An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

Cryostorm

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Speaking of succession crisis, does anyone recall the Triune's line of succession and who they have ties to, though their wife, or if anyone foreign close enough in line to try for it?
 
Who's gonna stop them if they try?
The Rhomans are A - far away and B - taking a step back from European affairs and C - were basically told by all of Western Europe "stay away from our business" anyway.
The Germans got their teeth kicked in when the Triunes invaded a few years ago. They're barely hanging on by a thread and we still don't know how destabilizing the Raven's Rebellion will be when it hits.
The Spanish? They also tried fighting the Triunes and their crown prince ended up dead.
Arles? Too small a population and too large a shared border. Plus they alienated Rhomania, one of the only powers who could theoretically stand up to the Triunes.
EOATH? Too small a population base to effectively do anything on their own.
Poland, Hungary, Prussia all don't really care as they're pretty far away.
The Russians aren't unified (plus, again, that's a problem all the way across the continent).

The Triunes are easily the top dog in Europe. They're Ancien Regime France on steroids.
It's fair to say a coalition would be absolutely justified if the Triunes were making moves on Scotland this early. Spain, Aragon, Arles, the Bernese League, and Norway-Scotland would immediately jump the gun on them if they do so much as breathe on their northern neighbor. Spain and the Arles only allowed them to annex Lotharingia because they desperately needed their help in forcing Rhomania to concede. With the Romans out of the way and probably busy with their dealings in the East, Western European nations are now able to be more vigilant in how they will deal with the UK, since they are the top dog. Regardless, top dogs don't last forever and inevitably they will be knocked down a peg.

The issue is that the seams are already straining and once Henry kicks the bucket I doubt his successor will be as capable which will probably result in at least one or two rebellions, the Northumbrians and Lotharingians, if not a full blown succession war. This will be at least 10-15 years from now which means that everyone, even the HRE, will have recovered and wanting to bring the Triunes down a peg or two.
Agreed. Henri has been a godlike ruler so far for the Triunes. However, I think Louis will be the portent of what's to come with the Triple Monarchy. As I said, considering how he is treated by his own father, he could easily end up being more despotic and paranoid than his predecessor. Even if not, the possibility of him being less capable is also there regardless, which is obviously negative for the state as a whole. Worst case scenario is if he's both incompetent and unlikeable, although I don't think B444 would make Louis like that if he's going to move POV to the Triunes. Lastly, if he dies without an heir, then the Triple Monarchy could collapse into a pretty severe succession war since the kingdom's power is pretty much predicated on a mess of dynastic unions. It'd be a very chaotic time for Western Europe, for sure.
 
Poland, Hungary, Prussia all don't really care as they're pretty far away.
The Russians aren't unified (plus, again, that's a problem all the way across the continent).

The Triunes are easily the top dog in Europe. They're Ancien Regime France on steroids.
Didn’t stop Alexander from marching into Paris, and something tells me the Russians could afford to march an army through the HRE without it getting decimated if Rhoman logistics are anything to go by. Of course, the question is still getting them to actually want to do so, which in and if itself is a considerable challenge. I highly doubt anything short of the Triunes making a move on the HRE as a whole is going to kick the Russians (or Rhomania... convincing them) to do something about it.


Agreed. Henri has been a godlike ruler so far for the Triunes. However, I think Louis will be the portent of what's to come with the Triple Monarchy. As I said, considering how he is treated by his own father, he could easily end up being more despotic and paranoid than his predecessor. Even if not, the possibility of him being less capable is also there regardless, which is obviously negative for the state as a whole. Worst case scenario is if he's both incompetent and unlikeable, although I don't think B444 would make Louis like that if he's going to move POV to the Triunes. Lastly, if he dies without an heir, then the Triple Monarchy could collapse into a pretty severe succession war since the kingdom's power is pretty much predicated on a mess of dynastic unions. It'd be a very chaotic time for Western Europe, for sure.
I’d much rather prefer a competent heir who just simply has too many problems on their plate to an heir who just ensures an already weak structure goes up in flames. It’s more interesting and allows for more narrative choices than “Bad leader results in everything going to shit until the next competent leader fixes things.”
 
That's
It's fair to say a coalition would be absolutely justified if the Triunes were making moves on Scotland this early. Spain, Aragon, Arles, the Bernese League, and Norway-Scotland would immediately jump the gun on them if they do so much as breathe on their northern neighbor. Spain and the Arles only allowed them to annex Lotharingia because they desperately needed their help in forcing Rhomania to concede. With the Romans out of the way and probably busy with their dealings in the East, Western European nations are now able to be more vigilant in how they will deal with the UK, since they are the top dog. Regardless, top dogs don't last forever and inevitably they will be knocked down a peg.


Agreed. Henri has been a godlike ruler so far for the Triunes. However, I think Louis will be the portent of what's to come with the Triple Monarchy. As I said, considering how he is treated by his own father, he could easily end up being more despotic and paranoid than his predecessor. Even if not, the possibility of him being less capable is also there regardless, which is obviously negative for the state as a whole. Worst case scenario is if he's both incompetent and unlikeable, although I don't think B444 would make Louis like that if he's going to move POV to the Triunes. Lastly, if he dies without an heir, then the Triple Monarchy could collapse into a pretty severe succession war since the kingdom's power is pretty much predicated on a mess of dynastic unions. It'd be a very chaotic time for Western Europe, for sure.
So basically a free for all in western/central europe, I'm happy to see just how deadly this war will occur. How will it upset the nations on the west as their war drags on and on, until they basically have their own sort of "revolution" in their backyard.

Maybe its too early for the revolution to happen but by no means the war with the Triunes will be over immediately as alliances change so frequently.
 
Unlikely that the entirety of England will leave the Triunes, since you know...the Triple Monarchy was started by England winning the ATL 100 Years' War, claiming the Kingdom of France for itself. Their power base is probably is still within Southern England/Northern France with London, King's Harbour, Calais, and other port cities being the main focal point of the empire and the culture might be fully Anglo-French at this point due to centuries of cultural mixing between the three kingdoms. With their amazing navy and power projection, there's just simply no way that the Triple Monarchy would allow England or Northumbria to break right now, especially regions so close to King's Harbour. It's probably easier to annex Scotland into the UK than it is for Northumbria or England to leave.

Still, Northumbria becoming part of Scotland could be interesting, but it'd require a pretty brutal war between the Triunes and Norway-Scotland, and I don't even know if Northumbrians even want independence or annexation, despite them being less "frenchified". Maybe in the future, with the Age of Nationalism that could be the case but I don't know if the UK could break apart, especially when it's been hinted that it will be a very strong united polity in the far future.
I’m not sure the fact that southern England may be seen as a core part of the overall empire would mitigate as much against an English clamour for independence as it may seem. Yes, we’re a long way past 1066 and yes, the mediaeval tension between the French—speaking Norman ruling class and the English-speaking peasantry is often understated. But in OTL the monarchy remained more or less francophone until the early years of the Hundred Years War. If the same applies here, we would have a culturally French ruling class of England taking possession of most of France for basically French cultural reasons.

Under these circumstances we may we’ll see an increasing wedge between the English population and an increasingly French ruling class which is culturally different. Or not. But I wouldn’t necessarily make assumptions of cultural integration at the ground level.
 
But in OTL the monarchy remained more or less francophone until the early years of the Hundred Years War. If the same applies here, we would have a culturally French ruling class of England taking possession of most of France for basically French cultural reasons.
IIRC, England wins the war at the final stages of the conflict, so the monarchy might have initially started out as being more culturally English than French. Regardless, I think we're at that point where English and French are fading away as culturally distinct identities when the English and French people are this closely intertwined into the Triple Monarchy centuries after the POD, especially at the English Channel.

Under these circumstances we may we’ll see an increasing wedge between the English population and an increasingly French ruling class which is culturally different. Or not. But I wouldn’t necessarily make assumptions of cultural integration at the ground level.
Perhaps, but geography, previous history, and time do make a good case for cultural integration, especially under a government that has lasted for centuries after the fusion of the English/French kingdoms (B444 could totally make this not canon though, we'll just have to see). Still, I don't think this cultural mixing would be uniform evenly across France and especially England, which is why Northumbria is such an interesting region to look at for the Triple Monarchy, in my eyes.

I’d much rather prefer a competent heir who just simply has too many problems on their plate to an heir who just ensures an already weak structure goes up in flames. It’s more interesting and allows for more narrative choices than “Bad leader results in everything going to shit until the next competent leader fixes things.”
Same. Hopefully Louis ends up being marginally competent, but not good enough to keep the bloated empire together, because that makes for a good narrative and shows the weaknesses of the Triple Monarchy without making him stupid. You can make a character despotic or unlikeable but not an idiot, although all three traits do tend to appear quite often in many rulers throughout history sadly. We'll just leave it to chance to see how Louis turns out though, because it could decide the fate of the Triunes as a whole.
 
I wonder if we could understand the version of English spoken in the south of the island. I imagine it would be extremely different to otl english at that time
 
What's the financial situation like in King's Harbor at the moment? It was my understanding that the war in Rhomania was heavily subsidized by the Triunes. Then they had the major conflict in Lotharingia, and the additional deployment to Italy. Sure some of those costs could be offset by looting the low countries, but the more looting they do the harder it will be to integrate the territory. What are the chances we see heavy taxation throughout the three kingdoms and the people of Ireland or Northumbria wondering why they are paying for all these continental excursions?
 
What's the financial situation like in King's Harbor at the moment? It was my understanding that the war in Rhomania was heavily subsidized by the Triunes. Then they had the major conflict in Lotharingia, and the additional deployment to Italy. Sure some of those costs could be offset by looting the low countries, but the more looting they do the harder it will be to integrate the territory. What are the chances we see heavy taxation throughout the three kingdoms and the people of Ireland or Northumbria wondering why they are paying for all these continental excursions?
They should pull a big brain move and tax their north American colonies without representation.
 
Love it!
Just a bit anxious that D3 will die soon and we'll see the consequences of this. Ody's reaction won't be good

Yeah, Demetrios III isn’t going to be around for much longer. In a way, I’m both looking forward to his ‘death update’, which has been practically fully formed in my head for months already, but also not.

Yay changes to the world map galore! I wasn't sure exactly sure what happened to Venito so I gave it to Verona(green). Please let me know if my map is off at all because I want it to be as accurate to the story as possible. While it hurts to see Roman Italy shrink at least Rome is under direct Roman rule

Italy key for anybody confused:
Dark red: Tuskany
Pink: Genoa
Green: Verona
brown: Lombardy
Orange: Romagna
Purple: Rhomania
Light purple/Blue: Despotate of Sicily

Edit: With respect to the despotates acting more independent I have given them colors while keeping the interior purple to show them being subservient to Constantinople

Looks right to me, although to be honest on a map scale of this size, I have a hard time seeing clear detail for just Italy.

Hyped for a general a century or two down the line to advocate a quick strike attack against the enemies of one front then turning the army against the slower, more disorganized enemy on the other front.

What's the Greek translation of Alfred von Schlieffen? 😊

I’m sure someone will suggest it. Fortunately for Rhomania, the War Room doesn’t need OTL to know that’s a bad idea.

Excellent. This is like pre-WWI Germany, but one that had a chance to switch to a defensive, diplomatic focus instead of doubling down on Victory By Christmas gambles.

That’s a good analogy, one I wish I’d thought of first.

All things considered, this is probably the best result to ensure peace on the western border whilst the Romans are free to focus on the Ottomans.
Lombardy has been severely neutered, and a series of independent buffer states guaranteed by all major powers involved. Rome even got to keep Rome!

Yeah, this is still a good setup for Rhomania. With better earlier diplomacy they might have gotten some more and more cheaply, but this worked out well for them. Even if they had seized all of Northern Italy, there’s no way they wouldn’t be challenged for it repeatedly. It’s prime real estate well placed to be attacked by the Accord and the Triunes and a revived HRE.

Despotates and Romanization: I think some sort of Federalization is the only way to keep things from blowing up at some point. Both Sicily and Egypt have regional identities that need to be respected. If the Romans tried to force Romanization on them, they’ll get angry and violent. At this point in time, the two key points of Romanization are Greek-speaking and Orthodox-believing. The second is completely out of the question for the Copts, as their Coptic faith is the key part of their identity. If Constantinople starts messing with the religious question again (this is Monophysite vs. Chalcedonian all over again) this will get very ugly very fast. Also remember that Ethiopia follows the Coptic faith if this becomes a religious issue, and it would because Romanization involves identity, and religious faith at this time is a key part of identity.

Sicily is somewhat easier on the one hand because the religious issue isn’t there. A lot of Sicilians are already Orthodox. On the other hand, the Sicilians have bad experience of direct Roman rule which makes them automatically suspicious if Constantinople gets pushy. The Sicilians are doing some Romanizing on their own, but they’re doing it on their own terms. If the Romans started trying to push it, it would only create a backlash.

Roman Latium: It is small. It’s Rome inside the walls, Civitavecchia inside the walls, and the road between them with some clearance (which is measured in meters). There also won’t be any concern about it outgrowing those bounds anytime soon. Rome doesn’t have any substantial industry of its own even by 1600s standards, and without the Papacy and all the cardinals there the only thing Rome has going for it is pilgrim traffic. Now some of the relics could be for those saints that both the Orthodox and Catholic venerate, but most are going to be Catholic-specific. Catholic pilgrim traffic per the treaty is protected, but Roman Latium isn’t going to have much of an economy.

Roman Diplomacy West Split: It’s a split between Mediterranean West (plus Mexico) and the rest of Latin Europe.

North Africa: As some have pointed out, a Marinid toppling by the coalition powers isn’t happening. The last time someone (the Romans) tried a big land grab in North Africa, the Marinids raised an army 3 times bigger than the Roman-Sicilian force and wiped it out. To grab anything more than a few coastal enclaves that can be seized from the sea, the invader would have to field, deploy, and supply at least 50,000 men in North Africa, because anything less the Marinids will squish. Even 1637 Rhomania, prior to the depression, couldn’t do this. (For example, if the Romans did, that means 40% of the peacetime army is committed to North Africa, while still having to deal with all other Roman commitments.)

Furthermore, the fact that it is a coalition deters land grabbing. A coalition can get along long enough to seize Algiers, but to keep it means putting it in the hands of a coalition member. Que arguments over who which probably end up breaking the coalition. (This is why coalitions are inherently brittle instruments.)

That was great :) Genuinely really interesting turn of events to see the rise of a counter to the war hawks rising at the right moment. It'll be interesting to see the further evolution of the influence of public writings going forward.

That is a solid peace considering what was considered - I wonder what ideas will be born in the aftermath of Genoa - I don't think that particular conflict is over, I think it will return, and could be the hotbed of anti-oligarchal thought, some sort of popular or even communal/communist republic doesn't seem outlandish to me. Hardly the Soviet Union but an interesting note alongside OTL idea of the Levellers in the UK for sure.

I am interested in the size of Roman... Rome. Roman Latium? Handing over a swathe to Sicily was a good call but it'll be interesting to see how feasible the city will be in terms of growth. I can't imagine it'll suffer for Sicily next door, but it might have issues if it tries to expand beyond the Roman limits. That'll be an interesting scenario for sure.

I am surprised at the results of the war games though, I'd have expected a fortified Italy to frankly do better, but that might be simply an assumption of the fortifications. I do like how that was broken down - and it really starts to sell a not-just-anti-latin justification for the general siege mentality for the Romans in the future. Its the geopolitical realities of it.

That diplomatic reform is gooooooood, I like how its essentially 5+1, that could be really interesting. I'm curious as to the split for the West that took it from 4+1 to 5+1 - was that to accommodate the New World? I appreciate that it isn't that important for the Romans, but last I checked the Mexicans were a Roman ally in the New World, and that's a very different field to the rest of the world diplomatically.

All in all, it's great to see things appearing to return to some sense of calm, Spain and Arles being more on side is good, and I'm genuinely shocked that Henri didn't try to stir the pot in some way to prevent that outcome. Sure he has an ally/partner in Genoa, and probably Lombardy I expect in the longer-term, but letting those relationships return to normal isn't really in his interest. Perhaps we've seen via omission Henri actually not get what he wants in diplomacy?

I do hope at some point Ody and Chapuys (or maybe Athena and Chapuys) can have a nice session to patch things up though. It'd be funny if "No More Chapuys" becomes a byword in the Roman Foreign Office, for never creating that situation, ever again. Maybe a small statue.





I like the idea of federalisation personally - I endorse it, but my concern would be why - especially for Sicily. Short of an economic crisis that, like in Egypt, effectively forces Sicily to come to the Romans for help, I'm not sure what advantages it gives. I can see Egypt more easily,

The main approach I could see which COULD work would be dependent on how it worked for Egypt - if its essentially that Egypt becomes a subservient state, I doubt it'd be useful - but if you had some sort of structure where Egypt isn't so much a vassal as an equal partner, but that the Emperor resolves ties, that might have legs - crisis in Sicily that the price tag is membership of this structure? Crisis in Serbia might open the door as well for them.

But I'll admit I'm not entirely sure at the moment what powers the Romans have in Sicily. The idea of enforcing dual-language schools is a good idea for it, but I think the first aspect would be to push a sort of SuperCulture - As British is to English and Scottish, Roman becomes to Sicilian, Greek, Melkite, etc. Now that is easier to do via simple propaganda, and has precedent with the concept of Romanitas. Now I'm unsure how that has evolved in the Empire but if we assume that it could, "independently" of the Emperor push that idea, but as the concept of a Federation Romanitas with the Empire as a member, alongside Egypt, Sicily, Serbia, Vlachia (feel free to cross out any), that serves as a way to formalise the idea as a political entity.

Basic model as I'd see it - headed by the Emperor of the Romans. It has it's own budget and obligations to its members, and in effect would serve as a significant reform of the relationship between the Romans and the Despotates and maybe even other allies - nothing says that a FR needs to be single-tiered structure

I'd expect the Romans to be T1, with the most obligations, benefits, and restrictions.
T2 would be Egypt - essentially where foreign policies get deeply restricted.
T3 Sicily (T2 after a crisis perhaps), and Carthage (it actually makes sense unless Africa changes for the Carthaginians to have relative freedom diplomatically on the ground at least)
T4 being allies who want to be a little closer - something like Serbia, or Vlachia.

General model - closer to the top tier, more power in decisions, lower tier, less restrictions on their own actions.

The big question for me is where do the various parts of the Exarchate in the East fall in this? Sure they aren't a Depotate, and in real terms are part of the Empire proper, but I can see in such a system it could be reorganised into a T2+. Essentially a T2 member, but it doesn't have any potential rights of withdrawal. It raises questions as to whether that is enough.

That's a model I can see, and for a good while the Romans would essentially dominate it but at the same time there are benefits - see Vlachia for example, probably the best example for why someone might choose to join. A T4 relationship could involve subsidies, not something that'll happen TODAY (and with the Roman economy as it is, that entire issue may end for Vlachia) but if the economic pattern continues, a pattern of subsidies and free movement could be of benefit for them, partly to reflect reality, but also to ensure they can take those subsidies to change that pattern without indebting themselves to anyone.

On the topic of Vlachia, I can't recall - who is dominating merchant activity on the Danube at the moment? Are the Vlachs in a position to take advantage of that quiet in the next decade or so?

Couple factors with the forts to consider. Firstly, the Romans were just on the receiving end of Vauban, so the stopping power of fortifications is not something they rate really highly. Secondly, if the garrison of a besieged fort knows there’s no chance of a credible relief army (because they’re in Italy and the bulk of the field army is deployed in Syria) it makes sense to surrender earlier, because they’ll have to surrender or die anyway, so might as well do it when they can get better terms. So the transfer of field armies away from a fortress belt area actively weakens the fortress belt, even if none of the garrisons lose a single soldier.

Regarding Henri and Italy, I figure that Italy just isn’t that high on his priority list. His goals were 1) get recognition of his conquests in Rhineland/Lotharingia and 2) Get the Romans out of northern Italy so they can’t be a threat to said conquest. He got both already so why continue to mess around and risk blowback.

Roman power in Sicily is that Sicilian foreign relations with the Ottomans are managed by Constantinople (irrelevant because of geography) and that Sicilian foreign relations with the Holy Roman Emperor are managed by Constantinople (irrelevant because of recent events). That’s it.

Romans are the main merchant presence on the lower Danube, although Belgrade and up it’s much more of a mixed Serbian/Hungarian affair. The Vlachs just don’t have the capital to be big merchant players. The ones with the money are the big landowners who sell produce to feed Constantinople.

Another great update B444! If only those War Room Strategists had been available to Justinian! Perhaps, he would have left the great general alone then.

The War Room games also remind me of the previous Rhoman wars against the Caliphate during the 'dark' ages (for the Anatolian theater, not the Italian). I believe that at one point (pre-Caliphate) the Persians did besiege Western Anatolia and got aid from the Bulgarians in a siege on Konstantinipolis, so I'd say that War Game was fairly well thought out for Rhomania. Perhaps, their strategists have minors in history!

Overall, glad that Italy has finally been successfully peace'd out and now we can move onto our more savory desert to the East... Can't wait to see Ody go rogue on the Ottoblob.

Yeah, the War Room games are, once you remove the proper nouns, an encapsulation of Rhomania’s geopolitical situation, namely that it stinks (a fact even Liutprand of Cremona in the mid-900s, a Latin bishop and ambassador who was not a fan of the Byzantines, acknowledged). The Romans absolutely have to plan for two-front (or worse) conflicts. I’d argue that based on OTL Byzantine and Ottoman history, them not having to worry about dogpiles would be rather unrealistic.

So far this has been an excellent post, where Demetrios III has managed to save the situation from blowing over into all out war, or more specifically his wife and his daughter hahahaha. Regardless, they've managed to score a major victory for the Romans diplomatically, managing to maintain control over Rome and Latium while also keeping relations with the Latin West relatively cool for now with their concessions. While losing Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, and even Genoa does hurt, this is the price that the Roman Empire has to pay in order to keep the peace for a bit longer, especially with the Ottomans on the horizon. However, D3 isn't a robot and he does make mistakes, even ones of this caliber: it's just simply how humans are.

Sadly, I reckon that this sort of diplomatic victory wouldn't be very popular or even well liked with the general Roman populace, as I see the warhawks successfully downplaying this entire thing and emphasizing how D3 failed to capitalize on expanding on Italy against the Latins, even if it wasn't beneficial for Rhomania in the slightest. I think only the die-hard Romanophiles, historians, and diplomats would even try to analyze the Italian crisis in great detail to recognize the real importance in D3, Jahzara, and Athena's efforts in pacifying Italy, but we'll see.

As for the diplomatic reform, I love it. The Romans are definitely trying to patch up their Foreign Office for the failure that was the Italian Crisis, which was the lack of expertise in dealing with Latin matters among the higher ups. With the Foreign Office being split up into separate branches based on region, with a senior officer well versed with the people living there, it's highly unlikely we will ever see this sort of mistake happen again for Rhomania. I definitely think the Western split is going to refer to Europe and the New World since they're both far to the West relative to Rhomania's position. If so, I seriously can't wait to see the Mexican Empire becoming a major player in future installments, especially as the POV slowly shifts to the Triunes.
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No, because unlike OTL, the Marinids are still a pretty powerful state that can put in significant resistance against any sort of deep Christian incursion into the region. Any type of colonization would be resisted pretty harshly by the native Amazigh and Arab peoples there and the technology gap probably isn't wide enough to give the expedition a prohibitive advantage against them.

I'd say that the best parallel would be the Barbary Wars, where each expedition cuts down on the pirates while further advances in naval technology from the Spanish, the Triunes, Arletians or the Romans would make piracy undesirable as a profession. In fact, since technology is more advanced in this timeline than OTL and there's probably less pirates due to no excursion of Jews or Muslims from Spain, I'd say that this decline would be more pronounced once the expedition wins. They'll accomplish their task, but I don't think they will have aspirations for anything further than that.


I tend to agree with others that further cross-cultural contact, propaganda, and migration of Romans towards Sicily and Egypt could lend pretty well towards federalization. In fact, the Romans are probably most suited towards this governmental model in the future, since the Antiquity Romans historically have accepted foreigners into their ranks as citizens as long as they embrace Roman culture and customs, especially during the Imperial period. We can see this happen again with the Roman Empire once again on a larger scale. Roman identity ITTL probably is less of a distinct Greek identity but more of an umbrella term that encompasses a lot of different ethnic groups as long as they generally share the same language, religion, and culture. If they reinforce that kind of identity as an ethnically plural nationality, then it's possible for Egypt or even Sicily to consider being part of Rhomania.

Mind you, a handful amount of Roman characters (either from Rhomania or their allies) were not of Greek stock, but in fact either Latin, Turk, Vlach, Russian, or some other kind of ethnicity. Even the Sideroi were descended from the Timurids, once considered to be the biggest threat to the Roman Empire very early into the timeline, and now they control the Roman Empire. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a Japanese person considered themselves as Roman in the future, actually, which would be an interesting thing to think about later on during the Modern period.

One of the big reasons Demetrios III is largely forgotten, even though really he is very important, is that if you look at his reign solely on the basis of how much purple is on the map, he looks absolutely terrible. None of his big accomplishments translate well into pop culture. You can’t show administrative or tax reform on a map and it doesn’t make for interesting reading. Historians will rate Demetrios III very highly; nobody else will.

There will be some Japanese-Romans in the future, with some already moving that way now. They’ll be the descendants of the ronin that entered Roman service in the Katepanate of Pyrgos. (See Tokugawa Ieyasu for example.)

Why couldn't D3 argue for literally any alternative (e.g. Arletian/Spanish protection, neutral noble appointment? Even giving the city back to the Lombards would have lessened the scale of the atrocities committed there.


I wonder what the results of future editions would look like once shorter borders and more fronts are accounted for (Russians, Treaty of Belgrade members, Ethiopia, Vijayanagar...)


The limits probably won't extend very far considering it's intended as more of a prestige inclusion rather than a land grab. City growth probably won't be an issue for centuries until the industrial revolution rolls in. I would put the agreed upon borders as the city plus a few km outside the Aurelian walls and Civitavecchia, a few hundred metres outside the road connecting them. City expansion depends how much Sicily cares and how much the Empire has federalized by then. If they're really touchy, we'll see a situation similar to Tijuana-San Diego and El Paso-Ciudad Juarez developing.


I think the Spanish-Barbary wars would be good too as the Spanish successfully took many coastal enclaves all the way from Morocco to Tripoli in the 16th century. Depending on how well the allies collaborate, I could see them achieving their most important goals.
1. Reducing Marinid naval capacity.
2. Capturing/razing rich coastal cities for trade (Algiers, Ceuta etc)
3. Securing a coastal strip which they would be able to secure with their navies.
4. Looting inland cities like Fez or Qusantinah (they would have little desire or military capacity to hold on to those barring maybe Carthage who already has a solid base with their coastal strip. Maybe Tunisia for them)

Also, were any "subsidies" paid to the Triunes? If so would they also be taking part in the expedition?

Genoa, as the key issue that started this whole affair, is the area where the Arletians and Spanish are most sensitive and least inclined to negotiate. Any Roman concessions here, even very minor ones, would’ve been extremely costly in terms of goodwill. Which means that even a minor concession in Genoa would entail giving up a major concession elsewhere (the appointee for the new ruler of the Romagna? The ownership of Rome?).

No subsidies for the Triunes.

How Roman is Egypt and Sicily? Does the Empire have enough people to Romanize them and Syria?

Nope. Not a chance. The Roman heartland has about 16.5 million now, while Sicily + Egypt is around 6.5-7 million.

Well this is quite a nice outcome for Rome. I doubt income Tuscany, Romagna and Verona would outweigh military expenses needed to secure them, and central and southern Italy (parts that Rome cares about) are now protected by neutral buffer states guaranteed by several adjoining states. So in essence those co-guarantees lightening the weight of Italian security on imperial coffers.

I wish they did not have to pay "tribute", but using it to fund anti corsair operation might mean that benefits in the end outweigh the costs.

Yeah, the tribute is embarrassing, but that golden grease is so often necessary to make the wheels of diplomacy move.

Given the mistakes made by the romans this situation is beyond ideal. Coupled with the deal in the Balkans the point of friction in Europe are reduced to almost zero. The roman withdrawal now from European affairs will pick up its pace by a lot (as foreshadowed multiple times). Could I ask about the situation of Dalmatia? I kinda forgot.

Dalmatia and Istria is a regular vassal state of Rhomania (so not a Despotate, which has more autonomy vis-à-vis Constantinople), with the current ruler Demetrios III’s elder sister.

Honestly, I’m glad Rhomania got pushed back. Frankly, it feels like they have never really lost and that all their suffering has been inconsequential. Get absolutely ravaged and attacked from all sides? Still rally back and hold on to all territory. Massive and qualitative enemy army marches down all the way to Thessaloniki and ravages the Balkan provinces? Absolutely smash the army, place the peninsula under a domination unseen since the days of Trajan, march into Germany and wreck its power while stealing a base across the Alps. Get invaded on multiple fronts while your heartland is threatened? Still smashes everything before them and is set up for a total victory a mere ten years in the future. Get caught with your pants down by a superior enemy fleet, sparking a war in Indonesia? That starving army and your allies will still manage to cripple Spanish allies. THE Great Power of East Asia invaded Korea? Your Orthodox Japanese allies, a goodwill fleet, and plucky Korean resistance will manage to win the day while also spreading your influence into fiercely traditional regions of the world.

Now that’s not to say these developments are ham-fisted and authorial fiat. Well, they are fiat, but then so is every story and fiat is not a bad thing, especially when it’s written in a way to be internally consistent. The problem comes when they just keep piling up back to back to back to back. We keep getting told about how the Rhomanoi are suffering terribly, but when all that suffering doesn’t matter and they still deliver a smashing victory, it feels a bit hollow. Rhomania finally has to deal with the consequences of its actions and makes conflicts it is involved in no longer a case of “So what if Constantinople itself got captured, the whole Imperial family rounded up, and the army smashed to bits, it’ll just end with them going King Alfred the Great and scoring an even greater victory.” Now that Rhomania can lose again, the narrative is much more exciting.

One of the reasons I enjoyed playing around in the east so much was because there Rhomania is nowhere near the top dog. It made things so much more interesting rather than having the Romans being a dominant superpower, master of all they survive. This is also why I’ve been emphasizing lately the agency of non-Romans surrounding Rhomania. It is more interesting if the Romans can lose, or at least know that if they play certain games, they will lose said games.

You know, I wonder if anything interesting is happening in Serbia. We haven't heard from those folk in quite some time.

I don’t have any plans for Serbia right now.

If anything this might end up an own goal by Spain and the Triunes. By limiting Rhomania's involvement in Europe they have guaranteed that more and more focus will be brought to bear on Island Asia. There might be many a future historian that will point to this as the moment Rhomania was destined to dominate the region as the heartland became secure on all sides.

I’m not so sure about that. A Rhomania actively involved in Europe is able to pose a direct threat to Spain and Triune metropoles, while one focused on colonial affairs is less of a threat to the metropoles. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that a reason why Bismarck didn’t want to take any French colonies in 1871 was that he figured if the French were busy mucking around in Africa or Vietnam they’d have less energy for giving Germany problems in Europe itself.

For the Genoan commoners do the Carthaginians try to get allowance to bring immigrants from Genoa, or do so without permission? I imagine they, if no one else, would love to have additional people, even if they are Catholic, since they are still Christian and likely to be loyal against the Marinids and other groups in North Africa.

As for the last part, and the war game, it makes perfect sense. Italy's defensibility along the Alps only really works so long as Italy is loyal and an integrated part of Rhomania, and therefore part of the heartland in truth. At this point this would be near impossible to do in Lombardy outside of the edges, like the mainland around Venice, as Lombardy is wealthy, populated, and well educated with its own literary and educational systems. With a hostile Lombardy it is just a better idea to make it a strong, but not too strong, middle power that would fight other Latins for their independence and making any invasion occur down and around the lower Italian Peninsula and island of Sicily, making any attack on Rhomania occur on the end of a long, and likely fragile, seaborn supply chain.

There may be some immigration to Carthage from Genoa once things settle down. Genoa is not going to be the economic power it was pre-war.

Another reason I’m skeptical of the defensibility of a Roman northern Italy is that looking at OTL Italy from 1494-1814, even with the Alps it gets invaded every Tuesday.

Is there a chance for scotland to become part of the Anglo-French Union?

Become, yes. Stay, that’s a lot harder. The power base is in northern France. Southern England is right next door, but even northern England is starting to stretch things. Scotland is even further away geographically and culturally. At some point the juggling act of too many personal unions becomes too much and either you do like Charles V and split it up amongst family members, or irritated and alienated subjects will split it for you. Geographical compactness helps; the Austrian Habsburgs had a lot of different personal holdings, but at least they were all next to each other, and even then look at the problems they had. This Union would be a long string of territories. If a Triune Emperor is faced with a Scottish rebellion at the same time as an angry Holy Roman Emperor with 100,000 Germans is smashing at the eastern frontier, Scotland is never a priority.

just a question, what's going in the himalayas ittl? Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and Kham?

Tibet has been a regional power which was taking the opportunity to raid the Chinese border territories next to it while China was disunited, although a united China has stopped the raids. Conquering Tibet is not feasible though. The Gurkhas meanwhile have recently started serving the Vijayanagara Emperors as soldiers.

Today they don't. But before Statute of Westminster British Parliament could enact laws for the dominions and british declaration of war was valid was dominions without their separate declaration. Dominions were essentially part of UK (or British Crown) as self governing colonies, not separate countries. Some of them (I think Australia) even issued solely british passports until sixties.

As far as I remember despotates are not under similar jurisdiction of Roman law - essentially they are sovereign countries with varying levels of contractual obligations to Roman Empire. Legally I don't think there is any difference between them and any other state that Rome would force to sign similar treaties.

Egypt has a tighter Despotate arrangement which gives the Romans more involvement in Egyptian affairs, but even those are clearly and specifically spelled out. Sicily and Carthage are completely autonomous internally (except they can’t put tariffs on Roman goods, but then the Romans can’t put tariffs on their goods either) with only some limits on foreign policy that have to be managed through Constantinople. Sicily’s relationship with Constantinople would be like Rhomania’s with Georgia if the two had a formal free trade agreement and mutual defense pact.

Who's gonna stop them if they try?
The Rhomans are A - far away and B - taking a step back from European affairs and C - were basically told by all of Western Europe "stay away from our business" anyway.
The Germans got their teeth kicked in when the Triunes invaded a few years ago. They're barely hanging on by a thread and we still don't know how destabilizing the Raven's Rebellion will be when it hits.
The Spanish? They also tried fighting the Triunes and their crown prince ended up dead.
Arles? Too small a population and too large a shared border. Plus they alienated Rhomania, one of the only powers who could theoretically stand up to the Triunes.
EOATH? Too small a population base to effectively do anything on their own.
Poland, Hungary, Prussia all don't really care as they're pretty far away.
The Russians aren't unified (plus, again, that's a problem all the way across the continent).

The Triunes are easily the top dog in Europe. They're Ancien Regime France on steroids.

I’d quibble with that analogy. I picture Henri II as Louis XIV if the Ottomans had taken Vienna in 1683 and broken the Habsburgs while the Stuarts remained on the English throne. Henri II has the material might of Louis XIV but without the powerful enemies Louis XIV faced later in his reign.

Incidentally, Louis XIV wanted the Ottomans to take Vienna in 1683, encouraging the Ottomans to do so. He hoped that would break the Habsburgs, at which point Louis could swoop in as the defender of Christendom, rally the Germans to his banner, and then beat down the Ottomans.

Sound familiar?

Speaking of succession crisis, does anyone recall the Triune's line of succession and who they have ties to, though their wife, or if anyone foreign close enough in line to try for it?

The Scandinavians would have a claim. Peter II is married to Henri’s sister (one-line reference). That’s all I’ve lined out foreign-wise.

What's the financial situation like in King's Harbor at the moment? It was my understanding that the war in Rhomania was heavily subsidized by the Triunes. Then they had the major conflict in Lotharingia, and the additional deployment to Italy. Sure some of those costs could be offset by looting the low countries, but the more looting they do the harder it will be to integrate the territory. What are the chances we see heavy taxation throughout the three kingdoms and the people of Ireland or Northumbria wondering why they are paying for all these continental excursions?

The financial situation is ‘taxed but bearing up’. A lot of the Roman economic innovations of recent years have Triune counterparts, such as a central bank and stock exchanges. If the fighting keeps dragging on or starts being a losing rather than winning war (victory covers a multitude of sins) it’ll start being a real problem, but it’s not there yet in 1638.

Do the former Lotharingian colonies in the Americas speak duch or french?

Dutch.

The Triunes: Lots of very good discussion. Don’t have anything I can think to add that wouldn’t involve either cooking some of my currently half-baked ideas or revealing the fully baked ones.

I think the best analogy (in broad scope, don’t get too specific with the details) is the Triunes are OTL France in early years of Louis XIV’s reign. The pushback will eventually come, but these are the years of glory.
 

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I’m not so sure about that. A Rhomania actively involved in Europe is able to pose a direct threat to Spain and Triune metropoles, while one focused on colonial affairs is less of a threat to the metropoles. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that a reason why Bismarck didn’t want to take any French colonies in 1871 was that he figured if the French were busy mucking around in Africa or Vietnam they’d have less energy for giving Germany problems in Europe itself.

True, but Rhomania is in a situation similar to Britain's after the Napoleonic wars where they could put most of their focus on overseas and consolidate their gaines for the metropole's benefit. In OTL this is largely how Britain gained all of India and South Africa, and Egypt, with influence everywhere while the continental powers bickered.

Here Rhomania pretty much is secure in the west and will mostly secure the east, outside of possible overextension, so that means she can put more focus on Island Asia and supporting her allies on the mainland, and Japan. A Spain, Arles, Lotharingia, and Triunes worried about each other at home, and in Terra Nova, won't be able to put as much focus on the Asia for quite a while. And Rhomania isn't treating their conquests as colonies but as parts of an expanding metropole which is going to be important down the road.

The Latins may have secured the metropole from Rhomania's attention but they have likely sacrificed most of the colonies in Asia, at least the island ones.
 
One of the big reasons Demetrios III is largely forgotten, even though really he is very important, is that if you look at his reign solely on the basis of how much purple is on the map, he looks absolutely terrible. None of his big accomplishments translate well into pop culture. You can’t show administrative or tax reform on a map and it doesn’t make for interesting reading. Historians will rate Demetrios III very highly; nobody else will.

There will be some Japanese-Romans in the future, with some already moving that way now. They’ll be the descendants of the ronin that entered Roman service in the Katepanate of Pyrgos. (See Tokugawa Ieyasu for example.)
That's probably how I'd view Demetrios III in future Roman history: Someone that is obviously a pivotal figure in Roman history, but would most likely be found in media that's akin to obscure documentaries or alt-YouTube channels/podcasts run by Romanophile Ph.D historians, not something highlighted in ordinary HS textbooks or pop history media. Actually, I wonder if an ITTL Turtledove would've liked this guy ;).

Also I'll give a huge thumbs-up for Japanese-Romans because literally any depiction of them in the future will turn out to be super awesome: a Japanese ronin in Roman military garb with a katana/tanto and a musket? Sign me up!

True, but Rhomania is in a situation similar to Britain's after the Napoleonic wars where they could put most of their focus on overseas and consolidate their gaines for the metropole's benefit. In OTL this is largely how Britain gained all of India and South Africa, and Egypt, with influence everywhere while the continental powers bickered.

Here Rhomania pretty much is secure in the west and will mostly secure the east, outside of possible overextension, so that means she can put more focus on Island Asia and supporting her allies on the mainland, and Japan. A Spain, Arles, Lotharingia, and Triunes worried about each other at home, and in Terra Nova, won't be able to put as much focus on the Asia for quite a while. And Rhomania isn't treating their conquests as colonies but as parts of an expanding metropole which is going to be important down the road.
I think that Rhomania would defiintely be in a much greater position to contest Spanish and Triune interests in Asia once they kick the Ottomans out of the Levant, as they don't need to worry about continental European politics for a while. But where would they go in East Asia?

I suppose Nusantara or the OTL Philippines could be a start, but annexing Taiwan might also be a good plan for Rhomania. Even adding more warships or supporting merchant fleets to the east would be a great improvement towards Roman power projection in the Far East. The more they gain control of the spice trade, the better.
 
That's probably how I'd view Demetrios III in future Roman history: Someone that is obviously a pivotal figure in Roman history, but would most likely be found in media that's akin to obscure documentaries or alt-YouTube channels/podcasts run by Romanophile Ph.D historians, not something highlighted in ordinary HS textbooks or pop history media. Actually, I wonder if an ITTL Turtledove would've liked this guy ;).

Also I'll give a huge thumbs-up for Japanese-Romans because literally any depiction of them in the future will turn out to be super awesome: a Japanese ronin in Roman military garb with a katana/tanto and a musket? Sign me up!


I think that Rhomania would defiintely be in a much greater position to contest Spanish and Triune interests in Asia once they kick the Ottomans out of the Levant, as they don't need to worry about continental European politics for a while. But where would they go in East Asia?

I suppose Nusantara or the OTL Philippines could be a start, but annexing Taiwan might also be a good plan for Rhomania. Even adding more warships or supporting merchant fleets to the east would be a great improvement towards Roman power projection in the Far East. The more they gain control of the spice trade, the better.
Perhaps the Romans could establish a formal protectorate out of the Cham if the looming threat of China becomes more and more serious kind of like what they did with Al Andalus during Andreas' reign once the Romans truly beef up their presence in the region
 
Perhaps the Romans could establish a formal protectorate out of the Cham if the looming threat of China becomes more and more serious kind of like what they did with Al Andalus during Andreas' reign once the Romans truly beef up their presence in the region
Is China even going to be a major player in East Asia? If they're as xenophobic and insular as they were before, then they might be the Ming on steroids and be super isolationist, which would be a huge benefit for the European powers. Otherwise, why aren't they enforcing their rule on Taiwan, at the very least?
 
Another reason I’m skeptical of the defensibility of a Roman northern Italy is that looking at OTL Italy from 1494-1814, even with the Alps it gets invaded every Tuesday.
I always figured that was more a function of Northern Italy being so disunited and heavily feudalized. If you can place a standing army in Northern Italy and fortify the passes through the Alps, invading by land is practically impossible outside of treachery or luck.

Then the issue becomes naval dominance.

In any case I won't argue for it too much since the situation in the region is settled for the time being.

Edit: I should say; from the North and West it is practically impossible. From the Northeast I believe it is easier, hence the importance of ancient Aquileia, but with so many allies in that direction that is not too much of a threat.
 
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