris absorbed Byzantium and Persia to become civilized military machines.

By the time of gunpowder, Carthage has probably broken up into dozens of small trading cities like Italy, as gunpowder and the galleys of the middle ages make it very possible for small cities to assert independence.

The Ottoman-like entity in formerly Greek Anatolia would unite much of Europe, the Levant, and Africa under its rule, while the Safavid-like power would unite the Iranian plateau, and probably invade India a couple times like the Persians did historically. Both would be Manichean.

Tldr: Ottomans have no opposition. Carthage fragments. Macedonian empires limp along without ability to replace their Greek population. Persia briefly experiences a period of dominance before being conquered by the Turko-Mongols. Manicheanism is universal except in the far East.

Major historical pivots and whether they still happen

Rise of Universal Empire - NO: Alexandrid Kingdoms just didn't have the capacity to assimilate people like Rome. The Diadochi kept the locals down and the Greeks few. It was impossible to replenish losses if anything went wrong, and something always goes wrong eventually.

Rise of Christianity - NO: The creation of Christianity is interwoven with Roman history, and the unique conditions of Mediterranean trade under Rome, and the social tensions in Rome, made it strong. Without the "society of contradictions" that Rome was - a terrible place to live for the poor - Manicheanism, a "soldier's religion" would have been much more popular among the militaristic Hellenic empires, Tribal Kingdoms, and Turkic conquerors.

Death of Manicheanism - NO: Christianity appealed to a much broader crowd than the macho religion of Manicheanism, but in this timeline, there are no huge urban centers. Carthage sort of counts but is a commercial empire, and commercial societies always tend to be less religious. The only people who matter in most of the world are warriors without Rome, so Manicheanism becomes the dominant religion outside its Persian heartland, where the elite cling to Zoroastrianism until the Turkic invasion.

Barbarian invasion - YES: Nothing stops this. If Rome couldn't hold out, I don't think Carthage and its tribal allies, nor the Greek colonies or Macedonians could do it.

Rise of Persia - YES: And without much opposition.

Islamic conquest - NO: Even if Islam comes to be, the epic Roman-Persian struggle would be supplanted by a Persian battle against the much more pathetic Diadochi. Due to Persia's frequent civil wars, Islamic conquest is still possible, but very unlikely.

Turkic Conquest - YES: A wave of Turks comes every 15 years. One of them had to arrive at the right time, creating a middle east ruled by Turkic dynasties as in the pre-Crusade period. Turks and Mongols would have converted to Manicheanism, not Islam, as the most appealing religion, devoid of the pomp and elitism of Zoroastrianism or the confusion of Greek paganism.

Gunpowder Empires - YES: As Cavalry declines, the Turko-Mongols ruling Persia and Anatolia (the last remaining Greek heartland after inevitable ravaging in Europe) would civilize to become Gunpowder Empires like the Ottomans. The North Indian Turkic rulers would have done the same, Babur-style.

Rise of the "Ottomans" - YES: And they have NO serious opposition.

Colonization of the Americas - YES: This is one thing that would have happened earlier. Carthage was in a perfect geographical and economic position to circumvent the spice routes and fund expeditions, and Carthaginians had already explored as far as Britain and Central Africa in ancient times. They had a pretty good model for conquering natives by the Punic Wars as well.

---

So basically in the end you'd probably get in year 1700:

- An all powerful Ottoman-like country ruling the Mediterranean
- An Americas dominated by Phoenician/Carthaginian colonies
- North Europe, Russia, and Africa being backwaters. The Roman, then the feudal model were VERY effective military models that eventually evolved into impoverished but powerful military machines. The Alexandrian/Macedonian model that would have spread to the tribal kingdoms is MUCH weaker and less effective. Most of these territories by 1700 would have been vassal kingdoms of the declining traditional hordes, under constant pressure by the Gunpowder Empires

Anyway that's my 2 cents. Assuming we just delete Rome entirely, the Roman system then Christian monarchy would have never existed, leaving the Turko-Mongols, and ultimately the Gunpowder Empires, all powerful.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 11:35 PM   #17

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Into the future:

Rise of a "Pope" - NO: Manicheanism and Zoroastrianism both enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with the state, and the former would have detested the idea of a centralized religious authority.

Sectarian violence - YES: Without a central religious authority, Manicheanism would segment like Islam today. The three main inevitable centers of gunpowder empires (Anatolia, Persia, and Dehli) would probably not be following the same branch of Manicheanism

Columbian Exchange - YES: Even after the conquest of Carthage, Phoenecians would have traded with the Gunpowder Empires and vice versa. The Andiname/concession system, which just made sense for the political economy of the gunpowder empires, would have enriched a variety of Carthaginian-culture trading centers and American colonies.

Enlightenment - YES: The political economy of a gunpowder empire is one where a core people are the soldiers, and everyone else "knows their place", a constant throughout the Mughal, Safavid, and Ottoman reigns. This was the root of backwardness in the Ottoman empire. However, the gunpowder empires also tolerated local cultures, so Carthaginian culture would have persisted in Carthage, and in the American colonies.

Founding of a "United States" - YES: In the poor areas of North America without slaves, Carthaginian/Iberian settlers would have inevitably formed some kind of united government, while juntas in South America and the Caribbean would fragment. Carthaginian migrants from Carthage (which ironically itself was a pressure valve for migrants from Phoenecia) would have spilled into the US, forming a WASP-like ruling class, while eventually impoverished immigrants from Europe would have come to this "United States"

Nation States - YES... eventually: Carthage upon the founding of a union of North American colonies, partially or fully, would have behaved in much the same way as the Ottoman minorities historically, with a "cultural awakening" fuelled by enlightenment ideas and sparks here and there of nationalism. This would eventually spread to the tribal vassals of Northern Europe, who by this time are probably mostly free of the declining hordes. The "Ottomans" would have had to part ways with some Greeks and Carthaginians, but the core regions would remain intact due to the balance of power.

Imperialism - YES.... but less: Africa would have eventually been colonized by various Carthaginian and some Northern European spinoffs with enlightenment ideas. However, China, due to incessant warfare and the slowness of this process, would not have fallen as far behind in technology, and the balance of forces would ensure that the conquest of India's gunpowder empire would be unlikely.

Industrialization - YES, absolutely: I don't see any reason why not.

And what would happen to most of Europe? It would probably break free of the Tartar yoke, but become a lot like modern Russia - backwards compared to the economic heartland of America, Spain, and North Africa, and for a while not as powerful as the Gunpowder Empires - but a collection of a few, vast, backward countries.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 06:11 PM   #18

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Christianity probably wouldn't be able to spread, if it would even exist.
Christianity would have been a small cult of Jews, who believed their Messiah had come. they'd be like Calvinists in Christianity today, a small sect compared to Catholics or Anglicans.
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Old January 19th, 2017, 03:29 AM   #19

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Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post

As the legend goes, the vision was of a Christian cross with the words Conquer Under This below it. This ad I recall happened in the early 4th century.

So...Constantine's troops kick butt, and he's deluded into believing that the Christian God was behind it all.

Pity, that.
I think the gist is probably that he pretended right?
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Old January 19th, 2017, 05:10 AM   #20

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Christianity would have been a small cult of Jews, who believed their Messiah had come. they'd be like Calvinists in Christianity today, a small sect compared to Catholics or Anglicans.
Yeah, they probably wouldn't even split from Judaism.
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