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?