21st Century Italy isots to 406 AD

Oct 2015
1,196
California
Just a thought experiment.

21st Century Italian Peninsula switches places with the Italian Peninsula of 406 AD, the year when various barbarian tribes, such as the Vandals, Alans , Sarmatians, Saxons Quadi , Burgundians etc crossed the Rhine and fanned out all over Gaul sacking its cities.
On the day it switches places with 5th Century Italy, 21st century Italy retains its civil infrastructure, its electrical grid remains operational, internet connection also remains operational (of course only within
Italy itself. Its civilian airports along with all the aircraft that remained on the ground on the day the country isots also remain operational along with its military airbases. The hub of a regional cable TV system, and all Italian and NATO bases supporting all Division, Battalion, Company and platoon size, armor, infantry, combat engineering, and administrative units also isots with the rest of the country.
After much confusion and mass panic the Italian government manages to get its bearings and suspects rightly so that by some inexplicable phenomenon the entire country has been transported back in time. 1,612 years in the past. The Italian parliament along with the help of historians are also aware that they are on the eve of the barbarian invasion of Gaul.

My question is does the 21st Century Italian government realizing where they are, treat Gaul and the rest of the empire as part of Italy itself and defend it?

when would OTL be affected, at POD, or approximately 1,612 years later when the Italian government decides to assume the role of the Roman government and decides to defend the rest of the empire?

Meanwhile 5th Century Italy switches into the 21st Century along with all its 5th century Roman infrastructure.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,419
SoCal
To be honest, I suspect that Italians would want to defend the homeland but not to stick their necks out for the rest of their empire. They'd probably wait and see how everything plays out and then base their foreign policy accordingly.
 
Sep 2017
771
United States
Well, considering that the Italian Armed Forces and whatever NATO is there have tanks, planes, and automatic rifles, I’m pretty sure that they’d stomp every barbarian from here to hell. Intervening in Gaul would be about as risky as spraying an ants nest with a flamethrower.

I’d be more interested what we did with 5th Century Italy. So much historical knowledge could be gained, it would be insane. To have real Romans, to see how they lived, their culture, their weapons, etc. would be insanely useful to the study of history.

I’m sure scientists would also be freaking out about this phenomenon and people would be distressed about never seeing family again.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,419
SoCal
Well, considering that the Italian Armed Forces and whatever NATO is there have tanks, planes, and automatic rifles, I’m pretty sure that they’d stomp every barbarian from here to hell. Intervening in Gaul would be about as risky as spraying an ants nest with a flamethrower.
True, but it would still be considered imperialism, no? Imperialism is perceived as being bad by 21st century people.

I’d be more interested what we did with 5th Century Italy. So much historical knowledge could be gained, it would be insane. To have real Romans, to see how they lived, their culture, their weapons, etc. would be insanely useful to the study of history.

I’m sure scientists would also be freaking out about this phenomenon and people would be distressed about never seeing family again.
Completely agreed with all of this. That said, though, please keep in mind that it's going to be one hell of a challenge to educate the peoples of the 5th century about all sorts of modern technologies, modern values, et cetera.
 
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Sep 2017
771
United States
True, but it would still be considered imperialism, no? Imperialism is perceived as being bad by 21st century people.



Completely agreed with all of this. That said, though, please keep in mind that it's going to be one hell of a challenge to educate the peoples of the 5th century about all sorts of modern technologies, modern values, et cetera.
That’s a fair point. Not sure how the Italian government feels about that right now or how the people do. But I feel like placed in the vacuum of the 5th Century, and with enough reasoning to (I’m sure Romans would still appeal to Italy, though who knows what they would think when they saw it) the Italians might be able to justify curb stomping at least the invading barbarians.

I’d want to hold off on teaching the Romans about the 21st Century, because I want to observe them in as much of a natural place as possible. I know that would be tainted as soon as the phenomenon happened but I want to see how they live before we go showing them cars and TV.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,419
SoCal
That’s a fair point. Not sure how the Italian government feels about that right now or how the people do. But I feel like placed in the vacuum of the 5th Century, and with enough reasoning to (I’m sure Romans would still appeal to Italy, though who knows what they would think when they saw it) the Italians might be able to justify curb stomping at least the invading barbarians.
Agreed, though I think that, in regards to the other territories of the empire, Italy might want to eventually give them national self-determination after it will civilize and uplift them to a necessary level. Of course, given that this is the 5th century and that most people back then were presumably illiterate, maybe Italy would see a golden opportunity to create an Italian national consciousness among the entire population of the Roman Empire. That way, there are going to become much, much more Italians.

Also, with such a super-strong Italy, I certainly don't see the Muslims--if Islam will still eventually be created in this scenario--ever breaking out of the Arabian Peninsula unless Italy explicitly allows this.

I’d want to hold off on teaching the Romans about the 21st Century, because I want to observe them in as much of a natural place as possible. I know that would be tainted as soon as the phenomenon happened but I want to see how they live before we go showing them cars and TV.
That's true, but please keep in mind that you are only causing unnecessary deaths by refusing to share 21st century technology with the peoples of the 5th century.
 
Sep 2017
771
United States
Agreed, though I think that, in regards to the other territories of the empire, Italy might want to eventually give them national self-determination after it will civilize and uplift them to a necessary level. Of course, given that this is the 5th century and that most people back then were presumably illiterate, maybe Italy would see a golden opportunity to create an Italian national consciousness among the entire population of the Roman Empire. That way, there are going to become much, much more Italians.

Also, with such a super-strong Italy, I certainly don't see the Muslims--if Islam will still eventually be created in this scenario--ever breaking out of the Arabian Peninsula unless Italy explicitly allows this.



That's true, but please keep in mind that you are only causing unnecessary deaths by refusing to share 21st century technology with the peoples of the 5th century.
I agree, there is basically an opportunity for an invincible Italian Empire whose citizens probably think Mars or God himself came down to Italy and gave them all this insane stuff. I don’t think any barbarian would question Italian might after a brigade mows down an entire army.

I suppose you’re right on that, and medical should probably be priority, but we also want to spare them as much culture shock as possible and make best of the opportunity. It would be hard to balance but I think limited medical operations to save lives would be good, but other than that a mostly observational approach.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
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SoCal
I agree, there is basically an opportunity for an invincible Italian Empire whose citizens probably think Mars or God himself came down to Italy and gave them all this insane stuff. I don’t think any barbarian would question Italian might after a brigade mows down an entire army.

I suppose you’re right on that, and medical should probably be priority, but we also want to spare them as much culture shock as possible and make best of the opportunity. It would be hard to balance but I think limited medical operations to save lives would be good, but other than that a mostly observational approach.
Agreed with all of this--though eventually, they should benefit from more than just modern medical technology. I do agree with the "go slow" approach due to the culture shock, though.

BTW, this could result in mass conversions to Christianity throughout the world. After all, if God created a hyper-advanced, hyper-modern state in Italy with technology that's beyond belief, then what more could one ask for as proof of God's existence?
 
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Sep 2017
771
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Agreed with all of this--though eventually, they should benefit from more than just modern medical technology. I do agree with the "go slow" approach due to the culture shock, though.

BTW, this could result in mass conversions to Christianity throughout the world. After all, if God created a hyper-advanced, hyper-modern state in Italy with technology that's beyond belief, then what more could one ask for as proof of God's existence?
Yeah. We can't leave them in the dark forever. Maybe a couple years before we start really trying to integrate them? I'm sure they'd find out things were wrong pretty early on; as soon as someone who was driving from, say, Germany arrives in Italy only to find his hotel replaced with a domus, that barrier is already broken. The question is how limited we can keep it while we make extensive study of the culture of the WRE in action; how people live, think, speak, and so on, before their culture is too far changed. But yeah, the culture shock would be pretty heavy. I have no idea how they would handle it; imagine the reaction Flavius Stilicho the Wikipedia page where it says Honorius killed him 1,600 years ago.

I would expect mass conversion too. When the expectation is that the WRE is pretty much a crippled empire that can barely maintain enough legions to protect itself, and all of the sudden there's giant metal birds in the sky, it would be pretty scary.

One aspect I completely forgot about was the ERE. How would the ERE take its sickly western twin turning into a superstate? How would Italy treat the ERE: an equal, a junior, an extension of itself, or a foreign power?
 
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Oct 2015
1,196
California
Yeah. We can't leave them in the dark forever. Maybe a couple years before we start really trying to integrate them? I'm sure they'd find out things were wrong pretty early on; as soon as someone who was driving from, say, Germany arrives in Italy only to find his hotel replaced with a domus, that barrier is already broken. The question is how limited we can keep it while we make extensive study of the culture of the WRE in action; how people live, think, speak, and so on, before their culture is too far changed. But yeah, the culture shock would be pretty heavy. I have no idea how they would handle it; imagine the reaction Flavius Stilicho the Wikipedia page where it says Honorius killed him 1,600 years ago.

I would expect mass conversion too. When the expectation is that the WRE is pretty much a crippled empire that can barely maintain enough legions to protect itself, and all of the sudden there's giant metal birds in the sky, it would be pretty scary.

One aspect I completely forgot about was the ERE. How would the ERE take its sickly western twin turning into a superstate? How would Italy treat the ERE: an equal, a junior, an extension of itself, or a foreign power?
Imagine 5th Century Roman reaction to the fact that a country named Turkey now occupies Byzantium and that Constantinople is now Istanbul? There is also the issue of disease. Keeping 5th century Italy isolated for awhile at least not only protects their culture from the shock of the 21st century, it also protects the modern world from diseases long eradicated that modern people no longer have a natural immunity to like small pox. Imagine that same hapless German tourist driving to the town of Mediolanum contracting some disease then driving back to Germany and spreading it. You'll have a major catastrophe.

Well, considering that the Italian Armed Forces and whatever NATO is there have tanks, planes, and automatic rifles, I’m pretty sure that they’d stomp every barbarian from here to hell. Intervening in Gaul would be about as risky as spraying an ants nest with a flamethrower.

I’d be more interested what we did with 5th Century Italy. So much historical knowledge could be gained, it would be insane. To have real Romans, to see how they lived, their culture, their weapons, etc. would be insanely useful to the study of history.

I’m sure scientists would also be freaking out about this phenomenon and people would be distressed about never seeing family again.
Historians and cultural anthropologists would all be clamoring to observe the Romans in their natural environment. Also imagine the reaction of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world when they realize that Pope Innocent I is now their leader.
 
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