An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

I am one of the few readers here who actually like the Triunes, but it's still going to be entertaining to see the House of Cards come tumbling down in a decade or two. In this update, we see another brick being laid for that eventual fate. Poland's position is also interesting. Vlachia is causing problems for Roman diplomacy.
 
I am one of the few readers here who actually like the Triunes, but it's still going to be entertaining to see the House of Cards come tumbling down in a decade or two. In this update, we see another brick being laid for that eventual fate. Poland's position is also interesting. Vlachia is causing problems for Roman diplomacy.
I am of the belief that Louis will cause the entire United Kingdom to fall apart thanks to his potential inability to mollify the nobles in his realm life like his father Henri II. To be fair, Henri II has pretty much got off easy for most of his reign unlike Theodor or Demetrios III, so eventually all of that good luck is going to end for the Triunes.
After all, all things must come to an end.

I have a feeling that the last parts of Nostradamus's prophecy will be "fulfilled" before he passes away though.
As for Odysseus, I get the feeling that his palace will be his tent, his throne his saddle.
Yeah, that is definitely what is happening right now. After all, he becomes Emperor, and then he immediately just leaves Constantinople and his family behind to do exactly what he wanted to do in the first place: take vengeance for Mashhadshar.

In fact, I think he really doesn't have much of a goal besides doing what Andreas III would've done. Like what kind of future is that? What happens if he wins?
 
I wonder what is the Odysseus's plan. It doesn't feel like Athena would agree with plan that is just "annex as much as possible and overextend the empire".

Great update btw. And I forgot, why is Alexandra afraid of Triunes? I don't see why would they be interested in Poland?
 
One field army eh...this is looking more and more like Alexander style campaign.
As for Western and Central Europe...the Demetrian System is finally collapsing and we can now see the first internal consequences of Henri´s conquest of Lotharingia . This transfers of the valuable indian territories to the english crown i think that in the long run will be a very important asset to Louis, as will keep the merchant class in England satisfied, especially in southern England, which is of course, the most valuable part of his insular domains.
 
I wonder what is the Odysseus's plan. It doesn't feel like Athena would agree with plan that is just "annex as much as possible and overextend the empire".

Great update btw. And I forgot, why is Alexandra afraid of Triunes? I don't see why would they be interested in Poland?
It's not that she's afraid of the Triunes directly. She knows that challenging Vlachia is very likely to bring in Rhomania, which she doesn't feel comfortable about unless she has backing from a power on par with them. As long as the HRE is busy with the Triunes, they can no be that counterbalance.
 
I mean, when it comes to places outside Constantinople to rule from, there is Chalcedon, literally on the other side of the Bosphorus from Constantinople proper. I don't think the Sweet Waters itself, being a massive garden, would be particularly suitable for a palace, so somewhere near Chalcedon would work rather well, being near Constantinople and the Sweet Waters.
Alternatively one could pull a Diocletian and stay at Nicomedia.
But Adrianople doesn't seem likely, for the simple reason that Asia is more of a priority for the Romans than Europe, so the Sideroi would probably base themselves in an Anatolian city.

Probably in Niceae or Nikomedia as that is still near Constantinople and is still in the region where money flows greatly.

I would argue in favour of Adrianople. I dug around through some of my older essays so enjoy this paragraph from my 4th year at the University of Toronto. The course was 'Islamic Cities' taught by Dr. Edward Keall of the Royal Ontario Museum. I got an A so hopefully it's decent enough to bring up to argue in favour of Adrianople. :p

Edirne was the centre of the Early Ottoman Empire and even after the capital shifted to Constantinople it was still vital as a military installation, administrative centre, trade route, and royal vacation home. In constructions and monuments “Edirne… retained its classical features until the second half of the nineteenth century.”[1] A multitude of mosques and palaces were built within its boundaries for royal visitation and residence. The Old Palace constructed in 1365 continued to be used after Constantinople became the capital; as when Suleiman the Magnificent planned his Hungarian Campaign within the palace walls.[2] The New Imperial Palace was built in 1450 for royal recreation and was continuously expanded by successive Sultans until by “the end of the 17th century it contained 18 pavilions, 8 mesd̲j̲ids, 17 large gates, 14 baths and 5 courts. Some six to ten thousand people lived within the confines of the palace.”[3] Suleiman the Magnificent traveled to the city for recreation and his successor Selim II built the city’s famous landmark, the Sulimiye Mosque, between 1569 and 1575. The Mosque is typical of Ottoman architecture in that it is modelled after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul; with one large dome supported by four half-domes accompanied by four minarets at its corners. However, when the Tulip period ended so too did the New Imperial Palace’s roll as a vacation home for the Sultan.[4] This is partially explained by a catastrophic fire in 1745 which saw some 60% of the city burned to the ground. It was followed only a scant six years later by an earthquake in 1751 which marked permanent full transition of the Ottoman court to its palaces in Istanbul.[5]

[1] Aptullah Kuran, “A Spatial Study of Three Ottoman Capitals: Bursa, Edirne, and Istanbul,” Muqamas 13 (1996): 118.
[2] M. Tayyib Gökbilgin, “Edirne,” Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition (2012): 684 Column 2.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Aptullah, “A Spatial Study,” 120.
[5] Gökbilgin, “Edirne,” 684 Column 1.
 
By the way Basileus, the new update is great. I am glad to be back to a brisker pace in covering things. I absolutely loved the many deep dives throughout D3's reign, but it's actually somewhat of a relief to spend a couple paragraphs on the relationship between Poland and Vlachia, instead of a couple updates. Again, I am full of positive things to say about the earlier updates as well, just wanted to let you know that I appreciate this style as a bit of a break.
 
I hope that once the war is over (assuming Rhomania wins) instead of the bloody rollercoaster of highs and lows we've had (everything going well is obviously ASB, but golden age -> dark age -> golden age wears me out, there's so much going on 🤣) we get just a nice period of stability.

Not necessarily a golden age, just a relaxed time of growth. The European borders of the Empire have been forced down the throat of the Europeans and should stay stable for possibly centuries, lets try for the same in the East.
 
Vlachia seems ripe for a revolution like the Ravens revolt. They're getting absolutely crushed under their own weight right now
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
Vlachia seems ripe for a revolution like the Ravens revolt. They're getting absolutely crushed under their own weight right now
One could have said that of Russia or the PLC in OTL and look how long they lasted, and when they went down it wasn't solely due to internal issues.
 
One could have said that of Russia or the PLC in OTL and look how long they lasted, and when they went down it wasn't solely due to internal issues.
Difference is that the Byzantines have a large shared border and heavy interest in making sure Vlachia stays loyal and connected with Constantinople. Even if the Ravens manage to take hold of the country, they would essentially be surrounded by Byzantine allies, Byzantium herself, and Poland.
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
Difference is that the Byzantines have a large shared border and heavy interest in making sure Vlachia stays loyal and connected with Constantinople. Even if the Ravens manage to take hold of the country, they would essentially be surrounded by Byzantine allies, Byzantium herself, and Poland.
What I meant was that Vlachian peasants won't be rising up from under the weight of serfdom, even with help from the Ravens. Serfdom has almost never fallen due to the serfs rising up on their own without something else breaking the military and nobility first, generally war or invasion from an outside nation.
 
Constantinople and the Sideroi: Constantinople has far too much historical weight for it to stop being the capital. The animus here is personal, not structural. Demetrios didn’t like the City for personal reasons, and Athena and Odysseus don’t like it for what it did to their father.

Every time I think I've hit the limit of English/British haughtiness towards everyone else in the world I read another anecdote like this and a new limit is reached. Never ceases to amaze me.

Oh, excellent update BTW. I'm sure I sound like a broken record at this point but as a writer myself I know that feedback, even the same feedback over and over, helps sustain me so I have no problem saying "excellent update" over and over again :)

I was quite surprised when I read that. Partly because I wasn’t expected it; it was in a book about Russian merchants in Siberia. But also because of the time period. Brits being haughty in the 1800s at least makes sense, but England at the time was at best a second-rate power, not a place for looking down on others.

But I wonder if part of the explanation is that the recipient is Russia. Western European discourse toward Russia in this time period IOTL has a very strong undercurrent of viewing Russia as an ‘Other’, and an inferior one at that. One example is how in the late 1700s and early 1800s Russian-Chinese trading relations were done in an atmosphere of much more mutual respect and trust than was the case of British-Chinese trade. The British thought it was because the Russians were ‘half-Asiatic’ themselves.

And thank you.

The romantic image of the klepht has everything to do with it springing out from an area that had a tendency to revolt against the Ottomans every opportunity it got or thought it got between 1463 and 1821. Post 1830 any who did not understand there was a paradigm shift overnight turned from heroic freedom fighters to common criminals. TTL the Greek lands are not occupied by anyone to romanticize anything...

I figure ITTL the romanticization can still exist but for different reasons. There’s the example of Robin Hood, robbing from the rich to give to the poor. We romanticize classical-era pirates all the time. Picture a story of a dashing romantic klepht running rings around a corrupt government official. People in the cities, who have to deal with government officials but not with klephts, would love that sort of thing. Meanwhile the rural peasants who do have to deal with klephts substitute clever peasant folk as the heroes in their version.

Yeah, that is definitely what is happening right now. After all, he becomes Emperor, and then he immediately just leaves Constantinople and his family behind to do exactly what he wanted to do in the first place: take vengeance for Mashhadshar.

In fact, I think he really doesn't have much of a goal besides doing what Andreas III would've done. Like what kind of future is that? What happens if he wins?

Keep a pin in that thought.

I wonder what is the Odysseus's plan. It doesn't feel like Athena would agree with plan that is just "annex as much as possible and overextend the empire".

Great update btw. And I forgot, why is Alexandra afraid of Triunes? I don't see why would they be interested in Poland?

Odysseus’ plan is more nuanced than that. There will be more on it in coming updates.

By the way Basileus, the new update is great. I am glad to be back to a brisker pace in covering things. I absolutely loved the many deep dives throughout D3's reign, but it's actually somewhat of a relief to spend a couple paragraphs on the relationship between Poland and Vlachia, instead of a couple updates. Again, I am full of positive things to say about the earlier updates as well, just wanted to let you know that I appreciate this style as a bit of a break.

I get that. As heretical as it sounds, there is such a thing as too much detail. The narrative change drag.

I’m planning on being brisker in the future, although Big Things ™ will still get detailed treatment. But not everything, or even most, deserve that level.

I hope that once the war is over (assuming Rhomania wins) instead of the bloody rollercoaster of highs and lows we've had (everything going well is obviously ASB, but golden age -> dark age -> golden age wears me out, there's so much going on 🤣) we get just a nice period of stability.

Not necessarily a golden age, just a relaxed time of growth. The European borders of the Empire have been forced down the throat of the Europeans and should stay stable for possibly centuries, lets try for the same in the East.

The Little Ice Age says no to the concept of stability.

That said, after the worst of that I am planning on a long period of relative quiet for Rhomania. Nothing great, nothing glorious, but quiet.

Vlachia seems ripe for a revolution like the Ravens revolt. They're getting absolutely crushed under their own weight right now

Constantinople won't allow that. Not with Vlachia providing foodstuffs for the capital itself

One could have said that of Russia or the PLC in OTL and look how long they lasted, and when they went down it wasn't solely due to internal issues.

This. Second Serfdom lasted for centuries. Yes, there were explosions, but the system endured. And even here, if the system were to show signs of collapse, the Romans are poised like the early-19th century Tsars to act as the ‘guardians of social order against radicals’.
 
I'm of the view that there will come a time when Vlachia undergoes some severe internal strain and the Romans will opt to, if not make them even more of a de facto client state, force through a number of reforms to make the country more stable. It is a long-time Roman ally, and a source of both cheap food and labour, but it is also a geopolitical eyesore on a good day; with having border with Poland, Hungary, and Russia, Constantinople really can't afford to have it serve as a straining factor in relations with those nations.

What kind of reforms these may be are a lot more nebulous. Letting the Ravens or an ideological analogue take control is right out, as is too much "nationbuilding" that would detract from their value as a source of cheap goods and labor for Rome. I can see serfdom being phased out and a number of near-future agricultural reformations (potato farming, perhaps mechanized farming) being sponsored for top-down dissemination. The former would substantially boost Vlachia's stability in the age of common literacy (and in the same vein, mean that the country wouldn't have a vested interest in keeping its lower classes illiterate, thereby making them more desirable as laborers), while the latter would both boost agricultural production and reduce demand for agricultural laborers in Vlachia, by proxy making them more willing to migrate to places with work opportunities.

Perhaps these are too imposing, but it seems reflective of the general relationship between the two countries at the moment.
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
But I wonder if part of the explanation is that the recipient is Russia. Western European discourse toward Russia in this time period IOTL has a very strong undercurrent of viewing Russia as an ‘Other’, and an inferior one at that. One example is how in the late 1700s and early 1800s Russian-Chinese trading relations were done in an atmosphere of much more mutual respect and trust than was the case of British-Chinese trade. The British thought it was because the Russians were ‘half-Asiatic’ themselves.

And thank you.
Yeah, it was largely because by this time, after centuries of being separated from greater Europe by first the Mongols and successor states and then the PLC and Sweden, and their movement East and South into Asia, along with being the only real Orthodox nation, Russia may as well have been on a different continent as far as Western Europe was concerned. It wasn't until the 1800s that Russia went from something to be patronized to something feared, something about armies in Paris can do that.

This. Second Serfdom lasted for centuries. Yes, there were explosions, but the system endured. And even here, if the system were to show signs of collapse, the Romans are poised like the early-19th century Tsars to act as the ‘guardians of social order against radicals’.
My biggest question is any other nation might try to institute it. Maybe not as oppressively as the Vlachian nobility but I have a feeling more than a few states and nobles are considering curtailing the peasant's abilities and freedoms in the vain hope of heading off a future Raven's Rebellion.
 
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