A Difference Of Fate: A Late Roman Timeline

So the Western Empire is Italia, Dalmatian Coast and some of Hispania?
This is more or less what the empire looks at this point. As you can see its one from the internet, and I am not the best at map making but i will try to make one, and post it here.
 

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Bigger than I thought!

Well OTL Gaul wasnt lost until after Majorian, and ittl Majorian just took back Hispania, which the Seuvi had taken control of everything except the northeast. Italy and Dalmatia are pretty consistent hold outs for the empire otl, the one big missing chunk of territory is obviously Africa, and at this point the empire is sorta restored back to its territory that it holds from 420-460 OTL
 
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In fact, parts of Northern Gaul actually held out longer than the Empire under the leadership of Syagrius.

Yep however after Majorians death, its generally made out to be its own kingdoms as Aegidius and Syragius acted outside of Roman command and threatened to auctually invade several times.
 
As people have probably noticed a second POD has been entered where the east now has a capable and determined hier on the throne, and is not under the Germanic influence of Aspar anymore.

At the same time, Majorian and Aetius could effectively be called regents of the empire at the moment, agreeing to co rule with Valentinian as a puppet to keep the transition as stable as possible, we will have to see how long this lasts.... but it is a far safer route than many Usurpers took, and we will see how the rest of the empire takes the news of this power shift in the next update.
 
Marcian would not wait for someone to replace the General and instead appointed his son in law Anthemius who was already Magister Militum as Caesar of the east, his hier. Anthemius had the makings of a decent emperor, being a talented general and administrator things were looking up for the east, as now Marcian did not have to be lead by a influential general. Almost immediately agressive and ambitious plans were made by Anthemius and Marcian who intended to begin operations to support the Armenian rebels lead by Vahan a reversal on his previous policy.
Considering Anthemius was the last man worthy of the position of Western Roman Emperor to hold the position, the future for the Eastern Empire could never be more bright.
 
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Considering Anthemius was the last man worthy of the position of Western Roman Emperor to hold the position, the future for the Eastern Empire could never be more bright.
I definitely agree its to bad that the African campaign did not go well and that he and ricimer had a civil war, speaking of which the latter has been absent so far....
 
Chapter 5 456 The year of Imperial succesion
Chapter 5

456

There was a reason Majorian went along with Aetius exile, as Aetius arrived in Constantinople in January of 456, with a message from Majorian, and to make sure the Eastern Emperor and Caesar would not try and fight the change in power. Fortunately for the West they werent in a position to do so, with much of their armies moving east, even if they had wanted to. To add to this, Marcian did not have the biggest inclination to try and help Valentinian, who at one point was rumored to be considering fighting Marcian. Aetius would stay in the east until February, when news arrived of the birth of Gaius Julius Valerius Theodosius. Around this time Anthemius would leave his pregnant wife who would have their daughter Alypia in only a few months, and his father in law in the capital, going east, as Caesar, and he would return as Emperor.

When Aetius arrived back in Italia, in early March, it was in time for some impactful events.

Majorian had been the de facto ruler of the west for around 4 months, in this time he had begun passing laws in the name of himself and Valentinian, who was under house arrest in Milan at this point. One of these new laws weas dictated towards women entering the clergy. During this time many daughters were made to be abstinent of Marriage, so that their families wealth would not be dispersed in doweries reducing roman birth rates and causing illicit affairs. This same law also put a minimum age of 40 for women joining the clergy. As well many widowed women never remarried due to influence of the church, who they often gifted all their goods to in their will. To stop this in the same law, these women were forbidden from taking religious vows. This law was a large movement to stop the church on its agressive expansion which harmed the good of the empire in the Caesars eyes, as well it would help increase the population of the empire as women were remarried. At the same time, this alienated some of the senators who were now forced to marry of their daughters, and who were further alienated by Majorians agressive policy of anti corruption.

These laws and policies by Majorian were the start of a Anti Majorian coalition between Senators and the Church, who would be given a chance at action soon, as in March news also arrived from Gaul. Agrippinus who both Majorian and Aetius agreed needed to be removed from power, sent back Majorians messengers head, with a note declaring for the true Emperor Valentinian. Majorian would send to Aegidius in Hispania, and Marcellinus in Dalmatia for troops and would gather many of the Italian troops. He would personally deal with Agrippinus, Leaving Aetius with 6,000 men, half of the Italian Comitatenses, Majorian who was quickly joined by Marcellinus's men around 5,000 would begin marching towards Arles in the middle of April.

Agrippinus had roughly 16,000 men, so taking on the entire empire was not the smartest decision until one takes a look at who Agrippinus had been working with ever since 454. Thorismund the Visigothic King. Thorismund had many reasons to fight the empire, however the main reason, was that under a powerful leadership like Aetius and Majorian, his people would be threatened. So he worked with the one man who he could, the corrupt general Agrippinus. To seal the deal in February of 456 Thorismund would betroth his young daughter to Agrippinus own son. Together the 2 men could have raised 30,000-40-0000 men, a terrifying host. However once news of Majorians march arrived, and Thorismund and Agrippinus moved to join forces, the Visigothic kings younger brother Theodoric declared for Majorian, causing a sprial of events. Theodoric was able to gather 6,000 men against his brothers 20,000, and held the capital of Tolosa against his brother. Agrippinus quickly moved with his men from Northern Gaul to support his ally, leaving the Alans who were loyal to Majorian to harrass his forces, and cut his supply line from the north. Majorian was also joined by the Burgundians who increased his armies numbers from 12,000 to 20,000. Hearing of the Visigothic civil war and Agrippinus, movements, Majorian quickly moved towards Tolosa as well, being joined by Aegidius and 8,000 men. Arriving at the battlefield on May 15th.

The battle of Tolosa, would be the first battle of several in 456, often called the year of Imperial succesion. On the fields outside of Tolosa, Majorians 28,000 men would form up, across from Agrippinus's 36,000, Theodorics 6,000 would join the battle later.

The Caesars army would form up with the Hispanian and Dalmatian Comitatenses facing the Visigoths on the left, the burgundians in the center and the Italian Comitatenses on the right facing Agrippinus men. Both sides had the same number of cavalry roughly 3,000 each however Majorians cavalry was made up of his better trained and equipped Bucelarii who formed a shock cavalry core, and supported by 2,000 hunnic cavalry. When the battle was joined the Infantry clashed in the center with the larger army of Agrippinus holding the advantage, and the center of Majorians line made by the Burgundians begining to bend backwards under the weight of the enemy.

The cavalry action however was decisively in Majorians favour as the Bucelarii held the enemy in place and the Huns rode around the edge shooting arrows into the enemies backs. The Visigothic and Gallic cavalry taking heavy losses, either routed or surrendered about half an hour into the battle, at this Time, the Visigoths of Theodoric exited the city and began marching to the battle. A detachment of Hunnic cavalry around 500 strong swept behind the enemy forces and began shooting into the rear of the enemy, it was at this time a rebel Dux decided to switch sides. His name was Ricimer.

Ricimer and his men around 2,000 of which were on the facing the Italian Comitatenses when they switched sides and caused an immediate flanking manoeuvre onto the men of Agrippinus. With all these factors happening the army of Agrippinus and Thorismund broke, Thorismund would take 4,000 men to fight his brother, where he would be killed with all his men, many others surrendered or ran. Agrippinus would however escape battle, with 4,000 men. The battle was rather decisive, with 6,000 Visigothic deaths, 4,000 Gallic deaths, and with Majorians army only losing 2,000 men. Theodoric would be named King of the Visigoths and would accept the status of Fedoratti, the men of Agrippinus army would all eventually join back and swear an oath of loyalty to the empire and Majorian. The Gallic Comitatenses would number around 8,000 men.

Majorian would continue moving north with his army which now numbered 34,000 men. He would catch Agrippinus at Avaricum in early July thanks to the help of the Alans who had trapped him there. Agrippinus would be betrayed by the city who opened the gates, and his entire force was killed or executed. With 34,000 men Majorian also considered this a good time to chastise the Alemanni who had been raiding into Burgundian Frankish and Roman territories for several years which culminated in the battle of Divodurum on August 1st where Majorian would decisively defeat the Alemanni army of 20,000 with only 500 causualties. At this time Majorian would also be greeted by the Frankish king Merovech and his son Childeric who were happy to stay as Fedorati, especially with the Caesars massive army on their doorstep.

However other news would reach Majorian at this time that had far greater consequences and would force Majorian to march on Italia. In the time he had been away from Italia Aetius had continued his and Majorians plans and had begun the writing of a new law that would affect how taxes were collected avoiding large amounts of corruption. When a large scale rebellion broke out. This rebellion was aimed at freeing Valentinian and placing him back into power. This rebellion was lead with the financing of many Senators who had bought the swords of many mercenaries, around 15,000 men, and was also supported by the Church who had been outed by Majorians laws. At the same time, a message was sent to the Vandals to support the true Roman Emperor and father of their future queen. This was all that Genseric needed to hear, and within a few weeks a Vandal Fleet with 20,000 men would land on the shored Italia, not far from Rome. Aetius who had been at Milan with 4000 of his men was killed when the Mercenaries took the city by suprise, and freed the Emperor, and his now pregnant Wife Eudoxia the Emperors forces would number around 40,000 when Majorian arrived in Italia in October with his men, which had been supplemented by Visigoths, Alans and Franks to be around 36,000 men, Majorian having left Ricimer as Interum Magister Gallias with 5,000 men.

However even though Majorians army was smaller, he had 6,000 Cavalry between the Alans and 2,000 Huns. Giving his army a massive advantage in the open. It was for this reason that Valentinians army did not stay north in the Po Valley were they could be cut off by the enemies cavalry. It should also be noted that even though the army was lead in name by Valentinian, Genseric was the auctual leader, as Valentinianus did not have the experience to lead the army effectively. It was in the appenines that Genseric planned to hold Majorians army using the passes as a way to block Majorians advantage in cavalry. It was between Bononnia and Florentia that Genseric planned to hold. Genseric even began constructing defences to be more effective at holding Majorian. However Majorian split his army, sending half of his cavalry and a detachment of 3,000 Infantry to go through a different pass and flank the enemy position. Once Genserics scouts learned of this Genseric immediately moved to attack Majorians position, however found it to already be fortified by a rampart and palisade and scorpions and ballista. At this point Genseric was forced to retreat. Even if Majorians position was held by 30000 men it could take almost double to take the fortified position.

However Genseric would not be able to escape the Florentian hills. The battle of Florentia would happen in the hills outside of the city, Genseric would line his infantry around 36,000 strong between the Arno river and the florentian hills, with a detachment of 1000 men on the hills about 100 yards from his right flank. His cavalry in reserve. Majorian would line his 30,000 infantry up against Genserics, and kept his bucelarri and cavalry in reserve, however. Majorian had brought as many of his scorpions as he could with him, and those alongwith the huns fired volleys of darts and arrows into the Emperors army. This would go on for half an hour before Majorians scorpions ran out of ammunition and the Huns were pulled back. The general advance would then be sounded and the infantry clashed together in a furious melee, however Genserics army had the advantage. To keep the 1,000 men detachment atop the Hills, Majorjan sent his Bucelarii and huns against them, and with that force pinned down, it opened up the gap which was still steep ground, for use by Majorians Alani cavalry. Those 4,000 men rushed into the gap about an hour after the battle began, and the hill detachment was to weak to join battle, and smashed into Genserics cavalry reserves and flank. However the numbers were still rather equal, and the battle continued for a further half hour before Majorians Bucelarii rode into the Vandal flank as reinforcements for the Alani. Genseric would escape the battle wounded, alongside 10,000 men and critically a captive and pregnant Eudoxia who would board a fleet at Pisae to the west. Valentinian would be captured in the hills to his armies rear having been caught up in the armies route, his army 40,000 strong disintegrated the mercenaries seeing the battle lost escaping as best they could, a group of Vandals lead by a cousin of Genseric would try and hold the Romans long enough for their king to escape. The Vandal casualties in the battle were great, around 8,000 were killed and 2,000 captured, of the remaining 20,000 in Valentinians army, 12,000 escaped, 3,000 were killed and the remaining captured. The mercenaries tortured for information. Of Majorians army, they lost around 5,000 men.

Majorian would be proclaimed Emperor by his army, which was quickly accepted by Marcellinus in Dalmatia, and the men in Hispania and Gaul. However Majorian would have to deal with those who had plotted against him.

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This was a rather large chapter, I am ending the chapter at thjs point so that it doesnt get any longer, we have dealt with the Wests developments in this chapter, and I have left it open ended, to see if you guys have any input on how Majorian should treat those who plotted against him. The next chapter will also focus on the east during this year, and their coming war in Armenia against the Sassanids.
 
Burn them all!!11!!
lol
Bring out the wheels men! It’s time we punish these fools! Also maybe burn the vandals a bit

Well, trying to purge everyone who plotted against him might be a bad idea and alienate more people than would do Majorian good,

As for the Vandals, that is tricky, Majorian is lucky he took Valentinianus captive, but Eudoxia who is pregnant with the ex emperors child is with them, as is Eudocia in Africa. Plus the Vandal fleet is strong and in control of the western Mediterranean, so with a weak fleet Majorian will be in a tough position to deal with them, at least for a year or two. Especially with the East focusing there power against the Sassanids.
 
Well, trying to purge everyone who plotted against him might be a bad idea and alienate more people than would do Majorian good,

As for the Vandals, that is tricky, Majorian is lucky he took Valentinianus captive, but Eudoxia who is pregnant with the ex emperors child is with them, as is Eudocia in Africa. Plus the Vandal fleet is strong and in control of the western Mediterranean, so with a weak fleet Majorian will be in a tough position to deal with them, at least for a year or two. Especially with the East focusing there power against the Sassanids.
so there won't be any proscriptions?
 
Haha instant trepidation I like it. Ricimer will definitely have a part to play.
Yeah, considering how much Ricimer contributed to the fall of the Western Roman Empire by killing Majorian and Anthemius (who were the arguably the last two Western Roman Emperors worthy of the position), I can't help but feel trepidation at his rise.
 
Yeah, considering how much Ricimer contributed to the fall of the Western Roman Empire by killing Majorian and Anthemius (who were the arguably the last two Western Roman Emperors worthy of the position), I can't help but feel trepidation at his rise.

I dont want to spoil to much, so i will say that, Ricimer OTL was made from the situations he was put in, and we will have to see how he grows ittl.
 
The entrance of Ricimer cannot be a good sign.
Yeah, considering how much Ricimer contributed to the fall of the Western Roman Empire by killing Majorian and Anthemius (who were the arguably the last two Western Roman Emperors worthy of the position), I can't help but feel trepidation at his rise.
We have to remember that Ricimer and Majorian were equals before they deposed Avitus,so there was an expectation on Ricimer’s part to have a large say in Majorian’s government.He would rightly see himself as a partner in Majorian’s regime,not his subject given his role in Majorian’s ascension.In this timeline however,Majorian is in a much more senior position both politically and militarily.He was already Caesar and the true ruler of the western empire while Ricimer was just a middle ranking officer who was promoted to the position of magister Militum by order of Majorian.Ricimer would likely show far greater reverence towards Majorian as opposed to otl.If there is any one who is in the same position as Ricimer from otl, it would be Aetius given his seniority in the army and his role as Majorian’s mentor.
 
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