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Old November 1st, 2011, 04:20 AM
Basileus444 Basileus444 is offline
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An Age of Miracles: The Revival of Rhomanion

"Blessed are we above all men, for we live in an age of miracles." - John XII Cosmas, Patriarch of Constantinople, August 29, 1300

Hello everyone. I've had an alternate history idea rolling around in my head for a while and I've decided to make a timeline. There are two main points of divergence, first that the Laskarids of Nicaea don't suffer from epilepsy and thus are allowed to continue their centralizing trends. Second, that Charles of Anjou has a significantly harder time securing the throne of Sicily. So, without further ado, the Age of Miracles.

1204: Constantinople, the richest and most populous city in Christendom, as well as the capital of the Roman Empire, falls to the forces of the Fourth Crusade. The city is brutally sacked and many of its inhabitants raped and slaughtered by the soldiers of Christ. From the ashes the Latin Empire is formed, although three Greek states arise from the territories unconquered by the Crusaders. They are Trebizond, Epirus, and Nicaea.

1221: Theodoros II Laskaris is born, son of John III Vatatzes, and is a healthy infant, not inheriting the epilepsy of his father. (Point of divergence)

1254: Theodoros II Laskaris becomes Emperor of Nicaea after the death of his father. By this time the Latin Empire is reduced to just Constantinople and the surrounding territories, although its vassals control the Peloponnesus and Attica. Venice controls Crete and most of the Aegean islands.

1254-1260: A Bulgarian invasion of Nicene Europe is defeated while a marriage alliance is contracted with Epirus. Nicaea is the most powerful state in the southern Balkans, but does not advance on Constantinople which is well guarded by the Venetian fleet.

Instead Theodoros and his trusted advisor, George Muzalon, work through a series of major reforms, many of which were started by his father. The main goal is the creation of a native Greek army backed by foreign mercenaries, rather than mercenaries forming the bulk of the army. Many soldiers are given lands, who pay for them by serving in the Nicene army. The majority are Greek but there are also many Cuman immigrants from Europe, who are settled on the eastern frontier.

Further aiding this development is the crippling of the Seljuk Sultanate by the Mongols. Not only was Seljuk military might significantly reduced, but also the Seljuks are forced to purchase many of their goods in Nicene territory, providing substantial revenue for the imperial coffers. The money is used to improve the pay and equipment of the army and also to raise the salaries of officials to reduce corruption. To increase loyalty to himself, Theodoros and George appoint low born officials who owe everything to the emperor.

1261: Angered by Theodoros’ policies, many of the Nicene nobles rise up in revolt. Their leader is Michael Palaeologus, a skilled general who had been under suspicion for some time. An attempted assassination of Theodoros fails, so the nobles raise an army. It is composed mainly of the nobles’ retainers and the Latin mercenaries, who are angered by Theodoros’ pro-Greek policies. The new soldiers created by Theodoros, both Greek and Cuman, overwhelmingly side with him.

On May 10, the two armies meet outside Cyzicus. The Latin mercenaries charge the Imperial lines despite Michael’s efforts to restrain them. However they charge over broken ground which breaks up the charge. The Cumans dart around the flanks, pouring waves of arrows into them, while the Imperial Greek infantry and cavalry smash into their front. For a short while they fight bravely but soon break under the ferocious assault of the Greeks. Theodoros’ army improvements show in the way his Greek forces are able to best a Latin army in pitched battle, contrary to the experiences of the Fourth Crusade.

Viewing the destruction of the Latins, the remaining rebel forces begin to flee. The Cuman attacks soon turn the retreat into the rout. Michael is killed attempting to rally his forces, his head delivered to Theodoros by a Cuman soldier. The soldier is rewarded with an equal weight in gold. With much of its leadership dead, the rebellion collapses. Theodoros confiscates the dead nobles’ land, using it to help pay for heavily armored cavalry, equal to western knights, called kataphraktoi. The nobles that survived are stripped of most their land, some of which Theodoros keeps and the rest is used to further expand the army.

As Theodoros cleans up the rebellion, the Seljuks chose this opportunity to invade the Empire. Theodoros’ army swings south, annihilating a Seljuk army near Philadelphia. Another Seljuk force retreats after raiding Bithynia, suffering heavy losses from the local troops. Smaller Seljuk bands do succeed in ravaging the Meander river valley for some time, before Theodoros annihilates a few of them in a pitched battle in August.

1262-1265: Theodoros is outraged by the Seljuk attempt to profit from the noble rebellion. All thoughts on taking Constantinople are forgotten as Nicaea prepares to punish the Turks. The year of 1262 is spent in defensive actions as Seljuk forces attempt to penetrate the frontier. Some succeed to perform minor pillaging, but Turkish losses are high. Meanwhile along the coast the Nicene fleet is expanded to include 120 vessels.

In 1263 the counterattack begins. The Nicene fleet divides in two, one force moving along the coast of northern Anatolia, the other along the southern coast. Theodoros himself moves up the Sangarius River, defeating a Turkish army near Dorylaeum. By the end of the year Sinope, Amorium, and Attaleia have all fallen to the Greeks.

The next year sees Turkish resistance intensify, mainly in the interior. Paphlagonia is almost entirely cleared of Turks by winter, while the southern Anatolian coast is taken as far east as the mouth of the Lamis. Theodoros attempts to march on Iconium, and although he wins two battles with the Turks, his heavy casualties force him to delay his plans. At the same time the Constantinople Latins attempt to raid Nicene Thrace but are ambushed by the local Cumans and largely wiped out.

On April 27 Theodoros crushes an army led by the Sultan himself, allowing him to invest Iconium, which falls three weeks later. During the siege Trebizond attempts to take Sinope by surprise but fails. A week after the fall of Iconium the Empire and the Sultanate make peace. The new border goes from the mouth of the Lamis river northwest to the Lake of 40 Martyrs, then north to the beginning of the Sangarius. It then follows the Sangarius until the point where it is closest to the Halys. The border then goes east to the Halys, where it follows the river to the Black Sea. Ancyra is just south of the line between the Sangarius and Halys and remains Turkish. Nicene territory in Anatolia is almost doubled.

1266: A combined land-sea force attacks the Empire of Trebizond. The city itself falls in July and the entire state is annexed by Nicaea. The Emperor of Trebizond is somewhat compensated by a new estate near Nicaea. In Italy Charles of Anjou attempts to invade the Kingdom of Sicily, ruled by Manfred Hohenstaufen. Charles is defeated at the Battle of Benevento and forced to retreat from Italy. However it is well known that he will try again.

1267-1268: In France Charles of Anjou licks his wounds and rebuilds his army. Theodoros works to repopulate Anatolia, settling Cumans and Greeks on the frontier. Many Turkish tribesmen, impressed by Nicene victories, convert to Christianity and join the Nicene army. Theodoros settles them in Europe, where it is doubtful they will be forced to fight other Turks. He also continues to enlarge the navy, in preparation for an assault on Constantinople. To help guard against Venice, he asks Epirus to hand over Dyrrachium. They do so grudgingly.

1269: Epirus, Thessaly, Athens, and Achaia, the remaining states in Greece, form an alliance to combat Nicaea. Combined they can assemble a powerful army with a large corps of Latin heavy cavalry, but mistrust and rivalries between the allies hamper cooperation. At Pelagonia the allied army is shattered, partly through the defection of the Thessalian army and the premature withdrawal of the Epirote one.

After the battle, Thessaly becomes a Nicene vassal. Epirus is completely overrun, the Despot killed in battle in September. Nicene attempts to invade Attica are hampered by the Venetians of Negroponte, which lead to several inconclusive clashes with the Nicene fleet. At the same time Charles invades Italy again, only to be defeated again at the Battle of Capua. He is forced to flee back to France a second time.

1270-1271: A truce is signed between the various Balkan states. The Nicene border now is at the Sperchius river. Theodoros focuses his attention on Anatolia, where minor Turkish raids have resumed along the frontier.

1272: A Nicene army skirts the edges of Constantinople in an attempt to frighten the Latins, only to learn that the garrison and Venetian fleet is away attacking the Nicene island of Daphnusia. The army sneaks into the city and captures it with almost no bloodshed. When the Venetian fleet returns, the sailors see their homes in flames and their families huddled along the shore. They load their families and flee to Negroponte, many of the refugees dying from lack of provisions along the way.

Charles of Anjou invades Italy for the third time and is victorious at the Battle of Naples. Manfred’s mainland dominions are quickly captured although Manfred himself retreats to Sicily to rebuild his strength.

1273-1274: Theodoros, styling himself as the new Constantine, works to rebuild dilapidated Constantinople. He also is crowned as Emperor again, but this time as Emperor of the Romans. Turkish raids continue in Anatolia, but are fiercely contested by the Roman army. War also continues with Venice in a series of naval actions. The Genoese Licario, in Roman employ, overruns many of the smaller Aegean islands.

1275-1276: In early 1275 the Empire launches a massive invasion of Latin Greece. The massively outnumbered Latins are swept aside and by the end of the year, only Venetian Modon and Croton remain out of Roman hands. Licario succeeds in taking Negroponte the next year, and Naxos shortly after that. In Italy, Manfred is killed in an attempt to recapture Taranto. Charles of Anjou is now King of Sicily and his appetite for further conquest leads him to look east.

1277-1282: A mass uprising in Crete against the Venetians allows the Empire to conquer the island. However Modon and Croton, well supplied by the Venetian fleet, continue to hold out. Venice offers an alliance to Charles to assist in his planned attack on Constantinople. However he is distracted by the invasion of Conradin Hohenstaufen. Conradin is defeated at Tagliacozza but retreats back to Germany.

Hungary invades Dalmatia in 1278, forcing Venice to fight on two fronts against Hungary and Byzantium. With ships devoted to the Dalmatian theater, the ability of the Venetian fleet to continue provisioning Modon and Croton is in doubt. Reluctantly Venice offers peace terms, although a treaty is not signed until March 1279. Venice is allowed to maintain control of Modon and Croton, as well as the Aegean islands of Kythera, Patmos, and Syra. All other Venetian territories in the Aegean basin are signed over to Constantinople. Venice is allowed to regain its old quarter in Constantinople, but all Venetian merchants are required to pay a five percent import/export duty. While still half of the normal fee paid by others, the Venetians have gotten used to paying none. They are also barred from the Black Sea.

Sporadic skirmishes continues on the Anatolian frontier. The military debacles of the thirteenth centuries from both the hands of the Greeks and Mongols mean that the Seljuk sultan has increasingly little control of his subjects. Annoyed by these raids, Theodoros takes Ancyra in May 1279 and installs a garrison. Cumans are dispatched into Seljuk territory in a series of counterraids.

However in October his attention is wrenched to Europe. On October 2, 1279, Charles of Anjou annihilates Conradin’s army at the Second Battle of Benevento. Conradin is killed rallying his troops, ending the Hohenstaufen dynasty (he had two children, a boy and a girl. But both died before they were six months old). Charles of Anjou is now supreme in Italy. His court also harbors many refugees from the Latin states now overrun by Byzantium.

Charles makes careful arrangements for his invasion of the Empire. Pisa is forced into an alliance with Charles and Venice joins with the promise of regaining all its lost territories and trading privileges. Charles also is able to induce Hungary to end its failed invasion of Dalmatia. When news of the alliance reaches Constantinople the few inhabitants of the Venetian quarter are arrested and their property confiscated. Modon and Croton are again placed under siege, but remained supplied by the Venetian fleet.

He turns to Genoa for support. Genoa is offered Venice’s old quarter and Genoese merchants will only have to pay a token two percent import/export duty. The Byzantine emperor will also encourage the Tatar khan to allow the Genoese to establish a colony in Kaffa. Furthermore in exchange for Genoese naval support in the attacks on Modon and Croton, the two cities will be handed over to Genoa, although the Commune will have to pay an annual rent of 16,000 hyperpyra. Genoa accepts and the combined Byzantine-Genoese fleets are able to starve the two cities out in the summer of 1280. At the same time the Venetian Aegean islands fall to Licario.

The next year sees sporadic naval actions in the Adriatic sea. Venice’s fleet mainly focuses on keeping the enemy out of the Adriatic while Charles is reluctant to commit his own vessels until his grand fleet is complete. Thus Greek ships are sometimes able to raid the shores of Italy itself. In September 1281 a squadron of Roman warships raiding Apulia is approached by citizens of Bari, which is still inhabited by large numbers of Greeks. They offer to hand the city over to Theodoros. The squadron commander Thomas Komnenos, who conquered Corfu eight months earlier, accepts, quickly garrisoning the city without bloodshed. He then rushes over to Epirus, stripping many of the garrisons to bolster the force at Bari.

Charles is outraged at this and places Bari under a land blockade. He demands more exactions from Sicily, increasing dissent there, in his urge to get his fleet ready. His relations with Venice are also souring, as Venice is impatient to see some gains from the war in which it has lost what little it had been able to keep in the treaty of 1279.

On March 30, a French soldier is killed for molesting a Sicilian woman in Palermo just after Vespers. The incident sparks a mass revolt called the Sicilian Vespers. Nearly all of Charles’ armada is burned at Messina three days later. The king of Aragon Peter I, who has claims on the island through his Hohenstaufen wife, is invited to take control in May. Charles flies into a rage, going to Bari to order an immediate assault. It almost succeeds, but is thrown back with massive casualties. Charles offers peace in exchange for getting back Bari and Corfu. Theodoros demands Bari and Corfu in return for peace, although he offers a payment of 90,000 hyperpyra. With Aragonese squadrons raiding Italy, Charles is forced to accept.

For the first time in two hundred years, Byzantium has a foothold in Italy. But Theodoros does not get to enjoy his triumph for long. On November 19, 1282, he dies at the age of sixty one. He is buried with full honors and eventually revered as a saint. He is succeeded by his son John IV Laskaris, who is thirty three years old.

Last edited by Basileus444; November 1st, 2011 at 06:04 PM..
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Old November 1st, 2011, 04:54 AM
Zioneer Zioneer is offline
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An excellent PoD, and a fun TL to read; good job!

However, I don't get why the Laskarids are involved in Italy at all. I get that Venice is trying to get Charles of Anjou interested in invading the Empire, but why would Charles accept Venice's plea?

I like Theodoros though, he seemed like an excellent Emperor. Hope John IV can live up to his father's legacy.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 10:37 AM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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An excellent PoD, and a fun TL to read; good job!

However, I don't get why the Laskarids are involved in Italy at all. I get that Venice is trying to get Charles of Anjou interested in invading the Empire, but why would Charles accept Venice's plea?

I like Theodoros though, he seemed like an excellent Emperor. Hope John IV can live up to his father's legacy.
Anything I can think of would be repeating the above, except...

I think the Byzantines (Nicaeans?) are doing a bit too well in Anatolia. I can't say its impossible - just unlikely.

Still, very nice. Looking forward to seeing if the Lascarids really can secure Anatolia in the long term, and rebuild the Empire's position - hopefully the failure of the Noble's Rebellion means that the state is more financially secure, as without that the conquests of Theodore will be lost again, sooner or latter.

No sons for Conradin? He'd be twenty-seven on his death TTL.

Too bad. At least he died the best death an emperor can have - for his empire.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 04:34 PM
Basileus Giorgios Basileus Giorgios is offline
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This isn't bad, but I echo Elfwine's concerns. The Nicaeans are basically doing far better in twenty years that the Komnenoi managed to do in a century- and doing it all from a much smaller base of manpower and funding. Some of the ideas, like ignoring Constantinople to consolidate Anatolia probably only make real sense with hindsight, I think.

Also, Bari was never an especially Greek city. It, like most of Apulia, was largely Catholic even under Byzantine rule in the tenth and eleventh centuries- it was Kalabria that was the real bastion of Orthodoxy in Italy.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 05:12 PM
Basileus444 Basileus444 is offline
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The main reason I think that the Nicene successes are possible is mainly that the Seljuks of the 1260s are not nearly as powerful as the Seljuks of the 1160s. The Mongols clobbered them in the 1240s and they never properly recovered but eventually collapsed into the Ottomans, Karamans, Menteshe etc. In OTL the Byzantines were too busy trying to fight off Charles of Anjou and as a result were too exhausted to take advantage of the breakup of the Seljuks.

Under Theodoros, consolidating Anatolia was in revenge for the Turks trying to take advantage of the Nobles' Rebellion. In hindsight, taking Anatolia before Constantinople probably would've been a good idea. I figured the best way for this to happen would be for the Turks to make the emperor really mad.

As for both Bari and Conradin, those were simply mistakes on my part. I figured since Bari was the last to fall, it made sense for it to be the first to be regained. Also it did defect to Manuel I Comnenus during his invasion of Italy. However no heir for Conradin is simple forgetfulness on my part.

I will be the first to admit that Byzantine successes in this timeline are unlikely and aided a good deal by luck (hence why this period is called the Age of Miracles). In OTL Byzantium had really bad luck from 1261-1354. First Charles of Anjou, then the various church schisms over union, the economic and military collapse of the empire, the fall of Asia Minor, Andronikos' III early death, the civil wars, the Black Death, then the earthquake that allows the Turks to take Gallipoli, and then it's too late. I figure, if there really are infinite universese, in at least one of them, karma gave the Byzantines some good luck.

The good luck does wear off though; the Age of Miracles lasts a century (eighty years to some historians). Also in the next update I start expanding to cover more of the world.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 05:19 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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As for both Bari and Conradin, those were simply mistakes on my part. I figured since Bari was the last to fall, it made sense for it to be the first to be regained. Also it did defect to Manuel I Comnenus during his invasion of Italy. However no heir for Conradin is simple forgetfulness on my part.
Well, it is entirely possible he had only a daughter or no children. Just not a given.

Quote:
I will be the first to admit that Byzantine successes in this timeline are unlikely and aided a good deal by luck (hence why this period is called the Age of Miracles). In OTL Byzantium had really bad luck from 1261-1354. First Charles of Anjou, then the various church schisms over union, the economic and military collapse of the empire, the fall of Asia Minor, Andronikos' III early death, the civil wars, the Black Death, then the earthquake that allows the Turks to take Gallipoli, and then it's too late. I figure, if there really are infinite universese, in at least one of them, karma gave the Byzantines some good luck.

The good luck does wear off though; the Age of Miracles lasts a century (eighty years to some historians). Also in the next update I start expanding to cover more of the world.
But there's a difference between "good luck" and...

Hm, how to put it. But actual, full out, miracles. The economic and military collapse of the empire would take a lot to undo/avoid at this point, no offense to Theodore, and Asia Minor is a problem. But the state simply isn't what it used to be. On the subject of Andronicus (worth reading if you're interested in this sort of thing), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1296151/

So while there's nothing wrong with this being the last chance to preserve something of the empire, this http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...ine-Empire-AAR
- however fun to read - is not a good model.

Not that this has gone that far, yet.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 05:27 PM
MerryPrankster MerryPrankster is offline
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Points for an unusual and non-cliched scenario.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 05:58 PM
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I'm not quite so certain that it's too implausible, not many in 1065 could've predicted that the sun would never set on Normandy, and Prussia recovered magnificently (and indeed turned the tables) from a situation arguably even more dire than Byzantium in 1448.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:00 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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I'm not quite so certain that it's too implausible, not many in 1065 could've predicted that the sun would never set on Normandy, and Prussia recovered magnificently (and indeed turned the tables) from a situation arguably even more dire than Byzantium in 1448.
Not sure what you mean with the Norman example, but...

Arguably...not. Byzantium in 1448 has nothing left except some old walls, a determined emperor, and its pride. Its down pretty much only to the capital.

Prussia in 1762 still has an army, for starters, unless you mean some other dire situation.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:07 PM
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Not sure what you mean with the Norman example, but...

Arguably...not. Byzantium in 1448 has nothing left except some old walls, a determined emperor, and its pride. Its down pretty much only to the capital.

Prussia in 1762 still has an army, for starters, unless you mean some other dire situation.
I was referring to 1466.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:13 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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I was referring to 1466.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_...orn_%281466%29
How is that compatible to holding only the Morea and what's within spitting distance of the Theodosian Walls?
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:14 PM
Basileus444 Basileus444 is offline
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Thanks for all the replies, both the complements and the criticisms. On the note of Conradin's heirs, I edited the first entry. He had two childen, a son and daughter, but both died as infants. And here is another update.

"Ah, those noble knights of Christ, who slaughter women and children in the name of the Prince of Peace."-unknown Roman courtier, 1292

1283-1285: Europe is fully embroiled in the War of the Sicilian Vespers. John spends the first two years of his reign putting down a revolt in Epirus, then invading Serbia after it attempts to support the rebels. After the sacking of some border fortresses, peace is restored on a return to the status quo. Venice breaks with Charles of Anjou, requesting peace with Byzantium. John is in no mood to be generous. Venice must accept all its territorial losses, including its old quarter. They are given a new quarter, half the size of the new Genoese one. Venetian merchants must also pay a six percent import/export duty, triple of what the Genoese must pay. Venice does gain permission to trade in the Black Sea and 30,000 hyperpyra as compensation for damages during the truce (installments of 6,000 for 5 years). John feels that the commercial competition between the two cities will help keep them honest.

1286-1290: The War of the Sicilian Vespers continues, although Charles of Anjou dies in 1286. Despite being faced by France, the Papacy, and Naples, Aragon-Sicily is winning, mainly through its extremely formidable navy. Also Aragon-Sicily receives a small subsidy from Byzantium, although talks of a marriage alliance between Constantinople and Barcelona eventually fall through.

Instead John has his eldest son Manuel marry a Georgian princess. With the Latins busy killing each other, he desires to finish the great task left uncompleted by his father, the retaking of Anatolia. However for now he continues the hellenization of Anatolia, as well as improving the empire’s economics. In 1287 he begins minting a new hyperpyron with 20.5 karats of gold, more than it had held for over a century. This does annoy Genoa as it now has to pay its rent for Croton-Modon in the more expensive coins, although the Genoese are somewhat mollified when the Byzantines convince the Tartars to allow the Genoese to open a second colony at Tana in the Sea of Azov.

John also works to reduce corruption and improve the efficiency of the imperial estates. In a gesture mirroring that of his grandfather, his wedding gift to his Georgian daughter-in-law is a coronet purchased with the profits from his poultry farms. Economic recovery is aided by the fact that Trebizond is becoming a major terminus for the central Asian trade routes as the Mamelukes tighten the noose on Acre.

However his good mood at his successes is diluted as Turkish tribesmen, increasingly less controlled by the Seljuk sultan, continually raid the frontier. Honors are evenly matched although in 1289 a small force raids the suburbs of Chonae.

1291-1295: In 1291, the city of Acre falls to the Mamelukes. All that remains of the once mighty Crusader States are the Kingdom of Cyprus and the Principality of Antioch; the latter is essentially a city-state. They survive mainly because the Mamelukes fear any attack on those states will draw in the Roman Empire and/or the Il-Khanate.

In 1292, Oljeitu, Khan of the Il-Khanate, is assassinated. The Mongol state soon begins to break up under a series of weak and short lived khans as local rulers attempt to assert their independence. The same year Teutonic Knights raiding Lithuania massacre four thousand Russian orthodox subjects of Lithuania.

Two years later delegates from Cilicia arrive in Constantinople. Afraid that the Mamelukes might march north as the Il-Khanate increasingly becomes less of a threat, the Armenians are desperate for a protector (Mamelukes had already ravaged the region twice). Originally they looked to the Papacy and Catholic Europe, but the Massacre of the Faithful (what the 1292 Lithuanian slaughter is termed) changed their minds. As a result, their only other option is Byzantium. They offer to submit to Roman authority, in exchange for Constantinople acknowledging all their local rights and protecting them against the Mamelukes. John accepts.

A Turkish raiding party in 1295 is joined by Christian Turks who defect to join their ethnic brethren. Together they raid the Meander river valley but are eventually annihilated near Ephesus. There are a handful of other Turkish raids that year as well, but none penetrate very far as Roman army units flood the frontier.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:18 PM
wormyguy wormyguy is offline
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_...orn_%281466%29
How is that compatible to holding only the Morea and what's within spitting distance of the Theodosian Walls?
It's not, it's holding land about the same size but less populated and poorer than the Morea, and whose population was mostly of a different culture than it's rulers, reduced to being a vassal of a far more powerful state. In other words, an even worse scenario.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:23 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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It's not, it's holding land about the same size but less populated and poorer than the Morea, and whose population was mostly of a different culture than it's rulers, reduced to being a vassal of a far more powerful state. In other words, an even worse scenario.
How that's a worse scenario than a bankrupt state with no army to speak of is beyond me.

Basileus: Looks pretty solid. Something you might want to read: http://www.ime.gr/chronos/10/en/o/index.html

http://www.ime.gr/chronos/en/byzantium.html if earlier periods interest you, but the first link is for the 1204-1453 period.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Elfwine View Post
How that's a worse scenario than a bankrupt state with no army to speak of is beyond me.
Being a bankrupt state with no army to speak of?
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:32 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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Originally Posted by wormyguy View Post
Being a bankrupt state with no army to speak of?
How is the Teutonic duchy (for want of a better word) in that situation worse than Constantine XI's shadow of a ghost of an empire?
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:36 PM
wormyguy wormyguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwine View Post
How is the Teutonic duchy (for want of a better word) in that situation worse than Constantine XI's shadow of a ghost of an empire?
They are essentially in the same situation, except that they don't control (still) one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world. Their only saving grace was that Poland-Lithuania ended up less intent on gobbling them up as the Ottomans were to Byzantium.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:38 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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Originally Posted by wormyguy View Post
They are essentially in the same situation, except that they don't control (still) one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world. Their only saving grace was that Poland-Lithuania ended up less intent on gobbling them up as the Ottomans were to Byzantium.
They are essentially not. And Constantinople isn't one of the largest and wealthiest cities even in Europe in 1448.

It, like the empire, is the shadow of a ghost of what it was once. The Constantinople of half a million or more people is a tenth of that at most.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:47 PM
wormyguy wormyguy is offline
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50,000 people would still put it at least into the top five in Europe, probably the top 3, and it is wealthy merely by virtue of the amount of gold and jewels stored in it's churches and palaces.
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Old November 1st, 2011, 06:57 PM
TyranicusMaximus TyranicusMaximus is offline
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Alright. Can we let the man write his timeline? This argument is reaching irrelevance.
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