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Peter Ebbesen

the Conqueror
61 Badges
Mar 3, 2001
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We Three Kings
- a Vae Victis multiplayer AAR -

It is written in the scrolls that mighty Egypt, eternal Egypt, ancient Egypt of the Pharaohs, modern Egypt of the Ptolemys conquered all the known world, extending its dominance from the Pillars of Heracles where in antiquity stood Atlas Telamon, to the borders of India where even great Alexander had halted.

Why is this written, the modern scholar might ask? Because the Egyptians were the ones doing most of the the writing, that's why, and they were never shy about interpreting their observations in ways their rulers preferred. That is why every minor setback is constantly proclaimed a truly horrific loss, only to be followed by completely unanticipated major victories, which could (obviously) only be ascribed to providence or their deified rulers. This may seem unusual to the initiate, but is essential to the understanding of the school of “Woe Is Me” literature, which long outlasted the Ptolemys – the hard work of portraying the richest, most advanced, and most powerful nation in the world as an underdog. If we had on hand one of the scribes responsible for such a miserable performance in this day and age, he would probably claim that “God made me do it” - fully justified, as was the case, due to the deification of their rulers.

The dearth of other sources of European history from those days has traditionally been explained by the regression of the Hellenistic world outside Egypt and the poor standards of record keeping in the Roman Republic, which, while it did share centre stage on the world scene for a century or two, ultimately came to nothing and left no worthy remains – proof positive that republicanism does not work in practice.

During the recent peace treaty, however, I have managed to gain access to the “Secret History of Pontus” - for long a state secret of Pontus and which document's very existence was only confirmed a decade ago, which hints at a deliberate regression to pre-literate status for most of the people under the sway of Pontus – and an intrepid adventuring archaeologist managed to obtain what appears to be an original unexpurgated copy of “Blasted Numidia” including the seven heretic chapters, the uncensored love instructions for the proper worship of Tanit, and all the denunciations by the clergy of Baal Hammon, which, if its mad ramblings can be considered in any way a trustworthy source (hardly likely), gives another view of the “Incidents Past The Sea” than any that has been proposed prior to this.

I will illustrate with a few chapters starting from the time that the respective narratives intersect, the year AUC 562. Pontus is a speck of dust, Egypt greedily eyes the failing Seleucid Empire, Numidia is poised to push the Carthaginian state into the sea, and across the sea Rome is strengthening its grip on Hispania.


And we are set to go. Vae Victis 2.1 with the unofficial Hotfixes 2.14b and egyptian missions fix on normal difficulty.

The set up is the AUC 562 bookmark, but due to excessive clicking back and forth between bookmarks when trying to decide what to play, some provinces have had their triple (cit, fre, slav) seriously messed up (most citizens turned to freemen, most freemen to slaves). This appears to have primarily affected Numidia – Pontus and Egypt appear to be entirely unaffected.

This is not a particularly cut-throat game, in fact, you could say that we are all incredibly peaceful and shy of conflict. In addition, with the exception of Jarkko, we are pretty incompetent at playing Rome with VV since we had only touched it for a week or three prior to starting this game, so don't expect any military campaigns to make you shiver with awe. Rather, expect stubbornness beyond sanity or reason as we try to outstubborn the AI without looking too frail in the eyes of the other two players.

Three players, each a king in his own right, means that any inter-player conflict will almost inevitably end up as a 2v1 war, and we will undoubtedly try to go very, very, far to avoid being the one triggering such a war.

We play one session per week (if nothing interferes), and will faithfully and almost entirely without any deliberate propaganda* describe the unfolding history as seen from our particular view.

  • Eternal Egypt – Jarkko Suvinen
  • Blasted Numidia – Peter Ebbesen
  • Upstart Pontus – Wyvern

* Yes, I am lying here. Just wait for Jarkko “The Trumpet of Truth” Suvinen to start weeping about the mess he is in. Just like the old days of EU2 MP AARs. :)
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The world in February 5th, 570 AUC

Eternal Egypt: 562-570
- The Reign of Ptolemy V Epiphanes, part I -

Even though Pharaoh Ptolemy V (Epiphanes) is remembered as a great pharaoh who returned Egypt to be a power to be reckoned, his time was full of trouble and concern. He was not a nice child, and this has to be blamed on the incomptent nannies who took care of him during the early years. Already as a baby he did like to slowly rip off limbs of anything he could catch. Later on, when his dear papa had died and he became the pharaoh at the age of five, he found it very interesting to order his soldiers to tear off limbs from living people. His old tutor, Hypesthis, finally tried to inform the young pharaoh this was not a good thing, but after the pharaoh had ordered the limbs of Hypesthis to be ripped off, nobody ever again mentioned about this to the pharaoh.

The population of Egypt was not too happy with their cruel and, as some claimed, incompetent pharaoh. At AUC 562, tensions began rising everywhere. Ptolemy was still only 16 years and his court was unruly. The various regents had named their own favourites to the court, and it was very hard to get any decisions accepted. Seleucids had a few years earlier conquered Judea and everything north of it, save Cyprus, from Egypt, and it was obvious Seleucids wanted to get Cyprus wrestled from Egypt too, and make Egypt a vassal state of the Seleucid kingdom.

By a divine intervention pharaoh Ptolemy finally understood something would have to be done, or else he would remain as pharaoh for a very short time indeed. On the advice of his loyal Chief Eunuch, Philocrates Ahmed, pharaoh Ptolemy forced new laws, intended to strengthen the stability of Egypt. The type of governement was changed to a Theocracy, Egypt was declared a Religious State, where the Pharaoh had Divine Right to rule the nation. Also, the old beliefs of Egypt were declared as the National Faith.

The last decission was hailed by the majority of the population. However, the areas where Greeks were in the majority this caused much distress. The people in Cyprus and Cyrenaica did rapidly lose their confidence in the "High Priest" pharaoh who thus had turned his back to his hellenistic roots.


Despite his best intentions, the population remained unruly. Ptolemy’s court was in shambles, his ministers fighting with each other daily. The garrisoning army in Sinai, watching the ever stronger Seleucid army across the border, began also show marks of restlessness. On the advice of the Chief Eunuch Ptolemy did name Nesisti, an Egyptian noble of the Penamid family, as the commander of the army. The narrow-minded Nesisti had absolutely no experience to be a general, but he was utterly loyal to Ptolemy after Ptolemy had declared the Egyptian faith as the national religion.

In June 562 AUC the Civil War broke out. Five of the eight ministers in Ptolemy’s court joined the rebelling faction. The rebels named Ptolemy’s former Civic Magistrate, a greek noble called Scopas, as the usurper pharaoh. Scopas was an old friend of Nesisti's father, and the rebels assumed Scopas would be able use this to pressure Nesisti to join the rebels. However Scopas failed to convince Nesisti, and Scopas barely escaped from Sinai (where Nesistis headquarter was) to Cyprus. In Cyprus the greek population hailed Scopas as the saviour.

Nesisti sent word to Alexandria, and the loyal fleet blockaded the port, checking all ships heading out. The other rebelling ministers thus couldn't leave to Cyprus, but did head westwards towards Cyrenaica. In Marmarica their escape was cut off, because Philocrates the Chief Eunuch was heading there from west at the head of a small loyalist army. Some of the rebels then turned southwards, scrambling towards Upper Egypt.

In the end no field-troops joined the rebels. The provinces, along with the garrisons there, of Marmarica, Ammon and Oasis Parva declared their support for Scopas, as did of course Cyprus. Soon however all rebelling towns were besieged by loyalist troops, in October loyalist troops landed in Cyprus and started to besiege Paphos, the capital of the usurper pharaoh.

In November the greek settlers in Cyrenaica were called together by the wealthy merchant Nikandros Theronid. Using liberal bribes, which drove himself practically broke, he convinced the greeks that their future was not with Egypt. The greeks agreed that Ptolemy had betrayed them all, and that the soldier-settlers would have it better if they would defend their own rights. A declaration of independence was formalised, Nikandros Theorind was named the Basileus (the king), and a letter was sent to Ptolemy. The greek settlers informed they do not wish to fight with Ptolemy and his egyptians, they just want to live in peace and continue their greek way of life in Cyrenaica.

Ptolemy was fuming with rage. In less than six months he had lost the control in over half of his lands. Being totally impotent to take any action against the greeks in Cyrenaica, he simply ignored them. For now.


Egypt in November 562

In July next year Cyprus, the last stronghold of the usurper Scopas, fell to loyalist troops. The population suddenly felt much more confident with their cruel pharaoh, although he still was far from popular.

However, troops were not given much rest. They were immediately ordered to march towards the Cyrenaican border. Troops from Cyprus were loaded onto ships, and sent towards Barca. The formal declaration of war was sent to Basileus Theronid, and the Egyptian troops crossed the border and marines landed in Barca. The greek settlers fought hard, but a year later Theronid did surrender on the terms that Barca would remain independent. All other lands of the Cyrenaican kingdom were ceded back to Egypt.

During the civil war several egyptian nobles had stepped forwards when Ptolemy needed loyal faces in his court. Not only was the new court loyal, they also were much more competent than the former ministers. Some advisors still had a lot to be desired, but mostly they were doing a decent job. Ptolemy declared the Chief Eunuch as his heir "until a son is born to us". The new advisors were loyal to the heir apparent, and in fact any questions in that sense saw actions been taken immediately by the Chief Eunuch.


General Nesisti, whose loyalty had seen the civil war end so successfully for Ptolemy, was named the Royal Huntsman, and command of the army was given to one of his most able lieutenants Phila Senuid. As Strategos Phila Senuid proved to be invaluable to Egypt, for years he strengthened the defensive lines in Sinai, drilling his troops. During the tense period with Seleucids in 566 Phila Senuid did show his capabilities as army commander: The Seleucids ordered their army (according to some sources nearly 40 thousand men strong) towards the border, where Phila Senuid with his 30 thousand men were waiting. After two months of a very stressed situation the Seleucids pulled back, and things settled back to normal.

Ptolemy himself was still far from popular. The Trierarchos Nakhtoreb Ahmid (cousin of the chief eunuch) prepared for Ptolemy an elite fleet with only four ships. The fleet was in name commanded by Ptolemy himself, but the ship crews were veteran pirate hunters from years back. It was claimed Ptolemy spent his time in the fleet by slowly burning live sea-gulls while poking their eyes with his thin dagger, but never the less the agile fleet was successful in its anti-pirate campaign. A triumph was organised for Ptolemy, and he was gaining more and more popularity.

After the successful anti-pirate campaign Ptolemy wanted to also gain fame on land. In 567 an army was raised for him to lead (although it is claimed in fact the Polemarchos Callimachus was leading the army while Ptolemy focused on other interests), and the army set towards the barbarian held city of Petra. The barbarians did surprise Ptolemy’s force outside the town of Petra, and Ptolemy’s force was soundly beaten. It is said Ptolemy and Callimachus were questioning a prisoner when the barbarian attack began, and Ptolemy had specifically told nobody to interfere the questioning "Even if the gods themselves appeared". The disordered army broke soon, and Ptolemy and his army began a retreat towards Sinai. The barbarians had found the remains of the prisoner who Ptolemy had been questioning, and "A wave of rage went through their lines, Ptolemy had succeeded to goad the barbarians into a foolish attack by capturing their holy man." as the official communique said afterwards. The angry barbarians began a hot pursuit after Ptolemy’s troops. A messenger was sent to Strategos Senuid, who prepared his force and totally destroyed the barbarian force in the battle of East Sinai. The barbarians were sold to slavery, and egyptian colonists were ordered to Petra to set up an Egyptian town.

While the fracas with the barbarians in Petra was still underway, the Chief Eunuch, in late 567, sent spies to desecrate holy sites on Crete. He secretly told a trader from Crete about the plan, and the Egyptian insurgents were captured and promptly executed. The Chief Eunuch had already commanded the western army onboard the Egyptian fleet, and it was sailing towards Crete. News arrived of the execution, and the Chief Eunuch used this as an excuse to send a punitive force "to search for the criminals who murdered egyptian nobles". Effectively Crete was invaded, and after a few months annexed by Egypt.

Nichorates Pytheid, the former king of Crete, was first thrown into jail in Alexadria, but after a year he was released and placed in the court of Ptolemy. This move has been seen as an attempt to please Ptolemy’s greek subordinates, although Ptolemy simply may have wanted the very talented (and ambitious) former king to act as an advisor who is not affiliated with the Egyptian nobility in any way.

The Chief Eunuch Ahmed was very interested in sciences. He personally made sure enough papyrus was available to all nobles interested in researching new ideas. Pharaoh Ptolemy also made it known it is the divine will that new technologies shall be invented. New omens about the divine duty to research were invoked repeadetly, and a new golden age of Egyptian science began in earnest.

Foreign politics was not of much concern during this period. Egypt had enough of internal problems, but the danger of Seleucids was always imminent. Thus a defensive alliance was signed with Pontus against Seleucid aggression, and that may indeed have put a halt on offensive plans of the Seleucids. What it did allow though was to give Pontus an excellent opportunity to annex the smaller greek states in Asia Minor. The Chief Eunuch and Pharaoh also noted with concern how easily the barbarians of Numidia annexed most of Carthage; it was obvious a new super power had been born.

A son was finally born to Ptolemy and his wife Timo Galestid in 569. There was much rejoicing, and the court members, except the Cief Eunuch who still was in Crete commanding the patrollling army there, all proclaimed their loyalty to the new heir. Interestingly enough it seems the Chief Eunuch showed first time marks of disloyalty at this point. The Chief Eunuch had grown to the idea that he was the most important man in Egypt, and now everything had changed because of this new baby called Amyrteos Ptolemy.

Soon after the son had been born pharaoh Ptolemy took his army and marched west. He informed he shall "now finish off the rabble in Barca". Ptolemy declared war on the greeks in Barca, and this time his army did soundly beat the small greek force sent against him. After a siege that lasted six months the Greek kingdom of Cyrenaica ceased to exist. In December 569 Barca was annexed. Egypt was again complete.

The world in February 5th, 570 AUC
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Secret History of Pontus: 562-570
- The Syrian War -​

“Everyone settle down. Quiet please. This term we are going to be studying the history of Pontus from the time of the Syrian War, as well as looking at the rise and fall of the other great civilisations of the wider Mediterranean.”

“Firstly who can tell me where the Capital of Pontus was?”

“Penelope? Very good, and here’s a picture for you all of the small kingdom before it began its rise to greatness”


Pontus in the year 562

“As Penelope said Pontus began life as a small kingdom off the southern shore of the black sea. What makes the Syrian War such an interesting starting point to study is how they used the conflict between Rome and the Seleucid Empire to foster their own rapid expansion.”

“Pontus wasn’t directly involved in that war but she was allied to the Seleucid’s, and used that alliance as an umbrella of protection to quickly invade and annex Galatia, Bithynia and Capadocia in the space of a couple of years as well as colonising Trebizond and Thracia, the latter of which would provide an important gateway into Greece in later years. Under normal circumstances they could have expected the Seleucid Empire to intervene and squash such an aggressive expansion by one of their neighbours, but the Seleucids would remain embroiled in a fierce war in Greece for the next 8 years allowing Pontus time to consolidate their gains.”

“Almost the whole of Pontus society was geared for war, with the military revered above all else, something that would have repercussions in later centuries. The army was modelled on the legions of Rome, favouring strong well equipped heavy infantry with only a modest nod towards the use of cavalry on the battlefield. There’s also evidence to suggest that they had to trade as far afield as Cantabri in Hispania for a superior grade iron to outfit those early armies.”

“Penelope, you have a question? Well we will be covering that in more depth later in the course but yes, by concentrating fully on their military other areas of society did suffer. Citizenship for example wasn’t encouraged in any of the conquered territory which in time led to a heavily slave dependent society, but we have a full study module on that later in the course so I don’t want to go in to it now.”

“I mentioned that we would also be looking at some of the other civilisations of this period and we’ll go in to some of them in more depth in future weeks, for now it’s worth mentioning that Pontus allied herself with one very prominent Kingdom in the form of Egypt, who aside from her seemingly constant civil wars could otherwise be regarded as the pre-eminent nation of the next century and one Pontus clearly hoped would stave off any Seleucid aggression, a hope that would be in vain as it turned out, but the story behind that will have to wait for next week. For now let’s end with a look at Pontus in the year 570.”

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This sounds interesting! I'll be watching to see when the inevitable dogpile on Rome happens, and who steals what land (My bet is on Numidia getting Spain, Pontus annexing half of Greece, and Egypt taking lower Italy).
Egypt is peaceful and would not dream of invading Italy. Fluffy bunnies and flowers, that is what Egypt is about :)
Congratulations on a good MP AAR. I thought the Rome MP community was just about non-existent, so it is good to see that another group is playing. The group I was in (Rise of the Minors) is trying to re-form, but we have only two or three players. Would you be interested in merging into a 5 to 6 player group.
Would you be interested in merging into a 5 to 6 player group.
Sorry, but no.

First of all, we've already played quite a few sessions (and soon as Peter finds his muse and sends in his first part of the AAR (hint hint Peter, nudge nudge ;) ) we would then send in the AARs from the second session and so on).

Secondly, the times your group plays at is totally impossible to play in for me (and I suspect Peter and Gary too). Your games play at 11 PM to 5 AM local time, and I don't love Rome quite *that* much ( I usually have to be at work at 7 or 8 AM) :p
Blasted Numidia: 562-570
- The Life and Times of Masinissa the Great -
- according to his most trusted advisor -

§1. Great Masinissa (6/5/3), king, lord of both the tribes of Massylii and Masaesyli, humbler of Carthage in the so-called Second Punic War, ruler by the grace of the Roman Republic once upon a time, by his own grace these days, did in those days direct his Royal Treasurer, Peneus Naravid, he of the Camel-Crazy Naravids, most trusted advisor to the crown, to bloody well shut up with his internal narrative exposition, and listen.

§2. And Peneus Naravid (2/7/6), he of the Camel-Crazy Naravids and not to forget most trusted advisor to the crown, did bloody well shut up and pay attention.

§2.1 And he ate a fish.

§3. Great Masinissa did then decry the state of his kingdom. Carthaginians to the north, impenetrable desert to the south, howling barbarians to the east and west, and, worst of all, though he himself was a devout follower of the possibly mythic and decidedly heretical polar bear, Lord Cool, and his harem of penguins, and I have delivered many pamphlets to the great king on that issue in the past (with illustrations!), the people were mostly devout followers of the true Carthaginian pantheon, praise Tanit. I petitioned him for the post of strategos on the spot as the solution to his problems!

§4. And the king did point out that though he liked Peneus Naravid and did consider him his most trusted advisor, and reckoned him remarkably efficient at his job as Royal Treasurer despite his natural handicaps, he also considered Naravid's traits of being at the same time Guileless, Incapable, Maniac, Blunt, Corrupt, Lustful, Gluttonous, Humble, Submissive, Unnoticable, Trusting, Weakwilled, Brave, Reckless, Pious, Zealeous, Devout, and Narrowminded to be detrimental to the job of strategos and, besides, he pointed out that Naravid was banned from the use of sharp instruments in public after that unfortunate dinner incident, about which the less is said the better, but I do love them nice and sharp!

Great Masinissa did then return Peneus Naravid to his comfortably padded cell, rested his head in his mighty hands, and mumbled, “There's got to be a better way to be remembered by posterity and to unload your worries after a tough day at work.”

So he strapped on his armour and his horse and sped out the front gate at at least 200 km/h forgetting for a while the woes of bureaucracy and the question of whether focusing on horse lords, tax farming, and civic duty, not to mention anachronistic misuse of measurements, was really what he wanted to be remembered for.

Raising the tribes, he rode all over the place and trampled the barbarians from Mauretania to Leptis Magna, and what sort of bloody stupid names were those anyway, and in 565 AUC he overran Carthage and stripped it of all its holdings save the capital, because the damn priests claimed it was the civilized way to do things (this, after they had also damned him for attacking “without a casus belli” - one would think they were Romans!). He lost one fight to a dimwitted floozy half his age Aspacia Penamid (0/5/0) who had huge tracts of land but was only capable of carrying daughters.

He made a secret treaty or, to be more precise, reached an understanding, with the religious nutjob in Egypt by which both agreed that the area called Corniclanum (those Romans really do get everywhere with their naming!) should remain uncolonized by both parties to signify that, being friendly and trustworthy as clams, neither of the parties were going to need a highway into each other's heartland anytime soon.

He put citizenship for sale, persecuted pirates, built irrigation all over the place, and hired some Egyptian scribes to write that he was great, but the scribes were defective and did not survive a visit by my tax gatherers.


And in his comfortable cell, Peneus Naravid scribbled for none of the world to see.

Chieuf Eunuch: Isocrates Ahmid (7/7/8), 34. His ambition is to have a son. MOST suspicious.
Chancellor: Charis Galestid (7/8/6), 41. A boring man.
Royal Treasurer: ME (2/7/6), 34, most loyal and trusted of all.
Torturer: Psherenptah Penamid (5/0/9), 34. A man without wit or charm.

All councillors are of the true faith and so are most of the magistrates and all of the nomarchs. We are so close to representing the gods in this world as we can be, yet the king does not see! The only solution is to finally annex Carthage and have the king visit the great altars. THEN, surely, he will see!

My king, great Masinissa, is 54 years old now, long may he reign. If, against all odds, he should not the succession is as follows:
  • The great king's son, Micipsa (2/5/5), aged 20. He is an ignorant follower of Lord Cool like his father but may yet see the true faith, gods willing.
  • Micipsa's son, Djedhor Massinid. An infant claimed for the true faith.
  • The great king's second son, Gulussa (5/2/4), aged 18. Yet another animist.
  • The great king's third son, Mastanabal (2/6/3), aged 12. A precocious boy who loves the true faith. He always has questions to me about the worship of Baal-Hamon and Tanit. I am teaching him to be great.

I asked the great king today if I was allowed a province, but he told me I was not allowed to use blunt weapons either, which is a bummer. Without a province to use as provocation, how shall I convince him to end Carthage as soon as possible? There's only one solution – praying on my knees – but come the hour, come the man!
Eternal Egypt: 570-585
- The Reign of Ptolemy V Epiphanes, part II -

Early in AUC 570 pharaoh Ptolemy V had stabilised Egypt for the time being. Ptolemy declared his newborn son as the legal heir, and it was generally greeted with acceptance both from the nobles and general population. However, the chief eunch Philocrates Ahmid was not content with the situation, and he did not quietly accept the loss of his status as the heir. Ptolemy and Ahmid finally came to the conclusion that under the circumstances it was best if Ahmid did not continue as the Chief Eunuch. Philocrates Ahmid was instead named as the general governor of "Crete and the Aegean Sea", given the command of the 30 000 men strong Northern Army and the Fleet of Crete with its 30 triremes, and a carte blanche to extend Egyptian protectorates in Greece and Asia Minor. Pharaoh Ptolemy also showed his great gratitude to his former chief eunuch with wagonloads of gold and rare spices. Philocrates Ahmid in return declared his support for Amyrteos Ptolemy as the legal heir.

Ptolemy named as the new Chief Eunuch the former king of the Cyrenaica, Nikandros Theronid. Theronid was also very keen to find out new improvements, but he also was a great supporter of arts. In many new projects style was considered before functionality, which did see many state funded projects to have trouble to stay within budget limits. Still, the aesthetic state owned public buildings became over the following decades an endless source of pride for the people of Egypt.

Soon after the huge Seleucid Empire declared war on Pontus with whome Egypt had a defensive alliance. Egypt duly declared war on Seleucids, but it began to seem Seleucids would simply overrun Pontus. Ptolemy urged his generals to press on with the attack fast; Ptolemy also asked Philocrates Ahmid to send in his troops to make naval invasions, and Ahmid indeed did sail to the shores of Syria and invaded. Meanwhile Egyptian main-forces conquered Judea and began besieging Damascus. The combined Egyptian fleets sunk or captured all of the Seleucid ships that could be found in the open waters.

At this point the Seleucids turned their attention from Pontus towards the Egyptian front. Seleucids had practically conquered Pontus, but did not finish their work as the superior Egypt forces were pushing on like a juggernaut. Some 150,000 Seleucid troops in all were diverted from the conquest of Pontus to face the Egyptians, and Pontus was saved from total destruction. With most Seleucids withdrawn from Asia Minor, the miniscule army of Pontus was able to start reconquesting their lost lands.

As a Seleucid army of 90,000 troops from north and some 60,000 troops from east were marching on to Syria, Philocrates Ahmid ordered his marine army to be evacuated on to the fleet and set sail for Crete. The 60,000 strong main army was ordered to slowly retreat towards Egypt and take positions in Sinai, where the 10,000 strong Palace Guard had been sent to prepare the defense. Ptolemy himself took a quick journey to Barca and personally took command of the 30,000 men strong Army of Cyrenaica in the west, and ordered the men to rapidly march eastwards.

In 573 the massive Seleucid army was bearing down on Sinai. More reinforcements had joined the Seleucids who had had staggering losses due to attrition, and they did number in all some 125,000 troops. Facing them were the 70,000 Egyptian troops under the command of Nichorates Pytheid (the former king of Crete) and Phila Senuid (the able general of the 1st army) as Ptolemy and the Army of Cyrenaica had problems crossing the flooding Nile and was thus not available for the battle.

Despite the strong defensive position, Egyptians were ordered to retreat after a week of constant fighting. The Seleucids succeeded to flank the Egyptian position, and the whole Egyptian army was in danger to be destroyed. In all some 30,000 Egyptian troops and some 25,000 Seleucid troops died during the battles.

West of Sinai the forces of generals Pytheid and Senuid joined Ptolemy's army of Cyrenaica. Ptolemy gave full command of the army to Pytheid, who ordered the troops to take defensive positions. Meanwhile the Seleucids did lay siege on Sinai, but were having serious supply issues, especially fresh water was short. Many Seleucids deserted the army under this time, many fell for diseases caused by the lack of water.

Finally the Seleucids did attempt to assault the besieged fort of Sinai, and this was the moment general Pytheid had been waiting for. Ptolemy invoked an omen which further bolstered the morale of the Egyptian troops. Pytheid ordered his now 90 thousand strong army to attack the weakened Seleucid positions. Word was sent to Ahmid to land the marine corps in Judea to cut of the retreat of the Seleucids.

The Seleucid assault on the fort of Sinai failed, and they were ordered to retreat towards Judea in the face of the army under Pytheid. Pytheids force however did catch up with the Seleucid army, and in a glorious battle the Seleucids were soundly beaten. The demoralised Seleucids were now in full rout towards Judea, where Philocrates Ahmid landed and prepared a trap. The routing Seleucids ran right into the massive trap, and the whole Seleucid army ceased to exist.

Ahmid was left to siege Judea, Ptolemy boarded 30 regiments on the ships and sailed towards Cyrenaica, while Pytheid split the main army into two spearheads advancing towards Damascus (under his own command) and Phoenicia (under the command of Senuid). All three (Judea, Phoenicia and Damascus) soon after fell to the Egyptians, and the two spearheads were rushing towards Syria and Choele-Syria, totally uncontested.

With nothing but scattered Seleucid garrisons within hundreds of miles victory for Egypt was total. Egypt had not only saved Pontus, but superior leadership and strategy had turned a defeat into a marvelous victory.

Sadly the king of Pontus did not view the situation favourably. As the leader of the alliance he entered negotitations with the Seleucids. Finally the Seleucids offered an alliance wide white peace, which Pontus eagerly accepted. It is not entirely certain if the diplomats of Pontus did this because of stupidity or wether it was because Pontus was unhappy with the marvelous success Egypt had shown on the fields of battle. Never the less, peace was signed, and Egypt had nothing to show for it except their pride of once again being superior in all possible ways compared with the Seleucids.

With the Seleucid war over, some minor states broke away from the Seleucid Empire. The local populations saw their time to have arrived and declared independence. Sadly for them the kingdom of Pontus immediatly did lay claim on them, and their existence seemed very short. Pharaoh Ptolemy decided Egypt shall protect the new independent state of Judea from outside aggressors, and sent in security forces to help uphold law and order. After a few months Dori Nirid, the ruler of Judea, asked Ptolemy to accept Judea to become a part of kingdom of Egypt. The pharaoh was delighted by this, and offered in return a seat in the Egyptian court to this energetic and skilled individual.

A Civil War broke out in the Kingdom of Seleucids in AUC 576. Egypt immediatly informed her support to the rebels and adviced basileus Seleucus to come to reason and step aside. However, kingdom of Macedon all of the sudden declared war on Egypt, demanding Egypt to stop meddling in Seleucid matters. This was all that general governor Ahmed needed, and a swift campaign to Macedon was under taken. In mere months Macedon was subjugated and added to the juristiction of Ahmed. However, in the court of Alexandria some were not happy with the success of Ahmid. In fact they succeeded to lure pharaoh Ptolemy into selling Macedon for a few horses to Pontus. This has universally been seen as one of the most unsuccesfull trade of known history. Not only was the rich province of Macedon lost, but it was the final straw that caused the relations between Ptolemy and Ahmid to reach the break-point.

In the east a dreadful war was raging on, where Seleucid brother killed Seleucid brother. Egypt sent peace-keeping forces to Damascus, Perga and Pisidia, but the horrible civil war did not seem to have an end. Finally, after three years, Egypt had no other choice but to step into the conflict, and in less than a year the superiority of Egyptian troops and generals saw the conflict end. Egyptian troops stood victorious in Babylon, Atropatene and Syria, with all supporters of basileus Seleucid crushed. Manchir Pachorid, the new Basileus of Seleucids, was grateful for the Egyptian help, but did ask Egypt to leave the peace-keeping forces to areas where the support for basileus Seleucid had been strongest (where Egypt had in fact been the de facto ruler already for several years).

Thus in AUC 585 Damascus, Perga and Pisidia were formally added to the Egyptian kingdom. This has later been seen as start date of the golden age in Egyptian foreign policies, and as the main verdict that pharaoh Ptolemy V was one of the great pharaohs in the long history of Egypt.

The world from 562 AUC to 585 AUC
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Secret History of Pontus: 570-585
- Egyptian Duplicity ? -​

“I hope you all completed last week’s assignment, comparing the first chapter of our eminent Egyptian historian Suvinus’ text The woes of Ancient Egypt covering the period 570 to 585 against the work of Dr G Barnes for the same period. Let’s see, yes Arnold why don’t you read us the salient points from your paper?”

“Well Sir, Dr Barnes describes how Pontus very nearly fell to the Seleucid Empire in the year 572 following that nation’s declaration of war. Only the able generalship of Aenias Helladid saved the kingdom from complete collapse. Beset on all sides and with the country half overrun, Aenias slowly turned the tide with little over 40,000 men, whilst most accounts from the time estimate the invading numbers to have been at least 150,000 with some reports putting the figure much higher. What we do know is that the turning point in the war came after more than 12 months of fighting when Aenias routed to a man the two main Seleucid armies in the space of 2 months with the famous battles both taking place in the province of Bithynia, the loss of which would have had a severe effect on Pontus’ economy through the loss of the tolls from the Eastern Sound.”

“Suvinus says Aenias overextend himself at this point by then invading Seleucid settlements in Asia Minor all along the southern coast, only to then be defeated in detail a few months later when Seleucid reinforcements returned to the north. In Dr Barnes book he suggests that these armies were most likely transferred from the Egyptian front, hinting that perhaps Egypt was secretly looking to see Pontus crippled. Suvinus however very clearly states that Pontus owed her survival to the Great Pharaoh Ptolemy and that she would otherwise have been overrun without Egyptian efforts in the south. Dr Barnes counters this account of Suvinus by pointing out that Pontus destroyed the better part of the original Seleucid army on their own and also that the recent scroll fragments coming out of the Memphis dig seem to establish very clearly that Pontus was pretty much on her own in this war after the first few initial skirmishes along the Egyptian border, I quote: “
”From unknown Egyptian author possibly Pharaoh Ptolemy circa 575 AUD” said:

Coincidently, just when Egypt (who had duly answered the call to allies when Seleucids declared war on Pontus) began to overrun Seleucid terrain, destroying a 40k strong Seleucid army in Phoenicia, and I started to greedily watch what I should nick, I had to go afk (the youngest kid had nightmares and wanted to drink water etc). When I came back to proceed with the steam-roll, I noticed Pontus had accepted an alliance wide White Peace. Oh bummer... OTOH, the alliance was signed as a defensive pact against Seleucids, so the war served its purpose.
“Most modern historians now accept this scroll fragment as genuine, one of many coming out of the recent Memphis dig with the style and grammer very firmly placing it as being written by one of the Egyptian elite. The suggestion, though unproven is that this particular fragment was written by the Great Pharaoh himself and that the young son mentioned in the text was likely none other than Amyrteos Ptolemy, the Pharaoh's heir. The fragment also confirms that the war ended with the original borders of all sides intact.”

“Why did the Seleucid Empire make such a peace if their second wave of warriors had broken the back of the Pontus armies? Aenias’s own account of the time admits that his army was basically a broken force at the end and that Pontus had little more than 15,000 warriors remaining under arms and fleeing for their lives. Suvinus says that the Empire offered Pontus peace due to Egyptian pressure, but the Memphis dig evidence makes this a questionable hypothesis at best. Dr Barnes puts forward the theory that Antiochus who was the Seleucid King at the time had got wind of a rebel plan to overthrow him and had decided that it was more prudent to quickly make peace with Pontus and concentrate on threats closer to home. We know from the historical record that 2 months after making peace with Pontus the Seleucid Empire erupted into civil war so I find Dr Barnes hypothesis the stronger one.”

“Very good Arnold, you may sit down now.”

“Both scholars have a lot more to say on the period. Suvinus was writing much closer to the time of the actual events in question though his words were far from a firsthand account, whilst Dr Barnes has the advantage of all that modern archaeology brings to the table as well as the priceless treasures coming out of Memphis.”

“It’s reasonable to assume some measure of writing for the people and times will cloud any historical work, and we know that Suvinus’ was commission to write many of his histories by the Egyptian court. As students we must always weigh up the evidence, be it ancient scrolls, hieroglyphs or seemingly reputable published works. Both ancient and modern writers can suffer from bias, whether deliberate as in the victor writes the history or a simple misinterpretation of facts, but even a biased account can tell us much about the ancient world."

“Now let’s take a quick look at Dr Barnes book The secret History of Pontus he shows how Pontus was quick to act on the chaos that engulfed central Greece shortly after the Seleucid war when Macedonian rebels tired of cosying up to Rome overthrew their King, renouncing all ties to Rome. On the excuse of bringing order to the region Pontus invaded with an army consisting almost entirely of mercenaries before Rome could try and intervene, and in a campaign that once more showed the brilliance of the general Aenias Helladid, managed to quell all of Macedon, reducing the Greek state to the city of Pilla alone with barely a loss worth mentioning.”

“This raises an interesting point for discussion. With most of central Greece now under Pontus rule except for the Macedonian capital, why did Egypt a couple of years later sail a fleet of ships across the Aegean and annex that capital? The version of events from Suvinus is that Egypt had taken advantage of the Seleucid civil war to grab Judea, Damascus, Perga and Psidia off the Seleucid Rebels, and as Macedonia had decided to ally with the Seleucid Rebels and declare war on Egypt it was only right that they should annex Macedonia too. Let me read an interesting paragraph from Suvinus’ history:”

”Pontus did annex most of Greece and Asia Minor, including the former Egypt province of Macedonia (which Egypt did trade to Pontus to upkeep friendly relations, because they seemed to go bananas about this one particular province). With all provinces being correct culture and correct religion, Pontus is an awesome powerhouse.”

“So as we see Egypt subsequently gave Macedonia over to Pontus for a lot of gold, yet why did they take it in the first place? Dr Barnes suggests that what really happened was that the Pharaoh got cold feet at the last moment over the prospect of a war with Pontus, which keeping Pella would almost certainly have triggered and so he or his advisors decided it was better to get Pontus to cough up as much gold as possible in return for handing over the city and thereby maintain their anti-Seleucid alliance with Pontus. We can conclude from this that the massive building frenzy across Egypt that is easily traced to that time was in fact funded by Pontus gold!”