10

Yes but not really. Volcanic soils can indeed be highly fertile. And floods of the Nile did indeed help keep the soils of the Nile Valley fertile. But that does not mean you want regular volcanic eruptions. Fertile volcanic soils and fertile river valleys are two different things. What did the floods do? They replenished the soils depleted of nutrients by ...


7

"More flexible and adaptable" actually has a name -- professional. You get professional fighting forces through a combination of factors: Money: Professional forces aren't cheap. Used correctly, though, they tend to justify the expense. Professional Education: All leaders, from Generals to Sergeants, need academic education throughout their careers. They ...


5

Is it conceivable that a fantasy empire could be built around this fertile soil? How would they survive the frequent eruptions that regenerate the fertility? It depends on the frequency of the eruptions. Look at Etna and Vesuvius, for example. They were known since ancient times for the fertility of their soils, boosted by the volcanic material deposited ...


3

The Empire Was Intrinsically Unstable If you stop to think about it, Julius' conquest was equivalent to Patton being sent to Africa, and coming back at the end of the war to invade. It speaks volumes to the social rot that was already present in Rome at the conception of the Empire that this army of "sons of Rome" didn't care about marching on ...


3

I don't think you have a way out of the fall of the empire. There are concurrent reasons for the fall of the empire, so it's hard to isolate just one and let the entire building in place. Moreover, you can't simply say "well, if Antonine plague didn't happen then...", since that it's independent of the social constructs. However I think the late ...


3

In the real world, Denmark and Norway were in a union from 1536 to 1814; but Denmark decided to side with Napoleon in the Napoleonic Wars and was ultimately forced to give Norway up to its arch-rival Sweden. Sweden had a few years before lost Finland to Russia in the Finnish War 1808-09. In an alternate world, Denmark could have chosen to instead side with ...


2

People often say that the decline of the Roman Empire is a complex problem (barbarian invasions, population decline, economic decline, famines, fall of the Republic, etc.), but pretty much all of those problem can be traced back to the Social War (aka Marsic War) fought in 91–88 BC. Up until this point, the Roman Republic had been very stable because the ...


2

Leave it to his generals Sun Tzu's Art of War is considered one of the defining manual on tactics and strategy, and was written a few thousand years ago. Seeing as that's the case, it's definitely good enough now. To quote the venerable Sun Tzu: There are three ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon his army:-- (1) By commanding the army to advance ...


2

The emperor needs to introduce a staff college for training centurions of all ranks to give them a better understanding of strategy, tactics and a wider range of important military matters that could be learnt from a number of selected centurions who had encountered such situations. The training would probably need to last a year or more. In this way new ...


2

A Big War with Germany Prussia Unify the Scandinavian countries (including Denmark), and start a war with Prussia, or the Holy Roman Empire (depending on where in the 18th century we are). Choking off Prussia's coast line would be a powerful blow, but to do that, the Scandinavians would need help from the Dutch. Then they could turn the Wadden islands into ...


1

Stone mulch. In 1740 a series of huge volcanic eruptions devastated the island of Lazarote in the Canary Islands. When the volcano settled down, the little rocks that had spewed out and landed on the ground hugely improved the fertility of the fields. http://www.harialanzarote.com/stone-mulching.html FATHER Andres Curbelo, a priest in the small ...


1

Apart from the weapons/'tech-level', when you're working with the army of the late Republic, it's already as flexible as it gets. The Marian reforms were implemented exactly to have a standing army, which implies an army that is quick to react, and consists of standard units capable of multiple tasks. Among the weaponry and cycling discipline of soldiers ...


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