A Question of Emphasis

Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by Bob Hope, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    The Carolingian and Holy Roman Empires

    The early Holy Roman Empire was not a centralized state as it is today but was divided into hundreds of individual entities, governed by Kings, Dukes, Counts, Bishops, Abbots, and other rulers. They were collectively known as Princes.

    Some areas were ruled directly by the Emperor but at no time could the Emperor simply issue decrees and govern autonomously over the Empire. His power was severely restricted by the various local leaders.
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    The Carolingian Empire; 814

    The traditional rules of inheritance were that all living heirs of a Royal line got an equal share of the lands of the Kingdom. Charlemagne himself had become sole ruler of the Frankish realm when his older brother died.

    When Charlemagne died, his Frankish Empire was given to his son, Louis, and his descendants later divided the Empire into different states.

    Louis the Pious, followed his father as the ruler of a united Empire but when Louis died in 840, the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the Empire in three:

    1] Louis' eldest surviving son Lothair I became Emperor and ruler of Central Francia. His three sons in turn divided this Kingdom between them into Lotharingia, Burgundy and Italy.

    2] Louis' second son, Louis the German, became King of East Francia.

    3] His third son Charles the Bald became King of West Francia.
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    The Carolingian Successor States; 843

    The Imperial throne was to be held by the ruler of the Middle Kingdom. This collapsed in the 10th century, the Imperial Throne went to the East Franks and most of the lands were divided between the Western and Eastern Frankish Kingdoms.

    The brothers were soon at each other's throats in a struggle that would not resolve itself until 884.

    The Western Franks found their language taking a distinct Roman influence, while the Eastern Franks mixed with a Slavic influence. This is best displayed in the Alliance-Treaty against the Middle Kingdom from 842.

    Louis, King of East Francia speaking in West Frankish:
    "Pro deo amur et pro Christian poblo et nostro commun salvament, d'ist di in avant, in quant deus savir et podir me dunat, si salvarai eo cist meon fradre Karlo et in aiudha et in cadhuna cosa, si cum om per dreit son fradra salvar dist, in o quid il mi altresi fazet, et ab Ludher nul plaid numquam prindrai, qui meon vol cist meon fradre Karle in damno sit."

    Charles, King of West Francia repeats it in East Frankish:
    "In godes minna ind in thes Christanes folches ind unser bedhero gehaltnissi, fon thesemo dage frammordes, so fram so mir got geuuizci indi mahd furgibit, so haldih thesan minan bruodher, soso man mit rehtu sinan bruodher scal, in thiu thaz er mig so sama duo, indi mit Ludheren in nohheiniu thing ne gegango, the minan uuillon imo ce scadhen uuerdhen."

    "By the love of god, the life of the Christian people and our both salvations, from now on and forever, if god gives me the wisdom and the power, that I will be with my brother, like brothers usually do. And I wont ally with Lothar and do things that hurt my brother."

    The Romanized form of the language spread eastward but there is a very “Germanic” flavour or dialect the further east in the Empire you travel. In the South, however, the Occitan dialect has prevailed.

    Charles III, great-grandson of Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Fat, was the Ruler who re-united the Empire. Over his lifetime Charles became ruler of the various kingdoms of Charlemagne's former Empire. Granted lordship over Alamannia in 876, following the division of the East Francia, he succeeded to the Italian throne upon the incapacitation of his older brother Carloman of Bavaria by a stroke.

    Crowned Emperor in 881 he succeeded to the Saxon and Bavarian territories of his brother Louis the Younger the following year reuniting the Kingdom of East Francia.

    Upon the death of his cousin Carloman II in 884, he inherited all of West Francia, thus reuniting the entire Carolingian Empire.

    Considered, probably incorrectly, to be lethargic and inept he twice purchased peace with Viking raiders, including the infamous Siege of Paris (885–886) which many suggest led to his downfall, however, no contemporary account criticised Charles's actions during this period. His baseless accusations of his wife Richgard's infidelity were the most obvious of his delusions [she was forced to prove her innocence in a Trial by Fire] but Charles also suffered excruciating pains in his head, attributing it to diabolic possession.

    Childless by his marriage to Richgard, Charrles tried to have his illegitimate son, Bernard, recognised as his heir in 885, but met opposition from several bishops, however, he had the support of Pope Hadrian III, who, at an assembly in Worms in October 885, deposed the obstructing bishops and legitimised Bernard.

    Charles adopted Louis of Provence as his son at an assembly in May 887, promising him the Kingship of Provence to engender support for Bernard's Kingship in Lotharingia and Charles had the term proles [offspring] inserted into his charters, as it had not been in previous years, to further legitimise Bernard.

    The reunited Empire did not last. After a coup led by his nephew Arnulf of Carinthia in November 887, Charles was deposed in East Francia, Lotharingia, and Italy by December 887. Forced into retirement he died of natural causes a few weeks after his deposition.

    The Empire quickly fell apart after his death, splintering into separate successor Kingdoms.
  2. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    Bernard was acclaimed King, as Francis, of Lotharingia and West Francia and Holy Roman Emperor [in name only].

    Berengar became King of Italy, Arnulf of Carinthia, King of East Francia, Rudolph I, King of Upper Burgundy and Louis, King of Provence. Ironically, it was the illegitimate Francis [Bernard] who championed, unsuccessfully, the introduction of Salian Law [restricted succession to the firstborn – legitimate – son]. The method adopted, however, was to appoint the chosen successor as co-King or co-Emperor.
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    The Multiplication of Kingdoms; 950

    Francis is seen as the first ruler of the Carolignian-Arnulf dynasty. His son, Henri I, was a strong ruler politically but dogged by faliure in war. He lost control of most of the trans-Pyreneean provices to resurgent Muslim advances but was able to prevent their attempts to cross this mountain barrier. His consolidation of power in the west provided the example for Otto, King of East Francia, to centralize his realm despite the efforts of his brother, Henry, often in alliance with rebel Dukes and the King of Italy.

    Rudolf II of Burgundy had a strong relationship with Henry but died in July 937. Hugh of Provence, King of Italy, claimed the Burgundian throne. Otto intervened in the succession in support of Rudolf II's son, Conrad of Burgundy, but Henri I supported Hugh's claim and was able to secure the throne for his son.

    Boleslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, assumed the Bohemian throne in 935. The next year, following the death of Otto's father, King Henry the Fowler, Boleslaus stopped paying tribute to the East Francia Kingdom in violation of the peace treaty established with Boleslaus' predecessor, Wenceslaus I. Boleslaus attacked an ally of the Saxons in north-west Bohemia in 936 and defeated two of Otto's armies.

    After this initial large-scale invasion of Bohemia, hostilities were mainly in the form of border raids. The war was not concluded until 950, when Boleslaus signed a peace treaty, promising to resume payment of a lesser tribute. In alliance with Otto, Boleslaus' Bohemian force helped against the common Magyar threat at the Lech river in 955.

    Otto's marriage to Adelaide was taken as a threat by Liudolf, son and heir by his first wife. The birth of a son to Adelaide was the signal for Liudolf to rebel against his father. Otto also faced an uprising of two Dukes in Mecklenburg but, due to the ongoing situation with his son, Otto was forced to concede their semi-autonomy.

    Despite strong support in Swabia and Bavaria the rebellion was short lived due to Liudolf's death from a fall in 957.

    In 961 King Otto of East Francia invaded the Kingdom of Italy [his wife Adelaide of Italy was already Queen] and was crowned King. Now Otto I of East Francia and Italy, Otto had himself crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope, thereby creating a direct challenge to the claims of Henri II, now ruler in the West.

    Aachen was abandoned as the Capital at this time, it was too close to the borders of the rival Empires. Laon was established as the Capital in the West whilst Otto tried to rule from Rome but was forced to return north due to the difficulty in communication and control at that distance.

    Peace in Italy would not last long. Adalbert, the son of the deposed King Berengar II of Italy, rebelled against Otto's rule over the Kingdom of Italy. Otto dispatched Burchard III of Swabia, one of his closest advisors, to crush the rebellion. Burchard III met Adalbert at the Battle of the Po in June 966, defeating the rebels.

    After the death of Otto in 973 his son Otto II was proclaimed Emperor and opened negotiations with the Byzantines for a bride to unite Eastern and Western Empires.
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    The Lands of the Two Emperors; 975

    Otto II sought continued peace between himself and Henri II but Henri wished to extend his influence over the Rhine in the Duchy of Swabia. Henri allied himself with his namesake Henry II of Bavaria who had claims in that area. The appointment of Otto II's nephew as Duke on the death of the incumbent was the excuse needed for Henri II to act. The appointment was taken by Henri II as an assault on his claim to the Imperial throne and a slight to his honour.

    In addition, on the death of the Pope both Emperors tried to get their favourite elected, Otto had the advantage of easy access to Rome but the diplomacy of Henri II drew support from other rulers, especially from Southern Italy which feared Otto's power.

    The War of the Emperors, as it is now known, was a long drawn out affair, of which the Magyar tribes of Hungary took full advantage, it was during this period that control over areas such as Lombardy, Saxony and Bohemia were lost.

    Henri II drew his internal support mainly from the North of West Francia, his main power-base. His authority beyond the Loire, however, was barely noticeable; the aristocracy of Aquitaine were embroiled in the Aquitainian War of Succession.

    In 980, Otto invaded Lorraine and marched on Aachen. After occupying Aachen for five days, Otto returned to East Francia after symbolically disgracing the city. Otto II invaded West Francia again the next year, he met with little resistance, devastating the land around Rheims, Soissons, and Laon.

    It was this that made Henri II make Paris the Capital which Otto soon besieged. Sickness among his troops, brought on by winter, and the approach of a relief army forced Otto II to lift the siege and to return East. On the journey back Otto's rearguard was attacked and destroyed, their supplies captured.

    Otto II felt his honour was sufficiently restored and opened peace negotiations but Henri II, refused to negotiate. Henri took time to re-order his army and to intervene in Aquirtaine. With his rear secure, it was 982 before he moved towards Swabia to link up with Henry II, Duke of Bavaria.

    Whilst Otto had gained some initial victories against the rebels, he was unable to capture the conspirators and end the rebellion. An attempt to mediate a peace between the combatants was rejected by Otto. Under Otto II, Duke Herman of Franconia and Otto of Swabia led an army against the allies.

    In 983 Henri II recruited allies from the Duchy of Alsace and crossed the Rhine River, surprising Herman. Henri and his Allies were overwhelmingly victorious: Herman was killed in battle, and Otto II drowned in the Rhine while attempting to escape. With Herman dead, Henri II assumed direct rule over parts of the Duchies of Franconia and Swabia, dissolving it into smaller counties and bishoprics accountable directly to him. The same year the Empress Theophanu, Otto's widow miscarried what would have been the Imperial couple's only son. Henri II attempted to abolish the Kingship of East Francia.

    Henry II of Bavaria was rewarded with possession of the Upper Palatinate but he was now seen as the main rallying point for the throne of the East.
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    The Pagan Lands of the Baltic and the Polish Duchy;1010
  3. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    1010 by Bob Hope.png
    The Situation in the East of Europe

    After his defeat by Otto I, Mieszko I of Poland had converted to Christianity and married the daughter of Saxon Margrave Dietrich of Haldensleben, a vassal of Otto I. Granted the title of Duke of Poland, he became a loyal ally and, although his relationship with Otto II was less fruitful, he took part in sporadic campaigns against the Pagan Tribes East of the Elbe in conjunction with East Francia forces.

    When Otto II died, Mieszko I supported Duke Henry's claims on the Eastern throne.

    East Francia and the Duchy of Bohemia came into significant contact with one another in 929, when King Henry I [the Fowler] had invaded the Duchy to force Duke Wenceslaus I to pay regular tribute to East Francia. Boleslaus I succeeded him as Duke and refused to continue paying the annual tribute to East Francia. This action caused Henry I's successor Otto I to launch an invasion of Bohemia in 936. In the peace treaty of 950 Boleslaus I agreed to resume paying tribute and to recognize Otto I as his overlord. The Duchy was then incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire as a constituent state. Boleslaus II swore loyalty to Otto II and, when he died, Boleslaus II supported Margrave Eckard I of Meissen claims over Duke Henry's. Only after Eckard was assassinated by Saxon nobles did Bolesław lend his support to Duke Henry's son Henry II.

    Géza of Hungary reversed the policy of isolation after their defeat in 955. Géza sent envoys to Otto I in 973, the same year he was baptised and Christianity spread among the Hungarians. Géza expanded his rule over the territories west of the Danube and the Garam, but significant parts of the Carpathian Basin still remained under the rule of Pecheng tribal leaders.

    In 997, Géza died and was succeeded by Stephen. Stephen married Gisela, daughter of Henry II. He had to face the rebellion of his relative, Koppány, who claimed the Hungarian throne. Stephen defeated Koppány using some Western tactics and a small number of Swabian Knights.

    Duke Henry's claim to the East Francia throne, whilst supported from abroad, had very little support within the Kingdom itself but the nobles were unable to rally sufficient support for any other candidates. Duke Henry negotiated for and achieved the elevation of his son, also Henry, to become Henry II. He became King not through acclaim but through a lack of choice. His accession was finally recognized in the diet called by Philip I, Henri II's son [and co-Emperor since 988], in 994.

    The lack of a centralized power in the East had allowed Italy and Bohemia to assert far more independence and effectively break away from East Francia.

    In 996, Duke Bolesław II of Poland sent the Bishop of Prague, Adalbert, to Christianize the Prussians. He was martyred by the Prussians for his efforts in 997. Bolesław II, who bought Adalbert's body from the Prussians for its weight in gold, laid him to rest in the cathedral at Gniezno, which had become the ecclesiastical center of Poland. Bolesław II worked to canonize Adalbert, making him the first Slavic bishop to become a saint.

    Bolesław had taken advantage of the strife following Otto II's death, occupying territories west of the Oder River: the Marches of Meissen and Lusatia. Bolesław took control of these territories following the assassination of Margrave Eckard I.

    Henry II accepted Bolesław I's gains, allowing the Polish Duke to keep Lusatia as a fief, with Bolesław recognizing Henry II as his overlord, however, Henry II refused to allow Bolesław I to keep possession of Meissen.

    Shortly after Bolesław's departure from Merseburg, an assassination attempt was made against him, Bolesław was seriously injured. The Duke accused Henry II of instituting the attack, and relations between the two were severed. Bolesław I also refused to pay tribute to East Francia.

    Boleslaus III, Duke of Bohemia, was ousted in a revolt in 1002. Bolesław intervened in the Bohemian affair and reinstalled Boleslaus III upon the Bohemian throne in 1003. Boleslaus III undermined his own position by ordering a massacre of his leading nobles.

    Bohemian nobles requested Bolesław to intervene in the crisis. Bolesław agreed and invited the Bohemian Duke to Poland. Once there, Boleslaus III was blinded and imprisoned, where he remained until his death 30 years later. Now claiming dominion, Bolesław invaded and conquered Bohemia without any serious opposition. Bohemia had previously been under the influence of East Francia. The Polish invasion further increased the tension in the East.

    Bolesław openly defied Henry II and, in 1004 burnt down the castle of Meissen, an act of war. Henry II launched a military campaign against Poland in 1004 that would last until 1018.

    Henry II gathered an army to march against Poland. In 1003 Henry II had formed an alliance with the pagan Slavic Lutici tribe. In consequence Henry II halted Christianization efforts among the Slavic peoples. The alliance with the Western Slavs against Poland was controversial, however. Many nobles had wanted continued missionary work and the submission of the Elbe Slavs. Additionally, many East Francia nobles opposed the war having developed family ties with Poland during Otto II's reign.

    In preparation for Henry II's invasion, Bolesław developed a similar alliance with other Slavic peoples. With his conquests west of the Oder River, his domain stretched from the Baltic to the Carpathian Mountains.

    Henry II invaded in the summer of 1004, reaching the Ore Mountains in northern Bohemia and the castle at Žatec where he killed the Polish force left there. Simultaneously, Jaromír, brother of the deposed Duke Boleslaus III invaded Bohemia with Henry's military support. Jaromír occupied Prague and proclaimed himself Duke. The state he regained was a small one, however, as Polish forces continued to hold Moravia, Silesia, and Lusatia.

    Henry II retook Meissen and advanced deep into Poland but suffered significant losses along the way. At Poznań his forces were ambushed by the Polish army and suffered further losses. Meeting in Poznań, Henry II and Bolesław I signed a peace treaty affirming the status quo bellum. Bolesław was forced to give up his claim to the Bohemian throne. The peace lasted only three years.

    In 1008, Henry II denounced the Peace of Poznań, Bolesław therefore attacked the Archbishopric of Magdeburg.

    Due to interference from the Emperor, the East Francia counter-offensive began three years later in 1011. The Emperor's opposition meant that nobles were reluctant to commit troops. The offensive achieved little of consequence beyond some pillaging in Silesia. Bolesław's forces pillaged and burned the city of Lubusz. In 1013, a third peace treaty was signed confirming Bolesław's possession of the Marches of Lusatia and Meissen as fiefs.

    The peace quickly deteriorated. With Henry II absent from East Francia, Bolesław sent his son, Mieszko to the Duke of Bohemia in order to persuade the new Duke Oldřich into an alliance against Henry II. The mission failed and Oldřich imprisoned Mieszko. He was released only after the intervention of the Emperor. As a result, Mieszko was sent to Philip's Imperial court to discuss co-operation between Poland and the Empire.

    Henry II had approached Yaroslav, pretender to the throne of Kiev. A son of Kievan Grand Duke Vladimir the Great, he was vice-regent of the Principality of Novgorod. Yaroslav's eldest surviving brother, Sviatopolk I of Kiev, killed three of his other brothers and seized power in Kiev. Henry II's support of Yaroslav was in opposition to not only Sviatopolk but to Bolesław as well. Years before, Bolesław I had married one of his daughters to Sviatopolk, making the new Kievan Grand Duke a son-in-law to the Polish Duke.

    Henry II returned to East Francia in 1015 and prepared for a third invasion of Poland. With three armies at his command, the largest contingent since the beginning of the conflict in 1004, his armies simultaneously marched north, south, and centre from East Francia.

    Henry II commanded the centre army, supported by allied Slavic tribes, and moved from Magdeburg to cross the Oder into Poland. Henry II was soon joined by Bohemian Duke Oldřich and by Duke Bernard II of Saxony.

    Henry II had misread the political situation after Mieszko's visit to the Imperial court. Philip had become concerned with the alliances and increasing power-base Henry II had been forging in Eastern Europe. The link with Kiev was a step too far for Philip. He declared that he would defend his Vassal and Ally, Bolesław, if he were to be attacked.

    As the East Francia army crossed the Oder river and marched across Poland, Henry II's forces killed or captured several thousand Poles, but suffered heavy losses in the campaign. Bolesław I sent a detachment of Moravian knights under Mieszko II in a diversionary attack against East Francia's Eastern March. The East Francian army retreated from Poland in order to address the assault.

    During the retreat Gero II, Margrave of the Eastern March, was ambushed by Polish forces and killed. Bolesław I's forces now took the offensive. Bolesław I sent Mieszko II to invest Meissen in 1016, then under the command of Mieszko II's brother-in-law Margrave Herman I. His military attempt at conquering the city failed, however, he was able to convince Herman to surrender the city by negotiation.

    By this time, Philip had gathered an army east of the Rhine and was advancing on Freising, Henry's Capital. Henry II withdrew from the Eastern Marches, moving to Bamberg then south to intercept Philip south of Eichstadt. Despite the long march, Henry II's forces performed well, drawing Philip in with a false withdrawal then cutting them off, taking many noble prisoners for ransom.

    Henry II then opened peace negotiations with Bolesław I and a ceasefire was declared, summer 1017. Negotiations failed and in autumn 1017 Henry II again marched his army into Poland, this time via Silesia. His army reached Głogów, where Bolesław I faced him. Using Głogów to refuse the right wing, Bolesław I fought a defensive battle, allowing Henry to shatter his troops on the prepared defences.

    Henry II then retreated back to Prague to reinforce, but found the city in the hands of rebels. His weakened army was unable to capture the city. As his army besieged Prague, disease brought about from the winter cold devastated his forces. His attacks unsuccessful, Henry II was forced to retreat back to Bavaria. With this defeat, Henry II was ready to end the war and begin serious peace negotiations with Bolesław and Philip.

    In 1018, Henry II signed a treaty, known as the Peace of Bautzen. The Polish duke was able to keep the contested marches of Lusatia and Meissen on purely nominal terms of vassalage, with Bolesław I recognizing Philip as his feudal lord. Philip also promised to support Bolesław I in the Polish ruler's expedition to Kiev to ensure his son-in-law, Sviatopolk, claimed the Kievan throne. Additionally, Duke Oldřich was deposed in favour of Eckard, previously Margrave of Meissen. Sealing the peace, Bolesław I, married Oda of Meissen, daughter of the Saxon Margrave. To compensate Oldřich he was awarded the lands of Julich, then vacant.

    At Philip's order, Henry II travelled to Poland in 1019, he took with him a crown bestowed by the Emperor and the Pope. Henry also arranged the betrothal of King Bolesław's son Mieszko II with the Emperor's grand-niece Michela of Chartres.

    The Empire and Poland remained at peace for the remainder of Philip's reign. Henry's death in 1024 gave Bolesław an opportunity to increase his own power. Bolesław tried to take advantage of the interregnum in East Francia but Bolesław died within two months. Bolesław's son, Mieszko II, succeeded him, crowned on Christmas Day 1025. On assuming the throne, Mieszko expelled his older half-brother Bezprym and his younger brother Otto Bolesławowic. Otto went to the Empire, taking refuge in Julich.

    Philip died on campaigning against the Moors in Iberia, his son, Henri, was only 7 years old and had not yet been crowned co-Emperor as was traditional. This left the Empire in disarray as well.

    Duke Oldřich of Julich had thrived since losing Bohemia but he had still nurtured ambitions for greater power. Henry II's support mostly gravitated to him and he was seen as a candidate for King of East Francia. Conrad of the Palatinate, although technically in Franconia, recently ceded to the West, emerged as the leading candidate, supported by Otto Bolesławowic.

    Conrad considered the assumption of the title "king" by Oldřich an act of war but had to address domestic issues before marching against him. In 1026 Conrad marched into Italy to assert East Francia authority south of the Alps and to claim the crown from the Pope. In his absence, Oldřich and his ally, Frederick II of Upper Lorraine rebelled against his authority.

    The rebels sought the support of Mieszko, which the Polish king granted and promised to take military action against Conrad. Conrad returned to East Francia in mid-1027, putting an end to the rebellion before Mieszko could marshal his forces. Mieszko had developed a closer relationship with Cnut, King of Jorvik and Denmark.

    Fearing a joint Polish-Danish attack, Conrad invaded Lusatia and the territory of the Lutician Federation in 1028.

    The Lutici were a federation of West Slavic or Polabian tribes, located on the north-east border of East Francia. The Lutici were the regular target of East Francia aggression. During the 940's East Francia subjugated many of the Slavic tribes. In 983, as part of the Great Slav Rising, the Lutici initiated an open rebellion and, in the ensuing war, succeeded in reclaiming their independence and gained control of the Billung and Northern Marches from the Empire.

    Attempts to reintegrate them into the Empire had ended the friendly relationship between Poland the Empire. Instead, Bolesław competed for dominion over the Lutici.

    Conrad's 1028 invasion ended the peace. The Lutici sent ambassadors to seek Mieszko's protection, which he granted. Seeking to protect the Lutici from Conrad's invasion, Mieszko launched a counter-invasion in 1029 and placed Bautzen under siege.

    Faced with a potential invasion by Hungary, Conrad retreated. Poland had secured an alliance with Hungary, with Stephen I invading Bavaria while Mieszko invaded Saxony. Conrad responded by allying with Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev.

    Conrad concluded a peace treaty with Hungary by confirming possession of Carinthia in Hungarian control. Freed from the threat of Hungarian attack, Conrad was able to focus his attention on attacking Poland. Marching on Mieszko in autumn 1031. Conrad laid siege of Polish held Bautzen. Mieszko's authority was shaken by the East Francia and Kievan invasions, and a rebellion led by his exiled brother Bezprym. Mieszko considered surrendering to Conrad but was deposed by Bezprym in 1031.

    When Mieszko had assumed the Polish throne he exiled his brother, who fled to the protection of Kievan Rus. With Bezprym's accession Kievan Grand Prince Yaroslav's invasion of Poland. Mieszko fled to the Duchy of Bohemia where he was imprisoned.

    Bezprym's reign was short, his cruelty caused his half-brother Otto Bolesławowic to head a conspiracy. Bezprym's own men murdered him. The relationship between Conrad and Otto Bolesławowic was still good, the war was ended with Otto confirmed as King of Poland and in possession of Lusatia and Meissen. He also agreed to hold Pomerania as a fief from Conrad. A Pagan reaction erupted in Poland.

    The Duchy of Bohemia had been incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire in 1004 however, Poland occupied the traditional Czech territories of Moravia, Silesia, Lesser Poland and Lusatia. Following the resumption of hostilities between the East Francia and Poland in 1028, Eckard went on the offensive against Poland, reconquering Moravia. When the war ended Eckard expected to receive Moravia. The retention of Moravia by Poland opened a rift between Eckard and Conrad.

    Poland was unable to stabilize in the wake of the Pagan revolt of 1031, forcing Conrad to intervene. Conrad summoned Eckard to assist but he refused. His absence raised the ire of Conrad, but, now busy dealing with a revolt in Italy he placed his son Henry of the Palatinate in charge of punishing Eckard . At age 17, Henry's march on Bohemia was his first independent military command. The expedition was complete failure. Henry was killed in battle and Eckard now led a general rebellion against Conrad.

    Stephen had been crowned as the first Christian King of Hungary, Christmas Day, 1000. Under Stephen the relationship between Hungary and the Empire was friendly although that with East Francia was less so. Under Conrad, however, relations quickly turned hostile as Conrad pursued a more aggressive policy regarding eastern Europe. Conrad II expelled Venetian Doge Otto Orseolo, the husband of Stephen's sister Grimelda of Hungary, from Venice in 1026. Conrad also contested the claim of Stephen's son, Emeric, to the Duchy of Bavaria.

    Conrad planned a marriage alliance with the Byzantine Empire and dispatched one of his advisors, Bishop Werner of Salzburg, to Constantinople. The bishop travelled as a pilgrim, but Stephen, refused to let him enter into Hungary. The Bavarians incited skirmishes along the common Imperial-Hungarian border in 1029, in 1030, open conflict erupted as part of the Polish conflict. Conrad invaded Hungary, but retreated in the face of Hungarian scorched earth tactics. Conrad settled the conflict in 1031 by granting lands in eastern Bavaria to Hungary and confirming possession of Carinthia in Hungarian control.

    Rudolph II, King of Arles, had no sons. When he died, in 1006, the Emperor inherited the title but left the Kingdom mostly in the hands of his new vassals.

    Though Arles was definitively under imperial control, the kingdom was allowed significant autonomy. The chief importance of the annexation of Arles was to augment the influence and dignity of the Emperor but, it also secured control over the western Alpine passes in Italy, allowing the Empire to secure its hold over Italy.

    Baltic Coast
    After the defeat of the Magyars, in the late 950's, steps were taken to bring the Baltic Coast between the Elbe and Oder rivers under Germanic control. The lands were controlled by Pagan Slavic tribes in various stages of state-building. The Duke of Saxony subdued the Polabian Tribes who lived east of the Elbe, on the borders of the Duchy. The following winter he marched against the Hevelli tribes and seized their capital, Brandenburg.

    Further south the Glomacze lands on the middle Elbe, north of Bohemia, were attacked, capturing Jahna, their capital, after a siege, and establishing a fortress built at Meissen. This strongpoint later bacame the capital of the march of Meissen.

    Meanwhile the Redarii tribe, west of the upper Oder river, had driven away their chief, captured the town of Walsleben and massacred its inhabitants. Their leaders then submitted to the Duke of Saxony.

    Counts Bernard and Thietmar marched against the fortress of Lenzen beyond the Elbe, and, after fierce fighting, completely routed the enemy. The Lusatians and the Ukrani on the lower Oder were subdued and made tributary in 962 and 964, respectively.

    Otto I into his kingdom territories held by the Wends, who together with the Danes had attacked Germany, and also conquered Schleswig in 964.

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    Pagan Baltic;1010

    In 1028, to counter the closer relationship with Poland, Conrad granted authority over the March of Schleswig, the borderlands between Denmark and East Francia, to Cnut. It was the competition between Denmark and Poland over the pagan tribes between the Elbe and Oder rivers that spoilt the relationship, later becoming a small scale, undeclared, war.

    pagans 1028 by Bob Hope.png
    Pagan Baltic;1028
  4. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    Civil Wars in East Francia

    During his travel to Augsburg, a conflict broke out between Conrad and his younger cousin, Conrad the Younger. The younger Conrad felt slighted as he did not receive compensation the King promised him for his support. Toward the end of May 1027, Conrad travelled to Regensburg to attend the funeral of Duke Henry V of Bavaria. With the Duchy of Bavaria vacant, Conrad asserted his right to name a next Duke as a matter of royal prerogative.

    Despite the existence of candidates with a better claim to the Duchy, Conrad named his son, Henry as Henry VI of Bavaria. The Dukes of East Francia could not countenance this but rose up against Conrad.

    The Duke of Bavaria did not submit until Conrad defeated him in two quick campaigns. He was besieged in his residence at Ratisbon and forced into submission.

    The Duke of Franconia also rebelled and, in 1028, Conrad invaded the Duchy and besieged the Duke at Wurzburg, captured the city, and became master of a large portion of the lands. Allowing the Duke to remain in power, Conrad arranged the marriage of his daughter to his new vassal. The Duchies of Saxony and Thuringia were also in opposition to his rule, as well as his cousin Conrad of Carinthia.

    Duke Ernest II of Swabia, rebelled against Conrad but, by 1029, Conrad had defeated all resistance and Ernest submitted to his reign. Ernest was deposed but allowed to accompany Conrad on his expedition to Carinthia in 1030. During the expedition, Bishop Bruno of Augsburg, leading the left wing of the army, was defeated by Conrad of Carinthia. In Conrad's absence, Count Welf II of Swabia led renewed rebellion. Conrad sent Ernest back in September 1030 to end the revolt. When Ernest returned, he joined the opposition and rebelled against Conrad again. Ernest, trusting in the number and fidelity of his vassals, rejected a peace officer.

    With the support of the Swabian counts, Ernest, Conrad of Carinthia and Count Welf were able to force Conrad to submit at Worms in early 1032. Conrad I was deposed and Conrad of Carinthia elected as Conrad II.

    Adalbero was appointed Duke of Carinthia for supporting Conrad's election as King. From 1032 on, Adalbero governed his Duchy as an independent state. In particular, he attempted to conduct peaceful relations with King Stephen I of Hungary. Under Emperor Henry II relations between East Francia and Hungary had been friendly. Upon Henry's death, Conrad I adopted a more aggressive policy, prompting border raids into the Empire from Hungary. The raids particularly affected Adalbero's domain of Carinthia, which shared a long, eastern border with Hungary.

    Conrad II summoned Adalbero to court at Bamberg in 1035, to answer an indictment of treason for his actions regarding Hungary. In the presence of the German dukes, Conrad II demanded that Adalbero be stripped of all his titles and lands.

    The Dukes hesitated, fearing Conrad II intended to pursue his predecessors policies. They demanded that Conrad's son and co-King, Conrad's designated successor, Frederick, join the assembly before a decision was made. Frederick refused to depose Adalbero, citing an earlier agreement with Adalbero to be his ally in negotiating a settlement between him and his father.

    Conrad exhorted and threatened Frederick to gain his support for Adalbero's deposition. Henry's support was soon followed by that of the other dukes. Conrad then ordered Adalbero to be removed as Duke and sentenced him and his son to exile. After attacking Conrad's allies in Carinthia, Adalbero fled to his mother's estates, in the Duchy of Bavaria, and raised the flag of rebellion.

    Adalbero died in battle in 1039, his son, Jacob was captured and put on trial for treason. Conrad II named his cousin as the new Duke of Carinthia. With this appointment, the three southern German Duchies of Swabia, Bavaria, and Carinthia now all rose against him.

    Conrad II had broken with Ottonian practice in favouring a more strict means of controlling rebellious vassals. Whereas the Ottonians followed a policy of informal public submission and subsequent reconciliation, Conrad used treason trials to declare rebels as "public enemies" to legitimize his subsequent harsh treatment. The nobles saw use of these treason trials not as mere power shifts in favour of the King, but as a breach of tradition.

    The Second Civil War was much more devastating in it's extent and drew in the surrounding states at different stages. The Baltic area became isolated as attention was directed internally. Bohemia distanced itself from the troubles, becoming more of an independent entity as had, eventually, Carinthia.

    Henri III, Emperor and King of West Francia, who had shed the Regency in 1035, had been putting his own Kingdom in order. Henri now found himself dealing with requests, from Nobles bordering, and within, his lands, for protection or military assistance. Finally, in 1043, he acted to restore order in East Francia. Placing himself at the head of a large army he moved through Swabia and Franconia subduing the areas and accepting fealty from local Noblemen. Conrad II, naturally saw this as a challenge to his authority and usurpation of his position. Conrad II gathered the forces of Saxony, Thuringia and the remaining Nobles of Bavaria whilst the rebel Dukes tried to join forces with Henri.

    The climactic battle of this period took place in August 1046 near Forchheim, just south of Bamberg. Conrad II was defeated. Some say he was killed by his own cousin but certainly he was not seen again after the battle. Frederick, with whom he had reconciled, was captured and the Kingdom of East Francia effectively absorbed as Dukes queued to offer fealty to the Emperor.

    Frederick was pardoned for his role. Henri re-organized the Northern Duchies and awarded the vacant Duchy of Lower Saxony to Frederick as vassal of Henri III. Carinthia later placed itself under the Empire again but Bohemia achieved the status of ally rather than subject state.

    Conrad II's policy of using the Church as a vehicle for imperial control was adopted by Henri III. Henri adopted the role of protector of the Church and thus demanded loyalty from the Church officials. In return, the various bishoprics and abbeys of the Empire were granted extensive landholdings and secular authority, providing immunity from the jurisdiction of the secular nobles. As such, the Church officials reported exclusively to the Emperor, acting as his personal vassals. It also meant the Church officials acted as a quasi-bureaucracy within the Kingdom.

    With the centre of the Empire now further from the eastern Duchies they started to develop more independently in the following decades although they would still provide troops for Imperial attempts to control the unruly city-states of Italy and campaigns against the Moors of Iberia.

    1075 by Bob Hope.png
    The Empire; 1075
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  5. Admiral A. Kolchak Supreme Leader

    May 2, 2017
    Besides being a great read your maps are awesome. Thank you! I'm sure others agree.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  6. ST15RM Ich bin ein AH.commer!

    Aug 7, 2017
    I do.
  7. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    Thanks Nice to have them appreciated
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  8. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    The Churches

    Attempting to unify the Empire under their leadership, the Emperors had increasingly associated themselves with the Church, citing "divine right" to rule and presenting themselves as the protectors of Christendom. A key element of this policy was the strengthening of the ecclesiastical authorities, chiefly Bishops and Abbots, at the expense of the secular Nobility.

    Clergy increasingly became the backbone of Imperial bureaucracy. Unlike the Dukes, ecclesiastical figures could not pass their titles and lands to descendants. This allowed the Emperors to reserve the appointment and investiture of Bishops of the Empire's ecclesiastical lands for themselves. This ensured the bishops remained loyal to the reigning Emperor, despite the fact that canon law demanded loyalty to the transnational Church.

    An increasing number of counties were assigned to the secular rule of Bishops. Large donations were made from Imperial land to the monasteries and dioceses of the Empire. With extensive donations and the expanded powers of the Emperor, the Church gradually lost its autonomy.

    The Imperial monasteries and Church institutions were so numerous, donations and the secular privileges granted them so broad, that they essentially developed into an imperial bureaucracy and the division between secular and ecclesiastical affairs became blurred.

    This caused the clergy to look to the Emperor as their feudal lord, especially in the area of military service. The ecclesiastical rulers came to make up a large part of the imperial army. The Emperor thus strengthened his control over the Empire through the clergy, while also gaining a greater control over the Church's spiritual policy.

    In 1007, Philip I announced his desire to establish a new diocese: the Diocese of Bamberg. Mission work among the Slavs of the region had been conducted by the Imperial Abbey at Fulda, part of the Diocese of Wurzburg. To establish the diocese, Philip needed to overcome the resistance of the Bishop of Wurzburg as the new diocese would comprise about one-fourth of Wurzburg's territory. Philip also assigned a portion of the territory from the Diocese of Eichstadt to the planned Diocese. Philip wanted the new Diocese to aid in the final conquest of the pagan Slavs in the March of Nordgau.

    Philip I held a synod to build consensus among the Bishops of the Empire on the establishment of the Diocese of Bamberg. At the synod, Philip obtained permission for the foundation of the Diocese. Philip made many wide-ranging gifts to the new Diocese to ensure its solid foundation, assigning counties in the Duchies of Franconia, Saxony, Carinthia, and Swabia.

    The various Dukes of the Empire grew increasingly independent, regional identities had begun to develop. South of the Alps, Italy also saw the various regional lords grow in independent power. Increasingly, the Empire's Duchies were becoming personal possessions of their respective Ducal family as opposed to component parts of the Empire.

    The ecclesiastical bureaucracy was aimed towards overcoming the family structures within the Duchies in order to restore Imperial dominance and control. Philip relied upon his connection with the Church to justify his power and higher status over the Dukes, however, the various Dukes were no longer bound to the Emperor by close family ties. The Duchy of Saxony, especially, had grown increasingly rebellious.

    Philip was unwilling to show clemency to Nobles who rebelled against his authority. This caused an increase in tension with the secular nobility, forcing Philip to reinforce the position the clergy enjoyed governing the Empire. It was only through the support of the clergy that Philip survived the many revolts against his rule during the first decade of his reign. Even relatives rebelled against his reign. As a result, Philip systematically reduced the internal power structures of the Dukes.

    With Emperors employing Bishops in administrative affairs and determining who would be appointed to ecclesiastical offices, this was increasingly seen as inappropriate by the Papacy. Pope John XIX was determined to oppose such practices, which led to conflict with Philip. He repudiated the Pope's interference and persuaded his Bishops to excommunicate the Pope. The Pope, in turn, excommunicated Philip, declared him deposed, and dissolved the oaths of loyalty made him. Philip found himself with almost no political support and was forced to make concessions, by which he achieved a lifting of the excommunication, and define areas of Imperial and Papal authority.

    The Dukes had, meanwhile, frustrated at Henry II's lack of respect for the secular nobility, elected another Emperor: Duke Bernard II of Saxony. Philip managed to defeat him but was subsequently confronted with more uprisings.

    The political power of the Empire was maintained, but the conflict had demonstrated the limits of the ruler's power, especially in regard to the Church, and it robbed the Emperor of the status he had previously enjoyed. The Pope and the Dukes had emerged as major players in the political system of the Empire. Philip's death in 1026 allowed far more independence under the Regency for Henri III, eventually leading to the Civil wars in East Francia.

    The Eastern and Western branches of the Church both claimed universal authority for their heads, the Pope in Rome and the Patriarch in Constantinople. In 1054 the ongoing dissension came to a head in a mutual excommunication by the two leaders.

    The Schism marks the most significant break between Eastern and Western Christianity.
    It is sometimes referred to as the Great Schism between the Western Churches answering to the See of Rome and the Orthodox Churches of the East.

    The Papacy seemed to have abandoned any unification (under the Pope of Rome) of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
    1060-Southern Italy by Bob Hope.png
    Southern Italy;1060

    The Byzantine defeat at Malazgirt by the Seljuk Turks in 1071 changed the balance of power. Byzantium and the Orthodox Church were no longer the major powers of 1054. Byzantine lands in Italy had been under attack by Northmen, mercenaries from Jorvik, who had usurped Lombard power in southern Italy, since 1059. So weak were they that Northmen invasions of Byzantine lands in the Balkans had been partially successful. Byzantine lands were receding from both east and west, this encouraged Bulgar rebellions in lands only recently re-conquered.

    With the Byzantine Emperor being a prisoner after Malazgirt, Civil War broke out. Appeals for help were made by both sides to the Pope and Philip II, Emperor in the West since 1074. Although they initially favoured different claimants [the Pope; Nicephorus III Briennus and the Emperor; Alexis Commenus], it was decided, at the Synod of Konstanz, in 1076, to jointly support Nicephorus III who would make the greatest concessions. Under pressure from both Empire and Church, the Normans of southern Italy reluctantly agreed to ally themselves with Nicephorus III as well.

    1073-Southern Italy by Bob Hope.png
    Southern Italy;1073

    Nicephorus III, his army reinforced with Norman and Western Empire troops [Philip used the opportunity to send his more unreliable vassals], quickly approached Constantinople. Seljuk forces could be seen on the Asian shore of the “cattle crossing”. Alexis Commenus was under siege and cut off from outside support but Constantinople was the strongest city in Christendom. Nicephorus' army set itself for a long siege. Nicephorus opened lines of communication with Alp Arslan, leader of the Seljuks, only to find representatives of Alexis already in attendance.

    The fall of Byzantium's second largest city, Antioch, to the Seljuks in 1084, left the defenders of Constantinople entirely alone. Before there had been at least some hope of outside relief, now the court even found Alexis considering surrendering Constantinople to the Seljuks.

    Faced with the choice between a Greek ruler and a foreign, Moslem nomad, the court began to desert Alexis for Nicephorus. Soon the troops available could not man the full length of the great walls and withdrew to the inner walls. These were more secure and gave less opportunity for desertion. Far from improving Alexis' situation, he found himself cooped up with men who wanted safety at any price.

    Constantinople opened it's gates to Nicephorus in spring 1085 after it was found that Alexis had fled to Alp Arslan's camp. Many feared that he would be used as a puppet ruler by the nomads but in mid-May his head was seen on an entrenched spear on the, now empty, Asian shore of the “cattle crossing”.

    The Seljuk withdrawal was necessary to combat the Danishmend tribes following them into Anatolia. The Seljuks preferred the high central lands of the Anatolian peninsula and now based their rule from there.

    The much diminished Byzantine navy was able to re-establish contact with the remnants of Greek civilization along the coasts but the whole area was massively de-populated. Cities such as Nicaea, Philadelphia and Smyrna attracted refugees and recovered fairly quickly.

    In the Balkans a Bulgar uprising led by Georgi Voiteh was gaining ground. With Bulgarian military success and the defection of Byzantine officials to the Bulgarians, the prospect of losing all the Balkan themes was quite real. Nicephorus was forced to make a deal with Voiteh establishing a semi-independent Bulgarian state under Byzantine suzerainty.

    Nicephorus was forced to rely heavily upon his allies, and so, had no choice but to agree to the terms they demanded for their help. Nicephorus agreed to the primacy of the Pope over the Eastern Church and ceded the majority of Byzantine lands in Italy to the Papal and Norman states, retaining only Taranto and Syracuse. Needing their help in the Balkans, Nicephorus also ceded Durres to joint Papal/Norman control.

    The Frankish knights were prepared to return home, there was little Nicephorus could offer Philip II to retain them. Nicephorus therefore made offers to the individual knights that lands in Anatolia that they captured would be held as vassals of Byzantium.

    This met with Philip's approval given their unreliability at home.

    Albanians who had originally settled in the north-western Balkans, were invited to migrate to Anatolian territories where they were partially assimilated into Byzantine society.

    Byzantium Frankocratia by Bob Hope.png Byzantium Frankocratia;1095
  9. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    1075.duchies by Bob Hope.png
    Duchies of The Empire;1075

    At the Imperial Diet of 1084 Philip II introduced, to great acclaim, the concept of the Electoral Duchy or Electorate. Each of the 13 Grand Duchies received 1 vote, the Royal Lands 2 votes and 2 votes to the Ecclesiastical Lands. The power to call an Imperial Diet remained with the Emperor although a quorum of 10 Electors could now call an Electoral Diet which could make recommendations or representations to the Emperor.

    Henri had awarded the vacant Duchy of Lower Saxony to Frederick as vassal in 1047 or 1048.

    Charles became Duke of Saxony after his father's death in 1063. An able ruler, he continued to strengthen the position of his Duchy within the weakening Kingdom of East Francia, and was frequently in conflict with his neighbours.​

    In 1083 the Duke of Upper Saxony died. Although Frederick had fought with Henri over the lands in Thuringia, Charles claimed the Duchy as his successor. Philip's choice, confirming him, was announced by the Duke of Franconia at the Imperial Diet of 1084. Upper and Lower Saxony were combined as the Duchy of Saxony, receiving one Electoral vote. The Duchy of Saxony had suffered greatly during the conquests of Charlemagne and were proud of their identity. Charles, as Saxon, was the first non-Frank on the throne.

    Charles sought to expand his Duchy, he turned his attentions east, towards the pagan tribes of the Baltic Coast [or Wendaria] and north towards Holstein, in direct competition with the Danish, who had interest in both areas, and Poland and Polish Pomerania which had established presences in Wendaria.
    pagans 1060 by Bob Hope.png
    Pagan Baltic;1060

    The Trade City of Lubeck had been incorporated into the Duchy of Lower Saxony before 1000 now provided an excellent base for further penetration into Wendaria and established an expanding naval presence in the Baltic, in direct competition with Danish Traders.

    By 1060, Danish attempts to dominate the delta area of the Oder had resulted in an undeclared war with Pomerania. It was a conflict the Danish were getting the worst of due to the need to ship everything by sea via Straslund. Unable to focus enough power, the Danes were forced to concede the delta and also lost Rostock to a Saxon revolt.
    pagans 1075 by Bob Hope.png
    Pagan Baltic;1075
  10. killertahu22 I Hate Ronald Reagan

    May 30, 2015
    Ohhhhh yes
    Never before have I had this must interest in something purely from the first post
  11. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    Thank you, I aim to please
    killertahu22 likes this.
  12. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    1075.3 by Bob Hope.png
    The Empire and Kingdom of Poland;1075
    The struggle to control Poland

    Following the death of his father King Otto in 1058, Karl I, as the eldest son, inherited the thrones of Greater and Lesser Poland as well as the Mazovian and Silesian lands. His younger brothers Władysław, Herman and Mieszko became Governors of the remaining provinces. However Mieszko died relatively early and his lands reverted to the authority of Karl.

    Otto had left him a stabilised country; Karl continued his foreign policy, surrounding his realm with allied Kingdoms to counter the Holy Roman Empire in the west. He aimed to have Poland eventually bordering only allied countries. To this end, in 1060–1063 he intervened in Hungary to aid his uncle King Béla I in conflict with his nephew Solomon, who claimed the Hungarian throne. With the support of Polish troops, Béla, retained power. In 1063, King Béla I of Hungary died. Karl could not defend the cause of his son Géza I against the supporters of Solomon who was finally installed on the Hungarian throne.

    Karl I pursued a policy of cooperation with anti-Imperial factions, allowing him to gain political independence from the Empire but putting him in conflict with the Duchy of Bohemia, an Imperial ally. He escalated conflicts with Duke Eckard III by refusing to pay the annual homage for Silesia and encouraging Bohemian nobility to revolt. In 1063, Eckard besieged the Moravian town of Hradec and captured it but he had to retreat to avoid being out-flanked. In the end, the conflict with Eckard III was settled to a certain extent when the latter married Princess Świętosława, Karl I's sister.

    In 1069 Grand Prince Iziaslav I of Kiev and his wife Gertruda, Karl I's aunt, were overthrown. A Polish military campaign re-established them in power in Kiev.
    In 1076 Karl attacked Bohemia again. Refusing any attempt of arbitration by Emperor Philip II, Karl renewed his attack in 1077 and refused to pay tribute for Silesia. Philip prepared for a campaign against Poland, but was hit by the outbreak of a Saxon Rebellion in 1073.

    Due to his involvement in Hungarian, Bohemian and Kievan affairs, Karl I neglected Poland's interests on the Baltic coast. Pomerania was lost first and then in 1080 eastern Pomerania (Gdańsk-Pomerelia) also severed its ties to the Polish Kingdom.

    In 1077 Karl's troops again intervened in Hungary and Kiev. László, another son of Béla I, in Hungary, and Iziaslav again in Kiev were placed on their thrones. In 1079, while returning from Kiev, Polish troops annexed Red Ruthenia.
    In 1080, however, conflict with the Polish nobles culminated in an open revolt and Karl was deposed and banished from the country after assaulting, then personally killing, Bishop Stanislaus of Kraków during the celebration of a Mass. Stanislaus had publicly warned the King to repent of adultery and other vices and had excommunicated Karl.

    Władysław was elevated to King of Poland. In order to improve the relations between Poland and Bohemia, Władysław married Judith, the daughter of the Duke and foreign policy gravitated towards appeasement of the Holy Roman Empire.

    He accepted the overlordship of the Empire, and, while in Mainz in 1085 the Holy Roman Emperor announced that Eckard III be elevated to King in Bohemia. Władysław did not object. Soon after, he was forced by the Barons of Poland to recall from exile in Hungary his nephew [and rightful heir to the Polish throne], Mieszko Bolesławowic. The Prince accepted the overlordship of Władysław and gave up his hereditary claims in exchange for becoming first in line of succession. Władysław was forced to accept the terms of his nephew, because his eldest and only son at that time, Zbigniew, was illegitimate.

    Władysław's relations with the Emperor were considerably improved after his second marriage to Philip's sister Joan (Dowager Queen Of Hungary) In 1089. Władysław abandoned the alliance with Hungary favoured by his deposed brother, and resumed paying tribute for Silesia to Bohemia. In addition Moravia, Kraków and Cieszyn were ceded to Bohemia, Lusatia was lost to Germany while Przemyśl in the east was lost to Halych-Ruthenia. Władysław did make attempts to regain the control of Pomerania forces under his command, managed to gain control of Gdańsk-Pomerelia, in 1090, but was only temporarily able to do so. Major towns were garrisoned by Polish troops, the rest were burned, in order to thwart any future resistance. Several months later, however, a rebellion of native elites led to the restoration of the region’s independence from Poland.

    Although Władysław was formally King and Overlord of Poland, in reality the barons who banished his brother held the upper hand. Within a short time the King was forced to give up the government to his Count Palatine, a noble named Johannes. Johannes' administration of the Kingdom was not well received by those barons who did not benefit from the power shift.
    The birth of his son Karl changed the political situation in Poland. Mieszko Bolesławowic was already seventeen at that time and was, by the agreement made, the first in line to succeed. In 1089 Mieszko died under mysterious circumstances, and almost immediately, Zbigniew was sent to an Abbey with the idea of forcing his first-born son to take holy vows. Władysław intended to deprive him of any chance of succession.

    In 1093 Silesia rebelled, and, with the assistance of Bohemian and Polish knights welcomed Zbigniew after he escaped from incarceration; however, soon Johannes captured the Prince and imprisoned him. Increasing dissatisfaction in the country forced the release of Zbigniew in 1097, after an unsuccessfully retaliatory expedition against Silesia, Władysław was forced to recognize Zbigniew as the legitimate heir.
    To focus his attention away from rebellion, Władysław appointed Zbigniew commander of an army formed to recapture Gdańsk-Pomerelia. The expedition was a failure but actually enhanced Zbigniew's reputation with the nobles. Johannes tried to use the failure to his advantage and also attempted to dominate Karl, promoting him rather than Zbigniew.

    By 1103, Zbigniew and Karl joined forces, demanding that the control of the government be handed over to them. Via Władysław, Johannes agreed to divide the realm between the brothers, each granted his own province while Władysław kept control of Mazovia and its capital at Płock. Władysław also retained control of the most important cities i.e. Wrocław, Kraków and Sandomierz. Zbigniew’s province encompassed Greater Poland including Gniezno, Kuyavia, Łęczyca and Sieradz. Karl’s territory included Lesser Poland and Silesia. The brothers cooperated to exclude Johannes from the government of their lands.

    Alarmed by the reduction of his power, Johannes continued to intrigue against the brothers and Władysław supported him against his own sons. Władysław was defeated in battle in 1107 and was forced to exile Johannes and confiscate his properties.
    1105 Polish lands.png
    Poland in 1105
    Władysław died in 1109, without resolving the succession, this left his sons to struggle for supremacy.

    Zbigniew became King as Otto II, his brother Karl was confirmed in his lands and awarded the cities within his lands that Władysław had retained. Karl was, in effect, an autonomous ruler and the policies he pursued were often in conflict with his brother.
    1110 Polish lands.png
    Poland in 1110
    Karl of Silesia was Duke of Lesser Poland, Silesia and Sandomierz. A migration of Jews from Western Europe to Poland began due to the his tolerant rule. He deliberately attracted Jews into his domains, and permitted them to settle throughout his lands without restriction.
    Karl began to rule in the first decade of the 12th century, when the central government in Poland was significantly weakened. As a result of Karl's decisions the trade and industry of his lands far outstripped those of his brother, King Otto II.

    In 1122, Karl of Silesia sought to conquer Gdańsk-Pomerelia from Pomerania which caused an armed conflict between the brothers.
    Pomerania sent retaliatory war parties into Polish territory, but as Pomerania bordered Otto's territory these raids ravaged the lands of the King, who was not at fault. In order to put pressure on Karl, Otto allied himself with Frederick, Duke of Bohemia, to whom he promised to pay tribute in return for his help. By aligning himself with Karl's neighbour Otto wished to compel Karl to cease his raids into Pomerania. Karl of Silesia, on the other hand, allied himself with Kievan Rus and Hungary. His marriage to Sbyzslava, the daughter of Sviatopolk III, was to seal the alliance between himself and the Prince of Kiev.

    Otto declined to attend the marriage of Karl and Sbyzslava. He saw this union and the alliance with Kiev as a serious threat. He therefore prevailed upon Frederick, Duke of Bohemia to invade Karl's lands. Karl retaliated with expeditions into Moravia, which brought Karl not only loot, but also effectively disintegrated Otto's alliance with Pomerania. Frederick also ended his alliance with Otto as a result.

    Karl's intervention in the dynastic dispute in Hungary left him in a difficult political situation. At first, he supported the pretender, Álmos, and marched to Hungary to help him. However, in 1125, Álmos made peace with his brother and rival King Coloman, an ally of Otto. Karl pulled his troops out of Hungary and, in 1126, made peace with Coloman. The Hungarian King also broke his agreements with the Bohemia. A dynastic dispute in Bohemia between Frederick and his cousin, also Frederick [known as “the Fat”] caused the intervention of Karl and his new ally King Coloman in support of Frederick the Fat, with the main objective to make him Duke. A new rebellion by Álmos forced Coloman to return Hungary. Karl had to retreat. Frederick the Fat tried to capture Prague alone, but suffered complete defeat.

    Karl and Otto entered into a truce. The treaty was a compromise in foreign policy, however, no agreement over Pomerania was settled. The treaty ended when Otto refused to help his half-brother in his fight against Pomerania. While hunting, Karl of Silesia was unexpectedly attacked by them. In the battle, the young prince almost lost his life. Bohemia, using the involvement of Karl of Silesia in the Pomeranian affairs as an excuse, attacked Silesia. The prince tried to re-established the alliance with his half-brother, without success. The effect of this refusal was the rapprochement to the Bohemian Kingdom in 1127. Karl of Silesia managed to bribe Frederick and have him join his side in the contest against Otto and formally allied himself with Coloman of Hungary. With the help of his Kievan and Hungarian allies Karl attacked Otto's territory, and began a civil war. The allied forces easily took control of most important cities, in effect taking half of Otto's lands. Through mediation of the Bishop of Kraków, a peace treaty was signed at Łęczyca, in which Otto officially recognized Karl as the Supreme King of Poland. He was allowed to retain Mazovia as a fief.

    In 1128 Karl II Silesia III along with his ally King Coloman of Hungary invaded Bohemia in order to aid Frederick the Fat to gain the Ducal throne. The intervention in the Bohemian succession was meant to secure Polish interests to the south-west. The expedition was a full success, Frederick the Fat was made Duke of Bohemia in Prague.

    Later that year Karl again undertook an expedition against Otto. Otto had not followed his orders and had refused to burn down one of his fortresses. Also, Otto had not performed his duties as a vassal, failing to provide military aid to Karl for a campaign against the Pomeranians. In 1128-29, with the help of his Kievan and Hungarian allies, Karl began a campaign to finally rid himself of Otto. His forces attacked Mazovia and quickly forced Otto to surrender. Following this Zbigniew was banished from the country and took refuge in Prague, where he found support from Frederick the Fat. Karl II Silesia was now the sole ruler and King in the Polish lands.

    Frederick the Fat, who owed Karl II Silesia his throne, had not honoured his promise to return Silesian cities seized from Poland by his predecessors. In 1129 Frederick the Fat paid homage to the Stefan, Holy Roman Emperor and in exchange received from him the formal investiture of Bohemia. In response to Karl's aggressive foreign policy, the Holy Roman Emperor undertook a punitive expedition against Poland in 1130. He was assisted by Bohemian troops provided by Frederick the Fat of Bohemia.
    The alleged reason for the war was the restoration of Otto. Karl received an ultimatum from the Emperor: he would abandon the expedition against him only if Otto was restored with half of Poland to rule, the formal recognition of the Holy Roman Empire as Poland's overlord and the payment of 300 pieces of silver as a regular tribute.

    Karl rejected the demands. During the negotiations Karl was in the middle of a war against Pomerania. On the west side of the Oder river, Stefan hurriedly gathered knights for his expedition. Before the fight ended in Pomerania, troops were approaching Głogów. As part of the campaign, King Coloman of Hungary was attacked by forces of the Empire and Bohemia which he routed easily.

    Military operations mainly took place in south-western Poland, the Imperial army laid siege to major strongholds of Głogów, Wrocław and Bytom Odrzański. In 1131 Karl undertook an unsuccessful military expedition against Bohemia. His intention was to install yet another pretender, Johan of Hradec, on the Bohemian throne. During the campaign he won a decisive victory against the Bohemians at Trutina in 1132; following this battle he ordered his forces to withdraw from Bohemia due to the unpopularity of Johan of Hradec among the Bohemians as well as Karl's unwillingness to further deteriorate relations with the Holy Roman Empire. In 1132 a truce between Poland and the Holy Roman Empire was signed which stipulated that Johan of Hradec would be able to return to Bohemia while Otto would be able to return Poland. Karl agreed to the return of his half-brother because of pressure from his many supporters.

    Once in Poland, Otto claimed sovereignty over his previous domains. The relationship between the two brothers, never the greatest, deteriorated steadily. Otto's death, under mysterious circumstances roused suspicions that it was by Karl's orders but no proof of this was ever forthcoming.

    Karl II Silesia, like his predecessors, based his foreign policy on maintaining good relations with neighbouring Hungary and Kiev. He forged strong links through marriage and military cooperation in order to break the political dependence on the Empire and it's vassal, Bohemia, to whom in moments of weakness Poland was forced to pay tribute for Silesia. These alliances allowed Karl II Silesia to effectively protect the country from further Imperial invasion. Karl II Silesia skilfully took advantage of the dynastic disputes in Bohemia to ensure peace on the south-west border.

    The independence of Pomerania cut Poland off from trade via the Baltic and contributed to the weakening of the Polish state. All attempts made to reconquer Pomerania had failed. Only after defeating Otto and repelling the claims of Bohemia against Silesia was Karl able to direct his attention north-west.
    Beginning in 1130 Karl strengthened the northern strongholds along the Noteć river, close to the border with the Pomeranians. In subsequent years, he directed his efforts against Prussia, and in 1134 he made a victorious expedition, ravaging their tribal lands. As a result, the north-east border was at peace, which allowed him to prepare the invasion and conquest of Pomerania.

    These military expeditions were carried out in three stages, ending in 1139 with military and political success. The resolution of the conflict with Emperor Stefan allowed Karl to vassalise western Pomerania and incorporate Gdańsk-Pomerelia into Poland. Integration of the newly annexed lands enabled Karl to build churches and begin the process of converting Pomerania.
    In the early 1140s Karl participated in a dynastic dispute in Hungary. He was defeated, this along with his second marriage made Karl seek to restore friendly relations with his western neighbour. He died before this was achieved.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  13. Chris S Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    I agree fully. Along with Kolchak's atlas this is set to be a truly useful resource.
    Admiral A. Kolchak likes this.
  14. Entrerriano Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2018
    Is this OTL or ATL? I don't know enough about this period to realize.
  15. Kikkomaan Seasoning your life

    May 8, 2016
  16. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    Bulgarian Revolt and Bogomilism

    During the reign of Byzantine Emperor Peter I (927–969) an heretical movement known as Bogomilism arose in Bulgaria. This was named after its founder, the priest Bogomil. Bogomilism was a neo-Gnostic, dualist sect that believed God had two sons, Jesus and Satan, representing the principles of good and evil. God had created light and the invisible world, while Satan rebelled and created darkness, the material world and man.

    They rejected marriage, reproduction, the Church, the Old Testament, the Cross, etc. The Bogomils were divided into several categories, led by the perfecti (the perfect ones) that never married, consumed no meat and wine and preached the gospel. Women too could become perfecti.

    The other categories were the believers; who had to follow most of the Bogomil moral ethics, and the listeners; not required to change their lifestyle. The Orthodox Church condemned the teachings of Bogomilism and the sect was persecuted by state authorities since the Bogomils preached civil disobedience. Anything earthly, like the state, was considered to be linked with Satan.

    The sect could not be eradicated and it eventually spread to the rest of the Balkans, southern France and northern Italy.

    In certain regions of Western Europe the heresy flourished under different names; Cathars, Albigensians, Patarins.

    The development of literacy in Old Church Slavonic [Cyrillic] prevented the assimilation of the Southern Slavs into neighbouring cultures, stimulating the formation of a distinct Bulgarian identity. The founders of the Bulgar state in the Lower Danube region were culturally related to the nomads of Eurasia, their language was Turkic. During their migration to the Balkans, the Bulgars swept along several other groups of Eurasian nomads of Sarmato-Alanian origin. Becoming more settled through need, they assimilated into the Slavic sedentary population.

    Bulgarian Resurgence
    After the destruction of the Bulgarian Empire by Byzantium, in 1018, there was no resistance to the establishment of Byzantine rule, a consequence of the concessions granted to the Bulgarian nobility to gain their allegiance. The Bulgarian nobility became part of the Byzantine aristocracy as Archons or Strategoi.

    In 1040, a large-scale rebellion failed to restore the Bulgarian state. A change in the ruling Byzantine Dynasty saw the state experience stability and progress until the collapse at Malazgirt. Nicephorus III Briennus came to the throne in 1085, after a Civil War, backed by the Pope, Emperor Philip and the Normans.

    The instability in the state allowed Bulgarian nobles to organize an uprising. Leading nobles led a revolt against Byzantine rule and Piotr Svetoslav declared himself Tsar Piotr II. The Byzantines were driven from the north but were able to stem the tide with the help, again, of Emperor Philip and the Normans.

    Bulgarian rule was built on the base of Pan-Slavism but even with this support many preferred rule from Constantinople. Bulgar thrusts were towards Ochrid, in the west, where the Bulgar Bisheropic was based. Norman forces took the brunt but also strengthened their hold on northern Epirus. By 1095 whilst the “borders” had stabilized large areas were under light or little control of either side.

    The Bulgar uprising, led by Georgi Voiteh, was gaining ground. With Bulgarian military success and the defection of Byzantine officials to the Bulgarians, the prospect of losing all the Balkan themes was quite real. Nicephorus was forced to make a deal with Voiteh establishing a semi-independent Bulgarian state under Byzantine suzerainty.

    The conflicts had drawn in western troops to fight in Anatolia as well, establishing lands in Anatolia that they had captured and be held as vassals of Byzantium.

    1095 s-e by Bob Hope.png
    Despite riots in Constantinople, always a massive influence on Byzantine politics, the rapprochement between Eastern and Western Churches developed apace with the liturgies converging.

    Hungarian interest to the south also began at this time, in alliance with Byzantium. In the early 1100s the Hungarian Kings sent expeditions against the Slovene and Croat states. The neutrality of the neighbouring Bosnian lands was ensured by their expansion into areas lost by Byzantium and internal conflict. Hungarian forces had to withdraw, however, to respond to Pecheng incursions in the east.

    In 1116, under Stephen II, Hungary intervened again in Slavonia, where he wanted to restore it's Prince after a palace revolution. The expedition failed due to the death of his candidate but, in 1120, Stephen found “evidence” of his own claim to the Slavonian throne and led a more successful campaign, eventually incorporating absorbed into the Hungarian Crown lands.

    In 1121 Croatian forces Stephen's army at the battle of Agram. Hungarian troops ravaged Croatia, destroying strongholds, and forced thousands of Croats to resettle deep in Hungarian territory. Further expansion was directed towards the coast, Stephen wanted to gain a port as a sea outlet for Hungary.

    Stephen went so far as to besiege the Venetian city of Zara. He knew that this city was well defended by it's well-built Byzantine fortifications. The only way to approach the walls was through the frozen waters of a nearby swamp. Taking advantage of this element of surprise, Stephen launched his assault from precisely that direction, and nearly took control of the city.

    Stephen withdrew, leaving only a covering force. He fought battles further south in Dalmatia, subduing the northernmost of Croatia's vassals. Venetian troops were shipped in to help the coastal cities resist him but did not leave after he departed. Stephen was severely wounded in a battle near Split, in 1126. He was able to consolidate much of the area he had taken but died of complications in 1131.

    Croatia and the Principality of Zagreb re-asserted their independence after his death but Zagreb did not resume it's subservience to Croatia.
    1095 XL 10 by Bob Hope.png
  17. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    The peoples in the lands of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania formed a pagan wedge between the western and eastern arms of the Christian Church. For more than 150 years before the arrival of Saxons in the region, Estonia was attacked by Russian principalities, Denmark and Sweden as well. Estonians made retaliatory raids upon Denmark and Sweden.

    Peaceful attempts were made to convert the Estonians, with missions dispatched by the Archbishop of Bremen between 1045-1072, these efforts only had limited success.
    1200 before N baltic pagan tribes  by Bob Hope.png
    Pagan Baltic before 1200

    Campaign to Livonia 1198
    Following German merchants along the old trading routes of the Vikings, a monk named Meinhard landed at the mouth of the Daugava river, Latvia, in 1180. He had some success and was made Bishop in 1186. Having proclaimed a campaign against the Baltic heathens in 1195, an expedition led by Meinhard's successor, Berthold of Hanover, landed in Livonia in 1198. Although they won their first battle, Bishop Berthold was mortally wounded and the expedition was repulsed.

    In 1199, Albert of Buxhoeveden was appointed by the Archbishop of Bremen to Christianise the Baltic countries. When he died 30 years later, the conquest and formal Christianization of Estonia and northern Latvia was complete. Albert began touring the Empire, preaching an expedition against the Baltic countries, assisted by a Papal Bull, declaring that fighting against the Baltic heathens would guarantee a place in Heaven.

    Albert landed at the mouth of the Daugava in 1200 with 23 ships and 500 soldiers, his previous efforts ensured a constant flow of recruits followed. Expeditions usually arrived to fight during spring and returned to their homes in autumn. To ensure a permanent presence, the Saxon Brotherhood was created in 1202. Founding a market at Riga in 1201 attracted citizens from the Empire and ensured economic prosperity.

    Curonians attacked Riga in 1201 and 1210, but Albert, considering Courland a tributary of Valdemar II of Denmark, was reluctant to campaign against them.

    In 1206, the Brotherhood subdued the Livonian stronghold of Turaida on the Viking trade route to the Rus. In order to retain control a stone castle was built in Sigulda. By 1211, the Livonian province of Metsepole and the county of Idumea was converted to the faith. The last battle against the Livonians was the siege of the Satezele hill-fort near to Sigulda in 1212. As the Brotherhood's grip tightened, the Livonians rebelled against them but were put down.
    1200-1210 N baltic pagan tribes by Bob Hope.png
    Pagan Baltic 1200-1210

    The Brotherhood enlisted newly baptised Livonian warriors to participate in their campaigns against other pagan tribes.

    After conquering the Livonians, in 1208, the Brotherhood turned on the Latgallians, to the east, along the Gauja and Daugava rivers. An alliance with the Christian Principality of Tālava was vital. Their ruler, Tālivaldis, became the Brotherhood's loyal ally.

    The campaign against the Latgallians and Selonians started with the occupation of the Christian, Principality of Koknese and the Selonians hill-fort, Sēlpils. Continuing in 1209 with an attack on the Christian Principality of Jersika, accused of being in alliance with Lithuanian pagans. After their defeat Jersika became the vassal of the Bishop of Livonia.

    The Brotherhood were strong enough to also begin operations against the Estonians, who were divided into eight major and several smaller counties, led by elders with limited co-operation between them. In 1208-27, war parties of the different sides rampaged through the Livonian, Northern Latgallian, and Estonian counties, with Livonians and Latgallians normally as allies of the Brotherhood, and the Principalities of Polotsk and Pskov intervening at different times.

    Hill forts, key centres of Estonian counties, were besieged and captured a number of times. War weary, a truce was established for three years (1213–1215). This proved generally more favourable to the Brotherhood, who consolidated their political position, while the Estonians were unable to develop their system of loose alliances into a centralised state.

    The climactic battle near Viljandi in 1217, was a defeat for the Estonians, whose war leader was killed.
    1210-1220 N baltic pagan tribes by Bob Hope.png
    Pagan Baltic 1210-1220

    Denmark also had claims on Estonia. In 1206, a Danish army led by King Valdemar II landed on Saaremaa and attempted to establish a stronghold without success.

    Danes landed at Lindanisse, on the mainland, in 1219. After the Battle of Lindanisse the Danes established a fortress, which was besieged by Estonians in 1220 and 1223, but held out. Eventually, the whole of northern Estonia came under Danish control. Lindanisse was renamed Rēvele.

    Saaremaa was the last Estonian county to hold out. Their war fleets had raided Denmark and Sweden and fought against the Brotherhood. In 1216 the Brotherhood and Danes joined forces and invaded Saaremaa over the frozen sea. In return they raided Brotherhood territories in Latvia the following spring. In 1220, the Swedish conquered Lihula in Rotalia in Western Estonia. Oeselians, from Saaremaa, attacked the stronghold later that year, captured it and massacred the Swedish garrison.

    Valdemar II attempted the conquest of Saaremaa again in 1222, this time establishing a stone fortress housing a strong garrison. The Danish stronghold was besieged and surrendered within five days, the Danish garrison returned to Rēvele. The castle was razed to the ground by the Oeselians.

    A strong army crossed the frozen sea while the Saaremaa fleet was icebound, in early 1227. After the surrender of two major Oeselian strongholds, Christianity was formally accepted.

    The conquest of Semigallia started in 1222 when crusaders from Riga occupied Mežotne, a major port on the Lielupe river. Several unsuccessful campaigns against the pagan Duke Viestards of Semigallia and his allies from Samogitia meant the attempt stalled, due to the availability of manpower, in late 1227.

    After Albert's death in 1229, the Brotherhood secured the peaceful submission of Wannema in the north-eastern part of Curonia by treaty in 1230 and, later that year with the ruler of Bandowe in the central Curonia.

    After their decisive defeat in the Battle of Sauleskauja, in 1236, by a combined force of Samogitians and Semigallians, the majority of the Brotherhood, no longer receiving enough reinforcements to allow recovery, accepted the overlordship of the Duke of Saxony.

    Military action on Saaremaa broke out again after the defeat, the Oeselians had once more renounced Christianity and killed the Danish settlers on the island. A peace treaty was signed after the forces of Danish Estonia, including Estonians and Latvians, defeated the Oeselians, captured their stronghold at Kaarma and established a stone fort at Pöide.
    1220-1236 N baltic pagan tribes by Bob Hope.png
    Pagan Baltic 1220-1235


    Konrad I, the Duke of Mazovia, attempted to conquer the pagan Prussians in 1209 and again in 1219 and 1222. Konrad's campaigns against the Prussians were answered by incursions into the captured territory of Kulmarlia or Chełmno. A decades long border quarrel with the Prussian tribes saw raid and counter-raid whilst Konrad tried to stabilize the north of the Duchy. Mazovia had only been conquered in the 10th century and native Prussians, Sudovians, and Lithuanians were still living in the territory, with no settled borders.

    Military weakness had led Konrad to consider founding an association similar to the Brotherhood but after news of their defeat, in the Battle of Sauleskauja in 1236, coinciding with a series of revolts in Estonia, it proved impossible to attract outside help.

    Peace was brought about, in 1240, by the devastation caused to the whole area by the northernmost Mongol Tuman which destroyed any potential opposition as it swung past.
    1242 N baltic pagan tribes by Bob Hope.png
    Pagan Baltic 1240
    ML8991, Augenis, Kikkomaan and 3 others like this.
  18. Bob Hope rarely online

    Dec 31, 2016
    Portsmouth UK
    1095 XL br 10 by Bob Hope.png The Empire in 1095

    The eastern part of the Empire was decentralised during the period of the Carolingian Dynasty contrasting sharply with the west where the Emperor's power was strongest.

    Duchies like Champagne, Flanders and Aquitaine enjoyed authority comparable to kingdoms in all but name at the start of this period but, by the end of the Dynasty they were increasingly under central authority.

    The fact that the Emperors also had a religious authority over Roman Catholicism within the Empire only went to increase his hold over the Dukes. Emperors supported the reforms of the Church, the Peace of God, prohibition of simony (the purchase of clerical offices), and required celibacy of priests. Imperial authority over the Pope reached its peak before the rapprochement between the Pope and the Eastern Church.

    The Emperors treated other Princes and Dukes more as subordinates than as vassals or allies. In the east, however, authority was so weak in some places that bandits were the effective power. In effect many of these “bandits” were the nobles themselves trying to increase their domains or impose their will over weaker nobles and lands. The rise of Confederations within the Empire started after the success of the Confederation of Konstanz in pacifying it's lands and resisting outside encroachment.

    Some of the Emperor's vassals would successfully carve lands outside the empire for themselves.

    Emperor Philip II took more interest in foreign affairs than previous Emperors, “exporting” many of his more fractious vassals to Byzantium in the guise of providing assistance to the eastern Emperor and the Pope. He also introduced the concept of the Electoral Duchy or Electorate.

    Philip intervened in Wessex, supporting them against an attack from Jorvik to the north. The conflict turned into a proxy war as Danish auxiliaries arrived to support their cousins. The Kingdom of Wessex, although not part of the Empire, became a personal vassal of the Emperor after peace was signed in 1113.

    His successor, Stefan, ruled from 1125. Despite two marriages and three, known, mistresses, he produced no male heirs. Stefan spent much of his reign in the east, travelling to lands where his authority was weak seeking to strengthen the Imperial hold over the east.

    Stefan supported Bohemian Duke Frederick “the Fat” against Poland, gaining his loyalty as a counterweight against Duke Charles II of Saxony who was becoming too powerful for Stefan's comfort.

    Lands of Charles II of Saxony 1140 by Bob Hope.png
    Lands of Charles II of Saxony;1140

    Stefan's unexpected death in 1142 left the succession in the hands of the Electors. As Stefan had not nominated a successor the Dukes vied for the Imperial title with Charles II of Saxony leading the way. Fearing the result of an increase in Charles' power so close to their lands the other Electors co-operated to ensure Imperial influence remained distant. William X, Duke of Aquitaine was elected, in a close vote Emperor, as William I, in 1144, establishing the Aquitan dynasty.

    1140 nc2gb XL br 11 by Bob Hope.png
    The Empire in 1140
  19. killertahu22 I Hate Ronald Reagan

    May 30, 2015
    Do you plan on making a religious map?
  20. Entrerriano Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2018
    Coud you make a map showing which lands are in the Empire and which are not?