Having a free time combined with bad weather I returned to my old hobby: creation of multi agent "worlds" and observing their behavior. This time I decided to model nothing less than rise and fall of ancient empires. As always, model produces the unpredictable (otherwise it wouldn't be interesting) results and each new world is unique in its own way. And here I want to tell you the story of one of these worlds...
Here is the main concept: the square world consists of 3025 tiles divided between 200 "polities" representing chiefdoms or early states. Population of each polity consist of three social classes: nobles, free people, and slaves (initially absent). Slaves and free people are producing wealth, nobles are collecting taxes from free people and taking away everything produced by slaves. The more wealth each class has, the faster it reproduce.
The initial world in the year 0:
Polities doesn't sit idle, they attack each other. Again, I'm not going to bother you with formulas, but the main concept is such: chances of war are directly proportional to invader / victim power ratio. When polity is invaded, it loses one tile of territory, 1% of nobles (fell in battle defending the Motherland), and 2% of free people (enslaved by invaders). If polity's capital captured, the polity collapses and each tile of its territory becomes the new tiny polity.
The world of the year 100 is the boiling pot of tiny warring polities. There are even more of them than it was in the beginning:
The year 300. Looks almost the same, but there is one important difference: some polities expanded into early (still very fragile) empires:
The year 500. The Northwest Pink Empire striving to the world hegemony:
The year 800. The Northwest Pink Empire has grown almost unstoppable:
The year 1000. Here we can see the beginning of serious worldwide crisis: the growing exploitation and endless chain of wars decreased the number of free people (see "society" graph). The Northwest Pink Empire was among the most affected. Empire still holds the vast territories, but its population (represented by circle size) has shrunk dramatically. And with shrinking population, the world hegemony becomes an unattainable dream:
500 years later, in the year 1500, the world seems to be recovered. The Northwest Pink Empire is still exist, but only in shadow of two new superpowers, divided by the strip of tiny and middle-sized barbarian states:
The year 2000. The world unification is near... or so it seems to the rulers of Northeast Green and Southwest Brown empires. But when you look and the "society" graph... the collapse was brief but devastating, as you can see on the screenshots of the year 2100 and the year 2300:
The following centuries were full of endless and pointles struggle. Empires were emerging and growing:
...only to disappear without a trace:
Sometimes they seemed unstoppable, like this Southeast Blue empire of the year 7000:
Finally, after almost 10 millenia of chaos, war, and sufferings, the world is going to be unified. The Northeast Green empire somehow managed to survive all the hard times. By the year 9500, there is nothing left to stop them:
...and so it happened soon after the year 10100. For better or for worse, the world was eventually united under one banner. Btw, this has led to weird social changes: slavery almost disappeared while nobles, for the first time in world history, outnumbered the free people! Who knows, perhaps this was the unique feature that saved the Northeast Green empire from the fate of its predecessors? Anyway, there will be a lot of food for thought for future historians: