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Voice of Britannic Rome
Race, Language and Civic Structure in the North Panonia of SPQR
© 2023 James LaFond
According to the timeline imagined for the world of SPQR, in which a Britannic, Christian Rome survives in the year 2031, the language and culture would not be Anglo-Saxon, as those peoples remained, according to the alternate history posited, in northwestern heathen Europe. The immediate setting of the novel is North Panonia [America.]
The racial and linguistic identity would be what historians have posited for the court of King Arthur, a mix of Latin and Breton, [0] the latter being the dominant “Gaelic” race that the Roman’s intermarried with.
The Germanic influences will be strong, perhaps stronger in some ways than in our own history. Following the custom of Marcus Aurelius, Constantius, father of Constantine, destined to become the first Christian Emperor of Rome, employed, as did all of the administrators of the 200s, various Germanic tribes as soldiers in Britannia. Thus, a successful defense of Romano-Britain by King Arthur, would have leaned heavily on Romano-German and more distant Aryаn men in arms to repel the Frisian, Anglo-Saxon, Jutish, Danish and Nordic invaders who placed such a stamp upon that island’s character. These transplanted youths, military colonies, and around about 300 an entire German army in alliance with Rome against the Caledonian or “Pictish” barbarians of Scotland, would, and historically did, consist of the following:
-Goths. Gothic youth, to the number of 50,000 on one occasion, where compelled by Roman victors over their three tribes, to migrate to Britain and serve as soldiers. The reward for such service was typically the liberty to retire as a yeoman farmer and marry a local woman.
-Sarmations. This storied branch of the Aryаn Scythians, alternately at war with and allied with the Germans, left such artifacts as spurs in Roman Britain circa 260, in Roman service. These horsemen have been considered by some creative historians as the probable source for the Arthurian Order of Mounted Chivalry.
-Franks. The “Freemen” of mixed German races who would eventually conquer what became France, lived in a state of rebellion against Rome for some hundreds of years and assisted one rogue Governor of Britain in maintaining that island as a pirate kingdom for near a decade, until Constantius landed at Kent and burned his own ships.
-Alamanni. The confederation of “Allmen” likewise lived in Odinic rebellion against civilization and Rome for hundreds of years and would eventually ally with Rome in Britain against the Gaelic barbarians, under “an hereditary king.”
The early presence of these Germanic subjects are posited as enabling Breton-Roman resistance to the Angles and Saxons and others. This would still, though differently then in our historical timeline, result in a language and in particular names sharing roots in: Latin, Greek, Hebrew, German and Gaelic. The language could not be English. However, it would most certainly be Teutonic in structure and admitting more influence of the Gaelic languages and retaining more of the Latin character then has English.
The former of the two considerations would naturally result from a lack of Nordic and Norman conquest that was the chief means of retarding Gaelic assimilation into the character of our historical Britain.
The latter consideration, a retention of Latin in governmental and religious affairs, would result naturally from the absence of a Reformation, with the historical Germanic states in this timeline having remained heathen or become Muslim.
The language used in this narrative is that of the author, just as he would have been compelled to write ancient Latin-speakers in American English. The names titles and ranks of characters will differ from our own chiefly in the retention of more Latin and Gaelic diction among this postulated Britannic Roman World then in the Anglo-Britannic World of our own history.
Civic Places
Ancient Rome shared with Anglo Modernity a labor-based merchant economy, depending on efficient means of land and sea transport and based on the city, the urban population center, as the focus of civic life. Thus, the places settled in North Panonia under Britannic Rome, where this novel takes place, would have been the same as in Anglo-Britannic North America, with the following differences:
-1. No French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch or Swedish conquest and settlement of the Americas would have occurred, as the first four of these nations are swallowed by Islam in SPQR and the Islamic, and the Nordics and Islamic nations, lacking steam power technology, will essentially be barred from high seas activity by the might of Rome.
-2. Rhineland Germans that provided so many place names to early America will have been absent.
-3. Scottish, Welsh, Irish and Cornish mariners will have been employed more often than under historical circumstances, replacing such Italians as Columbus, Cabot and DeVaranzanno. [4]
-4. In the absence of an American Revolution, Washington D.C. would never have been constructed and the center of American life would have remained in the area of Philadelphia, which would be named Augusta, in the Province of Allegheny, of North Panonia. New York in North Panonia retains its historic attribution named after the place where Constantine was elevated by his soldiers to the purple on the death of his father there.
The following differences in naming will serve as a preamble with places named in the text according to this convention footnoted. Places named after native conventions, like Canada, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wyoming will be unaltered.
Also, according with the Roman view of governance and the original British view of deeding, what became numerous states in the United States of America would remain a single larger entity in North Panonia.
America, would be named North, Central and South Panonia, [1] the Land of Pan of the great pagan forests. Canada would also be called Arctic Panonia and follow the trace of rivers and lakes, not the artificial border of our America and Canada.
-1. New England = New Britain
-2. New Jersey = New Whales
-3. Pennsylvania = Allegheny, native
-4. Maryland = Chesapeake, native
-5. Virginia = New Italy
-6. Carolina = Tuscarora, after the preeminent tribe
-7. Delaware = New Cornwall
-8. Florida & Alabama = Appalachia, native
-0. With Gaelic influences represented by one Cornish Knight, for instance.
-1. The original Panonia was in the northern hinterlands above Greece, long since swallowed and deforested under Islam.
-2. It is reasonable to assume that instead of the Song of Roland, and the Death of Arthur, that a national epic titled The Life of Arthur would have developed over poetic time. There is good reason to posit the survival of Beowulf in its Christianized form and also, of the Icelandic literature of the Norse, preserved in the same way, by Christian copiests and commentators. In the timeline of SPQR, Nordic Iceland falls to the Irish in the 1100, as a northern expression of the crusading impulse that liberated the Azores, Maderia, Cape Verde and Canary Islands from Islam. Likewise the Scots liberate the Orkneys, Hebrides and Shetlands in the 1100s.
-3. A note on attire. Traditional Roman dress would only partially have been retained by the priestly and scholarly classes, with Northern European fashions dominating in the North Panonia of 2031 to as great an extent as they did in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
-4. There would certainly have been a hundreds years long battle for the Central Atlantic between Islam employing racially European mariners of Italy and Iberia and Britannic Rome, heavily reliant on Gaelic mariners. The latter, in order to survive, absolutely had to win this victory of the Late Middle Ages every bit as much as historical England had to defeat Spain in Early Modernity. Islamic piracy remains a plague in the European and African waters of SPQR, and the Middle Sea an Islamic lake.
SPQR Appendix B
spqr a novel
The Acts of Max & Rex Born
night city
solo boxing
song of the secret gardener
dark, distant futures
broken dance
winter of a fighting life
book of nightmares
the lesser angels of our nature
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