Carthagiensis Victoriae: A World Without Rome

"Cartago delenda est" was the oratorical phrase that popularly used in the Roman Republic during the later part of the Punic Wars. A policy, supported by Roman senator Cato the Elder, that advocated the total annihilation of the rival city-state was vigorously instilled by the Council of Elders upon its military as reminder of an imminent threat across the Mediterranean. It was only at the defeat of Hannibal that Rome eventually fulfilled that saying. Scipio Africanus eventually razed the once-proud metropolis to the ground after its victory in the Third Battle of Carthage. But what if these historical events never happened and it was Carthage who razed Rome to the ground as the victorious armies of Hannibal entered a city without a fight? What might have been... The course of history would be different and the Western world would never be the same again.


"Cartago delenda est" was the oratorical phrase that popularly used in the Roman Republic during the later part of the Punic Wars. A policy, supported by Roman senator Cato the Elder, that advocated the total annihilation of the rival city-state was vigorously instilled by the Council of Elders upon its military as reminder of an imminent threat across the Mediterranean. It was only at the defeat of Hannibal that Rome eventually fulfilled that saying. Scipio Africanus eventually razed the once-proud metropolis to the ground after its victory in the Third Battle of Carthage. But what if these historical events never happened and it was Carthage who razed Rome to the ground as the victorious armies of Hannibal entered a city without a fight? What might have been... The course of history would be different and the Western world would never be the same again.
Erasing Rome in History

Rome and Carthage were like the Cold War adversaries of the ancient world. These successful and growing city-states have been battling for supremacy in the Mediterranean for centuries and as their arms race escalated to conflict, blood was spilled all over the region from Hispania (Spain in our timeline [OTL]) to Sicilia (Sicily) and Numidia (North Africa) to Tuscania (Tuscany). In an effort to defeat Rome once and for all and avenge the deaths of his fellow countrymen, Hamilcar Barca (or Hannibal as he's popularly known) embarked upon a mission to bring the war to the Romans, attack their people, and lay waste on the Eternal City itself.

Flash forward to the Battle of Ticinus in 30 AH (after Hannibal's birth, 218 BC in OTL) where Hannibal should have battled Publius Cornelius Scipio but fate has a cruel twist -- Scipio was poisoned by one of his slave (who was bribed by the Carthaginians) and the other capable general Scipio Africanus did not make it to the battlefield as he was injured in an accident. He fell off his horse and broke his spine in the process (perhaps another product of Roman treachery). The Romans, though desperate, decided to meet the invading army man by man. Led by young and untested leaders, the entire Roman army was surrounded, encircled, and destroyed.

Rome was left undefended and panic ensued as many citizens fled from the chaos that was to come. The North Afrikan army of mercenaries, hardened Carthaginian veterans, and a motley crew of hardy Hispanic swordsmen and swift Berber cavalry converged on the outskirts of the city. Having survived the long trek from Hispania, relentless harassment from Gallic tribes, harsh winter weather of the Alps, and determined Roman defense, Hannibal and his men are about to help themselves with all the riches for the taking. Plunder, pillage, and destruction are all in their hearts and mind. No mercy to the Romans they screamed.


Formation of the Confederacy

In 38 AH (210 BC), Rome was finally destroyed and the Carthaginians imposed a very crippling penalty on the Romans for waging war against them. The remnant of the Roman Republic made their final stand on southern Italy but the resistance was eventually quelled thanks to the help of Carthage's Macedonian ally Philippos V (Philip of Makedon). All territories of the Republic were incorporated to be ruled by Hannibal while his generals carved out their own domains from southern Gaul to Sardinia.

In later years, Carthage eventually expanded its empire unto the rest of Gaul and pushed their frontiers unto Germania. By 73 AH (175 BC), a cross-channel invasion was made as the erstwhile peaceful yet divided Britanni (British Isles) is ripe for conquest. Hiberni (Ireland) was later annexed after years of bloody pitch battles. Without a dominant Roman culture, a weird synthesis of Punic laws and customs with the incorporated Germanic influences became the backbone of the ever expanding empire. The exquisite aqueducts and impressive public buildings would never exist so overall technological progress would be slow without the benefit of the Graeco-Roman heritage.

Industrial Revolution

Although certain historical developments never existed, there were surprising breakthroughs made in this alternate timeline as the Carthaginians managed to tap into the power of steam and improvised mechanics by 1570 AH (1322 AD). Trade with the outside world ensued as steam engines were developed centuries before the Industrial Revolution of our own timeline happened. With their steady trading network with the Cathai (China) and the rest of Hindustan (India), the Carthaginian Confederation grew richer thanks to its abundant natural resources from Africa and client-states in Germania and Scandinavia. Even without scientific methodology, "scientists" did a lot of trial and error that often brought disastrous consequences such as the case of a fertilizing concoction that caused widespread famine in Aegypti in 1613 AH (1365 AD). However, an amazing contraption (a powerful coal-drive steam engine) powered a cast-iron galley across Yam Atlantika (Atlantic Ocean in our timeline) in 1683 AH (1435 AD) bringing scared, sea-sicked, and weary Carthaginians into a new continent.


In 1703 AH (1455 AD), colonies were later established on the islands of the Karibi (Caribbean) and on the fringes of Amon Shamuut (North America) and Amon Badhgaan (South America). Carthage founded trading posts for the transport of goods and plundered wealth of the Inkas and Azteks. The port cities of Tingis (Tangier), Gadir (Cadiz), and Mogador (Essaouira) were cramped with so many ships from the other side of the continent. On the other hand, overland steam trains from the Orient end their journey b unloading their goods on the rich trading cities of Bayruut (Beirut), Ugarit, Sayda (Sidon), Sur (Tyre), and Gubla (Byblos by the Greeks, Gebla in OTL). As the Confederation grew more richer and powerful, its neighbors became increasingly hostile and envious.

Independence Movements

The colonies have started to exert their influence on the affairs of the mother country as Carthage is embroiled in a diplomatic crisis with a powerful Teutonach-Helvetii military alliance. It was also trying to suppress a growing religious revivalist movement led by a mystic named Yehoshua aimed at reforming Judaism and opposing the state polytheistic worships of Baal, El, and Eshmun. Although standards of living have grown tremendously, decadent lifestyle became the norm and moralism deteriorated. People started to question the bad after effects of progress and the growing control of the state on all aspects of living within the Confederation.

In 1914 AH (1666 AD), bloody war for independence kick-started the United Colonies of Amon Shamuut's (USA in OTL) desire for nationhood in response to the Confederation's unjust taxation and increasing control in colonial affairs. Led by a former Carthaginian general Germelqart Zimrida (George Washington), the rebel army defeated the Confederate army in the battle of Hadrumetum (New York). The independence movement spread like wildfire down south and in less than 200 years, most of the colonies are self-governing countries. Despite the separation of the former colonies from the Confederation, trade relations remained normal.

The War to End All Wars

Despite continued trade with its former colonies, the Confederation has weakened considerably due to the fact that most of its needed resources for modernizing its industries, economy, and military is squarely dependent on the resource-rich UCAS and Brahseil (Brazil), cheap labor from Meksiqo (Mexico), and technical expertise of Qanadah (Canada).


In the autumn of 2105 AH (1857 AD), Teotonach (Germany), Helvetii (Austria), and Ungarn (Hungary) of the Axis League attacked the frontier territories of the Confederacy. With such speed and precision, Carthage was taken by surprise and the invading army has been pushing towards Gaul's capital Fariz (Paris). The Confederacy called upon its former colonies for help but the voyage across Atlantika will take time. They must hold on their own before the transport blimps arrive on time to reinforce the Confederacy. Meanwhile, the eastern front has stabilized with the entry of the Rus Commune (USSR) into the war.

By the spring of 2108 AH (1860 AD), the UCAS expeditionary forces have arrived in time. They were later joined by the Royal Qanadian Marines, the Hispanian armored division, and the Brahseilian grenadiers. Meanwhile, the trenches have bogged down the fighting or any form of breakthrough into the enemy lines. A war of attrition has extended the war to another year. The sea war of the Yam Atlantika has become a chess piece battle of hide and seek as the submersible steam ships of both sides sank each other to the depths of the sea.

As the Allied Powers are locked in a war in Europa, Cathai took advantage of the situation by setting itself on an expansionist rage by waging war on Hindustan resulting in the conquest of Ayuthaya (Thailand), Lan Xang (Laos), Taprobane (Sri Lanka), and Suvarnadvipa (Philippines). Fearing of intervention from the Allies, the Imperial Cathai Navy under the command of Admiral Yu Shin Cheng (Isoroku Yamamoto, although it was the brainchild of Chuichi Nagumo in OTL) attacked the fortified naval stronghold Sawaiki (Hawaii). The following day, UCAS chief elder Milkherem Rib-Addi (Franklin Roosvelt) declared war on Cathai. Cathai then joined the Axis League thereby joining Teutonach chief Adelbert Hisler (Adolf Hitler) and Helvetii leader Berimund Musholm (Benito Mussolini) in their war against the Confederacy.

By late 2108 AH (1861 AD), the UCAS responded with an extensive island-hopping campaign that ultimately liberated most of the occupied territories. The Rus Commune has pushed the Axis League beyond breaking point as thousands of troops pouring down the frontlines. A breakthrough was made with a bloody victory in the town of Surat Zakrun (Sedan) thereby pushing Allied forces behind the Teutonach frontline. UCAS bombing campaigns have flattened enemy cities. Total blockade destroyed economic output of the Axis League to the point that they stopped producing arms and ammunition. The war ended by the winter of 2110 AH (1863 AD)

If I give you a chance to express yourself, how will you tell a history of the world without Rome? Share your comments and opinions.

Sources:
Delenda Est. Wikipedia.
The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson. A review by Rich Horton.
"Delenda Est." Alternate History Discussion Board.
"Roma Delenda Est." Althistory Wiki.
The Alternate History: Refiguring Historical Time by Karen Hellekson
Guardians of Time by Poul Anderson
Phoenician Canaanite Names of Towns and Cities. Phoenicia.org.
Uchronic World War 1. Digital Art Gallery Online.

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Istoryadista | History Blog | Cebu Blogger: Carthagiensis Victoriae: A World Without Rome
Carthagiensis Victoriae: A World Without Rome
"Cartago delenda est" was the oratorical phrase that popularly used in the Roman Republic during the later part of the Punic Wars. A policy, supported by Roman senator Cato the Elder, that advocated the total annihilation of the rival city-state was vigorously instilled by the Council of Elders upon its military as reminder of an imminent threat across the Mediterranean. It was only at the defeat of Hannibal that Rome eventually fulfilled that saying. Scipio Africanus eventually razed the once-proud metropolis to the ground after its victory in the Third Battle of Carthage. But what if these historical events never happened and it was Carthage who razed Rome to the ground as the victorious armies of Hannibal entered a city without a fight? What might have been... The course of history would be different and the Western world would never be the same again.
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