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Re: Two YANCs: Para-British

From:Vasiliy Chernov <bc_@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 6, 2000, 17:01
On Mon, 5 Jun 2000 16:32:23 CDT, Anthony M. Miles
<theophilus88@...> wrote:

>If this is meant to be an alternate timeline,
Actually, I am not shure about the geography. I only meant that I don't intend to invent plants and animals (not to mention things like gravitation, atmosphere composition, etc.). But I am certain that *that* world was populated through some sort of sporadic migration from *here*, and its history can be totally different.
>perhaps there was >an effort by the Orthodox church to civilise the 'Franks' (Western >Europeans), thus leading to greater influence of Greek.
I'd prefer no schism at all... Then, indeed, the more prolific Greek tradition would have dominated the Christian world, and more profoundly influenced even the remote areas in the West.
>OR >Archbishop Theodore, one of the first archbishops of Canterbury, could
>established a lasting school of Greek scholars, instead of his >short-lived influence, although that might be too early for this >linguistic scenario. >OR >The Ottonian Imperial Dynasty brought in more Greek influence through his >wife Theophano than happened in OTL. > >I can't think how Coptic would reach Britain, though.
By sea ;) - if there is anything like British Isles *there*. I think that even *here*, ca. 7th century Western Europe (compared to Eastern Mediterranean area, and except for some special places like Ireland) represented a domain of deep cultural vacuum that would absorb everything if any regular contacts had been established. If there'd have been no Arab Conquest *there*, things wouldn't change quickly, and cultures like Coptic and Syriac could influence the West (perhaps through the mediation of the Greek world, more less like the Greek culture *here* influenced it through the mediation of the Latin tradition). Or, alternatively, Coptic could be disseminated by some militant monophysite/gnostic sects. Or by merchants belonging to such sects. Or by some invaders like Arabs, whose rulers were converted to Christianity in Egypt. I think I can invent more scenarios if I think a bit ;) And, given the way in which *that* world became inhabited, even a small mission of Egyptian monks could change its cultural history. Actually, my concerns are about a different point. Developing a classical language based on some poorly attested old tongue would be a separate conlanging enterprise, perhaps a difficult one. Old High German or Old Breton don't fit, I need languages with rich and diverse literature, ready source of technical terms, with established orthography, phonetics knows in detail, dictionaries handy, etc. I think first of all of old Christian traditions (and maybe others, if represented in Medieval Europe), since otherwise the whole civilization will be too different. It is already clear that people penetrated *there* many times in different epochs (e. g. speakers of almost-classical Latin and 10th century Old English), so some tongue that thrived in 16th century would also be O.K., if only it differs enough from all widespread modern langs. Latin and Greek fit ideally, but they also influenced English. Coptic, Hebrew, Middle Irish (taken in its medieval pronunciation) seem O.K. And I don't know enough about languages like Syriac, older forms of Welsh, and... what else? Any suggestions? Basilius