An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

Arrix85

Donor
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Sh3baproject: Hungary has some interesting prospects ahead of it. It can pitch into Germany, or resume the drive into Italy that it has been pursuing intermittently for the last 200 years, and the Romans look quite distracted.


I cannot help but think that Hungary would commit a mistake by intervening in Germany, it will risk a future intervention against it which could go well beyond Vienna and Austria, but also its italian possession (like Veneto and Friuli, standing in the way of direct German-Roman contact). But since I'm a champion of circular thought.... Hungary could profit by intervening when the winning side becomes clear getting "permission" to get into Italy without fear of retaliation (even though I don't know how much religion still plays a factor).​
 
How Copticized are the Egyptian Komnennoi?

Given that even Katepano Demetrios I was Copto-phillic, and was accused of being a closet copt, it's quite likely that the Egyptian Komnennoi are religiously Coptic. However, has that assimilation been extended to the cultural realm, or are they (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the higher Egyptian nobility) still culturally Greek?
 
Does anyone know the state of the Parthenon just before the accidental Venetian destruction (otl)? as far as i know it was still fully intact (like the pantheon in Rome, damn those names are similar), so if Athens becomes a sort of retirement town (i don't think there's a reason for it to become a mega-city like in otl, and it does seem like the place for rich people to retire and look at all the temples), will the Parthenon be fully intact in (ttl) modern times?
 
Does anyone know the state of the Parthenon just before the accidental Venetian destruction (otl)? as far as i know it was still fully intact (like the pantheon in Rome, damn those names are similar), so if Athens becomes a sort of retirement town (i don't think there's a reason for it to become a mega-city like in otl, and it does seem like the place for rich people to retire and look at all the temples), will the Parthenon be fully intact in (ttl) modern times?

Unless something else happens of course it would.

Though those old ruins are tempting targets for recycling stone.
 
At this point, most of Athens' ancient buildings had survived mostly intact (the Parthenon FULLY, i don't know how but it was a complete survivor until it was blown up :(), so i don't see a reason to recycle stone if it hasn't been done already (which it hasn't), its been 1000 years scene the fall of the old roman empire, and there's not much need to recycle stone with civilization flourishing now.
 
At this point, most of Athens' ancient buildings had survived mostly intact (the Parthenon FULLY, i don't know how but it was a complete survivor until it was blown up :(), so i don't see a reason to recycle stone if it hasn't been done already (which it hasn't), its been 1000 years scene the fall of the old roman empire, and there's not much need to recycle stone with civilization flourishing now.

Well if the story of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is anything to go by even a thousand years after the end of the Roman Empire stone is still in high demand. It is far cheaper to just pick up pre-cut stones from ruins than to go to a quarry and get new stone. It's cheaper, takes less time, and the ruins are close at hand. Any crisis around Athens like a war or civil strife could use the stones on the acropolis to build fortifications or repair existing ones.
 
But the Parthenon aint even a ruin though, and its the prime symbol of the city. I can see some parts of the acropolis getting torn town, but not the Parthenon. Even with disapproval of paganism, its probably locally revered as a symbol of the city. (cause otherwise Athens just a backwater town of 15000 at this point.) Plus, most of the buildings in Athens that were destroyed were done so by the ottomans, and they are butterflied to all hell (in a cool way:D).
 
But the Parthenon aint even a ruin though, and its the prime symbol of the city. I can see some parts of the acropolis getting torn town, but not the Parthenon. Even with disapproval of paganism, its probably locally revered as a symbol of the city. (cause otherwise Athens just a backwater town of 15000 at this point.) Plus, most of the buildings in Athens that were destroyed were done so by the ottomans, and they are butterflied to all hell (in a cool way:D).

We talked about this last year, and b444 said it's intact, but it's not part of the nascent "grand tour" or anything.
 
1604
Arrix85: Note that I said Hungary has interesting prospects in front of it, not profitable. ;)

Frustrated Progressive: The Egyptian Komnenoi are Coptic religiously, but are still largely Greek culturally despite their patronization of Coptic culture. Roman culture in the Orthodox/Coptic world has a status similar to 18th century French culture to the rest of Europe.

FinalTemplar: The final post in the Finished TL thread has a 1600 map.

Parthenon: The Parthenon as of now is intact and well maintained, and still used as a place of worship. It's been a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary for the last thousand years.


1604: The battle of Kanala was a major boon to all the corsairs’ enemies but the campaign leading up to the battle highlighted some serious issues with the Roman navy. There had been many in the Roman administration and navy aware of the issues for quite some time. Andreas Angelos, Megas Doux during the reign of Empress Alexeia ‘the Mad’, tried to address some of them but was preoccupied by the need to rebuild fleet strength after the Orthodox War and the progress he made was ruined by his death and the Time of Troubles. Izmirli’s raid on the western Peloponnesus was a sign that the issues could not be ignored but his penetration into the Aegean, even with the final result, made it clear.

Since the days of Empress Anna Laskarina the Imperial Fleet was stationed at Constantinople with a few small provincial squadrons stationed at certain locales. Part of the reason for that was the need for provisions. The Romans had a thousand years of experience in feeding huge populations along the Bosporus; the addition of the fleet was not a significant burden. However Constantinople was not so well placed for a quick reaction force. If the Imperial fleet had not already been forward deployed the corsairs would have gotten away without consequence.

In the 1300s it was doubtful the Mameluke fleet could even range as far as the Aegean most of the time and Rhodes was well fortified and garrisoned to guard against that threat. The Italian navies were a more serious challenge and only late in the 1300s was the Imperial fleet strong enough to challenge Venice or Genoa with significant confidence without the naval genius of Licario who was behind most of the Roman naval victories of the late 1200s.

Then much of it was wrecked in the Laskarid civil war and Demetrios Megas’s victories over the Venetian fleet were due to the purxiphoi innovation, a device which in its earliest form lost most of its effectiveness once the novelty wore off and which was quickly imitated by the Italians anyway. In the Smyrnan war a maximum effort by the Serene Republic fielded a fleet the Romans never dared challenge directly. It was not until the reign of Andreas Niketas that the Roman navy clearly surpassed the Venetian in armed might.

The Roman strategy, although never articulated as such, was that of a fleet-in-being. The Roman fleet was still powerful enough vis-à-vis the Genoese and Venetians that it had to be treated with respect and its mere presence helped keep the Italians in line most of the time. When more force was needed, it could still deter raids. The Italians wanted to trade in the empire and killing and antagonizing would-be customers was counterproductive.

Defeating the Imperial fleet was the best option, from the Italian perspective, of forcing good trade agreements. However in the waters of Constantinople, the comparative Roman naval weakness was compensated by their superior knowledge of the potentially treacherous currents. The crippling of the Roman navy in the Laskarid civil war was because the fleet came out and was smashed in open battle in the Aegean. Keeping the fleet in Constantinople preserved the fleet as a fleet-in-being and also made it untouchable from a surprise attack as a hostile fleet would first have to force the Hellespont. The consequences for the Empire if the Roman fleet had been surprised in Smyrna harbor on the Black Day could have been disastrous.

However now the assembled naval might of the entire Italian peninsula, including the Despotate of Sicily, could not match the Imperial fleet. The other great Christian naval powers, Castile-Portugal, Lotharingia, the Triple Monarchy, and the Empire of All the North, are Atlantic states. The one Mediterranean naval power capable of challenging the Empire is the Barbary corsairs. Unlike the Italians they have no desire to trade with the Romans so holding back from lucrative raiding to avoid ruining future trade opportunities is not an issue. And a Constantinople base is poorly situated to guard against such attacks as has been shown.

Although it will take several years until it is fully put into effect, it is decided that the Imperial fleet will have some regular Aegean stations. Half of the Imperial fleet will still be stationed at the capitol but squadrons will also be located at Piraeus, Naxos, and Kos. With this move the distinction between the Imperial Fleet and the provincial squadrons becomes significantly less meaningful, but one of the latter is still located in Crete and called the Crete squadron as opposed to a number as is the designation of Imperial squadrons.

Another issue with the Roman navy is that ship types have changed immensely since the 1300s. At that time flotillas were homogenous, composed either of dromons, the Roman battleships similar to Italian war galleys, or monores, light galleys that made for excellent couriers and scouts. However since then Andrean dromons (galleasses), purxiphoi which have been superseded by the great dromons (galleons), and fregatai have joined the ship lists. These have mostly just been added onto preexisting squadrons which still had the original ship types as well. By 1600 the result was highly heterogeneous squadrons composed of ships with wildly different capabilities. The larger provincial squadrons, less organized than Imperial squadrons but also heavily reinforced with newer ship types, such as Crete, were the worst in this regard.

Squadrons are to be entirely reorganized so that they are composed of a single ship type. Provincial squadrons are to be equipped solely with fregatai instead of the previous mish-mash that when combined could neither fight nor run away. The quasi-exceptions are Crete and Malta where the provincial fregatai squadron is to be bolstered by a galleon flotilla.

Another significant development is the establishment of a Naval Academy to train naval officers, although training in basic seamanship for the regular crew is still done onboard ship. The goal is to make the navy more professional in imitation of the senior army service. Besides teaching naval tactics and ship-handling skills the Naval School will also teach navigation with a resulting emphasis on mathematics and astronomy. Later developing courses in architecture and ship design, attendance lacks the social glamour of the School of War but nevertheless attracts attendees from the lower ranks of the mesoi and the banausoi, the ‘people of markets and crafts’ who aim for social advancement but lack the financial means needed for the School of War.

There are innovations in the army as well with the creation of new ‘sleeping’ tourmai. Recruited on the basis of the themes, these in march and battle are numbered after their theme, proceeding from eleven on. Numbers 1-10 are taken by the permanent formations. Recruited from volunteers and conscripts, these formations unlike the permanent ones are only intended to be active in wartime. However unlike previous wartime formations, in peacetime they are not to be disbanded but merely mothballed, their standards and battle honors kept to be reactivated in future times as a way to bolster esprit de corps. Composed primarily of new recruits they are supposed to have three months of drill before arriving at the front but even then it is highly recommended that they be corseted with regular tourmai given their comparative lack of training.

Those going to the ‘sleeping’ tourmai are recruited for the duration of the war, with volunteers getting a 10% pay increase over conscripts. In order to make service in the permanent formations more attractive there is also a revision to the terms of services. Previously when one signed up a soldier had 16 years in the field and 6 in garrison. Twenty two years is a long commitment.

Now the setup is that a soldier signs up for an eleven-year period, with his pay increasing based on years of service. After his first service is up the soldier can sign up again if they wish for four-year periods which come with their first-period Year 11 pay. They can also sign up for garrison duty instead of field service but that entails a drop down to their Year 3 pay, although with the higher possibility of alternative incomes in garrison duty an enterprising and lucky individual may not see a loss in income.

The Romans are not the only ones instituting reforms. Iskandar inherited a powerful army from his grandfather Osman Khomeini but one with a distinctly less modern look than his Roman foes. Many of the cavalry were timariots, well-equipped and capable of great valor, but these feudal troops did not mesh well with the mass tactics needed for the gunpowder age. The azabs from which the bulk of the infantry were drawn, were more varied. Some were near-worthless conscripted militia whilst others were highly effective and disciplined troops organized in a manner similar to the Laskarid and Second Komnenid theme-tagma troops. The formations at the high end of the spectrum were quite formidable and should not be underestimated but could not measure up to the standards of full-time soldiers.

The Janissaries and many sipahi formations were full-time soldiers, brave and skilled in battle, but jealous of their special prerogatives and by Iskandar’s accession entry into the regiments was often based on heredity with former members. Not wanting to dilute their privileges by expanding their rolls, these were not the way for Iskandar to develop a numerical parity of professional troops with the Romans.

The Shahsevan were his first innovation, albeit not a very imaginative one, as they were essentially a Persian copy of the Janissaries. But it was an easy improvement and they were well established by the start of the Eternal War, earning significant merits including the storming of Tabriz. However ominous signs of rivalry with the Janissaries were present from the very beginning, kept in check by Iskandar.

Convalescing in the Iranian plateau Iskandar has not led field armies except against the Cossacks in over two years. But he has not been idle, setting up across the Iranian plateau the new army troops known as Qizilbash. Called thus after their red fezzes, they are Iskandar’s formidable counter to the Roman tagmata.

Qizilbash infantry advancing during the War of Wrath. Their forebears during the Eternal War would have looked similar, minus the socket ambrolars.
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The Iranian plateau is divided in territories called Khassa, crown provinces, each one responsible for the recruitment, organization, and supplying of a division. The recruits are drawn mainly from the Iranian peasantry to serve as gun infantry and are full-time troops although in peace time they can supplement their income by working as artisans, shopkeepers, and laborers when off duty, with sometimes a platoon owning a business and maintaining it collectively. Paid in grain, salt, and silver typically from taxes on wine, consumed in prodigious quantities despite Islamic proscriptions, they are loyal to the Shah, well-disciplined and keenly aware that bravery and skill in war will bring further honors and rewards.

There is a question of how aware the Romans are of the scope of Iskandar’s developments. Sleeping tourmai reinforce the armies in Mesopotamia whose combined strength numbers over eighty thousand, not including Bedouin auxiliaries or militias used as garrisons or siege troops. But these are spread out in a broad front from invested Kirkuk, well east of the Tigris, to also besieged Haditha on the west bank of the Euphrates. Another twenty thousand Romans are in Arabia or North Africa, plus another twenty five thousand are to be formed at Theodosiopolis next summer for an offensive from the west against Iskandar’s conquests south of the Aras.

* * *
September 14, 1604, Constantinople:

“Am I interrupting?” Ioannes asked, a huge grin on his face.

It should be blazingly obvious I’m reading, so yes, Demetrios Sideros thought. “No, not at all,” he replied, Ioannes stepping into his bedroom.

If it weren’t for those damned Frogs…Demetrios thought. Some fat Duke of Earl is probably spending my money on his poxed whore. His father had given him a substantial stipend with which he could have afforded his own place with a few servants who knew their employment depended on leaving him alone. Unfortunately he had the bright idea of putting the stipend into an Antwerp run which usually mounted a decent profit. Except for when the Triune pirates got past the Dutch guards, which is what happened to the ship he had helped financed. His father had been more than a little irritated and the replacement stipend was just enough to cover Demetrios’s room and board in this shared flat.

I hope I get the government scholarship. His application, along with his first-year grades, had gone in just a week ago.

His flat-mates, like Demetrios, were young men between eighteen and twenty years old, although Demetrios doubted any of them would get the scholarship. Ioannes’s main talent was managing to twist every lesson into a tavern song although Demetrios had to admit he knew no one with a greater knowledge of Muslim wine odes.

“What’s this about?” Demetrios asked.

“I heard you’re getting married.”

Congratulations, you can read. One disadvantage of having Timur II and Empress Helena as a grandfather and grandmother and Megas Domestikos Theodoros Sideros, the Scourge of Mesopotamia, as his father was that the newspapers cared about him. Seriously, why the hell does my private life mean squat to you people?

Demetrios nodded. “Who’s the bride?” Ioannes continued.

Apparently I was wrong; you can’t read. Otherwise you could have gotten the answer from the paper and you could bloody leave me alone.

“Jahzara,” Demetrios answered. “She’s the daughter of Prince Yohannes, the Negus’s niece.” He doesn’t want to kill her as killing royalty is not something that should be encouraged, but at the same time he wants her out of Ethiopia, preferably married to someone with a prominent name but little political power so it is exile without looking so. She turned sixteen in a month so Tewodros wanted it resolved soon. In a week she was supposed to land in the Queen of Cities. Assuming everything went on schedule, it would be four days before the wedding.

“An Ethiopian? You’re in trouble,” Ioannes said. “They’re a passionate people, all that tropical heat. I should come along and help satisfy her; I don’t think you’re up for it.”

How about you go screw a chair instead?

He probably has.

Thank you for that mental image.

“Actually the heartland of Ethiopia is high in the mountains so it is quite cool.”

Ioannes snorted. “Sure. You just keep telling yourself that as she rides you into the ground.”

Just because I don’t chase everything with a vagina does not mean I am impotent. “I still don’t think that will be necessary.”

Ioannes grinned at Demetrios’s slight glower. “I was just kidding. But she’ll have a lot of ladies-in-waiting that will need companionship.” She’s the daughter of the man who tried to take the Negus’s throne. Somehow I doubt it. But maybe she’ll bring a female elephant that can ride you into the ground.

“Probably. I’ll keep you in mind for the guest list. Although since it is being held at the White Palace that’s not my call.” The last part is true. So is the first; I’ll keep you in mind for the list of guests the Varangians are supposed to hit in the face when they try to enter.

“Thanks.” Ioannes pointed at a silver book clasp at the corner of Demetrios’s desk which had a light etching of a horse archer at full gallop on it. “That’s pretty. Can I have it? Anna broke hers and needs a replacement.”

You come in here to disparage my manhood, make jokes about sleeping with my fiancé, and then ask for my stuff so you can give it to your girlfriend? How about you go sodomize yourself with a Varangian axe that has been lit on fire? “Sure, if you really want it.”

Ioannes reached over and picked it up. “Thank you.”

Go to Hell. “You’re welcome.”
 
Beautiful update. Thanks for it. I am curious, though, is Jahzara going to be a major character? I'm seeing her being very influential, for some reason.
 

Soverihn

Banned
The Second Ottomans are becoming the new Sassanids, adapting to every Roman advantage with a formidable counter of their own. Rome is going her work cut out for her focusing on the Ottomans, the West and whatever's going on in the Indian Ocean.

Speaking of which, its probably only a matter of time before the Ottomans, much like the historical Afsharids start looking at the Indian Ocean as another source of income. (Although that depends on what goes on in India itself first)
 
good update!

questions on Italy:

Hungary has too much "Italian" territory (in the eyes of the Italians), do you plan to keep this?

Is "Italian" going to be Tuscan (otl), central Italian (dialect of Rome), Neapolitan (obvious), Sicilian (obvious), ligurian (dialect of genoa), or Lombard (dialect of Milan, not the German tribe). My bet is on Lombard.

How do the "Roman" empire and Italy's states view each other? As fellow descendants of Rome? Or Pretenders of the true roman heritage?

Will the dalmatian identity survive? b/c splato (romance name of split, you should use this from now on) and ragusa are kept separate from Hungary, will we end up with a dalmatian state (can it also have the rest of the coast, if not zadar)?

Questions on al-alandus:

I know the Andalusi and the Maghrebi hate each other's guts, but do they view each other like the (otl) former Yugoslavs do? if so, then do the Andalusi consider themselves European (like otl Albanians)?

Do they or aragon control Carthagena?

Questions on the triunes:

Are their colonies English or french speaking (probably English due to they navy being Britain's part of the empire)

Will they eventually get control of Scotland?

Can the dutch realistically sustain their colony in north america? i personally bet no, b/c of the low population and other reasons, so (if the dutch colony is lost) will the triunes or Scandinavia get it?

Questions on arles and aragon:

Will they eventually unite? Catalan is at this point still considered a dialect of occitian, and that's the majority of both their populations, so would this be a possibility? Where would the capital be (Toulouse, Lyon, Marseilles, Barcelona, Zaragossa, or Valencia?)

If not, then how can aragon sustain their colonies without a port of the Mediterranean? the fact that they have to this point is kinda off.

Questions on the Romans:

How does their Greek identity fit with their roman identity? do they think that the "Rome" concept was given to the Greeks when the Latins proved unworthy? if so, how do they think of the Latin language (and the romance languages)?

Do they think an eternal battle is going on with the Italians over the true heritage of Rome?

Will they and the vlach re-build Trajan's bridge? it seems like a good idea for cross border industry.

Will Antioch survive the decline of the silk road? What other industries does it have?
 
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I don't know why Karl would be such a problem, it seems that his assholish means of acquiring Ludwig's lands has alienated both the nobles and church. How's his support in saxony itself? Even with Hungarian support (and they have a vested interest in drawing down intervention after a few years to invade Italy after every italian polity is exhausted by the Milanese war), I don't think that his possible allies would prioritize him enough to seriously intervene to a serious extent. It certainly won't be TYW equivalent.
 
With nerdy zeal, I strike again!
good update!

questions on Italy:

Hungary has too much "Italian" territory (in the eyes of the Italians), do you plan to keep this?
Can't speak for Basileus' plan on the Hungarian lands in Italy, but probably not. Like the Habsburg Empire of OTL the Hungarian Empire has no ethnic or cultural inroads with which to consolidate their authority in the Italian lands. Once the winds of ethnic nationalism starts blowing and pan-nationalist unrest becomes a thing, only temporary exertions of military power will allow Budapest to hold any power in the area. I predict that the Germans and Lombards will be gleefully arming the Italians against the Hungarian authorities once that happens.

Is "Italian" going to be Tuscan (otl), central Italian (dialect of Rome), Neapolitan (obvious), Sicilian (obvious), ligurian (dialect of genoa), or Lombard (dialect of Milan, not the German tribe). My bet is on Lombard.
IIRC, Basileus said that "Italian" won't exist ITTL. Instead the peninsula will feature two different language groups based around "Sicilian" (Neapolitan & Sicilian liberally mixed with Greek) and "Lombard" (everything else). This is because the stronger Roman Empire has introduced so much Greek influence into southern Italy that linguistic drift will become permanent.

How do the "Roman" empire and Italy's states view each other? As fellow descendants of Rome? Or Pretenders of the true roman heritage?
The cultural "war" between the Italians and the Romans ended centuries ago. Everyone recognizes Constantinople's claim to Roman heritage now, especially after Andreas went around beating up every Italian state that tried to challenge the Empire. The Lombards came close to reviving Italian claims to Roman-ness after occupying all of Italy, but that came to a bloody, bloody end.

Will the dalmatian identity survive? b/c splato (romance name of split, you should use this from now on) and ragusa are kept separate from Hungary, will we end up with a dalmatian state (can it also have the rest of the coast, if not zadar)?
Basileus hasn't decided on what the Dalmatian area will look like in modernity, but he did say that the cultural gap has become very difficult to fill in.

Questions on al-alandus:

I know the Andalusi and the Maghrebi hate each other's guts, but do they view each other like the (otl) former Yugoslavs do? if so, then do the Andalusi consider themselves European (like otl Albanians)?
I know very little about the relationship between the various South Slav peoples that used to make up Yugoslavia, but from what I know there is a lingering nostalgia about the pan-South Slavic unification that Yugoslavia brought. This is most definitely not the case with Andalusia and the Marinids, so I'd say that the situations do not compare. The Andalusi might very well consider themselves "European", in that they live in Europe and are not "one of them (Maghrebi Corsair scum), though I'd say that actually counting themselves amongst the other Christian nations of Europe goes too far.

Do they or aragon control Carthagena?
Al-Andalus controls Cartagena. The peace treaty towards the end of the Aragonese Civil War mentioned Al-Andalus giving up Algarve and Alicante to Portugal and Aragon, respectively, but not Murcia.

Questions on the triunes:

Are their colonies English or french speaking (probably English due to they navy being Britain's part of the empire)
Most likely English-dominated with heavy French presence.

Will they eventually get control of Scotland?
Only Basileus knows.

Can the dutch realistically sustain their colony in north america? i personally bet no, b/c of the low population and other reasons, so (if the dutch colony is lost) will the triunes or Scandinavia get it?
I'm not even sure the Dutch have any colonies in the New World.

Questions on arles and aragon:

Will they eventually unite? Catalan is at this point still considered a dialect of occitian, and that's the majority of both their populations, so would this be a possibility? Where would the capital be (Toulouse, Lyon, Marseilles, Barcelona, Zaragossa, or Valencia?)
Basileus has refused to comment on this for a long time now. If a unification does occur, it will likely have Marseilles or Barcelona as its capital, depending on who the senior partner in the union is.

If not, then how can aragon sustain their colonies without a port of the Mediterranean? the fact that the have to this point is kinda off.
Aragon does not have any colonies.

Questions on the Romans:

How does their Greek identity fit with their roman identity? do they think that the "Rome" concept was given to the Greeks when the Latins proved unworthy? if so, how do they think of the Latin language (and the romance languages)?
The Romans have both Trojan (Roman, through Aeneid) and Greek blood in them, and are therefore superior!

Do they think an eternal battle is going on with the Italians over the true heritage of Rome?
That assumes that the filthy Latins have any real claim to Rome, so no.

Will they and the vlach re-build Trajan's bridge? it seems like a good idea for cross border industry.
This will depend on the financial and political realities between the two states. Such a bridge is a serious engineering feat, and as such very expensive. I doubt that the Empire will spend that kind of money when it has so many other things to focus on, especially considering that most Empire-Vlachia trade is done via ships. It also allows a land-based army to easily cross into the Empire without having to contend with naval harassment, which is a big deterrence to its construction.

Will Antioch survive the decline of the silk road?
All the Silk Road cities are suffering from the route's decline, but the Empire's two chief Silk Road cities are surviving thanks to alternative means. Both Antioch and Trebizond are University-cities with renowned institutes of learning that draw students from all over, which naturally draws in business and capital. In addition Trebizond is building up its ship-building industry to compensate, while Antioch is going into the textiles business to stay alive. The latter is also the home to a Patriarch, who will surely patronage the economic health of the city.
 
Can't speak for Basileus' plan on the Hungarian lands in Italy, but probably not. Like the Habsburg Empire of OTL the Hungarian Empire has no ethnic or cultural inroads with which to consolidate their authority in the Italian lands. Once the winds of ethnic nationalism starts blowing and pan-nationalist unrest becomes a thing, only temporary exertions of military power will allow Budapest to hold any power in the area. I predict that the Germans and Lombards will be gleefully arming the Italians against the Hungarian authorities once that happens.
That seems about right.

IIRC, Basileus said that "Italian" won't exist ITTL. Instead the peninsula will feature two different language groups based around "Sicilian" (Neapolitan & Sicilian liberally mixed with Greek) and "Lombard" (everything else). This is because the stronger Roman Empire has introduced so much Greek influence into southern Italy that linguistic drift will become permanent.
I GUESSED RIGHT FOR ONCE! (sort of, but hey, a Greek-Neapolitan mix is cool too.)

The cultural "war" between the Italians and the Romans ended centuries ago. Everyone recognizes Constantinople's claim to Roman heritage now, especially after Andreas went around beating up every Italian state that tried to challenge the Empire. The Lombards came close to reviving Italian claims to Roman-ness after occupying all of Italy, but that came to a bloody, bloody end.
Ah

Basileus hasn't decided on what the Dalmatian area will look like in modernity, but he did say that the cultural gap has become very difficult to fill in.
I don't get exactly what you mean by "very difficult to fill", does this mean that Dalmatia is cut off from Slavic influence? Quite cool if it is, nobody has done a timeline on this site with a surviving Dalmatia.

I know very little about the relationship between the various South Slav peoples that used to make up Yugoslavia, but from what I know there is a lingering nostalgia about the pan-South Slavic unification that Yugoslavia brought. This is most definitely not the case with Andalusia and the Marinids, so I'd say that the situations do not compare. The Andalusi might very well consider themselves "European", in that they live in Europe and are not "one of them (Maghrebi Corsair scum), though I'd say that actually counting themselves amongst the other Christian nations of Europe goes too far.
By my Yugoslavia parallel look at the Bosnian war aftermath. that should dispel your confusion immediately. When i said otl Albania i meant the fact that the Albanians are mostly Muslim but consider themselves European.

Al-Andalus controls Cartagena. The peace treaty towards the end of the Aragonese Civil War mentioned Al-Andalus giving up Algarve and Alicante to Portugal and Aragon, respectively, but not Murcia.
For some reason it seems right for me for aragon to end up with cartagena. but that's just me.

Most likely English-dominated with heavy French presence.
So would that mean a distinct form of English (like Scots)?

Only Basileus knows.
Unfortunately :(

I'm not even sure the Dutch have any colonies in the New World.
I might be confusing this with another timeline *facepalm*

Basileus has refused to comment on this for a long time now. If a unification does occur, it will likely have Marseilles or Barcelona as its capital, depending on who the senior partner in the union is.
Damnit b444 why wont you say something! Barcelona is a much more central location though, it would be easier to govern from there.

Aragon does not have any colonies.
well shit, i must have messed up again:eek::eek::eek::eek:

The Romans have both Trojan (Roman, through Aeneid) and Greek blood in them, and are therefore superior!
Could you answer the spefic part about how they view the Latin language itself? (and also if they think that the romanness was no-longer deserved by the Latins, so it was given to the Greeks)

That assumes that the filthy Latins have any real claim to Rome, so no.
Rome the city or Rome the empire?

This will depend on the financial and political realities between the two states. Such a bridge is a serious engineering feat, and as such very expensive. I doubt that the Empire will spend that kind of money when it has so many other things to focus on, especially considering that most Empire-Vlachia trade is done via ships. It also allows a land-based army to easily cross into the Empire without having to contend with naval harassment, which is a big deterrence to its construction.
The invading armies part i think is negated by valchia being friendly, and the bridge could be well fortified if needed. If only the money was had.

All the Silk Road cities are suffering from the route's decline, but the Empire's two chief Silk Road cities are surviving thanks to alternative means. Both Antioch and Trebizond are University-cities with renowned institutes of learning that draw students from all over, which naturally draws in business and capital. In addition Trebizond is building up its ship-building industry to compensate, while Antioch is going into the textiles business to stay alive. The latter is also the home to a Patriarch, who will surely patronage the economic health of the city.
YAY TO ANTIOCH SATING AFLOAT (by this point otl it was a buried ruin :()
Nerds are well needed in this time and age
 
With nerdy zeal, I strike again!

I think the Greek and roman identity is One in this timeline. Compared to a split in otl wherein there is no Byzantium to embrace both worlds.

What are the Latins even thinking not to recognize Constantinople's Romanness. Sings and whistles the "Shatterer of Armies"

Also, I beleive the "Silk Road" now for the Romans is the Red Sea.

We are technically back in a situation when Heraclius and Khosrau left off.
 
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