A Difference Of Fate: A Late Roman Timeline

I don't doubt he'll take a while to come (till the next century), because the realm needs to be stabilized, but given the grief the empire went through they should turn away from Rome, confirm the post-Julian borders, and expand elsewhere.
Rome will always be a big focus for the Sassanids, being two of the worlds major powers, and we will see that even in a time of crisis they will try to use eastern romes percieved weaknesses to their advantage, however for the most part they will be looking inwards and eastwards for the immediate future due to the eastern huns.
Chapter 35 477-479
Chapter 35

Chapter 35

After the crisis that occured in the first year of his reign, and the birth of his son Majorianus, Theodosius settled into the more logistical economic, and administrative side of ruling. With the civil war that took place in spain reducing its productivity and its taxes by a substantial margin after its reconquest, Theodosius plunged over 20,000,000 into the provinces there in an effort to kickstart its economy though the loss of thousands of people were something he could not immediately fix. However with this spending Theodosius's advisors began making noise, and his attention turned to the economy, leaving Hispanias recovery under the watchful eyes of Comes Hispania Flavius Agrippa, and Praetorian Prefect Marcus Aemilius Scaurus.

With his fathers reforms nearly two decades before the Western Empire should have roughly brought in nearly 190 million Folli, and with the military growth instead of 60 million Folli it should have been roughly 80 million folli of military expediture. Then there was Africa which should have been bringing in roughly 80 million folli itself, though over half of that was going directly back into the province to improve infrastructure for the people and the army. So in total the Empire should have been generating nearly 270 million folli, with 80 million in military expenditures, and another roughly 100 million being put back into the provinces infrastructure and goverment saleries and expenditures, leaving 90 million folli in surplus. The reality of the situation however was that corruption was still running throughout the empire, the loss of Hispania for a year, and the payments to the families of the dead and retiring soldiers was straining the empires coffers.

Of course the following year would bring back the Hispanias tax revenues, though it would take half of that if it all came as projected to pay for the money he had sent to be used there. The one awnser that Theodosius had was to crack down on corruption in any forms that could be found. This ment expelling several cohort commanders and a few Tribuni and a Dux from the military and stripping their wealth from them, when it was found their reports on man count were wrong, meaning extra supplies and money was being sent to their commands, with the supplies being sold for profit. There were several cases of municipal corruption, Town Councils sending false reports of damages to get extra money, with these men being heavily fined and expelled from their positions. However Theodosius did not hire any auditors, or make a new office of Quaestor, to verify the tax reports that were sent to him buy the Praetorian Prefects. He could have hired men to do this, but believing this would only be a waste of recourses and that it would only cause civil unrest he left the Praetorian Prefects to do their job unhindered, only making a few more processes to file in reports so that things like infrastructure building and repairs had to be verified more thoroughly before money was set aside for these projects.

Another thing Theodosius did going into his second year as emperor was to name his brother Constantinus as Comes Palatinus, Comes of the Palatini. Syragius had been performing his role as Comes Domesticorum well being the commander of the emperors gaurd which numbered some 5000 men, he had also been commander of the Emperors Palatini, which had been essentially used as the same thing for the last two decades. However Theodosius seeing his brother becoming bored and angry at doing nothing decided to split the two posts properly again, Constantinus was given command of 5,000 men, which were to essentially be a garrisoning force for Central italy, to be the Emperors personal army if a Civil war happened. He was also given the task of training them as Cavalry heavy infantry and as archers. Theodosius wanted a force that could be used as a shock force that could move swifly if needed and be used in various ways. Constantinus would use this time to practice the skills, strategies, and ideas for the future. He would also marry the daughter of the deceased Marcellinus in the year 477. Their first child a daughter was born in early in 478 though she would only live a few weeks before succumbing to an illness. Theodosius had a second son born in the same year however the boy would not live for but a few hours, these double tragedies were unfortunately followed by a third in the winter when Theodosius's 2 year old son Majorianus also passed due to illness.

Theodosius would enter a depression after this event, having lost two sons within a year, leaving Constantinus as his hier once again. To get his mind off of what had happened, with Constantinus, Gallus, Nepos and several other advisors, Theodosius began planning a campaign for his brother to lead, the target would be the Seuvi, and conquering the tribe that had caused so much trouble, this campaign would be lead by Constantinus in 480.

However finally in 479 both emperor and Caesar would have children. Constantinus would have a daughter Julia Constantina. Theodosius would have a third son, named Gaius Julius Valerius Placidius. Placidius was the son of the two Current Roman dynasties, and while he would be outshown because of his uncles, he was known into his teenage years to have been a bright athletic young man, who showed much promise being descended from two of the empires better emperors, unfortunately Placidius would not get a chance to prove if he could have been an effective emperor, which would be the opposite of what his fathers hier would be..
Chapter 36 458-485 The Sassanian Crisis
Chapter 36

After the defeat of Yazdegerd at Lake Van, his son Hormizd III was raised as king of kings in Ctesiphon. This began well until his brother Peroz tried to perform a coup. The coup failed and Hormizd tried to have his brother captured. What followed was the gaurd of Hormizd fought the gaurd loyal to Peroz in the streets of the Capital giving their prince a chance to escape. Peroz would escape east where he would gain the help of 2 of the 7 Great Persian Houses, Mihran and Suren. The following civil war turned out to be only the first of several. After a 4 year struggle and several battles Peroz would finally defeat his brother, who had proved to be a formidable leader only losing because Peroz was able to bring more men into the war as several of Hormizd supporting houses were forced to try and fight the Hephalites in north eastern Sassanid territory. These men lead by a general named Sakhra of House Karen proved to be able to hold off the Hephalites but not defeat them.

Peroz however would only hold onto the empire completely for 1 year. After which Sakhra of house Karen named Balash the brother of Peroz as king and marched on Ctesiphon. Peroz managed to defeat the army of Sakhra and kill Balash, however the result soon after was the fragmnetation of the Sassanid empire. Though defeated Sakhra declared himself King against Peroz and continuing the civil war. However with the House of Karen controlling the territory adjacent to Mesopotamia, Peroz was effectively cut off from his allies the Surens and Mihran houses. House Mirhan would keep loyal and attempted to join up with the army of Peroz in 463 however Sakhra managed to defeat Shapur Mihran who was known as a very capable general but had a much smaller force than Sakhra keeping him away from Peroz. House Suren wluld however declare their leader Surena as King, and nearly a third of the empire the eastern third in what is known as Sakastan would become known as the Surenid Empire.

With his empire split into 3 peices and having lost a large chunk of territory in recent years, it looked like the House of Sassan would lose its position as King of Kings. A Sassanian army being massacred against the Hephalites in 464 would only continue this outlook. However in 465 Peroz managed to defeat King Sakhra of the Karen House in battle. With this decisive victory Peroz managed to bring a large chunk of territory and manpower back into his empire only for a man named Rostram of house Ispahbudhan in the north eastern empire to rebel naming himself king. It was also in this year he also had twin sons, Kavad and Sassan.

Going into 466, Peroz would move to deal with Rostram and then to move south against the Surens. In early summer he managed to defeat Rostram in two battles however would become bogged down in a siege of the rebels capital, and was forced to break the siege when a Hephalite army arrived, and was defeated by the Hephalites, who then began talks with Rostram which was only an excuse as they used these talks as a way to get men into the city which they then sacked, as they would do with the rest of the now dead Rostrams teritory. Peroz forced back would in the fall of 466 attack the Hephalites defeating them in a large battle that would also cause heavy casualties in his own army. Surena of House Suren would use this battle as his opening and swept west into the vacant Mesopotamia taking Peroz's core territory. Peroz would then march back to Mesopotamia gathering what forces he could and as winter fell on the empire fought a battle against Surena who proved to be a masterful general. Nearly capturing Peroz in his defeat.

With his army in tatters Peroz retreated to the territory of House Mihran south of the Caspian Sea. Peroz would then in 468 assembled an army that he had trained over the the previous year all while evading Surena and marched into Northern Mesopotamia intent on gathering more men to use against Surena. The Two kings would meet at the battle of Hulwan, where Peroz despite his well trained army was defeated once again, this time however he was killed in the battle. For the first time in about 200 years the Sassanid Empire stopped existing. The house was not extinct though, there were the twin princes, and dozens of cousins that were govenors. One of these a man named Bahram attempted to become king after Peroz defeat but was quickly defeated in northern Mesopotamia in the spring of 469. Hearing reports that Anthemius had stripped a large portion of his empires army from the east. Surena being in the north decided that it was a good time to invade Syria. This sudden decision would be heavilt critized, as Surena is uniformily thought of as a masterful general, and with his empire still in chaos it seemed idiotic to march against Rome, and it was. If Surena was attempting to pull a quick defeat on Rome to gain prestige and end the payments sent to Rome, he accomplished exactly the opposite, as in the summer of 469, Flavius Iordanes would with only two thirds of the army of Surena managed a crippling defeat on the King of the Surenid Empire, and forced him into worse terms than before. Returning to Ctesiphon and the news of his disasterous defeat against Rome spreading, Surena would find his homeland rising up against him as his Brother Narseh declared himself King of the Surenid Empire. The two brothers would meet in battle somewhere in the center of the empire. The battle was a disaster for their empire. The short lived king Surena, was killed and Narseh moved to Ctesiphon. However Narseh didnt have the manpower to exert much influence over the houses especially house Mihran which housed the last royal descendants of House Sassan. However Narseh was in 472 forced to move northeast as the Hephalites once again invaded the empire. Narseh would meet the Hephalites in battle and would be disasterously defeated only a quarter of his army escaping to a nearby city which then fell to the Hephalites.

This was the end of the short lived Surenid Empire, with the people exhausted from famine and war, it was the opportune moment for someone to step in to become leader of the fracturing empire, and that would unfortunately not happen. The houses broke down even worse, with no one man becoming powerful enough to become named King of Kings. The one thing going for the empire was that the Romans were also exhausted from constant war and did not invade Mesopotamia as their was likely no army that could truly stop them. The Houses of Iran began to rule their territories in their own steads, becoming several smaller kingdoms that warred against eachother and the Hephalites as they invaded and sacked the small kindgoms. The entire time this happened House Mirhan slowly grew their territory but more importantly their army, training it continously. They did this so that in 480 the 16 year old twin boys Kavad and Sassan could reclaim their birthrights. The army and politically they were lead by the leader of house Mihran, a man named Vaktan Mihran, who marched their magnificent army into Mesopotamia defeated the local leader in a minor pitched battle, and in the summer in Ctesiphon named Kavad and Sassa as Co Emperors of the reborn Sassanid Empire. Mihran marched north collecting the fealty of the minor lords and defeating another warlords army in battle. In 481, with Sassan at his side ans Kavad in Ctesiphon Mirhan marched east into what was the Suren homeland and defeated them in a large battle. By 483 Mihran had collected the fealty of all the houses of iran once again for the twin Emperors. All the while he trained the two boys to be leaders, and having them marry two of his daughters, as Vaktan notoriously had no surviving sons and only daughters and would be succeeded by his nephew. In 484 Vaktan would finally die, and the house Mirhan fell to his nephew Bahram Mirhan, who was loyal to the Twin emperors. It was in this year a Hephalite army occupied northeastern Sassanid territory. Sassan would then gather his army over the winter, leaving his brother in the west, he marched against the Hephalites in the east and defeated them decisively in 485, killing their king and nearly wiping out his army. It was with this Victory one of the first decisive victories against the Hephalites that it is said the Sassanid Crisis had ended. Sassan and Kavad would become known as Sassan I and Kavad I, Sassan would become known for his great campaigns in the east while Kavad administered the Empire for him. Sassan would never marry and while he sired many illegitimate sons and daughters, none would ever be legally be in line for the throne which would then pass onto Kavads son.
Hope everyone enjoys the double chapters today! The Theodosius chapter auctually became harder to make after i started making the Sassanian one, hope the quality didnt suffer to much because of that. It did also become a little longer going to 485 instead of 480, Kavad will be similiar though more administrative than otl, with Sassan obviously becoming like it says in the chapter a Great warrior, i did initially struggle over his name, as i wasnt sure if i wanted it to be a Bahram or a Shapur, but i thought naming one of the twins after the house would be kind of a nice idea. If theres any questions comments or thoughts on the timeline and these chapters i will definitely try and awnser as best i can!
Chapter 37 480-485 The ascension of Marcianus
Chapter 37


In the year 480 Constantinus with 15,000 men would march into Seuvi territory however unlike the quick campaign he had been hoping and planning for, Constantinus would experience a protracted campaign. The Kingship of the Seuvi had fallen upon a man by the name of Veremundus. He was an experienced warrior having experienced several of the last wars against rome being in his mid 50s. He had seen that under the new roman leadership since Majorians rise that the roman army had become an effective fighting unit once again. It was for this reason Veremundus refused to fight the young Caesar in the open or in some cases at all, his army only numbered 10,000 and was a mixture of veteran warriors and extremely young men, men who could hardly be called that, being less than 17 summers old and forced to adulthood because all their fathers had died.

With this sort of force Veremundus decided the best tactic was to instead allow his warriors grow their skills in ambushes and hit and run attacks. Which allowed his men to blood themselves without the risk of losing to many men. There was some anger as the summer passed that all they were doing was killing ill equipped men in an unhonourable way. Veremundus argued to his men that the Honourable way would see then dead and leave their families to the mercy of the Romans, and had the romans every shown mercy?

For Constantinus this sort of war was a learning experience and a frustrating experience. Whenever he thought he had the Seuvi pinned down in a valley his men would march into the Seuvi camp to find it empty and the fires only recently dead. The ambushes on his supply train and his patrols did nothing to help his mood either. Even the towns he passed through for the most part were empty the people having run away only days before hand. The only true action his men got for all their marching was when they chanced upon the column of villagers who were trying to get away from the romans. Their had only been a few auctual warriors with the group of perhaps 250 people. But most of the warriors were old grandfathers and young sons who in a year or two would have joined the seuvi army. The breif clash resulted in 50 dead seuvi and only a few dozen lightly wounded romans, the women and children were put in chains and readied to be sent to the slave markets. But Constantinus thought of a different plan. He released the captives, but it was no mercy. He was giving Veremundus more mouths to feed over the winter, a winter they would spend with very little food and shelter, as Constantinus then issued that the entirety of the Seuvi kingdom was to be razed. If they wouldnt fight him, he would make sure they wouldnt live long enough to fight.

For the weeks afterwards Constantinus marched his men around the kingdom burning crops graineries killing and burning any farm animals, and farms in general. He did leave the cities alone, as they would force Veremundus to act next year unless the same thing happen the following year. Now of course Constantinus was not able to destroy every farm grainery or food store. The damage however was enough that the Seuvi would starve during the winter.

The following year 481, Constantinus marched once again into Seuvi territory this time he didnt pass many freshly sown fields only burned wrecked farms. At Portus Cale he issued the proclamation that any town or city that submitted to him and agreed to live under direct Roman rule would live free of harm and would be sent supplies immediately. The effect was great as many towns sent men with their surrender, however not as much as expected. The reason however was soon found out when one of Constantinus patrols found a town, where the entire population had starved or froze over the winter....

As for Veremundus there was no sign of him, and as Constantinus marched into the northern territories of the Seuvi he found the so called Seuvi King, or it should be said, Veremundus found him. The ambush had it not been fouled by a young warrior who jumped forward to early, would likely have succeeded. Instead the young warriors eagerness gave the romans the time to raise their shields into a defensive stance and ward off most of the incoming missiles. Thousands of javelins and arrows rained down on the romans, followed by the Seuvi charge, however instead of crashing through the roman formations the roman shield wall held. The fighting was feirce and brutal but after a couple hours with the dead mounting and not in favor of the Seuvi Veremundus called a retreat. That night after dealing with their dead and wounded Constantinus followed the route one of his scouts had found and in the middle of the night crashed into the Seuvi camp. Veremundus's defeat was total as Constantinus personally held a Sword to his throat.

The capitulation of the Seuvi was total. Within weeks roman administration began appearing in the new conquest. The terms were similar to that of the Visigoths, Constantinus left one of the Hispanian Duxs a man named Afranius Galates to garrison the area with 3,000 men. Constantinus would not however simply go back to rome, first he then dealt with the Baugudae in the Vascone area of Northern Hispania. His lightning attack allowed him to raze several settlements and defeat a small Baugudae army in battle. The Baugudae leader would in front of his people submit them to roman rule, making all of Hispania roman again.

When he arrived back in Rome at the end of 481, Constantinus was given a triumph alongside his brother. The following years however much to the annoyance of Constantinus was peaceful, never being an idle man however Constantinus was constantly planning campaigns, against the Franks the Alemanni and the Ostrogths. His obsession became difficult for Theodosius to bear, especially since Constantinus began ending every conversation or arguement with the following, "Give me 30,000 men brother and i will finish what father started." Meanwhile Gallus became the confidant and at times the messenger of both brothers. Carefully soaking in all the information that he could from his brothers. Something which would become useful years later...

During these years however Theodosius had second son named Gaius Julius Valerius Marinus.

However in 485 as both halves of the empire enjoyed peace and prosperity, one of the men who had been a major part of why that happened finally passed. At the age of 66 Anthemius would pass in Constantinople. His eldest surviving son Flavius Procopius Marcianus succeeded him. Marcianus had married Julia Placidia years before and the two had since had two daughters, Procopia Marciana and Procopia Placidia, with a son being born following Marcianus's accession by a matter of months, being named Marcus Procopius Anthemius.

Marcianus's first actions were to name Aurelius Ulpianus Traianus as his Magister Militum. While the east had several magister militums already, Traianus would be higher ranking, as well as commanding the Emperors personnel troops around thrace and western anatolia. His brothers Flavius Procopius Anthemius, known as Procopius and Flavius Procopius Romolus would be given administrative commands around the empire, though Procopius would later become a Historian, in which much of eras historical writings would come from. Romolus however had a future that was etched with trouble.
Last edited:
The suebi fate should make it clear what guerilla warfare gets you...
Are they gonna put the strppes to fire to stop the incoming nomads?
The suebi fate should make it clear what guerilla warfare gets you...
Are they gonna put the strppes to fire to stop the incoming nomads?
Unfortunately for the Seubi they couldnt pull it off successfully, even though they did well enough. In the end for the seubi their fate might have been kinder had they just given the Caesar the quick battle he sought in the first year.

I would say that is unlikely, Sassans steppe policy will be one of warfare and using the steppe tribes against eachother while keeping the Sassanids Supreme above all others.

Rome and Constantinople, side by side just how it should be. What Rome needs now is a mega wall system like Athens had, connecting it to Portus and ensuring a steady rate of supply

While that would indeed be quite the project for an ambitious builder emperor i dont plan on having that happen, though you never know
Yeah. Priority one is repairing the economy. Priority two is dealing with the Franks and reestablishing the rhine frontier. Priority three... probably Britain
Yep thats about right, the economy will always be the dynastys focus. The Franks and Alemanni will be the main focus of 2 Caesars, and Britain will be the project of one of those same Caesars, who will become extremely famous for his campaigns.
Yep thats about right, the economy will always be the dynastys focus. The Franks and Alemanni will be the main focus of 2 Caesars, and Britain will be the project of one of those same Caesars, who will become extremely famous for his campaigns.
What is the priority of Constantinople as opposed to Rome? Persia is quiet, while reclaiming Africa was a joint project of the two.
What is the priority of Constantinople as opposed to Rome? Persia is quiet, while reclaiming Africa was a joint project of the two.
Well, for Constantinople the reign of Marcianus will be a for the most part far more peaceful then his fathers. There will be conflict in Nubia, some other smaller scale conflicts, like the reign of Antoninus Pius he will leave the threats for his son to deal with. His role will primarily be securing some of the peripheral zones of the empire, and allowing its people to live in peace. There will be some internal conflicts during his reign however, that though minor will lead up to some major issues in his sons reign.
Chapter 38 486-488 True Love
Chapter 38

With the ascension of Marcianus in the east, Theodosius who was a few years older was now considered the Senior Emperor also having been emperor for tumultuous years at this point. Being brother in laws, the hope was for even greater co operation between the two emperors and their halves of the empire. However instead of the massive campaigns there fathers had done together, the two Emperors would be noted for a much different approach to ruling the split empire. Theodosius had Marcianus and the eastern imperial family join him in Rome to discuss the future plans of the empire and celebrate his brother in laws Rise to power.

In the celebration and meetings that followed for the following week, much was discussed. Both men enjoyed peace, and wanted that for their people. In the east Marcianus only intended to fight the Sassanids if provoked, but brought forward his plans to bring the eastern client states closer to the empire. Southern Egypt had been peaceful for a long time but there were rumblings of trouble rising, Marcianus intended to have his envoys travel to the Kingdom of Aksum to bring that kingdom into the roman fold as a true ally. The only true threat to the east was across the Danube.

As for the west Theodosius discussed how he would finally allow his brother Constantinus to take command in Gaul, and prepare a campaign against the Franks and Alemanni. Much of the two Emperors meetings however discussed Economy, trade and taxes, and how the Empires coffers could continue to grow.

One notable thing that happened during this week of festivals and meetings was the meeting of two people. Constantinus's pregnant wife, Flavia Marcella, would introduce the 25 year old Gallus to a freind of hers, the beautiful Anicia Pompeia, a descendant of Marcus Aurelius, through Lucilla and her husband Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus, which gave her an enormous pedigree. The two noticeably hit it off, and many were awed by how the two were able to captivate everyone around them with laughter and joy. Within the year the two would be married, and it is said that the marriage between Gallus and Pompeia was one of true love, something that was a rarity in those days, it was a love that would be recorded in books, poems and stories throughout time.

After the meeting of the two Emperors, Theodosius would follow up on his conversation with Marcianus by sending Constantinus to Gaul, where he was given the directive of training the troops there and gathering a force of 30,000 men, in which he was to reconquer Gaul, with the campaign beginning in 488. Constantinus first son would be born in Gaul, and in honour of his coming campaigns he would be named Marcus Julius Valerius Germanicus, and in the year that the war began a second son would be born named Marcus Julius Valerius Drusus, with Constantinus's feverent admiration of the two generals who had fought in Germania becoming more evident. Gallus would also join Constantinus in 488 for the first campaign. Brining news of the birth of his Daughter, Julia Pompeia.

The year 488 would mark the beginning of new era for the empire.