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An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

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.
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Their holdings on Central/Southern Mesopotamia as well as Afghanistan needs to be released, their holdings on the Persian Plateau is all they will keep forever.
Pray tell, what would stop the Ottomans from raiding in Mesopotamia from the Iranian Plateau?

Besides, just shunting them off to the plateau wouldn't be enough. The OTL Safavids kept trying to reconquer Mesopotamia for a few decades after the Ottomans swooped in, if memory serves me right. Add to that the TTL religious divide, and you've got the kind of bog no one wants to be stuck in. Whatever part of Mesopotamia the Romans don't integrate directly would essentially become a Roman Vietnam: a neverending black hole that consumes all the resources Rhomania throws at it and spits out coffins and fanatics.
Not quite the definition of quietness, is it?

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.

They need to be humbled properly so that the idea of a war against the Romans will never-ever recur on their minds again. A sundering of sorts must "Happen", to do no such thing is such a folly.
The status quo that had lasted for... about a millenium, between Rhomania and Persia is far from ideal, yes, but it's better to maintain a system you do know (and that too in an even more dominating position than previously) than mess around with something that might blow up in your face.

If you want to stamp out all thoughts of war against the Romans from the Persians, going First Punic War is not a choice at all. It's either reconciliation or salting the fields, and IMO reconciliation is the way to go.
 
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The boom in the population of that region is largely post WW2, during initial industrialization it was quite sparsely populated, and while part of that was due to the Ottoman empire being in its death throes part of that comes down to technological constraints. Had the region undergone its demographic transition around the same time as western Europe it would probably be lower than that in modern times, and that's assuming they don't lose Italy and Egypt to nationalism, which it sounds like they will to the extent that they would end up as the equivalent to British Dominions rather than fully incorporated territories. If we just tally up Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Cyprus, that leaves us at somewhat more than 100 million plus maybe a further 30 million if you add the levant. That's quite substantial, more than Germany but less than Russia, and considerably less than the super Russia that this TL is setting up which more or less stands to control the entire OTL Russian Empire/USSR but without the horrendously tumultuous early 20th century.
Italy and Egypt are both very close at hand and sitting squarely on supremely strategic territory for the Romans. Egypt both sits on vital lines of communication to the East and (assuming that at some point someone sees the obvious utility of a Suez Canal) one of the most singularly important economic lifelines in the world, especially to an economic giant sitting in Constantinople. I don't see the Romans ever letting the Egyptians pull away without WW1 Ottoman levels of collapse that really don't seem likely to me. If anything they would have huge pressure to integrate them more thoroughly into the wider Roman identity, though I could see some degree of autonomy being maintained.

Italy, while less immediately vital holds the distinction of still being very close, strategically important to exerting power in the Western Mediterranean, potentially economically valuable and an excellent source of manpower. That's not even considering the symbolic value of Rome itself which while less important than it could be, still is of considerable worth.

I could however see a sort of federal system being implemented though, with the Empire as a whole united under the Emperor's authority while maintaining local defense forces. I just don't see them ever being independent and as time goes on, they will likely only be pulled further into the economic orbit of the Heartland and Constantinople in particular.

It also doesn't take much imagination for the Romans to spin a wider Roman identity to supersede general nationalism, assuming nationalism as such even emerges in the same way (though that is certainly possible). Particularly given how well educated the Roman population is for its time, and how well centralized, along with shared history of all its constituents, and shared enemies.

For population, I could see it going either way but in the long run, the region will have been run by an efficient and centralized government for much longer, the peace kept far more efficiently and will have had a far more active and dominant economic powerhouse to serve as foundation for later population growth. That's a solid foundation both for urbanization and industrialization once the resource issues do eventually get sorted out likely by importation of the necessary resources from a number of their neighbors. On top of that, they will have an extremely well educated population for the time, again furthering economic growth and it is only a matter of time at that point before they either make or adopt more advanced agricultural methods. Combined with access to two excellent breadbaskets I firmly believe that by the time the second industrial revolution rolls around they will be on par at least with any single great power.
I see your point about other potential theaters for tanks if we aren't assuming a largely defensive war, though I still think Rhomania would be more likely to be like the British where they pioneer initial tanks to deal with stagnant fronts but take a backseat to Germany and Russia in armored warfare during a followup conflict.
See I just don't see the Romans being passive in their dealings with their neighbors. All their experience will tell them that the Army is vitally important, and that they would much prefer to do their fighting in their allies' lands rather than their own. Again. Further, territories like Scythia are not just nice to have, they are a matter of life and death to Constantinople and the heavily urbanized heartland. Especially before the rise of modern agriculture, but even then they will likely still need food imports and I cannot see them being able to afford to be passive. Especially since Scythia is a natural spark point for conflict given how badly any potential Russian power is going to want it, and how many resources Rome is likely going to be importing from Russia given the relatively easy river travel (wasn't there a canal started between the rivers there to facilitate trade to the Black Sea from Russia?)
In terms of industrialization, the lack of readily accessible coal deposits gives Rhomania the same problem Germany had with industrialization where there's not really a seed crystal to jumpstart industrialization in the first wave, and it doesn't have the gargantuan coal deposits of central Europe that made Germany such a powerhouse when it got going. They do have a highly educated and urban population which might be close to universal literacy right out of the gate however, which was enough for Japan even with godawful natural resources. Once oil hits its stride things turn around somewhat in terms of natural resources since the Caucuses are right next door (Persia still has it better), but when you have the 5th to 8th longest coastline in the world (most of which comes from Greece!) and control all points of access to the Mediterranean a world class navy and airforce are a bigger priority than land supremacy, especially when your western and eastern borders have major geographic chokepoints and your southern border has a huge amount of defense in depth and is a harsh coastal desert that will depend on resupply by sea.
The first wave will certainly be a bit troublesome, but I don't think catastrophically so. Oil though you are right will be absolutely key. Might even eventually be motivation to take Mesopotamia itself around that time to secure access to those fields, though they will certainly have plenty to start off between Vlachia and Georgia. Scythia has some as well as I recall, and they will likely be able to import a great deal of resources from the east.

That economic activity between East and West through a potential Suez, along with Constantinople being a major economic powerhouse are the two things that, properly leveraged, could help offset lack of access to coal to a certain extent.

You're right that in light of this the Navy and Air Force absolutely have to be priorities, I just think there is more than enough economic power in the Empire and its colonies in the East that it doesn't have to be to the detriment of the Army so much that it is at a disadvantage against any single European power like France or Germany. Of course things get hairy if they get ganged up on but that is true for any great power even if it is a bit more so for this Roman Empire. That is the job of the Diplomats, to do everything in their power to make sure that you don't have to fight a two front war, and that if the worst happens and you do, you have plenty of allies to help.

That was a lot more than I meant to write. :biggrin:
 
In terms of industrialization, the lack of readily accessible coal deposits gives Rhomania the same problem Germany had with industrialization where there's not really a seed crystal to jumpstart industrialization in the first wave, and it doesn't have the gargantuan coal deposits of central Europe that made Germany such a powerhouse when it got going. They do have a highly educated and urban population which might be close to universal literacy right out of the gate however, which was enough for Japan even with godawful natural resources.

A point to add: while yes, Rhomania is a little lacking in coal, Scythia has the whole Donbass basin. Not sure whether the coal is of good quality or easily accessible, but there's a lot of it.
Georgia too would have some of these coal deposits, seeing that the border's on the Don.

...which is just more reason for Rhomania to do everything in its power to keep Scythia out of any Russian state.

Italy and Egypt are both very close at hand and sitting squarely on supremely strategic territory for the Romans. Egypt both sits on vital lines of communication to the East and (assuming that at some point someone sees the obvious utility of a Suez Canal) one of the most singularly important economic lifelines in the world, especially to an economic giant sitting in Constantinople. I don't see the Romans ever letting the Egyptians pull away without WW1 Ottoman levels of collapse that really don't seem likely to me. If anything they would have huge pressure to integrate them more thoroughly into the wider Roman identity, though I could see some degree of autonomy being maintained.

Oh, they do see the utility of a Suez Canal. It's just that:
1. Wars and maintenance of existing infrastructure have been eating up the treasury.
2. It isn't particularly strategically useful from a military perspective till metal-hulled ships, from what I've heard.
3. There already is a canal connecting the Red Sea to Marienburg am Nil (TTL Cairo), though it is very shallow and is used by barges for the most part.

I could however see a sort of federal system being implemented though, with the Empire as a whole united under the Emperor's authority while maintaining local defense forces. I just don't see them ever being independent and as time goes on, they will likely only be pulled further into the economic orbit of the Heartland and Constantinople in particular.

It also doesn't take much imagination for the Romans to spin a wider Roman identity to supersede general nationalism, assuming nationalism as such even emerges in the same way (though that is certainly possible). Particularly given how well educated the Roman population is for its time, and how well centralized, along with shared history of all its constituents, and shared enemies.
This, to be honest. The semi-federal setup in particular is how I like to envision Rhomania in the future.

Wasn't there a canal started between the rivers there to facilitate trade to the Black Sea from Russia?
The Don-Volga canal has already been finished I believe.
 
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Pray tell, what would stop the Ottomans from raiding in Mesopotamia from the Iranian Plateau?

Besides, just shunting them off to the plateau wouldn't be enough. The OTL Safavids kept trying to reconquer Mesopotamia for a few decades after the Ottomans swooped in, if memory serves me right. Add to that the TTL religious divide, and you've got the kind of bog no one wants to be stuck in. Whatever part of Mesopotamia the Romans don't integrate directly would essentially become a Roman Vietnam: a neverending black hole that consumes all the resources Rhomania throws at it and spits out coffins and fanatics.
Not quite the definition of quietness, is it?


The status quo that had lasted for... about a millenium, between Rhomania and Persia is far from ideal, yes, but it's better to maintain a system you do know (and that too in an even more dominating position than previously) than mess around with something that might blow up in your face.

If you want to stamp out all thoughts of war against the Romans from the Persians, going First Punic War is not a choice at all. It's either reconciliation or salting the fields, and IMO reconciliation is the way to go.
I'm not gonna suggest Rome take central and southern Mesopotamia anymore, either way it need to be released and not into the possession of the Ottomans. Just handling it back to the Ottomans is just - in my opinion not really good in the long term. If it were to be given back then the old argument of sacking and burning everything from central and southern Mesopotamia is a much more feasible. Spreading salt, destroying agriculture, blocking the river flow and whatever else needs to be scorched is to be considered before handling it back. Which is more viable for both short and long term problems in dealing with the east.

What status quo and reconciliation? Going back to the old status quo means nothing changed at all! The Roman mindset right now at this point of TTL is basically on the warpath to destroy their enemies one by one. First it was the Germans, now they're broken beyond repair. The second was the Kingdom of Lombardy and they've ceased existing at all! The third was the Idwaits now they're confined and longer a major threat to one of their breadbasket and major ally. The fourth was the Spanish and now they've been kicked out of their holdings on Island Asia and in debt. The fifth one that has always been scot-free is the Ottomans, and you're suggesting another ******* status quo to them?

No, in the next decade is a chance to destroy that old status quo and change it for good. The continual threat to Rome's eastern border as well as Georgia needs to be irrevocably changed for the better. Then once it settles in a few decades or so, then you'll have your peace.
 
Relating to the discussion on what to do with the Ottomans in the peace both sides have good points. I was fully on the “dismantling and taking all of Mesopotamia” train for a while but @Bronze convinced me of the Infeasibility of such a concept. The cost in blood and treasure would be substantial and would easily be at least a 75-100 year under taking. Not taking into account the likely non stop boarder skirmishes and at times full on wars that would tale place in Syria 2: Mesopotamian boogaloo. It would be a very ugly period of Roman history and it would just take one big defeat in one of these wars for all of Rome’s work to be for nothing.

At the same time I agree more should be done to weaken Rome’s eternal enemy. I don’t have a great idea as to what though. The Sikh who are Roman allies (I think) could take some of Afghanistan if they’re boardering each other. Depending on how big they are and what constitutes Afghanistan at this time. I’m very unsure of the map situation in Northwest India so that could be completely out of the question. Taking Qeshm to provide a naval base literally off their shore line? Strategically valuable but very vulnerable. Taking a more aggressive stance on what is Northern Mesopotamia and making it similar or even larger than I suggested in my discussion with Bronze? My suggestion feels like the max reasonable amount honestly. So I really don’t know what to do.

To me making Iskander Despot of Mesopotamia and Arabia makes the most sense. Someone you can feasibly trust and who hates his brother. Prop him up with some gold and let that area be his headache to deal with. If the Romans go in with that plan they can try to keep the devastation to a minimum to prevent the population hating them any more than they already do. Iskander is likely not as much of a puppet as the Romans would like but he’s a million times better than the Persians so they accept it.

Honestly the more I’ve considered it the more I don’t feel like there is a “right” thing to do with the resolution of this war. You either leave the Ottomans healthy enough to be a threat in 10-15 years, hurt them enough that everyone of them despises your for 100 years and are eager to stab you in the back, take the poison chalice that is all of Mesopotamia and pray your gamble pays off, or you create some sort of Muslim puppet in Mesopotamia you hope you can keep loyal as you prop them up for at least the first 20 years or so against their former rulers and religious brothers until things stabilize. Honestly the whole situation is a shit show and the puppet just seems like the least bad of no good options.
 
I'm not gonna suggest Rome take central and southern Mesopotamia anymore, either way it need to be released and not into the possession of the Ottomans. Just handling it back to the Ottomans is just - in my opinion not really good in the long term. If it were to be given back then the old argument of sacking and burning everything from central and southern Mesopotamia is a much more feasible. Spreading salt, destroying agriculture, blocking the river flow and whatever else needs to be scorched is to be considered before handling it back. Which is more viable for both short and long term problems in dealing with the east.
So, you want the Romans to murder, loot and destroy their way across central and southern Mesopotamia with the specific intentiom of making the lives of the people there as miserable as possible, not only during the war, but after it too.

On top of that, these immensely disaffected and enraged people are torn apart from an empire in which they enjoyed relative prosperity and some measure of self-respect, and will have to bear a Roman Quisling who will likely be prevented by the Romans from doing anything to improve the situation of the people living there.

I am sure this will not blow up in the Romans' faces even worse than Khosrau II. At least he was initially helped by the Romans, and thus had no reason to deliberately make the Roman citizens' lives miserable when he conquered Egypt.

Even so, I still believe that a Despotic situation in Mesopotamia is still workable. Just, going overboard on the looting is going to make that place a dumpster fire for a very long time and make it all the more likely that that region will never be conquerable by the Romans even in the distant future, at least without the kind of ethnic cleansing that would rival the Holocaust in sheer brutality.

So, definitely no salting the fields or diverting the rivers.

What status quo and reconciliation? Going back to the old status quo means nothing changed at all! The Roman mindset right now at this point of TTL is basically on the warpath to destroy their enemies one by one. First it was the Germans, now they're broken beyond repair. The second was the Kingdom of Lombardy and they've ceased existing at all! The third was the Idwaits now they're confined and longer a major threat to one of their breadbasket and major ally. The fourth was the Spanish and now they've been kicked out of their holdings on Island Asia and in debt. The fifth one that has always been scot-free is the Ottomans, and you're suggesting another ******* status quo to them?
But the status quo will have changed. Mosul would be in Roman hands and the trans-Aras in Georgian hands, making another Syrian campaign incredibly difficult, if not downright impossible for any postwar Ottoman state anyways. They're locked out of the Hejaz, permanently incapable of outflanking either the Romans or the Georgians and Mesopotamia is a permanent geographical hostage of the Romans.

Besides, even with the Despotic solution, reconciliation with Persia would still be a good idea, if only to ensure that if the Mesopotamian Despotate is eaten by Persia (which is extremely likely IMO), then Persia doesn't bother Rhomania and maybe concentrate east for once.

No, in the next decade is a chance to destroy that old status quo and change it for good. The continual threat to Rome's eastern border as well as Georgia needs to be irrevocably changed for the better. Then once it settles in a few decades or so, then you'll have your peace.
No. What you are suggesting is the equivalent of the First Punic War. And as long as a Persian state survives, it will always want Mesopotamia back.
And unlike the ancients, I don't think a Third Punic War would be possible. Who on earth would have the resources and the heart to cull enough of Persia's resources to make it a third-rate power permanently?
 
So, you want the Romans to murder, loot and destroy their way across central and southern Mesopotamia with the specific intentiom of making the lives of the people there as miserable as possible, not only during the war, but after it too.

On top of that, these immensely disaffected and enraged people are torn apart from an empire in which they enjoyed relative prosperity and some measure of self-respect, and will have to bear a Roman Quisling who will likely be prevented by the Romans from doing anything to improve the situation of the people living there.

I am sure this will not blow up in the Romans' faces even worse than Khosrau II. At least he was initially helped by the Romans, and thus had no reason to deliberately make the Roman citizens' lives miserable when he conquered Egypt.

Even so, I still believe that a Despotic situation in Mesopotamia is still workable. Just, going overboard on the looting is going to make that place a dumpster fire for a very long time and make it all the more likely that that region will never be conquerable by the Romans even in the distant future, at least without the kind of ethnic cleansing that would rival the Holocaust in sheer brutality.

So, definitely no salting the fields or diverting the rivers.


But the status quo will have changed. Mosul would be in Roman hands and the trans-Aras in Georgian hands, making another Syrian campaign incredibly difficult, if not downright impossible for any postwar Ottoman state anyways. They're locked out of the Hejaz, permanently incapable of outflanking either the Romans or the Georgians and Mesopotamia is a permanent geographical hostage of the Romans.

Besides, even with the Despotic solution, reconciliation with Persia would still be a good idea, if only to ensure that if the Mesopotamian Despotate is eaten by Persia (which is extremely likely IMO), then Persia doesn't bother Rhomania and maybe concentrate east for once.


No. What you are suggesting is the equivalent of the First Punic War. And as long as a Persian state survives, it will always want Mesopotamia back.
And unlike the ancients, I don't think a Third Punic War would be possible. Who on earth would have the resources and the heart to cull enough of Persia's resources to make it a third-rate power permanently?
I would somewhat agree with the despotate solution, but that's assuming it won't even blow in their face. Which it probably would considering what you just stated. Which defeats the point of the despotate in the first place. Slash/burn/destroy central & south Mesopotamia means they can't very well use it in a war in the first place. What is the point of conquering if you people keep stating the need of despotate? A despotate that will very well return to the Ottomans if given the chance, a distracted Rome is always an opportunity for those sniveling rats on Persia. Better make sure they can't ever use it as a staging ground in the first place.

Bah the trans-aras can be attack with relative ease since the Ottomans got a great supply depot on the city of Tabriz. Georgia needs to take Tabriz to really secure their border with the Ottomans. It also helps the defenses along the Arabian desert-Mosul City- Zagros Mountain combination, it makes a perfect slanting line that can cut off any massive invasions via starvations and mountain attrition.

I think you forgot the old updates bruh, Roman brutality is at an all time high at this period of time, and that brutality will last up to modern age although lessened by that point of time. You forgot who made the German invasion a bit easier on Roman Europe. The Lombards and Ottomans attacked at the same time of their choosing thereby causing immense casualties to both civillian and military population. What was it? 800,000 plus right? Not counting the birth-child deaths suffered by the women due to the strain of war.

The Lombards was easily contained by the Despotate of Sicily and the Roman Navy. The Ottomans was much harder since its long ass winding front. How long has the Romans been suffering from attacks from both infidel and christian brothers huh? The great war imo pretty much solidified the siege mentality. So make no mistake the war with the Ottomans will be plenty brutal.

I concede that it would impossible for the Romans to truly make them into a third tier power, but this is Odysseus after all. It would be a shame for his narrative and character to not do great things that will solidify his reputation and house of Sideros.
 
I mean a despotate pushes a lot of the burden of rule off of the Roman government and onto the despots government. It also helps give people a sense of independence and self rule which helps when the people there are of a massively different culture and religion than yours are. It also prevents a lot of ugliness for the people of Mesopotamia. Being a Roman despotate long term is likely more attractive than being just another Roman or Ottoman province as it allows Mesopotamia to concentrate its wealth in Mesopotamia rather than sending it off to some foreign overlord.

I disagree with Bronze on the longevity of the despotate though. If it could last the first transition of power from I think it very well could be permanent. While it would always be a Persian target, attacking Mesopotamia all but ensures a response from Rome, the other despotates, and likely Georgia for fear of becoming the next target. So while I could see them retaking some of the land at some point the Ottomans likely decide it's easier to look eastward for expansion opportunities rather than continue to attack the despotate. Maybe they retake southern Mesopotamia and the despotate keeps central Mesopotamia keeping the buffer between the two.

Even if Odysseus is cruel and has ptsd I can’t see him whole sale slaughtering cities worth of civilians. Maiming? Perhaps. Embarrassing? Sure. Looting? Definitely. But I expect the great crime to actually happen in the Persian capital, not Mesopotamia. The taking of an enemy capital can get extremely ugly at the best of times. And these aren’t the best of times between these groups.
 
Slash/burn/destroy central & south Mesopotamia means they can't very well use it in a war in the first place.
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Better make sure they can't ever use it as a staging ground in the first place.
You rememeber those smallish Turkmen raids into Armenia? Replace Turkmens with Arabs and Turks, and multiply by a hundred.

Bah the trans-aras can be attack with relative ease since the Ottomans got a great supply depot on the city of Tabriz. Georgia needs to take Tabriz to really secure their border with the Ottomans.

This map says otherwise:
Map1.gif
Tabriz and Rasht will both likely be integrated into Georgia. Tabriz at least was already part of the Georgian Trans-Aras previously too.

I think you forgot the old updates bruh, Roman brutality is at an all time high at this period of time, and that brutality will last up to modern age although lessened by that time.
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The great war imo pretty much solidified the siege mentality. So make no mistake the war with the Ottomans will be plenty brutal.

I concede that it would impossible for the Romans to truly make them into a third tier power, but this is Odysseus after all. It would be a shame for his narrative and character to not do great things that will solidify his reputation and house of Sideros.
I will agree that there will be a lot of... unpleasantness. But I dearly hope that a Nanking does not occur, and if it does, that it only occurs in one or two cities (probably Baghdad and Hamadan).
I really don't want Odysseus burning all the bridges.
 
You rememeber those smallish Turkmen raids into Armenia? Replace Turkmens with Arabs and Turks, and multiply by a hundred.



This map says otherwise:
Tabriz and Rasht will both likely be integrated into Georgia. Tabriz at least was already part of the Georgian Trans-Aras previously too.


I will agree that there will be a lot of... unpleasantness. But I dearly hope that a Nanking does not occur, and if it does, that it only occurs in one or two cities (probably Baghdad and Hamadan).
I really don't want Odysseus burning all the bridges.
Wait was Tabriz really part of the trans-aras land by Georgia? And what turks and arabs are gonna raid into Northern Mesopotamia when there isn't much left in the wake of the great crime? Whilst they can raid, their numbers aren't up for it and the Romans will certainly have a very big advantage in these war of raids. There will be no mercy for them, the days of raiding with impunity by the turks and arabs are long gone.
 
I mean a despotate pushes a lot of the burden of rule off of the Roman government and onto the despots government. It also helps give people a sense of independence and self rule which helps when the people there are of a massively different culture and religion than yours are. It also prevents a lot of ugliness for the people of Mesopotamia. Being a Roman despotate long term is likely more attractive than being just another Roman or Ottoman province as it allows Mesopotamia to concentrate its wealth in Mesopotamia rather than sending it off to some foreign overlord.

I disagree with Bronze on the longevity of the despotate though. If it could last the first transition of power from I think it very well could be permanent. While it would always be a Persian target, attacking Mesopotamia all but ensures a response from Rome, the other despotates, and likely Georgia for fear of becoming the next target. So while I could see them retaking some of the land at some point the Ottomans likely decide it's easier to look eastward for expansion opportunities rather than continue to attack the despotate. Maybe they retake southern Mesopotamia and the despotate keeps central Mesopotamia keeping the buffer between the two.

Even if Odysseus is cruel and has ptsd I can’t see him whole sale slaughtering cities worth of civilians. Maiming? Perhaps. Embarrassing? Sure. Looting? Definitely. But I expect the great crime to actually happen in the Persian capital, not Mesopotamia. The taking of an enemy capital can get extremely ugly at the best of times. And these aren’t the best of times between these groups.
Ok you've intrigued me by this proposition, the only reason I disagree wholeheartedly with the despotate option is it defeats the purpose in the first place. With this option I'm more susceptible about it. Having build a new despotate then only to lose it back to Persia is just the height of stupidity and no sane nation would do that when the loyalty of the people in Mesopotamia are in question. If the option of not burning Mesopotamia to the ground isn't available then the Persian question must be done, they've always been safe from reprise from Rome.

Odysseus breaking into the Zagros mountain and burning the heartland of Persia doesn't seem to far fetched. Once the Ottoman armies have been destroyed in a series of great and minor battles then a push into the Persia plateau can be done.
 
Italy and Egypt are both very close at hand and sitting squarely on supremely strategic territory for the Romans. Egypt both sits on vital lines of communication to the East and (assuming that at some point someone sees the obvious utility of a Suez Canal) one of the most singularly important economic lifelines in the world, especially to an economic giant sitting in Constantinople. I don't see the Romans ever letting the Egyptians pull away without WW1 Ottoman levels of collapse that really don't seem likely to me. If anything they would have huge pressure to integrate them more thoroughly into the wider Roman identity, though I could see some degree of autonomy being maintained.

Italy, while less immediately vital holds the distinction of still being very close, strategically important to exerting power in the Western Mediterranean, potentially economically valuable and an excellent source of manpower. That's not even considering the symbolic value of Rome itself which while less important than it could be, still is of considerable worth.

I could however see a sort of federal system being implemented though, with the Empire as a whole united under the Emperor's authority while maintaining local defense forces. I just don't see them ever being independent and as time goes on, they will likely only be pulled further into the economic orbit of the Heartland and Constantinople in particular.

It also doesn't take much imagination for the Romans to spin a wider Roman identity to supersede general nationalism, assuming nationalism as such even emerges in the same way (though that is certainly possible). Particularly given how well educated the Roman population is for its time, and how well centralized, along with shared history of all its constituents, and shared enemies.

For population, I could see it going either way but in the long run, the region will have been run by an efficient and centralized government for much longer, the peace kept far more efficiently and will have had a far more active and dominant economic powerhouse to serve as foundation for later population growth. That's a solid foundation both for urbanization and industrialization once the resource issues do eventually get sorted out likely by importation of the necessary resources from a number of their neighbors. On top of that, they will have an extremely well educated population for the time, again furthering economic growth and it is only a matter of time at that point before they either make or adopt more advanced agricultural methods. Combined with access to two excellent breadbaskets I firmly believe that by the time the second industrial revolution rolls around they will be on par at least with any single great power.

See I just don't see the Romans being passive in their dealings with their neighbors. All their experience will tell them that the Army is vitally important, and that they would much prefer to do their fighting in their allies' lands rather than their own. Again. Further, territories like Scythia are not just nice to have, they are a matter of life and death to Constantinople and the heavily urbanized heartland. Especially before the rise of modern agriculture, but even then they will likely still need food imports and I cannot see them being able to afford to be passive. Especially since Scythia is a natural spark point for conflict given how badly any potential Russian power is going to want it, and how many resources Rome is likely going to be importing from Russia given the relatively easy river travel (wasn't there a canal started between the rivers there to facilitate trade to the Black Sea from Russia?)

The first wave will certainly be a bit troublesome, but I don't think catastrophically so. Oil though you are right will be absolutely key. Might even eventually be motivation to take Mesopotamia itself around that time to secure access to those fields, though they will certainly have plenty to start off between Vlachia and Georgia. Scythia has some as well as I recall, and they will likely be able to import a great deal of resources from the east.

That economic activity between East and West through a potential Suez, along with Constantinople being a major economic powerhouse are the two things that, properly leveraged, could help offset lack of access to coal to a certain extent.

You're right that in light of this the Navy and Air Force absolutely have to be priorities, I just think there is more than enough economic power in the Empire and its colonies in the East that it doesn't have to be to the detriment of the Army so much that it is at a disadvantage against any single European power like France or Germany. Of course things get hairy if they get ganged up on but that is true for any great power even if it is a bit more so for this Roman Empire. That is the job of the Diplomats, to do everything in their power to make sure that you don't have to fight a two front war, and that if the worst happens and you do, you have plenty of allies to help.

That was a lot more than I meant to write. :biggrin:

I agree wholeheartedly.

I'm too lazy to comment on everything (but I agree with it), but would just want to stress that Egypt is absolutely crucial for this form of Rome. They might loose it modern times (like British), when they will also perhaps lose eastern colonies, but until then I'd expect they'll hold Egypt if it is in any way, shape or form possible.
 
I agree wholeheartedly.

I'm too lazy to comment on everything (but I agree with it), but would just want to stress that Egypt is absolutely crucial for this form of Rome. They might loose it modern times (like British), when they will also perhaps lose eastern colonies, but until then I'd expect they'll hold Egypt if it is in any way, shape or form possible.
I sure hope not, I want this TTL to be vastly different to our OTL.
 
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’.
Byzantine blitzkrieg as a natural and logical product of Rhoman military theory? I absolutely love it.
 
Italy and Egypt are both very close at hand and sitting squarely on supremely strategic territory for the Romans. Egypt both sits on vital lines of communication to the East and (assuming that at some point someone sees the obvious utility of a Suez Canal) one of the most singularly important economic lifelines in the world, especially to an economic giant sitting in Constantinople. I don't see the Romans ever letting the Egyptians pull away without WW1 Ottoman levels of collapse that really don't seem likely to me. If anything they would have huge pressure to integrate them more thoroughly into the wider Roman identity, though I could see some degree of autonomy being maintained.

With what we've been told about the ethnic breakdown of the Empire, they'll have a much easier time than the OTL Ottomans did since their part of the Balkans in thoroughly Hellenized and Armenians are thoroughly integrated, but the way things are going there's still some major flash points in the south and overseas. They still might have problems with Kurdish nationalists in Eastern Anatolia/Mesopotamia, though that's probably manageable given all of their neighbors in the region have an interest in avoiding an independent Kurdistan due to the presence of Kurdish minorities of their own. The levant is, seemingly like OTL, shaping up to be so thoroughly depopulated from war and genocide and that it's practically anyone's game depending on who ends up resettling it, but it certainly isn't hard for it to remain Roman. I'm unsure about the extent of Hellenization in southern Italy, and there's also the issue that a significant portion of the population there is (Avignonese) Catholic, creating a potential fracture point for Italian pan-nationalists to exploit. Despite its strategic value, Egypt has a large population which is shaping up to be majority Coptic Christian, and the long history of being an autonomous dependency rather than direct governance will likely lead to further issues, especially when you get into modern style insurgencies. I could see it going the way of French Algeria, where, despite it being considered a "core" part of France ultimately breaks away after a long and bitter conflict.

I sure hope not, I want this TTL to be vastly different to our OTL.

Based on what B444 has said, TTL modernity is likely to have a liberal democratic (by way of parliamentary monarchy) Russia as a hyperpower (hello heartland theory!), with Rhomania in a position somewhat like modern day France where it retains significant capacity for independent power projection (unlike Britain OTL which is just a mess), and is one of the more powerful and influential states in Europe, but not really a contender for a top power in any real capacity. That's already really different from OTL in addition to how different the Balkans and middle east are shaping up to be.
 
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With what we've been told about the ethnic breakdown of the Empire, they'll have a much easier time than the OTL Ottomans did since their part of the Balkans in thoroughly Hellenized and Armenians are thoroughly integrated, but the way things are going there's still some major flash points in the south and overseas. They still might have problems with Kurdish nationalists in Eastern Anatolia/Mesopotamia, though that's probably manageable given all of their neighbors in the region have an interest in avoiding an independent Kurdistan due to the presence of Kurdish minorities of their own. The levant is, seemingly like OTL, shaping up to be so thoroughly depopulated from war and genocide and that it's practically anyone's game depending on who ends up resettling it, but it certainly isn't hard for it to remain Roman.

About the Levant, I began by scouring the old thread a little. Reread Cappadocian Caesarea, which was a delight.
But what I found was that the Assyrians and other Syriac Christians are apparently not mentioned at all. My takeaway from this is that they kept their heads down and continued farming/short-scale trading.
Why is this significant? Because in OTL, the biggest pre-modern killing of the Assyrians was at the hands of Timur, who seems to have had bigger fish to fry ITTL.
I could see the Romans play up Assyro-Syriac influence in Upper Mesopotamia while sending Roman settlers there as well. The Arabs in particular, I'd say they'd mesh better with the Assyrians and Syrian Christians, who speak Aramaic and Syriac (both Semitic languages) if I'm not wrong.
This would go a long way in counteracting the influence of the Kurds in Upper Mesopotamia, who are Muslim and speak Kurdish (an Iranic language).
Also, I think there would be some fewer Kurds around ITTL anyways, since the ones who live in Armeniakon and Syria would have been Romanized, exiled or murdered by now, though that mightn't make a big difference in Upper Mesopotamia.
 
Italy, while less immediately vital holds the distinction of still being very close, strategically important to exerting power in the Western Mediterranean, potentially economically valuable and an excellent source of manpower. That's not even considering the symbolic value of Rome itself which while less important than it could be, still is of considerable worth.

I get that, but I find the idea of Italy going independent, turning ATL fascist complete with the whole Neo-Roman Empire shtick in a timeline where the actual Roman Empire still exists and getting invaded by Greeks during an ATL industrial era war to be hilarious. It also still makes a certain amount of sense given the whole "we are the true heirs of Rome" idea that cropped up in Italy during the Renaissance ITTL.
 
I get that, but I find the idea of Italy going independent, turning ATL fascist complete with the whole Neo-Roman Empire shtick in a timeline where the actual Roman Empire still exists and getting invaded by Greeks during an ATL industrial era war to be hilarious. It also still makes a certain amount of sense given the whole "we are the true heirs of Rome" idea that cropped up in Italy during the Renaissance ITTL.
Oh wow i rly like that idea actually. They could become obsessed with the Republican era and become one of those racist democracies that was foreshadowed
 
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