An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

My Qbam world map is very Much Still A work In Progress But I finished drawing Up the themes of the empire and I want to know what you guys think. Also what is the name of the theme at the very south of Anatolia, I couldn't find it anywhere. I also forgot to label the Chaldean theme but you can see its above the Armeniac and Anatolic themes. (I know the eastern border of the Chaldean theme looks wonky I'm gonna work on it)
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Forgive me but shouldn't the Vlachians have more of hungarian lands?
 
I hope we'll get to see the Romans excavating some ancient bronze age cites sometime soon. Perhaps they could discover the ancient cities of Sumeria while occupying southern Mesopotamia during the upcoming war. Also having at least 4 major bronze age civilizations discovered under lands that belong to Rhomania proper could have some interesting cultural impacts as it could really reinforce the idea that the empire is the heart of civilization blessed by the lord from the beginning of time. It prolly won't matter to the average citizen suffering through an economic depression but for scholars and those well read it could change the Roman literary world. Lets just hope Ttls pioneers of archaeology are less shady than Schliemann...
 
Philippines and Pyrgos: Its unofficial name ITTL is the Herakleian Islands, although I keep forgetting to make it official. The OOC reason for Demetrios III’s grandson being named Herakleios is so that under his reign it is made official.

Pyrgos was originally at the site of OTL Manila, but I ended up moving it over to Cavite City when I was doing research for the great siege of Pyrgos. I figure ITTL that the original site was moved for defensive purposes.

Roman flag: It is the tetragrammatic cross with the 4 Betas, red and gold coloring. The double-headed Imperial eagle is also used, but I figure that is used more in association with the Imperial family with the ‘Cross and Betas’ being the national flag. Purple is too expensive for a flag background, the one exception being if the Emperor (and only the Emperor) is personally present. So if the Emperor is in residence at the White Palace, a purple-and-gold double-headed eagle banner is flying there, but if he relocates to the Sweet Waters, the flag comes down and is hoisted at his residence at the Sweet Waters.

Well, withouth Malacca, Spain would most certainly pull a OTL Portugal and focus on holding and maybe, if possible, developing their remaining eastern bases and double or triple down their efforts in the New World.

Speaking of which, to what degree, compared to OTL is Terranova colonized by the Latins? By the map, the spanish control the coast from OTL Cartagena to Buenos Aires. That´s a lot of territory which can easilly be colonized and developed and they should have no problems to move inland in places such as southern Brazil and La Plata that have an amenable climate to europeans

Yeah, Spain is going to focus on its Terranova holdings, so even with the losses in Island Asia it’s going to be a major colonial power.

I figure TTL Terranova at this point is comparable to OTL around 1660-1670. I would have to check but I think I took an OTL population figure for English North America from that time frame to be the population of Triune Terranova in 1630. The lead is because of Europe’s higher population compared to OTL has allowed for some more migration across the Atlantic.

A silly idea that popped up in my mind: a century or two down the line, when Rhomania-in-the-East has come fully onto its own as an integral part of the Roman state (perhaps following the establishment of thriving colonies in Australia and New Zealand), a historical fiction book somewhat akin to The Peshawar Lancers is written. Taking inspiration from the collapse of the unified Roman Empire in the 5th century, the Fourth Crusade, and the aftershocks of the banking crisis and Little Ice Age, order in the Roman heartland collapses as a result of state decay, famine, and Catholic/Ottoman perfidy, resulting in Rhomania-in-the-East becoming the effective core of the Roman state and society. Drawing on the successes had by the former ERE in re-establishing Roman power in the Mediterranean, the book then explores the wayward state's exploits in continuing Rhomania's tradition of reconquest and national revival of strength while surrounded on most sides by hostile powers.

I figure that ‘exile literature’ will be a major genre in Roman writing ITTL, with themes focusing on being driven from one’s home and either A) Make a new home somewhere else or B) Eventually take back the old home. I’ve made the occasional reference to an ITTL work called ‘Tomorrow, Byzantion’ which at some point becomes the unofficial Roman national epic. It’s about a family that gets scattered in the fall of Constantinople in 1204, has to navigate and survive the ensuing turmoil, and gradually reunites over the course of the work.

To put this in sci-fi terms (because I love sci-fi), the culturally most significant Roman sci-fi show (assuming equal quality and exposure) would be much more akin to Battlestar Galactica than Star Trek.

Y E S

On that note, what are the demographics of the Empire at this point? How many Greeks, how many Armenians, Turks, Bulgarians, Russians, Vlachs, Georgians, Germans etc?

That’s a hard question to answer. The Romans don’t care about ethnicities. They group people by religions. To go with what I posted in the Minorities and the Empire update, out of 16.7 million people currently in the Roman heartland (excluding inland Syria), about 13 million are Greek. But note that Greek here is a cultural/religious (Orthodox) label. There’s been a ton of intermarriage between the various ethnic groups.

Also there are slightly more than a million Armenians, but Armenian here means a follower of the Armenian Church. An Armenian who is a practicing Orthodox Christian is included in the Greek category listed here.

Roman Identity: The OTL Byzantine identity was complicated. Politically they identified as Roman, but culturally they were much more Greek. Knowing quotes from Homer was required if one wanted to be taken seriously as part of the literati, but that was not the case with Virgil. TTL is the same. (I would also note that the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, even during the classical Roman phase, was always culturally Greek while simultaneously being politically Roman.)

TTL Romans that the Emperors form a political continuity going back to Augustus, and ancient Emperors like Augustus and Trajan are recognized as models for good governance, but that connection doesn’t speak to them or move their soul. Rome in Latium is recognized as the ancestral city, but that is ancient history. More pertinent is that Rome is now on the Bosporus, not the Tiber.

There might be some antiquary interest with varying degree of significance in Roman culture. But Latin claims of their non-Romanness should not be dignified with a response. The Latins will never be satisfied by evidence anyway because they’re making an ideological, not a historical, argument. The Romans know who they are and that is what matters.

Plus the Romans have a lot of history. If one wants examples of past glory, why reach back to Scipio Africanus or Julius Caesar, when one has Belisarius, Nikephoros Phokas, Alexios Philanthropenos, and Andreas Niketas? The latter examples are much closer and more relatable to the modern Roman while still conveying the sentiment.

Finally, spending tons of money on statues like that would be a really bad idea right now. “So, you’re telling me you can’t subsidize the bread dole because you spent all the money on statues of a bunch of Emperors who don’t even speak Greek, weren’t Christian, and have been dead for 1200+ years? Boys, I think it’s time for a revolution.”

Not all, I prefer Byzantine/Hellenic period :)

Same. Oddly enough while I love Alexandrian/Hellenic and Byzantine/Rhomaion period timelines I am not all that fond of Roman timelines.

I have some interest in classical Roman history, but much weaker than in the Byzantines. If we’re talking ancient history, I prefer the Bronze and Early Iron Age myself. (I have a decent amount of material on the ancient Greeks and Romans, but that’s partly because the literature focuses on those parts of antiquity. I want more on the Hittites or the Mitanni, dangit.)

Classical Rome in many ways I find to be rather ugly. Jingoistic, militaristic, greedy, corrupt, with rich patricians rigging the system in their favor, opposing reforms that will benefit the common people but will threaten some of their power and property. It’s an unpleasant picture.

Interestingly, I think the Sideroi are very much going to reminisce, but not in a simple passive "aww, wasn't that great" but in a much more active way. Ody has one of Timurs blades, is set to the Vengeance of Demetrios III, and well, Timur and Persia, I don't need to say more. (Forgive me, you inspired a bit of madness of my own)

I don't know what B444 has in store, certainly not a long-lasting conquest of Persia, and I'm pretty sure they've ruled out a breaking of Persia - but that doesn't mean he won't try. I can see him wanting to do something deeply symbolic for not just the Romans, but for the Sideroi. Something genuinely mental - like a cross-Caspian landing at Gorgan, to force the Ottomans onto four fronts. (I mean, you could go by land, but a cross-Caspian landing just sounds so cool)

1) Syria & Mesopotamia | Romans vs Ottomans
2) Zagros | Georgians vs Ottomans (later backed up by (1))
3) Coast | Ethiopians and Oman vs Ottomans
4) Gorgan | Romans supplied via Georgia vs Ottomans, with the potential for it to be a base for devastating flying columns if ignored. - this doesn't even need to be on the same scale as the other 3 forces, just enough to take and hold, and harass the Mandarazan region.

Obviously there are the other fronts (Egypt for example for one) - but showing the Ottomans the sort of "War on all sides" situations the Romans have recently been in - partially because of them, whilst the Romans have effectively snagged a western peace that could last a while - opens the door to a campaign of Timur-like impact, with the potential for such insane moves as - attacking, and potentially liberating Samarkand.

A free Samarkand and Central Asia, liberated by a Sideroi Emperor? It'd be better than dismantling the Iranian Plateau, the key is finding the right allies who could hold it, because the Romans couldn't - and so insane only someone with a point to prove, and a heap of legacy to live up to stomach attempting.

At which point you've got a peace with a reorganised Mesopotamia, Georgia recovering its territories in the Trans-Aras region, an independent Central Asia and a savaged coast - and then the Great Crime. Not enough to destroy the Ottomans, but that'd be the absolute mad-lad best scenario I can think of for upcoming war. Won't be achieved I expect, and the big question exists of who is in power in Central Asia (Khazars?), and what Ethiopia and Oman get from their contributions.

An interesting but daring strategy for Odysseus to go through, one that would require a whole lot of pre-war planning and coordination. I thought that the Romans would simply assault the Levant and Mesopotamia for the next war but this is kinda wild....I like it. Then again, Ody doesn't strike me as an audacious/ambitious person, so he might go for a battle strategy that probably involves Georgia, Oman, or even Ethiopia for a multi-pronged approach that is less taxing on the Roman military and economy.

Despite that, Odysseus does have a lot to gain from humiliating the Ottomans, even if they are paltry gains. For me, if he gains the rest of Syria and Jerusalem back, then that is already a huge victory for me, because that means the Levant is back under Roman control and Rhomania can reeestablish the Pentarchy as they have all 5 cities in Orthodox hands. Still, I think he will have to gain a lot more if the moniker "The Magnificent" is to go by. Being compared to Alexander the Great or Andreas Niketas in military achievement is no small feat and he's working with a pretty crappy Roman state by the time he is raised to the purple.

Going to have to be the rain on the parade here, sorry. Odysseus is a skilled military commander, which means he knows the KISS principle. This is a major dispersal of forces and not in a way that helps. The decisive theater(s) are primarily 1, followed by 2. #3 is not decisive, but it can be done without taking forces from 1 and 2. But 4 can only be done by taking from 1 and 2, which is really bad. If the Romans win in 1 and 2, than 4 is unnecessary. If the Romans lose in 1 and 2, perhaps because they needed material and manpower that got sucked into 4, winning in 4 will not make up the loss.

Completely wiped out by a vengeful Andreas Niketas around 1470. It's now a Roman colony.

As someone who loves the Byzantines and Venetians equally (my timeline is Venice-centric) I've got complicated feelings about that personally but it makes sense in the context of this timeline.

Outside of their relations with the Byzantines, I like the Venetians. But in that context, I think I’ve made my feelings clear. That said, it was not the events of 1204 that really set this off for me. It was an incident sometime in the early 1300s. Venice and Genoa were at war and the Venetians thought the Byzantines should contribute to the war efforts; the Byzantines disagreed. So a Venetian fleet in the Marmara seized a bunch of Byzantine refugees on the islands of the Marmara (they’d fled the Turkish conquests of western Anatolia) and sailed back and forth in front of Constantinople torturing the refugees in full sight of the city and Emperor until the horrified Emperor agreed to pay a ‘contribution’. That’s next-level psychopathy right there.

@Frame: Some map comments-the Azov enclave should be smaller. It was bigger on the world map so it was visible but the Romans just control the city of Azov itself.

Also the territory governed by the Duke of Verona should look like a truncated version of the OTL modern region of Veneto. Also he is a Duke but he’s not an independent ruler, or even a ruler of a vassal principality. He is a Lombard governor. He’s like a Spanish or English Duke in this time period. A powerful noble in a position of prominence and leadership, but definitely subordinate to his monarch.

I hope we'll get to see the Romans excavating some ancient bronze age cites sometime soon. Perhaps they could discover the ancient cities of Sumeria while occupying southern Mesopotamia during the upcoming war. Also having at least 4 major bronze age civilizations discovered under lands that belong to Rhomania proper could have some interesting cultural impacts as it could really reinforce the idea that the empire is the heart of civilization blessed by the lord from the beginning of time. It prolly won't matter to the average citizen suffering through an economic depression but for scholars and those well read it could change the Roman literary world. Lets just hope Ttls pioneers of archaeology are less shady than Schliemann...

Excavating at this point in time is a bad idea. They wouldn’t necessarily be shady, but they’d be unbelievably sloppy by modern standards. They’d slap down trenches wherever and smash through to what is considered cool. Who carries about pot shards or rubbish piles? They’re not shiny. No concern for provenance whatsoever. It’d be a mess, and likely a net drain on archaeological knowledge for TTL in the long run.

Now hieroglyphics are going to be deciphered relatively soon. It should be interesting to see the effects on Roman historiography if, while in the middle of the Little Ice Age, the first ancient Egyptian texts they read date from the Bronze Age Collapse.
 
Wow. I've spent the last year and a half reading this on and off, and now that I'm finally caught up I'd like to thank @Basileus444 for his tireless writing. It's probably the best TL on the forums.

I do have one question, though, when was Crete reconquered?
 
Wow. I've spent the last year and a half reading this on and off, and now that I'm finally caught up I'd like to thank @Basileus444 for his tireless writing. It's probably the best TL on the forums.

I do have one question, though, when was Crete reconquered?
Welcome to the land of people who are caught up!
I believe it was taken back by Andreas Nikitas or his father if I'm not mistaken
 
Cartagena to Buenos Aires.
That’s huge. Whoever sets the cultural tone of the Pampas via either Montevideo or Buenos Aires in theory controls the cultural and political development of the entire Southern Cone.
If TTL Argentines get their shit together better than in OTL, we’re gonna see them possibly control all of IRL Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia, not to mention the good parts of Brazil south of the Escarpment are easily within reach. The river networks of that area lose out only to Western Europe and the American Midwest in terms of their usefulness. The only possible regional competitor B444 could possibly set up for them if he wants a geopolitical pole in South America is a super Colombia or super Venezuela.
 
Idk if I've mentioned this before but im curious as to what will become of my home state of Texas. My money is either on Arlitan or Spanish control or influence although it would be interesting to see the Mexicans take it although they seem more focused on central and south america. That could always change though.
 
Idk if I've mentioned this before but im curious as to what will become of my home state of Texas. My money is either on Arlitan or Spanish control or influence although it would be interesting to see the Mexicans take it although they seem more focused on central and south america. That could always change though.
I think the Mexicans are more likely to take Texas than the Spanish since they might be busy in developing their holdings in Brasil and Rio de la Plata. Arles also doesn't have much of a reason to colonize Texas since their existing Caribbean colonies are insanely lucrative (More likely to take over Mississippi and Louisiana that are more conducive to cash crop farming than Texas imo).

For those reasons, I think Mexico has the highest chance of taking Texas for themselves although I wouldn't be surprised if a rapidly expanding Triune colony might get to it first.
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
I think the Mexicans are more likely to take Texas than the Spanish since they might be busy in developing their holdings in Brasil and Rio de la Plata. Arles also doesn't have much of a reason to colonize Texas since their existing Caribbean colonies are insanely lucrative (More likely to take over Mississippi and Louisiana that are more conducive to cash crop farming than Texas imo).

For those reasons, I think Mexico has the highest chance of taking Texas for themselves although I wouldn't be surprised if a rapidly expanding Triune colony might get to it first.
Well Eastern and Coastal Texas is pretty much an extension of Mississippi and Louisiana but I agree that inner Texas is likely to go to Mexico, or maybe even a native force if the Plains Tribes can unite. Great American Desert Khans anyone?
 
Wow. I've spent the last year and a half reading this on and off, and now that I'm finally caught up I'd like to thank @Basileus444 for his tireless writing. It's probably the best TL on the forums.

I do have one question, though, when was Crete reconquered?

Thank you.

In the original draft, the Venetians lost Crete at some point in the late 1200s and got it back in the late 1300s during the Laskarid Civil War. In the rewrite on Patreon for the Laskarid period, that is being changed and Venice keeps a hold of Crete all the way until 1457, when a Cretan rebellion backed by an imperial expedition took the island.

That’s huge. Whoever sets the cultural tone of the Pampas via either Montevideo or Buenos Aires in theory controls the cultural and political development of the entire Southern Cone.
If TTL Argentines get their shit together better than in OTL, we’re gonna see them possibly control all of IRL Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia, not to mention the good parts of Brazil south of the Escarpment are easily within reach. The river networks of that area lose out only to Western Europe and the American Midwest in terms of their usefulness. The only possible regional competitor B444 could possibly set up for them if he wants a geopolitical pole in South America is a super Colombia or super Venezuela.

One big change ITTL is that ‘Argentina’ and ‘Brazil’ are part of the same colonial empire, rather than reporting to separate metropoles.

My current tentative plan is for Mexican South Terranova to be Peru+Ecuador with some more bits around it, with the rest being a series of Spanish Viceroyalties of undetermined extent.

Idk if I've mentioned this before but im curious as to what will become of my home state of Texas. My money is either on Arlitan or Spanish control or influence although it would be interesting to see the Mexicans take it although they seem more focused on central and south america. That could always change though.

I think the Mexicans are more likely to take Texas than the Spanish since they might be busy in developing their holdings in Brasil and Rio de la Plata. Arles also doesn't have much of a reason to colonize Texas since their existing Caribbean colonies are insanely lucrative (More likely to take over Mississippi and Louisiana that are more conducive to cash crop farming than Texas imo).

For those reasons, I think Mexico has the highest chance of taking Texas for themselves although I wouldn't be surprised if a rapidly expanding Triune colony might get to it first.

Mexico is going to be the one that eventually grabs it, but that’s way into the future. Mexico is extremely underpopulated (1650 was the nadir of the OTL native population, and the same effect, only slightly less mild-it’s not like smallpox is more gentle ITTL, is here.)

Well Eastern and Coastal Texas is pretty much an extension of Mississippi and Louisiana but I agree that inner Texas is likely to go to Mexico, or maybe even a native force if the Plains Tribes can unite. Great American Desert Khans anyone?

Something like the Comanche Empire may arise ITTL, although I think it would fare the same as OTL. The demographic advantage of the whites, once you get into the 1800s, is absolutely insane. Once that gets paired with the steam engine which drastically curtails the logistics problem the natives are in serious trouble.
 
Look to the West: Lords of the Rhine
Look to the West: Lords of the Rhine

The Lotharingians are no strangers to Triune armies marching forth across their western border to try and seize the rich Rhineland. While formidably wealthy, they lack the manpower to go toe-to-toe with the Triunes, so their strategy has relied on a combination of fortresses and allies to counter Triune numbers. Networks of citadels (which Vauban rates higher than most of the Roman forts on the Danube; the Lotharingian ones are newer and designed with more modern and longer-ranged artillery in mind) are to stall the Triunes, giving time for Lotharingian allies, primarily the Holy Roman Emperors although once the Spanish and Arletians, to rally and send relief armies.

There are flaws in the strategy, as can be seen simply by reviewing the earlier Triune attacks. Henri II’s invasion of Lotharingia is called the Third Rhine War. The First Rhine War was from 1574-78 and was a major Triune victory, the allied intervention only serving to curb the extent of the victory. The Second Rhine War had been a humiliating Triune defeat, but only after a decade-long slog from 1609-19 that only became a humiliating Triune defeat after the Brothers’ War in the Holy Roman Empire came to an end, allowing a smashing Wittelsbach intervention.

The strategy is now utterly bankrupt. Help from the Holy Roman Empire is obviously out of the question. Hope had been placed on the Spanish Army of Observation linking up with the Bernese League and the Reichsarmee forming on the Upper Rhine in 1635, but those had been crushed by the battles of Wennenden and Mulhouse. (Wennenden prompted an anti-Roman backlash in Lotharingia. Many Lotharingian merchants in the east thus take personal pleasure in exploiting Roman commercial problems since they view the Romans as de facto Triune allies.)

It is difficult to overstate the significance of Wennenden and Mulhouse. With their prospective allies so early and comprehensively swept from the board, and the Romans acting functionally as Triune allies (the Italian affair reinforces this narrative later in the decade), Lotharingian morale is shredded at the outset. With morale at rock bottom, defeatism is rife from the start.

Given Henri II’s vast material superiority, it is likely he would’ve achieved his aims anyway, but the speed and cheapness of his offensives were aided immensely by the Roman victory at Wennenden and its follow-up at Mulhouse. Henri II was not joking when he said that Manuel Philanthropenos was his best general, and he didn’t have to give him so much as a copper coin or a hardtack biscuit.

King Albrecht III was left scrambling to come up with a new strategy. He still had his modern fortress belt and even the Triune siege train under Vauban will not be able to crack that cheaply and easily. Triune resources are vast but they are not infinite. Perhaps Triune strength can be gradually worn down by constant sieges until it is exhausted enough Henri II will be forced to make terms Albrecht III finds tolerable.

It may sound reasonable and a smart use of the strengths available to him, but there is a serious flaw in Albrecht’s new strategy. Walls are useless without guards, and forts are useless without garrisons, and those garrisons are made up by people. To truly make this process as grueling and damaging as possible, the fortresses would need to fight even after the walls were breached, forcing the Triunes to storm the citadel, taking the atrocious casualties in the process. But for the garrison to do so would be to forfeit their lives and any chance of mercy. A country with a sufficiently nationalistic populace willing to fight to the last to repel foreign invaders might be able to do so. (Even then, maybe not. None of the Roman fortresses on the Danube fought to the death.) Lotharingia is not that country.

Many of the soldiers are foreign mercenaries, who are certainly not paid enough to wage a suicidal last stand. The Lotharingian citizenry also are not willing to fight to the death. Morale is low after the news of Wennenden and Mulhouse. Albrecht’s strategy may have a chance of victory at the end of the struggle, but without the possibility of relief armies anytime soon, it means that those who oppose the Triunes now, while the Triunes are fresh, are doomed. Nobody wants to get in line to be decapitated on the grounds that after cutting through enough necks, the blade will eventually be made dull.

The Lotharingian citizenry would rather try and come to terms with the Triunes, to live their lives rather than throw them away to avert what seems inevitable anyway. Henri II has Triune presses busy making pamphlets and posters promising good treatment for Lotharingian settlements that surrender on demand. Local rights and privileges will be upheld and the right of Catholics to worship will be respected.

Another factor encouraging Lotharingians to not resist is that Bohmanism has been making impressive inroads in the last few decades. Corruption in the Catholic Church and disgust for the Inquisition have caused some to turn away. The literate and educated burghers of the port cities also are attracted to the Bohmanist doctrine of having the Scriptures in the vernacular and greater participation of the laity in the service, including communion. All this means that the religious distinction, which would’ve been the most effective tool by far of encouraging the Lotharingians to distinguish themselves from the Triunes, is gutted.

The result is that for all the Lotharingian fortresses, there are no epic sieges. There are many sieges-no mercenary garrison commander wants ‘surrenders fortress immediately’ on his work history-but for Vauban they are tedious but guaranteed affairs, something that must be done but not a task that is particularly strenuous. He writes: “On average, each Lotharingian siege lasts a month, at which time the works have progressed to a point that the garrison commander feels he can surrender with honor without undue damage to his reputation. Each siege thereby consumes about the same amount of time and shot, or sometimes somewhat less, as that of the typical Greek Danube fort, despite the latter being of inferior construction. If each Lotharingian fort had been defended by a garrison comparable in determination to those Greek garrisons instead, each work would’ve taken at least half as much again, perhaps double, the cost in time, shot, and blood then was the case in actuality.”

Another factor reducing the tendency of Lotharingian mercenary garrisons to resist heartily is that many, after surrender, promptly take up service in Triune armies. In the mercenary market by this time it is considered poor form to surrender and then promptly take service against one’s former paymaster. While common soldiers are too low on the social scale to be able to be picky, mercenary officers are often poor minor nobility who have reputations to protect even in their profession. As it is often expressed, of course a mercenary commander can be bought, but a good mercenary commander is one who is honest enough to stay bought.

This scruple is not a problem for Henri II. Those Lotharingian mercenaries can simply be posted on the Upper Rhine where they’ll be facing Germans, not Lotharingians, which frees up Triune soldiers there who can be used to reinforce the push into Lotharingia.

A more pugnacious attitude is present in the Lotharingian navy. This is not a case of nativist fleet versus mercenary army; the proportion of foreign-born to Lotharingian natives is even higher than in the army. Scandinavians and Germans are the most common sources but practically all of Europe is represented somewhere in the Lotharingian navy rolls. The captain of a Lotharingian fifth-rater is a native of Monemvasia.

The army is defeatist because without substantial allied support, the contest against the Triunes seem hopeless. Between the Eternal War and the first years of the War of the Roman Succession, the Roman Empire, through a series of logistical, administrative, and financial reforms, drastically increased the amount of military force it could bring to bear on opponents. The Triple Monarchy had undergone a similar process after the Second Rhine War; the armies dispatched east in the 1630s (not all at the Lotharingians) were 3-4 times larger than those of the 1610s. In contrast, the Lotharingian field army of 1635 is only one-quarter larger than that of 1615, although there are more fort garrisons as well.

The navy is more pugnacious simply because the odds are not so hideously stacked against it. The Lotharingian navy is comparable in size to the Triunes and has many capable and aggressive officers eager for a scrap and well able to wage successful ones. Operations in the Caribbean generally favor the Lotharingians, although not enough to make for a decisive advantage until both sides’ efforts collapse under a pile of disease corpses. Fighting in the east is an overwhelming Lotharingian victory, with Triune shipping east of Pegu practically disappearing and the Lotharingians trying to convince the Vijayanagara to provide an army for a joint attack on Triune Bengal by 1638.

The real naval contest though will be decided in the waters of the English Channel and North Sea. Lotharingian privateers snap up Triune commerce but the Triunes are well placed to do the same and it is the task of the Lotharingian fleet to stop them. Great merchant convoys from the Baltic, the Mediterranean, and the East are vital for the Lotharingian economy and war effort. Not only do they provide important supplies and funds, the convoys are mainstays for most burghers’ financial success. If the Lotharingian state is unable to protect them against Triune attack, the burghers, for the sake of their pocketbooks, would rather cut some sort of deal with the Triunes.

The fighting in 1635-36 is a mixed bag, both sides racking up victories and defeats, but none are anywhere close to decisive. The most hurtful blow to either side is in late 1636 when a Lotharingian convoy of merchantmen from the Mediterranean loops north around the British Isles to avoid the Triune fleet, running instead into a brutal storm that smashes it to pieces around Scotland. After that it is decided that it would be preferable for convoys to force the Channel escorted by the Lotharingian fleet.

The Triune admiralty has been working to find a way to score a more decisive victory; the more tangible accolades won by the army are embarrassing and the Emperor is starting to make disgruntled noises about a lack of return on his investments in naval works. The battles thus far have been free-wheeling naval melees, giant brawls on the water. These fluid disorderly engagements favor individual initiative, seamanship, and ship-handling, factors that lean Lotharingian. The Triunes want a battle that will favor their strength, the average larger size and firepower of their warships. Their solution is both simple and brilliant.

In July 1637 the Lotharingian fleet is escorting another large merchant convoy through the Channel when it is challenged by the Triune fleet off Wissant. This has happened many times before and the Lotharingians expect the same drill. The two fleets will pile into each other and slug it out for a while, with one side perhaps gaining a bit of the upper hand, but the battle breaking off before that becomes too noticeable. And while the Triune fleet is occupied, the convoy makes a clean getaway to Lotharingian harbors.

This time the story is different. The Triune fleet forms into a massive line-of-battle, confusing the Lotharingians who nevertheless pitch into the fray with their usual fervor. But the newfound control and concentration of the Triunes, combined with the immense firepower at their disposal (the seven Triune first-raters alone have more firepower than the combined Roman field armies at Thessaloniki), is utterly devastating. Out of 89 Lotharingian warships [1], twenty six are sent to the bottom by Triune gunnery or captured, with practically the rest of the fleet badly shot up.

The disadvantage of the line-of-battle shows as the remaining three-quarters of the Lotharingian fleet, despite its battered state, is able to make a clean getaway along with the convoy which doesn’t lose a single merchantmen. But Wissant is nevertheless an utterly crushing Triune victory. Many Triune ships are also shot up but only two of 90 were lost (although one is a second-rater that got burned down by a fire-ship); the post-Wissant Triune fleet is in a much better place for combat than the gutted Lotharingians. After Wissant the Triunes are able, for the first time in the war, to impose a credible blockade on the Lotharingian coast. Aside from hurting the Lotharingians, this helps the Triunes to start getting a handle on the privateer problem.

Even if the Lotharingian fleet put back out to sea, after Wissant it would now face a substantial numerical disadvantage. Furthermore while the Lotharingians could copy the line-of-battle tactic, which is not complicated, their smaller ships are just at a disadvantage in such a toe-to-toe slugging match. The shallow waters of the Lotharingian coast just do not favor the construction of big second and first-raters, which are what are needed to counter the Triune models.

That is assuming the Lotharingians even got time to build them. In August 1637, Vauban begins closing in on Antwerp, the Lotharingian capital, after having cleared the outlying forts. The Lotharingian field army, for the first time in the war, tries a contest in the open to stop a siege of Antwerp. Despite being renowned as a siege and not a field commander, Vauban mauls the Lotharingians, but he did have a 2-to-1 numerical advantage in all categories. King Albrecht, seeing no hope, decides to sue for peace while he still holds some cards.

The resulting Treaty of Antwerp is a spectacular triumph for the Triple Monarchy. Every bit of Lotharingian territory on the left side of the Rhine is ceded to the Triunes, a huge swathe of rich territory from Flanders to Lorraine. From the Rhine Delta to Mulhouse, the only lord of the left bank of the Rhine is Henri II.

The conquered territories, along with the sequestered lands of the Bishops of Metz, Toul, Verdun, and Liege, are all incorporated into the holdings of the Kingdom of France. (As the chief center of armaments manufacture in Western Europe, Liege is a particular prize.) Several of them, such as Flanders, have historical ties to France, with the rest making for administrative convenience. Henri promises to respect local rights and privileges as well as freedom for Catholics to worship privately and in small churches, although the big cathedrals are taken for Bohmanist use.

All this is reluctantly but officially recognized by the Spanish and Arletians, who at this time are trying to add Henri II to the potential coalition against Rhomania in Italy. The Spanish and Arletians can do nothing to stop this Triune coup anyway, and in late 1637 their concern is stopping the Romans from pulling a comparable coup in Italy where the Spanish and Arletians can do something. A Triune conquest of the Rhineland and a Roman conquest of Italy are equally destabilizing hammer blows to the current balance of power and the later can still be prevented. Furthermore while the Triunes can be used to counteract the Romans, the last time the Romans got involved in the Rhineland, they ended up massively helping the Triunes.

Albrecht III still has his crown, retreating to his holdings on the right bank of the Rhine. They are still respectable in size, but definitely a poor cousin to the lands he lost. His new capital of Amsterdam is described as a ‘moderately prosperous cheese-port’, a far cry from Antwerp, one of the three great marts of Christendom alongside Lisbon and Constantinople. Furthermore he is now a vassal of the Triune Emperor, Henri II.

He does get a few concessions. While the 8 largest Lotharingian warships are signed over to Triune control, Albrecht keeps the rest of his fleet. Furthermore it is decreed that any Lotharingian merchants who wish to change their base of operations from Triune Lotharingia to Lotharingia can do so within the next year without paying any charges or tariffs. This is less helpful to Albrecht than it sounds as many merchants, wanting access to the Rhineland trade and the huge Triune market, stay where they are. Antwerp still needs to be fed with Baltic rye, after all, and Liege guns still need to be exported to buyers.

The one exception are those active in Island Asia. Henri agrees to recognize all of the Lotharingian successes over Triunes there, reasoning that he needs to give some sugar to Albrecht to go with the bitter swallow. Furthermore, like most Triunes not actively involved with business in Island Asia, Henri II doesn’t see much in it. Triune Bengal is far more impressive and profitable, so a few trading posts on some islands further east seem like little loss.

The Lotharingians though are giddy with this concession and the merchants who trade in the East move their base of operations promptly to Amsterdam. Bengal produces many goods in demand in Island Asia but since the Triunes have no posts there they can’t sell them. The Lotharingians fill the niche, taking Bengali textiles to Mataram and trading them for pepper. They then either ship the pepper to Europe (and probably sell it to the Triunes) or take it to Pyrgos and trade for Chinese porcelain, silk, and tea, and then ship those to Europe and sell it to the Triunes.

Henri II is unaware of those implications, which don’t become clear for several years anyway. Even with some of the eastern trade diverted to Amsterdam, Antwerp is still a far bigger and bustling port, so it’s doubtful he’d be bothered anyway. Compared to his gains, it’s a minor loss. Europe is like the east. In the eastern trade, long-distance shipment of spices dominate the attention of moderns, but it is the local carrying trade that is the real money-maker. In Europe the shipment of humble goods, timber, metals, fish, grains, and the like, get far less attention from moderns than traffic in goods more shiny, but like the east, these simple trades and traders are the bedrock of commerce. No starving man ever bought a silk shirt.

The Treaty of Antwerp exemplifies Henri’s aims at this time. He wants direct control of everything west of the Rhine. However on the east bank, to secure his conquests, he wants a series of vassal buffer states. With Lotharingia, it is fairly easy; there is only one prince with which he must deal (the bishops are too weak to matter). The Holy Roman Empire on the other hand promises to be far more complicated.

[1] At this time, ships that just a few years later would be considered too small for the battle-line are still used in the melee.
 
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Look to the West: Lords of the Rhine



That is assuming the Triunes even got time to build them. In August 1637, Vauban begins closing in on Antwerp, the Lotharingian capital, after having cleared the outlying forts. The Lotharingian field army, for the first time in the war, tries a contest in the open to stop a siege of Antwerp.

[1] At this time, ships that just a few years later would be considered too small for the battle-line are still used in the melee.
Should this be Lotharingian's?

Good update, Lotharingiana needs to get back in the fight soon, or is going to a second rate or worst power soon.
 
Thank you.

In the original draft, the Venetians lost Crete at some point in the late 1200s and got it back in the late 1300s during the Laskarid Civil War. In the rewrite on Patreon for the Laskarid period, that is being changed and Venice keeps a hold of Crete all the way until 1457, when a Cretan rebellion backed by an imperial expedition took the island.
I think you might had been more on the spot in the original version. I don't see how Venice could survive the Kallergis revolt, with John IV around... The Kallergis btw are a family I'd expect to show up at some point and not just due to... their coat of arms. ;)
 
Mexico is going to be the one that eventually grabs it, but that’s way into the future. Mexico is extremely underpopulated (1650 was the nadir of the OTL native population, and the same effect, only slightly less mild-it’s not like smallpox is more gentle ITTL, is here.)
That is certainly fair, as I do think that the Mexicans have a very high chance of seizing Aztlan (the U.S. southwest) for themselves once they recover from the fallout of the virgin field epidemics. Whether it is the Mexican Empire or the Triunes, it's clear that the Native Terranovans will suffer harshly from any incursion further into the continent.

(Makes me wonder if the native Mexican elite is just as condescending towards other Native Terranovans as the Triunes are).

Something like the Comanche Empire may arise ITTL, although I think it would fare the same as OTL. The demographic advantage of the whites, once you get into the 1800s, is absolutely insane. Once that gets paired with the steam engine which drastically curtails the logistics problem the natives are in serious trouble.
Assuming that the native Plains empire lasts longer due to slower colonization, it's possible that they could end up being more like a Khanate under a centralized leader, since the Comanche Empire was pretty much a strongly knit band of tribes that consistently inhabited OTL Texas for decades before the Americans showed up. Although it's not out of the question that they could remain decentralized throughout their history as an independent state.

But it seems that technology is moving closer to industrialization than in OTL, so we might not get to see that happen before they get steamrolled by the Mexicans or the Triunes.
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Look to the West: Lords of the Rhine
snip
So far this has been a great post for both the Triunes and the Lotharingians, although it sucks that Lotharingia is not a separate entity in the United Kingdoms, at least as of now, being mostly absorbed into the Kingdom of France. At least the Lotharingian merchants have a lot of opportunity in the East as well as Europe when it comes to working with the Triunes and Albrecht still keeps his throne in Amsterdam, although he is now a vassal of Henri II.

What Henri has in store for the Holy Roman Empire is interesting, although I'm not sure what he has in mind.
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I have to wonder if Rhomania will succeed in converting the East Indies to Orthodox Christianity. It would be very interesting.
I don't think they can convert all of Island Asia to Orthodox Christianity, but I think the majority of them might be during the modern period.
In my opinion, I think the Heraklian Islands could be over 75%-90% Orthodox while Nusantara and other parts of Island Asia might be lower, with Hindus/Buddhists/Muslims making up for the rest of it. Roman Catholics or Bohmanists could also make up a minority as well.
 
Get the feeling that the Kingdom of France getting the additional land and money from these new conquests will piss off neglected Englishmen something fierce.
 
Fantastic update! :)

The strategy is now utterly bankrupt. Help from the Holy Roman Empire is obviously out of the question. Hope had been placed on the Spanish Army of Observation linking up with the Bernese League and the Reichsarmee forming on the Upper Rhine in 1635, but those had been crushed by the battles of Wennenden and Mulhouse. (Wennenden prompted an anti-Roman backlash in Lotharingia. Many Lotharingian merchants in the east thus take personal pleasure in exploiting Roman commercial problems since they view the Romans as de facto Triune allies.)
I'm constantly fascinated by the consequences of the Roman punitive campaign during Theodor's folly. Admittedly this is in part combined with the issues in the foreign office, but whilst I understand the anti-Roman sentiment here, it does seem a bit rich all things considered.

Vauban and the HRE attack the Romans, which is the Triunes helping the Germans invade the Romans - defacto making them Triune Allies in that regard, so the fact that there is no "why the hell were you that stupid Germany?" sentiment visible leaves me a bit less than impressed with the Lotharingians here, and definately feeds into the idea of an unspoken double-standard, regardless of justification. It's a really interesting aspect of the narrative intentional or otherwise, but I still want to glare at the Lotharingians.

I did specifically check to look at what peace overtures were made/what happened at the time, and in fairness Elizabeth did try and end the war, and D3 is at fault here, ironically he's failed on the two big balance of power changes in Europe, with Henri winning both - damn. One specific bit that stood out was the subsidy idea that was proposed - and I think this is where I'd be curious to know what the Lotharingians were pushing for, if they had any understanding of the Roman mindset as a result of that war they'd have to be able to tell that any policy like that would get nowhere in Constantinople at the time, so I'd be curious to know what they had done to create a peace.

I might have missed it re-reading, but it'd be interesting reading to know whether there was any proto-Italy resolution conversations regarding Germany, and what the Lotharingian perspective on that war was, especially their opinion of the HRE essentially leveraging Triune and Polish support for a war

Though, whilst I've Lotharingia on the mind, I'm curious, the whole "wars beyond the line" treaty, I forget which it is, does that apply to the Triunes and Lotharingia too? Just because with the Lotharingians being somewhat anti-Roman, I can't imagine that has no risk of causing a flashpoint in Rhomania in the East, which would be an ironic twist to essentially cause the long-feared Triune-Roman war on the far side of the world.
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
Something like the Comanche Empire may arise ITTL, although I think it would fare the same as OTL. The demographic advantage of the whites, once you get into the 1800s, is absolutely insane. Once that gets paired with the steam engine which drastically curtails the logistics problem the natives are in serious trouble.
I think the best chance for a native North American state with a chance of long term survival is a Apache or Navajo Empire based on the plains and the Colorado River Basin and/or a Comanche Empire on the Great Plains. The thing that would need to happen is if one or both could play the game Siam did in playing the other powers, Mexico, Arles, Triunes, Scandinavia, and possibly Japan and Russia, of each other and becoming buffer states. Personally I think an Apache/Navajo Empire has the best shot, especially if they absorb other North American natives as they get kicked out of the rest of the continent.
 
Fantastic update! :)


I'm constantly fascinated by the consequences of the Roman punitive campaign during Theodor's folly. Admittedly this is in part combined with the issues in the foreign office, but whilst I understand the anti-Roman sentiment here, it does seem a bit rich all things considered.

Vauban and the HRE attack the Romans, which is the Triunes helping the Germans invade the Romans - defacto making them Triune Allies in that regard, so the fact that there is no "why the hell were you that stupid Germany?" sentiment visible leaves me a bit less than impressed with the Lotharingians here, and definately feeds into the idea of an unspoken double-standard, regardless of justification. It's a really interesting aspect of the narrative intentional or otherwise, but I still want to glare at the Lotharingians.

I did specifically check to look at what peace overtures were made/what happened at the time, and in fairness Elizabeth did try and end the war, and D3 is at fault here, ironically he's failed on the two big balance of power changes in Europe, with Henri winning both - damn. One specific bit that stood out was the subsidy idea that was proposed - and I think this is where I'd be curious to know what the Lotharingians were pushing for, if they had any understanding of the Roman mindset as a result of that war they'd have to be able to tell that any policy like that would get nowhere in Constantinople at the time, so I'd be curious to know what they had done to create a peace.

I might have missed it re-reading, but it'd be interesting reading to know whether there was any proto-Italy resolution conversations regarding Germany, and what the Lotharingian perspective on that war was, especially their opinion of the HRE essentially leveraging Triune and Polish support for a war

Though, whilst I've Lotharingia on the mind, I'm curious, the whole "wars beyond the line" treaty, I forget which it is, does that apply to the Triunes and Lotharingia too? Just because with the Lotharingians being somewhat anti-Roman, I can't imagine that has no risk of causing a flashpoint in Rhomania in the East, which would be an ironic twist to essentially cause the long-feared Triune-Roman war on the far side of the world.
Well if the Triune and Romans goes to war on island asia they'll be crushed inevitably. Regardless of how powerful their fleet is, the Romans outnumber them in scope of allies and naval bases from where they can muster to. Since that pyrrhic victory on island asia, Rome finally started focusing more on improving their two biggest lands there.

Now I'm not sure if the otl people of the Philippine will defend with zeal their land against foreign encroachment. Well considering our otl did do that during the British - Spanish war. The odds of it happening, is great especially considering how orthodox christianity is spreading the way it is.
 
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