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Re: [Alternate History] What if Clovis was defeated by a Roman governor?

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  • James Clement Taylor <vizenos@yahoo.com>
    Hi, Marcus et alia, Introducing myself, I am Jim Taylor, an aging yet still aspiring creator of an alternate history with a POD (point of divergence) very much
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 11, 2003
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      Hi, Marcus et alia,

      Introducing myself, I am Jim Taylor, an aging yet still aspiring
      creator of an alternate history with a POD (point of divergence)
      very much similar to the one suggested here: approximately 470 A.D.

      --- In alternatehistory2@yahoogroups.com, "habarakhe4"
      <theophilus88@h...> wrote:
      > My name is Marcus Miles. I'm 26 and a grad student in Classical
      > Languages. I suscribe to CONLANG, CONCULTURE, and LINGUISTICS.
      >
      > Wouldn't French then undergo much the same phonetic changes but
      > without the Germanic words? Who would rule in place of the Franks?

      I think it would depend on whether it was Syagrius or his son
      (whose name I forget at the moment) who made Syagrius' control
      over the Franks a permanent condition--possibly with some
      effective help from Britain, Armorica, and/or Burgundia.

      In our own history, Syagrius *did* fight the Franks and establish
      control over them, but his son lost that control, and was killed
      by the Franks under the leadership of Clovis.

      I think the results of this POD would be far broader than just
      the linguistic differences suggested previously. I wouldn't
      expect a re-establishment of the Western Roman Empire, because
      the WRE's infrastructure was already eroded away and essentially
      vanished. Most of the people who had been there while the WRE's
      infrastructure still existed were still present, but the
      infrastructure was no longer there, and the choices people made
      were based on their own desires, not constrained by Imperial law
      anymore.

      How this came to be true is almost certainly due to multiple
      causes, which I will need to be able to at least plausibly
      explain before I can write this alternate history, since the
      same problem emphatically *didn't* exist in the Eastern Romen
      Empire, which remained organizationally viable for nearly a
      thousand years longer than the Western Roman Empire did. Was
      it simply that the Eastern Roman Empire lasted long enough to
      repeal the Laws of Diocletian, whereas the Western Roman Empire
      did not? If so, what made the difference?

      Moving from the general to the particular, the following
      questions arise:

      1. Why did Syagrius and/or his son make no lasting alliance(s)
      with Armorica, Britain, and/or Burgundia, all of which shared
      his desire that "Romanitas" (the good old days that never really
      existed) survive, and that a Restitutor Orbis (restorer of the
      [Roman] world) arise and lead the peoples of the west to victory
      against the Franks, Saxons, Ostrogoths, etc.?

      2. By 470 A.D., were Armorica and Britain still as Roman as
      they thought they were? Or were they essentially Celtic nations
      *calling* themselves "Roman", as the Eastern Empire was
      essentially a Greek-dominated nation *calling* itself "Roman"?

      3. In 410 A.D., the Emperor Honorius responded to British
      appeals for help with the infamous "Rescript of Honorius",
      which declared that no help would be forthcoming, but gave
      the Britons a unique permission to arm and train their own
      militias for self-defense against barbarian invaders--a
      permission never granted to the people of Gaul or Spain.
      What if Honorius and/or his successors had been wise enough
      to extend the permission granted in the "Rescript of Honorius"
      to ALL the provinces of the Western Roman Empire? What would
      have been the result of this?

      4. Even though they possessed--and obviously used--the unique
      permission of the "Rescript of Honorius" to arm and train
      military units for self-defense, the Britons inevitably fell
      to the Anglo-Saxon invaders. Why? It appears that the Celts
      never developed the Roman ability to whole-heartedly unite
      under a single leader and work together to implement that
      leader's plans and strategies. Instead, they valued their
      own local autonomy sufficiently to make them reluctant to
      work together effectively to counteract the threat posed by
      the Germanic invaders.

      5. Focus on three men: Ambrosius Aurelianus, Riotimus
      {Rigothamus?], and Cerdic. Who were these men, and what
      were their roles in the life and struggles of Romano-Celtic
      Britain? Cerdic, particularly, is an enigma. How did this
      Saxon leader come to bear a Celtic name? Was he, in fact,
      a Celtic pretender to the British leadership, who followed
      the practices of his predecessors by enlisting Saxon help?
      Who was Cerdic, what was he trying to do, and what (if
      anything) went wrong with his plans?

      If all or most of these questions can be answered, the answers
      themselves will tell us a lot about what kind of society or
      culture could have developed, if either Syagrius or his son
      could have successfully built an alliance capable of crushing
      the Franks completely, or at least keeping them under firm
      control until their society could be conformed to that of the
      Alliance.

      The Scottish bard Dougie McLean some years back wrote and
      recorded a song which, I believe, not only expresses admirably--
      and exemplifies, musically--the current "Celtic Resurgence",
      but pinpoints the one thing which could have saved the
      Romano-Celtic culture, had it existed back in 470 A.D.
      The song is titled "All Together!":

      "We are united now within these ancient wheels
      We are united in the spirit of the music at our heels
      On reflection we rebuild and we restore
      We are as mother nature's children as we dance around the floor

      All together, all as one
      All together
      Relentlessly we're dancing on

      We are invisible upon these dancing feet
      We're shape and shadowless revolving to the one eternal beat
      With hearts connected we will turn the other round
      We are as mother nature's children as we dance upon the ground

      All together, all as one
      All together
      Relentlessly we're dancing on

      We'll stay forever herewithin these timeless walls
      We'll stay forever here no matter how the turning silver falls
      Exhilarated we have seen this place before
      We are as mother nature's children as we dance around the floor

      All together, all as one
      All together
      Relentlessly we're dancing on"

      This expresses very aptly what is happening in the Celtic
      Resurgence today; one wonders what this way of thinking/feeling
      might have accomplished, had it existed 1500 years ago, among
      the Romano-British, Romano-Gaulic and Romano-Galician Celts.

      Regards,
      Jim
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