I remember watching an episode of a documentary, named "Big History", that posited a general rule:
- Humans living on fertile lands have more resources to develop a sedentary nature, via agriculture. Stability leads to cities, from which springs culture until eventually a civilization is born.
- Humans living in more barren lands, especially cold ones, don't have access to these resources. They can not live in higly populated centers and must remain nomadic to find food and shelter. They become rugged and tribal. If they find one of the "fertile civilizations", they will feel tempted to plunder their resources, so they will develop a more warring nature. The example that was given as a paradigm for this was that of the mongols.
Now, this doesn't mean that the "fertile civs" can't specialize in warfare, but civilization will certainly play a moderating role, so they will be less aggressive than their barbarian counterparts.
Or so it was postulated on that documentary. At the time, it seemed reasonable. But I admit that there may not be so truthful.
So, my world turns this upside down. I have a warring, tribal, nomadic civ that used its military might to cast a peaceful, cultured and sedentary civ out of the fertile lands and into the wastelands.
Now, how do these civs retain their characteristics, even though they are now living in environments that discourage said characteristics? Can the warring civ remain tribal and nomadic, even though they are living on lands that they can farm? Can the other civ remain peaceful and resist the temptation to regain their land again by force, satisfied with making ends meet in fertile pockets in the wasteland and trading between them?
To allow this to happen, I'm trying to rely on cultural, philosophical and religious ideas that shape the collective psyche of these civs and that prevent them from mutating into one another. But will it suffice? Why or why not?
Note: For the purpose of this question, let's say that the technological level of these civs is equivalent to that of the ancient Roman Empire and the surrounding barbarians (I'm talking about tech, not culture)
EDIT: Since it seems that I'm being misunderstood, let me clear this up. I'm not asking how the civilizations will get on that specific situation. I'm not asking how those civilizations would work. I'm asking if it is possible for them to retain their aggressiveness (or lack thereof) after being sent into environments that seem to promote the opposite behaviors. It's only one, very specific question