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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

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May 5

In 2688 AUC the Ethiopian City of Addis Ababa fell to the East African Roman forces of the Legatus Legionis Badoglio.

Government ReshuffleEmperor Haille Selassie had fled the country three days before, clearing the way for the Ethiopian Empire to be formally annexed on May 7. Then on May 9, Caesar Emmanuel III was proclaimed Emperor of Ethiopia (the countries of Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somaliland being merged into a single colony known as Roman East Africa (Africa Orientale Roma, or AOR).

Rome would taste a rare military success that had been conspiciously absent in recent years; "Emperor! Emperor! Salute the Emperor!" ("Imperatore! Imperatore! Salute Imperatore!") chanted the crowd when the Caesar, in full military uniform, showed himself on the balcony in the Palazzo Venezia.

Whilst Caesar maintained a dignified silence, General Mussolini unwisely did not, acting in what some might describe as a more flamboyant Latin manner (pictured top left) bordering on self-congratulatory exuberance. So when victory was announced by the General the Roman population reacted with jubilant abandon.

"People of Rome, people of the world, peace has been restored".From the balcony, the General proclaimed: "During the thirty centuries of our history, Rome has known many solemn and memorable moments -- this is unquestionably one of the most solemn, the most memorable. People of Rome, people of the world, peace has been restored". The crowds would not let him go - ten times they recalled the General to the balcony and cheered and waved while the boys of youth organizations sang the newly composed "Hymn of the Empire" (Inno dell'impero).

Caesar was less impressed with the General's victory, achieved frankly through the use of overwhelming force and also the cowardly use of mustard gas. Now observing some potential for confusion over who was actually "Il Duce" (the Leader), Caesar ordered that the General and his mistress, Clara Petacci were to be crucified and then hung upside down in the Palazzo Venezia (pictured right).

Whilst the remainder of the Romans were rejoicing, Haile Selassie was constructing a memorable letter of protest to stir up the Celts who would soon wage war with the Romans ~ "We have decided to bring to an end the most unequal, most unjust, most barbarous war of our age, and have chosen the road to exile in order that our people will not be exterminated and in order to consecrate ourselves wholly and in peace to the preservation of our empire's independence ... we now demand that [the Celtic allies] should decide not to recognize territorial extensions, or the exercise of an assumed sovereignty".






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