An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

First of all sorry for raising false hopes but I have just finished reading this TL after 3 months and I can only say bravo Basileus. This is easilly one of my the most favorite TLs. I just hope we will get some update soon and eventually modern era.
 
Now that someone has started this thread again, i have a question.

Where exactly is roman cities in the east like new Constantinople. Like what's their otl location? Is new Constantinople Makassar?
 
Now that someone has started this thread again, i have a question.

Where exactly is roman cities in the east like new Constantinople. Like what's their otl location? Is new Constantinople Makassar?
New Constantinople is on Ambon, iirc. Then there's Pyrgos which is roughly in the location of OTL Manila, where the drawn out siege by the Chinese happened. Not sure what it's status is now, since the plans for the OTL Philippines has changed, but originally it was planned to be one of the major cities in the Roman East. Of course they also hold Singapore, Taprobane (OTL Sri Lanka) with Colombo being the major city. I think they also have Pahang, unless the Portuguese pushed them out at this stage.

I think that's it mostly, though I might have missed a few.
 
New Constantinople is on Ambon, iirc. Then there's Pyrgos which is roughly in the location of OTL Manila, where the drawn out siege by the Chinese happened. Not sure what it's status is now, since the plans for the OTL Philippines has changed, but originally it was planned to be one of the major cities in the Roman East. Of course they also hold Singapore, Taprobane (OTL Sri Lanka) with Colombo being the major city. I think they also have Pahang, unless the Portuguese pushed them out at this stage.

I think that's it mostly, though I might have missed a few.
Didn't they have a small port on Formosa? It was destroyed by the Great Armament, not sure if it was rebuilt.
 
1631: St Andreas
Hello all.

I've been busy the last few months so haven't much time or intellectual energy to work on this lately. Hopefully I'll get back to a more regular update schedule, but I make no promises. But I do have an update (and yes, it is inspired by recent events; it should be really obvious what events).

Village of St. Andreas, Kephalate of Korab, April 25, 1631:

Anna chewed lustily on her thick slice of ham, enjoying the light breeze that swept down from Mount Korab to the west. It cooled her from the sunlight shining down on her.

The village couldn’t have prayed for better weather for the feast, a celebration of springtime and the patron day of their saint, Saint Andreas of Korab. He was little known outside the foothills of the great mountain, although some said the village was really named after Andreas Niketas. He’d established this village, along with dozens of others throughout the Empire, as parts of land grants for his retiring veterans.

Although close to the headwaters of the Vardar, St. Andreas was well off the beaten track. The Ohrid-Skopje highway lay well to the southeast. There was a beaten dirt track down to Maurovi Anovi, although woe to the traveler who thought to take a cart that way.

Still it was a fairly prosperous village, producing forest products and usually a surplus of grain that would send a mule train to sell at the harvest fair in Maurovi Anovi. The proceeds from that paid for whatever goods the village required and in the summer peddlers usually came through every few weeks.

She looked up around her. The whole village was seated at tables set up in the square in front of the village church, a plain but well-built small stone structure. It’d been a mild winter following a bountiful harvest and there were high hopes for another good year. There were concerns about the gathering storm to the north, but there were advantages to being isolated. The Hungarians had never come close during the beginning of the War of Mohacs.

There was the sound of glugging next to her and she looked over at the drinker. He finished quaffing his wine and looked at her. “Want a refill?”

“I’m good, thanks though.”

He nodded and headed over to the kegs set in the center of the square. They were at one of the best tables, close to where the food and drink was set out. There was a loud thunk as Zoe set up a keg, her thick arms flexing as she man-handled the full container by herself. She was the miller’s wife, ten years older than Anna but she’d run the mill since her husband’s death which helped explain her strength. She also used for hunting a steel arbalest, a family heirloom that she spanned herself.

Many in the village hunted in the woods and a few still used arbalests rather than muskets, with some others using rifles. Anna was different; she used a composite bow. Her father had paid a professional bowyer to make one specially fitted for her once she’d stopped growing. That’d been eighteen months before both he and her mother died.

Gabriel sat back down, nearly spilling some of the wine from his very full cup. He gulped down half of it and set it down to take a bite of ham, his eyes darting over to a table to their left. She took the cup from him as he reached for it again. “Easy there, little brother, not too much. Women don’t like it when men throw up on them.”

His ears reddened and she grinned at him. Gabriel was her only sibling, six years her junior, although the sixteen-year-old with his green eyes, scruffy brown hair, and what could be called the start of a beard (if one were feeling generous) stood half a head taller than her. They shared the same eyes and hair color, although her face looked a bit rounder than his and she’d avoided the double-chin.

Between the two of them they managed the estates they’d inherited from their parents. Although nothing compared to dynatoi lands for peasants her father had been quite wealthy. A sixth of the village were tenant farmers of theirs, they had large swine herds, and a share in a nearby copper and tin mine. The latter was proving quite profitable at the moment.

She elbowed him in the ribs. “Go on, do it. It’s the Saint’s Day; she’s obligated to be nice.”

He blushed even more but squared his shoulders and got up. “Alright, I’ll do it.” He sounded like he was about take a Frank heavy cavalry charge head-on. He headed over.

There was a snort to her right. She looked over at Michael who was chewing happily on a chicken leg. He was wearing his army officer’s silver-gray tunic, with black threading on the cuffs, neck, and shoulders, a new eikosarchos’ insignia marked on them. Son of the village blacksmith, the village had made a subscription to help fund him through officer school; having friendly officers helped for army contracts, never mind the social prestige. “She’s going to eat him alive,” he chuckled.

“Not so,” she argued. “I have faith in his charms.” She kept a straight face, mostly. Michael snorted again.

She looked over at her little brother who was approaching Maria, a year older than him, the carpenter’s daughter, and definitely the prettiest woman in the village. She had long wavy blond hair which hung loose, unlike Anna’s shorter brown that was bound up in a ponytail, and a figure that made men dumber than usual.

She looked back at Michael. “When do you need to head out?” she asked.

“Planning on day after tomorrow. Need tomorrow to recover from today. The Macedonian tagma is mustering at Skopje but I’m still on leave for another week.”

She nodded. “Latin bastards,” she whispered. “When will they piss off and leave us alone?”

“When we’ve killed enough of them to get through even their thick skulls that they’re not wanted here.”

“Just don’t get killed yourself.”

“Well, as Andreas Niketas once said, the job of a soldier is not to die for their sovereign, but make the other guy die for his.”

She didn’t respond, the two of them eating in silence, although she did note that Maria hadn’t sent Gabriel packing.

At the closest end of the table next to them Agatha, a plump woman in her early 50s, approached Father Petros, their village priest, with a covered basket in her hands. “Bless me father, for I have sinned.”

He looked at her, his large girth wobbling as he shifted. “Really? Must be Tuesday.” He smiled at her and she mock-scowled back at him. “What is it now, my child?”

She set the basket down in front of him and removed the covering. “I put too much chocolate on these pastries.”

His eyes widened in delight as he saw the dozen pastries, positively dripping in chocolate. “You have indeed sinned greatly, for it is blasphemy to suggest that there is such a thing as too much chocolate. You see, in Genesis when God said ‘it’ was good, in the original Hebrew he was referring specifically to chocolate. When the Holy Fathers translated the text into Greek though, this nuance was lost through their ignorance of chocolate.” Anna had heard this ‘story’ a few times before but was still amazed how the Father could keep a straight face while saying it.

Agatha smiled at him. “Now who’s committing blasphemy?”

“Me, never. I am a man of God. I speak only truth. And you wouldn’t even dare suggest such a thing if you’d heard of my latest plan.”

“What’s that?”

“Chocolate covered bacon. I intend to make some and take it personally to the Emperor. He will reward me magnificently for my nearly-divine achievement, and I shall be promoted to a see with a godlier, goodly, respectful congregation.”

“Not to mention more boring.”

He slumped. “That is the one flaw.”

“You’d miss us and you know it.”

“I’d miss little Zoe here.” The little girl had been looking plaintively at the priest ever since Agatha had unveiled the pastries and he handed her one. She beamed at him and he patted her gently on the head. He looked back up at Agatha. “You, not so much.”

“Hmmph, a priest lying.” Her eyes twinkled. “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

He grinned. “I’m not.” His eyes darted over to little Zoe who was sharing half with her little brother.

“Is something wrong, Father?” Agatha asked, putting a hand on his shoulder.

“I have an announcement to make. It’s not something I look forward to, and I don’t wish to spoil the mood, but I should go ahead and get it over it. It has to do with the courier.” There’d been a courier that morning, with a very official, as in from-the-capital official, missive for the Father.

He stood up. “My children!” He said. “Could I have your attention please?!” Conversations quieted as his words cut through the noise. “You too, Gabriel!” Anna looked over at her brother who was sitting next to Maria. “Maria, will you smack him for me?” She did with a playful smile. “Thank you.” There was some laughter through the crowd and Gabriel’s ears reddened.

“Ah, young people,” Petros said. He was a similar age to Agatha, with his once-black beard now mostly a smooth silver-gray similar in hue to Michael’s tunic. “Annoying disrespectful brats they may be, but they’re nice to have around, at least when you have something heavy you need moved.”

He paused, his smile fading. “Which is why I’m interrupting the feast in the name of our Saint. You all know that the German Emperor has made a fatuous claim to the throne of the Caesars and is even now marshalling armies against the Romans. What you do not know, is that Jacques Almain, chief secretary of Cardinal Cajetan of the Papal Curia, proposed to his master what should be done once the German Emperor has claimed his so-called right.”

He pulled the missive from one of his pockets. “It is proposed that a child be taken from each Orthodox family, to be sent to be raised by a Latin family that will instruct them in what they claim is the true faith.” [1] There was an angry murmur in the crowd. “They would take our children. That is the threat we face. One would hope that men, ordered to tear children from their mother’s arms, would instead look to the state of their soul and the cause they support, and conclude that such an order is evil as are those who would order such. But then that is what the Pope has Inquisitors for, and he is an Inquisitor himself.

“Now I quote here the words of the Emperor himself. ‘It must be pointed out that this is not official policy of the Catholic Church, only a proposal by a fairly junior member of the hierarchy. Furthermore, the logistical feasibility of such a proposal makes any effort questionable, unless the church was not concerned with many of the children dying of lack of victuals, neglect, and mistreatment.”

Anna nodded. The words were true, and at the same time clearly not designed to improve their mood. She had no children of her own, as she was still unmarried, but if some Inquisitor were to take Gabriel away, with a good chance of him starving on the way… Her fists clenched up and Michael placed a soothing hand on her shoulder.

“Whether or not the Papacy would do such a thing we do not know, yet,” Father Petros continued. “But to merely consider such a thing is damning. The Emperor would have you know this, that this is the sort of thing the Latin would do to us were he to have us in his power. The Fourth Crusade may be four centuries past, but that spirit is still strong in the west. We must not forget that, we cannot forget. For the consequences are far too dire.”

He stopped; the square was silent. “I propose a toast,” he said, taking his wine glass. He lifted it up. “To our children, may they have long and undisturbed happy lives in peace, the glory of their parents in their old age. To our soldiers-” He nodded in Michael’s direction. “-and to the Emperor who protect us. And finally…death to the Latin dogs who would propose such crimes!”

Anna lifted her cup and with the rest of the village shouted “Death to the Latins!”

[1] This is from OTL. In the early 1300s the theologian William Adam suggested that a child be taken from each Greek family and sent to Western Europe to be raised as Catholics. See “Byzantium and the Crusades, 1261-1354”, pg. 52, by Deno Geanokoplos in The History of the Crusades, Vol 3, ed. Kenneth Sutton.
 
An update....? An update! The solution is obvious for the Romans isn't it? Build a wall along the Danube and make Hungary pay for it!

But it's very interesting that Demetrios feels the need to send propaganda pieces out to even remote areas, wouldn't the already intense Latin hatred suffice?
 
An update....? An update! The solution is obvious for the Romans isn't it? Build a wall along the Danube and make Hungary pay for it!

But it's very interesting that Demetrios feels the need to send propaganda pieces out to even remote areas, wouldn't the already intense Latin hatred suffice?
It's called playing for keeps. And given how I suspect that Demetrios is the fellow who will be making the complete transition to fiscal military state and tripling the army...
 
Great to see this masterpiece back :)

Demetrios is starting nicely, great use of one unofficial proposal for a propaganda coup.
 
An update....? An update! The solution is obvious for the Romans isn't it? Build a wall along the Danube and make Hungary pay for it!

But it's very interesting that Demetrios feels the need to send propaganda pieces out to even remote areas, wouldn't the already intense Latin hatred suffice?
Well I assume the Emperor tries to instigate as much partisan resistance as possible to the German armies coming down the Balkans. You can't really have enough hatred for that, I suppose.

By the way, am I the only one who didn't get by what recent events this was inspired? I feel quite dumb right now, to be honest. Based on the location, at first I thought it had something to do with the Greece-Macedonia naming dispute, though I don't see that reflected in the story. What am I missing?
 
Well I assume the Emperor tries to instigate as much partisan resistance as possible to the German armies coming down the Balkans. You can't really have enough hatred for that, I suppose.

By the way, am I the only one who didn't get by what recent events this was inspired? I feel quite dumb right now, to be honest. Based on the location, at first I thought it had something to do with the Greece-Macedonia naming dispute, though I don't see that reflected in the story. What am I missing?
https://www.vox.com/2018/6/11/17443198/children-immigrant-families-separated-parents
 
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