The 281 BC Alternate History Map Timeline is a speculative timeline which was originally created on AlternateHistory.com, but faltered due to disputes. In this form, it will take the series of a timeline, with maps a provided, which from 281 BC onwards, departs from real history. Brief descriptions of what has transpired on the map will be provided. As you can guess, the map game begins in 281 BC and then has a post every thirty years thereafter.
- Seleucus I Nicator enters into his final war against the other surviving diadochi, Lysimachus of Macedonia, Thrace and Western Anatolia. In the resulting Battle of Corupedium, Lysimachus's army was annihilated and the King of Thrace and Macedonia was himself killed. Seleucus then prepared to take possession of Lysimachus's kingdom, but was then struck down by a assassin.
- Carthaginian Republic governs most of the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, Sardinia, and Corsica.
- Rome dominates most of northern and central Italy.
- Syracuse, Tarentum, Marsielles, and other Greek colonies control parts of Sicily and Magna Graecia, as well as enclaves in France.
- Illyrian Kingdom in Croatia and Dalmatia.
- Kingdom of Lysimachus rules Thrace, Macedonia, and Western Anatolia as far as Bithynia and Pontus.
- Greek Achaean and Aegean Leagues, Epirus, and other Greek city-states control Greece, Crete, and the Greek Islands.
- Ptolemaic Empire rules Egypt, Holy Land, Cilicia and Coastal Anatolia, and Cyprus.
- Seleucid Empire dominates central and eastern Anatolia, Armenia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Persia, and parts of Central Asia
- Maurya Empire dominates Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern India, Bengal, Nepal, and the Himlayas, with expansion and colonization to the south.
- State of Qin is dominant in western China
- Kush, Nabateans, Arabs, Shebans, Mayas, and other minor states in Africa, Middle East, and Americas.
- Maurya Empire ruled by the aggressive Ashoka (273-231), who in this timeline never adopts peaceful ideals. Under Ashoka's watch the Maurya Empire expands considerably. It completes the conquest of central and southern India and wages extensive campaigns against the Seleucid Empire, resulting in that state's collapse by 253 BC. All of the Seleucid Empire, as well as Ptolemaic Cilicia and Anatolia, are brought under the rule of the Maurya Empire. Ptolemaic Egypt is forced to pay tribute in order to avoid any further territorial losses. Macedonia loses its territory in Anatolia to the Mauryas and becomes a Maurya vassal state.
- Carthage cements its rule over all of Sicily during this time, eliminating Syracuse. This brings it into contact with Rome, which fears its expansionist aims. The First Punic War has erupted by the end of this thirty-year interlude.
- Qin expands, conquering two of the smaller Chinese rival kingdoms.
- Ashoka's grandson Bindshara (231-215), continues expanding the territory of the Maurya Empire. Under his rule, the Mauryas eliminate the Ptolemaic Dynasty, conquering Egypt, the Holy Land, and Cyprus. The Nabatean kingdom is also invaded and annexed by the Mauryas, giving them complete domination of the Red Sea outlet and the Sinai Desert. As a result of these conquests, the Maurya Empire reaches its greatest territorial and political extent. In the last years of Bindshara's reign however, the Empire is impacted by uprisings by the Hebrews, Babylonians, Assyrians, Syrians, Persians, Egyptians, Armenians, and other conquered peoples. A Iranian tribe, the Parthians, establish a kingdom on the northern boundary of the Maurya Empire.
- Macedonia conquers Epirus, southern Greece, and Crete, obtaining its greatest extent. It remains under Maurya suzerainty, however.
- Rome obtains victory in the First Punic War, conquering Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Magna Graecia. Carthage, having suffered a series of humiliating defeats, conquers the majority of the Iberian peninsula and parts of France, including Marsielles, as compensation for the losses in the Islands. Hannibal becomes a Carthaginian general and begins preparing his forces for a offensive against Rome.
- Qin grows further in power and unifies more of China.
- Illyrian Kingdom expands considerably.
- The state of Yan, to the north of Qin, unites under the leadership of the Han family and unifies the majority of China except the kingdoms of the southeast. The first unified Chinese Empire is established.
- The Maurya Empire finally disintegrates into four successor states: the Mesopotamian Empire of Mauriana, governed by a Indian dynasty which rules Mesopotamia, Armenia, Syria, the Holy Land, Nabatea, Egypt, Cyprus, Anatolia, and Thrace (which was seized from Macedonia); the Parthian Empire, established by the above-named Parthian tribe, who usurped control of Persia, Media, and parts of Afghanistan; the Indian Empire of Magadha, which governed the original Maurya homeland of Magadha and the territories of Pakistan and northern India; and the Southern Hindu Dynasty, which governed the remainder of India.
- Illyria loses most of its territory and contracts to a small portion in the north.
- The Greek City-States regain their independence, and a rump Macedonia is reduced to control of a few cities. Thrace was seized by Mauriana.
- Carthage, under Hannibal's brilliant generalship, achieved victory in the Second Punic War, reconquering Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, cementing rule over Southern France, and reducing Rome to its original tribal territory in central Italy. The Carthaginians lose control of Lusitania to native Iberian tribes, however, and retreat from central France.
- Scythian hordes consolidate north of Mauriana and Parthia and begin raids against the Parthian Empire.
- The Carthaginian Republic, under the leadership of Hannibal's sons, consolidates itself during this period. The rump remnant of the Roman Republic is annexed in the 180s BC, while in the 170s and 160s BC, the Lusitanian and Celt-Iberian tribes are pacified and reconquered. With these expansions, the Carthaginian Republic has reached its greatest extent. Carthage is one of the largest cities in the world, with a population of c. 400,000, and dominates North Africa west of Mauriana, the Iberian Peninsula, Provence, Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, alongside the Balearic Islands. Its fleets control the western Mediterranean and conduct a extensive trade with Mauriana, the Greek city-states, and the Illyrian tribes. Carthage however, begins to weaken in the 160s BC, having become overextended.
- The Scythian Confederacy invades and conquers the Parthian Empire, occupying Persia, Media, Bactria, and Parthia proper. The Parthians themselves are subsumed by the Scythians, who then take advantage of their position to seize parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan from the Empire of Magadha. The Scythians also invaded and conquered Maurianian Elam, Babylon, and parts of the Euphrates Valley.
- The Celts establish a tribal confederacy in northern Germany.
- The Chinese Dynasty of Yan eliminates the last remaining independent Chinese state.
- The Maya Empire of Central America conquers most of lowland Mexico.
- The Magadha Empire disintegrates and loses most of its western and central provinces to independent Indian dynasties.
- Southern Indian Dynasty expands north.
- The Scythian Confederacy, having overextended itself, collapses. The Northern Scythians of Turkestan, the Caucacus, and Russia become known as the Torchanid hordes, while the Southern Scythians constitute themselves as the Scytho-Persian Empire. The Scytho-Persian Empire comprises a melting pot of peoples: Scythians, native Persians, Medians, Parthians, Indians, and Greeks. The Torchanids retain Scythian nomadic customs and political organization, while the Southern Scythians adopt Persian and Maurya customs, governmental organization, and military division. The two Confederacy successor states maintain close ties with each other, however. The new Scytho-Persian Empire governs Armenia (seized from the Maurianian Empire), southern Mesopotamia, Persia proper, Media, Parthia, and most of western and central Afghanistan.
- The Empire of Sindh is established by the independent Indian dynasty of the western Indian lands. Sindh expands quickly at the expense of its neighbors, seizing parts of Pakistan from the Scytho-Persians and subduing its rivals in the Ganges river region. The Magadhan Empire, revived under the rule of a new dynasty, expands along the eastern Indian coast. The Southern Indian Dynasty loses control of its northern provinces, which consolidate as five independent smaller Hindu kingdoms.
- The Maurianian Empire conquers Greece, Macedonia, and Crete. Elsewhere, however, the Empire begins to weaken under civil uprisings, military overextension, economic decline, social dislocation, plague, and famine. A native Egyptian leader rises and restores the independence of Upper Egypt from Maurianian rule. Mauriana also lost Armenia to Scytho-Persia.
- Carthage too, begins to disintegrate because of internal pressures and weakness. Marsielles restores its independence and gains control of most Carthaginian outposts and provinces in Southern France. Carthage retains control of only a few coastal enclaves. The former Samnite and Etruscian cities of Italy rise in revolt and establish a independent Italian Confederation. Carthage manages to hold on to Rome, Magna Graecia, and Sicily. In Iberia, the Kingdom of Lusitania is established, restricting Carthaginian rule to the southern and eastern portions of the peninsula. And finally, in North Africa, the Kingdom of Mauritania is established by Berber migrants from the south, who split the Carthaginian homeland provinces in two.
- The Celts, who had migrated into Germany from Poland and established a confederacy at the beginning of the period, are forced to migrate by the native German tribes, who combine forces to expel them. Celtic hordes move into Gaul and occupy the central regions. The Germanic tribes consolidate their dominion over northern Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark.
- A native Chinese nobleman organizes a movement which deposes the Yan Dynasty. The Chin Dynasty is established in its place.
- Maya Empire remains stable.
- By the eve of the 1st century BC, the Maurianian Empire, the most powerful of the successor states of the Maurya Empire in the Middle East, has collapsed. The Maurianian dynasty had finally succumbed to the nationalist revolts of their subject peoples, their own incompetence, and intensifying economic, military, and territorial problems. The last Maurianian monarch was slain in his capital city. As a result, the Macedonians and Greeks formally constituted the Empire of Byzantium, which soon exerted its rule over Thrace, Moesia, Illyria, Macedonia, Epirus, Greece, and Anatolia, as far east as the borders of Armenia. The Scytho-Persian Empire conquers Assyria and parts of Coele-Syria, cementing its rule over Armenia and the Southern Caucasus. The lands of Lower and Upper Egypt are reunited under a native Egyptian dynasty, restoring the ancient state of the great Pharaohs. The reconstituted Egypt, under the rule of the Thirty-Fourth Dynasty (Ptolemaic Egypt was considered the Thirty-Second, and the Maurianian Province of Egypt the Thirty-Third, for Maurianian kings used the title "Pharaoh of Egypt" in their styles), cemented its rule over Palestine, southern Syria, Crete, and Cyprus.
- The Torchanid Hordes of the Crimea and the Caucasus break away as the Samaritan Empire.
- The Chin Dynasty loses control of the northern territories, which are seized by the Tang Dynasty. The Chinese Civil Disunion Period commences.
- Carthage continues to lose territory. To the north, the Gauls, now unified under the rule of one king, Clovis I, conquered the remainder of France, which became known as the Kingdom of Gaulia. Clovis then subdued Marsielles and the remaining Carthaginian outposts of Provence. In Italy, the Carthaginians lost Rome, Magna Graecia, and Sicily to the Italian Confederation. Lusitania expelled the Carthaginians from the Iberian Peninsula. In North Africa, Mauritania expanded, seizing Carthaginian outposts in Morocco and the Pillars of Hercules. Carthage was now restricted to its original hinterland, Sardinia, Corsica, and the Balearic Islands.
- Germanic tribes expand their territory.
- Nubian kingdom expands to the coast of the Red Sea.
- Mongol tribes of Lake Sakhalin and Central Asia consolidate into a loose confederacy.
- The Empire of Sindh, under a series of war-like emperors, conquers Magadha, the Hindu kingdoms of the Deccan Plateau, and the Southern Indian Dynasty. It became the first state to rule over all of India since the time of the unified Maurya Empire.
- Maya Empire remains stable.
- The Germanic tribes, during this period, dominated all of Germany, the Low Countries (parts of Belgium were seized from Gaulia), and Denmark. A massive growth in population, and the desires of the tribal chieftains to encounter and colonize new lands, motivates the Germans to begin their migration to the British Isles. German warriors and colonists, embarking in longboats and transports, land in East Anglia, Kent, and Sussex. The native Briton tribes are quickly defeated and driven into the British hinterland. By 71 BC, most of coastal and eastern England had been colonized by the Germanic tribes.
- Gaulia, under the rulers of the Clovian Dynasty, expanded aggressively. Although it lost parts of Belgium to the Germanic tribes, it more then compensated for these losses by waging a series of wars against Lusitania, conquering most of the northern and central Iberian peninsula. The Lusitanians are forced to pay tribute and find themselves restricted to southern Portugal and the coastal regions of Spain. Gaulia's advances into the Italian Alps are repulsed by the forces of the Italian Confederation.
- The Italian Confederation expanded into Slavonia, Croatia, and Dalmatia.
- The Lusitanians conquered the Pillars of Hercules from the Mauritanians, who lost their conquests farther east along the coast to Carthage, which was now reviving under the leadership of a new political dynasty.
- Egypt expands further into the Arabian Peninsula.
- The Empire of Byzantium wages wars against the Thirty-Fourth Dynasty and the Scytho-Persian Empire. It conquers Armenia, the Southern Caucasus, and most of Coele-Syria, as well as the outskirts of Mesopotamia.
- The Empire of Sindh loses the southern coastal regions of India to native dynasties but maintains dominance in the rest of the subcontinent. The kingdom of Tibet consolidates across the Himalaya Mountains.
- China disintegrates yet further into four competing dynasties: the Chin, the Tang, the Manchu, and the Yuan. The Tang Dynasty conquers Korea, while the Yuan Dynasty colonizes Hainan Island and expands into the southern regions. Constant wars are waged amongst the four dynasties, who nevertheless fail to make advances against each other.
- Mongolian Confederacy consolidates under a firm governmental structure and expands its territory.
- Inca Empire established in the Andes Mountains from earlier civilizations in that region.
- Kingdom of Cambodia is established.
- The Empire of Byzantium expanded considerably, destroying the independence of the Thirty-Fourth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. All remaining traces of ancient Egyptian civilization were demolished or desecrated by the Byzantine troops during their military campaigns, and a influx of Greek, Anatolian, and Illyrian settlers took control of Egyptian cities, towns, and villages. The native Egyptian population was reduced to slavery. Ancient Egypt was for the last time destroyed. Egypt, Cyprus, Crete, and the Holy Land were incorporated into the Byzantine Empire, which now borders the Hejaz and Nubia.
- Gaulia, under the leadership of Clovis III, exterminates Lusitania and concludes the conquest of Iberia. It also conquers Sardinia, the Balearic Islands, and Corsica from Carthage. Carthage managed to expand in North Africa despite the loss of those islands, destroying the Mauritanian kingdom and eliminating the Lusitanian foothold in Morocco. Gaulia also recovered Belgium from the Germanic tribes, who were focusing many of their efforts in England. By 41 BC, all of the lands east of Wales and south of Scotland had been conquered and settled by the Germanic tribes, who were beginning to settle down and consolidate into a series of kingdoms. The Germans on the continent began to acknowledge the rule of a High King.
- Kingdom of Dacia expanded and consolidated itself in the Balkans.
- Pueblo state appeared to the north of the Maya Empire, which was beginning to experience agricultural and social issues.
- Mongolian Khanate expanded considerably, reaching the Pacific Ocean and colonizing the Northern Amur Regions.
- Chin Dynasty conquered the territories of the Tang Dynasty outside of Korea and southern Manchuria.
- Cambodia conquered Vietnam and Laos.
- Gupta Dynasty established in South India and Ceylon. The Sindh Empire continues to deteriorate internally.
- Inca Empire expanded in South America.
- Samaritan and Torchanid Scythian hordes remained stable.
- The Byzantine Empire expanded considerably, obtaining its greatest territorial extent. To the East, the Byzantines subdued the remainder of Armenia and Georgia, as well as Assyria and Lower Mesopotamia. In the West, the Byzantines conquered Illyria, Dalmatia, parts of Pannonia, Croatia, Slavonia, and Heletia. The Italian Confederation, which had experienced political disputes and periods of civil strife, now collapsed under the double assault of the Byzantines from the east and the Gaulians from the west. The Byzantines conquered Magna Graecia, Rome, and Sicily, while Gaulia annexed Etruscia. The two empires now had a direct boundary with each other, and tensions simmered between them. Dacia, Libya, Nubia, and Western Arabia became Byzantine vassals, dependent upon Byzantine military protection and economic dominance. The Samaritans however, conquered the Torchanids and established the Samartian Empire of Scythia. Samaritan tribal bands began to raid the northern towns and outposts of Byzantium in the Caucasus.
- The Germanic tribes of England coalesced into a string of kingdoms: East Anglia, Northumberia, Wessex, and Mercia. The Britons, under the rule of the legendary King Arthur, established a unified Kingdom of Britonia in Scotland and Wales, determined to resist a further Germanic advance.
- Gaulia expands into North Africa, conquering Morocco and Mauritania from Carthage, which is now reduced to its original hinterland. The Gauls have overextended themselves however. Their conquest of northern Italy has already been noted.
- The Sindh Empire of India dissolves further, losing territory to Tibet, the rising Gupta Dynasty, and Scytho-Persia.
- Pueblo state of northern Mexico expands considerably, while the Mayas begin to lose territory in Central America to the native tribes.
- Chin Dynasty conquers Korea but is brought into direct contact with the Mongolian Khanate, which had completed its subjugation of Amur and Manchuria. Mongol raiding parties begin to harry frontier Chinese cities and posts.
- Cambodia and Inca Empire remain stable.
- Germanic tribes of Germany and Denmark accept the rule of the High King of Germany.