Assuming that during the Macedonian dynasty makes the necessary reforms are taken that allow the government to run far more smoothly and without any major screw-ups for the empire, how much former Roman territory can be realistically reclaimed and consolidated? In a previous thread it was established that the furthest west they could go was the Italian peninsula, so that leaves Austria, Hungary, Romania, and the Balkans. With the pod of 867, how far into Europe could the Byzantines get without overplaying their hand?
 
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I'm afraid that the OTL is the Balkans and the South of Italy. Well, maybe the vassalization of Croatia and the Danube principalities. In fact, it is much better for Romea to stick to the course of expansion into Asia.
 
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I'm afraid that the OTL is the Balkans and the South of Italy. Well, maybe the vassalization of Croatia and the Danube principalities. In fact, it is much better for Romea to stick to the course of expansion into Asia.
Just checking since if an emperor wanted to revive the old empire they'd have to fight Bulgaria, the Magyars, and East Francia, and that's just first century after the pod. Obviously longshot odds are named such for a reason.
 
They don't extend. Keep the Danube as the northern border while having Croatia and the Danube principalities as vassals in the west of the Balkan. They might be able to reclaim South Italy and Sicily but nothing more. They would be too stretched out considering the numerous enemies/rivals surrounding them
 
If they can get that "special sauce" that allows them to fill a similar role to the Ottomans then parts of Hungary and the Black Sea open up for them. I just don't see how plausible that is.
 
They don't extend. Keep the Danube as the northern border while having Croatia and the Danube principalities as vassals in the west of the Balkan. They might be able to reclaim South Italy and Sicily but nothing more. They would be too stretched out considering the numerous enemies/rivals surrounding them
I agree with this. Basil 2's Empire with Sicily is probably the best they Byzantines will ever be able to accomplish. Maybe they might take a bit more of Crimea and the Caucus but even that would be iffy.
 
I think at this period there were still enough Christians in the levant and Egypt to make retaking and holding them possible - not easy but also not impossible.

OTOH southern Italy is more unlikely. They can take it for sure but holding it is unlikely. To the byzantines the eastern front and the balkans were always more important than Italy. And southern Italy is targeted by too many - so in the end the time will inevitably come that its attacked when the empire is focused on one of its more importan territories.
 

kholieken

Banned
Hungary is bit too strong to be conquered and governed from Constantinople, but friendly and Orthodox Hungary is possible. Byzantine can be strong enough to interfere in civil war to put its candidate in Hungary throne, and help push its favored Church.
 
Assuming that during the Macedonian dynasty makes the necessary reforms are taken that allow the government to run far more smoothly and avoid the downward spiral of the next few centuries. Assuming no major screw-ups for the empire, how much former Roman territory can be realistically reclaimed and consolidated? In a previous thread it was established that the furthest west they could go was the Italian peninsula, so that leaves Austria, Hungary, Romania, and the Balkans. With the pod of 867, how far into Europe could the Byzantines get without overplaying their hand?
If the POD is in 867, then ... I don't see why you are making a POD. OTL was the Macedonians completing the reforms until Basil II stopped himself from having children and his brother from having more children, and ended up having no male heirs to inherit his empire.

Then everything Basil II built started to crumble because his niece Zoe's husbands were either a) capable, but needed her to secure their legitimacy and are thus blocked from consolidating power in their own persons or b) really extravagant and incapable. I think you need a POD in the 950s-960s to get Basil II to have a boy. If he is even half as capable as his father, the Komnenians wouldn't have needed to restore anything in the first place.

Back on topic, I think Basil II's expansions really marks the limits of where the Romans could reclaim by the 1050s. But if the Makedonians outlast their OTL counterparts, even Spain is up for grabs I guess. But how does expanding into Europe benefit the empire unlike, say, consolidate Syria and retake Jerusalem?
 
With the pod of 867, how far into Europe could the Byzantines get without overplaying their hand?
Without overplaying their hand, I'm not even sure about the Italian peninsula because more than three centuries of cultural drift have passed since the days of Justinian, where Italian élites actively sought reunification.
But I guess the Baleares are possible, boring as that answer is (and precisely because of that, actually possible).
 
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OTL was the Macedonians completing the reforms until Basil II stopped himself from having children and his brother from having more children, and ended up having no male heirs to inherit his empire.
I have a lot of respect for Basil II, but I'll never ever understand this decision. Does anyone know why was he so against marriage and producing an heir? Even if he was worried about having potentially overbearing in-laws he could have gone the Roman route and adopted a child. We know that he would often take in and provide for the children of men who died in his wars. How difficult would it have been for him to simply name one of the most promising men his successor and betroth that man to Zoe or Theodora?
 
Hungary and Rhomania will certainly fight for Croatia. I think serbians and bulgarians will slowly hellenize if secessionist revolts never happen; cities like Philippopolis, Serdica and Naissus will be greek speaking while the rural areas will stay slavic speaking. By the 15th century a vassalization of Wallachia and Moldavia are possible too. Vlachs will look to Rhomania as its homeland where their ancestors came from.

I personally don't think Rhomania will challenge HRE's power; southern italy will be byzantine and the north will stay latin under HRE influence.
Constantinople will definetly look into Asia; I can easily see the recovery of the Syrian coast down to Gaza. If a conquest of Jerusalem happens, the romans will have to deal with all its muslim neighbors trying to reconquer the Holy City.

A full conquest of Syria and Egypt can also happen, but not until the mongol invasions come.
That's my thoughts.
 
I have a lot of respect for Basil II, but I'll never ever understand this decision. Does anyone know why was he so against marriage and producing an heir? Even if he was worried about having potentially overbearing in-laws he could have gone the Roman route and adopted a child. We know that he would often take in and provide for the children of men who died in his wars. How difficult would it have been for him to simply name one of the most promising men his successor and betroth that man to Zoe or Theodora?
The very first rebellion in his reign was sparked by his in-laws IIRC, he was at the court when his mother's lovers schemed with and against her, and he probably watched, or was aware of, his mother and the later John I murdering Nikephoros II. He may have acquired a fear for women since then.
 
The very first rebellion in his reign was sparked by his in-laws IIRC, he was at the court when his mother's lovers schemed with and against her, and he probably watched, or was aware of, his mother and the later John I murdering Nikephoros II. He may have acquired a fear for women since then.
Ehhh I guess I can't blame him for not wanting to get married then. However why not just go the Roman route? No women required to adopt a child or name a successor. To me it always seemed that, while Basil was an incredible Emperor, he didn't really care about anything that came after him. The fact that he had absolutely no succession plan and didn't want to marry off his nieces (I.E the only people who could have continued the Macedonian Dynasty) really strikes me as just....uncharacteristically stupid from someone who appeared to be both an incredible general and a capable administrator.
 
Ehhh I guess I can't blame him for not wanting to get married then. However why not just go the Roman route? No women required to adopt a child or name a successor. To me it always seemed that, while Basil was an incredible Emperor, he didn't really care about anything that came after him. The fact that he had absolutely no succession plan and didn't want to marry off his nieces (I.E the only people who could have continued the Macedonian Dynasty) really strikes me as just....uncharacteristically stupid from someone who appeared to be both an incredible general and a capable administrator.
I went back to check and saw that Bardas Phokas is related to Nikephoros II, so not in-laws (very distant ones emotionally I would assume), but I guess you won't be surprised that Nikephoros II also goes by Nikephoros II Phokas.
To add up some hearsay into the mix, I once heard a rumor about Basil II's tutors teaching him "republic good, Dominate and autocracy bad", so Basil II carried out his reforms with an ultimate goal of an emperor on top a republic. Or a republic, which has a figure with emperor-like powers at the top. This rumor does explain Basil II's lack of a dynastic succession plan besides his brother (but IIRC it was not Basil II who appointed his brother symbasileus).
 
I went back to check and saw that Bardas Phokas is related to Nikephoros II, so not in-laws (very distant ones emotionally I would assume), but I guess you won't be surprised that Nikephoros II also goes by Nikephoros II Phokas.
To add up some hearsay into the mix, I once heard a rumor about Basil II's tutors teaching him "republic good, Dominate and autocracy bad", so Basil II carried out his reforms with an ultimate goal of an emperor on top a republic. Or a republic, which has a figure with emperor-like powers at the top. This rumor does explain Basil II's lack of a dynastic succession plan besides his brother (but IIRC it was not Basil II who appointed his brother symbasileus).
While he probably could've prepared for the end of his reign better, you gotta admire his faith in his own people.
 
If I recall correctly weren’t the eastern themes the more rebellious ones, making eastern expansion undesirable ?
 
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