Last Light of Gaul: the Domain of Soissons endures

I'm trying to figure out how Ricimer is involved in this given he had been dead for 14 years.
I don't know enough about Ricimer or his relations with the ERE or the Italic aristocracy to comment, but I'd imagine that Syagrius would be wary of placing a semi-barbarian general in too high a position. I've made Aurelianus his comes domesticorum and defacto army commander, but otherwise his state is pretty much maintained at the local level by foederati treaties and local magistrates/bishops. He could have appointed Chararic in control of Gallic defence but chose not to; I'd like to think that was because his predecessor, Paulus, was betrayed when he entrusted Childeric with defending Gaul (historically Childeric besieged Paris in the mid-460s according to St Genievie's hagiography, but a couple of authors think this was Clovis besieging the city in the 490s).
 
Cause, at least that I'd have misinterpreted the whole thread, the Soissons' Gallo-Romans legitimacy and identity was intrinsically linked to the Romanitas ideal and on the practical side to its claimed 'uninterrupted' institutional continuity. So, I'd guess that would be natural for them to resume and/or to get closer political and military links with, from their perspective, the rest of the Roman State.
Also, I think that if ITTL Emperors would follow the same policies as in OTL, then I'd guess that to count with an beachhead and /or an strong support in the Gallia, that would help to brought it to the Empire again, would have clear beneficies and it would fit with the OTL failed strategic goal/ideal to reunite/restore the Imperial administration on the Western provinces.
Aedigius must have maintained that he was ruling a constitutional Roman province, but if the Mauro-Roman kingdom and sub-Roman britain are anything to go by Syagrius will be reluctant to 'restore' the Roman empire by reconciling with Constantinople. Though that won't stop easterners from thinking he'll provide them legitimacy - I'm thinking Gaul by the turn of the 5th century will harbour all sorts of Byzantine exiles and dissidents looking for support. If Justinian follows the same general policies whoever rules Gaul then might consider allying with him, if only to gain a hold over Spain in return.
 
Aedigius must have maintained that he was ruling a constitutional Roman province, but if the Mauro-Roman kingdom and sub-Roman britain are anything to go by Syagrius will be reluctant to 'restore' the Roman empire by reconciling with Constantinople. Though that won't stop easterners from thinking he'll provide them legitimacy - I'm thinking Gaul by the turn of the 5th century will harbour all sorts of Byzantine exiles and dissidents looking for support. If Justinian follows the same general policies whoever rules Gaul then might consider allying with him, if only to gain a hold over Spain in return.
Not a bad idea to keep Gaul ‘civilized’. These eastern migrants will undoubtedly bring valuable skill and legitimacy.
 
I don't know enough about Ricimer or his relations with the ERE or the Italic aristocracy to comment, but I'd imagine that Syagrius would be wary of placing a semi-barbarian general in too high a position. I've made Aurelianus his comes domesticorum and defacto army commander, but otherwise his state is pretty much maintained at the local level by foederati treaties and local magistrates/bishops. He could have appointed Chararic in control of Gallic defence but chose not to; I'd like to think that was because his predecessor, Paulus, was betrayed when he entrusted Childeric with defending Gaul (historically Childeric besieged Paris in the mid-460s according to St Genievie's hagiography, but a couple of authors think this was Clovis besieging the city in the 490s).
TL/DR. The discussions about Ricimer are about how outrageous the Gallo-Romans can get in provoking the Eastern Empire without getting the ERE putting down the Gallo-Romans by either sending an army or getting one of their proxies to do it. Ricimer more or less set the standard by killing a number of emperors recognised or sent by Constantinople without inviting a military response because Constantinople could not be bothered to invest that much in the west either because they were distracted or more likely, they were just apathetic.Personal opinion (TL/DR), they could not shut down the Gallo-Roman state even if they wanted to because of distance.
 
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I don't know enough about Ricimer or his relations with the ERE or the Italic aristocracy to comment, but I'd imagine that Syagrius would be wary of placing a semi-barbarian general in too high a position. I've made Aurelianus his comes domesticorum and defacto army commander, but otherwise his state is pretty much maintained at the local level by foederati treaties and local magistrates/bishops. He could have appointed Chararic in control of Gallic defence but chose not to; I'd like to think that was because his predecessor, Paulus, was betrayed when he entrusted Childeric with defending Gaul (historically Childeric besieged Paris in the mid-460s according to St Genievie's hagiography, but a couple of authors think this was Clovis besieging the city in the 490s).
Just wonder but how soon can we get another update?
 
How much of the villa system and/or Gallo-Roman high society has survived in the Syagrian realm ITTL? I understand how long it lasted under the Franks is a matter of debate, varying by region; OTL this area became Frankified pretty quickly, while Narbonensis kept a more conservative culture for a few centuries.
 
I'd love to see how this affects the christianisation of the Franks and the Alamanni- maybe arianism will look like a more attractive option, or by the time they do Christianise they end up keeping Runic as the preferred script instead of Latin. (or with the Romans more engaged down south, you could establish a conceptual boundary of Christianity meaning submission to Roman governance, and we get some more powerful resistance to wholesale christianisation as a whole).

Its a long shot I know, but slow down the christianisation of the franks long enough, and maybe at least Irish christianity could officially end dependence on Rome, which could also be interesting.
 
How much of the villa system and/or Gallo-Roman high society has survived in the Syagrian realm ITTL? I understand how long it lasted under the Franks is a matter of debate, varying by region; OTL this area became Frankified pretty quickly, while Narbonensis kept a more conservative culture for a few centuries.
I'd imagine the villa/latifunda system will go the way it did under the visigoths, gradually getting more and more fuedal, but perhaps a little less harsh on the coloni and more in the control of the church/monasteries.
 
Chapter IV: Battle of the Three Armies
Chapter IV: The Battle of the Three Armies

Though these times are now far lost in the memory of our Lord’s people, the terrifying spectacle of the Gothic army, clad in gold, silver and finery bloodied with the slain and mamed, is remembered still by those learned in the histories. The Gothic beast, free from the trappings of imperial titleage and nominal obedience to the Emperor in the East, sprang across the Loire in two wolvish halves.’ – Caesarius, Liber Historiae Galliarum

Aurelianum, Lugdunensis III, Gaul

7 June, 487


Two more offerings of peace were begged for by the rector Galliarium; both were refused. The coterie of tribal warriors he had assembled had long since grown restless, and despite the pleas of holy men, treasuries were emptied, women were dragged from farmhouses and grain was plundered. Syagrius had still not arrived, delayed by the promise of prince Sigismund and his hendinos to come to his aid. Yet more ominous news had arrived; a second host, smaller in size but equally glittering with clibinarii and brilliant shields, was aligned in parallel to the host of Alaric. Who commanded this host was unknown to the Gallic commanders, but Valentinus’ Brittonic advisors feared that this army was the consequence of their own action. If the Britons were known for anything, it was a relentless desire to climb the greasy pole of tyranny and prestige.

In that early June morning, the two hosts thundered as one and crossed the Loire. Vast pontoons were laid between its banks; ships, larger than Saxon cyulae and more fearsome than the Vandal king’s prize flotilla, prowled the shoreline while being loaded with warriors, their supplies, and their pack animals. An undying chorus of battle-chants and heroic ballads, some lifted from the mouths of long-dead Roman panegyrists and twisted to Gothic purposes, resounded across the rolling plains toward Aurelianum.

The rector could only watch as the two armies disembarked and arrayed in a circular formation around the vicinity of the city, Alaric’s army encamping close to the road to Turonum while the second army wheeled towards the vicus of Blesum, a small but not insignificant town that had been held by Brittonic federates and exiles since the time of Constantine III. While the walls of cities and towns had yet to feel their wrath, the vast patchwork of fields and pastures was soon peppered with pillars of smoke and putrid ash; an audible din of dying animals and families burnt in stakes emanating forth. One slave convoy after another swelled the number of the Gothic army, lugging piles of rubble and timber for use in siegecraft. While many men had seen such spectales before, in the days before the clashes of Arelate and of Vicus Helena, the speed and coordination of the operation caught the rector and his confidants by surprise. By the day’s end, almost 30,000 warriors had surrounded Aurelianum and blocked the routes to Nametis and the rest of western Gaul.

Dusk passed into dawn, but the men assembled in camps inside the walls of the city grumbled with rumours that the rector had no plan of action; or worse still, that Syagrius was dead and Chararic, his favourite Frank had, seized the throne and had disbanded the main Gallic army back to their homes, slinking to he Rhine with his equally treacherous relatives. This churning cloud of disillusionment was pierced by the sound of hooves.

The gates were opened, and before the army stood a messenger, holding aloft a spindly work of weathered parchment. The rector broke from his orders and approached the visitor, a rakish man atop an equally rakish horse.

‘What news do you have?’ said Valentinus, with a note of desperation in his voice.

‘Our magister militum and his noble forces have come to your aid, rector. They are assembled outside the great city of Caesarodunum, the civitas of the Turones.’

Solonacum, Lugdunensis III, Gaul

Amid the plains north of Turonum

9 June, 487


Winding along the valleys leading from the city of the Carnutes, through the ancient windswept oppida of Dunense Castrum, the field forces of the Gallo-Roman domain marched in a close array, arriving at the abandoned estate of Solonacum sixteen days after the gates of Suessionum bid them goodbye. The estate was situated on a vast, rolling countryside where diplidated villae and shrines dotted the landscape; more importantly, the two cities of Turonum and Aurelianum could easily be seen. Aurelianus and Chararic gave the order to encamp, and imitating Caesar, three marching camps were erected from the sparse woodland around them, saddled with watchtowers and formation posts in the event of an enemy attack. Their armies, flush with Frankish light cavalry as well as the usual comitatenses billeted from tribunes and guardhouses, numbered around twenty-five thousand in all.

The rector’s garrisons and federate armies, commanded for the most part by Maxentius, formed and encamped outside the wellspring shrine of Columna, equidistant from Aurelianum and the oppida of Dunense, from where they gazed upon Alaric and Vitalis’ twin hosts gathered beside the Loire. Rolling walls of fog descended as nightfall passed once again, where it remained for the following three days, smothering the anxious men in visions of Gothic fury and holy deliverance. A few reckless champions rode forth from each mass of men, lunging at the other with spatha and close-combat swordsmanship. There were no winners in these feats of arms; where two champions met, neither escaped the twitching agony as they lay bruised and broken in the long grass.

Severiacus, Ludgunensis III, Gaul

14 June, 487

Seven mounted foederati led their horses to a steep, densely wooded ridge, the Loire flowing before them. The morning sky was as brilliant as it had ever been, the north-westerly breeze cool and sharp. At the front was Flavius Sigismundus, black-haired, hazel-eyed and flush with the flower of his manhood. He wore his mother’s chi-rho medallion upon his shoulders, and a labarum was pouched to his side. God would give them victory, and Syagrius’ strategy would realize it.

His army, three thousand in number, rallied and advanced as one over the ridge, charging down the forest slopes toward Alaric’s pitched army surrounding Blesum. Maxentius and Aurelianus spotted their advance and gave orders to the men. They were to march immediately, spreading slowly outwards to outflank the numerically superior Goths between Aurelianum and Blesum. The Gothic king reacted quickly, and within the hour Vitalis’ forces had wheeled toward Aurelianum, engaging the forces of Maxentius in a volley of arrows and thrown hastae. But it was too late to stop Sigismund piercing the Alaric’s host from behind, where inexperienced Arvernian militia and the great mass of camp followers and attendants had assembled.

The Romans of Gaul slowly curled tighter, pinning the Goths in a series of inconclusive and bloody clashes to between Blesum and the ruined temples and villae south of Columna. Vitalis, however, had whirled so great a fury into his men that Maxentius turned and fled the field, leaving his federates to fight to the death. He sent a small detatchment to search for the panicked general, and by nightfall, as the three armies withdrew from the melee, the head of the praeses was brought before Alaric.

As the fourth day of battle began, the veterans of each coalition were brought to the front, the fresher recruits scarred by hours of merciless fighting. Alaric and his bodyguards charged into the Roman centre, where a fault line between Syagrius, Aureianus and Chararic’s foederati forces had widened. But before they had stormed across to wreak destruction, the valiant prince Sigismund struck them from the rear, having secured Blesum the day before. At this, the proud Gothic army shattered into blind bands of panicked warriors, unable to see if their noble king had won them the day. Vitalis had by now surrounded Aurelianum, and was sending his best soldiers to support the greater host, which steeled the Goths. Syagrius began to fear that none of them would survive the day; that it was God’s wish that the two sinful nations would bludgeon the other into damnation.

Then, as the sun climbed its highest, a horrified wail rang out from the bodyguard corps, engaged on one side by Aurelianus’ foot soldiers and Sigismund’s Burgundian cavalry on the other. Alaric had been slain, skewered by a plumbata from behind. Vitalis received the news the following hour, and, being the most senior commander left on the field, ordered the whole host to retreat behind the Loire.

Strangely, Syagrius hesistated to allow his men to harry the routing Goths for long; he sensed that they were already desparate enough. His forces had also been badly battered; Maxentius was dead, and Aurelianum was now in a state of siege. Pressing too far would risk rallying an enemy that still outmanned his forces.

Following hasty negotiations, as the camps were disassembled and the men began trickling, legion by legion and federate force by federate force, back to their original posts and major settlements, a treaty was agreed. The old city of Turonum, once known as Caesarodunum, was to be given to Vitalis in the name of the Visigothic state. The Loire, however, would now be the property of Soissons, who would now be given legal and political suzerainity over towns and estates deep into Aquitania; Avaricum, Argentomagus and Augustoritum would now answer to Syagrius’ tribunes.

News of the battle reached the notables of Tolosa quickly. All of them despaired, but not because of the battle; without Alaric, the Visigothic throne could only be filled by his immature and illegitimate son Gaisalaik, mistrusted by his own parents and ignored by the ruling class.

The Goths braced for collapse. Syagrius had achieved something not achieved since Majorian and his father had rescued Gaul from their clutches twenty years before.

Gaul, for one brief moment, was a little more Roman than before.
 
I wonder how the Domain would relate towards the Burgundians - the Visigoths remain the most important threat to Roman Gaul even if having a relevant defeat, but the South-East may not be easy to deal with. But, controlling the Burgundians would be necessary to whoever will control Italia in the meanwhile...

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the Visigoths remain the most important threat to Roman Gaul even if having a relevant defeat, but the South-East may not be easy to deal with.
Well, with the Goth king Alaric killed in battle and without a clear, able legitimate successor even if the Goth Kingdom won't collapse, seems that it would be open a large interregnum period with the major Visigoths and Hispano-Roman aristocrats busy fighting for the throne and/or to support to their Royal pretender...
News of the battle reached the notables of Tolosa quickly. All of them despaired, but not because of the battle; without Alaric, the Visigothic throne could only be filled by his immature and illegitimate son Gaisalaik, mistrusted by his own parents and ignored by the ruling class.

The Goths braced for collapse.
 
Worth noting that OTL Alaric died against the Franks at Toulouse (edit: Vouille... awkward); the Visigoths stayed intact(ish) for another two hundred years.
I wonder how the Domain would relate towards the Burgundians - the Visigoths remain the most important threat to Roman Gaul even if having a relevant defeat, but the South-East may not be easy to deal with. But, controlling the Burgundians would be necessary to whoever will control Italia in the meanwhile...
Right now Soissons is pretty much on equal terms with Burgundy; making friends would provide them with a solid buffer zone against the Ostrogoths.
 
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Worth noting that OTL Alaric died against the Franks at Toulouse; the Visigoths stayed intact(ish) for another two hundred years.
Well, in fact IOTL, after Vouillé, the Kingdom seems to have been thrown in 'disarray' but also, it's worth to note, too, that ITTL the battle was fought, around two decades before and more important that on this date Alaric still had yet to get a legal heir for his kingdom, cause Amalaric, his OTL son, was butterflied ITTL, given that he was born in 502.

Solonacum, Lugdunensis III, Gaul

Amid the plains north of Turonum

9 June, 487
Severiacus, Ludgunensis III, Gaul

14 June, 487
 
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