An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

oh my shnikes... Is the war of Roman succession going to be sparked by an Alexander scenario?!! Andreas III vanquishes all in his path through to the Sacred Ganges, only to be brought down by wars cruelest wound, an infected one. I doubt it but the subtle foreshadowing...
 
oh my shnikes... Is the war of Roman succession going to be sparked by an Alexander scenario?!! Andreas III vanquishes all in his path through to the Sacred Ganges, only to be brought down by wars cruelest wound, an infected one. I doubt it but the subtle foreshadowing...
That'd be hell of a feat in the 17th century. Jeebuz, you go Andreas.
 
Real talk though, if he gets his campaign under way well enough, he could turn Mesopotamia into his depot and logistics pipeline from the Empire and Egypt. The Gharraf Canal connects but run contra to the flow of supplies and men from the heartland. Still it could be used for the return trip to the depots along the way back. If he is going to go to India he is going to have one hell of a logistics train. Like, I mean D-Day level. Here's to hoping he can finally knock the Ottomans back to a reasonable trade and Steppe buffer, and solidify Romans grasp over it's Indian and Eastern holdings. Just let him have 5 years of peace where he can enjoy the hard work. Freedom 45 boys.
 
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Real talk though, if he gets his campaign under way well enough, he could turn Mesopotamia into his depot and logistics pipeline from the Empire and Egypt. The Gharraf Canal connects but run contra to the flow of supplies and men from the heartland. Still it could be used for the return trip to the depots along the way back. If he is going to go to India he is going to have one hell of a logistics plans. Like, I mean D-Day level. He's to hoping he can finally knock the Ottomans back to a reasonable trade and Steppe buffer, and solidify Romans grasp over it's Indian and Eastern holdings. Just let him have 5 years of peace where he can enjoy the hard work. Freedom 45 boys.

Sadly, it is less the flow of the canal than the fact that without the Kut Barrage it apparently only fills during flood periods. (At least if wiki is accurate).

However, it could be exactly the sort of project that a victorious Roman Empire could take part in - expanding the canal so that it is always reliable for transport!

Chances are however, is that any war that the Romans have past Mesopotamia will have to take advantage of Al-Qurnah or Al-Sharish, in fact I think that'd be the best location for a new capital, with a fresh-built city.

It'd be interesting to see a strong influence of the ʻArab al-Ahwār in the region, as they appear to have had short-shrift IOTL.
 
Sadly, it is less the flow of the canal than the fact that without the Kut Barrage it apparently only fills during flood periods. (At least if wiki is accurate).

However, it could be exactly the sort of project that a victorious Roman Empire could take part in - expanding the canal so that it is always reliable for transport!

Chances are however, is that any war that the Romans have past Mesopotamia will have to take advantage of Al-Qurnah or Al-Sharish, in fact I think that'd be the best location for a new capital, with a fresh-built city.

It'd be interesting to see a strong influence of the ʻArab al-Ahwār in the region, as they appear to have had short-shrift IOTL.

A new Lower Mesopotamia Capital in Al-Qurnah would lower the importance of Basra. Perhaps three despotates of Mesopotamia? Upper, Greater, and Lower? Arbil, Seleucia(refounded), and Al-Qurnah their respective Capitals?
 
Here’s a crazy thought. Andreas wants to get rid of his wife at (almost) all costs. Maybe The German Emperor dies one day without issue. Andreas starts the War of the “Roman” Succession to place his wife on that vacant throne in exchange for a divorce.
 
Here’s a crazy thought. Andreas wants to get rid of his wife at (almost) all costs. Maybe The German Emperor dies one day without issue. Andreas starts the War of the “Roman” Succession to place his wife on that vacant throne in exchange for a divorce.
Doubtful, Elizabeth is total poison in Andreas's eyes. He wouldn't spend a single Roman life to make a foreign Empress out of her.
Besides, it's obvious she'd immediately turn around and use that new power to screw over Andreas.
 
HanEmpire: I haven’t figured out exactly how much influence Jahzara wields yet, but she will be prominent in some upcoming updates. As of now, Andreas is 23 and Odysseus is 14 but will turn 15 in the next couple of months. I never specified how old Maria was but I’m going to declare by fiat that she is 22. Any younger than that and the scene where she gets introduced gets too squicky for my taste, even if not out of probability considering the time period.

There’s been no Da Vinci analogue. As for Transylvania, a lot of the Hungarian aristocracy got booted out or beat down by the Vlach conquest, but what remains is decidedly not a fan of Targoviste. The local Vlach peasantry are more warmly inclined but are poor and concerned with local affairs. The Transylvanian Saxons, who make up the middle class in the region, are really not happy with the arrangement. They’ve been shut out of the central European market by Vlach conquest, while Vlach-Roman trade is already dominated by the Vlach agricultural magnates of Wallachia and Moldovia. They’d wholeheartedly support a Hungarian or German invasion.

Vince: As well as feeling a wince of sympathy. ;)

Arrix85: Spain is about to have much bigger fish to fry…

Nurhaci: The western Mediterranean though isn’t a potentially existential threat like Persia is. And while the Marinids did give the Romans a few bruises, it’s nothing that can’t be shrugged off. Mashhadshar on the other hand was much more humiliating and in need of redress in Roman eyes. Plus after the Persian Alexander, the idea of reprising the original Alexander is rather appealing.

Earl Marshal: Demetrios isn’t the type to be consciously doing it, but his actions have had that effect (supporting the Emperor taking his mistress to that ball, for example). Elizabeth really hates Demetrios by this point. Jahzara may have done some nudging…

RogueTraderEnthusiast: Establishing reliable communication and transportation the length of Mesopotamia would be very useful for the Romans. If Mesopotamia was a Despotate the Romans would have clear access to dominate the Red Sea and Persian Gulf routes, provided the Omani are placated and/or given a sufficiently large piece of the action. That would put a serious crimp on the Cape Route to the detriment of all western Europeans.

Aishio: The counterargument that every Roman general would pull out though is that Alexander was able to do so, and even muck around central Asia for a couple of years too.

Duke of Nova Scotia: A true Alexander scenario would have Andreas conquering all the way, then on his way back get sick and die whilst staying in the Topkapi Palace in Baghdad.

It’d be interesting to know how Alexander’s logistics worked out, since any Roman effort would be pulling heavily from his playbook. Plus once the Roman army got to the Indus river valley, there’d be Taprobane to draw on for supplies and reinforcements.

Mesopotamia would be at most two Despotates, north and south. Its primary purposes in Roman eyes would be as a buffer to whatever dominates the Iranian Plateau (long-term Roman control, even indirectly, beyond the Zagros is not happening). A Mesopotamia split into thirds would be too weak and divided to make a good buffer.

Sir Omega: I went and looked it up. It was in 1567. As a side-note, the pretentious megalomania is from OTL.

ImperatorAlexander: Yeah, what HanEmpire said. Andreas won’t lift a finger for Elizabeth. The reason why Andreas hasn’t divorced her yet and married Maria is that to do so would cause serious foreign (her brother Holy Roman Emperor Theodor) and internal (the Patriarch) issues. It’s the double punch that is holding Andreas back; one of them goes, Elizabeth goes. This is why his current plan is to wait for the current 78 year old Patriarch to die, get someone more compliant, and then divorce when he only has foreign complications. If Theodor were to die, it’d be the same scenario.
 
It seems to me that Romans would have serious issues maintaining any Mesopotamian Despotates that they set up. The Despotates would almost certainly be minority rule either by newly arrived Roman administrators or by a favoured group like the Assyrian Christians, under which would exist a massive Muslim majority shut out of the military and politics. A majority that, to be frank, has no reason whatsoever to welcome Roman rule and would likely not see much in the way of benefits from Roman rule. On their own this could result in an Egypt or Syria esque situation where the second the Romans are distracted a rebellion breaks out and makes a go for independence. This would be made even worse by the presence of a powerful Persian state ready and willing to supply, train, and organise rebel groups or invade outright to reclaim Mesopotamia.

In short I don't think the Romans can hold onto Mesopotamia for any great length of time, perhaps a generation at most. The region has become to different from the rest of the Empire and is too exposed to an eastern invasion to be kept under control. It would be far better to try to set the current borders in stone so as to prevent more destructive, costly, and pointless wars with the Ottomans.
 
RogueTraderEnthusiast: Establishing reliable communication and transportation the length of Mesopotamia would be very useful for the Romans. If Mesopotamia was a Despotate the Romans would have clear access to dominate the Red Sea and Persian Gulf routes, provided the Omani are placated and/or given a sufficiently large piece of the action. That would put a serious crimp on the Cape Route to the detriment of all western Europeans.

Placation *waves gold* - or - "Placation" *Hulk Smash* :p

Nah, having the Omani do the heavy lifting would be canny clever - The Romans could (in theory) work a bidding war against the Western Europeans for trade, paying the Omani more than the Europeans can afford, and/or exempting Omani goods from import tariffs (or drastically reduced). It would allow the Romans to nearly kill off trade around the Cape - and shift the line at which Roman and Portuguese imports become equal in cost westward.

It seems to me that Romans would have serious issues maintaining any Mesopotamian Despotates that they set up. The Despotates would almost certainly be minority rule either by newly arrived Roman administrators or by a favoured group like the Assyrian Christians, under which would exist a massive Muslim majority shut out of the military and politics. A majority that, to be frank, has no reason whatsoever to welcome Roman rule and would likely not see much in the way of benefits from Roman rule. On their own this could result in an Egypt or Syria esque situation where the second the Romans are distracted a rebellion breaks out and makes a go for independence. This would be made even worse by the presence of a powerful Persian state ready and willing to supply, train, and organise rebel groups or invade outright to reclaim Mesopotamia.

In short I don't think the Romans can hold onto Mesopotamia for any great length of time, perhaps a generation at most. The region has become to different from the rest of the Empire and is too exposed to an eastern invasion to be kept under control. It would be far better to try to set the current borders in stone so as to prevent more destructive, costly, and pointless wars with the Ottomans.

1) The costly wars are almost entirely because any Persian Empire HAS Mesopotamia on their side. It allows them to threaten the rather thin Levantine strip of possessions in Syria and Palestine. Much more sensible for the Romans to create a solid border in Mesopotamia, than Syria - as it gives a vast amount of defence-in-depth.

2) As for differences - Anatolia was Turkish and Muslim for a very long time, but was assimilated into the Roman Empire proper, establishing a Despotate should be relatively easy in comparison, just like Egypt, and Sicily.

3) I can't see a single Despotate, probably a Central and Southern - Central being Turkish, and Southern being led by another group. (My personal preference being the Marsh Arabs, because they're awesome). The key is who garrisons these regions - good loyal Anatolian Turks and and Levantine Arabs - familiar enough to show that they'd have a good future in the Empire. Combine that with the War Room calling a halt to all looting in Mesopotamia on campaign, and you've got the building blocks for a long-term stay, with the economic resources for the Romans to think it worthwhile.
 
This is how I feel about most everything Andreas claims he'll do, the conquests and the like. I mean, some of it could be accomplished, but a lot of what he's saying appears rather empty and boastful. Vain, lazy decrees by someone who, as of yet, only has the name of someone great.
Yes, keep in mind this conversation came after being humiliated by Elizabeth and sounded slightly drunk.
 
;) I get ya, central and lower because upper would be incorporated into the Eastern Anatolic Themes, and a new theme with Mosul as its capital. "Like to sport do they?" wink wink nudge nudge
 
The Kurds are very anti-Ottoman, IIRC. They could make for a strong third wheel in northern Mesopotamia. They could be like the Anizzah, a Tribal Confederacy allied to Rome who loves to troll the Ottomans.
 
1) The costly wars are almost entirely because any Persian Empire HAS Mesopotamia on their side. It allows them to threaten the rather thin Levantine strip of possessions in Syria and Palestine. Much more sensible for the Romans to create a solid border in Mesopotamia, than Syria - as it gives a vast amount of defence-in-depth.

2) As for differences - Anatolia was Turkish and Muslim for a very long time, but was assimilated into the Roman Empire proper, establishing a Despotate should be relatively easy in comparison, just like Egypt, and Sicily.

3) I can't see a single Despotate, probably a Central and Southern - Central being Turkish, and Southern being led by another group. (My personal preference being the Marsh Arabs, because they're awesome). The key is who garrisons these regions - good loyal Anatolian Turks and and Levantine Arabs - familiar enough to show that they'd have a good future in the Empire. Combine that with the War Room calling a halt to all looting in Mesopotamia on campaign, and you've got the building blocks for a long-term stay, with the economic resources for the Romans to think it worthwhile.


1) The issue is that a Persian Empire would say almost exactly the same things about Mesopotamia, and if anything controlling Mesopotamia would be more vital for a Persian empire than for the Romans. This would practically guarantee another war as any Persian ruler can easily see the strategic and economic concerns of controlling Mesopotamia. Rather than ending the wars a Roman Mesopotamia would guarantee they'd continue even if this Persian Empire was unsuccessful the war would still be immensely costly for the Romans.

2) Anatolia had been Turkish and Muslim for a couple of centuries and still had considerable Greek and Christian minorities to draw from and the conquest itself was hardly bloodless with rebellions still happening twenty years after the conquest. Mesopotamia has been Muslim for nearly a thousand years and Turkish for close to three hundred. Any conquest of Mesopotamia would have more in common with Syria and Egypt than with Anatolia and Sicily. Speaking of Egypt I think you're forgetting the massive rebellions that shook Roman control of the region and ended up with Roman acceptance of a Muslim Egyptian state existing. And this was without a wealthy and hostile power deliberately pushing for and supporting any rebels.

3) This is certainly a good idea and the Romans would be wise to try and control the Despotates in this manner, but just because something is wise doesn't mean it will work. Having somewhat familiar culture group, Levantine Arabs, Marsh Arabs, or Kurds would make holding onto the region easier. On the other hand putting a familiar group in control would bring the old familiar resentments with them, as seen in Egypt where the Copts were placed in control and screwed the pooch, and the southern half of Egypt got away from Rome.

Lastly let's consider that conquering Mesopotamia would overextend Rome even more than it already is, and Rome has been suffering for this overextension for nearly a century at this point. If Mesopotamia can be conquered and can by held it could bring great wealth into the empire but it's a very big if. Creating and holding Despotates in Mesopotamia it would be costly at best and at worst disastrous. It's certainly possible but the costs could very easily outweigh the rewards.
 
Southern Mesopotamia is too distant and too indefensible for Romans to hold, not without Railroads to facilitate massive amounts of logistics. As it is the Persians are right next door and have a very secure base of operations to continually mount attacks on a Roman Mesopotamia until it falls.

At best the Romans can do a Mongol Horde and turn Mesopotamia into the ass-end of nowhere, making it useless to the Ottomans.
 
1) The issue is that a Persian Empire would say almost exactly the same things about Mesopotamia, and if anything controlling Mesopotamia would be more vital for a Persian empire than for the Romans. This would practically guarantee another war as any Persian ruler can easily see the strategic and economic concerns of controlling Mesopotamia. Rather than ending the wars a Roman Mesopotamia would guarantee they'd continue even if this Persian Empire was unsuccessful the war would still be immensely costly for the Romans.

The balance of power would be skewed towards the Romans however, and likely any conflict would take place in Mesopotamia and Georgia (if it was involved). Yes, Persia would want it, just like they've historically wanted control over Syria, or other Roman territories. However, shifting the resources shifts the wars in favour of the Romans, and opens up avenues to not only make Mesopotamia the secure border that the Romans desire, but neuter the Persians - control over the Strait of Hormuz. The Ottomans have the ambition to expand, Ibrahim more or less needs it to recover from the losses in India. As India is crazy strong, and probably stronger than the Romans, certainly so in Ottoman eyes. So the Romans or Georgians are the obvious targets - and they'll stand side by side in all likelihood. In any circumstance, war is inevitable.

2) Anatolia had been Turkish and Muslim for a couple of centuries and still had considerable Greek and Christian minorities to draw from and the conquest itself was hardly bloodless with rebellions still happening twenty years after the conquest. Mesopotamia has been Muslim for nearly a thousand years and Turkish for close to three hundred. Any conquest of Mesopotamia would have more in common with Syria and Egypt than with Anatolia and Sicily. Speaking of Egypt I think you're forgetting the massive rebellions that shook Roman control of the region and ended up with Roman acceptance of a Muslim Egyptian state existing. And this was without a wealthy and hostile power deliberately pushing for and supporting any rebels.

Fair play, this is part of the reason I think Hormuz is critical, any notion that the Ottomans are interfering, and the Romans can threaten to close the strait - both sides knowing it'd likely lead to war if the Ottomans don't back down. If the Ottomans aren't flat out invading, I think they'd be cowed by that threat.

But you're also forgetting that the Turks have been sidelined, and there are other Mesopotamian communities that have been as well with the Persification of the Ottomans. They are key. Some, like the Assyrians, have a history of being Christian.

3) This is certainly a good idea and the Romans would be wise to try and control the Despotates in this manner, but just because something is wise doesn't mean it will work. Having somewhat familiar culture group, Levantine Arabs, Marsh Arabs, or Kurds would make holding onto the region easier. On the other hand putting a familiar group in control would bring the old familiar resentments with them, as seen in Egypt where the Copts were placed in control and screwed the pooch, and the southern half of Egypt got away from Rome.

Lastly let's consider that conquering Mesopotamia would overextend Rome even more than it already is, and Rome has been suffering for this overextension for nearly a century at this point. If Mesopotamia can be conquered and can by held it could bring great wealth into the empire but it's a very big if. Creating and holding Despotates in Mesopotamia it would be costly at best and at worst disastrous. It's certainly possible but the costs could very easily outweigh the rewards.

It depends on how you see the post-war outcome. In terms of raw numbers, it is a close game, tax revenues for forces. But trade, and setting up a scenario where following wars with Persia are smaller affairs? Even affairs where Georgia could claim part of the plateau? That starts to become very valuable.

Southern Mesopotamia is too distant and too indefensible for Romans to hold, not without Railroads to facilitate massive amounts of logistics. As it is the Persians are right next door and have a very secure base of operations to continually mount attacks on a Roman Mesopotamia until it falls.

At best the Romans can do a Mongol Horde and turn Mesopotamia into the ass-end of nowhere, making it useless to the Ottomans.

I doubt the Romans would do that. They didn't do it under Trajan, why would they do that now?

As to "too distant", this is the 1600s, the Romans have territories (admittedly very autonomous) in the East Indies, and North Africa. Mesopotamia is a trip down the Euphrates. Make sure that is secure, and the Tigris is the fall-back frontier for Mesopotamia.

It is also worth considering (cultural issues aside).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman–Safavid_War_(1623–39)

 
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