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An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

I think Spain still has a couple holdings here and there but overall yeah, Rhomania in the East largely broke European power in Indonesia/India aside from their own.
As I understand it all the power still have holdings in the East but these are in the form of trading quarters and factory towns rather than extensive land holdings. So for example a Spanish, Lothringian, or Triune ship would have multiple ports of call all over SE Asia that would still allow them to make a profit and ply their wares; the problem with these is that they are all beholden to local power brokers and they are also shut out of any ports the Rhomania directly controls, which at this point is all of Ceylon, Malaya, Philippines, amongst the most glaring.

RITE on the other hand has extensive landholdings that not only allow them to have domestic manufacturing capacity; the only European power to do so; but also have an extremely large manpower pool that they can recruit sailors. traders, and soldiers from. It isn't apparent yet; because both Spanish Malaya and English Bengal were just recently conquered and destroyed respectively; but within 2 or 3 generations Rhomania will dominate all of island Asia and SE Asia aside from native powers simply because they will be able to flood the area with ships and men at a rate that Europe won't have a hope to match.

The status of native powers on the other hand will be an interesting one. I don't think we are going to see all of the area colonized as happened historically. Thailand, Vietnam (Cham), and Java at a minimum all appear set to be able to reform into modern states capable of standing toe to toe with European powers. Whether they do so as fully sovereign states or in some level of association with RITE or another European power however remains to be seen. Of course it is also entirely possible that their attempts at reform and modernization all fail once the next generation of leadership arise and the entire area slowly falls under the sway of RITE over the course of the latter half 17th and 18th centuries. I assume at least 1 or two of them modernize only because B444 has said he wants a more multipolar world and a strong Cham and Java would be major player regional powers. Of course at the end of it it is mostly author fiat that decides the fate; for all we know RITE falls apart in 1750 from a plague and the entire region is taken over by a rapidly expanding Japanese Empire that creates the Greater East Orthodox Co-Prosperity Sphere.
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
In fact, with the coming issues of the Little Ice Age in Rhomania I wonder if this will cause a small push of farmers, traders, and others try their luck settling in Rhomania in the East.
 
>pulls the unthinkable and allies Persia
>politically shatters the Indo-Gangetic plain
>refuses to elaborate
>kills himself

absolute madlad

I wonder if Vijayanagar will survive
 
They have "civilizationism" though which I guess is less abrasive.

I wonder how they'll deal with the Papuans and other Melanesian "headhunter" tribes (also the Andamans). There's a big authority vacuum in these parts. Maybe the Romans decide to give their "civilizational development" a hand (especially if they discover Papuan ores). This might result in even higher amounts of Western butthurt. Indonesians/Malays? They'll swallow it. Indians? Already have their own powerful civilizations. Can't exactly call one inferior due to dark skin when his boss can buy half your country. Similar for China and East Asia, except instead of "buy" it's "send a single division that's twice your entire region's population"

But if Rome were to enable a bunch of Melanesians and Australian natives, and by extension Pacific islander peoples to do a little trolling on the Pacific and Indian Ocean trade routes to people they don't like, I wouldn't be surprised the Latins go full blown What Madness Is This buttmad.
 
I'm curious, woth the mentioning of civilisationism what the Romans know of and think of both Majapahit and Nusantara?

It'd be very interesting if rather than RITE started along a journey towards a Despotate of Nusantara. It'd certainly need to have included and converted many of the peoples in their domain so that Orthodox locals are the ones calling the shots (or some sort of Greco-Malaysian demographic) for it to be more legitimate, but it'd be cool if RITE became less a vehicle for dominating Nusantara, but instead gained more independence and eventually even true independence whilst uniting the region.
 
I'm curious, woth the mentioning of civilisationism what the Romans know of and think of both Majapahit and Nusantara?

It'd be very interesting if rather than RITE started along a journey towards a Despotate of Nusantara. It'd certainly need to have included and converted many of the peoples in their domain so that Orthodox locals are the ones calling the shots (or some sort of Greco-Malaysian demographic) for it to be more legitimate, but it'd be cool if RITE became less a vehicle for dominating Nusantara, but instead gained more independence and eventually even true independence whilst uniting the region.
Another independent colony? I thought that we were over that?
 
By Rome's own design, it does somewhat allow itself to be flexible in how it's colonies are set up. I'll use Egypt as an example of the one hand, the most internally autonomous, and then Ceylon as the other, which now without the Shiplords, lives and breathes by the White Palace. With Egypt you had a pre-existing polity that was never going to be ruled from Constantinople, as much as we would have liked. The society was just never going to bend that way, because it had been independent of the Roman identity for so long. However with this set up, it can eventfully see itself of the greater Romanoi umbrella, with a more subversive propaganda program and slowly tying it's military even closer to the main military structure. This War of wrath saw Egypt make good it's pretty mediocre past, but it still has a long way to go, and really should be looked at as recruitment local and settler source. At least as I would use them. This would work in Sunda (I know I am getting that wrong) that is more capable at projection locally than say the Heraklian Islands, where is more a collection of smaller entities and colonies. Where integration would work, along with Malaya.

In saying that, it doesn't mean that the Despotates can't be slowly tied even closer to where they become more supra-regional administrative bodies. Sure culture and religion are culture and religion, but business is business.
 
And so exits Odysseus Sideros, King of Kings, Basileus of Rhomania Imperium..

The current treaty is definitely the most plausible one. The Cypriot analogy is hopefully one that conveys how long this treaty will last. I mean it "evenly" splits off Arab and Persian majority cultures which should hopefully help Iskandar solidify his power.

I wonder what Iskandar's relationship with Athena is? Has this been covered at all that anyone would know of?

I never covered that; I kept getting distracted by other details. But they know each other personally, just from all the time Iskandar was around Odysseus before they went east.

I literally gasped when he drank that goblet. People were looking at me on the bus :)

That's the mark of an excellent story - when it pulls emotion like that out of you. Now Athena gets to rule in earnest just like her father said she would all those years ago.

Hehehe. Anti-sorry.

Now the goal is to make you cry in an inappropriate location…

considering the new nation is basically disarmed i think they look more like the ancient Sumer.

Disarmed…ancient Sumer…I think you need a different example.

Wow, what a finish to Ody. Now that he’s gone it’s just Athena left in terms of major narrative players?

Mesopotamia also reminds me of Armenia in Antiquity, hopefully with less foreign interference in the succession. Always interesting to see the Komnenoi and Drakoi reigning in the east versus the Sideroi west.

Athena is now the only major active narrative player. Not sure when and who more will join her at this point.

Also I guess the parallel with Alexander is even more evident: their age of death is quite similar (If I recall correctly Alexander was 33?).

Nice for the Roman empire to get Mosul, but the Mesopotamian Kingdom looks like trouble for sure. A Christian dinasty over a muslim population?

Yeah, Mesopotamia is not an easy tiger to ride. It’s a good thing Maria of Agra decided to go east with her sons by Andreas III.

Herakleios III and personality: Won’t go into details here, but his personality will be important and shaped by his parentage. I’m planning an update for the near future that is a look at the new generation.

Food, RITE, and the metropole: Food shipments from RITE to the metropole are not happening. It just doesn’t work. Rice is high-bulk and low-value, the exact opposite of what long-distance trade goods need to be at this time. Plus the lack of preservation, the several transshipment points, and that the traffic can only go west at certain times. Plus the inability to move bulk goods at sufficient scale. To feed the residents of Constantinople one pound of bread per person per day requires 160 tons of bread per day. If the entirety of the OTL Dutch merchant marine from 1670 (estimated 568,000 tons displacement) was dedicated to shipping bread to the Roman heartland, it could feed 3% of the Roman heartland’s population for a day. And that’s being generous on the shipping side, since it’s talking displacement and not actual cargo space, and not factoring in spoilage. Somewhere in Fernand Braudel’s Civilization and Capitalism, he estimates that the early modern long-distance grain trade in the Mediterranean provided at most 2% of the region’s caloric needs. The remainder, and the vast bulk, was supplied by local sources.

(I think there are a couple reasons people focus on the long-distance and bulk trade. It feels very modern, and so people focus on it, but don’t realize the much smaller scale on which it operated compared to broader society than it does today. Also the bulk foodstuffs were used to supply the big cities. Big cities also feel very modern, and so modern people focus on them. Plus our sources concentrate on the cities, so the cities loom much larger based on the source material than they would in actuality.)

Holdings in the East: Spain still has Tidore and Ternate as vassals, as well as Ayutthaya as an ally. Then there are tons of trading/merchant quarters all over the place. Rhomania has a clear lead in local assets and holdings, although the Latins have the ability to directly send reinforcements from the metropole in a way the Romans don’t. The issue then would be where it would base once it got there, but that’s what native allies are for anyway.

Speaking of the Great Eastern Orthodox Co-Prosperity Sphere, I’d love an update on the Russian states and the process of Siberian colonization

Russia is going to be getting focused update(s) in the relatively near future.

Civilizationism vs racism: Civilizationism is still a form of prejudice and bigotry, just operating on different parameters from OTL bigotry. The Romans wouldn’t look down on Melanesian or Australian natives because of their dark skin. But they would look down on them for their primitive lifeways. No farming? Minimal clothing? No cities? On the civilizationism scale, they’re at the very bottom.

I'm curious, woth the mentioning of civilisationism what the Romans know of and think of both Majapahit and Nusantara?

It'd be very interesting if rather than RITE started along a journey towards a Despotate of Nusantara. It'd certainly need to have included and converted many of the peoples in their domain so that Orthodox locals are the ones calling the shots (or some sort of Greco-Malaysian demographic) for it to be more legitimate, but it'd be cool if RITE became less a vehicle for dominating Nusantara, but instead gained more independence and eventually even true independence whilst uniting the region.

Nusantara varies. There’s the likes of Majapahit and Mataram, which are high on the civilizationism scale because they have all the components of what the Romans consider a sophisticated developed society should have. But then you have various hill peoples and inhabitants of the smaller islands which don’t, so on that same scale they’re barely-human.

As for the second bit, well, that’s not how empires work.

This ties into a fundamental issue I’ve been grappling with. On the one hand, I do want the Romans to be good guys. But if they’re practicing empire, they’re not good guys. I can’t have it both ways. In a sense I could, but that would require whitewashing empire, which I find morally repugnant and offensive. One of my big issues with how the British Empire is so often portrayed on AH.com is that the British Empire is presented as a ‘good thing’, with the evil and suffering and oppression excused or justified or just ignored. I hate that, and I’ll be damned if I end up portraying the Roman Empire like that. No to protagonist-centered morality.
 
This ties into a fundamental issue I’ve been grappling with. On the one hand, I do want the Romans to be good guys. But if they’re practicing empire, they’re not good guys. I can’t have it both ways. In a sense I could, but that would require whitewashing empire, which I find morally repugnant and offensive.
Fingers crossed for Rhomaion being the pioneers of owning up to their mistakes even if they can't fully make amends redemption arc. (e.g. Germany after WW2).

What happened to the Ottoman territory in Eastern Arabia (Al-Ahsa, Qatar) and also their vassals (Hejaz etc)?
 
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pls don't ban me

Monthly Donor
Disarmed…ancient Sumer…I think you need a different example.
Well, considering how easy they were conquered by the babilonese...

Also i was referring to mainly the fact that they were more religious/science oriented. a bit like the Maya in Yukatan, they still had an army but compared to the neighbors it was basically a disarmed nation. That is my opinion of course i can be wrong since i haven't studied much the period
 
Food, RITE, and the metropole: Food shipments from RITE to the metropole are not happening. It just doesn’t work.
So the trade in RITE seems to be fairly local when it comes to staple foodstuffs like rice, at least until the modern era where that kind of trade could be significantly more profitable. With that in mind, now I wonder how Rhomania proper will be able to handle the upcoming crop failures during the height of the Little Ice Age. Effective food distribution from Athena and the Roman government can only go so far, and trying to squeeze Vlachia and Egypt for every grain of wheat probably won't help.

Herakleios III and personality: Won’t go into details here, but his personality will be important and shaped by his parentage. I’m planning an update for the near future that is a look at the new generation.
After Athena, Jahzara, and Henri die off, it's likely that the Era of Mad Geniuses will be long long gone. Ottokar and Elisabeth are competent, but they're nothing like Demetrios III or Henri II, and I doubt the next generation will hold the same impact as their ancestors.

Let's hope that Herakleios will be okay in the White Palace with his family (I'm fairly optimistic of his future Emperorship once Athena retires/dies), though I actually wonder what is Louis's current living conditions with Henri if this post will talk about the next generation of rulers. It's bad enough to be given the cold shoulder, it's another thing when he experiences worse reprisals by his father and the rest of the court.

Well, considering how easy they were conquered by the babilonese...
Weren't the Sumerians initially conquered by the Akkadians? The concept of Babylonia came far later when Sumerian culture was already at a decline and Akkadian was established as the lingua franca by the time the Amorites showed up.

Also i was referring to mainly the fact that they were more religious/science oriented. a bit like the Maya in Yukatan, they still had an army but compared to the neighbors it was basically a disarmed nation.
Not sure where you're getting at here, to be honest.
 

pls don't ban me

Monthly Donor
Weren't the Sumerians initially conquered by the Akkadians? The concept of Babylonia came far later when Sumerian culture was already at a decline and Akkadian was established as the lingua franca by the time the Amorites showed up.
Not sure where you're getting at here, to be honest.
i was simply trying to state the fact that the Sumerians weren't that much into military.
Also yeah, the akkadians, my mistake. Again i repeat, not an expert on history before the greeks
 
Well, there's one way to take care of the "the empire aren't the good guys" issue:

Instead taking a moral stance, don't. Since it doesn't apply (or rather, isn't viable) on a state-level, heck, above individual-level, you can't really say there is such a thing as a "morally good" or a "morally bad" country/state/empire.
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
Well, there's one way to take care of the "the empire aren't the good guys" issue:

Instead taking a moral stance, don't. Since it doesn't apply (or rather, isn't viable) on a state-level, heck, above individual-level, you can't really say there is such a thing as a "morally good" or a "morally bad" country/state/empire.
Yeah, no such thing as a "good" or "bad" state, just the successful and the failures. Not even really an issue with empires as the local nations generally aren't any better or worse than the new guys.
 
Well morality does apply to States just a different kind of morality that the individual one..but instead of been socially isolated states are diplomatically isolated and or punish
 
Fingers crossed for Rhomaion being the pioneers of owning up to their mistakes even if they can't fully make amends redemption arc. (e.g. Germany after WW2).

What happened to the Ottoman territory in Eastern Arabia (Al-Ahsa, Qatar) and also their vassals (Hejaz etc)?

Ottoman territory in Arabia hasn’t been touched. Their lands in eastern Arabia were small fry anyway. As for the Hejaz, the Romans are staying out of the way of the hajj. Persian patronage and defense of the hajj is far too important for their legitimacy. If the Romans interfere with that, it guarantees more war in the future because no Shah can accept that and survive.

Well, considering how easy they were conquered by the babilonese...

Also i was referring to mainly the fact that they were more religious/science oriented. a bit like the Maya in Yukatan, they still had an army but compared to the neighbors it was basically a disarmed nation. That is my opinion of course i can be wrong since i haven't studied much the period

I think a better example would be ancient Egypt pre-Hyksos. Egypt had a military before the Hyksos, but it was used for internal order and overawing Kushites. It was behind the curve militarily compared to the big Near Eastern empires (no wheels, chariots, or bronze weaponry).

So the trade in RITE seems to be fairly local when it comes to staple foodstuffs like rice, at least until the modern era where that kind of trade could be significantly more profitable. With that in mind, now I wonder how Rhomania proper will be able to handle the upcoming crop failures during the height of the Little Ice Age. Effective food distribution from Athena and the Roman government can only go so far, and trying to squeeze Vlachia and Egypt for every grain of wheat probably won't help.

Short answer, it doesn’t.

The limits of the possible for a pre-industrial society are much much more constricted compared to today. A lot of the time the only way to deal with an issue is to just endure it.

Well, there's one way to take care of the "the empire aren't the good guys" issue:

Instead taking a moral stance, don't. Since it doesn't apply (or rather, isn't viable) on a state-level, heck, above individual-level, you can't really say there is such a thing as a "morally good" or a "morally bad" country/state/empire.

Yeah, no such thing as a "good" or "bad" state, just the successful and the failures. Not even really an issue with empires as the local nations generally aren't any better or worse than the new guys.

No. By not taking a moral stance, one is taking a moral stance. Choosing to not make a decision is, in its own way, making a decision. And while one could argue that a state can’t be moral, since the state is an abstraction, something that doesn’t exist in and of itself but only is because people agree to believe in it, that doesn’t speak for the people holding said belief. They do exist, and they do commit deeds. Even if the Roman Empire can’t be good or bad, the Roman people and individual Romans certainly can.

I refuse to accept this argument. Because if so, then the Third Reich was not a morally bad state; it was just a failure. States, like most people and societies throughout history, are a mix of good and bad, with some leaning to one or the other extreme depending on time and context, but that is quite different from saying good and bad don’t apply. The next update is about ethnic cleansing; is this act morally neutral because it is state-sanctioned?

(Note that this is a separate issue from evaluating actors by the standards of their time. That I am in agreement with.)

I can describe the Romans doing imperial acts without making explicit moral statements. But they are doing imperial acts, conquering, repression etc. This is not to single out the Romans explicitly any more than the effect of them being the main focus of the TL; they get the most screen time. But when the Romans do that, I need to show the ugliness of it. Because if I don’t, that is to act as if it did not exist, and I find that unacceptable.
 
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