A Gilded Cross

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by DjBaraca, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Marko Well-Known Member

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    Nice map. The broder between Croatia and Serbia should be just a little bit eastward, cause at that time ran along the mountains that divided the vallies of river Vrbas and Bosna. Also Serbia at that time is not known as Serbia but Duklja.

    Cheers
     
  2. ByzantineCaesar Secretary-General of URSAL

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    But why would there be this kind of rivality of Rhomania x Crusaders? If Alexius follows Manuel's ideology, they will try to get closer and even to ally to fight against the muslims. After all, Romanus IV was allied to the crusaders and Alexius I was his general. The crusaders don't have any city within their holdings that the Romans would see as their own (i.e. Antioch). I could see trouble regarding Armenia's independence and of course heavy trouble with the Normans in Greece and Crete. I could easily see an alliance of Venice and Rhomania in order to kick Sicily out of Greece and Crete (the Venetians did support the Romans against the Normans with their navy). I could easily see that Alexius I's policy would be not to get problems with the Normans and he would focus on retaking Nicaea and the Aegan coast and then settle the problems with the Trapezuntine state. Isaac would try to continue His father's policy but I see things changing in the rule of Alexius II. Why not turning Manuel into the Megas Domestikos and make him retake Morea and invade Italy itself. He has the potential to do this, but I am not zure if the Empire would not collapse with wars on four fronts (Balkans, Cilicia, Anatolia and Italy).
     
  3. DjBaraca Well-Known Member

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    It not Alexius II or Isaac II that is going to be the problem, both of them are going to maintain good relationships with the Crusaders. But over time tensions are going to rise over Norman control of Morea, Crete, and Cyprus as well the rise economic dominance by foreign powers (Isaac II and Alexios is going to forced to make some with the Venetian, Normans, Hungarians, Germans and French economic concessions for help in his reconquest of lost land. Over time these tensions are going to build up over time native Greeks are going to see the empire as being subverted by foreigners, for their own benefit. By this time the Crusader States will have allied with the Normans due to cultural and trade connections a good part of the nobility will be of Norman descent. By the time of the war the Normans would have established themselves as a naval power (kinda like Venice in OTL). When the Emperors David I (who gains the throne from his brother based off a platform of resisting foreign influence.), John II (around the 1200s) under the influence of some very anger Greeks decides to ride them selves of the foreign influence, and ultimately regain the long lost lands of Morea and Crete (Cyprus would be under the control one of the Crusader states at this time). Normans will call upon their allies the Crusader States to help them. The Greeks call in their allies. And whole thing devolves into a bloody mess that will go on and off for about 20 years. I still don't know who will win yet as it has not fully form it's self in my mind yet. But it is way down the road
     
  4. DjBaraca Well-Known Member

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    A Gilded Cross

    The Legacy of Tizona

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    The Abdication of Alfonso VI of Leon: artist unknown
    The lands of Iberia were divided, and had be for a long time. The great Christian Kingdoms of Leon, Castile, Navarre, Galicia Aragon, and Catalonia served as the great bastion to Western Europe. These Kingdoms served as a last defense before the rest of Western Europe from the Muslim horde. In the days of El-Cid before the rise of Seville the mightiest power was not even a Iberian state but the Moroccan empire of Almoravid. It had integrated the Tafia states of the former Caliphate of Córdoba. It’s Sultan dominated to region and the Chrisitan had much to fear of the strong Muslim power. This is the world the Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar better known as El Cid rose into prominence in. El Cid was a general under the command of Sancho II of Castile. Sancho was the leader of the one of the bigger Christian states in the region. Sancho II regularly fought against both Christians and Muslims defeating both Ramiro of Aragon and Alfonso of Leon, establishing Castile as the biggest player in the region. It was during these conflicts the El Cid rose to prominence as one for the premiere Generals of Sancho II. Yet dynastic conflicts beset the regional kingdoms and would give way to the Rise of the House of Vivar.

    Before the rise of El Cid and his family to the throne of the Leon and Castile the Jimmenz Dynasty heavily dominated the region. Ferdinand I father of Sancho II and Alfonso VI united the lands of Leon and Castile during his glorious reign. But upon the end of his life he faced a crisis, the crisis of who would inherit his kingdom. He had three sons Sancho, Garcia, Alfonso. Each of the sons received their own kingdom to rule in a scenario that would parallel the famous playwright Alfred Crayston play King Leir which was based of the British and Celtic legend of Lear, Ferdinand I divided the land between his sons. Sancho gained Castile, Alfonso gained Leon, and Garcia gained Galicia. But shortly after his death the Sancho II and Alfonso VI turned against their brother Garica and conquered the Kingdom of Galicia. Here El Cid rose to prominence as a key general in Sancho II. It is speculated that El Cid advised what was going to happen next. Sancho II attacked his brother Alfonso from behind. Sancho II saw an opportunity to unite the lands of his father on under his rule. It did not help the El Cid encouraged this. A war began between the two brothers that would culminate at the Battle of Golpejera. The Battle began well enough for the Leonese who were able to drive the Castilians from the field of battle. Yet El Cid rode in front of the army and was able to inspire both the army and King Sancho II. The following morning Castilians attacked catching the Leonense off guard. Alfonso himself was captured, and with the victory Leon was conquered, and Sancho became King. Sancho toke his humiliated brother to a nearby church a demanded that he abdicate his throne to him. Having little choice Alfonso agreed deciding to flee in exile to Toledo. Yet for his all effort to unite his lands, Sancho II would not rule for long. During a campaign against his sister Urraca, he had besieged the city of Zamora. A turncoat named Vellido Dolfos approached Sancho II promising to tell him the secret to taking the city in a private meeting with him. During the meeting Vellido approached the king a grab his sword and impaled him in the back with it, killing him. Vellido was chased out of the camp by the guard lead by a shocked El Cid, where he was killed by one of the guards. The sudden death of Sancho II, left the throne of Castile with out a King. Sancho II never had an heir and a question of succession immediately arose. The most viable candidate was the deposed brother Alfonso VI. Yet there was opposition to his rule, the Castilian nobility held their doubts about Alfonso VI and some suspicions about, believing that Alfonso VI has a role in the death of his brother. This view slowly began to grow as he approached the capital of Leon for his coronation. As Alfonso VI arrived in the city he found himself confronted by a group of angry nobles accusing him of hiring the traitor to kill his brother. Alfonso was naturally shocked by this, and quickly grew more and more furious with them. In a famous scene a noble accuses him of promoting Leon nobles and granting them more lands. Alfonso shouted at him this “ How dare you, such a low a petty noble. How are you to accuse me, Alfonso de Avila mighty master of the lowly city of Avilla? You are Castilian brethren, are nothing but dirt.” This insult on Castilian pride infuriated their people. When El Cid found out he decide to use this of to his advantage. On March 18 1073 he declare himself un rebellion and that he was the proper king of Castile and Leon due to Sancho with his dying breath his true heir not wishing that his brother to inherit. Many of Castilian nobles defected to him and using a big chunk of the main army that was besieging Zamora and as well of those supplied by the Castilian nobles about 10 000 men. Alfonso quickly gathered his forces and marched against Rodrigo. The two forces met outside of Villamanan, The battle began in traditional fashion with both. The battle quickly turned into a slugging match, until Rodrigo gained the upper hand leading a group of cavalry he charged Alfonso flank. Alfonso tried desperately to save himself but to no avail as Castilian knight cut him down. With his victory at Villamanan Rodrigo claim to the throne was uncontested. He rode into Leon, and in the main Cathedral proclaimed himself the King of Castile and Leon. One of his first actions was to arrange a peace with Navarre, which had invaded during the civil war. El Cid was now known as King Rodrigo I de Vivar. He gave back all of the land that Sancho II had token in their last war. He then crushed the last of the old dynasty, forcing both sisters into nunneries in the South near the borders. Yet Rodrigo was then face with the biggest threat of his entire reign. In winter of 1703, Yusuf ibn Tashfin Sultan of the Almoravid Empire invaded using the civil strife in the region as an opportunity to invade. This would be El Cid greatest challenge and would forever cement his position of one of the great leaders of the Reconquista.
     
  5. ByzantineCaesar Secretary-General of URSAL

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    Nice update!

    I think you meant 1073?
     
  6. DjBaraca Well-Known Member

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    Whoops my bad. I will have the next update done by the end of the week
     
  7. ByzantineCaesar Secretary-General of URSAL

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    I hope this TL isn't dead :(
     
  8. DjBaraca Well-Known Member

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    A Gilded Cross

    The Legacy of Tizona pt.2​


    [​IMG]
    King Rodrigo I 'El Cid'​


    The year was 1073, and massive invasion was under way. Yusuf ibn Tashfin saw his opportunity to crush the most powerful of the Christian kingdom in Iberia, Castile. It new king was the legendary Rodrigo ‘El Cid’ de Vivar, who had just gained power in a vicious civil war, usurping the long established Jimenez Dynasty. Yet Yusuf saw all this an opportunity to ride him self of the pesky Castilians and expand his realm. This came just as Rodrigo I had just finished of the last of the Jimenez by forcing Urraca into a convent in Pyrenees. Yusuf ibn Tashfin quickly crossed the border with his force of 50 000 men comprised from various tribal groups throughout his empire. The most prominent in this army were Moroccan Guard, which served as his own personal army, and made up of 1/3 of the army, the Al- Andalusia division lead primarily by Idris Ali of Seville one of the sons of the Tafia of Seville, finally the last prominent division was Berber Cavalry lead by Yusuf Nephew Abu’Abdullah Muhammad. The Berber tribes men served as the primarily cavalry division of the army yet were not well known for their loyalty to Tashfin. Rodrigo would use this to his advantage. The two armies would meet outside of Toldeo at the town of Tornijos Rodrigo deployed his forces in a line with his toughest and most experience troops on his flanks. As well as setting up his force along a top of mountain. The battle began early in the morning as Tashfin forces began to march towards them. At first the Muslims keep ranks and advanced but the Berber cavalry began to harass the flanks. El Cid sent his own missile cavalry to harass them and to keep them from the field of battle. But El Cid kept a small force made of Knights hidden from Tashfin. The Muslims began the battle by launching a barrage of arrows from archers. Then the Moroccan Guard under Yusuf ibn Tashfin advances and begins battle with the main line. The Berber return and attempt to attack one of the flanks of the Castilian flanks but El Cid sees this and launches his knight which have been hiding in secret against them. Seeing the knights the Berber retreat, many scholars have often wondered why they retreated at the first sight of trouble may it was fear but the most likely reason was the Abu’Abdullah had his eyes on his uncles throne and wished to take it. Knowing that if he left that the Moroccans would have been doomed to collapse. El Cid sees the retreat as his chance and charges Tashfin flanks. The troops levied from the various Tafias immediately break and run. Tashfin attempts to rally them but is killed. El Cid is able to defeat and crush the remainder of the Moroccan army. The victory at Tornijos would open the gates to Toldeo as the city would fall only after a month long siege. The victory also sent the deathblow to Moroccan control over Iberia. Many of the Tafias rebelled against them the most prominent being Seville under Idris Ali al-Radi, Zaragoza under Ahmad ibn Sulayman al-Muqtadir and Badajoz under Umar ibn Muhammad al-Mutawakkil.

    Rodrigo I established his new capital in the city of Toldeo and began to make peace with the various Tafias. Years of war had devastated the region leaving many homeless. A period of peace began across the country as Vivar began to collsidate his control. He opened up relationships with the other major players in Iberia as well as Europe as a whole. He married his two daughters off to Count of Barcelona and into French royalty. But there was still a problem, succession. During the war against Tashfin Rodrigo I only son Diego Rodriguez was killed. This created a massive problem for Rodrigo I to many outside of Iberia he was seen as a usurper. Even Urraca still plotted to gain the throne upon his death despite her being locked away in a convent in the mountains. The only thing that prevent his enemies from laying claim to his throne was the Papal dispensation from Pope Gregory VII who saw his success against the moors as a blessing. Jimena his wife despite her great beauty failed to produce any sons. So the once holy warrior began to look outside of his marriage for a heir. He began affairs with various minor nobles and peasants producing a various amounts of offspring but the majority were girls. But finally in 1082 Alfonso was born to a tanner. Rodrigo I immediately took this bastard babe and made him his heir. Then disaster struck Jimena was revealed to be pregnant. Normally this would be a blessing but in the process of giving birth she would die and the child was a sickly young boy that was to be named Garcia. Rodrigo almost immediately shunned Alfonso and name the newborn infant Garcia his heir. Alfonso who was 6 at the time was suddenly forced to survive on his own as all the attention he had previously suddenly evaporated, making Alfonso a bitter and cruel man. Rodrigo I then went on a search for a new wife. This process took months but finally he decided on marrying the sister of the Duke of Provence. While all of this was happening Rodrigo turned his eye away from the Iberian Peninsula in blissful ignorance. While Rodrigo I became obsessed with his succession his old enemy Idris Ali al-Radi was unifying the various Tafias into a unified force. By the time Rodrigo I realize what was happening in the south it was too late. In 1099 Rodrigo I would die, he would be succeeded by his son inept Garcia VI but only a year later Alfonso claimed the right of the throne and civil war broke out. It was then Idris I ‘The Magnificence” struck.
     
  9. ByzantineCaesar Secretary-General of URSAL

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    Glad to see it lives. :)

    EDIT: 400th post!
     
  10. Cuāuhtemōc Instagram Fiend Banned

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    Seriously. How. The. Fuck. Did. I. Overlook. This?

    This is an awesome TL.
     
  11. Lysandros Aikiedes Well-Known Member

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    Reading this, I noted that you referred to Roger I of Sicily as a "king", even though he never held that office. Roger was the Count of Sicily. His son, Roger II was invested as the King of Sicily in 1130 after aiding the Pope Anacletus II in his rise to power, less than thirty years after his father's death. Plus, if Roger I did somehow become king of Sicily, that would put him at odds with Robert Guiscard, whom basically shared power with him.
     
  12. DjBaraca Well-Known Member

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    Byzantine Ceaser: Thankfully this isn't dead. Sorry for the wait but honestly I need some time to get my thought together and rethink the timeline over it wasn't until recently that i thought I was ready to restrat. Also cyber high five for 400th post:D

    Drago: Thanks a lot I am honoured you like it so much. I have always been a great fan of you timelines.

    Lysandros: Sorry my bad on mixing up the title though. As for the equal divide of power between Roger I and Robert Guiscard I had imagined that a agreement between the two was that one (roger) would stay in Sicily until the conquest was complete while the other lead the Crusade. But since Robert was killed in the Crusade it is safe to say that Roger I now has complete control over the country. As for the title of King it is going to be gain much much sooned than in OTL (Roger I is going to play an important role in the investiture conflicts between the Pope Greogry VII/ Urban II and Henry IV)
     
  13. DjBaraca Well-Known Member

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    A Gilded Cross

    England and France

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    King Robert I of England​


    King Philip I have ruled over the lands of France in a good manner. He had a son, Louis, and two daughters, Constance and Ceclia. France was a strong and rich land with a proud heritage and history. But events in the south would change the nature of the region forever. The south was divided between to nobles William IV of Toulouse and William VIII of Aquitane. These two lands comprised of the majority of southern France. William IV of Toulouse remained without a male heir, his only daughter Phillipa was seen as his heir and the only other option was his brother Raymond. Raymond began to eye his brother’s titles and lands. William IV in an act of desperation agreed to marry his daughter Phillipa to son of William VIII of Aquitane, William IX. The couple was wed in the winter of 1086 and within a matter months Phillipa was with child (the future King William X of Aquitane). This made Raymond neverous if the child was a male then his spot in line on the throne would be lost. He attempted to poison his niece but the attempt failed spectacularly and the posioner was caught and interrogated. With no thing less to lose he gathered and army and with the backing of the other nobles who wished to gain more land and titles revolted against his brother. William IV went to King Philip I and begged him for help against his brother. Philip I remarkably agreed to help William IV in forming this mega duchy. Though many scholars debate the motives for his support of William IV, many say it was to gain new lands from William’s opponents, others say it was to gain both William IV loyalty and backing of his son Louis VI, other say it was due to his rising unpopularity due to his conduct relating to his wife Bertrade de Montfort the old wife of the Duke of Anjou and his on and off excommunications due to it. But regardless of the reason, Philip I decided to help William IV against his rebellious brother. The war against Raymond and his allies was a short and quick one as the Royal forces are soon able to overwhelm and capture Raymond and his allies. Raymond is un-ceremonially executed for treason shortly after his capture. Though peace returned to France and succession had been secured the seeds of it’s fall had been planted. Over the next 80 years the Aquitaine would gain more and more power and autonomy becoming in affect independent. By the time Philip II tried to curb it was too late to stop the invasion.

    Meanwhile across the channel in England a great man was passing. William I ‘the Conqueror’ one of the greatest and most transformative monarch in the history of the nation was reaching the end of his life. In 1087 at the age of 60 William I died upon his death his great nation was divided into two. His second son William II Rufus would inherit England while Robert Curthose would inherit Normandy. This left many of the nobles in the country in an awkward position. As a result of the Norman Conquest many Norman rulers were given estates in England as well keeping their current estates in Normandy. Now that the country was divided again the nobles were unsure on who serve. As stated by the Chronicler Orderic Vitalis “What are we to do? Now that our lord is dead, two young men have succeeded and precipitately divided the lordship of England and Normandy. How can we properly serve two lords who are so different and distant from each other? If we serve Robert, Duke of Normandy, worthily, we will offend his brother, William, and we will be stripped by him of our great revenues and large estates in England. On the other hand, if we obey King William fittingly, Duke Robert will deprive us of all our inherited lands in Normandy.” A good portion of the barons decided to band together under the command of William half-brothers Odo de Bayeux and Robert, Count of Mortain and support Robert Curthose. Odo began the campaign by gathering his nobles and laying waste to Rufus and his supporters’ lands. He then returned to Pevensey castle to wait for the king’s response. Rufus responded by first dividing his enemies by promising those who supported him would receive any lands and treasures they wanted, he also promised to bring the English people “the best law this land had ever seen.” On June 17th Rufus marched to Pevensey to besiege the city when Robert Curthose crossed the channel and marched to Pevensey to meet his brother and take the throne that was rightfully his. The battle of Pevensey began in traditional Norman fashion with a clash of infantry. Both sides dismounted their horses and charge at each other. This went on for several hours until Odo de Bayeux suddenly emerged from Castle and smashed into the open flank of Rufus. His army crumbled under the pressure Odo reinforcements, Rufus attempted to hold the line but he was maimed by Norman troops and capture. The capture of their king destroyed the morale of the English army and they fled. Robert was successful and rides triumphantly into London. By the end of July he is coronated King of Robert I of England and names his brother Henry his heir. He forces Rufus to flee into exile. Rufus first takes refuge in France, then flees to Germany where he becomes a courtier in the court Conrad I. The nobles who opposed Robert and the estates of his loyal supporters increased drastically. Odo quickly becomes the most powerful man in the empire, followed shortly by his brother Robert. But Robert is all too aware of Odo power, influence and riches and during feast in London has him poisoned and confiscated all of his lands and divided his wealth between himself and his brother freeing himself of his influence. Robert blamed the poisoning on the Scots and a short war began that resulted in Malcolm III paying a small tribute to Robert. Robert then turned his eyes to succession and married the daughter of a supporter the Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery, Emma. The lands of England finally seemed at peace, with Robert safely on the throne but under the surface laid a threat that was ready to throw aside everything that Robert had worked for.
     
  14. DjBaraca Well-Known Member

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    Any comments? Questions? concerns?
     
  15. Lysandros Aikiedes Well-Known Member

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    Why would Robert Curthose name his brother, Henry Beauclerc, as his heir? Wouldn't the intention here be to sire offspring to succeed him?

    And poisoning Odo of Bayeux? That sounds a bit out of character for Robert. I'm not so sure that he was quite that underhanded, although I could be wrong.
     
  16. DjBaraca Well-Known Member

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    Naming Henry Beauclerc is just a temporary thing until a proper heir is born. As for the poisoning of Odo de Bayeux is something of political necessity. Robert I can't rule England if Odo owns more power, wealth, and influence than Robert I himself. Also Robert I has problems with the Scots due it's backing of Edgar Aethelling so he decided to deal with the two problems in one fell swoop. Poisoning Odo and blaming it on the Scots and forcing them to exile Edgar (who going to play an interesting role in 2nd crusade and the Byzantine empire).
     
  17. DjBaraca Well-Known Member

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    A Gilded Cross

    The Investiture Conflict

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    Henry IV begging for forgiveness from the Pope and Matlida of Canossa


    The right of investiture had been a complicated one since the days of Constantine the Great and the Council Nicaea. Who had the right to proclaim the priest of the land? The great temporal authorities like Emperor Henry IV. Or the Holy Catholic Church led by God’s vicar on Earth the Pope of Rome. This question lead to one of the biggest conflicts between the church and state that would lead to centuries of civil war that would last until the great reformers Art MacAhren, and Edvard Husvák [1] first protested the corruption of the catholic church and their popes in Caux and Plzen respectively. But in 1075s the first steps towards that rebellion were taken. None could have known what they could have led to. Hell, not even the warrior popes in late 1100s and early 1200s when the relationship between the Rome and HRE were the strongest could have seen the reformation happen. The conflict between the church and the secular powers began when a group of clergy known as the Gregorian Reformers lead Pope Gregory VII prompted by their success in the holy land decided to address the sin of simony by restoring the power of investiture to the Church. The Gregorian reformers knew this would not be possible so long as the emperor maintained the ability to appoint the pope, so their first step was to liberate the papacy from the control of the emperor. An opportunity came in 1056 when Henry IV became German king at six years of age. The reformers seized the opportunity to free the papacy while he was still a child and could not react. In 1059 a church council in Rome declared, with In Nomine Domini, that secular leaders would play no part in the selection of popes and created the College of Cardinals as a body of electors made up entirely of church officials which to this day elects the new pope. In 1075 Pope Gregory decided to reinforce his power over the secular powers of Catholic Europe by asserting "Dictatus Papae,” a cannon law that claimed that the deposal of an emperor was under the sole power of the pope of Rome. It declared that God alone founded the Roman church; that the papal power was the sole universal power. A council held in the Lateran from February 24 to 28 of the same year, decreed that the pope alone could appoint or depose churchmen or move them from see to see. By this time, Henry IV was no longer a child, and he continued to appoint his own bishops and he reacted to this declaration by sending Gregory VII a letter in which he withdrew his imperial support of Gregory as pope in no uncertain terms: the letter was headed "Henry, king not through usurpation but through the holy ordination of God, to Hildebrand, at present not pope but false monk". It called for the election of a new pope. His letter ends: “I, Henry, king by the grace of God, with all of my Bishops, say to you, come down, come down, and be damned throughout the ages.” The situation was made even more dire when Henry IV installed his chaplain, Tedald, a Milanese priest, as Bishop of Milan, when another priest of Milan, Atto, had already been chosen in Rome by the pope for candidacy. In 1076 Gregory responded by excommunicating Henry IV, removing him from the Church and deposing him as German king.
    A stalemate between Henry IV and Pope Greogry VII arose both sides waited for the other to make their next move. News of Gregory VII excommunication spread throughout Holy Roman Emperor quickly and Saxons nobles used Henry IV excommunication as reason to revolt against their king and promoted Rudolf von Rheinfield as a rival king. This forced Henry IV hand if he did restore relations with the pope the revolt would continue and he would lose his throne. Thus he began what would become one of the most famous events in Imperial history. German chronicler August von Heyden recalls. “ Henry IV, humbled by grace of god went to castle of Canossa where his holiness Pope Gregory VII was staying with Matlida of Tuscany. In only hair shirt, Henry stood outside of the castle gate begging his holiness to let him. For three days he did this repenting his sins and fasting. On the third day Gregory VII allowed him into the great citadel and in the Saint Nicholas Cathedral inside Canossa he fell to his knees and begged Gregory VII to forgive him of his sins. Gregory VII overcome by the show of humility granted him forgiveness and absolved him of his sins and that night gave him communion.”

    With Henry IV return to Catholic Church he could turn his attention to dealing with the rebels. In a campaign that would last the fall of 1081 Henry IV would push the rebels back and Rudolf would slain. With the Saxons seemingly dealt with he return to deal with Gregory VII. For too long he had force to humiliate himself for this lowly monk but no longer, Henry IV was about to take back what was rightfully his. In 1082 Henry named Bishop Wibert of Revenna as the true pope of Rome and began to march south to depose of the troublesome Gregory VII. Gregory VII in desperation turned to an ally, Roger I count of Sicily for help. Roger I being one of the leaders of the Crusade was seen in good lights by the pope and was seen as a noble and brave warrior that could assist him in this time of need. Gregory offering him the title of King of Sicily asked Roger I to hold the Henry IV back. Roger having just returned from the crusade agreed and turned his army north to deal with Henry IV meeting with Matlida of Tuscany and Gregory forces outside of Rome. Roger I rode into the city and meet with the pope and Matlida were they devised a plan to meet Henry IV outside of Rome and crush him. Roger I at the head of the army rode up the main road along the river Tiber and prepared for battle outside of the town of Orte. Roger I deployed his forces on the mouth of the river with a some what wet bog of his left flank that would render the imperial cavalry ineffective. The Norman had undoubtedly had fewer men thus could not be carless with what they did with them. Roger I deployed his veteran Norman troops on the both flanks, led by Bohemond[2], son of Robert Gusicard, and Jordan his bastard son respectively, and kept the Tuscan and Papal force to serve as the center. In reserve he decided to keep a force veteran Greek and Armenians soldiers that Roger Guiscard had recruited throughout his campaigns in the east. The Armenians were heavily armoured and were seen by many throughout the army as Roger’s shock troops these lead by Tigran Vratisan[3]. The Greeks wore a lighter set of armour and known for their speed on the battlefield these troops were lead by Greek mercenary named Draganos Taronites. The German troops deployed in such of fashion in which best to use their numbers to their advantage. But the Tiber removed the maneuverability of their cavalry and troops. On the morning of March 3rd 1081 Henry march towards Norman lines outside of the town. The Battle of Orte had begun. The battle began with the German archers laying down covering fire upon the Norman troops to allow their main body of troops to advance. But after years of fighting Arabs who use a lot of arrow based tactics the discovered how to defend against such attacks. As the German army drew closer and closer Roger I began to witness the German cavalry creeping up upon the right flank. Roger I sent Draganos and his cavalry to harass the German cavalry hoping that their discipline would break and they would charge the Greeks. This very thing occurred, as the German knight grew enraged with constant bombardment with arrows and chased after them exhausting their horses. Roger I leading a division of cavalry personally struck Henry’s cavalry and with the help go Draganos routed them and captured several high-ranking knights. Meanwhile in the main battle lines the German numbers began to overwhelm Italian armies. The Norman flanks hold back the German troops from overwhelming their flanks. The Bohemond began to fall back and retreat. Panic began to spread only the arrival of Matlida herself prevented the Tuscans from being routed. Undisciplined German troops began to chase after Bohemond leaving the German flank exposed. Then the Aremians charged right into the exposed flank lead by their fearless leader Tigran who charged head long into battle carrying a massive hammer and screaming with a bloody frenzy that made the German blood curdle. The Germans were completely caught off guard and began to panic. Off the Normans that broke and fled they turn right around and smashed into the unexpecting German who up until moments ago thought they were winning the battle reviling that Bohemond had feigned his retreat. The deathblow arrived when hundreds of Greek and Norman Knights charged the German archers decimating them, and then almost immediately smashing into the rear of German army. They shattered almost immediately and ran from the field of battle. Henry IV attempted to rally his men but to no avail. The battle was lost Pope Gregory VII had dealt a death blow to all of Henry IV ambitions, The Anti Pope Clement III was capture a dragged to Rome, the Popes of Rome now ruled supreme over Europe.

    [​IMG]
    Roger I at the Battle of Orte

    Henry IV limbed across with what was left of his army. Revolts sparked across the country. In the north the Saxons had chosen a new king to replace Herman of Salm. In Italy the Italians sick of German rule threw out Henry IV garrisons and stole the iron crown crowning a noble named Albert Azzo d’Este[4] as the new king of Italy. Revolt began to rip the Holy Roman Empire apart. Back in Rome a trial for the Anti-Pope began. Within a matter of days he was sentence to death for heresy and burnt at the stake. Finally on November 17, 1082 Roger I gained what he had always wanted Pope Gregory VII coronated King Roger I of Sicily ruler over the land of Sicily, Naples, Peloponnese and the islands of Crete, Rhodes, and Cyprus. But this would be the last major act as Pope as Gregory would die that January of a fever. Upon his deathbed he desired to see Desiderius of Monte Casino succeeded. But Desiderius fled to Monte Casino having no desire of becoming pope. Conclave refused to happen without his presence. For days this awkward standoff between the man that the cardinal clearly wanted to make pope and the man who refused to accept it. When rumors began to spread that Otho de Lagery would be a suitable candidate for the position, Roger I and Matlida gathered their men and dragged Desiderius from Monte Casino and thrusted upon him the papal tiara giving him the named Victor III and conclave named him the Pope a day later. In Germany Herman of Salm was rising in power people began to flock to his banner as he offered to restore the empire to former glory and restore it god’s grace. Herman marched toward Swabia were he deposed Henry puppet duke and put in power a minor Saxon noble named Nikolaus Steffen[4] as the new duke. Henry IV attempted to rally whatever support he had but could find little. He took his ragtag army and marched it to Goppingen outside of Stuttgart were Herman had just finished installing Nikolaus as Duke. There a short battle began, but the battle had already been won before it began. Herman routed Henry IV supporters Henry IV had been slain with a stab in the back with a spear. Herman then travelled to Frankfurt was he was coronated Holy Roman Emperor and began negotiations with the Pope. The terms were harsh but Herman agreed to them. Herman was forced to recognize the Pope right to depose the Emperor and force Herman to recognize that Albert Azzo was the rightful king of Italy. Bertha of Savoy and Conrad, Henry IV, wife and son were allowed to flee into France and become exiles. A new age had dawned in Europe an age of Papal superiority over Europe from Orte to when MacAhren and Husvák first protests the Church’s power and corruption began. All earthly realms were now secondary to power of Popes of Rome. It would be power they could to abuse.

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    [1] Art MacAhren and Edvard Husvák are two priest who see church corruption as a major problem and attempt to reform it. But the Pope refuses to listen so they begin to protest the church, Art by giving his lecture at Caux and Husvák by writing Codices of a True Christian. Thus beginning the Reformation (which is early in ATL)
    [2] Bohemond of Antioch who never become prince of Antioch and thus becomes the major land hold in Naples and the second most power lord in Sicily
    [3] Would eventually become the Count of Iraklion. Through marriage and the skills of his grand son Sergius would link the family to royal family and the halls of power. The Vratisan family would eventually play a key role in the war of Sicilian succession by being one of the major claimants
    [4] The Este family rule over Milan and Parma. Genoa will break off from Italy upon Albert Azzo death.
    [5] Nikolaus Steffen is the founder of one of the most important royal families in Europe. The Steffen dynasty would dominate Europe for 126 years redefining Europe and restoring the power of the Holy Roman Empire. Upon the deposition by the electors imperial power is shattered as the War of 4 Emperors occur reversing all of the von Steffen success.
     
  18. DjBaraca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto
    Bumped to tell everybody I'm putting this on hold for next two weeks till my exams are done. After which I will have tons of time to make high quality and more frequent updates.
     
  19. galileo-034 Extreme Centrist Conspirator

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    Baiona , Ipar Euskal Herria (Bayonne, FR)
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    Bump.
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