An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

It's also interesting how uninvolved Spain is with wars in Europe, considering how they were the Catholic Church's policeman in OTL. Is it because there's still buffers such as Aragon and Al-Andalus? Or there's just no interest without any holdings outside of Iberia?
They don't have access to the New World gold to give them unlimited money.
 
I think that Komnenid Mexico is already aware of the silver of Zacatecas, but have they discovered Potosi and Huancavelica in their Peruvian conquests? If so, their inflation might be almost as bad as 17th century Spain's.
Possible but not necessarily. The Crown might control the mine outflow for example, and IIRC Basileus said that the silver output is much smaller than OTL to begin with. In addition Mexico isn't trying to act as a continental police force like Spain was so the state isn't going to build endless armies and screw the economy by trying to buy more goods than existing supplies.

Another thing to consider is that Mexico's economy is likely underdeveloped compared to the Old World counterparts. That means that if the Mexican Emperor wants high quality finished goods, all that silver and gold is going to flow out of its borders. European-grade cannons, guns, swords, books, glassworks, silk, etc are all stuff that Mexico itself can't produce in bulk yet, especially since the place is busy integrating Peru. Plus we know for certain that Mexico is starting to get in on the sugar and spice trade.
 
Given the religious and economic tensions that are clearly rising is there any pressure for an ATL Reformation? I know its over 100 years removed from the OTL one but better late than never?
I am a little puzzled by the witch burning without the reformation to be honest. OTL it was heresy for a catholic to believe in witchcraft and the inquisition was far more keen on burning people for accusing others of being witches than it was burning the accused. It was largely protestants who gave ideological cover to witch burnings, and sought to gain public support by doing so. So why is this so different ITTL. I would also point out that in general the inquisition was much gentler and more governed by due process than secular authorities OTL, and had a much higher acquittal rate. I feel the picture here is either unfair or there has been serious change in its character.
 
ImperatorAlexander: There was a tepid one back around the OTL schedule (the initial rise of Bohmanism) but with Avignon Catholicism open to reform a lot of the drive for the Reformation fizzled out. Now with Avignon conservative and corrupt there could be a ‘Reformation MK2’, although Bohmanism is now associated rather strongly with the Triunes.

That said, with my Southern Baptist upbringing that was often an insult to intelligence and basic decency, I have little patience and less respect for Christian theology.

Isn't this kinda throwing the baby out with bathwater. I mean on some level you need to understand Theology to understand this kind of history, as at this time most people would define themselves, as "Christians", "Sunni", "Jews", or "Shia". To say that you don't care much for Theology is all well and good but if you want to reasonably understand a people, which I think is vital for Good AltHistory, you need to understand their religion. One clear place is that I would expect that by this point the Non-Chalcedonian Church would have been reintegrated due to this, https://web.archive.org/web/20050829144612/http://britishorthodox.org/2church.php, basically it says there is no real difference between to two positions, and just history keeps them apart. Which would be irrelevant if you have an emperor breathing down one set of necks, and muslims down the other set of necks, if nothing else the Emperor would bias towards those who are in communion, i.e. allow some autonomy but they have to be in communion.

I am a little puzzled by the witch burning without the reformation to be honest. OTL it was heresy for a catholic to believe in witchcraft and the inquisition was far more keen on burning people for accusing others of being witches than it was burning the accused. It was largely protestants who gave ideological cover to witch burnings, and sought to gain public support by doing so. So why is this so different ITTL. I would also point out that in general the inquisition was much gentler and more governed by due process than secular authorities OTL, and had a much higher acquittal rate. I feel the picture here is either unfair or there has been serious change in its character.

I would also point out, A lot of the attitudes towards religion in general here don't make all that much sense, I mean the stuff happening in Sicily is basically ASB, similarly the level of tolerance towards Muslims, seems a bit ahistorical in places, or even their numbers, especially at the beginning of the TL, in Anatolia. Similarly, many areas have become incredibly heretical, outside of the purview of what would be acceptable, case in point is Poland, where the people are genocidal towards to Orthodox, which seems way out of wack, I mean beyond the Latin Empire out of wack. Overall, it feels like this TL suffers from what I call Secular Protestantism, which is an overall Bias against Catholicism, despite ostensible Atheism/Agnosticism, towards localised religions. This is especially common among Americans, but I think it is shown in this TL with Poland, Sicily, the way Avingnon is portrayed as Good, compared to the bad Intolerant Cologne. Overall, this isn't to excuse Catholicism but I feel that the desire to balkanise Christianity, into weird sects, and various divisions, is contrary to the mentality of these peoples. Though I say this as a convert to Orthodoxy from Calvinism, so take anything I say with a grain of salt

Given the religious and economic tensions that are clearly rising is there any pressure for an ATL Reformation? I know its over 100 years removed from the OTL one but better late than never?

This doesnt really make all that much sense though, if a monarch wants to get power/money, and monarchs are OTL the ones who pushed anyone to any type of Christianity, they can just convert to Orthodoxy, a religion known for its adherence to order, and divine right monarchy, and without really having to change much, plus you get to appoint all the bishops. What is not to love, plus you can get sweet sweet support from the Greeks.
 
HanEmpire: I’d say Roman cities are cleaner than OTL, but still quite short by modern standards. Streets are paved and there are sewers, but this is still 17th century technology so providing clean water for tens of thousands of people is difficult at best. Constantinople can get quite ripe in the summer…

Mexican silver covers a multitude of sins…

Your description of Mexican industry and silver production/use is spot-on. In fact, TTL Mexico has a similar problem to OTL Spain. It’s so much easier and quicker to use silver to buy whatever Mexico needs, so that discourages the creation of native industries. It’s not as bad as OTL Spain since it isn’t trying to spam expensive armies and fleets to cover multiple wars but Texcoco does rule over a large, sprawling, and underdeveloped empire. With the start of trade with silver-hungry China via Pyrgos, the situation will only grow more extreme.

ImperatorAlexander: Arles and Spain are the only major powers that follow the Avignon Papacy, along with Aragon, the Isles, the Sicilian Catholics, and Mexico. In terms of non-European Catholics though Avignon is creaming Rome.

I’ve seen OTL figures that give around 74-77 million Europeans in 1600-1650, but this excludes Russia and Ottoman territories (which in this case cover Hungary, Vlachia, Serbia, and Roman Europe). I’ve been going with the following figures.

Triple Monarchy: 20+ million
Iberia: 9 million
Arles: 5.5 million
Italy: 9-10 million
Lotharingia: 2.5 million
HRE: 20+ million
Poland: 4 million
Empire of All the North: 3 million

That adds up to 73-74 million, although there’d be a few more since both the Triple Monarchy and the HRE have a few more million than 20 each, but less than 25 each. So TTL population is about the same as OTL (this was not intentional on my part how the numbers compared).

This seems odd but TTL Europe has experienced some quite devastating wars, just at different periods compared to OTL. Germany suffered through the Long Hungarian War in the early 1500s and Western Europe endured the TTL 30 Years War in the mid-1500s. So TTL Europe has had comparable shocks to OTL, the timing is just different.

Evilprodigy: Thanks for the information. This is an area about which I know little to nothing (as I’ve just shown). I’m going to stick with the numbers I’ve listed for the Empire and just say that Rhomania has a smaller number of Jews compared to the Ottomans of OTL (after all, this Spain hasn’t expelled its Jews). Although don’t be surprised if next time I take a good look at the Despotate of Egypt, there’s 15000 Jews in the Delta.

Frustrated Progressive: No, you didn’t miss it. I forgot to bring it up. It’s being conquered by a Spanish expeditionary force.

Potosi has been discovered and has just started being tapped.

JohnSmith: The continued existence of a Muslim state in the south of Iberia is one factor. Furthermore the various diplomatic arrangements that caused OTL Spain to get involved in wider Europe just haven’t happened here. IOTL it was Aragon’s dynastic claims to southern Italy that got Spain involved in the peninsula and it was the accession of Charles I/V to the throne of Spain that got them involved in the Low Countries and HRE.

Sarahz: There was a reformation, it was just less ‘in your face’ than OTL. The Triple Monarchy with over 20 million subjects is a Bohmanist state and there are smaller Bohmanist groups scattered throughout Europe. There are also other smaller Christian sects running around (Anabaptists in the Rhineland, the OTL Waldensians are still a thing). And of course Orthodoxy is much bigger than OTL. So there are a whole lot of heretics running around to make Catholics antsy. Even if witch-burning is condemned by the higher-ups, grassroots agitation could be the cause of most of the burnings, much like how the crusade-era pogroms were conducted by lay Christians over the objections of the higher clerics. Note how the most witch burning is in Arles, AKA the state that has the most to fear from 'religious deviants' considering the heretic great power next door that has had open ambitions against them for its entire existence.

As for the Inquisition, note that I’ve just said its activities have increased compared to earlier periods. Criticism of the Inquisition is OTL, as was the rape of Catharina Latomia of Lorraine (I just changed the date to fit into the period).

IamtheEmps: The theology I was taught growing up believed in biblical inerrancy, young-earth creationism, and homophobia whilst engaging in apologism for genocide and rarely passing up an opportunity to tell child me that I was a vile worthless piece of shit with no redeeming qualities whatsoever (the idea being that anything good in me was solely from God and wasn’t it wonderful that God loved me anyway despite the fact I was scum?). And that my Crohn’s disease was punishment for my sins, even though I was all of 13 when I got it. So while on an intellectual level I understand that Christian theology is a much broader field than what I experienced, on an emotional level it’s all tarred by association. It doesn’t help that the only Christians with which I regularly interact all believe the above theology.

So while I understand the need to understand theology, it’s just not a topic that interests me. Which is why Bohmanist theology has been left so deliberatively vague.

The tolerance in Sicily turned into a mass series of pogroms. Rhomania has been generally tolerant to Muslims in Anatolia, firstly on the grounds of pragmatism and lately on the grounds of ‘they’re too small to be a threat’, and now they’re pretty much gone. Meanwhile the number of Muslims killed by Romans in Syria/Palestine in the past 100+ years is in the hundreds of thousands. Avignon Catholicism started out as comparatively liberal and reformist, but now has become corrupt and insular while in comparison Roman/German Catholicism has shown willingness to innovate, such as creating the modern confessional box and creating the Templars (TTL Jesuits). Poland’s activities are due to Casimir’s character, which was based off the idea how figures in the early 1600s IOTL were more likely to be religious hard-liners than those of a generation or two earlier (information taken from The Thirty Years War: Europe’s Tragedy by Peter H. Wilson). So everybody has had their good phases and their bad phases.

Regarding Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy, considering the multiple efforts at a theological compromise that were attempted IOTL that ended by blowing up in the compromiser’s face, I don’t think it would be that easy for them to reunify. History can be a pretty big stumbling block. For instance, an important part of Coptic identity is that they have their own church (in communion with Ethiopia and Kongo). By entering in communion with Orthodoxy, might they be imperiling their own individual and separate identity and end up being absorbed by the Imperials like the Turks of Anatolia were? That said, do note that the two churches, whilst not in communion, are on very good terms with each other. For instance, children of the Egyptian Despot educated in Constantinople can still be brought up in the Coptic faith, the only requirement being that Egypt pays for the priests doing so.

As for a desire to balkanize Christianity into various divisions, OTL history shows that Christian division is far far far more plausible than Christian unity. Christians have a long and bloody history of disagreeing with each other about everything.

I think the main concern about converting to Greek Orthodoxy is the concern about becoming a Roman puppet or satellite (which is also a main argument against converting to Bohmanism, not wanting to fall into the Triune orbit).
 
This seems odd but TTL Europe has experienced some quite devastating wars, just at different periods compared to OTL. Germany suffered through the Long Hungarian War in the early 1500s and Western Europe endured the TTL 30 Years War in the mid-1500s. So TTL Europe has had comparable shocks to OTL, the timing is just different.

It’s been a while so I must have forgotten, thanks for clarifying. Would the development of more centralised Western European states be more conductive towards war than the highly decentralised (at least in Germany) Empires of OTL?
 
It’s been a while so I must have forgotten, thanks for clarifying. Would the development of more centralised Western European states be more conductive towards war than the highly decentralised (at least in Germany) Empires of OTL?
Yes. Centralization paves the way for direct taxation, census, professional armies, permanent navies, state arsenals, etc. Things that allow nations to mobilize more and more men and resources, making wars far larger and deadlier than before. The start of the concert of Europe and the diplomatic tap-dances were all because various empires got tired of war after the increasingly destructive wars of the 17th~19th centuries.

EDIT:
Speaking of centralization how connected is the Rhomanian government with its countryside, @Basileus444? Depraved traditions tended to go unnoticed in areas away from the urban centres during these times and I'm wondering if the state is trying to control that.
 
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With the start of trade with silver-hungry China via Pyrgos, the situation will only grow more extreme.

Rhomania in the East is going to become so rich. The question is, who has control over the use of this money? Constantinople? Or maybe the governor is able to build up more autonomy? Either way it'll be good for them to be able to stand of their own two legs and push out the Portuguese.
 
Yes. Centralization paves the way for direct taxation, census, professional armies, permanent navies, state arsenals, etc. Things that allow nations to mobilize more and more men and resources, making wars far larger and deadlier than before. The start of the concert of Europe and the diplomatic tap-dances were all because various empires got tired of war after the increasingly destructive wars of the 17th~19th centuries.

EDIT:
Speaking of centralization how connected is the Rhomanian government with its countryside, @Basileus444? Depraved traditions tended to go unnoticed in areas away from the urban centres during these times and I'm wondering if the state is trying to control that.
Although this is partially counterbalanced by the reduction in the number of wars.
 
Yes. Centralization paves the way for direct taxation, census, professional armies, permanent navies, state arsenals, etc. Things that allow nations to mobilize more and more men and resources, making wars far larger and deadlier than before. The start of the concert of Europe and the diplomatic tap-dances were all because various empires got tired of war after the increasingly destructive wars of the 17th~19th centuries.

I wonder when the balance of power will begin to affect European diplomacy. Now that Russia is gone it seems that almost all wars will be between the UK and Germany, as the Roman Empire will always be focused on Persia as the primary threat. Will the emergence of a new European great power (Spain?) make things more dynamic?
 
IamtheEmps: The theology I was taught growing up believed in biblical inerrancy, young-earth creationism, and homophobia whilst engaging in apologism for genocide and rarely passing up an opportunity to tell child me that I was a vile worthless piece of shit with no redeeming qualities whatsoever (the idea being that anything good in me was solely from God and wasn’t it wonderful that God loved me anyway despite the fact I was scum?). And that my Crohn’s disease was punishment for my sins, even though I was all of 13 when I got it. So while on an intellectual level I understand that Christian theology is a much broader field than what I experienced, on an emotional level it’s all tarred by association. It doesn’t help that the only Christians with which I regularly interact all believe the above theology.

So while I understand the need to understand theology, it’s just not a topic that interests me. Which is why Bohmanist theology has been left so deliberatively vague.

The tolerance in Sicily turned into a mass series of pogroms. Rhomania has been generally tolerant to Muslims in Anatolia, firstly on the grounds of pragmatism and lately on the grounds of ‘they’re too small to be a threat’, and now they’re pretty much gone. Meanwhile the number of Muslims killed by Romans in Syria/Palestine in the past 100+ years is in the hundreds of thousands. Avignon Catholicism started out as comparatively liberal and reformist, but now has become corrupt and insular while in comparison Roman/German Catholicism has shown willingness to innovate, such as creating the modern confessional box and creating the Templars (TTL Jesuits). Poland’s activities are due to Casimir’s character, which was based off the idea how figures in the early 1600s IOTL were more likely to be religious hard-liners than those of a generation or two earlier (information taken from The Thirty Years War: Europe’s Tragedy by Peter H. Wilson). So everybody has had their good phases and their bad phases.

Regarding Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy, considering the multiple efforts at a theological compromise that were attempted IOTL that ended by blowing up in the compromiser’s face, I don’t think it would be that easy for them to reunify. History can be a pretty big stumbling block. For instance, an important part of Coptic identity is that they have their own church (in communion with Ethiopia and Kongo). By entering in communion with Orthodoxy, might they be imperiling their own individual and separate identity and end up being absorbed by the Imperials like the Turks of Anatolia were? That said, do note that the two churches, whilst not in communion, are on very good terms with each other. For instance, children of the Egyptian Despot educated in Constantinople can still be brought up in the Coptic faith, the only requirement being that Egypt pays for the priests doing so.

As for a desire to balkanize Christianity into various divisions, OTL history shows that Christian division is far far far more plausible than Christian unity. Christians have a long and bloody history of disagreeing with each other about everything.

I think the main concern about converting to Greek Orthodoxy is the concern about becoming a Roman puppet or satellite (which is also a main argument against converting to Bohmanism, not wanting to fall into the Triune orbit).


On the first count, I can't really comment outside of the fact that I personally, along with almost every Orthodox Christian, disagree vehemently with Baptists, so I can understand that. However, the Ideas of Predestination and Sola Scriptura have had OTL effects. The first has influenced many of the Settler Cultures, such as my native South Africa, and as a consequence the development of the Idea can't be ignored. Furthermore, seeing as the Catholics still appear to be Augustinian there is no doubt that this idea is highly prevalent in Bohmanism, or its offshoots. Similarly, Sola Scriptura, had effects on the scientific revolution as it took medieval Scholasticism to its logical conclusion, and helped the development of Individualism, and to a similar extent Deism, and the early Scientific Pursuits. To just say well I dislike these things so they disappear is lazy, and I think harms the quality of a TL, though I do still love this TL.

On the second count, the thing about Sicily is that the weird dance around fires religion would have been crushed instantly, if not by the Romans then by the Papal State, which I think would have been an interesting addition, where a war occurs due to the effect of a religious movement.

On Islam, My point is more the areas reconquered would have been nearly majority Christian, or if not they would have had converts, or the expelled families would be in Roman territory. My basic point is you are making people too kind, I mean I am Orthodox, but I will be the first to recognise if half the Megali Idea got achieved it would be/was a bloodbath, this is similar, expect much more immediate, and there is a reason for it, break the back of your enemy religion, and their people. This however, is not to suggest they are smart, as I think with the Islamic Mindset such actions would cause rebellion, merely what is likely to happen.

On Catholicism, This is the thing, INNOVATION IS BAD! In the medieval mindset, the Pope and the Apostles transmitted the real, numinous, and eternal commands of Jesus Christ our Lord and God, to his followers, to thus disobey is to risk eternal death, NO ONE IS GOING TO SAY "YAY THEY ARE INNOVATING!!!!". I mean Catholics still struggle with this post-Vatican II, why is it hand waved for this TL.

On Oriental Orthodoxy, The Copts have more contact with the Romans, I would hazard they define themselves against Romans, and I would wonder how nationally conscious they are, rather than just seeing themselves as Christian, but right Christian compared to those "Arian" Romans. Secondly, they have experienced brutal wars, which Constantinople has payed for, why is the Patriarch not getting shitty? E.g. why is he not saying oh Emperor you are not keeping us Christians united unlike St. Justinian. Similarly, why aren't the, likely Hellenised, Coptic Leadership going, we want more money for Churches/defence, let's go try and unite. Also why would the Copts care about Turks, they would hate them wouldn't they, or the hatred would be at least a close second after Arabs.

Really what I see happening is a more Hardline Emperors, attempting to push through Orthodox Unity. Whereas, a more tolerant Emperor would say "ah well they can have their language, and Saints, lets just be united". As those two things where the real sticking point, Language, and as a result resisting Greek domination, and also their Saints who condemned my Saints and vice-versa.

On Balkanisation, you say this however, OTL before Luther only 1 heresy in Catholicism stuck, Hussites, who in this TL would likely just be Orthodox, as Hussites where mainly liturgical reformists, hence their other name Calixistines. Secondly, the Orthodox Heresy, Bogomilism, would be dead by now, it survived because of the waning power of Constantinople, if Buda and New Rome are fighting over Bosnia it is dead. On the most basic level then you have 3, maybe 2 if you count theologies, different Churches, in Europe, before Luther, after Luther you get a clusterfuck. The arch of Christian history before Luther therefore bends towards schism and its suppression, not to many schisms. I don't believe that without Sola Scriptura you could have many long lasting divisions, it is just isn't possible in the Catholic or Orthodox worldview. I mean look at Orthodox Schisms, Raskol, Name of God, and Old Calendarists, are the three modern ones. The Raskol was liturgical, and Name of God was an autistic debate between a bunch of Monks, hardly world shattering unlike Luther's works, and Old Calendarists is just liturgical.

It think this point also demonstrates the "Innovation is bad" point, Old Calendarists object to the Church changing its calendar. If you suggest to me that these same priests, the Orthodox worldview hasn't really changed, I mean that is how you get recognised as a theologian, you respond to new things in old ways, are going to lie down and let variance, you are joking, they are currently having an argument over Literal Calendars, they would go to war over Saints/Theology. If an Emperor is seen to not be crushing heretics the backlash would be harsh.

However, this is not to say that the Emperors can't disagree, just that basically your priests are too modern and fluffy, so for example Spinoza being sponsored by an Emperor is possible, just that he doesn't shout about it, and personally I thought it was quite interesting/good.

On Eastern Orthodoxy, that wouldn't be much concern for a Teutonic Knight looking to get married, he is too far away to be really affected by the Greeks, outside of the Cultural sphere, and he can support the Non-Possessors and bomb you can get bitches and money, what is not to love, even the peasants will agree.
 
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Edit: One thing I noticed going back through is that there has been no "good" religious Emperor. Really, Roman Society, one known for its semi-Theocratic nature, seems far too agnostic, the one truly overtly true believer has been portrayed as a psychotic bitch. I wonder if this is just my misreading, or if this as a thing Basileus has intended, in which I am quite surprised, as it seems quite ahistorical, and a bit dishonest.

What about Demetrios II? He’s definitely a true believer, maybe too much so.
 
What about Demetrios II? He’s definitely a true believer, maybe too much so.

But that is the point, quite consistently Religiosity is shown as bad, I mean Religiosity helped and hindered Emperors at various times, the portrayal here is, as far as I can tell, is that Religious = Bad, Secular = Good, and this is quite anachronistic, if that is the right word.
 
ImperatorAlexander: Most definitely. IOTL there was a huge shift in military capabilities of European states between 1640 and 1740, with Louis XIV at one point fielding as many as 400,000 men. They can field larger armies and are better able to keep them supplied; one of the reasons the Thirty Years War was so devastating and long was that much of the time armies were roaming around and ravaging the countryside as it was the only way to survive, rather than being able to focus on knocking the foe out of the war.

Balance of power dynamic is still in the works as I have plans for some shakeups come the middle of the century.

HanEmpire: The Roman government is very concerned with the countryside in terms of getting its taxes and military manpower. There are morality laws (homosexuality is illegal) but how well they’re enforced depends on the proximity to a Kephale. So in the cities and towns where governmental officials live and work and the nearby countryside, the morality laws are well enforced, but further out it is hit or miss. A Kephale would be legally justified to arrest Ioannes and Ioannes if they’re making out in random village #12, but if he focused on that and the tax receipts were diminished as a result he’d be immediately fired.

Babyrage: The silver is coming out of Mexico on Mexican galleons, but with Mexican-Chinese trade being conducted through Pyrgos the Romans get a cut via customs duties and also whatever profit they get from hospitality services.

Most of the money made out in the Roman East that entered government coffers stays out east; the Katepanos are autonomous unlike the Kephales in the Imperial heartland. The idea is that the Katepanos use their money to steer eastern goods and trade towards the heartland where the Imperial government then profits from the increased customs dues and taxes on the businesses moving the goods in the heartland.

IamtheEmps: I am certain there are a great many areas that would merit being explored ITTL, but I do not have the ability, expertise, and/or time to cover everything significantly. This timeline drags enough as it is. Some corners have to be cut.

The Sicilian fire dance wasn’t a new religion, but an apocalyptic moment that has hence developed into a civic memorial. The Romans were in no position to intervene; it was the end of the Time of Troubles and they needed to keep the Sicilians on-board. And if the Papacy intervened, the Romans would come down on the Pope like a bag of hammers.

The hard-liner Anatolian Muslims left with Osman when he emigrated east. The ones remaining were thus those more willing to fall in line with Orthodoxy, but even then there was a Turkish revolt that had to be put down so the Roman government, on the grounds that they didn’t want to lose Anatolia, decided they’d pull a soft approach with Christianity rather than trying to push it down hard. And it worked well because the vast majority of remaining Muslims converted quickly within a generation or two (Demetrios Megas had a Turkish emir as a father who took his wife’s Christian family name). The small remainder were then ignored as there weren’t that many of them and most of them were in isolated rural areas so who cares?

Meanwhile in Syria, where the Romans haven’t had the need to go soft, the Romans have engaged in repeated massacres in response to Islamic rebellions.

The innovations of the Catholic Church are copies of OTL Counter-Reformation changes. They aren’t changing the creed but the way the Church operates and organizes can be changed and improved. The creations of the Templars, Dominicans, and Jesuits were all innovations of OTL, and are far from the only ones.

There were repeated attempts in the 500s and 600s to create a theological compromise between the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox. Every single one blew up in the faces of those proposing the compromise, because there were too many hard-liners on both sides. After a thousand more years of separate history, why would those hard-liners magically disappear?

Regarding Christian division, this TL is effectively in a post-Luther state. Bohm got his start by nailing a list of criticisms of church doctrine to the door of a church. The difference was that ITTL he got run out of Germany and ended up in England.

The religiosity of only a few Emperors has been brought up at all, on the grounds that they were exceptional, either exceptionally irreligious (Herakleios II) or exceptionally religious (Alexeia, Demetrios II). Everyone else, including say Demetrios Megas and Theodoros IV, can be assumed to have a normal level of religiosity for the period and culture.

And super-religious rulers have consistently been a bad thing for their countries. Philip II’s religious intransigence sparked the Dutch Revolt that ended up breaking the back of the Spanish Empire. His father was a devout Catholic but he was willing to compromise if he had to, something Philip was incapable of doing. If Frederick V of the Palatine hadn’t been convinced he was destined to be a Calvinist paladin he never would’ve taken up the crown offer from the Bohemian rebels and the Thirty Years War would’ve been stillborn.

And finally, in what way have I been dishonest? Have I ever claimed I was doing something other than what I am doing? But thank you for the unprovoked attack on my character; those are always appreciated.
 
Babyrage: The silver is coming out of Mexico on Mexican galleons, but with Mexican-Chinese trade being conducted through Pyrgos the Romans get a cut via customs duties and also whatever profit they get from hospitality services.

Most of the money made out in the Roman East that entered government coffers stays out east; the Katepanos are autonomous unlike the Kephales in the Imperial heartland. The idea is that the Katepanos use their money to steer eastern goods and trade towards the heartland where the Imperial government then profits from the increased customs dues and taxes on the businesses moving the goods in the heartland.

How about the flow of trade from Pyrgos to China and from China to Pyrgos? IIRC the Romans still possess Naval dominance within the region, and the Mexican navy is probably not big enough to be able to carry all those goods on their own?
 
So:
-Pyrgos has spices & ships.
-Pyrgos ships spices to Mexico in return for specie
-Pyrgos buys Chinese goods in return for specie
-Pyrgos ships spices and Chinese goods to Imperial Government
-Imperial Government sells spices and Chinese goods to internal Imperial markets and rest of Europe in return for specie

Basically the Roman Empire is OTL British Empire and Pyrgos is the Honourable East India Company acting as a massive middleman between China and the rest of the world. It's the setup that worked very well before the Brits got fed up with the trade imbalance and became drug lords. So I guess where we know the future Roman-Chinese animosity becomes set in stone.
 
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HanEmpire: The Roman government is very concerned with the countryside in terms of getting its taxes and military manpower. There are morality laws (homosexuality is illegal) but how well they’re enforced depends on the proximity to a Kephale. So in the cities and towns where governmental officials live and work and the nearby countryside, the morality laws are well enforced, but further out it is hit or miss. A Kephale would be legally justified to arrest Ioannes and Ioannes if they’re making out in random village #12, but if he focused on that and the tax receipts were diminished as a result he’d be immediately fired.

IamtheEmps
: I am certain there are a great many areas that would merit being explored ITTL, but I do not have the ability, expertise, and/or time to cover everything significantly. This timeline drags enough as it is. Some corners have to be cut.

The Sicilian fire dance wasn’t a new religion, but an apocalyptic moment that has hence developed into a civic memorial. The Romans were in no position to intervene; it was the end of the Time of Troubles and they needed to keep the Sicilians on-board. And if the Papacy intervened, the Romans would come down on the Pope like a bag of hammers.

The hard-liner Anatolian Muslims left with Osman when he emigrated east. The ones remaining were thus those more willing to fall in line with Orthodoxy, but even then there was a Turkish revolt that had to be put down so the Roman government, on the grounds that they didn’t want to lose Anatolia, decided they’d pull a soft approach with Christianity rather than trying to push it down hard. And it worked well because the vast majority of remaining Muslims converted quickly within a generation or two (Demetrios Megas had a Turkish emir as a father who took his wife’s Christian family name). The small remainder were then ignored as there weren’t that many of them and most of them were in isolated rural areas so who cares?

Meanwhile in Syria, where the Romans haven’t had the need to go soft, the Romans have engaged in repeated massacres in response to Islamic rebellions.

The innovations of the Catholic Church are copies of OTL Counter-Reformation changes. They aren’t changing the creed but the way the Church operates and organizes can be changed and improved. The creations of the Templars, Dominicans, and Jesuits were all innovations of OTL, and are far from the only ones.

There were repeated attempts in the 500s and 600s to create a theological compromise between the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox. Every single one blew up in the faces of those proposing the compromise, because there were too many hard-liners on both sides. After a thousand more years of separate history, why would those hard-liners magically disappear?

Regarding Christian division, this TL is effectively in a post-Luther state. Bohm got his start by nailing a list of criticisms of church doctrine to the door of a church. The difference was that ITTL he got run out of Germany and ended up in England.

The religiosity of only a few Emperors has been brought up at all, on the grounds that they were exceptional, either exceptionally irreligious (Herakleios II) or exceptionally religious (Alexeia, Demetrios II). Everyone else, including say Demetrios Megas and Theodoros IV, can be assumed to have a normal level of religiosity for the period and culture.

And super-religious rulers have consistently been a bad thing for their countries. Philip II’s religious intransigence sparked the Dutch Revolt that ended up breaking the back of the Spanish Empire. His father was a devout Catholic but he was willing to compromise if he had to, something Philip was incapable of doing. If Frederick V of the Palatine hadn’t been convinced he was destined to be a Calvinist paladin he never would’ve taken up the crown offer from the Bohemian rebels and the Thirty Years War would’ve been stillborn.

And finally, in what way have I been dishonest? Have I ever claimed I was doing something other than what I am doing? But thank you for the unprovoked attack on my character; those are always appreciated.

Firstly, why is it that Morality laws are enforced by the Kephale, wouldn't Morality Law be handled by the Church, or more likely local Priests and Elders? I mean I know for one that the Orthodox still use the Ecclesiastical laws of the Byzantines, and there was basically no separation of Church and State.

On, the Theology, I can see that, I do think it is a massive corner to cut, in comparison to say the activities of Spinoza, but I can understand and respect your logic, especially if you don't feel you have the expertise. Better to do something well and all that.

On Islam, I can see this to some extent, I think it might be just that the conceit of the Age of Miracles seems a bit to far fetched, compared to say "No Fourth Crusade", but really I am surprised that the Emperor isn't more expropriate the land, kill the nomads in his response. Really Syria seems more likely.

On the Catholic Church, I wonder maybe if this is my bias but, those reforms more than anything made Pope King, the Jesuits where to some extent his personal army, for example they were on the front lines countering many of these claims. Thus I wonder, on the usefulness of using this as your source, seeing how you have essentially almost permanently split the Catholic Church.

On Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, they wouldn't but your TL hasnt even attempted.

On Bohm, the issue is that without knowledge of his beliefs, and or the reasons for why they have spread, there is little ability to judge how likely something is in these people's worldview, I mean Henry's conversion is almost on a fluke, and Luther's Survival was due to the Teutonic Knights.

On Religious Rulers, if that is your general rule of thumb then okay, that is good.

On the final point, Having reviewed that, Dishonest is the wrong word, so I have removed the edit, it wasnt my intention to attack you nor was it my intent to attack your character. I do love this TL, it is just that as you say above you have cut corners, that I personally as a religious person detract from the experience of the TL.
 
Firstly, why is it that Morality laws are enforced by the Kephale, wouldn't Morality Law be handled by the Church, or more likely local Priests and Elders? I mean I know for one that the Orthodox still use the Ecclesiastical laws of the Byzantines, and there was basically no separation of Church and State.
With four-hundred years having passed, and Rhomaion remaining a modern power and the center of the Eastern Orthodox world, the lack of reform in church doctrine and what secular control is available to it have not mimicked our own world.
 
I think an interlude about the Roman Government specifically stated that every government body in the Empire includes the local ranking Orthodox priest.
 
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