An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

Could Ethiopia potentially annex yemen in the future? Perhaps it could take yemen as a boon if they are allied with the ottomans in the approaching war of the wrath
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
Could Ethiopia potentially annex yemen in the future? Perhaps it could take yemen as a boon if they are allied with the ottomans in the approaching war of the wrath
Would they really want anything more than the Aden-Taizz region, the Red Sea Islands, and Socotra? Anything more just gets them a lot of Arab Muslims with no real apparent benefit.
 
Would they really want anything more than the Aden-Taizz region, the Red Sea Islands, and Socotra? Anything more just gets them a lot of Arab Muslims with no real apparent benefit.
Yeah thats a good point. Maybe they could somehow set up a client state/vassal over there to secure more tax revenue without having to shell out money to keep the arabs down
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
Yeah thats a good point. Maybe they could somehow set up a client state/vassal over there to secure more tax revenue without having to shell out money to keep the arabs down
Well it might not be too hard to have the northern section split off to be a Shiite state around Sana'a and extending a bit farther north along into the Hedjaz to Jazan or a bit farther and maybe have the southeastern portion, Al Bayda, Abyan, Shabwah, Hadhramut, and Al Mahrah either made as another tributary or handed off to Oman to administer as a thank you for being a loyal ally. Meanwhile Ethiopia takes Aden, Lahij, Taiz, Dhale, Ibb, and Socotra as a way to hold their end of the Red Sea. Done right and the borders could be permanent after a few generations.

 
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What's the status of cyrenaica? I wonder if in the future we could see it become a major Greek speaking city in north Africa again
 
Sharks and ravens are the only true winners of war.

Thanks for answering, as always looking forward to more.
Flies too.

To be honest, Romania in this century does not seem especially interested in rational geopolitics, so the shakiness is alright for now.

Continuing with your analogy of Russia (or Romania TTL) somehow colonizing the Danish West Indies, I would still say that it would be worth it for France (Triunia or Arles TTL) to take those islands, just to make Romania more dependent on Arletian/Triune sugar.

Plus, Romania already has her hands full with an immensely profitable thalasso-colonial empire in the east, unlike Russia which had poorer contiguous Siberia. If Romania ever gets around to growing sugar in Island Asia... well, Romania-in-the-West would become a liability to the Romans.

So I predict two most possible long-term outcomes:
1. Some Latin power conquers and keeps the islands.
2. Romania sells the islands to some Latin power or to Mexico.

Nevertheless, you are right in pointing out that any offensive action against Romania-in-the-West would cause a storm in Constantinople. But I think that between the 17th and 19th centuries, Romania will comparatively stagnate as the Latin powers (Triunia and All the North in particular) shoot ahead. Who knows what might happen...
I made a comment that makes it clear they stay in Roman hands at least until abolition of slavery starts becoming a real deal, notwithstanding periodic foreign occupations. It’s very likely that after sugar stops the uber cash crop the Romans decide to sell them to someone else (like the Danish West Indies IOTL).

I wonder if any Roman government would be willing to consider recruiting Jews to the army some time soon. The ban can’t stay for long.
Not for a long time. Rhomania is still very much an Orthodox Christian Empire (the east is much laxer, but that’s because of pragmatism, not a respect for religious freedom).

Roman stagnation: Rhomania definitely won’t always be the top dog. It’ll be a solid member of the great power club, but there may be 1-2 superpowers also around as well. Sticking to the early modern for sake of simplicity, Rhomania plus Sicily and Egypt is only slightly bigger than the Triple Monarchy in population, and even all three combined is slightly smaller than the Holy Roman Empire. Rhomania has an advantage in administrative capability, but is doing it from a resource base that isn’t so great compared to a power that controls France or Germany or Russia.

Are the Romans really much worse off in the colonial game than the Latins? The best colonies OTL were (in my opinion) India, the Spanish silver and gold mines, and then the various sugar and spice colonies.

As long as the Indian states are strong, no colonial empire will make much progress there. I think Mexico has grabbed most of OTL Peru and Ecuador, which gives them the best mines. That leaves the sugar colonies in the Caribbean where the Romans have a weak position, and the spice colonies in the East where they are strong. (I suppose there is also North American timber and furs, but the Romans can get timber from the East or Russia, and they can do without fur.)

Has @Basileus444 actually confirmed that the Roman colonial position is going to be a problem?
I wonder if direct resource extraction from colonial territories actually makes that big of a difference, or if it is the trade and business revenues that other lands can help generate that matter. The latter don’t require direct control.

Spain was still the colonial power in terms of acreage and people in 1800, but it stopped being a great power 150 years earlier. France became a great power on its European resources, as did Germany when it unified. Great Britain’s great-power status was little affected by the loss of the Thirteen Colonies (to the surprise and disappointment of many). The Netherlands’ Golden Age of political power and significance was the 1600s, yet they peaked as a colonial empire in the early 1900s.

I wonder how the Assyrians are faring right now.
And I wonder what is going on with Romani/Gypsies people? As I know, they were already present in SE Europe before the TTL plot.
They both get mentioned in the Minorities and the Empire updates.

Smol question:
In TTL English orthography, would it be Romania or Rhomania?
For the country whose capital is Targovishte, would it be Vlachia, Valachia or Wallachia?
Well, Triunes would certainly call people from Romania Greeks, but what would they call the state, in one or two words? Greek Empire? Greece?
Besides, 'Romania' is different enough from 'Rome' I guess, and OTL English along with nearly everyone else was fine with indulging the OTL Romanians...

Also, I think that B444 may have used translated versions of the countries' endonyms, instead of English exonyms, though I could be wrong on that. While 'Vlachia' is indisputably the endonym for that land, is it also the English exonym?
Greece/Greeks seems about right. After all no less a person than Theodore II Lascaris, the one who brought the age of miracles to being, was rather fond of it in his writings. Of course from the Triune perspective having Greeks around as a rival great power while claiming cultural descend from ancient Greece and Rome is somewhat problematic for obvious reasons. Damned if you call them by the official name of Roman empire, damned if you call them Greek empire.
I’m going to go with Rhomania and Vlachia for the sake of simplicity, since those are the terms I’ve been using all along.

The Triunes and other Latins seeking to deny Rhomania’s Roman-ness would call them Greeks and the Greek Empire. This is keeping with medieval traditions which is the initial inspiration for all of this. Claiming cultural descent from ancient Greece can be a bit…awkward but the Latins in question can always come up with some break between ancient and modern Greeks (something about 6th century Slavic invasions probably, see OTL). Plus it’s easier to make a cultural homage to someone (Greeks) as opposed to a political homage (Romans). Less galling to one’s pride.

Could Ethiopia potentially annex yemen in the future? Perhaps it could take yemen as a boon if they are allied with the ottomans in the approaching war of the wrath
What's the status of cyrenaica? I wonder if in the future we could see it become a major Greek speaking city in north Africa again
Ethiopia could definitely gain Aden for naval purposes. And assuming the Suez Canal gets built they're going to make bank controlling that chokepoint.
Ethiopia took Aden during the fighting against the Ottomans in the War of the Roman Succession. That’s the extent of their interest in Yemen. The interior is not worth the expense and trouble of conquering and holding it. At most they might want some pliant clients to keep land trade routes clear and perhaps pony up some tribute.

Cyrenaica is either a part of the Despotate of Egypt or a minor North African vassal like Tripoli that reports directly to Constantinople.
 
Lords of Spice and Sea: The Might of Mataram
Lords of Spice and Sea: The Might of Mataram

As the Romans and Spanish battled in the shadow of volcanic Mt Agung, Sanjaya had been sovereign of Mataram for nearly forty years, ascending the throne in 1599. On that day, Mataram had been a small and embattled kingdom, pressed by local rivals and menaced by the looming Semarang Sultanate which had finished off fabled Majapahit and seemed poised to swoop down on the lot of petty states in the interior.

That had not come to pass, but Sanjaya’s reign had been a long struggle of war and intrigue to build up the might of Mataram, first subduing those neighboring states and then the long grind against the Semarang Sultanate. That long grind is now finally over and in total victory, but the Maharaja, despite enjoying the congratulations of Venkata Raya, is still uneasy. It had taken substantial Roman aid to break the deadlock, which was galling, and the knowledge that what he had been given was obsolete infuriated him. Furthermore, the Sundanese had not seemed like a threat to the greater Mataram realm, but the thunder of their flintlock muskets at Adiwerna had corrected that misconception.

Clearly Mataram has much to learn if it is to survive in this cutthroat world. But survival, avoiding the crush and fear of constantly pending doom, as Sanjaya had faced in his youth, is merely the bare minimum. He wants more. He is named after the founder of the Medang Empire which had dominated central and east Java for a quarter millennia, nearly a thousand years ago. In his campaigns he rediscovered the great Buddhist temple at Borobudur, hidden in the jungle and near 8 centuries in age, and been awed by the example of ancient glories, lost but now found and given a chance for renewal. That had been the dream before Semarang.

But perhaps there can be more. He now controls the ports of northern Java, once the heartland of fabled Majapahit. Is it possible that this great past glory could be renewed? Sanjaya could not say for certain, but when he ascended the throne as a mere teenager, he had believed in a few years he would most likely have his skull cleaved off him, and now look at what he had achieved. Yet in pursuit of ancient glory, Sanjaya will not be like the Zeng, copying past glories while ignoring changing times.

Sanjaya gets word of Mount Agung even before New Constantinople does, and he is delighted by the results. The Romans will no doubt be desperate for his aid, and be willing to pay a high price for it. He is willing to work with the Spanish if they are the only option for getting what he wants, but he would very much prefer to work with the Romans. The Romans have angered him, and he will make them pay much in recompense, but the Spanish turned the Sundanese from an annoyance to a major threat, and their attack on the Roman fleet at Semarang nearly ruined his final victory over the Sultan, and made it cost far more in the process. That didn’t anger him; that enraged him. He can overlook that if he must, but he’d be happier getting a bloody revenge for that instead.

Right when he expects it, Sanjaya receives a delegation from New Constantinople seeking an alliance against the Spanish and their allies, the Sundanese and Bali Gelgel. It is headed by Katepano Motzilos’ chief secretary, a clear sign of how in earnest the Romans are. The Maharaja welcomes them graciously, providing them all the hospitality he can muster in Surabaya where he is currently keeping court. The choice is deliberate to ease communication with New Constantinople; Sanjaya places much importance on these alliance negotiations, but he is extremely careful not to show it. Despite the fine foods and dancing girls he provides for the Romans’ entertainment, he makes it quite clear he expects to be thoroughly compensated.

The delegation takes his terms back to New Constantinople to discuss, where despite the urgency it is hotly debated, because Sanjaya is demanding a lot. He wants modern flintlock muskets and cannons, and the tools to assemble them, and technicians to teach the Mataramese how to make the weaponry and the tools needed to do so. He wants printing presses with premade typesets in the Javanese script, and technicians for how to make more. He wants astronomical tools and cartographical equipment. He wants clockmakers and glassblowers. He wants shipwrights skilled in making western-style ships. In short he wants all the tools and workers necessary for Mataram to independently produce all the most advanced equipment and weaponry of the age. And money too.

The Romans are very worried that to defeat the Spanish menace by giving in to Sanjaya’s demands, they will create an even greater monster for them in the future. There are about 15,000 Spanish in the east in 1635. (By comparison, there are 22,000 Romans of heartland ethnicity. Despite the significance given to them by economic historians, the oceanic trade routes between South and East Asia and Christendom in the early modern did not result in large movements of people, particularly in comparison to Atlantic colonization.) [1]

In contrast, the domains Sanjaya already controls have around 3 million inhabitants. Now by the standards of most of continental Eurasia, including Europe, that is not much. But Southeast Asia is surprisingly empty of human habitation. From the jungles of Burma and the pirate shores of Arakan to the Red River Delta to the northern tip of Luzon to the Moluccas to Bali and Sumatra are 25 million people, less than that of the Holy Roman Empire, a drastically smaller geographical area. And Sanjaya already commands nearly 1 in 8 people in that zone. In addition, the fertile rice fields of Mataram are a key commodity in feeding the region, giving him even more local clout than would be justified by his demographic resources. In this corner of the world, Sanjaya has the muscle to build a new empire, and the Romans know it.

Yet while they recognize the danger, the Romans also know they really have no choice. Mataram may become a grave threat tomorrow but the Spanish are a threat today, and can only be parried with Mataram’s support. So despite the debate, Sanjaya’s terms are accepted in total. An initial installment of thirty cannons, two thousand flintlock muskets, and a few artisans are promptly sent to Surabaya. (Although the Spanish did not lose many ships at Mt Agung, the damage suffered by so many of their vessels keeps Pereira’s fleet in port for repairs so he is unable to intercept the communications between Mataram and New Constantinople.)

Now while the Romans will complain about the cost, even they must admit they get value for money. As soon as the Roman agreement is received and the weapons unloaded and inspected, Sanjaya immediately dispatches a flying column to raid Blambangan, the small kingdom on the eastern periphery of Java. The expedition nets some captives who will be taken back to Mataram as slaves, but that is not the goal. Instead the army pushes through the kingdom all the way to the Bali Strait, burning campfires menacingly. The strait between Bali and Java is only 2.4 kilometers wide and so the army camp is easily visible to the Balinese. The Raja of Gelgel, who has fingers in the Blambangan pie, is alarmed by this. When a Spanish envoy arrives to discuss preparations for the Spanish-Gelgel operations next year (it’s too close to the monsoon to consider further major operations this year), he is only willing to offer 800, a far cry from the initial pledge of 6000, and those are only because the Raja already received the down payment.

There aren’t any such big pushes against Sunda, which is much larger than Blambangan although still small compared to Mataram, but Sanjaya launches a few pinprick raids before the rains shut down major operations. Yet these are extremely alarming to the Sundanese who’d been hoping that the clear Spanish aid and Roman reversals would deter Sanjaya.

This is all immensely frustrating for Pereira. With Mataram weighing in, both Gelgel and Sunda are looking to their own defenses rather than providing the ground forces he needs. Meanwhile Malacca and Pahang are probing each other’s defenses, neither side gaining a clear advantage but keeping the other occupied and unable to spare reinforcements.

Pereira wants to concentrate his efforts on New Constantinople. It is the smallest of the Katepanates, geographically isolated, the most vulnerable to naval assault, while controlling extremely lucrative clove and nutmeg plantations. Yet even with all those weaknesses, particularly after Mt Agung, Pereira finds himself still needing more men. The danger of trying to do so with the token ground troops at his disposal has been already illustrated.

After Mt Agung, Pereira sent a small expedition to the Banda Islands. They’d been repulsed from Great Banda by the Roman garrison, but established outposts on the islands of Neira, Ai, and Run. Pereira had ordered the commander to only keep a garrison if he could seize Great Banda itself and concentrate all his forces there, as that island was by far the best fortified. But the Spanish sailors had been enthralled by the money they could make from seizing the nutmeg of the smaller islands and gone in despite orders. With Spanish naval superiority they felt there was little to fear from a counterattack, despite the small size of the garrisons.

The Kastrophylax of Great Banda is Leo Michalitzes, a former Danube gunboat commander, veteran of nearly all of the riverine combat and whose ship fired the opening shot of Fifth Ruse. He is resolved to do something about these interlopers. Reinforced by ships also carrying 300 troops that snuck into Great Banda under cover of night, he outfits one of those as a fireship to supplement the pair he’d made from his local resources. On October 14 he launches his attack on Neira, the nearest Spanish outpost to his position and the one most heavily garrisoned.

The Romans set out from Great Banda when it was still dark, comfortable in their familiarity with these waters, so as the dawn blooms the Spanish are horrified to find fireships bearing down on them while they’re at anchor. Despite the surprise the fireships only burn down two armed merchantmen, but while the Spanish are disordered and dealing with them, the conventional Roman fleet has sailed out of Great Banda (it was considered too risky to send the main body out at night) and is now bearing down on them as well. Over the course of the morning, the Romans capture or destroy seven Spanish ships (including the 2 lost to the fireships), mostly armed merchantmen but including one fifth-rater as one of the prizes. The island garrisons, too small to defend themselves without naval support, surrender one by one without contest over the next two days. A fregata escapes bearing news of the debacle to Banten.

The battle of Neira is not a reversal comparable to that suffered by the Romans off Bali, but it is a clear reminder that the Romans still have teeth and that smaller Spanish expeditions risk being defeated in detail. For the men he clearly needs to press the attack fully, Pereira must look further afield due to Sanjaya’s intervention. Pro-Spanish Ayutthaya may provide a few, but not in the quantity he requires. For those numbers he must turn west, to Vijayanagar.


[1] This matches OTL developments. In 1600, after a century-old presence, there were 15000 Portuguese east of the Cape, and in 1650 a comparable number of Dutch. In contrast, Barbados alone had 30,000 European inhabitants in 1640. See Christendom Destroyed: Europe 1517-1648 by Mark Greengrass, pgs. 159-60.
 
So back to the Assyrians, would it be possible for the Roman Empire to try to restore their original homeland in exchange for their service and loyalty? Because that’s a development I’d be interested to see.
 
So back to the Assyrians, would it be possible for the Roman Empire to try to restore their original homeland in exchange for their service and loyalty? Because that’s a development I’d be interested to see.
Possibly but it would be a considerable waste of resources for the Romans because there really aren't too many of them left unfortunately. The Kurds are a far more lucrative source of manpower
 
Looks lime matram is gonna have two potential paths to go through. Continue down the path of being a loyal ally to the Roman empire and have to settle with being second fiddle or try to betray the Romans and eventually be subjugated by force and potentially become a new kapitanate in Rhomania in the east. For Matrams sake i hope they go with the former but their hubris may get the best of them
 
For those numbers he must turn west, to Vijayanagar.
Does Vijayanagar outweigh Mataram, given the geographic distance?
I suppose the best case scenario for al European powers is that the land battles are all incredibly bloody and destructive.
A native empire able to manufacture and arm themselves with modern weapons is a scary thought.
 
Does Vijayanagar outweigh Mataram, given the geographic distance?
I suppose the best case scenario for al European powers is that the land battles are all incredibly bloody and destructive.
A native empire able to manufacture and arm themselves with modern weapons is a scary thought.
They certainly have more naval power than Mataram which at least has the potential to match the power of Mataram in the region
 
Does Vijayanagar outweigh Mataram, given the geographic distance?
I suppose the best case scenario for al European powers is that the land battles are all incredibly bloody and destructive.
A native empire able to manufacture and arm themselves with modern weapons is a scary thought.
It is, but an Indian power in particular that continues to go toe to toe with any European Empire would be very interesting. Mataram could be a major power in its own right with some more development. Not to mention, aside from an interesting story, a stronger native power will almost certainly be a better outcome for the natives living there than domination by an Empire half a world away.
 
I made a comment that makes it clear they stay in Roman hands at least until abolition of slavery starts becoming a real deal, notwithstanding periodic foreign occupations. It’s very likely that after sugar stops the uber cash crop the Romans decide to sell them to someone else (like the Danish West Indies IOTL).
Hmm... that makes much sense. Thanks!

Roman stagnation: Rhomania definitely won’t always be the top dog. It’ll be a solid member of the great power club, but there may be 1-2 superpowers also around as well. Sticking to the early modern for sake of simplicity, Rhomania plus Sicily and Egypt is only slightly bigger than the Triple Monarchy in population, and even all three combined is slightly smaller than the Holy Roman Empire. Rhomania has an advantage in administrative capability, but is doing it from a resource base that isn’t so great compared to a power that controls France or Germany or Russia.
Hmm... on this topic, have potatoes and maize become hot in Rhomania yet? The hilly terrain in the Hellenic (what am I supposed to call the rough area of OTL Greece? Hellas?) and Anatolian interior strikes me as particularly ideal for potatoes, though given Rhomania's priorities, I don't think potatoes are that widespread in Rhomania.
 
I wonder if direct resource extraction from colonial territories actually makes that big of a difference, or if it is the trade and business revenues that other lands can help generate that matter. The latter don’t require direct control.

Spain was still the colonial power in terms of acreage and people in 1800, but it stopped being a great power 150 years earlier. France became a great power on its European resources, as did Germany when it unified. Great Britain’s great-power status was little affected by the loss of the Thirteen Colonies (to the surprise and disappointment of many). The Netherlands’ Golden Age of political power and significance was the 1600s, yet they peaked as a colonial empire in the early 1900s.
Yup, it is definitely the trade and commerce that counts more, though resources like naval stores were still very important. Even with the gold and silver mined from the Americas, much of it was carted to Acapulco and sailed to China to buy oriental goods to be sent back to Spain across half the world.
But I would not say that France became a European power exclusively on its European resources. Certainly it could have done it with just its European resources, but the money from the fur trade and later the Indian trades and the sugar trade must certainly have all coalesced to help France achieve new heights, no?
Also, the fall of the Dutch colonial empire was when its run over the Indian Ocean and the spice trade ended. That was the only really profitable thing the Dutch did in the east, and by the early 17th century Dutch dominance over the Indian Ocean was well and truly dead, probably due atleast in part to bigger fish like England and France getting in on the action.

I’m going to go with Rhomania and Vlachia for the sake of simplicity, since those are the terms I’ve been using all along.

The Triunes and other Latins seeking to deny Rhomania’s Roman-ness would call them Greeks and the Greek Empire. This is keeping with medieval traditions which is the initial inspiration for all of this. Claiming cultural descent from ancient Greece can be a bit…awkward but the Latins in question can always come up with some break between ancient and modern Greeks (something about 6th century Slavic invasions probably, see OTL). Plus it’s easier to make a cultural homage to someone (Greeks) as opposed to a political homage (Romans). Less galling to one’s pride.
Hmm... okay.

Also, 'Greek Empire' just sounds weird, but that's just my opinion. Unwashed barbarian Latins are stupid Latins after all.
 
On Sanjaya's recent machinations...

Nice! Refreshing to see a new non-colonial empire in this part of the world! But does Mataram have the iron needed to produce muskets themselves without depending on outside sources for the iron?

For now, I would see Mataram as a mostly land-based empire, since Europeans of various stripes currently own the sea. But I could see Mataram eventually wresting Sumatra, some of those smaller islands east of Java and south of Borneo, and maybe Borneo itself as well, from the Roman sphere. The foreign expertise Sanjaya has requested will help a lot in that. Well-played Sanjaya, well-played!
 
Speaking of unwashed people. Due to the Romans being more open to eastern ideas do you think they'll take up regular bathing before western europe does? It'd only be fitting that the Latins end up being filthy while they scoff at the Romans for being impure for mixing with other peoples
 
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