The Survival of Emperor Marcus and the Effects Thereof
The Ascent of Emperor Flavius Marcus
In our timeline, Britain rebelled against the Western Roman Empire after calls for soldiers left the island undefended against raiders from Ireland and Saxony. The local Roman army elected a leader to usurp the throne of the Western Roman Empire and claimed loyalty to him. This man went by the name of Marcus. Shortly after he was proclaimed emperor, however, an aristocrat named Gratian commenced a scheme that put him onto the supposed throne. He was shortly thereafter killed and replaced by Constantine III, a marvelous leader who routed the barbarians and became co-emperor to the Western Roman Empire. Soon after, he was killed by Roman military reaction.
Due to subtle quantum vibrations, Marcus remains the Emperor of Roman Britain, by routing out a scheme put into play by Gratian. One of the urban aristocrats of Britain, Gratian initiated many of the plots necessary to move the hearts of the Roman army stationed there to rebellion. However, it was Marcus, a charismatic soldier, that was proclaimed emperor in a vital meeting that he was unable attend due to weather.
Pulling more strings, he desired to instigate yet another coup by the army to depose of Marcus. However, one of his underlings decided against working with Gratian after a rash show of anger towards said underling’s wife who stumbled on some of their dealings. This collaborator went to the proclaimed Emperor of Britain and revealed the plan.
Meanwhile, hearing news of barbarians laying waste to Roman defensive works and crossing the Rhine, Emperor Marcus decided to send a premature army to deal with them. Through a series of political moves, Gratian found himself involved in a suicide attack against the barbarians. He dies soon later.
This courageous move against the barbarian invaders proved extremely popular with the army, and solidified Marcus' seat of power.
In a battle against the Vandal army, King Gunderic, just having succeeded his father, dies. The Vandals shortly after elect Geiseric, Gunderic's half-brother, as his successor.
With the appearance of Sarus, lieutenant of Stilicho and head of the Roman armies sin the region, Marcus continued to hold onto power by deciding to make a push against Sarus' forces and taking Gaul. Under General Constantine, Sarus' army was pushed into the Alps. Sarus was killed by an arrow during the attacks. His army continued without him through mountain passes controlled by the Bagaudae peasant insurgents. Without Sarus' leadership, the army was unable to buy passage, and provoked the Bagaudae to fighting. The fleeing armies cut their way through the Bagaudae, leaving a bloody trail, both sides depleted.
Marcus secured the Rhine frontier, after ridding Gaul of Sarus, and garrisoned the passes that led to Italy. Armies are sent to protect Britain to aid against the attacks of Niall of Nine Hostages, the raider-king of Ireland.
In March, Emperor Marcus made Arles his new capital, and sets forth to fortify his lands and rid it of the barbarian menace.
Roman General Flavius Stilicho is in a quickly degrading situation. Estrangement between eastern and western courts of the Roman Empire began to provoke a civil war. (Arcadius did not die in 408 as in OTL, and thus, the conflict does not diffuse). He proposes to use the forces of Alaric I, King of the Visigoths, to enforce the claim of Emperor Honorious to the prefecture of Illyricum. Alaric I demands payment to desist from war in a threatening manner, and as such Stilicho sends him a sum of 3,000 gold pieces. The Visigoths remain behind the Julian Alps.
Meanwhile, jealous imperial courtiers who had schemed to rid Rome of Stilicho through winning the ear of King Honorius fall on setbacks, and are unable to accomplish their goals in a timely fashion.
Emperor Marcus, listening to the strategems of his general Constantine III, becomes fearful that cousins of the emperor Honorius might lead a retaliation against the British usurpers in a pincer movement with Stilicho. He sends Constantine to deal with this problem. The cousins of the throne are defeated and captured. Spain is annexed by Emperor Marcus, and garrisons are built in the Pyrenees.
Stilicho builds an army to deal with the usurper Marcus from Italy, but sees the war as costly with little benefit. Instead, he focuses on the situation with the Eastern Roman Empire. He directs the assassination of Anthemius, who was holding the throne for Emperor Arcadius through sheer will for peace. With the death of Emperor Arcadius only a week and a half later, in his sleep, the Eastern Roman Empire is left without a real leader.
The assassination is seen very quickly as the result of Gothic mercenaries. Imperial plotters have what they need to get Stilicho executed, and Emperor Honorius orders his execution. Stilicho resists, and wins support from many senators and the military. This causes something of a small civil war. Stilicho leaves with a large army and sends word to King Alaric to join him in Northern Italy. King Alaric, who had been moving slowly around the coast to Dalmatia, turns around to meet his old enemy and friend.
With this 'betrayal' by Stilicho, there was a persecution of barbarian foederati in Italy, in which their wives and children were slain by Roman soldiers. A force nearly 35,000 strong flocked to Stilicho's banner in far northern Italy to return to Rome and take revenge upon the cowards.
In November of 408, a vast army stood before the walls of Rome and, though they could have begun a takeover of the city by force, decides to starve the great city. Former General Flavius Stilicho stands beside King Alaric I of the warlords and numerous vengeful barbarian foederati.
Vandals, Alans, and Suebi break through Marcus' garrisons and invade Spain in early May. With Roman power there depleted, no land grants are given to any of the barbarian groups. The Vandals settle Hispania Baetica and the Alans take the western land of Lusitania and Carthago Nova. The Suebi settle in Gallaecia. Marcus began to build his forces to retake the peninsula.
In the late summer of 409, Saxon pirates raided Britain. They were turned back by the remnant army on the island with significant losses. Marcus found the popular opinion of his subjects was that of unconcern for the barbarians, now bottled up in the Iberian Peninsula, and cries for vengeance against the Saxons. Emperor Marcus sent envoys to the barbarians of Iberia and gave them large land grants as foederati, if they stayed true to his new Empire. By this time, diplomats from the Roman Empire under Honorius had come to seek aid against the siege of Rome, and offered foederati land as well. But their demands for soldiers were met with scorn from barbarian kings, who desired a strong military in this time of unsettled chaos. The Alans, Suebi and Vandals sided with Marcus.
In the spring of 409, massive armies waited outside of Rome. Emperor Honorius had done little to stop them, and bided his time. Knowing that indecision at this point would only yield massive losses, a coup took over loyalist forces, capturing and deposing Honorius. The Senate and associated members assumed power.
In the Eastern Roman Empire, news had come of the troubles to the west. Pulcheria won the support of the government to initiate a takeover of the Western Roman Empire. With Honorius imprisoned or executed, Pulcheria believed that the Eastern Empire had the right to assume power over its lands. She also had the ulterior motive of uniting Christianity. Envoys are sent abroad while an army is organized to take Illyricum.
In the summer months, Stilicho and Alaric had reached an agreement on their plans. Alaric supported Stilicho's son Eucherius as the new Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, while the Visigoths would receive adequate spoils and gain control of the majority of Gaul once it was re-conquered. With siege machinery ready to blast their way through Roman walls, citizenry inside the city revolt and open the doors to the invaders. It is a peaceful invasion (with half as many casualties as in OTL) and at the end of the year the city claims Eucherius, son of General Flavius Stilicho, Emperor of the West.
Outside of war-torn Rome, however, the outer territories of the Western Roman Empire did not desire to bow down to an Arian Emperor, and side with the Senate and what they call the New Republic of Rome.
The Senate stationed in Ravenna quickly bring out troops to secure their land, focusing on northern Italy, while shying away from the Gaul border. Inciting Romans to fight for the name of Christianity, a good amount of support appears for a 'Holy Roman Republic' as it is now called.
In Illyrica, Pulcheria and the soldiers of the Eastern Roman Empire stormed through cities, rallying others to abandon the crumbling Western Empire and its heathen king and join the stalwart Catholics of the East. Some large battles with barbarians were fought, but otherwise it was an easy campaign. The Romans of Illyrica had seen little authority expressed by the Western Empire, and eagerly sided with the East. Envoys reached Ravenna, and both being eager Catholic crusaders, a peace and alliance is made. Borders are set with Illyria, and soldiers sent to help.
Meanwhile, Stilicho and Alaric are in power at Rome. Stilicho mobilizes immediately and decides to make a tour of Southern France; he sees it important to make sure the ports stay loyal and ships don't abandon the Empire. Representatives meet cities all over Southern Italy to attain assurances of loyalty. He gives commands for soldiers to march and hold the border with Senate-controlled Northern Italy. Finally, Stilicho sends Alaric and his barbarian army along the eastern coast northward to prepare in case there became need for a two-front attack against Ravenna.
Envoys from the Western Empire under Stilicho manage to make it to the courts of the King of the Allemanni. The barbarians of the kingdom of Allemann are of the most ruthless sort, and were calmed only by the sight of treasures hauled from Rome. These diplomats arranged a crude treaty, and bought out the Allemanni to remain non-aggressive to Rome, and to begin a crossing of the Rhine to attack Gaul and the rebel garrisons there. The barbarian-king agrees and immediately assembles his horde and makes a concentrated attack on Gaul.
In Arles, Emperor Marcus issues a decree, that with Honorius fallen from power, there is no hope for a true Western Roman Empire. The prefecture of Gaul, including Britain and Hispania, are to become the lands of the Gallian Empire, separate from the Roman Empires to the east and all of their dealings. Nothing is said of Roman North Africa under the prefecture of Gaul, or the Balearic Islands. As such, when ships loyal to Emperor Eucherius dock at ports in the Balearic Islands, they side peacefully with the Western Roman Empire.
Gallian soldiers and ships are built up for a campaign to rid Europe of Saxony and their pirates. Barbarians still roam the inner lands of Gaul, but much land is given, and foederati are accepted well in Marcus' empire. When Allemanni barbarians storm garrisons and cross the Rhine in the fall, however, a new, direr threat appears. Soldiers are redistributed and fight a tough battle in the highland border with the Kingdom of Allemann, the first true test of the new Empire.
In the winter, Emperor Marcus makes a call for the Vandals in Hispania to send aid, in return for ships and shipbuilders. The remarkable King Geiseric, a young visionary who had led his people well in establishing a kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, sees this trade as a fine opportunity. Vandal soldiers are immediately sent on their way to Arles.
In the winter, the Holy Roman Republic (though it contains no Rome) is declared with a new offensive that reaches the Mediterranean coast, cutting off Alaric in northwestern Italy...
Last edited by Darkest; January 21st, 2006 at 12:44 AM..
King Gunther of the Burgundians finds the Allemanni encroaching upon his territory. Both ruthless peoples, this quickly leads to retaliation. The Burgundians use this period to expand their own lands, and as such the two kingdoms fight an offensive against one another. Meanwhile, in the late spring, reinforcements arrive on the Eastern Front from the Vandals, and the Gallians are able to push back the barbarians to the Rhine and restock the garrisons there, a substantial success.
Being cut off from the rest of the Empire by the Holy Roman Republic, Alaric sends his armies to the east to reinforce his escape path should he need it. With soldiers controlling the land, Alaric finds a small ship on the coast and sends it to Rome to bring news to Emperor Eucherius and announce that the pincer attack would have to happen now.
The message is slow in coming, and it is nearly three months before Stilicho and his staff discovers that Alaric I has begun the offensive. In northwestern Italy, Alaric has pulled off a few successes, but has found himself stuck in conquering Genoa. Stilicho scrambles for an army, and marches out to aid. The city is taken in the late autumn, and a valiant quick push forces the Republicans back. However, the general was unable to do such before Alaric I is slain by assassins. The throne of the Visigoths goes to Ataulf, Alaric's half-brother.
Cyril of Alexandri becomes Patriarch in Alexandria.
King Ataulf celebrates taking the throne of the Visigoths after returning to Rome and marrying Galla Placidia, half-sister of former Emperor Honorius.
Friction appears between the new King Ataulf of the Visigoths and General Stilicho. The alliance between Alaric and Stilicho was unique; they had been cooperative rivals and enemies. Ataulf had taken the rivalry between Alaric and Stilicho as much more serious, and set himself against Stilicho. Soon after taking the throne, he left again to Rome to wed and to take more spoils. When confronted with Stilicho to return to the North and await the conquest of Gaul, Ataulf says that the Visigoths have had enough of waiting on Stilicho. Most of the foederati that had joined the Visigoths after the foederati slaughter abandons the army after this betrayal, either joining Stilicho or going to live civilian lives once again.
King Ataulf is given sanctuary, nevertheless, by Emperor Eucherius, and he leaves for the south on what seems to be a mission unrelated to military at all.
General Stilicho, meanwhile, makes a huge effort in creating garrisons on the new border with the Holy Roman Republic, and is extremely frustrated by the departure of the Visigoths, a severe blow against his new Empire.
War between the Burgundians and the Allemanni fizzles out in the summer. No side had won a good deal; they had just lost more territory to the Gallians and found their hold on even the right side of the bank weak. While the Allemanni did have a considerably larger army, their invasion across the Rhine had depleted their forces which left them open to the attack the Burgundians staged. They found themselves matched, and at a stalemate.
Emperor Marcus continues to garrison, reform, enlist soldiers, and shape his Empire. The majority of Vandal soldiers return to Hispania, along with Roman shipbuilders and a (very small) fleet of ships. Marcus hopes and intends that they use this naval advantage to win power over the other foederati kingdoms in Hispania. Autonomous in all but word, the Emperor finds that the Iberian Peninsula could be lost at any moment if some conflict were to appear to separate the barbarians. The Vandals seemed to be the most willing to work with the Gallian Empire, and so Marcus chose them over the rest of the lot. He also had a vague hope that the Vandals would reassert power over Roman North Africa and the Balearic islands.
King Geiseric did envision a way he could use these new ships to gain power, and set a long-term plan into action...
Meanwhile, King Ataulf and the Visigoths several 'claim' a dozen ships and sail to Sicily, taking port in Catania. The Visigoths promptly attack the city of Catania, and after a few months of siege, they sack the city, burning down buildings and taking treasures. They put all of this and a good amount of food and sail to North Africa, where they take harbor in some small port for the winter.
Pulcheria proclaims herself Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Rioting occurs in Sicily over the atrocities seen in Catania by King Ataulf, who was supposed to be in-arms with Stilicho, father of the Emperor. The island had little Romanization to it, and had kept its unique culture. Thus, it was easy for the Sicilians to declare themselves apart from the Western Roman Empire. The Senate of Sicily is declared, and in turn the Sicilian Republic.
Stilicho is informed of this insurrection, and adds it to his list of problems. The Holy Roman Republic has announced something of a stalemate, but there is nevertheless the job of garrisoning and preparing for the event of invasion. Furthermore, Allemanni raiders, betraying the non-aggression treaty, had been leaking in through the most undefended northern border, which needed to be handled. The entirety of Southern Italy was still unsure of whether to truly align themselves to Emperor Eucherius, though he appeared to be a stronger ruler than Honorius. One thing was for certain, and that was that Stilicho could not re-conquer Gaul. Even before he had seen it as too costly a conquest, and now he admits that Gallia would have to fall by some other force, not that of the Western Roman Empire.
As such, envoys meet Emperor Marcus and declare peace between the two Empires. In return for their independence, Emperor Eucherius asks them if they could keep the barbarian kingdoms east of the Rhine weak, and deal especially with the Allemanni menace that had turned upon them.
A navy is organized to set sail and re-conquer Sicily, as their food exports were extremely important to feed the peninsula.
King Ataulf begins the construction of army and siege machinery, with the dream of doing to Carthage what his half-brother did to Rome.
The Jews are expelled from Alexandri by the new Patriarch.
Emperor Marcus continues to build an army, in defense of barbarians, as well as hoping for a conquest to weaken the Saxon, of which whose raids have become quite a menace. However, in the meantime, hoping to come within good relations with the Western Roman Empire, he fortifies the Southern Rhine border, and even takes over parts of the eastern bank. The Allemanni are in a terrible mood all over the kingdom, and though they need a period of peace to recoup, their king keeps barking for revenge and conquest.
Due to the return of attacks, Burgundy declares war against Allemann once again. In this, Emperor Marcus sees promise, and meets with the Burgundian king. In the autumn months, the king accepts the status of foederati with a good amount of pay, and land on the western bank of the Rhine. Arms, armor, and war machinery is given to the Burgundians to aid in the assault against Allemann. This furthers two aims of Emperor Marcus, to reach across the Rhine in hopes to attack Saxony, to gain new territories, and to keep the Allemann down as per agreement.
The Holy Roman Republic lands a navy at Ancona, as well as beginning a land invasion concentrating on the eastern Italian coast. Stilicho is distracted from re-conquering Sicily, and begins the defense of his lands.
Krakatoa undergoes an eruption. Vivid sunsets are seen throughout the year; the offset is that the entire world has to endure a hard winter and summer famine.
The war between the Western Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Republic fires up once again. The landings at Ancona and the new offensive conducted by the Holy Roman Republic hit the Empire hard, testing its military ability considerably. General Stilicho holds his territory, at best, entrenching the lines and keeping his infantry on the battlefront. A huge part of his strategy includes mobilizing the entirety of the Imperial Roman navy and raiding Republic waters, cutting the supply line and waiting until the bulk of the fleet arrives for a mass take over.
Meanwhile, with a huge, weakened front to be protected on the eastern coast, the Republic launches several incursions along the Po River to punch into the west. Defenses are breached, and with Allemanni included, the northern part of the Western Roman Empire becomes a hostile, contested area. Envoys arrive at the courts of Emperor Marcus of the Gallian Empire, desiring aid. Marcus is frustrated, as these are events that will once again slow his conquest of the Saxon barbarians and other marauders. He decides to organize construction along the English Channel, so that fortifications and ships can be present for the defense of the territory. With this development in place, his growing army leaves to help Stilicho against the Republic. It’s a slow war in the Alps and abroad, in which many barbarians are encountered, most of them hostile. Nevertheless, some friends are made, and migrate to the Gallian Empire or merely help against enemies of Gallia. Many Gallians and especially the numerous generals of Emperor Marcus see this assistance as a military drain. Marcus pushes them through sheer charisma, declaring to all that the Holy Roman Republic might not be as peaceful a neighbor, and that are without allies if they leave the Western Roman Empire alone.
Sicily falls on a hard crop year, but the movement is still strong. Few attacks have been made on their soil, and all have been repelled. This gives the Sicilians a greater vigor, and they already feel as if they have won their independence.
Burgundy and Allemann fall into stalemate once again, though Burgundy has made better land gains with more modern equipment.
A noticeable amount of the Jews expelled from Alexandria make a slow move west, towards the ‘Heretic-King’ that they hear so much from in the Western Roman Empire, hoping for a better life under a less strict government. Some are killed for this effort, but a good amount finds their way to Western Roman North Africa and beyond.
Starting in the late autumn, imitating almost exactly the movements against Rome, King Ataulf stands at the walls of Carthage with a barbarian army, intent on reliving the moments of his brother and taking the city for himself. Some differences exist here, including a huge amount of extra stores in Carthage for food (as the city was a center for exporting grains) and the local navy. While King Ataulf attempts to use his small fleet against Carthaginian ships, but his knowledge of such warfare is poor at best. Some vessels flee from the barbarian hordes who they are certain will mimic the sack of Rome, but many stay, and ferry food and soldiers into the city walls. As King Ataulf is trying to starve the city, he loses the advantage of surprise and the use of his armies. Carthage builds up its armies by employing foreign soldiers and waits it out through the winter.
Some fleeing ships arrive at Sicilian ports for refuge, of which had been previously ignored due to their rebellion. This helps Sicily in a number of minor ways, as trade resumes as demand from the island opens up huge opportunity for traders, and Sicilian morale climbs to an all-time high.
West of Carthage, Jewish populations flourish in new locations where they establish new enclaves. The cities and towns they have resettled in are much less Catholic than Alexandria, and thus a great boon to those families.
In the springtime, Stilicho's warships gather for a massive takeover to repel Republican soldiers from the long coastline they have held, culminating in the prize of Ancona, which had been taking in the winter. The ships of the Holy Roman Republic, even raided by Imperial hostiles, maintained good lines of supply to troops.
Stilicho's surge stops all of this. In one week, ships mass and destroy large portions of the active Republican navy. They take suitable losses, but the Empire has the advantage of numbers. Soldiers force themselves in a mad dash to reclaim land and fall upon enemy garrisons. Coastline is reclaimed, and Republican territory is even gained. The Republican ships fleeing from ports at Ancona, it was a quick siege that resulted in two generals captured and executed.
However, soon after news of victory met the ears of the aged, elder general Stilicho, a loss also befell the Western Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Republic, with a huge auxiliary force of Hun mercenaries from Pannonia, forced their way through the western front. The combination of Roman soldiers and Gallian reinforcements could not defend the territory. Generals advising Emperor Marcus convinced that they must fall upon their border or risk an incursion. Gallian soldiers flee allied lands.
The new rising star in the Holy Roman Republic's military, magister militum Mamercus Decius the II, holds the land tightly. Auxiliaries rush northwards from Rome, and make a few small gains in Genoa and other cities, but the land crawls with soldiers. Garrisons are fortified on the Gallian border. The Holy Roman Republic has earned a victory as well.
King Ataulf finds the siege going unsuccessful and not as he planned. He calls all of his forces present for a ruthless takeover of Carthage, using the little siege machinery they have for a small breach that they use to gain access. Carthaginian soldiers rise up against the Visigothic barbarians, a huge number of unarmed civilians die, and the streets become littered with the dead. In the chaos, a fire begins that weakens both Visigoth and defending forces, and kills King Ataulf. The fire is stopped after burning a large swathe of the city, and the siege continues at a slow pace.
After a month, in the late summer, newly named King Sigeric (of the Amali faction within the Visigoths) calls Carthage and surrounding lands his, and begins looting the city like mad, sending treasures eastward to waiting brethren to hoard. The city is weakly held, and there are many uprisings against the Visigoths. Great Carthage would not be held long.
In other news, Pope Innocent dies, and the cardinals elect Eulalius as the new head of the Catholic Church. He does not condemn Pelagianism with much vigor, and the movement goes on, with bishops and cardinals continuing to argue over the issue. His biggest decision is the movement of the Church from Rome to the Holy Roman Republic or Constantinople, as he sees the Arian Emperor as a serious blow to the divine right of the Roman Empire. He focuses on these areas, and rarely spends any time at all in the Western Roman Empire.
Many strong Catholics have migrated to the Holy Roman Republic and beyond since the crowning of Emperor Eucherius, an Arian. More moderate Romans (of which is the majority of Catholics) have remained for different reasons. Now, however, more are being advised to move to the north and the Holy Roman Republic. The advent of Pope Eulalius begins small bout of religious hate-crime and a second wave of migration.
In the Gallian Empire, Emperor Marcus makes political changes in the infrastructure, putting into the law many practices and customs of the native Gaulish tribes that are agreed upon. Much executive power he has upon the military is given to the generals under magister militum Constantine III, as he is needed elsewhere.
In the summer, Pharamond, King of the Salian Franks who had led his people past the Rhine into the Gallian Empire as foederati in 413, asks Emperor Marcus for the permission to forge across the Rhine and establish a more independent kingdom among the Rhinelander Franks. The Rhinelander Franks had been beaten several times in battles with other tribes, and had sworn allegiance to Pharamond and his kin if they could bring the protection of the Gallian Empire to their lands.
Emperor Marcus aides King Pharamond by granting suitable Roman equipment and supporting Roman soldiers. With general Lucius Antius, Pharamond lands on the other side of the Rhine in the early autumn and begins his campaign. They have troubles in the first month and a half of their warring, but when a Rhinelander Frankish army reinforces them in a tight spot, the invasion looks up. By the winter they hole up in newly-constructed garrisons, waiting it out until spring when they can launch a second wave.
Representatives of the Maltese islands meet leaders in the Republic of Sicily and join them as a semi-autonomous Republic of Malta. The two Republics largely operate separately, but engage each other considerably in trade and military vessels.
The summer months holds more woes for the Visigothic conquerors in Carthage. The Amali leadership and the new King Sigeric have been demanding upon the other Vandals. A civil war erupts among the Visigoths, pitting the powerful but unpopular Amalis against the old heavily-supported Balti regime. Warships from Italy, leading envoys to the Republics of Sicily and Malta to plead for them to return to the Empire, find a much more powerful motivation in routing out the traitors and mass murderers in Carthage. Warships land with much needed supplies and soldiers that arrive to push the already feuding and weak Visigoths out of the city. The Visigoths, by this point having lived in the burnt, sacked city with its terrorized populace for a few seasons, decide its better to leave. In no more than a month of warring within the metropolis, the Amalis and Baltis both flee from the city and their recently annexed areas. The Amalis head east and the Baltis head west, desiring separated fates.
The war between the Western Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Republic has become excessively very costly. The use of mercenaries on both sides has brought tensions in the military. The soldiers have required a lot of upkeep, and with trouble in North Africa, food is scarcer as of late. It is for this reason that in the autumn that Emperor Eucherius and General Stilicho meet with a representative of the Holy Roman Republic at Ravenna to sign a peace treaty. No side claims defeat or victory. The Holy Roman Republic has been suffering from the weight of the military considerably, and has had to put down more than one coups staged by armies and barbarian mercenaries. They know that if they continue at their pace, they will collapse. The Western Roman Empire also has more problems than they can afford, and will do anything to get the Republic's thorn out of their side. Thus, new borders are drawn, and ships are even allowed to dock and trade at Ancona. The building of fortification on the border lines between the two is allowed so that the territories of each nation are recognized.
Returning to Rome, General Stilicho has four more nights in his son's palace when he suffers from a sudden heart attack. He actually stays alive for nearly a week until he passes away when his heart fails. He dies at the age of 59. Military power falls to a number of generals that once operated under Stilicho's rule. He fashioned himself an Empire and provided moderate security to ensure its survival. However, Stilicho died only days after he had made safe its peace.
The peace treaty between the Holy Roman Republic and the Western Roman Empire deliberately left the Empire of Gallia out. Stilicho was not pleased with the gains made by the Republic on this frontier, and blamed the Gallian Empire for many of the problems in the region. Feeling betrayed, relations between the two nations stale and fall to a neutrality. Diplomats remain in either's capitals but very little is worked out.
The Gallians are also left with a border with the Republic. Emperor Marcus immediately tries to make up for lost territory and put a huge effort into pushing back to take lands for themselves that the Western Roman Empire had given up. Foederati from all over Gallia, including Iberian barbarians, are used. The fighting comes to a stalemate, and heavy military garrisons form the new border.
In the spring, with good winds at his back, King Geiseric announces his intention to launch his finished navy of warships to conquer the Maghreb in the name of the Kingdom of the Vandals. Roman officials present during the feast in which this announcement takes place note that he holds very little glory for the Gallian Empire, at most acknowledging a certain Roman shipbuilder that had been very productive.
The ships arrive in Maghreb ports with a near bloodless takeover of territory closest to Hispania. Soldiers are ferried over, war machines and so forth, for the coming campaign. In the summer Vandal soldiers begin a sweep of the area, annexing huge swathes of the Maghreb. Eventually, there is some resistance. The city of Hippo Regius in particular holds against him, and he begins a siege that will take a year and a half to succeed. Meanwhile, Vandal ships patrol the coastline and soldiers make organized raids against opposition. At the end of the year, much of the southern Roman Maghreb coast is under Vandal control except for cities such as Hippo Regius, of which cutting lines of supplies have starved considerably. King Geiseric turns his eyes to the sea, and dreams of an empire.
The Western Roman Empire sends warships to Sicily to begin a new offensive against what they see as remnant Republicans, anti-Imperial dissidents. Soldiers ferried from southern Italy as well as navy battalions ride the northern coasts of Sicily, seeking an easy battle to win the breadbasket back to their side. The Sicilians defend themselves better than expected, with actual organized militia, soldiers, and quite a few ships to call their own (hailing from deserters from Carthage). The initial numbers do not attain victory as quick as planned. Worse yet, on the land, the Sicilian armies beat back Roman soldiers with surprising strategies, such as the burning of fields to route Romans to surprise attacks or choke points, or luring Roman armies to spend their nights in granaries, and then nailing the doors shut and burning down the buildings.
But it is not the soldier’s lives that Emperor Eucherius cares about in this situation. The Sicilians, at the beginning of winter after three seasons of sporadic fighting, have annihilated a huge part of their crops in the northeastern part of Sicily. The total war has also caused supply lines, expected to be supported by Sicilian farms, to fail in keeping soldiers from starvation. The armies face hard times. A general advises to pull back and then mass again for another attack. Eucherius orders them to pull back, but then sends diplomats to secure a peace treaty, initially seen as cowardice by the generals.
The talks take only a few weeks, but the Emperor signs a hard deal with his envoys representing him in a meeting on the island of Malta. The Republics of Malta and Sicily will gain self-rule under the Western Roman Empire, in a sort of foederati arrangement, but only if they trade solely with the Western Roman Empire, to provide them with grain. In return, they get their independence and a limited amount of protection through the lease of military vessels.
After continued fortification and the construction of war vessels in the English Channel, the Saxons and other sea raiders turn away from this dangerous area and turn to northern Britain and Eire. These targets are farther away but less dangerous of a trip. Plunder is also found under the recently annexed coasts that are falling to the Gallian Empire and its subsidiary, the kingdom of Frankia. They cause the military campaign a huge amount of trouble with their frequent raids. Furthermore, the Saxons turn to land piracy, with the sea being less profitable as a decade or two before. Horses are bought with high value to allow for such ventures to be profitable.
Though many Huns remain in Pannonia and elsewhere, a good sized number of soldiers and their families that were used as mercenaries during the War of the Arian Emperor become the owners of the western march of the Holy Roman Republic that was recently annexed. The Holy Roman Republic does this to keep the Huns on their side, and set them up as a bulwark against the Allemanni and the Gallians. Many Huns make a move out to the area to settle around relatives and family lines.
A slave revolt is put down harshly by the Western Roman Empire, in southern Italy. Three hundred are executed on the spot, and the rest are sent to Rome, where at the Coliseum four hundred are made to fight in a battle that lasts three days. There is resurgence in the Gladiator sport as a result. Many professional soldiers from the recent wars find themselves being hired out to fight in the ring for a good pay.
King Pharamond of the Franks makes deals with several tribes in his newly conquered areas to become the head of a new Kingdom of Frankia. He has done very well, a prolonged but careful campaign. Coming into contact with the Frisians, however, Pharamond might be stopped. The Kingdom of Burgundy takes control of some emptied areas as well.
Vandal armies come into contact with the Balti Visigoths, under new King Theodoric. The meeting is somewhat neutral, and they exchange news, current events, food and weapons. Seeing that they cannot go back to the Western Roman Empire with their treachery, they do lend their services as mercenaries for King Geiseric to use in his campaign. Visigothic troops are vital in securing the city of Hippo Regius after a long and hard siege, and thus King Geiseric offers a hand of friendship towards the Baltis. The Baltis could care less, however, and are looking extensively for lands ripe for the taking. King Theodoric feels that they missed out on their chance, however, and recent reports show that there are few lands that are in chaos that they could easily take. They stay as mercenaries with the Vandals for food and treasures, and wait until a new opportunity presents itself.
Celestine succeeds Eulalius as Pope. He will be zealous in orthodoxy, and actively persecute and condemn Pelagianism and Nestorianism.
Roman Emperor Theodosius marries Athenais Eudocia.
The settlement that will become the city of Venessia is founded within the Holy Roman Republic.
King Pharamond stops his advances and holds the border of his kingdom. Garrisons are created against angry tribes that would threaten to invade the moment soldiers left the battlefield. Emperor Marcus is so pleased with his progress that he gives him the lands left of the mouth of the Rhine. The Kingdom of Frankia is proclaimed, uniting many Franks around the area under one leader.
End of the Jin dynasty in China. The Song Dynasty comes to power under Liu Yu. Beginning of Southern Dynasties in China.
Yazdegard I, King of Persia, dies suddenly and leaves the crown to Bahram V, his son, in the springtime. He promises to rule otherwise than his father, who had been very energetic and at the same time tolerant to other religions. Bahram V immediately begins the systematic persecution of Christian in the lands under the Sassanid Persian Empire.
Persia’s new king attracted the attention of Emperor Theodosius II of the Eastern Roman Empire with this new endeavor. In short time, the Emperor begins persecuting Zoroastrians, and by autumn war is declared between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia.
Saxon sea raiders launch a devastating attack on northern Britannia, and deploy small armies that secure the main settlements along Hadrian’s Wall. Ships return to Saxony with a large bounty and news of success, prompting the nearby Angles to begin the production of their own pirates.
The King of the Frisians falls dead, probably due to a war wound sustained during the Frankian conquests. With no successor, the Frisians go to the Saxons for help against the Gallians and their push towards Saxony. The Saxon king is given authority over Frisian lands to create a unified front against the Gallians.
Saxon land raiders along with substantial Semnone mercenaries attack Pharamond’s new kingdom, and break through garrisons to lead successful looting throughout those lands. Semnones raid Lombard fields for food on the way to Frankia, and the looting becomes so bad that it begins pushing the Lombards southward.
A menace in Tripolitanian borderlands, the Amali Visigoths have finally licked their wounds enough to envision an empire for their own. Years of raiding settlements have left them well-equipped and with a recuperated morale. King Athamund, their current leader, leads an assault against the city of Leptis Magna and in a matter of a few weeks, the siege turns into a victory. King Athamund pronounces himself king of Tripolitania, and with this central city taken, it becomes virtually Visigothic. A good number of ships come into his possession when he takes Leptis Magna, and Athamund looks towards the east for more lands. Little in the shape of defense is sent from the Western Roman Empire that cannot be easily repelled.
Emperor Marcus declares his long-awaited war against the Saxons and their allies across the Rhine. King Pharamond has held well, but Marcus’ announcement comes at due time when their armies move nearly to the Rhine to punch into the weakened border of central Gallia.
Armies collect in Frankia in a season’s time and are able to push back the majority of the invaders out of Pharamond’s kingdom, then begins the offensive, a slow march through Germanic forests to Saxony. The little naval power that Gallia has is used to protect the coasts from Saxon vessels, which is not an easy task. The combined Saxon navy with their long-term experience with warfare over the seas is a very dangerous enemy, which pushes back Gallian ships to the English Channel and threatens to go farther. Marcus orders large scale shipbuilding in the Armorica peninsula (OTL Britanny).
Saxon victories open up the coasts of lower Britannia to piracy that had long been waited for. Though Saxon chieftains ordered a huge effort to defend their shores, many deserters left for these coasts to escape battle and pillage for large amounts of treasure. News of these victories keeps Saxon morale high and inspires other Germanic tribes to join in an alliance against the Imperials. Angles and Jutes begin making landings in Britannia as well.
King Geiseric of the Vandals at this point halts further conquests of Africa. He has secured lands the equivalent of modern Morocco and northern Algeria and is quite keen to fortify his land before setting his sword to Carthage, which has held his eye for a decade. His new kingdom is quite powerful, and with African grain going to the Gallian Empire they are able to make a fine profit.
Persian expeditions create security in the lands south of the Euphrates, and garrisons are created to protect this frontier.
The Kingdom of Burgundy joins the war and begins pushes to the east, displacing certain tribes and absorbing others. It is at this time that the Lombards come into contact with Gallia for protection. Their soldiers are used as auxiliaries to prove their worth against the Saxons, and Emperor Marcus himself promises them land. Former Frisian land is conquered (except for the coasts) at this time, and Gallian soldiers move against the Saxon homeland. The advance at this time becomes much weaker, with soldiers stretched thin and barbarians able to easily break through lines of control.
The reimbursed Gallian fleet, with a few scores of extra ships, beat the Saxons back to a safer distance from the Empire, though they still ravage the mouth of the Rhine and close by waters.
Bahram V deposes the vassal king of Armenia and makes it a province. The change goes slightly worse than in OTL, which leads to a few revolts which are taxing on the Persians. They are put down and the land is secured, but with notable casualties.
Huns pillage Dalmatia, and then return to Pannonia. Relations sour between the Holy Roman Republic and the Eastern Roman Empire.
The Sanhedrin in Palestine is disbanded by the Eastern Roman Empire.
Buddhism begins to spread into Southeast Asia.
The Saxons are barely holding the Gallians back, and the hinterlands of Saxony becomes stacked high with the corpses of the dead. As soldiers are siphoned away from Gallian Britannia, the island becomes weakened considerably. Tales of victory only come from across the sea.
Saxon chieftains thus call for a mass exodus to Britannia, mostly just by popular opinion. Angles, Frisians, Semnones and other Saxon allies decide to follow. A massive wave of soldiers and people arrive soon after. The eastern half of Britannia is taken in short time. With this development, however, Gallian soldiers sweep across Saxony in short order, and finally make it to the long-sought Elbe River, where the conquest meets an end. Germanic ships still roam the coasts, however, and a series of attacks make the shoreline and port towns extremely hard to hold.