Prologue
  • Hi everyone, this is my first attempt at a historical timeline. I've always been a history buff with a passion for Classical Roman and later Eastern Roman history. I've always wanted to explore the possibilities of a more successful restoration of the Byzantine Empire after 1204 under the House of Komnenos. In otl Alexios VI was a very prudent and successful military commander who in rapid succession took over most of the Northern Anatolia. His forces were poised to overrun the Niceans up until he was captured by the Turks in a hunting trip where he was forced to cede all his gains. This timeline is basically chronicles how the Komnenoi embark upon a Second Restoration, and navigate through challenges of the coming centuries. Please feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or feedback, and please excuse any gramatical errors that may be present in the timeline.
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    The House of Komnenos, Like a Phoenix From the Ashes: An Eastern Roman Timeline

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    Prologue: A Shattered Empire
    I. The Last of the Komnenoi


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    PROLOGUE: A SHATTERED EMPIRE


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    The events of the year 1204 was a catastrophe of epic proportions for the Romans. It is a moment which lives in infamy in the hearts and minds of every Roman even to this day. The damage it wrought upon the Empire brought to a low point not seen since the days of the Heraclians when the Caliphate’s armies besieged Constantinople in the 8th century. But unlike the Caliphate, the armies of the Accursed Fourth Crusade managed to breach the city's sea walls capturing the Imperial City. Never before had the city fallen to a foreign army before. And like what happened to its Western Couterpart eight centuries earlier, the city was looted and pillaged, its inhabitants brutalized and viciously slaughtere, and its lands were carved up by greedy aristocrats and foreign conquerors. To the Romans it seemed as though the light of Roman civilization was forever extinguished.

    Of course to us Modern readers, this notion seems ridiculous as Rhomania still endures carrying the torch passed from Augustus millenia ago, but to the Romans living at the time, it seemed as though Armageddon had finally arrived. With the deposition of the Komnenoi, the Accursed Angeloi dynasty came to power. Through own ineptitude and avarice, they fostered corruption within the civil administration, gutted the army of funds, and levied extortionate taxes to fund their extravagance and hedonism. To make matters worse the hard fought gains made by the Great Ioannes II Manuel I Komenos were reversed withing the span of a few decades with continued military defeats at the hands of the Turks.

    The foundations of the Empire were crumbling without a strong Basileus to maintain order and lead the army to victory. The onslaught of the Fourth Crusade came in like a wrecking ball to the beleaguered and sickly empire shattering it as though it were glass. The heretical Latins in their so called "Holy War" had sacked a city of their fellow Christians. They then carved up the Empire into their personal fiefdoms and instead of the aristocrats uniting to drive out the barbarians from the city of Constantine, they instead formed their own splinter states proclaiming themselves as Emperor dividing the Romans in the face of the Latins from the West and the Turks from the East.

    Indeed it seemed as though the Empire of the Romans was doomed to fall into the ashtray of history with its people scattered and ruled over by foreign overlords, and its history and culture wiped away from living memory. This likely would have been the case had it not been for sudden and unexpected rise of the Glorious Basileus Alexios VI of Trebizond, the grandson of the deposed Andronikos I Komnenos. Without him forcibly uniting the disparate fragments of Rhomania and his Reconstitution of the Empire in the Second Komnenian Restoration, its very likely that the Empire would never have made it past the 13th century with powerful enemies surrounding on all sides.
     
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    I. The Last of the Komnenoi
  • I. THE LAST OF THE KOMNENOI
    In order to understand the complicated characters that were Emperor Alexios the Great, and his brother David the Sebastokrator, we must look to their origins that shaped them into one of the prime movers of the 13th Century: The Downfall of Andronikos I.

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    An image of Basileus Andronikos I Komnenos I depicted him the Classical Style of the Roman Emperors of Antiquity.
    As we all know Emperor Andronikos I is see as a controversial figure in Roman history. In some circles he is viewed as a vicious and cruel tyrant, while others depict him as a shrewd and virtuous ruler. Though it should be noted that most of the chronicles authored under the reign of Angeloi tend to portray Andronikos unfavorably in order to justify their own usurpation of the throne. Though this characterization of Andronikos was challenged by works produced during the later 13th century like the Komneniad which does much to improve Andronikos's reputation where he is depicted as a popular and shrewd administrator. Indeed even among the works of his enemies, Andronikos is portrayed as a someone who had good intentions, but was corrupted by the power of the Imperial Throne. Thought the truth is much more nuance than this. Andronikos I came to power in a time of uncertainty and unrest within the Roman world. The Empire had suffered a massive loss during the reign of Emperor Manuel I where he was defeated by Killij Arslan II at the Battle of Myrokephalon. The impact of this battle could not be understated as the army had suffered a significant amount of casualties, and most importantly, the empire had lost its momentum in its reconquest of its ancient Anatolian lands. In fact had this Battle not taken place, or if the Romans had instead repulsed the Turks, it is speculated that Emperor Manuel could have taken Iconium throwing open the gateway to Central Anatolia.

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    An image depicting Emperor Manuel I solemnly reflecting on his defeat at Myrokephalon.
    When Manuel had finally died, the Empire was left in a weaker position than Manuel's predecessor Emperor Ioannes II had left it. The Romans needed a strong and capable soldier emperor at the helm to avenge that loss and continue the Reconquest of Anatolia. However Manuel's successor was the 14 year old Alexios II who had yet to reach his age of maturity and was unfit to command. To make matters worse his regent the Empress Dowager Maria of Antioch, had shown immense favoritism to the Latins which angered the native Romaoi (Romans) [1]. This was where Andronikos I came in. Though he was in his early 60's Andronikos was a competent and distinguished battlefield commander who appeared as a godsend to the Romans. And though his actions regarding the swift deposition and execution of his rivals were brutal, they did secure that his rule would be without any rival claimants to start a Civil War.

    With his position secure, Emperor Andronikos began a swift crackdown against corruption in the government and abuses of power by the aristocracy. Though his methods were brutal, they were necessary to restore the authority of the central government and to reverse the Western style "feudalization" of the Empire with power handed over to the local aristocracy. Indeed one would not be incorrect to note the parallels between the policies of Emperor Andronikos I and that of his grandson Alexios VI. Alexios VI like his grandfather, had developed a personal animosity towards the dynatoi who had murdered his family and usurped his throne. He resonated with his grandfather's hard line policies and drew inspiration from them. Like Andronikos, Alexios was ruthless with the old aristocracy whom he viewed as corrupt, incompetent. He worked vigorously to curb corruption and to restore control of he Central Government over the provinces and the Empire's other dependent states. However unlike his grandfather, Alexios VI managed to operate and effective spy network to snuff out any plots and conspiracies against him. This allowed him to rule without any significant opposition toward his government leaving him free to reshape the empire as he wished in his many wars of restoration.

    After Emperor Andronikos I was deposed and brutally executed by the aristocracy, Isaac II Angelos took the throne. While he deserves credit for decisively defeating the Norman Invasion of the Empire, his rule was an overall net negative for the Empire. His misrule and corruption rotted away the foundations supporting the First Komenian Restoration that Basileus Alexios I and Ioannes II had so painstakingly worked to build after the Empire's disastrous defeat at Manzikert in 1071. As a result, some of the old Komnenian loyalists within the army and bureaucracy plotted a coup which was discovered by the Angeloi who summarily purged them from the government. Alexios's mother Rusudan fled to Trebizond where she sought refuge and later fled to the court of her sister Queen Tamar Great of Georgia. There Alexios VI and David the Sebastokrator lingered in exile until they began their first campaing of 1204 beginning the first of the many wars of Restoration.

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    A 13th Century Mural from a Monastery depicting Queen Tamar the Great. Her reign saw the Kingdom of Georgia reach its zenith during its Medieval Golden Age.​

    While our sources are lacking on information about the lives of the two brothers, it can be assumed that the last of the Komnenoi were given an education, and military training in the Georgian Court befitting their status as princes of the ancient and most noble Empire of the Romans. This can be inferred as both Komnenoi showed considerable military skill on the battlefield and in managing the affairs of state.

    [1] The term Romaoi is the Greek version of the word Roman. Though the Byzantine Empire was called "Byzantine," its people identified themselves as Romans. Though they spoke Greek, they still continued the politics and institutions of the Roman Empire going back to Augustus first establishing the Empire in 27 BC. Greek had also been the Language of communication of commerce in the East ever since Alexander the Great, and was adopted by the Latin speaking Romans as a second state language. But because in the 7th Century, the Empire lost its Latin speaking Provinces, the empire was left with a primarily Greek speaking core, and thus changed its language to Greek. Though Latin was still in use in official Eastern Roman documents and coinage up until the 11th century. Latin also gave Greek many loan words as well.

    Author's Note: Sorry for not updating this earlier, but I had accidentally deleted my original draft and had to rewrite this. I'll also be posting new updates to my other fics sometime tomorrow or on Wednesday. Thanks for reading and so patiently waiting for an update. Please feel free to comment on this. Any form of feedback or constructive criticism is welcome.
     
    II. The Empire In Trebizond
  • II. The Empire in Trebizond​

    The beginnings of the Second Komnenian Restoration started in late 1203 when the idiot emperor Alexios IV Angelos in his greed seized the gifts Queen Tamar had given as ship money to the monasteries of Antioch and Mount Athos. This diplomatic insult gave Queen Tamar the perfect pretense to move against the Angeloi. With her cause for war, Queen Tamar began funding her nephews Alexios and David Komnenos and providing them with a force of a few thousand men on retainer to begin their march towards Trebizond to reclaim their ancestral legacy, and to ensure that the light of Rome passed on from Augutus a millennia before would not be snuffed out by the barbarian yoke that occupied the Imperial City.

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    The Kingdom of Georgia at the height of its power and influence under Queen Tamar the Great.​

    While sources during the reign of Emperors Alexios VI and his son Ioannes III during the Komnenian Renaissance like to tout the bond or “special relationship” [1] between the Romans and the Georgian people, the truth here is far less glamourous. While contemporary chroniclers play Queen Tamar as a benevolent aunt supporting her family, the reality is that these actions were likely more out of pragmatism than out of familial obligations. The Georgian Kingdom under Queen Tamar reached its apex during the 13th Century before its time of troubles. Georgia was a state that had been rapidly expanding in all directions. With the weakness of the Roman state thanks to the years of Angeloi incompetence, the state began to falter. Traditionally the Romans were the power that held the main monopoly over the Black Sea trade, but with their weakened state, a vacuum emerged in the region that the Georgians wished to fill. Queen Tamar likely expected to carve out a friendly satellite state in Northern Anatolia that served as an extension of Georgia’s influence allowing it greater access to the highly lucrative Black Sea trade routes, and for it to serve as a buffer to the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum.

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    An image depicting the 4th Crusade Siege of Constantinople in 1204​

    While historians, and the modern Roman state officially count the beginning of the Komnenian Restoration as beginning in late 1203, by the time the Georgian troops were mobilized and prepared for battle, it was already 1204 with Alexios cautiously waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike at the Angeloi when they least expected it. In April of the year 1204 the Imperial City was besieged by the accursed Latins participating in the Fourth Crusade. Seeing that the Imperial government would now be distracted, Alexios and his men rushed to the city of Trebizond laying siege to city and capturing it on Easter Day: April 25, 1204 where Emperor Alexios was crowned as Emperor of the Romans. Not long after that the entire of province of Chaldea was soon captured by the Komnenoi. From there the two Komnenoi brothers soon marched with their army capturing most of Northern Anatolia in addition to the bits of the Roman controlled Crimea with many cities throwing open their gates to the new and rightful Komnenian Emperor.

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    A 16th century portrait of Emperor Alexios VI depicted in full royal and military attire [2]​

    Despite their rapid streak of victories, everything was far from secure with the looming threats like the Seljuk Turks likely to make a move against the Romans in their weakened state. Due to the threat of Turkish invasion, Emperor Alexios left his trusted brother David in charge of the Western offensive, while was forced to take a contingent of the Komnenian army back to Trebizond to help garrison fortresses and the nearby towns and countryside in the hopes of dissuading a Seljuk invasion. Because of these limited numbers, David Komnenos was now forced to slow down his advance into Western Anatolia however things would take an unexpected turn as news of the Sacking of Constantinople had reached the Komnenoi. The Fall of Constaninople had sent shockwaves rippling throughout the Empire as the city had never fallen to foreign enemies since its founding nearly 900 years earlier by Great Emperor Constantine I. The loss of the city had initially demoralized the Komnenoi and some of the native Roman recruits that he had gathered up in their campaign. Later declassified documents from this period released by Emperor Basil IV reveal how the Komnenoi had privately expected regret for not rushing to the city’s defense sooner. Indeed this would be one of the motivations of Emperor Alexios VI to embark upon his harsh measures to restore the effectiveness and vitality of the Romans state.

    Due to the limited amount of troops available and the danger of the Komnenian Army becoming spread dangerously thin, Alexios had to stop his advance after capturing the city of Heracleia in order to consolidate his gains and to avoid encirclement by the new and heretical Latin Empire or Imperium Romanae and the newly created Empire of Nicaea. With the Imperial Government in exile now firmly established in the Pontus region, historians refer to the state of the Empire in Trebizond, as the future of the Roman world looked murky and unclear with the Latin Empire taking the bulk of the Roman territory and the Roman resistance to these barbarian usurpers being disunited with various smaller splinter states emerging. With enemies on all fronts, the Empire was forced to limit its expansion and consolidate its gains. This crucial time allowed for the Komnenoi to rebuild the crippled apparatus of state and its crumbling institutions with the central government now dissolved. These new Komnenian reforms allowed the Empire a well-organized structure as well the ability to begin recruitment of a new native army to help garrison the frontiers and to continue expanding the Roman state. The orientation of the Empire as a Black Sea based state, allowed it to grow wealthy. This combined with the connections to the Georgian Kingdom gave it a strong start and a natural ally in the fight to restore the Empire. The decision of the Komnenoi would later prove to be wise as the newly crowned Theodoros Laskaris would prove to be the Komnenoi’s most dangerous and treacherous rival in the Roman Game of Thrones.

    Author's Note:
    At long last, I've finally posted an update for this timeline. Sorry for the long wait everyone. I was busy dealing with real life issues and schoolwork. Please feel free to comment. Any constructive criticism/feedback is welcome.

    [1] The Special Relationship refers to the mutual connection and friendly relations that developed over time between the Roman Empire and the Kindom of Georgia. This is somewhat akin to otl's special relationship between to the UK and the US.
    [2] The image depicted is actually of Bella III of Hungary who was a possible candidate to succeed the Roman throne after Emperor Manuel I. I couldn't really find an image of Alexios I of Trebizond, so I'm pretending that this is essentially how he looked like.
     
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    1204 Map
  • Here's a crude map of the political situation.

    The Roman World in 1204
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    Key:
    I. The Roman Empire in Exile (Trebizond)
    II. The Empire of Nicaea
    III. The Seljuk Sultunate of Rum
    IV. The Latin Empire/Imperium Romanae (Frankokratia as the actual Romans call it)
    a) The Kingdom of Thessalonika (Latin Empire)
    b.) The Duchy of Athens (Latin Empire)
    c.) The Principality of Achaea (Latin Empire)
    V. The Second Bulgarian Empire
    VI. The Despotate of Epirus
    VII. The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
    VIII. Kingdom of Cyprus
    IX. The Norman Kingdom of Sicily
    X. The Most Serine Republic of Venice (The Romans would dispute this)
    As you can see here, the Empire of Trebizond is a bit bigger than otl after it captured Sinope and Heracleia .
     
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    A Better Quality Map
  • The Roman World of the Early 13th Century in the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade
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    Here's a better quality map. Sorry for the lack of updates on any of my other fics, or this timeline. It took me forever to make this map. What do you guys think?​
     

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    Some Art I made of Alexios VI
  • Sorry about there being no new updates yet guys for this or my other timelines/fics. I've been a bit busy with exams and other schoolwork. Though I managed to draw this Byzantine style portrait of Alexios VI on Paint.net in my free time. What do you guys think? An update is coming in the near future, but for the moment it's a bit delayed.

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    Alexios VI Komnenos "The Liberator," Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans.​
     
    III. Frankokratia
  • III. Frankokratia

    After the accursed Fourth Crusade, the treacherous Latin barbarians founded their own perverse abomination of a state in 1204. This Crusader naught was but a pale imitation of the glory and splendor of Imperial Rome. With the city fallen to these so called Crusaders, they proclaimed their own Empire as the successor of Rome usurping the title from the Romaioi who were now forced to live in a long period of chaos and anarchy where the future of the Empire looked uncertain.

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    The coat of arms of the Latin Empire.​

    The Crusader State commonly referred to as the Latin Empire by historiographers was also referred to, by the Romans themselves, as Frankokratia or even as Latinokratia. This directly translates into rule by the French and rule by the Latins due to the fact that this “empire’s” aristocracy was largely made up by French and Latin noblemen aside from the few traitors nobles that decided to cooperate with the barbarians to maintain their wealth. It should be noted that the Latins themselves never referred to their pathetic excuse of an Empire as the Latin Empire, but rather as the Imperium Romanae which directly translates to the Empire of the Romans: a title which rightfully belongs to the heirs of the great Augustus and Constantine rather than the barbarians who invaded and took over the Empire in the west in the 5th and 6th centuries.
    While the Latins may have officially called themselves the Empire of the Romans, they also referred to their state as the Imperium Constantinopolitanum which means the Empire of Constantinople. Though this was only really done in official correspondence with the Pope. The Roman Curia only recognized the Western, Germanic Holy Roman Emperor as the sole Emperor of the Roman in accordance with the concept of Translatio Imperii going back to Frankish Emperor Charlemagne. The fact that they referred to themselves as the Empire of Constantinople only highlights the illegitimacy of their poor imitation of the grandeur and Imperial dignity of the Empire of the Romans.

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    A non-contemporary 16th Century painting of Emperor Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor.​

    Following the looting and burning of the Imperial City, the Crusaders, stunned at their success in conquering the premier city in Christendom, were unsure of how to proceed. Going back to the previous precedent established by their predecessors during the First Crusade, a new Crusader State was proclaimed giving birth to the Latin Empire. And with the creation of this new Empire, a new Emperor had to be crowned, but the choice of who should take the throne was unclear as there were three claimants. The first of these claimants was the aged and now blind Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo. Dandolo was one of the main architects behind the nature of the disgraceful Fourth Crusade which did nothing but enrich the coffers of the Venetians while attacking fellow Christian cities like Zara, and Constantinople, eliminating the Most Serine Republic's economic rivals in the Adriatic and Eastern Mediterranean. Although Dandolo was first offered the Crown, he refused it with the next two rival contenders being Count Baldwin of Flanders and Boniface of Montferrat.

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    A non-contemporary painting depicting Boniface of Montferat's ascension as leader of the Fourth Crusade in 1201.​

    Boniface of Montferrat was a strong contender for the throne due to his family's own distinguished reputation in prior Crusades. He was also favored by Emperor Heinrich VI von Hohenstaufen of the Holy Roman Empire, and after his death in 1197 his brother and Boniface's cousin, Philip of Swabia was elected King of the Germans and was poised to become the next Emperor if not regent in the name of Emperor Heinrich's son Frederick who was the boy King of Sicily. This dynastic connection would offer legitimacy to Boniface, and it would have helped shore up the Latin Empire's already dubious legal standing, as the purpose of the Fourth Crusade was to reclaim the Holy Land rather than attack one of Christendom's most hallowed and important cities. This connection with the Hohenstaufens would later be key in defending against Basileus Alexios' unrelenting onslaught in the wars of Roman Restoration later down the line. Boniface who had also been quite popular with the other Crusader Knights was already assumed by many Crusaders to be the one to take the Imperial title, after all he was officially made the leader of the Fourth Crusade in 1201. But as historical hindsight shows us, things are not always as they appear.

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    A non-contemporary portrait depicting Emperor Baldwin I of the Latin Empire depicting him as a more idealized and heroic fashion.
    Boniface who had some connections with some of the Roman aristocracy was the more favored choice to become Emperor however his Imperial Ambitions were thwarted by the Venetians whom the Crusaders had been indebted to. The Venetians vetoed Boniface's election as Emperor by his fellow Crusaders because they saw him as someone they could not influence or gain concessions from as Boniface's more headstrong personality would have made him push for the Latin to be more independent of Venice, and possibly becoming a rival to Venice itself. Constantinople despite its ruined state, was still the jewel of the East, and one of the most lucrative cities in all of Christendom, and Boniface were to fully utilize its resources at its disposal, it would likely displace the new Venetian monopoly and dominance over the Mediterranean trade. For Enrico Dandolo, the man who finally eliminated Venice's main economic rivals such a situation was intolerable, and as such the Crown was offered to Baldwin I of Flanders much to the anger of Boniface and his supporters. But Baldwin as compared to the more unscrupulous Boniface was held as the ideal of a Crusading Knight who was noted for his piety, gallantry, and his dedication for his vows. And because the Venetians controlled the Crusader's purse strings, Baldwin was acclaimed as Emperor and was crowned on the 16th of May 1204 in an elaborate ceremony that mirrored the traditional coronation of Roman Emperors. Adding to this, it was noted that the Latin Emperor Baldwin had worn a large and expensive pieces of jewelry that had belonged to notable Emperors such as Emperor Manuel I Komennos which illustrated the Latin Emperor's intentions to to portray themselves as successors of past Emperors of the Romans, and their government as political continuation of the Empire under a Western frame work under a re-unified Church.

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    The Imperial Seal of Baldwin I where he presented himself in the Royal/Imperial Fashion in the Latin West while also featuring his claim to the Roman Empire in his use of the full Latin translation of the titles used by the Greek Eastern Roman Emperors.​

    Despite the pretensions of these Roman Impostors to the legacy of Caesar and Constantine, the nature and structure of the Latin Empire was fundamentally different from that of the Eastern Roman Empire much like the framework of the old Carolingian Empire when compared to the Western Roman Empire. Following the collapse of the Roman world and the state as an institution in the West, many peasants turned to local aristocrats and other warlords for protection. This arrangement formed the basis for the decentralized feudal system that evolved in Western Europe in the aftermath of the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. While the state as an institution collapsed in the West, in the East it survived with the Empire maintaining its centralized government and professionalized bureaucracy that helped the Empire reorganize itself throughout the many long periods of renewal and crisis in the Roman world. In terms of the scale and complexity of this system, it can be said that its only equal was the bureaucratic apparatus used in the Chinese Empire in the Far East.

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    A map showing the territorial extent of the Latin Empire and its feudal subdivisions in accordance with the Latin partition of the Empire.​

    After the Crusader sacked the Imperial City and established their control over most of Greece, the Latin Empire was organized along feudal lines as seen in the West with its contemporary states like the Capetian Kingdom of France, the Kingdom of Sicily, or the Holy Roman Empire. In accordance with these feudal principles, the barbarians partitioned the Empire into various vassal fiefs such as the Kingdom of Thessalonica, the Principality of Achaea, Duchy of Athens, Duchy of the Archipelago, and the Duchy of Philippopolis in Thrace. And as a reward to the treacherous Ventetians, they awarded 3/8 of the territory under Latin control granting them new colonies and trading outposts to dominate the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Sea. Though fortunately, the Venetians were not really able to gain a foothold into the Black Sea thanks to the efforts of the Komnenoi, though not for lack of trying during the Wars of Restoration. While the feudal system worked well in the West providing a means of stability, and even centralization and organization in places such as the Norman Kingdoms of England and Sicily, in the portions of Rhomania under Latin rule, the effects were disastrous.

    The Latins ever distrustful of the professional and centralized administration of the Empire, systematically dismantled it which threw the economy of the wider provinces in Latin ruled mainland Greece and Thrace into chaos. The economies of these provinces which had been reliant on these administrative structures, the oldest of which had been in place since Diocletian's institution of the Roman Dominate, were suddenly abolished. The collapse of the Latin economy proved though would later prove to the advantage of the other Roman warring states in the Crisis of the 13th Century which were better organized and more economically stable when compared to the financially crippled Latin Empire. Though these economic woes would have many cultural scars on the Roman world as notable holy relics looted from the city such as the Roman fragments of the Crown of Thorns were sold off to raise funds. In addition to this, many decorative edifices and jeweled sections of Roman churches were stripped and melted down to pay for the shortage of food within the city and account for the near empty treasury which had been liquidated by the Angeloi. In addition to these economic and administrative woes, the Latins had alienated much of the native Romaioi under their rule with the forced imposition of the union of the Eastern and Western Churches that asserted the supremacy of the Latin rite and the supremacy of the Roman curia over the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The hierarchical structure of the Orthodox Church in Constantinople was replaced by Latin prelates

    Despite all these internal and structural problems, the Latin Empire was quite large in size when compared to the other Roman successor states which allowed it to rival other powers like the Empire in Trebizond, Empire in Nicaea, Despotate of Epirus, and the Second Bulgarian Empire. But thanks to the new feudal division of the Empire, the authority of the Latin Emperor was weakened with the individual princes seeking to assert their independence, or at least autonomy from the Emperor, a common feature that other such feudal realms such as the Capetian Kingdom of France which had begun to centralize under Philippe Auguste after centuries of fragmentation, or the Hohenstaufen ruled Holy Roman Empire with the Imperial Authority being resisted by subordinate princes such as Ottokar I of Bohemia.

    Boniface of Montferrat was one such Imperial Prince who began to move against the authority of the the Latin Emperor. He himself was a rival of the new Emperor Baldwin of Flanders, and to him and his supporters, Boniface should have been made Emperor because of his position as the leader of the Crusade that saw them take Constantinople in the First place and conquer swathes of the Empire of the Romans. To account for this slight, the Venetians and the new Latin government hoped to arrange for a compromise where Boniface would be given the large fiefdom of Thessalonica which was raised to a kingdom. This territory was large and gave Boniface control over the second largest city in the Empire with a realm that contained the old Roman themes of Thessalonika, Strymon, and most of the old Theme of Hellas. Boniface also claimed Thessalonica based on the fact that his younger brother Reiner of Montferrat had been granted a Pronoia over Thessalonika by the Emperor Manuel I Komnenos as dowry following his marriage to the Emperor's daughter Maria Komnene. This connection to the Komnenians gave Boniface a stronger claim to throne making him a dangerous rival to Emperor Baldwin I. This internal squabbling would prove to be quite detrimental to the Latin Empire making it stillborn from its inception, a fact that all the other ambitious players in the Crisis of the 13th Century would take advantage of to great effect.

    Author's Note:
    Here's the long awaited update to this timeline. Sorry about not posting this earlier, but I was busy with schoolwork and exams. I also accidentally deleted my original draft, so I had to rewrite this from scratch, so its a tad bit shorter than the original draft.

    I hope you guys enjoyed reading this update, and please feel free to comment below. Any form of feedback is welcome.
     

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    Quick Status Update
  • Sorry for not posting an update after so many months. This tl isn't dead, but as the drive I was saving a lot of my notes and drafts for upcoming chapters failed, so I had to essentially start from scratch. A new update is coming soon however.

    This update will jump straight to the action as the long awaited Latin-Bulgarian Wars start as the first of many wars in the Anarchy of the 13th Century.

    Regards,
    @Basileus_Komnenos
     
    Map of Central Europe/Status Update
  • F7GkqQA.png

    A quick map update for my TL- The House of Komnenos: Like a Phoenix From the Ashes. This is a map of Central Europe depicting events occurring concurrently with the Second Komnenian Restoration during the Anarchy of the 13th Century. With the death of Emperor Heinrich VI, The Empire has entered the reigns of his younger brother Philip I of Swabia. Philip however had to contend with the historic rivals of his family: the House of Welf. Duke Otto of Saxony has contested his title and had even had himself crowned by the Archbishop of Cologne in Aachen. However due to Philip's swift political maneuvering, he was largely able to secure German support among the German Princes.

    While not the Holy Roman Emperor officially, Philip is in de-facto control of the Empire in the name of his nephew the young King of Sicily: Frederick "the Stupor Mundi." While things look good for Philip, he has various crises to deal with as his rival while largely contained in the Duchy of Saxony (Braunschweig/Brunswick), he is not yet beaten, to the North the Danish King Valedmar II has taken the opportunity to conquer the Northern Coast of Germany allowing to become master of the Baltic, and in the South the Pope has managed to gain control of central Italy while also tacitly supporting a revolt among the so called Tuscan League.

    After a bit of a long and unplanned hiatus, I plan on resuming my tl. I have another map of the East which I'll also publish soon once I finish it.
    Sorry about the long break guys. Life really threw me a curve ball lol (I broke my jaw after a nasty fall), and I was finally able to rewrite an outline for this tl, after I lost my original one when my drive failed. I think what I have planned now is vastly superior to my original draft so if you're fans of the Hohenstaufens, Capetians, or heck even Latins you're in for a very interesting read.

    If you're familiar with my other tl: Imperator Francorum - A Napoleon II Timeline, I plan on changing the format of this tl a bit based on how I've been writing my other tl.
     
    Map Update (Detailed Map of the HRE)
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    Sorry about the lack of update guys. Though I am still at work on this tl. I've been doing quite a bit of research for this tl, and I started creating a more detailed map of the HRE in the early 13th Century. It's not complete yet, but I've completed 80% of Italy and about 75% of Germany. As for Arles, I'm still a bit unsure about some of the borders for the Duchy of Zahringen/Burgundy.

    What do you guys think of this map?​
     
    Updated Map of the Roman World New

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    Here's a map of the Roman World during early parts of the 13th Century Anarchy. The map here is more detailed, than the other maps I've posted, thanks to the research I've done during the hiatus period of this tl which I was forced to go on due to irl circumstances. I've added some other post-Roman successor states and corrected some of the errors I made on the old map. Some of this research has led me to re-evaluate the direction of where I was going with this tl, and as a result I have a much clearer picture of how to develop this tl, without it breaking plausibility.

    I now have a much more clear vision of where exactly I want to end this tl now which probably will occur sometime during the end of what we consider the Renaissance in otl. I might consider doing a sequel after that, or at least a series of epilogues, but right now I'll be focusing on writing towards where I had that end date in mind.

    Some of the corrections include that of Trebizond, which whose borders weren't exactly the most accurate. Another correction I added was in the Aegean islands where I drew added in the Duchy of the Archipelago. I also added the areas in Morea that historically were in control of Leo Sgouros who led a resistance against the Crusaders from within his stronghold: the Acrocorinth.

    As for the Venice's holdings, I added in Gallipoli which the Venetians did briefly hold, until it was later reconquered by the Empire of Nicaea in otl. I also added illustrated the situation in Crete which the venetians despite being purchasing it from Boniface of Montferrat, only partially controlled as the Eastern and Central portions of the island were held by the Genoese. Venetian Crete was also which was ruled as the Kingdom of Candia was quite unstable as it faced numerous Roman revolts. I also removed Negroponte (Euboea) from Venetian control as this region during the Early 13th Century was actually under the control of Boniface of Montferrat. Bonficace divided the land here among three barons who were sworn to him as their feudal lord. Its for this reason that Negroponte would be referred to as the Triarchy of Negroponte.

    I added in the lordship of Rhodes and the Cyclades as that was an other 13th Century Roman splinter state which emerged after the fall of the Constantinople in 1204. It was ruled by Leo Gabalas and nominally swore fealty to the Nicaean Emperors, though it for all intents and purposes was an independent polity with its ruler Leo Gabras adopting the title of Caesar for himself.

    Another addition I made was the County Palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos. This polity was technically given to the Venetians but they weren't able to really assert control over it until much later. Its ruler after the Fourth Crusade instead, recognized Pope Innocent III as his overlord to legitimize his rule.​
     
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