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Author Topic: need history for 3000bc to 1bc for alternate timeline "damascus steelpunk" novel  (Read 752 times)
newjack
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2019, 11:25:24 pm »

Quote
I see what you're asking for, and am sorry I can't be of more help. I can say (if I recall correctly from my one semester of Classical Studies) that in pre-Roman Greece there was no "Greek" state, nor anyone who self-identified as "Greek." Rather, the people were citizens of the various cities (get it? city → citizen) which dotted the coast of the Greek peninsula, and which were continually at war with one another.

hey... that actually helps a lot. i'll have to figure out how to work that into the (back)story. it's exactly the kind of thing that i imagine gets ignored in most history books that concentrate on all the spammy names, dates & battles crap that does nothing to help me build THE WORLD. it's also a topic that in general has worried me... how am i going to re-modernize the ancient world which mostly didn't have governments. how did nomadic mongols and isolated chinese farm communities become nations? so far... the solution i've come up with is to create language based "micro-nations".  the nations and borders shouldn't look too much like today's map.

understanding CULTURES will help me find their place in the story. again... that is the kind of info useless history books ignore and only specialists would know having found it in one out of a few dozen books, or maybe a very specific course like "classical studies"

actually, THAT probably helps even more as now i have an excellent subject keyword!

you've helped more than you know. i bet i can dig something up with those directional nudges. as a non-historian... i just don't know where to look or what to ask and know that most books will be useless to me. it's frustrating to know that their are history junkies that know all kinds of "out of textbooks" stuff, but i can't find them or they refuse to give up the goods.

i'm hoping watching a couple hundred hours of specific topic documentaries will provide all kinds of cool random stuff and/or heads ups on topics to look into deeper.

thanks a bunch.
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newjack
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« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2019, 10:19:17 pm »

i just got a lot of good stuff from the first chapter in an history of china DVD. confucius dates to around 500bc... maybe later than intended in my time line, but would be a perfect inspiration for the spread of utopian socialist democracy with his ideas on ethical and benevolent rulers... even if they all ignored him at the time. i should be able to invent a way for his ideals to spread... i'm thinking something like "the UN" dropping leaflets that raise public awareness to his ideals.

i also learned a valuable keyword... the era i'm most interested in is called "the axial age", wherein not only china, but india, (saudi) arabia & greece were all mulling the meaning of of government and its responsibility to citizens and ethical obligations. it's a perfect time for history to take a new direction with a bit of nudging. i'm saddened that so many of the things i wanted from china... restaurants, rockets, mass & produced crossbows (they even had a theory of evolution!) happened around 500ad when there will be no jesus in my story. i also learned they invented soccer around then too... too late for that to be an olympic sport. sadly... cultures that i wanted to include, like the ottoman empire (i think) happened ad too. if nothing else... it's nice to know they aren't relevant to my story and don't belong in it.

the "civilization" series i borrowed proved useless. the history of food series i'm watching now doesn't really have anything age specific to help, but it's always possible to push later events back in time, with tweaks, and it's a fascinating series in its own right.

i just signed a massive 12 lecture disc out today i'm hoping proves even more useful, it's called human prehistory and the first civilizations.

i might not find answers to many of the questions i've sought help with, but feel confident that after 50 or so different series... i should have more than enough to build a credible world out of and who knows what new stuff i'll stumble on by accident.

i've refined part of my story idea too... the reason the aerotank's crew is on shore leave at the beginning of the story is to serve as olympic security! DUH! that would tie in perfectly with the aerial battle from my dream... rome declares war on the UN at the olympics... it's also pretty devious... attacking civilians and all. that might change, but for now, it seems like a good angle.

now i can rotate 4 more discs into reservations. rome, greece, mesopotamia and maybe egypt might be next before i bounce to other topics and come back to them. for me... jumbling topics up will hopefully make it easier to make connections while all the stuff i don't take notes on is still fresh in my mind, but i already have a good 2 pages worth of notes on china already with more to come i'm sure.

i wish i thought of watching videos years ago. it's "the best" crash course in history and i got so much info from the hour i spent on chapter 1. i'm watching all of the chapters even if i'm way past my timeline now. there still might be tidbits hiding "in the future" or referring back to the past.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2019, 10:49:13 pm »

Look up the Nazca lines; these are giant glyph on the Peruvian plains, constructed circa 0 AD. In the 1970's, a scholar named Jim Woodman proposed that the creators of the glyphs might have been ancient balloonists. This is an idea that I don't think has been exploited in popular fiction, and would be a good way for there to be contact between the old world and the Americas in ancient times.

Here's some details about Woodman:

https://worldhistory.us/latin-american-history/nazca-lines-the-worlds-first-hot-air-balloon-a-theory-of-ancient-flight-in-peru-nazca-desert-mystery.php
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newjack
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« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2019, 12:03:55 am »

i'll have to look into that for sure. quite serendipitous actually as i intended to make north america a dirigibles only culture so as not to deface mother earth with rail lines. it seems like reality already beat me to the punch there. awesome lowdown! i've saved the text from your link and will read it at home.

after getting some nice info from the first chapter of the history of china series... i've hit a temporary roadblock as it turns out a lot of the series i've reserved are lectures! UGH! after 15 minutes of blah blah blah in "human pre-history and the first civilizations" without ever actually getting on topic, i couldn't take anymore and the 3 series i just checked out are all lectures too. *sigh*

on the upside (i thought i already shared it), i have the first jokes for the story:

SPOILER ALERT!


do not urinate or defecate in our streets for this is not rome

when i saw all of the graffiti here, i thought this was rome

where all roads lead to your mother's brothel

so that's where you caught syphilis and became an idiot?


one of the important tidbits i've picked up recently was a reminder of the city of petra



and finding out (again... after forgetting my art history classes) that it was actually a lush and vibrant vacation spot that had a population of 30,000 with aqueducts and farms. that'll wind up on a railway that picks drunken tourists up

another interesting, to me at least, thing from rome to toss in the mix is

Lubricalia sausage/fertility festival... the root of valentines day? naked men went around whipping women with strips of leather under the theory that getting hit made women fertile. it sucked to be a breeder... i mean woman in rome


 
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 12:17:51 am by newjack » Logged
newjack
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« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2019, 12:53:13 am »

along with your link... i've "thumbdrove" pages on these topics:

weird & funny history stories
petra info
oldest sports (mostly useless olympic sports where i'm looking for "NEW" sports for an alternate olympics)
oldest games
oldest martial arts
history of human rights
bronze age
axial age
ancient abolitionists
tenets of buddhism

sadly, in skimming, the teachings of both buddha and confucius have been justified slavery, but it was abolished by one ruler as early as 500bc... right about where i'm thinking my timeline will really start diverging, though i've also considered that there was a genius greek slave who challenged the status quo (if possible for him to enter philosophical debates) or gain viral respect through his inventions/poetry whatever, but i'd rather find an historical path.
most progressive ancient cultures

hopefully these sources will answer A LOT of my questions. i'm surprised i actually found stuff like "most progressive cultures". i've had terrible luck finding specific topics like that in the past
tenets of Confucianism
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 01:10:39 am by newjack » Logged
newjack
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« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2019, 11:56:09 pm »

things just keep getting complicated... where i THOUGHT i was zooming in on 500bc as "the turning point" for my story, especially after learning about the obscure (hard to research online even) 13 month "winter" thought to be caused by the dust from a volcano and the devastation it brought only to find that the cruelest of the roman emperors... nero & caligula, were both AD.

perhaps i can use the storm as a timeline trigger somehow.

i started watching a lecture series on persia and am happy that it, and other topics from the same publisher is NOT painfully dry like the 1st one that was torture to watch. it did get a little annoying though when the lecturer found about 8 different ways to say that neither greece nor persia were either good guys or bad guys, depending on whose narrative you read, but that the truth is more nuanced in one 24 minute lecture and i can't help but mock the annoying way the lecturer says PerrrrRRRRsia... like he's having a seizure ever time he says it. there's a lot of info to be found though i'm sure in the 4 discs with about 8 lectures each and he does use illustrations... including using that creepy "bad guy" from 300 that i thought was supposed to be an egyptian pharoah twice. he has new info that overturns the old neglected greekcentric narrative.

while i can't use it in my story, i stumbled on the story of princess olga of kiev... shared in another thread... chick was cray cray!
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2019, 05:47:34 am »

I have refrained from posting here in part because I'm not an expert in the Late Bronze and Iron ages. I'm a bit of an amateur historian, but all my knowledge is heavily leaning past the 1AD eras..

When I came up with the background story for my tentative novel "The Valkyrie and the Eagle, I had to do quite a bit of research on the late Roman Era and its collapse between 300 AD and 1452 AD (Fall of the Bizantine Empire). I focused a lot on how the Germanic tribes took bites off the Roman territory (starting with the Iberian Peninsula, eg Visigoths, Vandals, Suevi), and how the European people and culture that we know today came from the Germanic takeover of what basically were Roman - Celtic people all over Western Europe from Spain to the British Isles. The Eastern portion of the Roman Empire (Bizantium) became the medieval Bizantine Empire, centered around Constantinople.

So based on that I can tell you that by default your story will not be Eurocentric the way we understand Eurocentrism.. It can't be. Europe itself was very different back then before 300 AD, when the first cracks started appearing in the Roman Empire. What we carry with us is the Greco-Roman influence that the Germanic kings of the early medieval period admired so much. Mediterranean people of the era would have looked a lot more Middle Eastern to us if we were to travel back in time, and much less European than we imagine them today in all aspects, from music through food, etc. The Romans absorbed much of that legacy and that is what was hybridized in the Post Roman Europe.

But other than that I might not be of much help. The only thing I can do for you is make some comments off topic, on the things you mentioned in the last page, regarding the AD period:

Some assertions such as the fire at the Library of Alexandria having a delaying effect on science in the middle ages and Christianity also having a delay effect are actually not quite correct. The library was in fact reconstructed after the  fire, but under Roman Rule after the Ptolemaic Period, the library was not cared for and actually decayed slowly. And the resistance of early medieval Germanic kings to Christianity upuuntil the 7th century, meant that by the time the church began to stifle and control the flow of ancient knowledge the Renaissance Period was already around the corner. It was in fact the Catholic Church that curated most of the knowledge the fueled the Renaissance Era, for the simple fact that only clergy were educated enough to read and write! The church tried to control the information but ultimately couldn't stop its dissemination. I strongly suggest an excellent novel/movie called "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco with was adapted to the movie of the same name (1986) starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater.

The middle ages are considered to have ended in 1492. The Turks, if I understand correctly overtook Constantinople that year (The Bizantine Empire had already been dissolved a few decades earlier). And most people know that was the year that Ferdinand and Isabella became king and queen of the newly formed Spain, the same year the last Moors were pushed out of Granada in the Southern tip of Spain, and the same year that Christopher Columbus asked for the three ships in search of the Indies. A scant 29 years later, in 1521, Hernan Cortez vanquished the Mexica (Aztec) in their capital, changing the name from Tenuchtitlán to "The City of Mexico."

That is awfully fast, and so I have to wonder if it's even possible for scientific progress to have occurred any faster, even without the "Dark Ages." Most of the fault for the demise of knowledge in the middle ages lies in the fact that Rome disintegrated slowly as it was was taken over by their former Germanic mercenaries.

Some issues to ponder...

Cheers,

J. Wilhelm
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newjack
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« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2019, 02:46:27 am »

oh you can BET i'm researching AND following up on what i learn. right here, in the library, i have ANOTHER 18 hour lectures in my bag, this one, about mesopotamia along with PBS' "the story of india" and have 3 more 18ish hour history courses at home and have already taken a ton of notes.

i want my story's timeline to pre-date christianity and islam, so my timeline has to start BC. i'm really focusing on the axial age (around 500-200bc) as that's when confucianism, buddhism, democracy and persians freeing the slaves all occurred as the questions of human rights etc. start getting asked everywhere at the same time. it's looking like all it'd really take is a gentle nudge to stir events up enough so that a single individual could introduce a philosophy more in tune with modern democratic socialism by questioning the weaknesses of the most progressive cultures eg. greece's fake slave holding "democracy". as it turns out... despite being rivals, there were more greeks in the persian army than greece. i'm really starting to reconsider greece's role as the persian empire's position between greece, india and china would make it a better place to incubate socialism. the more i learn, the more dots i can connect.

considering the steam engine ALREADY existed in my time frame, a leap to steam punk tech isn't really that great. the key is an information explosion. in the right environment, where free trade and competition are central, it wouldn't be hard for cross pollination to raise technologies.

 
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newjack
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« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2019, 03:34:46 am »

in my research, i learned that china actually invented movable type centuries before guttenburg, only it didn't catch on because chinese is idiogram based, so it was more practical to cut woodblocks than manage multiples of 4000 or so characters. i found it fascinating to see a "basic" 2000 character typewriter like this



technology is a geometric progression... when you START a story where lost information is retained, then build competitive cultures that all fund science, a 300 year rise to victorian era technology is quite easy.

back to china... a lot of its biggest inventions, gunpowder & rockets, mechanical crossbows, restaurants (i think) and the compass all happened around 500ad. if you have scientist mixing chemicals to see what happens 1000 years earlier... small leap, especially when the world's cultures are all able to learn from each other.

as originally intended... movable type will 99.99% likely be the "killer app" that sets the ball rolling. tech wasn't only held back by the burning of alexandria, but for the very reason it was burned, that it was closed to the public and only available to the elite. if science books get printed for the masses... information explosion. it might be hard for some to suspend their disbelief, but it seems easy, even logical to be able to push tech up 2 millenia. it wasn't until the renaissance that people rediscovered antiquity and technology started booming. that's about 1700 wasted years from 300bc to 1400ad right there by my timeline.

that's when guttenburg re-invented movable type.push all that back to 300bc with thriving cultures, and it's only 300 years from the end of the renaissance in 1700 to the year 2000, ands steam punk is more 1900 at that.

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chicar
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« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2019, 01:37:14 am »

www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxT1Ypbc5BI
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The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
Prof Marvel
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« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2019, 07:02:19 am »

Try

What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole

And Connections by James Burke
https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-teo99ENSypJDyeXmEpLOxWMB9UVPbOS

Fast paced snippets of history that may lead to others for you.

Prof Marvel
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newjack
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« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2019, 01:13:06 am »

cool. i'll check that out, thank you Smiley

i've been doing a lot of historical research... mostly with library DVDs, and pursuing SPECIFIC questions like calendars that predate the christian one today and THINK i have the "mosquito effect" the story needs. after rewatching the Antikythera mechanism



and then researching its likely creator, Archimedes, i think that i might have found a good point to diverge from this timeline. instead of getting run through by a roman soldier, that soldier's grandfather contracts malaria after a fellow soldier swats a mosquito away so it lands on him instead so his grandson doesn't find Archimedes this time. he gets captured and the roman emperor that wanted him taken alive gets him to share all of his knowledge so it doesn't get lost. he was 70 when he was stabbed.

that would make a PERFECT base to start the story... critical science that was lost for centuries gets preserved and Archimedes' tinkering with gears is just about tailor made for steampunk! Archimedes had visited the library at alexandria. so inserting him into the timeline would be just the kind of thing i need to preserve its contents. geared devises prevail BC and eventually someone comes up with a printing press. Archimedes is just the guy to make that happen.

right now, though, a huge problem is that quality paper hadn't been invented yet, THOUGH Archimedes might be of help there too as he is said to have written his formulas in dust or olive oil on his body. if the roman emperor sets his mind to improving paper so Archimedes can work faster as well as preserve his writings... that's a bird twofer.
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newjack
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« Reply #37 on: Today at 01:54:29 am »

what does everyone think about the story being written from the omniscient point of view? i've been thinking about the issue a lot and think that it would be easiest to just directly tell readers where and how the story's timeline diverges from this one the times it calls for explaining the new timeline.

i'm REALLY excited about finally zeroing in on Archimedes as the nexus point for the story. his lost for centuries knowledge of gears and ratios is PERFECT for a steampunk story. i've been thinking a lot about a "gears first" technological arc. gears are totally steampunk and there are many cool things that the "offspring" of the antikythera mechanism could do... clocks, adding machines (which promote commerce which promotes innovation), music boxes and alternate (trumpets?) "player pianos... local trolley service and i've really been liking the idea of re-inventing the WWII enigma device (encryption) as one could have been built with Archimedes' knowledge.

so... do you think simply telling readers directly what's going on with the time line is cheap and lazy or necessary?
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #38 on: Today at 03:38:29 am »

whilst i cannot advise regarding the third-person omni p.o.v. , I might suggest considering Hero of Alexandria instead of Archimedes.

Hero built what is considered the first steam engine, a coin operated vending machine, a windmill powered organ, a programable cart,
and steam powered temple doors ( my favorite)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_Alexandria
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-doors-of-the-temple-open-automatically-when-a-fire-is-started-at-the-altar-Lloyd_fig12_226680721

yhs
prof marvel

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