Roman-Empire-395AD.jpg


Let's suppose that Roman Emperor Theodosius I, had a third son named Liberius.

So, after his death in 395 A.D. the Empire splits in three.

Arcadius takes the East as in OTL, Honorius takes the West with Cenabum as capital, and Liberius takes the middle one hailing from Ravenna..

How things play out? Is the Middle Empire more viable than OTL WRE?
 
middle empire is crushed by its neighbors and the east gets a bit more territory than OTL as it has the more urbanized and wealthy parts of the empire witch it can use to push into the middle kingdom
 
I see the Middle Empire more viable than OTL WRE in the middle-term. With some decent Emperors the Goths could settle and assimilate without a transition of power to them. Or maybe diverted further west altogether..

I see continuous warfare in the longer term though, most Emperors would seek to reunite the realm.
 
Personally I'd suggest giving the Balearics and Africa to this Middle Empire, but excluding attempts at reunification it does mean that each Emperor is better placed to hold their territory, and would develop distinct characters.

If we put aside "reunification" because that didn't happen IOTL because y'know, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Franks, Huns, etc - I think we've got the basis for a really interesting division here that would lead to distinctly different characters for the Empire.

The East is Urban and wealthy, with two main borders against Persia and the North, not much change here, likely to screw up in the same ways, and probably come to dominate the other two regions economically.

The Centre is moderately wealthy, if given all of Africa it has a shot in the arm and a controlled food supply outside of Egypt if things break down. With the Alps in the North it maintains two fronts in OTL Croatia and North Africa, both of which are relatively easy to protect.

The West is an interesting beast, it effectively has the Rhine Border to worry about, and at least Gaul, Spain and Britannia. What is interesting is that unlike the East and Centre, it has serious reasons to pick up a few tricks from the Venetii and use the Atlantic as their lines of communication and logistics, which would mean a substantially different part of the Empire from the Mediterranean portions.

If this can be maintained long enough to stabilise the frontier, this division could hold, even if it essentially lead to a Senior Emperor and two Junior Emperors in the East and Centre/West respectively. Part of me thinks it might break down into an Exarchs of Africa, Gaul, Italy, Britannia, Spain, under an Emperor in the East, but at least its a division that doesn't burden one half with the poorer territories and the longest border.
 
I doubt they’d make the middle Empire be where it is. It screws over the west way too much. More likely Liberius gets Africa, the Balaeres, Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily.
 
The advantage is that this Middle Roman Empire would have dodged the majority of barbarian invasions.

OTOH, thee Western Empire would have been fucked, big time.
 
The advantage is that this Middle Roman Empire would have dodged the majority of barbarian invasions.

OTOH, thee Western Empire would have been fucked, big time.
They would dodge it until the Western Empire gets shattered by these invasions. And then it's their turn basically. If they don't get involved earlier that is.

The fundamental issue is that a purely defensive strategy won't work because there can always be a new wave of attackers coming in. Of course, going on the attack also is hard because it would be hideously expensive with quite little in the way of loot (there isn't much to steal deeper into Germania, or into the north of Britain). And even then, these areas take occupation forces and in Germania, lengthen the communication times even more, making it harder to coordinate the whole place.
 
B
And then it's their turn basically. If they don't get involved earlier that is.
By then much of those barbarian tribes would have already settled in Gaul and Hispania in the West and/or the Balkans in the East.

An intact and united Italy with support from Africa could easily defend itself.
 
Ain't this just basically a repeat of the whole Constantine division of the Empire? Im not seeing any ways it won't repeat.
 
B

By then much of those barbarian tribes would have already settled in Gaul and Hispania in the West and/or the Balkans in the East.

An intact and united Italy with support from Africa could easily defend itself.
That's always the question, because the resources of Gaul and Hispania could also be used to push further, especially if there are more groups coming behind them. And, of course, Italy is wealthy, which makes it very lootable, and therefore, a great target. Especially when it will be having to hold off the East that will want to take over some choice provinces.
 
That's always the question, because the resources of Gaul and Hispania could also be used to push further, especially if there are more groups coming behind them
That depends on the assumption that barbarian tribes and kingdoms would march on Rome together, which would not be the case in practice.

In addition, Italy also has defensible natural borders, which could be strengthened with fortifications - this would have been the case as the Alps would now become their borders again.
Especially when it will be having to hold off the East that will want to take over some choice provinces.
At worse they would take Illyria. But, they would have to deal with the Huns, the Goths and the Persians.
 
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meanwhile, the west collapses even faster as it no longer has the *mostly* loyal Italian population

By this point the Spain, Gaul and Africa were thoroughly assimilated and there was no real difference in terms of loyalty to the concept of the Roman Empire as for Dalmatia it produced a disproportionate amount of Emperors and was the largest single source of Legionary recruits inside the Empire (those two factors were linked).
 
That depends on the assumption that barbarian tribes and kingdoms would march on Rome together, which would not be the case in practice.

In addition, Italy also has defensible natural borders, which could be strengthened with fortifications - this would have been the case as the Alps would now become their borders again.

At worse they would take Illyria. But, they would have to deal with the Huns, the Goths and the Persians.
So, basically, a withdrawal from everything beyond the Alps? Such a strategy would be deeply unpopular, although, with a split, you of course mitigate that effect. Otherwise there would be lots of very angry and very wealthy landowners.
 
So, basically, a withdrawal from everything beyond the Alps? Such a strategy would be deeply unpopular, although, with a split, you of course mitigate that effect. Otherwise there would be lots of very angry and very wealthy landowners.
Since Gaul and Hispania belong to WRE, Italy and Africa would constitute the majority of the Central Empire's territories.
 
Hmm...
someone should do an alternate timeline in which the Roman Empire is divided into three parts.
While some ficus could be shared between the Western and Eastern empires, the Middle Empire would be the main focus

Not volunteering myself, as I'm already draft-writing on Notepad an alternate history based on my Europa Universalis IV gameplay as the Mongols
 
Since Gaul and Hispania belong to WRE, Italy and Africa would constitute the majority of the Central Empire's territories.
Yes, but elites in the Central empire still have holdings and the like in what would become the west. That would be a complicating factor. But, of course, it can be overcome.
Hmm...
someone should do an alternate timeline in which the Roman Empire is divided into three parts.
While some ficus could be shared between the Western and Eastern empires, the Middle Empire would be the main focus

Not volunteering myself, as I'm already draft-writing on Notepad an alternate history based on my Europa Universalis IV gameplay as the Mongols
Also not me. It's not really a period I know a lot about (that's more republican Rome (especially the late republic) and the Hellenistic kingdoms. And besides, I already have a writing project that I should find more time for!
 
isnt that basicle west split in 2 and east mostly intact ?
wouldnt it be more viable if the center got greece as part of its domain ? with east entire in asia
and africa up to carthage under west perhaps
 
isnt that basicle west split in 2 and east mostly intact ?
wouldnt it be more viable if the center got greece as part of its domain ? with east entire in asia
and africa up to carthage under west perhaps
Pretty much how I saw a 3 way split some years ago as part of my Maralder Gather idea:
A little history.

Despite the alternate Christianity - Soterism or Salvationism as some call it - being accepted by the Roman emperors earlier than OTL the same crises hit and similar Palmyrene and Gallic empires separate before being readded in.
The Emperor who does so combines the talents of Aurelian and Dicoletian, he recognises that the Imperium is too large for one man and a measure of devolution needed so he sets up the Triarchy as a unified workable triumvirate: Asian and Egyptian provinces go under the Eastern Emperor; Albion, Gallic, and Hispanic provinces come under the Western Emperor; the remainder comes under the Central Emperor who is also senior and labelled Augustus. A West to East to Central succession is set up and despite the usual shenanigans is durable enough to become tradition. Unfortunately the Western Emperors while getting excellent training in Generalship against Germanic raids have to delegate a lot of their authority just to maintain status quo; they make good Eastern Emperors though.
Then the Huns hit.
As OTL the current Augustus utilises the Goths as foederates; he sets up a "Wall of Goths" along the Danube - the Visigoths aren't hustled out of Thrace TTL - that proves successful enough for a Germanic one along the Rhine. The Germanic Wall proves less successful and is particularly porous in the north. Stuff hits the revolving thing and the "Germanic Wall" crumbles; a group of mostly Burgundians "rampage" through Italy before settling in Africa; the Western Emperor's authority is shattered and it's left to the Augustus to clear things up. The Vandals, among minor others, get set up as a new improved wall along the Loire; the Burgundian King is accepted as Dux of Africa . Albion is left more isolated and the Dux there is effectively autonomous. Appointment of Western Emperors is no longer continuous and the Western Duces become highly autonomous and largely offices held by barbarian Kings as "protectorates".
The Imperial Succession is no longer effective and begins to strain the relationship between East and Central. The Lombard penetration of the Gothic Wall into Greece followed by Slav incursions during an ineffective Augustus leads to brief civil war and the Eastern Emperor taking over as Augustus leaving a succession of junior Emperors in Italy.
 
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