A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

Quick Links

Blog Roll
Changing the Times
Everything Is History
This Day in AH
Voice Christian Worker
Editor's Recommendations
Althistory Wiki
Editor's Postbag
Headlines
Lets Talk About History
Selected Threads
Reader's Favourites
Top 100 Ranked Stories
Site Construction
Archive Navigator
Clean DB
Facebook
Get Blogs
Newsfeed Update
Twitter

Selected threads

Guest Historian Andrew Beane
 Andrews Posts
Guest Historian Chris Oakley
 Apollo 1  Arnold Hiller
 Axis Spain  Baltimore Colts
 Barbaro 2006  Barbarossa 41
 Battle Alaska  Belgium 1940
 Biti Letter  Blackpool 40
 British X Files  Ceaucescu 90
 Chance Encounter  Charles Barkley
 Chicago19  Cimino
 Cleopatra  CSI
 Cuba '62  Curt Flood
 D.B. Cooper  Dead Serious
 Double Jeopardy  Eternal City
 Falklands  France 44
 Francis Urquhart  Giant Surprise
 God Save Queen  Grey Cup
 GZ Murmansk  Hirohito@100
 Houston 57  Ice Bowl
 Ill Wind  Iraq NEO Impact
 Jamaica Bay  Japan45
 Jay Sebring  Johnny Damon
 Kirk Prime  Korea 53
 Koufax 35  Last Broadcast
 Lusitania '15  McCain 09
 Middle East 67  Moore 911
 Necessary Evil  New York Knights
 O Tempora, ..  Omega Man
 Oswald63  Parley
 Roswell '47  Salems Lot
 Shirers WW2  Shock
 SL Rangers  Surprise Attack
 The Devourer  Titanic 13
 Tom Brady  Tommies
 Tommy Rich  Trek49
 Valkyrie  Weebls
 Worlds Collide
Guest Historian David Atwell
 Action Jackson  Hells Doors
 Hell on Earth  House Cromwell
Guest Historian David Cryan
 Swine Flu
Guest Historian Dirk Puehl
 Dirks Blog
Guest Historian Eric Lipps
 49th State  Bonaparte 2
 Cuba War  Da Vinci Engine
 Ford Killed  Gore Wins
 JFK Impeached  Liberty Fails
 Lifeterm  Linebacker
 NoChappaquiddick  Whig Revolution
Guest Historian Eric Oppen
 AuH20  Malcolm X
 No Tolkien  Trotsky's War
Guest Historian Gerry Shannon
 CSA Today  Godfather IV
 Hero Oswald  JFK Lives
 Seinfeld Movie
Guest Historian Jackie Rose
 Happy Endings
Guest Historian Jeff Provine
 Jeff Provine Blog
Guest Historian John J. Reilly
 John Reilly Blog
Guest Historian Jackie Speel
 Bosworth 1486  Conjoined Crisis
 Voynich
Guest Historian Kwame Dallas
 African Holocaust
Guest Historian Mike Stone
 WJ Bryan
Guest Historian Raymond Speer
 Cuba War 62  Fall of Britain
 Fascist Flight
 Gettysburg Prayer
 Pacific and Dixie
Alternate Historian Robbie Taylor
 2nd Coming  Canadian Rev
 Chdo Democracy  King Arthur II
 Lucifer Falls  Pete Best Story
 Protocols  Reagan 1976
 Richard Tolman  Sockless
 Soviet America  Speakers Line
 The Sheridans  The Baron
 The Claw  Warp
 Welsh Wizards
Guest Historian Scott Palter
 WW2 Alt
Todayinah Editor Todayinah Ed.
 1850 Compromise  1860 Crisis
 20c Rome  Alt WW2
 American Heroes  Anschluss
 Bomber Harris  British Empire +
 Business Plot  Canadian Heroes
 China 4ever  Communist GB
 Communist Israel  Comrade Hiller
 Comrade Stalin  Co presidency
 Deepwater  Fed Lost Cause
 Flugzeugtrager  Glorious45
 Good Old Willie  Gor Smugglers
 Happy Hitler  Hitler Waxwork
 Intrepid  Iron Mare
 Islamic America  Israel's 60th
 Jewish Hitler  Kaiser Victory
 Liberty Beacon  Lloyd George
 LOTR  Madagscar Plan
 Manhattan '46  McBush
 Midshipman GW  Moonbase
 No Apollo 1 Fire  NY City State
 Obama  Oliver Stanley
 Peace City One  POTUS TedK
 POTUS Nathaniel  Puritan World
 Resource War  Sitka
 Southern Cross  Texan Republic
 The Miracles  Traitor
 Tudor B*stards  Tyrants
 Ukraine 1920  US is Born Again
 US mini-states  US Heroes
 Victory Disease  War on Terror +
 WhiteHouse Wimp  Wolfes Legacy
 Zoroastria
Guest Historian Zach Timmons
 Alt Indiana Jones
 Brett as 007  The Duke

Archive Navigator

January February March
April May June
July August September
October November December

Editor's Postbag     |     Feed

All Postbag Items
Reader's Favourites
Janowska Escape
POTUS Finch
President Boone
Dessalines Lives
Ike's Epiphany
Bolingbroke executed
Aztec Invasion
Freeman's Farm
Camp David
POTUS Scoop Jackson
Gusmao Fails
Dutch Courage Part 8
Duke's Dedication
British San Juan
Bay of Pigs, Redux
Dubcek Back Channel
Birth of Julius Dubcek
Telegraph Part 13
Happy Endings 46
Passover
Toledo Rebellion
RMS Titanic
Yamasee War
Tokhtamysh Victorious
Happy Endings 3
Battle of Barnet
Breakout
King Oliver
Night of Terror
Art of War
Sir Thomas Jefferson
Margaret Thatcher
President Bill Davis
Vienna Vanquished
Cosmonaut Leonov
FDR Suffers Minor Stroke
Toast of Fascist China
Down in Flames 4
Pacific War Redux
Korean War widens
Mary Follows William in Death
L'Empereur
Mistress Boleyn
Fifth Beatle
Mount Tambora Merely Burps
Down in Flames 3
London Uprising, Part 2
Shaken, Not Stirred 11
Off the Bench
American Guerillas
Bacons Invention
Edward IV Survives
Entente-Cordiale
Steel Seizure Case
1812, Redux
Death of James Bond
Churchill stumbles
Xavier's Vows
Hindenburg Disaster
King Geoffrey I
Lake Peipus
World War Expands
Elli Sinks
Arbroath Abbey
Newfies for Gore
Down in Flames 2
Norwegian Muddle
Alexios Komnenos Executed
Pocahontas lives
Connery murder
Sweet Orlinda
Harrison Announcement
General Ironsides
Pitiless Fate 5
Hitler flees

Site Meter


March 17

In 180, after having ruled for 19 years, Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus died while campaigning against the Germans.

Pompeianus Succeeds Marcus Aurelius as Co-RulerMarcus Aurelius had completed a stellar career, succeeding at nearly everything he attempted since his induction into the equestrian order at age six. The Emperor Hadrian seemed impressed by Aurelius' abilities and groomed him to rule: waiving requirements for entry into the priesthood and recommending that the Senate make exemption for him for the post of quaestor even though he was not 24. He was first made consul at the age of 18, and regained the position many times afterward. Upon the death of Emperor Antonius Pius in 161, Marcus Aurelius became co-ruler alongside his adopted brother Lucius Verus.

The two emperors were an odd couple. Marcus focused on the necessities of administration and carried more authority despite their political equality. Lucius, on the other hand, enjoyed the games and chariot racing. Both, however, carried an informality that endeared them to the people. They handled firsthand crises in Rome such as the flooding of the Tiber, and Lucius was dispatched to the east to battle the Parthians, who had begun an invasion. Lucius was at first accused of luxury and gambling, but he proved an able commander, and the Parthians were defeated by 167. Plague flowed through the empire after, wiping out thousands. Lucius died in 169, possibly as a casualty of the plague.

From 169 to 177, Marcus ruled alone. He spent his years away from Rome, campaigning against Germanic incursions across the imperial border. At age 52, he thought of the coming generation and elevated his surviving son Commodus, only sixteen years old, to co-ruler. Commodus had been born "in the purple" months after Marcus became emperor, never knowing a life outside of near-absolute authority. Commodus would be the first non-adopted son to succeed his father as emperor in generations. From the days of Vespasian, no male heirs had been born, creating a system of adoption. It arguably became a system of meritocracy, but Marcus felt that Commodus, despite his youth, would make an able ruler. Still on campaign in 180, Marcus died in Vindobona (modern day Vienna) on the Danube.

While he carried out his civic duties well, Marcus Aurelius considered himself a philosopher at heart. He had been very close with his teachers, especially Marcus Cornelius Fronto. Fronto, a Numidian-Lybian, had become famous in Rome for his oratory, believed to be next to that of the great Cicero, which spurred Antonius Pius to hire him as the tutor for Marcus and Lucius. Poor health troubled Fronto most of his adult life, ending chances at a career in politics, but instead giving him more time to write. Lucius did not appreciate the education on the level that Marcus did, who even imitated Fronto and carried out single-sided conversations with himself about the necessity of discipline. Fronto often played devil's advocate and tried to steer Marcus away from philosophy with the old saying, "Better never to have touched the teaching of philosophy .. than to have tasted it superficially, with the edge of the lips&". Another teacher, Quintus Junius Rusticus, would introduce Marcus Aurelius to Stoicism, in which he found his true calling.

In his last years of campaigning, Aurelius wrote his Meditations. While Fronto had taught him to speak, he thanked Rusticus for teaching him to think clearly. He took upon himself to be the philosopher-king, fulfilling his requirements of office while still having time to write reflections on philosophy, life, and the world. Like many Stoics, he focused on discipline and self direction, writing "If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this that disturbs thee, but thy own judgment about it. And it is in thy power to wipe out this judgment now" (VIII. 47) and "Do not act as if thou wert going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over thee. While thou livest, while it is in thy power, be good" (IV. 17).

None of Aurelius' reflections seemed to settle on his son Commodus, who acted a great deal like Lucius. They made an effective pair as rulers, however, with Aurelius' administrative mind while Commodus, like Lucius, held a sense of public mood. This thought settled on Aurelius, who summoned Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus, one of his best generals and the second husband of Lucius' widow, Lucilla. He had apparently offered Caesarship to Pompeianus to continue the tradition of co-rule, but Pompeianus had declined. Now Aurelius pleaded with Pompeianus to take the position should anything ever happen to Aurelius. After a great deal of convincing and a Stoic discussion of duty, Pompeianus accepted the order and the will was changed just before Aurelius' death.

Returning to Rome, Commodus seemed upset by the invasion of his rule, but Pompeianus maintained a tight grip on the young emperor. Though they bickered, the rule proved for the good: Pompeianus handling administration while Commodus won the support of the people with games and victories in the field. Pompeianus died in 195, giving rule over to Publius Helvius Pertinax, who in turn passed his title to the great general Septimius Severus. A new tradition of separation of powers continued for centuries until 406, when pressure from Hun invaders tempted German allies to revolt and flee rather than serving as the buffer Rome intended them to be. The stable empire persuaded the Germans to stay and even push back against the Huns.

Four hundred years later, another wave of invasion by Maygars and Vikings proved too much for Rome, which toppled as was carved into Viking kingdoms at sea an a Maygar empire in eastern Europe. With vast wealth behind them, the Vikings continued to explore and plunder, reaching as far as southern African, Native American, and Mayan lands.






© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.