Friday, April 27, 2018

Frederick the Great an Austrian General and Marc Antony Surviving: Two Cool Alternate Timelines

Although to avoid wasting time in arguments I've had myself banned from the alternate-history forum for probably close to three years now (the exception being a window where I could alert them to the release of The Thing in the Woods last spring/summer), I do browse the public forums quite a bit. There are some cool ongoing timelines I follow and I just found a couple interesting new ones.

The first is "Dionysus Lives: A Mark Antony Survival Timeline." It diverges from our history with Marc Antony winning the Battle of Actium by leading his army in person and keeping the sixteen legions from abandoning his cause. With his army and fleet intact, the war with Octavian, the future Caesar Augustus, is prolonged and ends up in a negotiated truce where Antony is dominant in the East and Octavian in the West. Antony wages wars against the Parthians and others, but has to deal with the rivalry between his Egyptian wife Cleopatra and his powerful client Herod the Great. It's pretty interesting, especially for enthusiasts of the Late Republic and the personalities of that era.

(One of the few shows I watched after high school was HBO's Rome after all.)

The second is "Odyssey of Fritz, the Turncoat Prince." In real history, the young Prussian prince who would become the warrior-king Frederick the Great ran away from his father with a "friend" (possibly a homosexual lover), but was caught. In this story, he flees on an alternate route south and ends up in Austria, where he befriends (friends only, much to the latter's annoyance) future Empress Maria Theresa and ends up becoming a major Austrian general. Without Frederick's genius organizing Prussia the state runs into...some trouble (not going into more detail for reasons of spoilers), but Frederick rises high in Hapsburg service and has all sorts of interesting adventures. Highlights include a more brutal subjugation of Scotland and Ireland foreshadowing an earlier American Revolution, an earlier emancipation of the serfs, and the woman who in our history became Catherine the Great of Russia marrying into the British royal family.

Both timelines are ongoing, so check back often. I know I will.

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