Ibrahim doesn’t stop there but seizes several monasteries  from the Orthodox Church and distributes them to the various other Christian churches. Some, such as the Nunnery of the Holy Martyr Thekla, are handed over to the Georgians. Notably, all of these were originally Georgian foundations that had eventually been absorbed by the better financially-endowed Roman church. Efforts by the Georgian Church to get them back in recent decades had been mostly unsuccessful.
Two other monasteries are handed over to the Monastery of St Alexander Nevsky, which as the name suggests is a Russian establishment. It was founded by the bishops of Pronsk who heavily patronize the institution and often retire there to spend their last days. The Bishop of Pronsk is the senior cleric and a very important figure in Great Pronsk, by far the most powerful of the Russian states with a population just a few hundred thousand smaller than the entire Roman heartland.
Three monasteries are handed over to the Ethiopians, including the Monastery of the Prophet Elijah, while the Copts receive seven, including the great monastery of Mar Saba. Over a thousand years ago, ascetics lived in the caves near the site of the monastery. One of the churches at the monastery, the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, has a fresco with Manuel II Laskaris, the grandson of Theodoros Megas, who financed its reconstruction in the early 1300s.
The Armenians get nine, including the most famous monastery in all interior Syria, the Monastery of Saydnaya, which houses an icon of the Virgin. Said to be painted by St Luke himself, it is venerated for its healing powers, including by the Muslims. It is over a thousand years old, founded during Justinian I’s reign.
The churches happily accept these grants. Aside from the religious significance, many of the monasteries, particularly Mar Saba and Saydnaya, come with substantial property endowments attached. Saydnaya has extensive orchards and vineyards, the products of which are sold profitably in the nearby markets of Damascus. Now not all of the properties are in Ottoman-controlled territories, but many are and the gains are substantial. The Ethiopian Church’s revenues from holdings in the region increase by 180% as a result of Ibrahim’s actions. Furthermore, Ibrahim’s confiscations of moveable assets fell less heavily on these monasteries.
Could see the Catholics or some of them at least accepting, given the continuing bad blood. The Orthodox, Ethiopians and Copts shown here? Sorry but no way.
I have to agree that thinking about it I can’t really see any of these churches willingly taking these lands when so many of them are allied with or respect the Romans. Like taking the chance to hold services in the Church of the Holy Seplucher I can totally see. But Georgia in particular seems likely to do everything in their power not to piss off their millennium old friend and benefactor for a couple churches and monasteries.It could be a Don Corleone style "offer" where the other churches are told in no uncertain terms that they'll either accept Ibrahim's poisoned chalice or have their own churches seized alongside the Romans and converted into Mosques, and the higher ups give them the go ahead to accept while simultaneously promising Constantinople they'll give it back if the situation on the ground changes. That makes more sense than even the churches which are in communion with Constantinople willingly going along with this blatant ploy. Even with such assurances, it's still plausible they'd try to milk the situation on the ground for religious concessions. Meanwhile states with a geopolitical interest in antagonizing Rhomania would be more than happy to seize on the casus belli of Rhomania seizing church land as a pretext for rattling sabers.
It could be a Don Corleone style "offer" where the other churches are told in no uncertain terms that they'll either accept Ibrahim's poisoned chalice or have their own churches seized alongside the Romans and converted into Mosques, and the higher ups give them the go ahead to accept while simultaneously promising Constantinople they'll give it back if the situation on the ground changes. That makes more sense than even the churches which are in communion with Constantinople willingly going along with this blatant ploy. Even with such assurances, it's still plausible they'd try to milk the situation on the ground for religious concessions. Meanwhile states with a geopolitical interest in antagonizing Rhomania would be more than happy to seize on the casus belli of Rhomania seizing church land as a pretext for rattling sabers.
Or Constantinople can just say that the Turks had no power over the churches and either give them back to the Orthodox Church or be a claimed as traitors to Christianity for accepting Muslim gifts.
Time for another purge of the Muslims then. Compensate the minority heretics with Muslim slaves. Is this what the Great Crime is going to entail?
Wouldn't be surprised if that is how Constantinople splits the difference. The heretic churches keep their gains and the Orthodox Church gains a lot of newly acquired mosques.
Don't know what are the level of problems in Italy, but the most likely response on the empire's part on Ibrahim's shenannigans is an immediate declaration of war. The empire can't afford NOT to declare war.
As for the monastery issue, offer them all a choice. Give the monasteries back and get one day a week to preach in the Church of Holy Seplucher, or keep them and lose the right to even have pilgrims visit. I think most will choose the first. I also expect that the Roman Empire is going to force holy land transfers as part of the peace deal as a bit of petty revenge since Eastern Christians, Shia, and Sunni all share sites out there. I expect Rome will start treating what Christians are left in the Ottoman Empire much like Russia did to the Ones in the OTL empire.
Know exactly what you mean. The post-1900 forum people and especially the WWII people on this site can be so pedantic as to be insufferable. That's part of the reason why I opted for Writers Forum for my TL - I can just tell stories that way and be judged on the merits/weaknesses of the characters I've created without having to get bogged down in too much research.
Honestly, to me what seems to be the best idea if you even wish to continue it into the somewhat present is a bit of a crash course with a focus on the more rhomania centric events throughout the centuries.
I'm still pissed that the German Kaizer got off easy in his own insanity. He should have kept his full mental faculties to truly appreciate his fuck-up.
Back to the latest update:
I can’t help but think this is too smart by half. Ibrahim has blunted the power of the Rhoman state in the Levant and created a short term financial crisis but has also angered even more the Rhōmanían state; which I didn’t think was possible; and created a handy dandy legalistic cover that a state has power over religious institutions within their borders.
A precedent that he could come to regret if/when Rhomania retakes the Levant and occupies at a minimum Mesopotamia and likely parts of the Iranian Plateau. It makes me wonder if “the great crime” isn’t wholly against people but also against property. Imagine Rhōmanía has taken the Levant, Mesopotamia, Tehran, Qom and other parts of the highlands and Rhomania decides to liquidate every single mosque under their control as compensation for the lost revenues in the Levant.
At a time when Mosques are likely centres of learning, centres of administration, and centres of community having them stripped to the foundation and carted off would be devastating to the legitimacy of any Persian Shahanshah who let it happen and would be crushing to any state trying to re-establish authority. Coupled with the utterly devastating loss of history and culture could very well imprint itself in the Persian culture as a “Great Crime”.
It would also make a bit more sense when in the modern day Rhōmanía “acknowledges but does not apologize” for the crimes committed if those crimes are not wholesale genocide but instead population expulsions; which though little different than genocide are functionally different; coupled with mass liquidation of all Islamic artifacts.
Speaking of the industrial age, if this timeline gets to the invention of tanks I will be sorely disappointed if the Orthodox world at least, and maybe everyone, doesn't call them cataphracts.
Well for some people those deep technical details are actually quite interesting. Like I actually really am interested in what the industrial revolution looks like ITTL, and what modern military doctrines end up looking like. The closest major power (and that's kind of straining the term TBH) to Rhomania in the World Wars is probably Italy, who could actually be surprisingly competent on the rare occasion when they didn't have poor leadership and/or supply issues.
But I totally get the desire to focus on people over nitty gritty details. Luckily I imagine you'll have plenty of people who DO understand those details willing to do that research for you.
Having read this a bit more carefully I have to ask... why any of the churches "happily accept gifts" from Ibrahim of all people, who just happens to be the chief enemy of the faith? NONE of the churches are independent here. Ethiopia, the Russian states and the Georgians are all close allies of Constantinople, who in the Georgian case also lost the Trans-Aras to Ibrahim's father. In the Russian and Georgian cases, the churches are also in direct communion with Constantinople. The Copts are a despotate and Inrahim just a few years before mutilated several thousand Coptic prisoners of war a clear and obvious atrocity against them. The Armenians the... katholikos is an imperial subject.
This is about on par with Adolf Hitler during WW2 trying to bribe Britain with offers of French and Polish loot and territory and about as likely to work. Or Kemal's attempts to set up his puppet "Turkish orthodox church" in the 1920s. His handovers would be rejected out of hand as direct affronts to the faith, any priest that got ideas of accepting against the church hierarchy's orders excommunicated and treated as a traitor and that's about it.
Could see the Catholics or some of them at least accepting, given the continuing bad blood. The Orthodox, Ethiopians and Copts shown here? Sorry but no way.
Only the logical action if you are the Armenian katholikos or for that matter the archibshop of Kiev (is Russia under its own patriarchate? Probably not TTL as it became de facto autocephalous due to the fall of Constantinople and then proclaimed a patriarchate in 1589 only due to the combination of the patriarch being under Turkish control and broke at the time) it to accept the cost of Ibrahim extending his tender mercies to their holding in the Holy Land if the other option is both helping the enemy and alianating Constantinople on top of this.
Waiting for the excommunications of everyone who was stupid enough to accept. For a start.
And since tanks=kataphraktoi and military doctrine was mentioned, one industrial-era idea I had was this. Tanks are invented and called something else. The Romans take the concept, build their own, but call them kataphraktoi. But because of that name and history behind it, the Romans immediately start thinking of tanks as the gasoline-powered version of heavy shock cavalry. So they envision ‘tank’ warfare as massed fists smashing through the enemy line, opening breaches to be exploited by more numerous but less protected units (motorized infantry?) and are the first to use ‘tanks’ in the field as more than ‘slightly-mobile infantry support pillboxes’.
I think you aren't realizing how big Rome has gotten here. The lands they hold right now have a combined population that is easily in the same order of magnitude as say, the United States (it is approaching the 300 million according to my very quick calculations). They are certainly going to have issues and a nasty case of too many fronts syndrome, but they will be easily a match for any one European great power on land and while they can't focus on the sea, they are looking like they will be industrializing fairly early and thus will be able to dominate the Mediterranean certainly, and won't have any issues protecting their interests.That's an interesting idea, though to be honest as we get closer and closer to modernity it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain both a world class army and a world class navy/airforce. Rhomania doesn't have the manpower to be a land power, and while they don't have the geography position to be a pure naval power like the British, the best way to play to their strengths IMO would be a strong focus on their Navy and airforce while using diplomatic efforts to secure a stable alliance with THE definitive land power of the early 20th century to cover for their shortcomings in natural resources and manpower*. Being the first nation to recognize the strategic value of aircraft carriers, perfect the jet engine and deploy the first jet powered warplanes, and a pioneer in submarine warfare plays much more to Rhomania's strengths than establishing the role of tanks in modern warfare, which aren't even particularly well suited to 2/3 of the likely land theaters** for Rhomania in an early industrial war. I could totally see early 20th century analogue (so late 1800s given TTL is slightly ahead of OTL technologically) Rhomania being what fascist Italy could (in terms of military effectiveness, not ideology) only dream of being, especially if at some point they take an exclave at Gibraltar in a future war with Spain; Mare Nostrum anyone?
Sorry if I'm getting way ahead of the timeline, but I have WW2 on the brain, has anyone else been watching Time Ghost's week by week WW2 series?
* Who in turn is more or less totally reliant on Rhomania to ensure the flow of trade in the Mediterranean and black sea isn't disrupted. Nations don't have permanent allies or enemies, but they do have permanent interests, and when those interests are align, that is the basis for a stable alliance.
** The western Balkans and the approach to the Iranian plateau, both of which are extremely mountainous. Germany's experience on the wide open plains of Russia where things didn't devolve into trench warfare and remained mobile (leading them to victory in the sense of forcing Russia out of the war) compared to the stagnant western front were crucial in leading them to their innovations in armored warfare. The open deserts of Northern Africa would be the only possible laboratory for armored warfare, and I doubt that'd be the critical theater of a great war analog.
I think you aren't realizing how big Rome has gotten here. The lands they hold right now have a combined population that is easily in the same order of magnitude as say, the United States (it is approaching the 300 million according to my very quick calculations). They are certainly going to have issues and a nasty case of too many fronts syndrome, but they will be easily a match for any one European great power on land and while they can't focus on the sea, they are looking like they will be industrializing fairly early and thus will be able to dominate the Mediterranean certainly, and won't have any issues protecting their interests.
I gotta ask guys who among you quote on this threadmark that Ibrahim was just waging war with Rome, for the sake of upholding the legacy of his father? F****** h***, I really hope that the day Rome attacks Ibrahim that there will be no mercy. The Romans gotta destroy root and stem the culture and legacy of their arch-rival on the east. Poetic justice I'd say considering what the OTL Ottomans did. Just maybe this is the reason for one their great crime?
I'm not sure whoever replaces the Ottoman will be powerful in the long run, I'm not suggesting to destroy the entirety of their nation. I'm suggesting they need to be thoroughly humbled. If you just went for limited war gains, your just gonna repeat the same scenarios of the Roman-Persian war. If you allow the Ottomans to keep (Central & South) Mesopotamia wars and raids will just keep popping up in the eastern front even if they defeat the Ottomans on the next war.I understand the sentiment, I really do. I'd love nothing more than Ibrahim being buried in a shallow grave after a massive battle where his host is utterly and completely shattered. Problem is that every single time the power immediately to the east of the Roman Empire gets replaced by a different power that different power is both stronger and more hostile to the Romans than the power that it replaced.
The Parthians were replaced by the Sassanids who were replaced by the various Caliphates who were replaced by the Seljuks who have been replaced by the Ottomans. There will always be a semi-hostile to outright hostile power to Rhomania's east - the key is making sure it is a power that Rhomania can live with. While it is less satisfying short term (the sins of Nineveh need to be repaid with interest) it is probably better long term if Rhomania just slaps the Ottomans around and takes Mosul/northern Iraq in a fairly limited war, rather than completely replace the entire nation root and stem. Because if history has taught us anything it is that whatever nation fills the void will be stronger than the one it replaced.