Romans still in Britannia following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by LowLevelFunctionary, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. LowLevelFunctionary The British Unionist

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    (I dunno if this has been asked before...)

    By 410 AD, the Roman Empire had effectively withdrawn its military presence from Britannia due to its continued decline and the threats faced in the city of Rome itself.

    What if, however, that the Roman Emperor thought it more logical for all/most of the Roman armies to remain in Britannia so as to keep in check 'Barbarian' actions in North Western Europe, as well as be an area of relief for the remaining Roman armies in Northern Gaul (even if this was not practically feasible).

    Whether or not this results in the sooner collapse of the Western Roman Empire, how does the presence of Roman armies, in Britannia, who no longer take orders from Rome, affect the political and social development of the island?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2007
  2. 037771 Well-Known Member

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    For the time being stablity; an authoritarian figure like the commanding general would have emerged. Later on, a more Romano-British martial society, which that many legions perpetually in the country with cut off orders from Rome (who wanted to follow an idiot in Rome when everything was nice and cosy in Britannia?) would carry on.:eek:
     
  3. M79 Well-Known Member

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    Well, if the Western Empire withdraws to Britannia, they might be able to hold out indefinitely, especially if the Emperor goes there or a "rival" claimant to the throne arises. Britain could grow its own food, has resources for weaponry, and a viable economy. Christianity could unify the land in a way the Romans never did, especially if a Celtic church arises that is unique to this Britannic Empire. Heck, have the legendary Arthur as one of the eventual Emperors and he goes on a Crusade to retake northern France or conquer Hibernia. With time, they could be in a position to retake much of old Gaul, maybe even in time to counter the arab threat at Tours and Narbonne.
     
  4. 037771 Well-Known Member

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    Very good. Make a TL of that. Now!
     
  5. M79 Well-Known Member

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    I think I did, it should already be in the system somewhere from about 12-18 months ago.
     
  6. LowLevelFunctionary The British Unionist

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    I think the idea of the Western Empire withdrawing to Britannia is a little far fetched. Pride, logistics and likely mass opposition to such a move would make it rather unlikely.

    I do believe, however, that the idea of an independent Roman military dictatorship being established in the wake of the Western Empire collapse, and its eventual fusion with the islands civil society will result in a distinct Romano-Britannic culture and identity forming. The Romans will need to work and integrate the islanders into society. This will mean concession on their part. This will be a culture which will mix Roman and Celtic traditions, under Christianity and can in theory, be a very powerful force. Could such a society avoid the 'dark ages' all together?
     
  7. rcduggan 大元帅

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    there's the "Britons Triumphant" timeline, which is pretty similar to this concept, but the romans did withdraw in that timeline too... but it might be good for ideas
     
  8. Don_Giorgio Praefectus Praetorio Orientis

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    I think its too far fetched... They had to withdraw their armies from the island... Rome needed the British Legions so they could deal with invading Goths in Gaul and Italy...
     
  9. M79 Well-Known Member

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    410 - Instead of removing himself to Rome, the Western Emperor Constantine III decides that he should move the capital of the Empire to Londinium after deciding that Rome was indefensible in the face of barbarian invasion. He declares that all Romans who wish to live with him are free to move to Britain under the condition that able-bodied males serve five year in the army and moves all the documents he can from Rome to Londinium to build what would later become the Great Northern Library. Many hate Constantine for his decision and feel that he is abandoning his people, but war-weary locals are tired of a sucession of Emperors and somehow the provinces do not revolt. Using recruited refugees, Constantine is also able to establish a line of Gaulic territory including Normandy, Brittany, and western Aquitaine as territories for settlers. Another emperor from Rome takes the throne there in response to the "abandonment" of the people of that city

    415 - Constantine III has been able to negotiate with the Frankish, Hun, and other invaders to grant him some measure of peace in exchange for lands in eastern Gaul. Italy is spared the worst ravaging as northeastern Gaul goes to the Franks, including Lutetia which becomes the local capital. Hunnish territories are marked in southeastern Gaul with a capital at Arles. Visigothic territories rule much of south-central Gaul while the Romans have an enclave along the northern edge of Iberia and the Suevic kingdom rules much of western and northern Iberia. Rome has been sacked by the Visigoths and Roman refugees are fleeing to Britain and the coastal enclaves en masse. Several thousand of these refugees flee to Hibernia in hopes of starting a new life and perhaps a new government, the local Irish populations trading with them and gradually forming a hybrid culture

    420 - With the Romans losing the Crown Prince Constantus in a battle against the barbarians near Bordeaux, Constantine's son Utherium Augustus is in line to take the throne. Named somewhat in the local tradition, he is a wise and capable ruler with a taste for hedonism who decides to march with his troops as they retake Bordeaux the next year. He also focuses his policies on trying to attain a line of defense along the Seine, Loire, and Rhone. For now, their territory is barely a third of that, with Toulouse firmly in Hunnic hands and Limoges in Frankish ones. Most of coastal Gaul from the Pyrenees to the marshlands of Upper Germania is in Roman hands though no one knows if they can hold it.

    425 - Britannia is stating to recover economically as trade with the Germannic tribes, Vandals, Visigoths, and Scandinavians is starting to revive the economy to some extent. Constantine III dies and Utherius comes to the throne, keeping his capital at the growing city of Londinum with over 150,000 people. This Roman Empire is slowly adapting to the local population and moving gradually north, for the first time in decades there are expeditions beyond Hadrian's wall to explore southern Caledonia. Smaller towns in Hibernia also apply to Londinium for protection against maurauding tribesmen who fear a potential Roman invasion, within three years they make their worst fears come true as Roman influence over the island begins to increase from bases at Leinster. Farmland here will quickly turn this area into a breadbasket for the Empire
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2007
  10. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I think Britian could survive and thrive as an independent kingdom, indeed I've read that the revolts in britina during Roman times meant that it was effectively independent for a lot of the time._____________ I think that what people want is the continuation of Roman infrastructure, industry and technology; paved roads, stone buildings, state equipped armies etc rather than the actual city and govt itself.
     
  11. NapoleonXIV Banned

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    Isn't one of the minor candidates for the "real Arthur" one Artorius, who was a British-based general who almost became Emperor sometime in the 300's?

    (yes, yes, the times all wrong for Arthur, who was not a Roman etc etc, I did say a minor candidate.)

    Given time, could the Legions of England turn Arthur into Justinian, by reconquering Europe?
     
  12. Don_Giorgio Praefectus Praetorio Orientis

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    Dont know... 2-3 isolated Legions stuck in an island while Europe is being flooded by Barbarians might have a difficult time surviving... Even if they did they would be completely useless to future Emperors...
     
  13. DuQuense Commisioned Officer CSN

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    heres a TL of OTL, I think there are severl good possible POD's in it
     
  14. Don_Giorgio Praefectus Praetorio Orientis

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    Nice TL but i disagree with the arrival of Joseph of Arimathaea in Britain... thats a Legenda Aurea story... He probably never set foot there... Christianity indeed first came in Britain by 50-60 AD but it was Simon the Zealot one of Christ's Apostles who came there and preached not Joseph... Church's Fathers report that he was crucified on a rock by the Picts...
     
  15. chronos Banned

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    RA RIB

    Joseph of Aramathea may well have landed at Avalon. It's on the direct sailing route from the Mediterranean up the Bristol Channel. If you want to land without advertising your presence that's the place to do it.

    We should very probably be speaking Latin.

    The Saxons don't take over.

    The British army goes to the continent in 469 to support Arthementius' campaign to restore civilisation to the westerm Empire. The Visigoths get defeated and the battle goes the other way.
     
  16. William IV Well-Known Member

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    So would this be known as the 'Northern Roman Empire' then? I think Britannia would have made an ideal base for a Roman government in exile, provided it was defended by a good navy. Perhaps a large Romano-British army could have repelled the Anglo-Saxon, and later, Nordic invasions. It would certainly be interesting if London became the residence of the Pope and the centre of all Christendom. Great Britain may have evolved into the alternative Holy Roman Empire, a union of British kingdoms under the control of a central Imperial government.
    I would certainly like to see a detailed timeline of such a scenario, complete with maps. Can't work out whether this is a Brit wank or a Rome wank though:D.
     
  17. Tocomocho My other car is a steam tank.

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    Who's that?
     
  18. The Federation Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

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    Romance Britain!
     
  19. chronos Banned

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    He was a Western Emperor put in as the Eastern Emperor's candidate and had been a possible Eastern Emperor. The barbarians all had their own candidate and it scared the East Romans into doing something.

    At once the drive started to restore the Western Empire with Eastern help.

    North Africa was retaken and a seaborne expedition launched the next year to get the Visigoths. Unfortunately this got lost in a storm.

    The year after an army marched up through Gaul to link up with the Roman-British army sent across from Britannia where they had just kicked out Hengist, and that of Northern Gaul under a Roman.

    Unfortunatelty they got defeated by the Visigoths before the main Roman army arrived.

    This is the story of Vortimer and Hengist who is supposed to have gone to the continent.

    No, its not a North Roman Empire, the cives remained Roman for some time and with a good army would have been able to link up with the main Roman forces - war on two fronts for the Visigoths.

    Its straight up.
     
  20. ninebucks Banned

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    People always overestimate the importance of the Western provinces... They were underpopulated, and what population they did have was mostly foreign, no major trade routes ran through them and the oppurtunities for taxation were scarce.

    The Roman Empire making a concerted effort to keep the West and the expence of the Rest would be like the French Empire dedicating all its resources to holding on to Algeria while there were hostile forces outside the limits of Paris. It's just silly.