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Re: [alternate-history] Re: loki's variant sort of

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  • Victorian Cow
    I m leaving the whole below as I am not sure how much sense this will make without crossreference. 1. There is a belief that many of the socalled invading
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 29, 2001
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      I'm leaving the whole below as I am not sure how much sense this will make
      without crossreference.

      1. There is a belief that many of the socalled invading German tribes were
      initially spread out as interior garrisons against the hordes of peasant
      insurrectionaries / bandits that infested the West in the fourth and fifth

      2. The biggest Roman luxury good for the Germans was food in the winter.
      Supposedly the early fifth century collapse of the Rhine came when starving
      Germans appeared before the Rhine fortress cities seeking food, only this
      time there were too many to feed and the water routes stayed closed too long
      to get food from other locations in time.

      3. the slow change from taxes in money to taxes in kind were an attempt to
      remedy a fiscal situation that had no solution short of an emperor with the
      balls and power to break with the landholding / senatorial class. Which
      would have produced yet more civil wars as they fought to avoid this.

      4. The underlieing problem is that the Empire's structure was essentially ad
      hoc. From Augustus to the fall of the west, the western provinces had the
      manpower but lacked the developed fiscal resources. The East was the
      reverse. Whenever the two split for any major period of time the West was
      in trouble first as recruits were more mobile than specie.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Morpheus Laughing" <gothkiller@...>
      To: <alternate-history@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 12:16 PM
      Subject: [alternate-history] Re: loki's variant sort of

      > --- In alternate-history@y..., "Scott Palter" <victoriancow2345@e...>
      > wrote:
      > > As late as the late fourth century Roman armies were invading German
      > > territority across the Danube and Rhine at will whenever their
      > f..... up
      > > political situation permitted.
      > >
      > > The Roman problem was two fold. For a variety of sociocultural
      > reasons they
      > > lacked the military manpower to expand the army much over 28-30
      > legions.
      > > There were more than enough people but the landlords would not
      > surrender
      > > workers to the army and tyhe army would not willingly take city
      > dwellers
      > > from the interior as recruits.
      > >
      > > The tax structure of the Empire was also such that it would have had
      > trouble
      > > maintaining an army of much greater size. They could feed it and
      > equip it.
      > > The problem was cash, too much of which was in the hands of aristo
      > landlords
      > > with the clout to evade most taxes.
      > >
      > > Scott
      > I agree with this completely... Roman problems were at their core,
      > were based on the economics of their society... basically as time
      > progressed, the loacal landlords got more and more powerful and had
      > less and less incentive to send in any funds to the central
      > government... In terms of protection--much of it became very localized
      > and was actually in the form of "paid" German tribes to protect the
      > borders against other german tribes...
      > In any case.. I remember that there was a really interesting book on
      > this that I read that went on about how the Romans actually created
      > their own German problems by totally destabilizing the German tribal
      > situations through utterly normal processes.. (If I can find the
      > reference I will get it...)
      > In any case.. The romans--in their usual lust for trading, did not
      > refrain from trading with the german tribes on their borders--and the
      > romans had tons of cool stuff that the Germans didn't have... Anyway..
      > the theory goes that as the border tribes got more and more neat stuff
      > and they set off a process by which the possession of Roman luxury
      > goods conferred higher status upon the leader of a tribe.. This helped
      > to accelerate the building of raiding parties to get roman goods and
      > eventually this process increased dramatically in size until you have
      > "whole peoples" moving about, often trying to invade roman territory
      > or beating the snot out of border tribes who then try to move into
      > roman territory for protection... The first instance of this type of
      > process (for this author) was the Marcomanni wars in the 200's... and
      > everything thereafter was merely seen as an extension and growth of
      > these movements...
      > so.. in any case.. to get back to the point--as roman society
      > balkanized from within--with aristocratic landlords getting more and
      > more powerful and the central gov't getting weaker (with notable
      > exceptions from time to time), they also got additional pressure from
      > without as Germans tried to get in on the luxurious life in the Roman
      > world....
      > (I will try to look up this reference--it was a cool book...)
      > Also.. with regard to Rurr's suggestion about Ireland.. somewhere on
      > the web there is an alternate history about the "rise of the Irish
      > empire" (where Ireland becomes what England did in our timeline..)
      > and it starts off with its conquest by rome and then its isolation and
      > rebuilding...
      > I'll go do some searches on it... In this line.. you might get a
      > better start on "roman" expansion to the west... at an earlier
      > period.. although i bet it would die off just as did viking and other
      > early european attempts...
      > will post more when I find it..
      > later,
      > Loki
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