Wednesday, 29 March 2017
what happened at the Battle of Ticinus in the Second Punic War;
what would have happened if Cyrus the Great had been killed in infancy;
which Pope was born when during the European Middle Ages;
how the myth of Atlantis originated;
why past civilizations declined - because similar factors might influence future civilizations;
how life evolved - because this is relevant to how it might evolve elsewhere;
how the universe originated.
These are just seven of many possible examples.
In SM Stirling's science fiction, we need to know the names and dates of twentieth century British monarchs because Stirling creates, among several alternative timelines, two that diverge in 1878 and 1998, respectively. It matters what the world was like in 1250 BC if only because Stirling's time travelers will soon change that world out of all recognition.
Thus, knowledge of the past affects time travel fiction, alternative history fiction and futuristic science fiction.