WI : Successful Komnenian Restoration

Easter Roman Empire survives, Komnenian restoration continues after Manuel.

I am trying to figure out the population and economic changes in Balkans and Anatolia under Byzantine Empire instead of Ottoman Empire.

Assuming Manuel's adult successor or Manuel himself reconquers Anatolia, and the base being, 5.6M nomismata revenue in 1150 with an estimated 10M population.

Romanization of all/if not most population in Balkans and Anatolia. Retention of Balkans and Anatolia under Roman rule indefinitely from the time Anatolian reconquest during Manuel or adult successor. Any successful invasion becomes temporary like when OTL France lost during the French revolutionary wars.

I am thinking of gradual growth both in population, economy, literacy rate.

Would population stagnate to Basil 2/1025 AD estimated population of 12M-15M? If not, what is the maximum population for Balkans and Anatolia under Roman administration before industrialization?

Would the economy and gdp per capita stagnate at $1,200/$1,400 or is it possible to increase this before industrialization? Or are Branko Milanovic's estimates too high for Basil 2 GDP per capita?

Literacy rate stagnates to 30% or can the Romans gradually increase this even before industrialization?

I am curious about a Romanized Balkans/Anatolia under the Roman rule and the differences between having OTL Balkans/Anatolia under Ottoman rule.
 
So I guess we’re assuming Manuel gave up on campaigning in the west and actually focused on Anatolia, reversing the outcome of the battle of Myriokephalon. In any case, even if Manuel had an adult successor, and we’re assuming he’s someone as good as his father and grandfather, the Mongols will be coming anyway, and since it’s almost guaranteed that Byzantium will have to face internal strife as well, I don’t see the Byzantines putting much of a fight for Anatolia. Also, the Schism would prevent any Christian alliance, and any emperor who would try to bridge that gap will be overwhelmed by unrest and dissatisfaction. If you want the Byzantines to retain Anatolia through modern times, you either have to go back to Basil II, butterfly away his asexuality and make sure he conceives a capable male heir or you have to go way ahead and have the Ottomans be wasted at Nicopolis. In those cases, it might be possible for the empire to survive a while longer.
 

Marc

Donor
The Mongols are that uncomfortable fact that most Byzantine enthusiasts try to white-wash away. Ironically, the more successful an alternate Empire might be in the 12th century, the more likely that they are going to be rather badly handled when the Mongols do show up.
 
The Mongols are that uncomfortable fact that most Byzantine enthusiasts try to white-wash away. Ironically, the more successful an alternate Empire might be in the 12th century, the more likely that they are going to be rather badly handled when the Mongols do show up.

Why is that something to take for granted? Lets say the Mongols do as well as in OTL, Byzantine territory has a key advantage: Constantinople and the Aegean. They can absorb losses on either side and redirect their efforts where the Mongols are weakest. Unless the Mongols take The City (in which case, the Byzantines are screwed anyway) or have naval supremacy, I think a vibrant Byzantine Empire is a very tough nut to crack.
 
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Deleted member 114175

The Mongols are that uncomfortable fact that most Byzantine enthusiasts try to white-wash away. Ironically, the more successful an alternate Empire might be in the 12th century, the more likely that they are going to be rather badly handled when the Mongols do show up.
The Mongols relied substantially on auxiliaries in the conquest of the Near East. Particularly, Armenian and Georgian mercenaries composed a large portion of, or even a majority of several Ilkhanate armies.

If the Byzantines remain relevant into the Mongol Conquest era, they would probably ally with the Mongols. But if they didn’t, they could disrupt the ability of the Mongols to recruit in Armenia and Georgia, delaying them and giving the Muslim states more of a chance, as the escalating Mongol civil wars approach.

The Byzantines are basically another Mamluk Sultanate for the Ilkhanate to deal with. The Mongols could destroy a surviving Byzantine Empire, but this is about as plausible as them conquering the entirety of Egypt.
 
The immediate consequence is that the dynatoi most likely amplifies in power. There are some suggestions that any of the Komnenian Emperors could have taken out Rum any time,it’s just that they limited their gains because the dynatoi will expand in power following a full recon quest of Anatolia.
 
The real internal problem with the ERE is that any successful general, or any influential bureaucrat, could try and make a bid for the throne. In the case of a Mongol invasion, I can easily see a wannabe emperor inviting the Mongols in to help him seize the throne, and since there would be no Rum Sultanate to serve as buffer, portions of Anatolia would be inevitably lost, and the emperor would either be a puppet in Mongolian hands or severely weakened by the assault.
 

Marc

Donor
The key question is, in an alternate history where the Byzantines are a major, rather than minor, player in the Eastern Med, what would be the alternate Mongol response?
My take, on some close reading of what happened in the Caucasus/Eastern Anatolian/Northern region is far less sanguine.
Worse case scenario is what Timur did to the Ottomans. The Byzantine empire is not destroyed, but nearly so, reduced to around what it had under Andronikos II Palaiologos. Hanging on by toenails and lots of incense.
Best case, what Saljuqiyān-e Rum (I do rather like the Persian, since they did as well) and pretty little Trebizond and the Georgias (plural, they had some serious unity issues for a while), experienced. Defeat in force, followed by being a tributary state - which includes sending soldiers to serve in various Mongol campaigns.
Keep in mind, if you change the structure and dynamics of the Middle East by making the Empire more successful, you're also changing the challenges and responses that will create. Of course some might work better, but given the almost irresistible strength of the early Mongol armies, I wouldn't bet on it.
Just as one mental exercise: imagine the Mongols having Byzantine tributary auxiliaries help them over run the Mameluke and conquer at least lower Egypt.
Another quick one: Both the Iklhanate and the Golden Horde adopted Islam, and there lies a more tempting Christian Byzantium between them...

In retrospect, the Byzantines lucked out short term by having states between them and the Mongols. Of course, the Mongols did make it easier for the Oghuz Turks to move in.
 
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I am not really looking for ways to screw Byzantine empire from PoD or find ways for Byzantine empire not to succeed by making the Turks succeed in Anatolia like OTL.

But rather in a successful, wanked Byzantine empire, with no Angelois, No fourth crusade, good-great emperors(ala Ottomans in OTL) regardless of family/dynatoi, screwed opponents/invaders, what would the population, literacy rate, per capita in the Roman empire(Balkans/Anatolia) be before industrialization?

Would the Byzantines be stuck with 10M-15M for Anatolia/Balkans until the tech of OTL 1800 or the equal year of OTL 1800 in ATL? Or is their room for growth to be better than the Balkan and Anatolian Population under Ottoman Rule? Based on Angus Maddison, the population of Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia, Turkey was 10.5M in 1500, 13.6M in 1600, 14.2M in 1700, can Anatolia+Balkans have better population or even double than these OTL estimates under Roman rule?

What about Literacy rate? Would the Romans be stuck at 30%? Or can the Romans increase this to 40-50% or even 90% without industrialization?

Per capita? is there a way to increase the Roman per capita with such a large population before Industrialization? Angus Maddison did estimate the Dutch having $2,100 (1990 Dollars) in 1700 but they had an estimated population of 1.9M. Is it possible for the Romans achieve Dutch 1700 per capita or the max per capita of the Romans would be $1,100 before industrialization?
 

Marc

Donor
I am not really looking for ways to screw Byzantine empire from PoD or find ways for Byzantine empire not to succeed by making the Turks succeed in Anatolia like OTL.

But rather in a successful, wanked Byzantine empire, with no Angelois, No fourth crusade, good-great emperors(ala Ottomans in OTL) regardless of family/dynatoi, screwed opponents/invaders, what would the population, literacy rate, per capita in the Roman empire(Balkans/Anatolia) be before industrialization?

Would the Byzantines be stuck with 10M-15M for Anatolia/Balkans until the tech of OTL 1800 or the equal year of OTL 1800 in ATL? Or is their room for growth to be better than the Balkan and Anatolian Population under Ottoman Rule? Based on Angus Maddison, the population of Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia, Turkey was 10.5M in 1500, 13.6M in 1600, 14.2M in 1700, can Anatolia+Balkans have better population or even double than these OTL estimates under Roman rule?

What about Literacy rate? Would the Romans be stuck at 30%? Or can the Romans increase this to 40-50% or even 90% without industrialization?

Per capita? is there a way to increase the Roman per capita with such a large population before Industrialization? Angus Maddison did estimate the Dutch having $2,100 (1990 Dollars) in 1700 but they had an estimated population of 1.9M. Is it possible for the Romans achieve Dutch 1700 per capita or the max per capita of the Romans would be $1,100 before industrialization?

Well, most important order of business is dealing with the Black Death, which from 1347-1453 was a series of 9 major pandemics. We won't ever have exact numbers, but given some extrapolation, say around 30-35% of the population died, the largest part in the first set of pandemics; and urban numbers would be much higher (Some estimates put Constantinople's losses as about 70%). The concurrent effects, political, social, economic, military are almost overwhelmingly profound. Ironically, fairly centralized states like the Byzantine empire may have had more difficulty getting past the huge death tolls.
 
The real internal problem with the ERE is that any successful general, or any influential bureaucrat, could try and make a bid for the throne. In the case of a Mongol invasion, I can easily see a wannabe emperor inviting the Mongols in to help him seize the throne, and since there would be no Rum Sultanate to serve as buffer, portions of Anatolia would be inevitably lost, and the emperor would either be a puppet in Mongolian hands or severely weakened by the assault.
Not necessarily lost. Rum Sultanate wasn’t conquered for example.But I do think that the empire will be forced to pay tribute to the Mongols.
 
Well, most important order of business is dealing with the Black Death, which from 1347-1453 was a series of 9 major pandemics. We won't ever have exact numbers, but given some extrapolation, say around 30-35% of the population died, the largest part in the first set of pandemics; and urban numbers would be much higher (Some estimates put Constantinople's losses as about 70%). The concurrent effects, political, social, economic, military are almost overwhelmingly profound. Ironically, fairly centralized states like the Byzantine empire may have had more difficulty getting past the huge death tolls.

I did say just before industrial so that means Romans got 400-500 years to recover the population even after the Black Death.

What proof do you have that Roman Anatolia plus Roman Balkan population would be stuck at 10M or even lower, lower what the Ottomans achieved in OTL, until 1800 while the Rest of Europe recovered?

Is Roman centralization bad for hundreds of years recovery compared to Ottoman administration?
 

Deleted member 67076

John II doesnt die of a poisoned arrow. Continues the policy of slow limited campaigns into Anatolia; alongside letting the second crusade do most of the dirty work for him. Manuel's adventurisn; while strategically sound at the time, failed and therefore smaller campaigns against one target are likely to be more likely. Given the weakening nature of the Rum Sultanate; its probably going to crack soon enough and restore the Cappadocian heartland, giving a major source of cavalry and ranching land while removing a major front to deal with.

Not necessarily lost. Rum Sultanate wasn’t conquered for example.But I do think that the empire will be forced to pay tribute to the Mongols.
They did historically just pay off the Mongols, unlike literally every other power around them. I don't see a reason why the restored Romans wouldnt just pay tribute and nudge the Mongols to attack their enemies in the Balkans or Levant.
 
One scenario I thought of would be a Byzantine victory at Myriocephalon, followed by an alliance marriage between Alexios II and Tamar of Georgia, the Seljuks and other Turkish emirates in Anatolia and Armenia being crushed between them. And, finally, Manuel (who doesn't suffer from the depression the defeat at Myriocephalon caused IOTL) manages to live until at least 1185, giving time for Alexios II to come to the throne, while still relatively young, with much more experience than IOTL and maybe either with a few extra siblings or without the overarching influence his mother had IOTL.

Such would give the Komnenian Empire Greece, Macedonia, Epirus, Bulgaria, Serbia (maybe), Anatolia, Cyprus, Armenia and Georgia. Cilicia and Antioch could be either allies, tributaries or vassals. I'm less certain about Syrmia, Bosnia and Dalmatia, especially with the Bosnian Church. IOTL, Bela III waited until Manuel was dead to take them back.

Basically, the 1025 map minus the Italian territories.
 
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The immediate consequence is that the dynatoi most likely amplifies in power. There are some suggestions that any of the Komnenian Emperors could have taken out Rum any time,it’s just that they limited their gains because the dynatoi will expand in power following a full recon quest of Anatolia.

Unless, of course, the emperors tried to take those lands and/or power either for themselves or give them to new blood, like the Asen family.
 
One scenario I thought of would be a Byzantine victory at Myriocephalon, followed by an alliance marriage between Alexios II and Tamar of Georgia, the Seljuks and other Turkish emirates in Anatolia and Armenia being crushed between them. And, finally, Manuel (who doesn't suffer from the depression the defeat at Myriocephalon caused IOTL) manages to live until at least 1185, giving time for Alexios II to come to the throne, while still relatively young, with much more experience than IOTL and maybe either with a few extra siblings or without the overarching influence his mother had IOTL.

Such would give the Komnenian Empire Greece, Macedonia, Epirus, Bulgaria, Serbia (maybe), Anatolia, Cyprus, Armenia and Georgia. Cilicia and Antioch could be either allies, tributaries or vassals. I'm less certain about Syrmia, Bosnia and Dalmatia, especially with the Bosnian Church. IOTL, Bela III waited until Manuel was dead to take them back.

Basically, the 1025 map minus the Italian territories.

What do you think would the empire's projected population be by 1500 and 1800 assuming continued Roman control with the area you specified?

Japan was estimated from 7.5M in 1200 to 17M in 1500, 29M in 1700 by McEvedy & Jones, by Biraben 6m in 1200, 8M in 1500, 28M in 1700. Estimated population by Biraben and by Kito is both near 30M.

I mentioned Japan since Japan is 70% mountainous yet was able to populate pre industrial levels to that amount to an area 300,000++ sq km land area which is mostly mountainous.

My question would be, can this population density be replicated in Anatolia and Roman balkans, the area you specified, which most likely combines approx 800k sqkms to 1 million sqkm within the same timeframe?
 
What do you think would the empire's projected population be by 1500 and 1800 assuming continued Roman control with the area you specified?

Japan was estimated from 7.5M in 1200 to 17M in 1500, 29M in 1700 by McEvedy & Jones, by Biraben 6m in 1200, 8M in 1500, 28M in 1700. Estimated population by Biraben and by Kito is both near 30M.

I mentioned Japan since Japan is 70% mountainous yet was able to populate pre industrial levels to that amount to an area 300,000++ sq km land area which is mostly mountainous.

My question would be, can this population density be replicated in Anatolia and Roman balkans, the area you specified, which most likely combines approx 800k sqkms to 1 million sqkm within the same timeframe?

According to Wikipedia, around 1500, about the same areas under Ottoman rule combined (the Balkans minus Wallachia, and Anatolia) had a population of about 11 million people, and in 1800, Ottoman Anatolia had just over 5 and a half million people out of a total of 26 million across the empire. So maybe that would be a starting point.

Population figures are one of my many weak points. I just reckon that, unless they're given some good incentives, the bulk of the Greek Anatolian population may be centred around the coastal areas.
 
Here's a pod for this scenario:
The disaster at Manzikert is slightly less damaging to the Empire. The empire's armies are slightly more intact and are a more capable fighting force. Nikephoros III comes to throne but invests more resources into the military and state's defenses because of his background as a successful military commander. However this expends his strength as ruler and political capital and he is usurped by Alexios Komnenos. Alexios with a more intact army is able to better defend himself against Guiscard and beat him on the field. Alexios had been fighting the Turks since he was 12 and clearly was a brilliant strategist. In his fight against the Normans he only lost because his mercenary troops lacked discipline and fell for the enemies trap. Alexios barely escaped. After decisively defeating Guiscard he agrees to a truce. He then focuses his attention on Anatolia the manpower pool and economic base of the empire. Alexios like in OTL first works to secure the coasts and makes use of the Crusaders to help him take Central Anatolia. Once Iconium is recaptured it leaves the rest of Anatolia open to the the Romans. Anatolia has been heavily de-populated however by the various nobles consolidating their estates. This was why Anatolia rapidly became Turkish abandoning its millenia old Hellenistic identity and traditions. The Turks are a minority and are assimilated into the empire and eventually speak Greek and be Christianized. Alexios helps the Crusaders at Antioch and arranges transportation for them into the Levant with the Byzantine fleet. This leads to a warming of relations between the Western and Eastern Churches and might provide ground for re-unification so long as successive generations don't mess things up. Alexios then invests his time into reforming the Byzantine monetary system and re-populating and redeveloping Anatolia. The Pronoia system likely doesn't come about as it was a more of a short term strategy to help the treasury recover after decades of mismanagement and wasteful spending. The nobles will be kept into line and would likely be forced under the old centralized tax-scheme rather than enjoying the benefits of tax-farming. Alexios was military aristocrat much like Nikephoros Phokas and Ioannes Tzimiskes. However he would be forced to accept the reality of the empire's situations like they were and would try to keep the aristocracy under heel through taxation and maybe a limited restoration of the Thematic system in the frontiers. Alexios would probably establish a beachead in Southern Italy taking or temporarily holding a small part of it. Ioannes II would likely focus on beating the Normans or in the East to perhaps take Aleppo. He would definitely try to retake Armenia as well. With a more powerful Eastern Roman Empire they would not be as dependent on the West. They might eventually outright annex or turn these Crusader states into protectorates to be integrated much later. Manuel would likely focus in the West and might retake the Balkans for the Empire and would crush the Hungarian army with more resources and troops in Anatolia. This would directly butterfly the rise of Venice. In otl they were granted huge trade concessions for their fleet's assistance. With a restored empire its fleet would most likely not disintegrate. It would likely become a highly prosperous state and in order to find more defensible ground it might be more expansionist.
 
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