Submitted by Jeff on Mon, 07/11/2011 – 14:43
Third Age Glorantha is a Bronze Age (or early Iron Age) setting, with a scale that is more comparable to the Ancient World than the Classical or Medieval. Here’s a few thought experiments to give a sense of scale in both time and distance.
Comparative Chronology of Lunar Empire and Roman Empire in Germania and Gallia
As a thought experiment, I’ve put together a short comparative chronology of the Lunar Empire’s conquests in South Peloria and Dragon Pass and the Roman Empire conquests in Gaul and Germany. The dates are approximate and by 25 year intervals.
|Roman Date||Roman Event||Lunar Date||Lunar Event|
|-175 to -150||Roman army reestablishes authority of Massalia in Provence||1200-1225||Red Goddess Born|
|-125||Roman army captures Entremont. Roman colony founded at Aix-en-Provence||1250||Apotheosis of the Red Goddess, foundation of the Lunar Empire|
|-100||Gallia Transalpina (later Narbonensis) organized as a Roman province. Teutons and Cimbri defeated by Romans at Aix.||1275||Jannisor’s War against the Empire. Alliance of Vanch, Imther, Sable Riders, and Dara Happan Tripolis defeated at Glamour.|
|-75||Roman Social War. Civil Wars in Rome between Sulla and the Marians.||1300||Dara Happan Tripolis submits to Lunar Empire. Moonburn; Rist conquered. Lunar colony founded at Rist.|
|-50||Caesar’s Gallic Wars, Gaul conquered.||1325||Sylila conquered by Hwarin Dalthippa. Dara-Ni conquered, Vanch defeated by Hwarin Dalthippa. Lunar colony founded at Jillaro.|
|-25||Roman Civil War. Roman colony founded at Lyon. Germania Inferior and Germania Superior organized as Roman Provinces. Suebi cross the Rhine only to be defeated by Romans.||1350||Sylila organized as a Lunar satrapy. Daughter’s Road campaign conquers Saird for Lunar Empire. Kingdom of Tarsh founded in Dragon Pass. Lunar colony founded at Mirin’s Cross.|
|0||Roman colonies founded at Trier and Mainz. Germania Magna organized as Roman Province||1375||Kingdom of Tarsh defeats Lunar army at Battle of Falling Hills. Alliance of Lunars and Tarshites defeat Opili at Battle of Quintus Vale. Sheng Seleris invades Lunar Empire.|
|25||Alliance of Germanic tribes annihilate three Roman legions; Germania Magna lost to Roman Empire. Rhine River established as furthest boundary of Empire (with a few scattered beach-heads on far side of the river).||1400||Sheng Seleris conquers much of central Peloria. Red Emperor killed (but returns).|
|50||Roman colony founded at Cologne.||1425||Red Emperor killed by Sheng Seleris (but later returns). Sylila takes Alkoth. Tarsh dominant power in south Peloria.|
|75||Year of the Four Emperors – end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, beginning of Flavian dynasty. Modern Baden conquered by Roman Empire.||1450||Tarsh dominant in south Peloria. Sheng Seleris dominates northern and eastern Peloria.|
|100||Roman Germany extended to Neckar River. Reorganization of Roman Gallic provinces. End of Flavian dynasty. Beginning of Nerva-Antonine dynasty.||1475||Tarshite civil war. Sylilans raid Tarsh. Sheng defeated and destroyed. Hon-Eel returns with maize.|
|125||1500||Tarshites resist Lunar Empire until Hon-Eel marries Tarshite king. Lunar colony founded at Furthest.|
|150||Roman Limes stabilized between Main and Danube rivers.||1525||Night of Horror defeats Pentans at high cost.|
|175||Germanic tribes invade along Upper and Middle Danube as the First Marcomannic Wars; Limes hold||1550||Lunar kings of Tarsh overthrown.|
|200||Local revolt around Strasbourg. Germanic tribes invade along Upper and Middle Danube as the Second Marcomannic Wars; Limes hold. Year of the Five Emperors. End of Nerva-Antonine dynasty. Beginning of Severan dynasty.||1575||Lunar kings of Tarsh restored by Phargentes. Lunar Provinces organized. Errio-Unit clan takes Sylila.|
|225||1600||Lunar provinces reorganized. High King of Dragon Pass defeated by Lunar Empire at Grizzly Peak.|
|250||Germanic confederation crosses Rhine and invades Gaul. Emperor Alexander Severus overthrown by army at Mainz. Year of the Six Emperors. Crisis of the Third Century. End of Severan dynasty. Rise of Barracks Emperors. Roman Limes abandoned. Empire retreats to the Rhine River. German tribes occupy former Imperial lands between Limes and the Rhine.||1625||Sartar conquered by Lunar Empire. Prax conquered by Lunar Empire. Brief rebellion by Sartarites defeated. Holy Country invaded by Lunar Empire. Orlanth defeated at Whitewall (briefly). Lunar Army defeated by Argrath and Harrek.Lunar provincial leadership and army devoured by dragon. Sartar and Holy Country lost. Crisis in the Lunar Provinces.|
From the comparative chronology, it is pretty obvious that Rome’s influence on Gaul and Germania was longer and probably far more pervasive than the Lunar influence on south Peloria. From 1375-1475, the Lunar Empire lost south Peloria, absorbed in its own struggle with Sheng Seleris. In contrast, only in Magna Germania was the Roman influence short-lived. In the Agri Decumates (the land within the Limes), the Romans ruled uninterrupted for about a century, or about as long as the Lunars ruled Tarsh.
As an aside, I think the Lunars did not found anywhere near as many colonies as their Roman counterparts. Here’s my list of significant Lunar settlements:
- Rist. Lunar colony founded circa 1300 S.T.
- Jillaro. Technically New Jillaro, Lunar colony founded circa 1325 S.T.
- Mirin’s Cross. Ancient city conquered by Lunars. Lunar colony founded circa 1350 S.T.
- Furthest. Lunar colony founded at Orlanthi market town circa 1500 S.T.
Possibly a few others exist as well. Frex, Fyllich Kwan might be a Lunar colony (or might not). But I think those four are the main Lunar colonial settlements in southern Peloria. Otherwise, what the Lunars have are transient populations of soldiers and merchants, combined with local aristocrats who seek to emulate or endear themselves to the Lunar Empire.
As the following two charts demonstrate, distances in South Peloria are comparable to Roman Gaul and Germany. These charts measure the approximate distance between cities “as the Orlanthi flies” and do not measure the actual travel distance, but provide a rough scale.
|Marseille to Lyon||173 miles (277 kilometers)|
|Lyon to Trier||289 miles (465 kilometers)|
|Reims to Trier||107 miles (174 kilometers)|
|Trier to Cologne||84 miles (135 kilometers)|
|Trier to Mainz||74 miles (119 kilometers)|
|Marseille to Trier||462 miles (739 kilometers)|
|Glamour to Jillaro||174 miles (278 kilometers)|
|Alkoth to Jillaro||50 miles (80 kilometers)|
|Jillaro to Mirin’s Cross||126 miles (202 kilometers)|
|Mirin’s Cross to Furthest||132 miles (211 kilometers)|
|Glamour to Furthest||432 miles (691 kilometers)|
By means of a final comparison, the distance between Baghdad and Tehran is 431 miles (almost exactly the same as from Glamour to Furthest).
These distances suggest the Bronze Age, early-Iron Age nature of Glorantha. The Lunar Empire is not comparable in size to the Roman Empire, but to the Assyrian Empire or the Babylonian Empire of Hammurabi or Nebuchadnezzar – or to a Roman Empire that conquered Gaul and Spain, but never the Greek East.
To those who might say that is too small – the Assyrians ruled many different cultures, with many different religions and languages. And Roman Gaul and Germania was far more diverse than you might think – Greeks, Ligurians, Gauls, Germans, Roman Italians, and even some Phoenicians and Syrians.
An additional observation: the peoples of southern Peloria have been in contact for many centuries. They have influenced each other and been influenced by each other. The Orlanthi of South Peloria likely look to Dara Happa for the trappings of status and prestige – even as they reject Dara Happan social mores and religion.
Similarly, the Dara Happan and Lunar settlements of South Peloria (Henjarl, Dara-Ni, Terarir, Mirin’s Cross, and Furthest) also have been influenced by their Orlanthi neighbors. They have “adopted” some Orlanthi cults (particularly Ernalda and Barntar), even as they reject Orlanth himself. They may look to the Orlanthi for the trappings of heroism and martial prowess – even as they reject Orlanthi social mores and religion.
That maps sounds fascinating! What is the book? I agree that is a model well suited for the Lunar Empire, whose periphery can be viewed as an endless series of rebellions and conquests.