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volksmarschall

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Greetings everyone, I am volksmarschall – the humble (or not so humble) author of this AAR you have kindly stumbled by. I am the proprietor of three well-received AARs (thank you all who have taken the time to read and comment), the first two in Victoria and the third in EUIV.

For those unfamiliar with me, introductions are in order, and I hope to get to know you – as best as one possible could on an online forum. I am an economist, historian, and philosopher by training. As a result, my AARs tend to be “textually driven” with only a few in-game screenshots. If you are hoping to find an AAR with pretty pictures of the game, how well I am doing, please continue at your discretion because you will not find that here.

The purpose of this AAR, as many of my prior AARs is two-fold. I hope to provide you an entertaining and engaging “historical” narrative of my game, and (perhaps the more apparent) to include actual history into the AAR. As a result, my AARs have been said “to read like history books” which is my proper attention (and to maintain a similar writing prose that is required of my work). Late Antiquity is the historical term used by most contemporary historians when describing what most people know as the “Dark Ages” – which is generally accepted as being a myth. There never was a “Dark Age,” and the term and idea of a Dark Age comes from Enlightenment and Romanticist historiography (the study of, or methodological formation of history – this is what we, as real historians, actually do). Thus, this AAR will also serve as a historical introduction into Late Antiquity, which will be both related and unrelated to in-game developments.

I generally like to give “bonus points” for the first person to correctly note the title my AAR pays homage to, and the artwork that I use for the titular image.

I hope you all enjoy. Cheers!


Bibliography & Endnote


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction (below)

Part I: The Fall of the Roman Empire
Chapter 1 - The Burden of Empire The Roman World in the Third Century.
(pt. II) The Decentralization of the Roman Empire
(pt. III) Life and Economy in the Late Period Empire
(pt. IV) The Frontier Fortifications and Their Influence upon Charlemagne and Western European Identity
Chapter 2: Crisis and Collapse of the Roman Empire in the West The Roman-Sassanid Wars
(pt. II) Stilicho saves Rome, Constantine III is declared co-emperor, Sack of Rome by Alaric
(pt. III) The Vandals Sack Rome, Odoacer Marches on Ravenna and the Roman Empire Falls

Part II: The Empires of the East
Chapter 3: Byzantine Survival and Triumphs Evolution of the term "Byzantine," Rise of Justinian and Theodora, Belisarius Takes Rome
(pt. II) Decline of Justinian's Empire, Byzantine Iconoclasm
(pt. III)* The Ascendancy of Basil I and the Beginning of the Byzantine-Nicaean Civil War (870-873 C.E.)
Chapter 4: Crisis in the Byzantine Empire* The Battle of Claudiopolis
(pt. II)* The End of the Civil War and the Macedonian Renaissance
Chapter 5: Persia in Late Antiquity The Culture of Persia in Late Antiquity
(pt. II) The Byzantine-Sassanid Wars and the Sassanid Civil Wars
(pt. III) The Arab Invasion and the Fall of the Sassanid Empire
Chapter 6: The Rise of the Arabs and the Abbasid Golden Age Arabia in the Age of Jahiliyyah, and the Rise of Muhammad
(pt. II) The Birth of Islam, The Rightly Guided Caliphs, and the Rise of the Umayyads
(pt. III) The Battle of Karbala and the Sunni-Shi'a Divide, the Rise and Fall of the Umayyads, and the Abbasid Ascendancy
(pt. IV)* The Abbasid Civil Wars
(Pt. V)* The Golden Age of the Abbasid Caliphate
Chapter 7: The Byzantine Renaissance

Part III: The Post-Roman West
Chapter 8: Italy in the Aftermath of the Roman Empire (coming)
(pt. I) The "Barbarian" Kingdom of the Ostrogroths and their Influences upon the Lombard Kingdom of Italy
(pt. II)* Louis II Drives out the Muslims
(pt. III)* Economy and the Measles Outbreak of 867 (Inquiries into Social Life and Medicine)
(pt. IV)* Louis II's Ambitions for a United Italy is Defeated
Chapter 9: Western Europe in the Aftermath of the Roman Empire (coming)
Chapter 10: The Moors in Spain (coming)

Part IV: Assessment and Conclusion
Epilogue: Conclusion, Late Antiquity vs. the Dark Ages (coming)



*Chapter includes gameplay and therefore, "alternative" history. This was project designed to introduce the Paradox Forum, and readers to the Historiographical paradigm of Late Antiquity (what historians use now instead of the terrible phrase "Dark Ages" because of the baggage associated with it). It also provides an introductory (actual) history into the Romans, Byzantines, Persians (Sassanids), Arabs (Muslims), and other great powers and civilizations that are available at the 867 Old Gods DLC start. For those wanting the "AAR" elements, select the chapters designated with a star. The AAR timeline, for the purposes of making this an AAR, is from 867-900 (tentative end date so I can play, a few years, as all the major powers so to have a 'thorough' report on them and some in-game developments).
 
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volksmarschall

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INTRODUCTION


A map of the Roman Empire, at the close of the fourth century after the death of emperor Theodosius I.


Europe, immediately after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.


A political map of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, ca. 867 C.E.

The Roman Empire has, continually, been misunderstand and mythologized – primarily by later Western historians and laymen. The Roman Empire has fallen victim to three primary narratives: that the “glory of Rome” was in the era of the republic, that the Roman Empire of Augustus and the post-Augustus caesars [1] reigned over a unified, triumphant, and domineering empire of Antiquity, and perhaps most famously that the demise of the Roman Empire cast Europe into a so-called “Dark Age.” These narratives serve their masters agendas on many levels. Indeed, if there was a singular narrative of the Roman Empire it should be its transition from kingdom to republic, from republic to empire, and from empire to ultimate demise.

If any narrative is proper, if narrative can be proper in the delineation of human history, the most accurate narrative of the Roman Empire would be that modern Europe was forged through the inheritance of the remains of the Roman Empire after Romulus Augustulus, “The Little Augustus,” had been humiliated into surrendering the crown to the Germanic general Odoacer, who promptly became the Rex Italiae – or King of Italy. The demise of the Western Roman Empire had created an expansive vacuum of power, politics, culture, and religion – which would come at the interstices of what we now call Europe to create the boundaries, nationalities, and power structures that have become synonymous with Europe. At the breakup and eventual dissolution of the empire of Augustus Caesar, Europe was laid to waste by a series of plagues and wars that had decimated the empire’s vitalities and was left to be occupied by petty fiefdoms and tribal units that were not – in any sense of the modern word – unified under a single banner.

The Spanish did not exist. Nor did the French, English, Germans, or Italians as we conceptualize them in the modern era. No single nationality that makes up the comprising nation-states of Europe was born, at least – until the 19th century advent of nationalism. To refer to nationalisms in Late Antiquity of the Medieval Age is ridiculous and an impressive case of the promotion of anachronisms. Even the more semi-unified realms of the British Isles, Germany, or France were still highly decentralized with most people never leaving the confines of their local villages or counties. Even after the symbolic reunification of the former imperial realms under Charlemagne, the history of Europe is one fragmented where history was driven by the locales of titular kingdoms unified only under the implicit authority of a monarch or tribal chiefdom who had claimed the lands as his – even though one’s monarchial power often never exceeded the confines of the capital. The most powerful of the post-Roman collection of locales was France, but the King of France rarely traveled beyond the Ile-de-France, as the petty nobles and local barons and other strong men held power, authority, respect, and loyalty among the local populations.

The magnitude to which the localities held power is not the result of Europe being cast into a proverbial “dark age” after the fall of the Roman Empire, but a result of the legacy left by the Roman Empire in Western Europe at both its height of power under Trajan, and collapse with the ascendency of Odoacer in 476 C.E. The Roman Empire was not this monolithic entity unified by a strict rigid system of laws, order, roads, or the “mighty” legions. The Roman Empire was a fragmented, decentralized, and often a disunited collection of territories that had simply been overrun many decades, if not centuries, earlier by the armies of the Roman Republic and Empire. Afterwards, these territories that had been conquered were loosely re-administered as provinces in the ever expanding Roman Empire, but the peoples of these regions never had a sense of connection with the “glory” that was Rome, its ways, customs, or practices.

If any singular body could claim unity in the Roman Empire, it would have been the Christian Church, which was tolerated by the Emperor Constantine at the Edict of Milan and eventually made the state religion of the empire under Theodosius at the Edict of Thessaloniki. By the time of the decree of the census of Augustus around the birth year of a Jewish peasant in Palestine, the population of the Roman Empire numbered around 47 million people, of which only about 5 million were citizens. By the middle of the fourth century, the population of the Roman Empire had declined to 39 million. Of this population, upwards of 10-12 million lived in cities, meaning that the vast majority of the people under titular Roman authority lived in the countryside. Indeed, this is where the term “Pagan” comes from, Paganus in Latin – which means rural dweller. As Christianity expanded in the empire from the late first century onward, Christianity was most prevalent in the major urban centers of the Empire, mostly situated in the eastern half, with enclaves in the Western cities of Rome, Milan, or Marseilles, etc. Thus, the last people to be converted were the rural dwellers – “The Pagans.” Within this 39 million living in the Roman Empire, roughly half were situated in Europe. Western Europe comprised of 18-19 million people at the late stage of the Western Empire, of which only less than 15% lived in densely populated cities.

It will be the duty of this author to look at the formation of Europe and European history as it relates to the inheritance Europe received at the demise of the Roman Empire in Western Europe. To do so, I shall begin our journey into European history of late antiquity by re-entering the fractured and delicate imperial situation of the fourth century onward, then immediately detail the effects of Europe emerging in the footsteps of the Roman Empire afterward.


[1] In proper Latin, the term “Caesar” is pronounced with a hard K, and the German word “Kaiser” is the most closely pronounced word to Caesar. In addition, Latin words that start with V, should be pronounced with a soft w – a proper phonetic translation of “Veni, Vedi, Vici” would be “Weni, Wedi, Wici.”
 
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GulMacet

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Now you are writing for CKII too? Today must be my lucky day! Are you playing ordinary CKII or some kind of mod? I've found ordinary CKII to be lacking in details, particularly regarding culture distributions (and cultures themselves, but not as bad as Vicky II for example).
 

tuareg109

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So so so so so so so following! Quite an accurate and refreshing analysis.
 

Dr.Livingstone

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Another Rome AAR? Volksmarschall, you spoil us! :D
Subscribed, of course.
 

Jokolytic

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Jesus wasn't Jewish ;) that's like saying Zeus is a Greek Polytheist or Joseph Smith was an Orthodox.

Deities cannot be followers of their own religions, especially when they teach extreme "heretical" offshoots.

Still good job I'm looking
 

Dovahkiing

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Jesus wasn't Jewish ;) that's like saying Zeus is a Greek Polytheist or Joseph Smith was an Orthodox.
Jesus was most certainly a Jew. He worshiped at the Temple in Jerusalem, made constant references to the Jewish prophets, and was a rabbi.
For a few decades his followers were mostly Jews who regarded him as the Messiah, and were otherwise fully Jewish. IIRC it was Paul who began to turn Christianity into its own world-conquering religion, not just a "extreme heretical offshoot" of Judiasm.


In any case, this AAR is a marvel, volkmarschall! I am most certainly tagging along for what will likely be a wondrous journey through (alternate) history!
 

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Enjoying your readable history book style. Interesting period to choose. I gather from the screenshot you will be playing as the King of Italy?
 

volksmarschall

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Now you are writing for CKII too? Today must be my lucky day! Are you playing ordinary CKII or some kind of mod? I've found ordinary CKII to be lacking in details, particularly regarding culture distributions (and cultures themselves, but not as bad as Vicky II for example).
Well, tbh, Classical and Late Antiquity is my historical period of focus and writing, so naturally, once I purchased the Old Gods DLC, we have about 150 years until we reach the new epoch in proper early medieval history, with Late Antiquity having surpassed the prior paradigm of the Dark Ages (5th-12th centuries). I couldn't help but want to write an AAR in my proper field of focus! ;)

Truthfully, I decided to go this route for the same reasons you've outlined for your semi-distaste for CKII details.

So so so so so so so following! Quite an accurate and refreshing analysis.
Thanks! Glad you'll be following! Hopefully the rest of the analysis will earn your approval too! ;)

Another Rome AAR? Volksmarschall, you spoil us! :D
Subscribed, of course.
As a Romanist, I have an obligation to do Roman/Roman-oriented AARs because that's the majority of my RL studies and work! Plus, I might convince someone to do graduate work in Roman culture or history. :p

Jesus wasn't Jewish ;) that's like saying Zeus is a Greek Polytheist or Joseph Smith was an Orthodox.

Deities cannot be followers of their own religions, especially when they teach extreme "heretical" offshoots.

Still good job I'm looking
As a historian and Seminarian I have to disagree. Jesus was most certainly Jewish. As a specialist of the Greco-Roman religions (will be my PhD. dissertation), Zeus and the Pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses are largely misunderstood (most Greeks never believed there was a true Zeus in the sense of a Zeus sitting on top of Mount Olympus). Aristotle and Plato both believed in a single transcendent deity (sort of like Antiquity's version of Deism). Christianity, as we know it today, really doesn't start to take form until after the Sack of Jerusalem in 70 CE by the Romans, by then, the majority of the first followers of Jesus, many of whom were Jews (the disciples, apostles, St. Peter & Paul) all die leaving the next generation of followers of Jesus as almost all exclusively Gentile. And of course, Joe Smith was Mormon! ;)

Although I am a devout and committed Catholic, as a historian, I can never let my religious commitments interfere with history, even in an AAR! :p Although, I'll also be upfront and admit that I may have "an unhealthy love affair" with the Eastern Orthodox Churches! :eek:o *That awe-inspiring liturgy!*

On that note, I'm glad you like the opening introduction thus far! :)

Jesus was most certainly a Jew. He worshiped at the Temple in Jerusalem, made constant references to the Jewish prophets, and was a rabbi.
For a few decades his followers were mostly Jews who regarded him as the Messiah, and were otherwise fully Jewish. IIRC it was Paul who began to turn Christianity into its own world-conquering religion, not just a "extreme heretical offshoot" of Judiasm.

In any case, this AAR is a marvel, volkmarschall! I am most certainly tagging along for what will likely be a wondrous journey through (alternate) history!
Ditto. However, I would say that before the New Perspective on Paul (coming about in the 1970s after EP Sander's "Paul and Palestinian Judaism"), the view that Paul began to form modern Christianity (sometimes derogatorily referred to as Pauline Christianity) has now been overturned and only those from the Reformed Right (very conservative Calvinists) reject the NPP. Most Christian scholars, Catholic and Protestant, have largely embraced the perspective that Paul was also a committed Jew who believed Jesus to be the Messiah and that the old paradigm of "Paul's conversion" is somewhat anachronistic.

And I most certainly hope you will enjoy the historical, and a-historical journey into Late Antiquity that I intend to provide in the AAR! ;)

Enjoying your readable history book style. Interesting period to choose. I gather from the screenshot you will be playing as the King of Italy?
Quite frankly I don't know how I'm going to proceed indefinitely. I chose Louis II at first because I just needed a screenshot for the 867 "map." Since I intend this to a history of Europe in Late Antiquity, although I may be playing as King of Italy, a lot of the AAR is intending to cover all the other major kingdoms and empires in the West and East and their developments as well.
 

ekorovin

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I will be following with interest. Also, you, Catholics, have Eastern Catholic churches with any liturgies to choose from;)
 

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Sounds like you have some grand ambitions for the scope of this AAR!
 

volksmarschall

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I will be following with interest. Also, you, Catholics, have Eastern Catholic churches with any liturgies to choose from;)
In some areas, anyway. Where I live there are a handful of Eastern-rite Churches which are much more fascinating than Latin-rite churches that don't even have the Latin liturgy anymore... but to become a full member of the eastern rite one must spend a year with the church. Already went through that from a Protestant-Deist (philosophically a Deist while just attending mainline Protestant churches) background to Catholic, so I'm in no rush to do that again. :p Although, even the eastern-rite liturgies in the vernacular are better than the vernacular Catholic liturgies by a long shot.

Sounds like you have some grand ambitions for the scope of this AAR!
A bit, but not necessarily much different than what I do for work! And with the school year over (in the States) I have nothing to do until the new semester begins. So more writing like I would otherwise do!
 

volksmarschall

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Chapter 1: The Burden of Empire

PART I: THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Ch. 1: The Burden of Empire



The guilty is to be nailed in the hands (wrist), stretched forth and left to rot upon the cross until death. The crucified, in certain instances of the display of Roman power and authority, are to remain hung upon the cross for all to see. Only until the stench of the rotting and mutilated body becomes a threat to public health, should the body be removed to be buried in mass graves with other guilty offenders. Only after the individual has died, is the soldier standing guard, permitted to leave. The guarding soldiers may, if the person has not died by sunset, take his weapon and pierce the abdomen, liver, or heart of the crucified victim – often with his entrails bleeding out of his body, to kill him so he may return to the barracks. The crucified should remain upon their crosses, with their limp and lifeless bodies, now rotten with gaping holes running down their arms as a result of their rotting flesh sinking from the nails of crucifixion – to be the sight and display for any traveler to know who holds the jurisdiction power in the region.

This is the reality of Roman crucifixion at the height of the Roman Empire; a perfect and inhumane display of epistemic violence perpetrated by the bloody and cruel need of the Roman state to maintain its political power and jurisdiction over a conquered and humiliated people. Judicial violence was the conservative normality of the Roman Empire, even in the days of the Roman Republic. Any display of Roman judicial justice conveyed a powerful image of who held political power in the region that a traveler, wanderer, or merchant was now entering. This is the Roman world in the late third and early fourth centuries.


An artist's rendition of crucifixion. Note that the nails are in the "wrists" rather than the palm of the hands. In Greek, cheiro (hand) included what we call the wrist. It is probable that the Romans inherited the art of crucifixion from the Greeks.

The art of capital punishment was delivered unto vagabonds, vagrants, murderers, enemies of the state, and other heinous criminals. However, the art of crucifixion is not unique to the Romans. It was common practice of the empires that dotted the Mediterranean for many years. Alexander the Great crucified over 2,000 during the Siege of Tyre during his conquest of the Persian Empire. The Carthaginians also practiced crucifixion as a form of capital punishment to hopefully reduce or ward off criminal behavior. It is probable, through cultural contact, the Romans simply inherited the practice from their neighbors (although they are the most famous for its use).

This practice was meant to retain the power of the Roman State, which was, by the fourth century, although still unified by the emperor Theodosius I, a weak and slowly decaying state from within. The Roman insistence on violence can be summed by the Roman motto: War, Victory, Violence, Justice, and Peace. Violence as the means to justice after victory in war leads to Pax Romana. The Roman Empire knew of no other way. In that sense, it should not be surprising that the late age of the Roman Empire was wrought with violence and corruption. Violence towards the Roman populace, violence against itself, and violence towards the hostile other typified the Roman Empire in its final century.

The burdens of empire were taking its toll on the Romans. The main problem was, while Roman control extended to the many cities along the Mediterranean, the Romans lacked the jurisdictional control in the more rural areas of their empire and were financially drained through wars, military burdens, and more than half of their subject population not actually paying taxes. The chance appearance of Roman soldiers meant two things: that the village was about to suffer the heavy hand of Roman justice, or, the enemies of Rome were nearby and by the late fourth century – the once mighty legions were a former shell of their former selves so to be safe, it would be wise to leave instead of waiting for the Roman army to suffer defeat and have one’s family be pillaged as the Barbarians sacked the local area. There was little unity in a political body that claimed itself as an empire.

At the height of Roman political governance, only about 30,000 citizens served in civil administrative roles in an empire that had some 39 million people in the fourth century. Roughly 1 civil servant for every 1300 people under Roman authority, but of this, the vast majority of civil servants were located in Roman cities; which totaled no more than about 12 million of the residents of the Roman Empire. Well over 25 million people who fell under the authority of the Roman Empire would never know or meet the provincial administrator who was supposed to be in charge of collecting taxes and administering Roman law over the subjects. As such, many of the isolated locales developed their own forms of provincial governance, systems of laws and practices, and their own means of taxation and defense. Naturally, this would pose a problem for a centralized Roman authority – but the idea that Rome itself was a centralized bureaucratic power is mostly mythical. The Roman political system was highly decentralized, only having serious concentrations of power in the major urban centers of the empire. It was only when news of possible riots or rebellions in the countryside were on the verge of breaking out, that the Roman authorities would respond. Often, the response was far too late, and the rebellion had materialized. Yet, almost all rebellions were doomed to fail once the Roman army appeared to do battle and restore order. Survivors were likely to face the brutality of Roman punishment as a means of serving justice.

The cruel punishment levied onto offenders in the later European counties and kingdoms of the medieval era come straight from the legacy of Rome. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, those who inherited what was, just centuries prior, the most feared empire in the world, had come into possession of Roman manners, customs, and means of violent justice. These practices, long staples of Roman law and jurisdictional prudence, would simply be re-applied to the new criminals of a new society, of a new political power. Indeed, the various European nobles who were largely descendants of the Barbarians that Rome had quarreled with for centuries, simply implemented Roman forms of jurisdictional punishment as their only form of justice.

The complex web of Roman bureaucracy in the cities however, testify to the instable political climate of the late period Roman Empire in the West – even after Theodosius made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. Synesius, the bishop of Ptolemais, came into conflict with the recently appointed Praeses (governor) Andronicus. While the two quarreled, Andronicus also unleashed his violence against the local civil administrators. He managed to condemn one of the administrators for tax evasion, and had him strung to a wheel which promptly pulled apart the man’s limbs and body – causing death. Synesius reported that vindictive behavior of Andronicus, which promptly led to his sacking for interference with the Church and condemnation of civil servants without proper evidence. However, such stories were common by the tail-end of the Roman Empire, as those who had power sought to retain power through forceful and violent actions to protect said power or personal interest.

This story does highlight the level of decentralized centralized authority among the political locales (or diocese). Seemingly contradictory as it might seem, the councilors and other civil administrates held great power in the Western Empire from the third century until the Empire’s collapse in 476. Their power was so absolute, that even the Praeses of the Western provinces had problems with them – and in the case of Andronicus, it led to his sacking. The evolution of political governance and stability in the west and east had gone on two different tracks – the western political system becoming increasing unstable, fragmented, isolated, and decentralized whereas in the east, the state centralized and bureaucratized itself – allowing the survival of the Roman Empire in the east for centuries to come.

The many counts and dukes that emerged in Western Europe following the fall of Rome are the direct inheritors of this decentralized manner of Roman political governance. Although the various counts and dukes pledged their allegiance to the king, just as the councilors were serving the Roman Emperor, they held the power in the region and had the ability to collect and levy taxes as they saw appropriate. In a similar manner, the dukes and counts would over “double-tax” their subjects. Collecting taxes for the king, and then collecting taxes for themselves was all too common and the common person suffered tremendously. This is truest in France, where the King of the Franks rarely held any real power, which was concentrated in the hands of various nobles in the countryside, who held the true power within the Frankish Kingdom – not the king himself.


Medieval tax collectors. Tax collectors, ever since classical antiquity, have been looked down upon and the job itself was one of the lower classes (but not the peasantry). It was an unpopular job among those who held it for very obvious reasons. Tax collectors were often forced to skim from the taxed just to make a living for themselves.

 
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Tommy4ever

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Nice build up as we hear more about the origins of the Medieval World we are approaching in this AAR. Keep up to good work!
 

volksmarschall

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Nice build up as we hear more about the origins of the Medieval World we are approaching in this AAR. Keep up to good work!
This is the easier writing part since I'm just re-writing information I have been using for my dissertation! :p Thanks for the kind words!
 

Dr.Livingstone

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Speaking of executions, i wonder if we could get some Vlad Țepeș later on? I always found Vlad fascinating, and his execution method even more so.(Yes i know the game doesn't cover that period, it was just a thought.)
 

Jokolytic

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Jesus was most certainly a Jew. He worshiped at the Temple in Jerusalem, made constant references to the Jewish prophets, and was a rabbi.
For a few decades his followers were mostly Jews who regarded him as the Messiah, and were otherwise fully Jewish. IIRC it was Paul who began to turn Christianity into its own world-conquering religion, not just a "extreme heretical offshoot" of Judiasm.


In any case, this AAR is a marvel, volkmarschall! I am most certainly tagging along for what will likely be a wondrous journey through (alternate) history!
I have actual sources that suggest otherwise. Nice try, though. ;)
 

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I have actual sources that suggest otherwise. Nice try, though. ;)
Um, I haven't read through all of it yet, but I can already see from the first page the words 'brainwashing', 'propaganda', and ' Incontestable facts'. Excuse me for taking your source with just a bit of salt. :/
 

volksmarschall

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Speaking of executions, i wonder if we could get some Vlad Țepeș later on? I always found Vlad fascinating, and his execution method even more so.(Yes i know the game doesn't cover that period, it was just a thought.)
Since impalement is from the Near East, the Assyrians, and Babylonians perhaps most famously in the ancient world - it is a possibility that upon my coverage of the eastern empires that I may or may not include some of the "exotic" things that come from the Near East during Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval Age. A part of the world that is simply fascinating and among my concentrated areas of historical study and research.

I have actual sources that suggest otherwise. Nice try, though. ;)
Um, I haven't read through all of it yet, but I can already see from the first page the words 'brainwashing', 'propaganda', and ' Incontestable facts'. Excuse me for taking your source with just a bit of salt. :/
I would prefer the candor of religious/theological discussion not to proliferate upon the comments section of this AAR, but to remain primary to the concern and content of the AAR and or historical material written of.

And since I intend to cover "how the game got to where it is" at the start of the Old Gods scenario of the game, I would kindly open the floor to where some of you may like historical exegesis on kingdoms, cultures, or societies since I do not intend to cover every possible group, just the most important? For instance, the very familiar Umayyads, Byzantines, or even the formation of the Germanic-Frankish successor kingdoms of Charlemagne - especially since the continued work of the breakup and fall of the Roman Empire will include this; and when we get to it, I'll give you all a hint, it deals with the Roman frontier fortifications known as the Limes.

So I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a preference? :) Just don't ask for the more obscure groups or kingdoms that I likely do not have source material on or for!



*NOTE* Since this has nothing to do with game, the direction the game will be played, but just an inquiry into the interest readers have in the historical backdrop for an "introductory" post in the AAR, this is not interactive or mildly interactive.
 
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Tommy4ever

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