The Timeline

Version #3 (03/04/01)

Pre-fork changes: Christianity and Islam are both deemed not to have happened, or to be minor cult footnotes to history.
ADAUC [AUC = Ab Urbe Condite; from the founding of the city (of Rome).]
60 812  Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria invents the steam engine or aeolipile (approximate date).
180932  Egyptian scholars (re)visiting Athens bring some Heronic toys with them. An unfortunate blockage in an outlet pipe of an aeolipile is cleared in an explosive manner. Greek scholars are filled with sarcasm at the safety of the devices. Roman legion engineer Marcus Ventianus is filled with something else entirely, and starts the development of the steam cannon.
200952  Ventian killed when one of his prototype steam cannons explodes. Research diverts for several years into more peaceful applications (transport and power, principly) until Quintus Ventianus takes advantage of improved metallurgy to complete his father's work.
207959  Use of camels allows long trans-Saharan trade routes to be established.
218970  First attempt to use a steam pump in mines is defeated by the heat and steam produced. Wits and skeptics declare (incorrectly) that more steam went in than water came out.
220972  Municipal corn mills outside Rome start to use steam instead of water power to produce the city's bread ration. After some skepticism and over several decades the central cities of the empire follow suit.
235 987  Steam engines return to mining applications. Successfully, this time.
240992  First practical steam carts appear for military use. Initial uses are more for equipment and supply haulage than troop transport.
2701022  A time of consolidation follows as Emperor Aurelianus drives off the Persian invaders in Asia Minor, beats off raids from the Alamanni and the Franks, and pulls Britain, Spain and Gaul back under direct Roman rule. He survives an assassination attempt by his secretary in 1027AUC the secretary's work to convince several officers that Aurelianus intends to execute them is overheard by a loyal slave.
 Roads are improved (they had deteriorated) so that steam carts can get legions rapidly around the empire. More aquaducts are built to replenish the steam carts along their regular routes.
2801032  Jin Wu-di reunites China, which had split into three warring nations after the fall of the Han dynasty.
 Civil war between Constantine (Britain), Maxentius (Rome) and Galerius (east). Maxentius wins, and further oppresses the Christian contingent in Rome.
 Civil war in China also. Jin Wu-di's son is retarded and his wife takes the regency. Unfortunately she is deeply paranoid. Even more unfortunately, she does not murder all her enemies.
 In the middle of this, barbarian Xiongnu invade northern China, sack the imperial capital of Luoyang and carry off the emperor. A new emperor is declared, and the capital moves to Jiankang (Nanjing).
3401092  Samudra Gupta begins uniting India. Rome has been trading with India for some time, and buys more than it sells. India enjoys a Rennaissance, with many mathematical, artistic and cultural works being produced.
3501102  Chinese (re?)invent gunpowder, but only use it for fireworks. [Major violence to timeline here, this is about 2 centuries early.]
3641116  Anglo-Saxons invade Britain, and German tribes try to cross the Rhine. Both bounce horribly against Rome's much improved weaponry, in particular the grapeshot steam cannon. The Chinese empire sits up and takes notice, and considers the application of gunpowder to weaponry.
 The emperor decides not to tolerate this any longer, and invades Germania. Roman military superiority prevails (and incidentally more land becomes available for retired legionnaires). Unwilling to leave the Sassanid empire time to lick its wounds, Rome sponsors its Egyptian vassal state into Persia. While the Egyptians have neither the military training nor the technology of the Romans, the Sassanids have fared so badly in the last few decades that they eventually fall. Egypt quietly acquires practical control of the Arabian peninsula.
3851137  Jin emperor of Southern China launches a surprise assault against the Xiongnu and the other tribes that have carved up the north, using cannon and primitive musketry. Despite the horrendous unreliability and dangerousness of these weapons (and their relative rarity in the army), China is reunited. [This is the major point of deviation for Chinese history]
 Chinese empire at this point does not include Tibet or (more surprisingly) Fukien, or anything much north of Beijing. The line of the Great Wall is the relevant one. It does include much of North Vietnam and North Korea.
400 1152  After a particularly bloody conflict, involving a couple of false starts as raids are dealt with, Saxony is subdued. The Romans draw their new border line along the Elbe. A period of consolidation follows. With the reestablishment of the Silk Road, Rome learns about gunpowder. While research and espionage are undertaken, there is considerable cultural resistance to using it.
 Both Rome and China kick into full industrial revolution. Slavery all but dies out except for housework purposes as the need for manual labour reduces. Technology trickles into both Egypt and India. A long period of theological unrest begins as the lore of the Temples is overturned by observation and deduction welcome to the Age of Reason.
 Chinese empire begins to fitfully fill out into Fukien and Korea, and to expand slowly into Mongolia. The fitfulness is largely due to the Jin emperors' habit of thining out their relatives and then getting assassinated themselves.
 In order to repel the displaced Saxons, the Jutes begin work on an earthworks designed to defend the whole of the Danish peninsula. Initially only four miles long, it does its job well. It won't be much help against superior Roman technology. [This is about three and a half centuries early, but the trigger seems plausible. It is alleged that the actual Danevirke was built because the Danish king was a strong opponent of Christianity and was being raided by Saxons that Charlemagne had just conquered.]
4151167  The African provinces attempt to rebel but are brought firmly under Roman control. Trade across Sahara increases and the Ghana Empire is founded. It becomes very wealthy controlling the gold and ivory flowing north, and the salt and silk going south.
4401192  First improvements in personal weaponry in Chinese and Roman armies.
4501202  Civil war in Roman empire (again). The emperor and those families rich enough to "own" enough votes to guarantee a seat in the Senate discontinue a popular experiment in entry to the civil service by civic examination, in order to maintain their own control over the service. Several popularly elected Senators are unwisely vocal in their disapproval, and the Gaulish and Greek provinces go into outright rebellion.
4701222  Roman civil war resolves. Considerable political change; the Senate acquires more power, the eastern emperorship is done away with, and the empire is divided into large regiones (kingdoms), each with a governer, that administer a number of provinces. The emperor has powers to keep regional governers on a very short leash. The Egyptian regione is confirmed as including Arabia and Persia, but retains its quasi-independence as a client state. It refers to itself (proudly) as "The Kingdom of Egypt" from this point, the regional governer (not in practice appointed by Rome any more) styling himself as Pharoah.
 Oh, and entry to the civil service by competitive examination is reinstated.
4901242  The eastern european migrations put land pressure on the Norse kingdoms and Rome. Norse raid in Scotland, Ireland and (less successfully) England. The Danes arrive in Denmark, and the Jutes discover the Danevirke is no help against an attack from the sea. [This is probably doing fairly severe violence to history, since the recorded history of Denmark as a kingdom doesn't start for a century or two, and it's one of the older Viking kingdoms.]
 China starts exerting political control over SE Asia. The northern border suffers attacks from steppe nomads, but beats them back.
4981250  Romans continue across Germania in response to more raids. Pause at the Danevirke and negotiate with the Danes rather than waste time with them and their relatively poor land. Other Viking raids continue.
5001252  Romans warn Danes about treaty breaches, blaming them for other viking activity. Danes begin furious diplomacy with other Scandinavian regions, which coalesce into kingdoms. Being the Viking sort of diplomacy, this gets sharp and violent from time to time.
5101262  Roman conquest of Germania completed. Another period of consolidation begins.
5181720  Romans finally move into Ireland after years of dithering (and a lack of land pressure). There are further small-scale conflicts with Viking raiders. Complaints to Denmark reveal the problems and inadequacies of the original treaty.
5211273  The "Hadrian Treaty" is signed between the Roman Empire and the Norse kingdoms. The Norse are given all lands north of Hadrian's Wall and west of the White Sea (exact boundary gives them Finland but no more of the coastal lands down to Denmark). Hibernia/Ireland is partitioned, much to the disgust of the native Celts.
5231275  Scottish king launches raids into Hibernia. Danish king delivers his head to the Roman governer rather than risk his own head.
5301282  Outraged at barbarian atrocities, Chinese emperor declares sovereignty over the Steppes. Full-blown Chinese invasion of Mongolia begins.
5701322  Repeated contact with Scandinavian shipwrights causes Roman naval architects to modify their designs for Atlantic Ocean-going vessels. The improved sailing ships, Carracks, boost trade along the coasts of Iberia, Gaul, Hibernia, Britannia and Germania.
5801332  Norse settle Iceland.
5961348  An ambitious Roman General Olivius Boreus, based in Numidia, lays plans for a trans-Saharan invasion of the 'Land of Gold', not realising the distances involved. Fortunately for the poor bloody infantry, he gets no further than assembling a formidable army of camels before...
6001352  Plague hits Roman empire, travels east along the trade routes. Weakened legions are stretched in maintaining the borders, and end up falling back from Poland. Some provinces (notably Britannia) attempt to secede, and are suppressed by their regional governers. Regione Carthage attempts to close its borders to keep the plague out, and is suppressed by the emperor. Poland consolidates as an independent kingdom, and does some eastward expansion of its own towards the Dneiper. Egypt institutes strict border controls, but since the grain keeps flowing into Rome nothing more dangerous than memos are sent to the Pharoah. Plague gets into Egypt and Arabia all the same.
6201372  Plague hits China as Mongolia is consolidated. China's political grip on SE Asia slackens. Some ground in the north is lost.
6501402  Plague ceases to be a major problem for Rome, but the reduced population cannot sustain further expansion at this point. Much political in-fighting occurs. Provinces begin sponsoring people to go to Rome and buy senate seats in an effort to circumvent their regional governors.
6601412  China recovers from the plague and retakes Outer Mongolia from the latest set of annoying barbarians.
 Norse settle the fringes of Vinland (Greenland).
 Romans finally develop good ocean-going sailing ships, Galleons, and begin to explore the deep Atlantic.
6701422  Roman expansion recommences. Legions move back to Poland, but the Slavic kingdom makes them fight for every inch of the way. At the same time expeditions start mapping the west African coast and realise the full extent of Ghana Empire. Trade envoys to the Ghanan capital, Kumbi, increase Roman knowledge of its vast wealth and of various routes into its heartland.
 Also, China starts pushing north through Kazakhstan and reasserts its dominance in SE Asia. Egypt begins casting envious eyes at India.
6721424  Egypt starts to expand beyond the Horn of Africa, laying seige to Mogadishu, which falls after 6 months.
6801432  Rome establishes a major shipyard and fort in the Canary Islands, and is obviously coveting the wealth of the Ghanan Empire.
687439  Egypt acquires the city-state of Malindi
695 1447  After uncovering a ring of Roman spies in Timbuktu, Ghana expels all Roman citizens from its central territories, although licensed traders may still call at major ports from Senegal to the Ivory Coast.
7001452  Norse settle Newfoundland. They head inland rather than pushing very far south down the coast, lead on by rumours of gold and other mineral wealth in the interior.
7091461  Egypt gains Mombasa but loses much of its navy in the process.
7141466  Rome begins its lengthy war against the Empire of Ghana by launching a major assault up the Senegal and Gambian rivers.
7201472  Rome sends additional legions to Africa to conquer Ghana from the Volta rivers
7271479  Egypt attacks Zanzibar but is repulsed by the city's navy and its unexpected pirate allies. Many captured Egyptian seamen are eventually sold into slavery in SE Asia.
7291481  Rome funds additional legions to invade Ghana along the Niger river. After clearing the river delta, the legions have to cope with a series of ongoing disasters, earning this the reputation of a cursed campaign.
7421494  Egypt conquers the city-state of Kilwa in a brief but notoriously bloody campaign.
7501502  Rome holds most of the Ghanan coastal plain which it renames Liberia, although it is suffering high losses through disease in the southern jungles. The Senate notes the increased levels of gold flowing into the empire, and presses for the campaigns to continue. Its decision proves deeply unpopular with the families of serving legionaries.
7591511  Egypt returns to Zanzibar and overruns the city. A period of consolidation follows as Egypt reestablishes local trading links with India, and sends explorers into the African interior.
7801532  Senate reform; each province gets to send an elected representative rather than buying seats, a practice which is eventually legislated out of existence.
7851537  Roman legions finally reach the upper Niger plateau and the end for Kumbi and its sister cities comes quickly. The Roman Empire renames the region Bandiagania. Egypt "secures" the kingdom of Kanem around Lake Chad in order to maintain its one direct long distance trading route to Liberia.
 Egypt extends its rule, mainly by diplomatic and trading pressure, over the various Bantu kingdoms of the hinterlands. It also comes across the Shona, who assert that the River Rovuma is the northern boundary of the Monomutapa's Empire; envoys are dispatched.
8001552  Rome and China meet at the Urals. The Chinese claim the mountains, but Rome wins the breadbasket of the Ukraine. Egypt becomes much cooler towards Rome, seeing that it's importance will be seriously reduced by the Ukraine, and demands help in its future expansion plans.
8041556  Roman explorers attempt to explore the Congo basin, and spend considerable time doing so before concluding that there is nothing of value in there. Tales of "little people" among the forests are laughed off. An outpost is nonetheless established on the Congo estuary and a small port is built on some offshore islands.
8101562  Rome sponsors Egypt into India. China responds to this attack on the spiritual home of Buddhism. First world war ensues; refugees flood out of India into both Chinese and Roman lands, most of the latter ending up in Greece. The war is a bloody mess.
8151567  Egypt attempts to exert commercial pressure on the Monomutapa, and finds the farming empire entirely self-sufficient and surprisingly resistive to outside influence.
8161568  The Indic War ends in a stalemate enforced by treaty. India has disintegrated into many small kingdoms, China has Tibet (more or less unopposed) and Turkmenistan as its limits, Rome has Georgia and the lands around the Volga, and Egypt has Afghanistan. Rome and China agree to demiliterise India. Political jockeying in the region immediately commences; punative economic measures by both empires causes rampant inflation in all of the partitioned kingdoms, and a consequent rise in Indian nationalism.
8221574  Rome establishes another outpost in Angolia, and explores the plateau inland.
8281580  Egypt lays plans for the conquest of the Shona, and meanwhile sends explorers further round the coast.
8301582  Roman outpost in Namibia, extensive deserts noted.
8311583  Egyptian explorers return having discovered the Cape and important mineral deposits entirely untouched by the natives. Egypt immediately diverts its invasion plans from the Shona to overrun the Khoikhoin, and urgently seeks to renew good relations with the Monomutapa.
8351587  Egypt establishes Cape Town.
8381590  Imperial economies essentially recovered from the stalemate war.
 Rome begins secret military missions to find the back door to China. Instead Navarch Americus finds the West Indies, and thence Florida and Yucatan. They make peace with the Mayans and head northwest.
 China looks for the backdoor to Rome, trying various routes jumping off north and south. To the south, they expand into Indonesia and various other island groups, and eventually into Western Australia (the fertile bit). To the north, they enter Alaska via Kamchatka.
 Roman explorers in Africa reach the trees and shrubland of the Cape. Their relief is short lived when they discover an Egyptian colony already established there. Rome begins political jockeying to wrest the resources of the Cape from Egypt. Egyptian opinion towards Rome cools further. The wrangle rumbles on without resolution for years, Egypt's de facto control unrecognised by a Rome which dare not upset its nominal vassal too much.
8541606  Chinese progress down the Pacific seaboard, looking for reasonable places to settle or find their way through to Rome.
8701622  Roman technology trickles into the Mayan city-states. After some sabre-rattling, the Mayans confederate and explore southwards.
 Roman engineers begin work on "Project Panama", which turns out to be much harder work than the Suez canal. The changes of height prove to be much bigger and much longer than expected, and simply bulldozing a flat path isn't practical. Systems of locks have to be devised, drastically reducing the size of vessels that the canal can accomodate.
8761628  Having settled California, the Chinese meet the Mayans and their Roman technology. The "secret continent", already leaking like a sieve, is blown. Eager to avoid conflict on too many fronts, the Chinese treat with the Mayans and start to cross the Rockies, heading for Roman lands.
8801632  Norse meet Chinese in the Yukon, and fail to reach anything resembling an agreement. The Norse invoke the Hadrian Treaty, calling on the Romans to aid them against the invading third party. Surprised Romans can't accept the political damage of tearing up their model treaty, so confirm the line of Hadrian's Parallel; the treaty is clarified to end Hadrian's Wall at the international date line, which is drawn to divide Kamchatka from Alaska. Rome then sponsors the Norse into Alaska and the "Bellum frigidum", the Cold War, begins.
8821634  Political imbalance and an underlying Indian resentment of both empires results in the Second Indic War. Rome pulls resources out of America to reinforce Egypt without weakening its other borders. Georgius, military governer of Regione America takes the opportunity to declare independence. Chinese California immediately proclaims its peaceful intent towards the new nation, leaving Rome and China to clash over India and Afganistan.
 Project Panama is abandoned, and the lands surrounding the canal are occupied by Mayans.
8901642  Norse take effective control of Alaska, being fundamentally better at cold-weather warfare than China. The Chinese, who have far more resources, keep throwing troops in none the less; Alaska becomes their Vietnam. [Only the other way around.]
 Relief in Rome is short-lived, as Regione Slavia rebels against direct Roman rule. Rome attempts to march against Moscow as winter descends, and the legions are forced back. China welcomes Slavia with open arms, at least according to the propaganda, but the Slavs have none of it. China cannot spare the troops to enforce its welcome.
9001652  After watching Roman holdings crumble, it's the turn of the Chinese. Sickened by the constant loss of troops in Alaska and bolstered by their strong trade arrangments with America, the Pacific American Chinese renounce the empire. America supports them, and unusually for the former Chinese a degree of cultural mixing takes place.
 The Romano-Americans legions meanwhile have gone native and integrated into the native populations. There is a notable tendency for tribes to specialise; Apaches become fine cavalrymen, Navajo excellent engineers, and so on. Government is based on the Roman model, with each tribe sending senators to Novum Illium (New Troy, which comes to be known as Novillium), though the tribes retain more independence than Roman provinces traditionally do. There is one other important difference; the post of Governor is an elected one, determined by vote of the senators. The Governor serves for as long as he wishes, though since their powers are circumscribed there is no great reason to outstay their welcome with the Senate.
 [An historical note: much of what is now Capitol Hill in Washington DC was an tract of land called New Troy, owned by one George Thompson. See for details.]
9051657  As a result of some brilliant behind-the-scenes manoeuvering by a young Senator Raging Storm, Californian observers are invited to Novillium. Somewhat to their surprise, they are encouraged to speak in the Senate lodge. While they have no vote, their wisdom in debate is generally acknowledged, and considerable good-will is fostered between the neighbouring independent states.
 [I am using "California" here as a shorthand for the formerly Chinese peoples of the US Pacific Seaboard, an area which really needs a name.]
9121664  Legendary governor Lucius Raging Storm takes office.
9141666  Fire severely damages the suburbs of Rome. Chinese spies are blamed, but a failure of Health and Safety regulations is actually responsible.
9151667  California accepts an invitation to join the united tribes of America, after repeated assurances from the Governor and their own observers that their cultural identity will not be imposed upon.
9171669  Governor Raging Storm attempts to court the Vikings to the North. They refuse to be drawn in as California was, citing the fact that under the Hadrian Treaty, they are technically at war with America. It is noticable that no shots have been fired, however.
 Similarly the Mayan empire to the south has no interest in confederating with America. Despite cold rebuffs, the Mayans are still more interested in expanding their southern holdings than warring with the Americans.
9281680  Governor Raging Storm retires, and with his backing the young and energetic Tsu Running Deer takes office.
9341686  Governor Running Deer dies in a tragic riding accident. When acrimonious debate in the Senate fails to put forward a clear successor, Raging Storm is persuaded to step back in.
9401692  Leaving their Egyptian allies to block the Chinese in India (which they do very capably), the Romans mount an unexpected blitzkreig on Slavia. In a remarkably short space of time the kingdom's defences are overrun. Seeing the inevitability of Slavia's fall, the Chinese renounce their treaty with Slavia and sweep down from the Urals, hoping to grab some of the kingdom for themselves. A slow, bitter war of attrition devastates the countryside.
9431695  Governor Raging Storm dies in office (of natural causes). Despite his best efforts while alive, he still has no obvious successor. Eventually Publius Red Hawk emerges the victor, backed by the largest minority of the Senate.
9451697  Outraged by the blatant favoritism Red Hawk has shown to his tribe and their allies, senator Manara Lightfoot moves impeachment proceedings to remove Red Hawk from office. When Lightfoot and his Californian colleague suffer very convenient fatal accidents, California formally refuses to recognise Red Hawk's right to govern and withdraws from the union. Senators of several other tribes prudently absent themselves from Novillium.
 Red Hawk sends several legions against California. Militarily and politically this proves a disaster as the high desertion rate ruins campaign planning and several more tribes openly rebel against governatorial rule. This, after all, was the sort of thing that they rebelled against Rome over.
 America descends into Civil War, known colloquially as "The Shattering".
9461698  American campaign against California is more successful this year, and the moral of the Loyalist troops is raised by the sacking of a number of cities.
9471699  Governor Red Hawk assassinated. Chosing his successor opens up rifts between the remaining tribes at Novillium, and the union fragments into squabbling nations. The Norse begin raiding across Hadrian's Wall all in the name of keeping their treaty with Rome, of course.
9571709  Gaius Golden Bear's campaign to reunite America "under the light of Rome" begins. In brief, Golden Bear succeeds in bringing together tribes and individuals (bizarrely including a small section of California) to supported his idealized and honorable form of Roman rule. His main opposition comes from Governor Black Raven ("Governor" is a hollow title by this point), a fierce believer in independence. He manages to use Golden Bear's movement to scare many tribes back to confederation.
9801732  Golden Bear falls in the Battle of Crooked River, but not before shattering Black Raven's power.
 [An historical note: one derivation of "Camlann", where Arthur's last battle was fought, is "Crooked (river) Allan"]
9861738  Second Indic war ends in stalemate once again. Rome has forced China back to the Urals, but can push them no further. Emperor Vergilius makes great show of pouring resources into restoring devastated Regione Slavia.
 War-torn India, still fragmented into tiny kingdoms, is left free of overt imperial influences, much to the annoyance of Egypt. For the Indians, the covert political and economic nightmare begins again.
10061758  China makes formal contact with California to woo them back to the empire, but is dismayed at the level of Roman and Amerind "barbarism" that has infected Californian culture.
10071759  Roman legions land in America, and begin the resubjugation of the continent. Any tribe they meet that does not immediately pledge allegience is decimated. The independence-minded tribal nations fail to unite effectively, making all the same mistakes as Black Raven against a much less merciful foe.
 The Vikings step up their raids from the north, in the name of the Hadrian Treaty.
10091761  China's wooing of California abruptly becomes a military action. Refugees flee into the Rockies, where the terrain makes it all but impossible for the Chinese to complete their "reeducation". This proves a costly error for China, as forces attempting to penetrate the Rockies and take formerly Romano-American lands are harried mercilessly.
10141766  China's reconquest of California is effectively complete. Attempts to cross the Rockies are baulked by the mountain folk.
10171769  Rome's reconquest of America is effectively complete. As a reward for their aid, the Vikings negotiate an extension southwards of their American lands since it's all mountainous, no good for farming, Roman politicians find it hard to get excited about the principle.
 The remaining independents take to the hills, and after a few spectacularly unsuccessful raids are content to stay there. This results in a peculiar and paranoid mix of Chinese, Roman and Amerind isolationist cultures in the Rockies, making travel through the mountains something to be devoutly avoided.
1024 1776  By imperial decree, America is returned to civilian rule. The continent is divided into two regiones, something that is largely ignored in public life as the power of the regional governors is by and large bypassed by the Senate. The large influx of American provincial senators provokes another reexamination of Roman government.
10281780  Negotiations begin with the Mayans to start work anew on the Panama Canal. The Mayans play the politics extremely carefully and extremely well; the Panama Treaty leaves them leasing a canal that the Romans have to build back to the Romans at quite reasonable rates and with promises of military support against Chinese expansionism.
10401792  The long-awaited Senatorial Reforms are presented in Rome. Chaos ensues. The proposals, which have the blessing of the notoriously weak emperor Decimus, do away with the regiones in favour of a double house system, with members of the Executive House being elected from amongst the much larger Senate House. The frequency of elections is also specified more tightly than before, as are further reductions in the emperor's personal power.
 The Pharoah and his senators flatly refuse to have anything to do with the proposals, as they would abolish the Kingdom of Egypt and do away with a great many hard-won rights that Egypt currently enjoys. After months of acrimonious debate, Egypt threatens to sever all ties with Rome. Emperor Decimus is pressured into massing legions to go into Egypt.
 Sensing an opportunity, the Chinese attack from the Urals, trying to reclaim "their historic lands" in Slavia. As units are rushed back to support the Roman lands, several American provinces attempt to rebel. Emperor Decimus acts with unusual decisiveness, telling several startled senior senators to go take a running jump as he redeploys legions to suppress the rebellion.
10411793  The brutal suppression of the American Rebellion draws much popular condemnation, in particular the gruesome execution of Gaius Watches-the-Moon. Watches-the-Moon was one of the ringleaders, and claimed to be a reincarnation of Golden Bear. It was graphically and lengthily demonstrated that he was just a man, to a point where even the hardened legionaries forcing the crowd to watch were shocked.
 With public opinion against him, Decimus refuses to send legions into Egypt. The hard-nosed proposers of the reforms insist on having their way, foolishly, not expecting the Pharoah to carry out his threat. He does; Egypt formally secedes from Rome.
10421794  Faced with internal rebellions of its own, China withdraws back to the Urals. The Senate exhorts the emperor to retake Egypt, and again he refuses, fearful of public opinion. A determined core of the new House of Executives directly order the legions in. The legions remain loyal to the emperor, and arrest the senators for treason.
 Despite the reforms to the Senate, the names of the regiones persist in common usage. The major exceptions are the two American regiones, whose names never really passed into popular usage; everyone still refers to America.
10651827  Plague begins quietly in Carthaginia. By the time it is noticed, carriers have taken it to many spots across the world. Despite modern medical procedures and travel restrictions, it becomes pandemic.
10661828  Economic warfare between Britain and Gaul is forcefully squelched by the Senate.
10781830  Panama Canal finished.
10931855  Despite considerable political opposition, an international symposium of healers shares information about the plague in an effort to find a cure.
0981860  Working in collaboration, Dr Lukas of Thebes and Dr Chow Siu Chang discover an immunisation for the plague. Production of the cure on the industrial scale needed commences across the world, despite initial teething troubles and some ethically dubious trials.
11001862  In an unusual step, and despite private political opposition, the Roman and Chinese emperors both bestow their highest imperial honours on Drs Lukas and Chow in a joint ceremony. Unfortunately the honours for Dr Chow are posthumous; he was one of the plague's last victims.
11141878  A major volcanic eruption further down the Italian peninsula rains hot ash down on Rome. While fire defences instituted after the Great Fire two centuries previously save thousands of lives in the suburbs, much of central Rome is damaged or destroyed. The rebuilding is taken over by visionary architect Josephus Gordonius Fulgor and his school. The unique results are copied across the empire on a smaller scale.
 [Linguistic note: "Fulgor" is a masculine noun meaning "a flash (of light)".]
11531937  Egypt launches a lightning attack, seeking to annex India. Rome steps aside while China gives Egypt a bloody nose, only joining in when the point has been made and China shows every intention of taking India for itself.
11601944  Third Indic War ends in yet another stalemate. It becomes obvious by this point that the two main imperial powers are too evenly matched for conclusive military action.
11851969  Land scandal rocks Senate. Emperor Antonius dissolves Senate, calls new elections and then abdicates in favour of his son, Julius.
11961970  China launches the "Heavenly Messanger" satellite to celebrate the ascension of her new emperor. Emperor Julius sets Rome the target of launching Vox Romana, the Voice of Rome.
12041978  The Via Astralis low earth orbit station is launched and (at least partially) operational.
12111985  The Vox Romana geostationary legion radio station established and on air.
12171991  China launches an unmanned radio transmitter capsule to the moon, declaring it to be part of the Chinese empire. Emperor Julius makes his famous speech to Senate, promising a fort on the moon by the end of the millennium.
12251999  Pre-fabricated parts for Luna Castra Alpha landed on the moon, to be followed by the construction team. The lunar fort must be built by 2000 AUC.
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