By Harry Turtledove
In a universe during which Constantinople by no means fell, the Byzantine Empire has flourished by means of constructing expertise and spreading its impression yet unearths itself on the mercy of its jealous enemies.
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Extra resources for Agent of Byzantium
That is enough; he does not need prayers or ceremonies. What do words matter? ” The Roman’s eyes widened. That was a subtler argument than he had expected from a nomad. He took another long pull at the skin of kumiss—the more one had, the better the stuff tasted—and decided to change the subject. “I know why you use that fig—figure of speech,” he said accusingly, punctuating his words with a hiccup. ” The shaman was smiling again, in faint contempt. He had matched Argyros drink for drink and was no more than pleasantly drunk, while the Roman was acting more and more fuddled.
Sprague de Camp’s “The Wheels of If,” which appeared in the October, 1940, Unknown and which dealt with a world in which the Moslems had won the battle of Tours, and the Celtic Church had won out over the Roman Church in the British Isles. The other is Ward Moore’s “Bring the Jubilee” which appeared in the November, 1952, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and presented a world in which the Confederacy had won the Battle of Gettysburg and had established its independence. The latter was particularly touching because characters in it would fantasize the consequences if the Union had won the battle and America had remained intact.
Then, as they were trained to do, they hitched their oxen to the wagons and moved the wains into place behind the camp ditch to serve as a barricade against arrows. That work, in which the scouts lent a hand, was not finished when the Roman army, still harassed by the Jurchen, drew near. Several oxen were shot and had to be killed with axes before their rampaging upset the wagons to which they were yoked. Tagma by tagma, the Roman cavalry entered the campsite by way of the four gaps in the ditch.
Agent of Byzantium by Harry Turtledove