An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

Well it's was transported to Constantinople...and it was destroyed because some morons thought it was beckoning the crusaders(how the f... Could think something like this is out of my league..)
I mean, we're talking about a city where IOTL in 1453, they saw a light effect on the Hagia Sophia (and the dropping of a sacred relic) as portents of doom - literally claiming that Gods blessing had abandoned the city, and that the visual effect was literally God leaving the Hagia Sophia. It should never be underestimated how willing and able people are to engage in superstition.
 
I mean, we're talking about a city where IOTL in 1453, they saw a light effect on the Hagia Sophia (and the dropping of a sacred relic) as portents of doom - literally claiming that Gods blessing had abandoned the city, and that the visual effect was literally God leaving the Hagia Sophia. It should never be underestimated how willing and able people are to engage in superstition.
Mystic superstitious stuff is pretty common in all religious traditions.

I just read about a Tax Collector who got beat up by Saint Cuthbert in his dream, which afflicted him with sickness until he left County Durham. It was taken as portents by William the Conqueror (who too got sick in Durham after he threatened Saint Cuthbert's followers) to uphold traditional autonomy of the county and to exempt them from taxation.
 
I have a few questions about TTL.
1. What's the status of education in Rhomania? Rhomania is the home land of major educational milestones, first university, homeland of great philosophers, etc, I'm wondering if the people of Rhomania would put a lot of stock on education.

2. How are the old Greek gods and stories viewed by Rhomania? Obviously, no one would be caught dead worshiping Zeus or Hades, but I'm wondering if anyone in Rhomania ever read the Odyssey, or the Iliad, do they produce plays on the trials of Heracles, the love of Psyche and Cupid or the voyages of Odyssey?
OTL there was something of a genre with texts based on the Iliad and the Odyssey, including a number of romances based on them. And of course both the Iliad and the Odyssey were standard school texts. I don't see why that would change with a surviving empire as we have here, rather the opposite. And of course the crown prince is named Odysseus...
 
I was watching a YouTube documentary on the water crisis in Iraq and it got me thinking. Even if the Romans don’t conquer/vassalise Mesopotamia, when the technology allows for the construction of modern dams they’ll have the region by the balls anyway. Just build many hydroelectric dams on their end of the Tigris and Euphrates and they’ll control the water supply.
 
This makes me curious, especially with the Great Palace in Constantinople not being the palace used by the Emperors - what does Constantinople and its environs look like at this point in the timeline?
Constantinople has only had one earthquake by this point in 1509 iOTL, which I will use as a rule stick as human history may alter, the earths siesmic history tends to be rock solid, and leading up to that it was almost a 950 years before that. The reason I raise this fact is that those would be the best opportunities for redevelopment, so the chances of the basic plan of Constantinople would be pretty much unchanged. That goes without mentioning any great fires or a population resettlement program. Both are opportunities to clear slums and neighborhoods for renewal. In fact a repopulation scheme for the sundered areas of the war, would give the cities of the empire a chance for serious redevelopment. New sewers, cisterns, roads, blocks and parks. Cnst. had its main thoroughfares that ran topographically with secondary avenues either connecting each or the waterfronts, so at the least it would have avoided the London/Paris medieval rabbit warren of streets. It would have it's slums, and plenty of slumlords, but for the most part there would collonaded walks and fountain plazas. It would a very distinctly Roman feel, and with the Heraklean Walls, that would have made the Theodosian the new pomerium in my mind.

I've tried to visualize myself The City, and sadly while not visiting Instanbul yet, it's hard for me to draw on much besides photos and maps.
 
I was watching a YouTube documentary on the water crisis in Iraq and it got me thinking. Even if the Romans don’t conquer/vassalise Mesopotamia, when the technology allows for the construction of modern dams they’ll have the region by the balls anyway. Just build many hydroelectric dams on their end of the Tigris and Euphrates and they’ll control the water supply.
While selling them the electricity they need, that's Bond Villian level.
 
@Βοανηργές: For the sake of simplicity, I’m assuming that Kurdish population distribution ITTL is similar to OTL. Eyeballing that, I figure that about 25-30% of Kurds were on the Roman side of the pre-war border. With the truce borders it’s more like 55-60% (most of the area taken would IOTL be parts of Turkish and Syrian Kurdistan). However ITTL these areas were heavily settled by Turkish tribes that followed Osman out of Anatolia into Mesopotamia in the late 1200s/early 1300s, so the areas are much less Kurdish ITTL.

@Albert Blake: I saw your questions and I confirm the answers you got.

@jjstraub4: Thank you. :)

@HanEmpire:

[THIS IS NON-CANON.]
For starters, it solidifies Roman distrust for the Latins, not that it needed much help in that regard. Yet another great Latin alliance had been formed with the sole purpose of murdering Romans and taking their possessions. As recent as 2015, discussions about some sort of European Union died as Constantinople made it clear that ‘we have experienced Europe united, and every time its purpose has been to try and kill us’. Absolutely nothing could convince the Romans that the proposed EU would not be a threat to Rhomania.

Just as in Smyrna, where the bells still ring on the Black Day in memory of the slain, so Thessaloniki remembers the Great Siege, as it is styled there. In 1635, the commune of Thessaloniki, with the concurrence of the Kephale, passes a law that no German or Pole may spend the night within the city walls, although they may visit during daylight hours. While the area barred today is restricted to the area bound by the 17th century defenses, a fraction of the modern city, it is still enforced today.

The Great Latin War also helps to enforce a Roman penchant for brutality that is particularly evident during the middle third of the seventeenth century. The classical Romans literally had a word for killing every tenth inhabitant (decimate) and that spirit has been revived.

The Empire has been frequently at war since the outbreak of the Great Uprising in the early 1590s and while the intensity varied and there were frequent gaps and lulls, one noticeable feature was that the danger came from all sides. To the south the Idwaits, to the east the Ottomans, to the north the Hungarians, and to the west the Marinids and corsairs. While much of the fighting was on the frontier, there were several notable incursions such as al-Izmirli’s raid into the Aegean and the Hungarian invasion before Mohacs. This helped to foster a militaristic and bitter attitude amongst the Romans, bolstering a siege mentality already and still extant today.

Demetrios Sideros’ poetry while overlooking the Hellespont as a young man encapsulates the siege mentality constantly underlying the Roman psyche. However mighty and magnificent the Empire may be, there is always the remembrance that fortune is fleeting and that at any moment the Romans may have their backs up against the wall, fighting for their lives. The period from 1590-1630 strengthened that feeling and heightened Roman xenophobia, as can be seen by the mob attack on Latins in Smyrna in 1611.

The Great Latin War dials that feeling up massively. The threats from all sides are much larger and better coordinated, and the incursions bigger and more destructive. Demetrios’ desire to break the cycle is borne out of anger and desire for revenge, but also fear, fear that there will be a next time, and perhaps next time will be the final time.

In the coming decades, as a new equilibrium is established and Rhomania feels more secure regarding its survival and prosperity (although bickering on the edges of empire never goes away), the brutality dials back down. The possibility is still there, and resurfaces from time to time, but never to such extent as in the mid-1600s.

Some have ascribed this to the Timurid inheritance of the Sideroi, but that is not the reason. Timur could be heartless, but the Romans did not need to learn that from him. The darkness that appears comes from the Roman psyche; no other source need be found.

That is also the reason why Romans, looking back at this time, are rather unapologetic about the darkness. They acknowledge, but do not apologize. Horrible things were done, but they were done to survive, and the Romans are not about to apologize for not rolling over and dying, especially to the descendants of those trying to make them die. That is the Roman view then, and the Roman view now. The siege mentality still lives, under the surface, but always ready to rise up again. The Roman Empire of today views a prospective European Union as an act of war, because the Romans, eight hundred years past the Fourth Crusade and near four centuries past the Great Latin War, still cannot conceive of it being anything else than an act of war against them.

---

“You say that this prospective union offers peace and friendship. Let us, for the sake of argument, concede that point and that you are well meaning in that. But what next? This proposal is also designed to secure the continued and expanded prosperity and power of Europe. So in a generation’s time, your children, overseeing a new and rising and ambitious power, will look on us with covetous eyes. There is a preexisting pattern to that effect throughout the history of the last millennium, and that is the standard behavior of such a state. There is no evidence that you have altered human character to such an extent that previous examples are not valid, as has been claimed by some, even here.

“You say that we may join this organization, that we may share in this power and prosperity. That this is not a threat, and will never be a threat. This is not a guarantee that you can rightfully make. You can speak for yourselves, but not for your children, or your grandchildren. Those who forge a sword are often far different from those who end up wielding it.

“Leaving aside that, sizeable portions of your populations, including significant members of your political classes, have made it quite clear that we are still regarded as an Other, to be excluded from this new union. Yet while you continue to work with and elect those officials, and your media and entertainment outlets, suffering no condemnation or criticism, repeatedly treat us an Other, to be viewed with skepticism at best, and far worse to be done in many cases, you then condemn us for doing likewise.

“We have committed massacres against some of your peoples. That is a historical fact, and one we do not, and have never denied. Yet you ask us to apologize for them, whilst staying silent or even justifying the massacres done against us. There was one apology once, six hundred years ago, and the silence since then has been deafening.

“You say that we remember too much, that we need to move on past the traumas of the past. There may be some validity to this argument, but the fact remains that you yourselves do not measure up to the standard you demand of us for we to be considered worthy. This is not the act of those who truly wish to see us as friends, to see us united.

“But that is understandable. Too much of your identity is defined as against us, and too much of our identity is defined as against you. Temporary cooperation may be possible; we have the Great War as evidence for that. But as those times that are not the Great War show, no more than that is possible. We all seek to build a better future for all our peoples, but the future is built from the present and the past. Speaking for myself, I do not consider your intentions to be malicious, but the past warns me about the future. Too many Romans have died fighting against organizations too similar to what you propose for comfort. And if we Romans forget those dead, then we Romans deserve no future.”

-The Roman representative at a diplomatic conference in Saluzzo, regarding a proposed ‘Union of European States’, September 28, 2015.
[END NON-CANON]

@Christian: Education is something that is considered, and will continue to be considered, extremely important in Roman society. Roman political thought is going to be very heavily influenced by the respect of and desire for education.

Ancient Greek literature is very prominent. It was very significant IOTL. The Iliad and the Odyssey were the equivalent of required reading IOTL. So there’s a lot of spinoff based on the ancient classics.

@Duke of Nova Scotia: The Romans don’t believe in the ancient gods (with possibly a few exceptions, look at Plethon) but they’re fun stories. Works of literature are either spinoffs of ancient classics or based on episodes of Roman history, whether ancient, medieval, or modern.

@Sceonn: The study of history is going to be of great prominence in Roman culture. That may be a partial factor in why they still bear grudges over past issues; they have a much better historical memory/education than the OTL USA, for example.

@RogueTraderEnthusiast: The Parthenon is an Orthodox Church. It’s going to end up like one of those medieval cathedrals that is a museum today while also a function church.

Old monuments were often reused in newer structures; they’re a source of already-made dressed stone and already transported. That’s how a lot of ancient Roman monuments in Rome that survived the Middle Ages ended; these were used as building material for Renaissance Papacy structures. With more money and interest available, the Roman government may spend more effort to protect still existing monuments, particularly ones of great interest.

The White Palace is located where the Topkapi Palace is located IOTL. There’s the new district that’s the area between the Theodosian and Herakleian Walls that’s being built up. There’s the Imperial Arsenal next to the Blachernae district. Those are the main differences that a visitor from 1200 Constantinople would notice. As for the rest, the city would be pretty recognizable, although certain neighborhoods and slum areas have been rebuilt to be healthier/safer.

@Curtain Jerker: Act 3-Thor and a squadron of Roman space marines…

@Lascaris: That’s continued on. Demetrios is a bit unusual in having named his son after Odysseus, but Homer is very well known and respected.

@ImperatorAlexander: That’s something that could definitely happen in the future.
 
The Sideros Reorganization, Part 1
Restructuring the Empire: The Sideros Reorganization, Part 1

Romans in the later years of Helena I/Demetrios II had not been blind to the need to improve the systems under which the Empire operated. The unprecedented power of the Ottomans under Iskandar the Great had been an immense strain with several humiliations for the Empire. Although in its own way, the war against Iskandar had been a very rough and tough training school for the even greater challenge that had been the Great Latin War. The ‘sleeping tourmai’, introduced as a way to enlarge the armies fighting against Iskandar, had been absolutely crucial to the rapid expansion of the Roman armies in the first year of the war. The quartermasters who’d help provision the host that marched to Nineveh learned from the experience and then summoned that expertise to support the even greater hosts at Thessaloniki.

But the war against Iskandar brought no satisfaction and no glory, so the accession of Andreas III had been viewed with great anticipation as a chance for a new start, to remake the world of men into a better place. He bore the name, even the birth day, of the Good Emperor. How could it be otherwise?

There had been ideas and plans, then Eparch Demetrios Sideros a major player in those ideas and plans. In just his few years on the throne of Rhomania, Andreas III saw more of it than any Basileus since the Good Emperor, and that had been part of the plan, to see the Empire as it was, not just how Constantinople saw it, so that the plans would be the right plans. But then he had died and everything had been subsumed in the war and the struggle for survival.

But now the opportunity has finally arrived and Demetrios III Sideros has no intention of wasting any time. The war indeed continues, but the pressure is off, and that is good enough for the Emperor who is now occasionally taking cannabis-laced-kaffos to ease the pain from kidney stones. Fortunately much of the preparatory work has already been done.

The first order of business, which illustrates the new order of things, is some personnel rearrangements. Former Logothete of the Drome Andronikos Sarantenos is arrested at his Pontic villa, charged with treason, given a prompt trial and even prompter decapitation by Long Knife. After all, Demetrios had merely chosen to overlook his actions if he retires; that does not constitute a pardon.

Many in the army are quite pleased by that, particularly Alexios Gabras, currently serving as Kastrophylax of Tyre, who is soon even more pleased. Megas Domestikos Nikolaios Mouzalon retires in April 1635, replaced by Theodoros Laskaris, leaving the post of Domestikos of the East vacant. Gabras is appointed in his place, serves for one day, and then retires with the pension and respect afforded to a Domestikos. His honor has been restored.

Some modern historians have been skeptical of this. He did lose Nineveh after all. But many in the army don’t feel that way. In their minds, he was guilty of Nineveh, but it was for Mashhadshar for which he was punished, and on that he was innocent. Mashhadshar had been Sarantenos’ doing. But regardless of what was deserved, these actions remove a longstanding grievance of the Roman army.

Strategos Thomas Amirales is then appointed as the new Domestikos, with orders to begin preparations for a resumption of his Mesopotamian offensive once the truce expires.

Military preparations require money and in 1635 the Roman government’s debt is an order of magnitude higher than it was at the accession of Demetrios III. The changed nature of the conflict, from survival to opportunism, allows the White Palace to discharge tens of thousands of soldiers, which helps a lot. But the discharges have to be staged since Constantinople is very concerned about ex-soldiers turning brigand. Also many of the soldiers, who were landless laborers beforehand, are being settled on now-vacant land along the Danube or in Macedonia to rebuild those areas. But they need start-up tools, seed, and animals if their farms are to have a chance at productivity. An interest-free loan bank is opened for these soldiers-turned-farmers, but the capital for that is another drain on the exchequer.

Really not helping is an economic slump. With the change of the war’s nature also comes a cratering of the demand for war materials. Work orders decrease, workers are laid off or piece work lessened, and some firms go out of business. The effects are felt everywhere, including in shipping and customs as there are less Black Sea galleons hauling ores and timber from Azov to the foundries of the Aegean. Wages are down while food prices are still high because of the disruptions caused by the setup for the Thessaloniki campaign. Grain riots are frequent throughout the spring and summer. Fortunately there is a bumper crop from Egypt as the Egyptians promptly cultivated the fields captured from the Idwaits in 1634, the effects felt the next year. Between that and imports from the S-H-V (Serbia, Hungary, Vlachia), of which Hungary contributes a surprising amount, the first fruits of the Treaty of Belgrade, help to stabilize food prices by the winter of 1635/36. But the Roman economy is still definitely slumped.

Because of the low wage-high food price situation throughout most of 1635, which is the best way to get the pre-modern equivalent of a nuclear explosion, Demetrios doesn’t do anything in regards to tax reforms that year. He doesn’t want to risk any sparks that may trigger this particular bomb.

The year 1636 is much more promising. While wages and work are still depressed, food prices are lower and stabilized, and with food consuming less of the budget, there has been some pickup in a few industries, including textiles. Thus it is 1636 that sees the beginning of the Sideros Reorganization.

It has been joked by some historians that if Theodoros IV Komnenos had been reanimated at any point between his death and 1630, it would’ve taken him only a page of notes and fifteen minutes to be up to speed with Roman administration. While there had been some changes, most had been inspired by Theodoros IV’s notes and frequently the adjustments were little more than tweaks. The only substantial change was the shift from the theme-tagma system to a standing army paid entirely in cash during the early years of Helena I Drakina.

The year 1636 sees a radical shift from the Laskarid administrative framework that was inherited by the Second Komnenid dynasty. It is by no means discarded, but the years 1636-40 see Roman administration shift from its Late Laskarid structure to its modern form. Now the joke is that Demetrios III, once he understood the concept of computers, would only need fifteen minutes and a page of notes to understand Roman administration in 2019.

The biggest change is to the tax system. As pledged, Demetrios removes his wartime tax scheme with its ‘differential taxation’ in 1636 to promptly replace it with the more developed model he’d recommended to Andreas III. He’d felt that model was too elaborate to be implemented in wartime, with too much risk of interrupting revenue streams, but that is no longer such an issue.

Roman taxpayers are divided into 4 categories, each of which is divided into four tiers based on their level of income. The categories are as follows:

Paroikoi: By the early seventeenth century, the term has expanded to cover all ‘small agricultural workers’. There are wide variations within this category, which includes tenant farmers and freeholders, landless agricultural laborers and prosperous peasant landowners with plow teams (zeugaratos) and portfolios that may reach into non-agricultural areas. Anna Vasiloktona before the war would be an example of a high-end zeugarata, approaching if not breaking the upper barrier of this category. This also includes fishermen and the like as they ‘farm’ the sea, mine workers as they ‘farm’ underground, and lumberjacks as they ‘farm’ the forest. Essentially, those who produce a raw material of some kind are here.

Banausoi: These are the people of the marketplace and crafts and this category includes artisans, small-scale shopkeepers and merchants, as well as most schoolteachers and low-level officials. These can vary widely from butchers to goldsmiths. While the division between the Banausoi and the next level is based on income, regarding merchants the general rule of thumb is that merchants selling retail are Banausoi and wholesale merchants are not. Those working in hospitality are here as well, including tavern, inn, and cookhouse keepers, as well as prostitutes. Transport workers, such as sailors or caravan muleteers, are also here. Essentially, those who transport materials, produce a good out of some raw material, or sell raw materials/goods on a small scale, are here.

The criterion for placement amongst the Paroikoi or Banausoi is based on the primary occupation, although the exact tier is purely based on the income. There is certainly some crossover. For example a hypothetical household may be based on a village farm-holding, making it Paroikoi, but it may do some textile work under the putting-out system. That work wouldn’t make them Banausoi but the income derived from it would affect their tier level.

There are a couple of reasons for this division based on occupation. Firstly, it seems a useful tool to support industries as needed by tax adjustments. While the tiers are based on incomes, certain specific trades will be associated with various tiers. An adjustment of Banausoi Tier IV (the highest) will affect gold and silversmiths, but is unlikely to do anything to cobblers, and definitely won’t affect peasant farmers.

It is also because of collection, considering the provisions for tax collectors (see below). The Paroikoi are overwhelmingly concentrated in the countryside, while the Banausoi are concentrated in the towns and cities.

The next two categories are the Mesoi and Dynatoi, the middle and upper classes respectively. While also divided into four tiers each, these are on a straightforward income placement. These also vary widely, with doctors, lawyers, university professors, wholesale merchants, major landowners, and prominent officials as examples.

The various tiers within the four categories all pay different rates, with the highest tiers paying a greater percentage than the lower, as those taxpayers are wealthier. There is some variation on this with the Paroikoi and Banausoi as there, unlike with the upper two categories, some of the tiers overlap when the categories are compared side-by-side. The Banausoi pay a slighter higher rate than the Paroikoi of comparable income.

There are a few reasons for that. Firstly, agriculture is still by far the biggest component of the Roman economy and employing the vast majority of the Roman populace. Agricultural production wasn’t promoted much during the Flowering in contrast to manufacturing because in the immediate aftermath of the Time of Trouble, feeding the reduced population of the Empire was not a difficulty.

Times have certainly changed in that regard. In 1550 the populace of the Roman heartland numbered 11.25 million. In 1630 it stood at eighteen million. Sicily’s growth is similar, going from 1.9 to 3.5 million. Egypt’s is far less impressive, going merely from 2.8 to 3.1 million, but the Great Uprising did happen during that period and the latter figure covers a smaller area, the post-Uprising Despotate. It is estimated by some historians that a Egypt that didn’t experience the Great Uprising would be past 5 million at this point.

In 1635, the Imperial heartland’s population stands at about 16.7 million, the decrease due both to war dead and the exclusion of interior Syria, controlled by the Ottomans under the terms of the Demetrian truce. Of that number, 12.3 million reside in the 6 Aegean themes, the Helladic, Macedonian, Thracian, Opsikian, Optimatic, and Thrakesian. The Chaldean has a bit over a million, the truncated Syrian theme about one million, Bulgaria a bit less, and the Anatolikon and Armeniakon between them mustering about 1.25 million.

Feeding the Aegean basin, even with imports of Scythian and Egyptian grain, is becoming more difficult, the war and particularly the preparations for the battle of Thessaloniki exacerbating matters. So there is this spur, spearheaded by the Sweet Waters of Asia complex, to diversify and improve agricultural efficiency. The lower tax rates for the Paroikoi are an inducement for that.

The Tier IV Paroikoi are an excellent exemplar of this. To be a zeugaratos, one merely needs to a peasant landowner wealthy enough to own a full plow team of oxen (or horse equivalent, the term preexisting the use of horses for plowing). But the wealthier zeugaratoi, those whose lands and income approach the line between Paroikoi and Mesoi like the pre-war Vasiloktonos family, can be considered a Roman economic equivalent to English yeomanry and they are described as such by English travelers.

Although they don’t have the freeholdings comparable to those of mesoi landowners (who are identified as landed gentry by those English travelers), they still have the capital to invest in improvements and to diversify and improve their holdings, since they already have experience in growing for the market. Aside from cereals, they often produce wine, olive oil, fruit, cheese, butter, and silk for sale at the local trade fair, unlike a poorer family living on the margins of subsistence.

At the same time, they are also generally less difficult about taxpaying than the dynatoi, and often have a more business-like attitude than some of the dynatoi, especially some of the older families. Used to wealth, they spend it lavishly and often frivolously, in a manner often criticized as reminiscent of Latin nobility.

Secondly, while the Roman Empire is a money economy, out in the countryside where the bulk of the populace and Paroikoi live, it is often a mixed economy with both money and barter playing a big role in transactions. Paroikoi in general have a harder time getting the high-value currency that is needed for paying taxes in contrast to the town and city dwelling Banausoi. The lower rate acknowledges that.

Village-dwelling Banausoi can be hurt by this, but the village blacksmith would be a low-tier anyway. Most artisanal work in the smaller villages is done on the side by Paroikoi families anyway, with the goal of personal use rather than selling on the market. Villages that support full-time artisans that would be categorized as Banausoi probably have a market, meaning that the area is more monetized than a smaller village off the beaten track.

Tax collectors for the new system have four levels, corresponding to the Paroikoi, Banausoi, Mesoi, and Dynatoi, with the higher-level collectors considered higher in rank and paid more. This is an anti-corruption effort, as obviously dynatoi would have an easier time bribing a tax collector than a Paroikos. The penalties for corruption also go up as an official advances in level.

This is also an effort to reduce tax fraud. Instead of being responsible for collecting taxes for everyone in a certain area, the Dynatoi-level collector is only focused on the few dynatoi in his region. So he can make sure they’re paying their proper dues since he isn’t examining the various peasant villages; that is the task of his junior Paroikoi-level colleagues. This does lead to the possibility of some tax fraud squeaking through on the Paroikoi level as the collectors there are covering more people. But providing the dynatoi pay their dues, that is no issue for the exchequer.

The Kephalate of Skammandros provides a good example of the system in action. The Kephalate, situated in the upper left corner of Anatolia, is a small but prosperous district of the Opsikian theme. Its biggest town is the port of Abydos, a common stop for vessels entering or exiting the Hellespont. Throughout its territory are several smaller towns and large villages, plus smaller villages in between the bigger settlements. The Kephalate as a whole has about 75000 inhabitants.

The Banausoi and Mesoi level collectors are stationed in Abydos and the smaller towns and large villages with enough of their category’s population to justify their presence. While the Abydos-stationed ones concentrate on the taxpayers in the towns, their counterparts in the smaller settlements may cover a few adjacent towns/villages. The Paroikoi-level collectors meanwhile cover the countryside in their assigned areas.

Oftentimes if there are a few artisans that are categorized as Banausoi but live in an area removed from Banausoi-concentrations, those artisans for tax gathering purposes get assigned to the Paroikoi-level collectors covering the region in question. The dynatoi-level collector also covers the town and countryside, depending on where the dynatoi are located, since they could be industrial magnates, large-scale merchants, or major landowners. Sometimes if a poorer kephalate doesn’t have much in the way of mesoi or dynatoi, the mesoi and dynatoi-level collectors may have a couple of kephalates as their ‘territory’.

The taxes under the tier system that are collected are the income and the head tax, the rates of which vary depending on the category and tier of the taxpayer. Other taxes, such as import/export duties, inheritance taxes, and various consumption taxes such as those on wine, paper, silks, carriages, etc. are unaffected and collected in their regular manner.

The sixteen-tier system is still the basis of the Roman tax system today, although it’s been changed so that the tiers are now all stacked by income, rather than with occupation affecting the categories. The setup for the tax collectors is also the same, with the tiers grouped in four categories which retain the old names, and the collectors focusing only on the tiers in their category.

In the Main Hall of the Office of the Treasury today, there are two large portraits of Emperors, the only representations of Roman Emperors in the building save for a portrait of the current reigning monarch. They are Theodoros IV Komnenos and Demetrios III Sideros.
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
So Theodoros IV and Demetrios III get the Hamilton treatment from their version of the Treasury. Glad not everyone forgets the administrator-emperors.
 

Soverihn

Banned
This is some Britain post Napoleon tier financing fuckery. I love it.

Unfortunately the minute the Ottomans and Triunes copy it both of them will be fielding armies in the literal millions.
 
If I can ask a question, how old is Demetrios? Somewhere in his 30's?
His daughter is married with children, so he'd be in his 50s to 60s.

I love this tax scheme. I know it'll get copied almost verbatim by the other nations, but until then Rhomania reigns supreme!
 
The sixteen-tier system is still the basis of the Roman tax system today
16 tiers?! What sort of commie leftist system is this? /s
Will be interesting to see how the Roman Government weathers pressures on flattening the tax system like we see in so many Governments OTL.

Luckily Germany is a fractured mess, the Ottomans have a much smaller population (Ody plans on making even smaller), and the Triunes seem to be too haughty and arrogant (Gods chosen people) to adopt this without an Emperor with the administrative will to push it through. And besides all these Empires are even now still much less centralised and have more feudal elements than the Romans.
 
I really liked how you used the word Banausoi for the second tax category (although in English it would be written as Vanafsoi or Vanausoi). In ancient Greek language Βάναυσος was someone working with fire, (coming from the word Βαῦνος which ment oven, or fire), so a blacksmith, a goldsmith, a potter or generally an artisan. They were considered essential in a city by Aristotle, but they were viewed with contempt, because they were doing manual work, like slaves. Gradually the word Βάναυσος came to mean a brutal and rude man.
However I am surprised why would teachers or low government officials be included in this category, especially for the teachers, it would almost be insulting.
 
I hope Demetrios starts a tradition wherein the Imperial Family sends its youth into Tax Collection and Banking. OTL nobility became way too mired in military prestige/elan in my opinion.

@Basileus444 how's the Plethon-Medici clan doing these days? Do they still call themselves "Medici" or did the Italian connection fade away?
 
Well, Demetrios Sideros is considered glamorous...by the administrators and the tax collectors. To each their own...

Ibrahim is going to have to face an ugly situation. I mean, yes he knew this was just a truce, not a real peace, but seeing the Rhomanian armies come back so fast at his frontiers is not going to be a pleasant experience.
Demetrios is likely to abdicate as the truth expires, leaving the 'Ottoman punishment' and the rebirth of the Empire to his son Odysseus.
 
I remember reading this timeline back in 2013, great to see that it is still going strong. The story of the Roman Empire is still as fascinating and well written as it was back then. I do have one question though, what do the Romans of this timeline think of their classical pagan forebears? Do they consider Augustus their first emperor, and what are their thoughts on the Roman Republic?
 
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