The Aztec discovery of Europe
Anthologica Universe Atlas / Academia / Department of Creativity / The Aztec discovery of Europe

? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 846
, Duke, the Findible League
message
This is going to work as a scratchpad:

Yesterday I was boring and I draw a map of Europe with borders like those of the USA and Canada, this is mostly straight lines no matter the orography. I thought that it looked nice enough and that it would serve nicely as a map for an alternative history conworld. One in which the native Americans discovered Europe and subsequent historical events happened in a more or less similar way, quite reminiscent of the centuries after the Discovery™ (expansion of the newcomers at the expense of the natives, establishment of colonies, Renaissance period in the Old World, subsequent independence of the colonies, etc.).

As I said above this is a scratchpad, a place to put my initial ideas and see how to match and work them. The general ideas are:

General chronology


All years are Gregorian.

The Old World (Mesoamerica, the Caribbean and NW South America)



  • 600–800 / Population is stable at a low level, with intermittent growth.
  • 610 / Archangel Gabriel waits for Muhammad near cave Hira, on Mount Jabal al-Nour, but Muhammad stumbles and dies due to traumatic brain injury, thus preventing the emergence of Islam.
  • 800–1050 / Population boom and expansion.
  • 1148 / The Aztec Empire rises as the superpower of Mesoamerica with the Tzintzuntzan Peace, which makes the Tzintzuntzan Kingdom, the Guamar Confederacy and several petty states vassals of the empire.
  • 1150–1217 / First expansion of the Inca Empire to the west and the north.
  • c. 1200 / Steep population decline in the Mayan area.
  • 1294 / Aztec sailors discover Europe, landing on Brittany.

The New World (Europe and the Mediterranean)



  • c. 400 / After the collapse of the Roman Empire the migration period begins.
  • 400–600 / In late Antiquity there's a generalized population decline.
  • 525 / A great plague devastates much of Europe and the Mediterranean. Almost half the population dies.
  • c. 800 / The stem duchies of Bavaria, Swabia, Franconia, Burgundy, Carinthia and Verona reemerge in and around the Alps. From that moment on they'll become more integrated into what will become the Roman Crown.
  • 962 / On 25 December Wilhelm, king of the Germans, crowns himself supreme pontiff in Basel, which makes him bishop of that city (the so-called "New Rome") and leader of the western Christian world. That day the Roman Crown is also established, with the supreme pontiff and the Roman King being the same person.

Maps



General view of both worlds the year of the Discovery (1294).
tumblr_pgclyouVZp1rd9fsko1_1280.png
? Rhetorica Sleepless Scribe
posts: 1232
, Kelatetía: Dis, Major Belt 1
message
  • 1295 / Aztec sailors wiped out by the common cold.
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 846
, Duke, the Findible League
message

Peoples, territories and states



Europe


The areas with more concentrated people and cities important enough to sustain strong states and commerce are the British Isles, the Alps and valleys an plains around them, some specific pockets in Gallia, Italy and the Iberian peninsula, southern Scandinavia and certain provinces of the Roman Empire.

  • The Romance speaking areas cover the Iberian peninsula, Gallia, Belgica, Italy, the western Mediterranean islands, NE Africa Proconsularis (modern Tunisia) and northern Transylvania. The area is sparsely populated, with denser pockets were petty kingdoms are centered.
  • The Basques are independent and have their own federation. No need to say they speak Basque.
  • The Celtic world (Ireland, Scotland, Northumbria, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and western Normandy) recovered from the 525 Plague and is a thriving area devoted to fishing, farm and commerce. There are native speakers of Celtic languages in some areas of Iberia and Gallia.
  • The Roman Crown is the successor of the Roman Empire, it's centered on Basel, which is also the center of the Christian world, and covers an area that is, more or less, Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Switzerland (except Romandia), Lombardy, Veneto and Slovenia.
  • The Roman Empire is centered at Byzantium and covers the eastern Mediterranean. It's the largest state in the zone, but corruption, throne disputes and low population density in some crucial provinces makes it a weak giant.
  • There was no expansion of the Arab world thorugh northern Africa and the Iberian peninsula, so the Roman and Germanic peoples living there evolved quite undisturbed. In northern Africa the Vandal Kingdom thrives after the Great Plague and its a regional power, while In the Iberian peninsula various kingdoms and counties have developed: the Gallecian Kingdom in the NW, expanding towards the south along the Atlantic coast; the Asturian Kingdom, east of Gallecia, expanding southwards to the detriment of the Visigothic Kingdom, which covers much of southern Iberia, from Algarve to the Ebre. North of the lower Ebre we find some principalities and counties reunited into a confederacy centered at Tolosa; it's the Occitano-Romance cultural sphere, known as the Pyrenean Principalities from a political point of view.

Africa


Northern Africa is sparsely populated, with people concentrated in pockets along the coast north of the Atlasn mountains and the Nile valley. The two most important states are the Vandalic Kingdom, in the former Africa Proconsularis province (northern Tunisia) and the Crown of Egypt, a loose confederacy of princes, of Coptic culture.

  • Egypt is mostly a Coptic speaking country, with important pockets of Jew citizens. The Coptic religion, which is Christian, has its own church, being independent from Basel and Byzantium. The country is a confederacy of de facto sovereign princes, although they're nominally part of the Roman Empire and still faithful to it.
  • Berbers occupy most of the Sahara. Despite being nomadic they control a few coastal cities, most notably Tlemcen, Tripoli and Cyrene. They also control the transaharian trade routes.
  • The Vandal Kingdom is the most important state in northwestern Africa. Its inhabitants are a mix of Berber communities, descendants of Vandal migrants and descendants of the native Latin-speaking population. The most important language is a Latin tongue with a Germanic and Berber influence. Unlike our world the kingdom was never defeated by the Byzantine Empire, but it was affected by the Great Plague of 525.

Asia


The Great Plague of year 525 arrived from central Asia through the steppes, devastating much of continental Europe, with a special incidence in the Mediterranean coast and the Northern European Plain. Western Asia remained generally untouched, although the effects of the plague were notably suffered in the Levant and the Euxine Pontus.

  • The Persian Kingdom is recovering better than the Roman Empire and poses a threat to its western neighbour. The year of the Discovery king Khosrau V is expanding the kingdom towards the east and northeast, reaching Baluchistan (east) and river Oxus (north).
  • Islam has expanded throughout the Arabian peninsula, but not very far from this area. Its northenmost city is Palmyra, near the border of the Roman Empire and the Persian Kingdom.
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 846
, Duke, the Findible League
message

Languages


Some existing languages will be used while a few conlangs will be required. The purpose of the languages is to create suitable toponyms.

  • Nahuatl The lingua franca of the Aztec Empire.
  • Quechua The lingua franca of the Inca Empire.
  • Greek The Roman Empire's lingua franca.
  • Coptic For Egypt.
  • Romance languages It would be interesting to work some romlangs based on old languages: Gallecian (Galician-Portuguese), Asturan (Astur-Leonese), Visigoth (southern Iberian Romance + Aragonese), Pyrenian (Occitano-Catalan), Gallican (Common Oïl), Sardinian, Arpinan (Arpitan + Rhaeto-Romance), Lacian (Latioumbric + Tuscan), Italian (southern Italy and Sicily; heavily influenced by Greek), Adriatian (Venetian + Istrian + Dalmatian), Lombardic (Galloitalic), Dacian and Vandalian.
  • Germanic languages At least a form of German used by scribes in the Roman Crown. Most probaly a conlang derived from Old High German.
  • Celtic New languages ―or variations of existing ones― descended from Middle Irish: Irish (spoken in most of Ireland), Scottish Gaelic (Highlands and parts of northwestern Ireland, later spoken in Faeroe, Shetland and SW Norway), and Common Brittonic: Old Welsh (Wales and a strip in Western England), Cumbric (north of England, northern Lancashire and Scottish Lowlands), Cornish (Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Bristol area) and Breton (Brittany and western Normandy).

Nahuatl


Classic Nahuatl will be used as the basis. Its orthography is regulated as follows:
  • Plosives /p/ p; /t/ t; /k/ c; /kw/ cu; /ʔ/ h
  • Affricates /t͡s/ tz; /t͡ɬ/ tl; /t͡ʃ/ tx
  • Fricatives /s/ s; /ʃ/ x
  • Approximants /l/ l; /j/ i; /w/ hu–, –uh
  • Nasals /m/ m; /n/ n
  • Vowels /a/ a; /a:/ ā; /e/ e, /e:/ ē; /i/ i; /i:/ ī; /o/ o; /o:/ ō
Phonotactics: tx + i = txtx / l + tl = ll / l + i = ll / x + i = xx / z + i = zz
? Rhetorica Sleepless Scribe
posts: 1232
, Kelatetía: Dis, Major Belt 1
message
Not sure about the handling of Germanic languages. It seems to me they'd survive better on the periphery, like in Britain and Scandinavia, rather than in the heart of the continent, much as the Celtic languages survived in insular environments IRL. German would probably have been an endangered language at this point: the invaders would be arriving in Europe at a time when the Holy Roman Empire was at its maximum extent, and Latin was at maximum prestige, so only peasants spoke MHG at the time (not OHG—that would've transitioned mid-11th millennium due to a major sound shift.) Remember, Mozart's operas (some 500 years later) were considered against the grain because they were in German.

(Alternatively, you may be subtly trying to block Rome proper from expanding into Germania when it did. Why not go the whole way and make Basque country cover the whole Iberian, then?)

Apologies if any of the above is eye-rollingly obvious. I have no clue what your credentials are when it comes to Germanic languages.
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 846
, Duke, the Findible League
message
quoting Rhetorica, Kelatetía: Dis, Major Belt 1:
Not sure about the handling of Germanic languages. It seems to me they'd survive better on the periphery, like in Britain and Scandinavia, rather than in the heart of the continent, much as the Celtic languages survived in insular environments IRL. [...]

Perhaps you understood that I was going to have one Germanic language, because of what I wrote above? In this alter-hist-world Germanic languages are spoken pretty much in the same areas we know, basically (and grosso modo) central Europe, southern Scandinavia and England.

German as spoken in central Europe won't be very different from Middle High German (c. 1050 - 1350), so there's no problem here.

The big difference would be the tongues in the Germanic British Isles, since there's no Norman invasion and some Celtic languages (what I call "Scottish Galeic" in the notes above) are heavily influenced by Norwegian dialects.

Edit: I'm going to post an ethnolinguistic and political map of Europe I've been working, and it will be clear the extension of the languages I mentioned.
? dhok Eastern Establishmentarian
posts: 234
, Alkali Metal, Tsonholong Suma, Mongolia
message
I can't speak to the Mesoamerican side of things, but your timing is off if you want the Algonquian Confederacy to be much of a state. The corn/beans/squash package is very recent in New England—probably no earlier than about 1300 AD. You'll have more luck with the Mississippians, but they're much further inland, of course.

Of course, you have full license to handwave as much away as you'd like...
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 846
, Duke, the Findible League
message
quoting dhok, Alkali Metal, Tsonholong Suma, Mongolia:
I can't speak to the Mesoamerican side of things, but your timing is off if you want the Algonquian Confederacy to be much of a state. The corn/beans/squash package is very recent in New England—probably no earlier than about 1300 AD. You'll have more luck with the Mississippians, but they're much further inland, of course.

Of course, you have full license to handwave as much away as you'd like...

The idea is to have American cultures near 13th century as advanced as Europeans during the 15th, regarding, at last, technology, demography, trade and certain cultural things. But that I'll work it later, since it needs much more thought; I have some ideas that will work, though.
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 846
, Duke, the Findible League
message
The Euromediterranean scenario in 1294.

tumblr_pgclyouVZp1rd9fsko2_r1_1280.png

Red line - Political border. When dashed it means mobile, basically because of war or migration/expansion.
Coloured areas - Languages and/or peoples.

Scandinavian peoples have their own route to America; they have reached Greenland and are about to discover Labrador, Newfoundland and Vinland.

I must guess the population of Europe and the Mediterranean basin given the precedents.
? dhok Eastern Establishmentarian
posts: 234
, Alkali Metal, Ulan Bator, Mongolia
message
This is gorgeous. What are you using to make the maps?
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 846
, Duke, the Findible League
message
quoting dhok, Alkali Metal, Ulan Bator, Mongolia:
This is gorgeous. What are you using to make the maps?

You're welcome.

I use a blank map I found in the net. The rest is my hand's work and Paint.NET.