An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
Here's the updated map!
Man, i really hope prussia is able to avoid being gobbled up by russia. It's one of the most interesting states to pop up in this tl. Or if not they could at least live on through their possession in the carribean lmao
I think it's unlikely since we have gotten hints that Russia will unite under a new Megas Rigas/Great King.
 
Well, here's an updated version of the ruler list for the Romans! Man, the Drakids really did not last long.

HOUSE OF LASKARIS (1204-1282)
Theodoros II Laskaris (1254-1282): Theodoros Megas
John IV Laskaris (1282-1316)
Manuel II Laskaris (1316-1324)
Anna I Laskarina (1324-1381)
Andronikos II Laskaris (1373-1376): usurper
Konstantinos XI Laskaris (1381-1401)
Theodoros III Laskaris (1401-1403): killed at Cappadocian Caesarea
John V Laskaris (1403-1410)
Thomas I Laskaris (1410-1414)
SECOND HOUSE OF KOMNENOS (1414-1541)
Demetrios I Komnenos (1414-1439): Demetrios Megas
Manuel III Doukas (1414-1431): Manuel the Protector
Theodoros IV Komnenos (1439-1458): Theodoros the Miser
Andreas I Komnenos (1458-1517): Andreas Niketas
Herakleios II Komnenos (1516-1518): Herakleios the Apostate
Nikephoros IV Komnenos (1518-1528): Nikephoros the Spider, the Bloody Emperor
Alexios VI Komnenos (1528)
Alexeia I Komnena (1528-1537): Alexia the Mad
Ioannes VI Komnenos (1537-1541)
THE LATER TROUBLES (1541-1548)
Isaakios III Angelos (1541)
Stefanos I Doukas (1541-1543)
Alexios VII Papagos (1544)
Manuel IV Klados (1544)
Giorgios I Laskaris (1544-1547)
Andreas II Drakos (1547-1548): Andreas Pistotatos
HOUSE OF DRAKOS (1548-1630)
Helena I Drakina (1548-1625)
Andreas “III” (1570-1571): usurper, never held Constantinople
Demetrios II Drakos (1587-1625)
Helena II Drakina (1619-1630)
Andreas III Drakos (1625-1630)
HOUSE OF SIDEROS (1630-ongoing)
Demetrios III Sideros (1630-ongoing)​
 
Well, here's an updated version of the ruler list for the Romans! Man, the Drakids really did not last long.
I tired to make one of these like a year ago and just gave up somewhere around Andreas Niketas so I applaud you commitment to it. Really drives home how chaotic the empire was during the TOT
 
I tired to make one of these like a year ago and just gave up somewhere around Andreas Niketas so I applaud you commitment to it. Really drives home how chaotic the empire was during the TOT
Well, I did make one a while ago, then B444 made a legitimate one which is threadmarked. Yeah, the Times of Troubles was a true mess, thirty something years of chaos. Hopefully the Sideroi don't go through something like that.
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
It really does drive home how much of a sheer mess the Empire went through from Andreas I's death up to Helena I. I wonder if the treasury even bothered to try and keep up with all the name changes.

Also shows how much weight the Komnenos have on Roman thought and culture that pretty much all of them get a nickname.
 
It really does drive home how much of a sheer mess the Empire went through from Andreas I's death up to Helena I. I wonder if the treasury even bothered to try and keep up with all the name changes.

Also shows how much weight the Komnenos have on Roman thought and culture that pretty much all of them get a nickname.
To be fair nicknames were always more common in the earlier medieval than in the later or in the Renaissance. This was before the advent of family names in Europe after all, even dynasties mostly just took the names of a place where they ruled.
 
I like the idea of a Prussian Russia. It fits the pattern of Russia ITTL being more northern and Baltic. Plus it means we can see giant Cossacks, Russia's and Mongolias. Rather than just one maaaasssive Russia.
 
I like the idea of a Prussian Russia. It fits the pattern of Russia ITTL being more northern and Baltic. Plus it means we can see giant Cossacks, Russia's and Mongolias. Rather than just one maaaasssive Russia.
I wouldn't be so certain. Any polity that develops in the early modern and industrial period in the Volga basin is inneviably going to expand towards where natural barriers stop them. For Russia, this is a belt starting from the Baltic and going to the Arctic ocean to the Urals to Caspian to Caucasus to Black Sea to Carpathians and with a big hole in the North European Plain and Pontic Steppe. To plug those holes necessitates expansion to new barriers (Siberia's and central Asia's ocean and mountain boundaries for the east or the post WWII Eastern Bloc countries to the west) or significant fortifications that frankly won't work in a pre-industrial period (and the Stalin Line didn't work in WWII either, though you can easily blame it being partially dismantled though) due to the immense width of those holes.

It is not hard for any polity in that region to expand until they reach the natural barriers of that space. What holds it back from unification right now is poor administration and communication over vast distances that makes holding together a vast amount of territory immensely difficult. This will be overcome with developments in technology during this century and the next so it is unlikely that Russia will remain disunified for long, the only question is who will be the one to unify them.
 
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I think the best bet for Prussia is to marry in with Lithuania before Russia fully unifies so they're able to retain some autonomy
 
Well the other thing holding Great Russia from those boundaries ITTL is that they are friendly with Vlachia and Super Georgia, so barring something like a personal union, Russia will not get to the Caucasus or the Carpathians because they are firmly held by long term friends. That said, if we look to the Far East, I don’t see the Russian border with Machuria from OTL being the same sort of natural barrier as say the Tien Shan or the Caucasus. Perhaps this Russia, which has not experienced the depredations of OTL Mongols, and cannot expand into the friendly nations of the South and West (minus maybe Poland and Finland) will have the manpower and energy to spread further into Manchuria. Of course there is also N. America.
 
Well the other thing holding Great Russia from those boundaries ITTL is that they are friendly with Vlachia and Super Georgia, so barring something like a personal union, Russia will not get to the Caucasus or the Carpathians because they are firmly held by long term friends. That said, if we look to the Far East, I don’t see the Russian border with Machuria from OTL being the same sort of natural barrier as say the Tien Shan or the Caucasus. Perhaps this Russia, which has not experienced the depredations of OTL Mongols, and cannot expand into the friendly nations of the South and West (minus maybe Poland and Finland) will have the manpower and energy to spread further into Manchuria. Of course there is also N. America.
A TTL Russia's friendly relationship with Vlachia and Georgia is the same fundamental logic that followed WWII. Plug the holes in your decisive boundaries by ensuring our neighbours won't invade you. Formerly Russia did this by invading its neighbours and making them part of Russia. But after WWII it instead set up surrounding satellite states to make invasion from its access points impossible, impractical, or at the very least more difficult for an opposing power.

Remaining friendly with those two realms is within Russia's interests but it followed a model of international relations fundamentally similar to the post-WWII world order in western Europe with the foundation of the steel and coal commission along with larger developments of the EEC and EU. Integrated economies and friendly political leaders are less likely to war with each other as they become mutually dependent. However before the development of industrial economies and the scale of trade that came with it there is no possible way than two large countries could be so interconnected economically as to prevent war. You only need one ambitious, warmongering, stupid, or opportunistic leader to ruin everything. It won't be popular but without serious economic impact on their own nation any cultural or political blowback can be navigated albiet with some difficulty.

It's best if a unified TTL Russia keeps its friendships with its southern neighbours not to help plug holes in their defensive boundaries but to ensure useful allies to counter threats from that space. The entente cordial is the best example but so too were the partitions of Poland. Rhomania wants to keep buffer states and is fine with that situation so a Russian state that plays ball can be friendly with Rhomania to provide a counterbalance to perceived threats from central Europe, be they Hungarian, Polish, Czech, or German. But this requires a consistent foreign policy that likely won't occur over the centuries due to the unstable nature of human elements in politics. We are just as likely to have a Russian State perceive the Romans as an existential threat (maybe because of religious reasons like an ecumenical patriarch might insult the Russian church, that could be one cool apart for conflict. Or maybe even just due to the rise in economic protectionism wanting Russia to build its own industry, do they pass tariffs and thus the Romans end up upset with them and it spirals out of control from there.) as we are to see a Russian state remain allies with them. I could also see a Russian State compete for influence economically, politically, culturally, and religiously within Georgia and Vlachia in order to bring those dates into the Russian orbit rather than the Roman one. However given how easy it would be to invade those countries, it's a simple 'solution' that will likely end up being tried at some point. As they say, war is politics by other means, and a unified Russian State could bring down a large army with which to threaten those two middle powers should they ever feel like it and the opportunity presents itself such as if the Romans are busy elsewhere.
 
Well the other thing holding Great Russia from those boundaries ITTL is that they are friendly with Vlachia and Super Georgia, so barring something like a personal union, Russia will not get to the Caucasus or the Carpathians because they are firmly held by long term friends. That said, if we look to the Far East, I don’t see the Russian border with Machuria from OTL being the same sort of natural barrier as say the Tien Shan or the Caucasus. Perhaps this Russia, which has not experienced the depredations of OTL Mongols, and cannot expand into the friendly nations of the South and West (minus maybe Poland and Finland) will have the manpower and energy to spread further into Manchuria. Of course there is also N. America.
Are they friendly with the Empire of All the North? That could be an alternative outlet for Russian ambitions. Especially whilst they maintain ties with the Romans. After all, the Russian Periphery overlaps significantly with the Roman one, and as said elsewhere, until someone messes that up, that can exist quite happily. The Empire of All the North however would be a great opponent as the Baltic would enable swathes of ice free ports near a traditional economic heart. It also controls the path to the Atlantic, imagine a Russian Copenhagen, the lynchpin for a Baltic-focused Russia. That would open the doors to the New World, which could well include OTL Canada. Baltic and (2100AD) Arctic Russia is a cool alternative that has defence issues if it can't hold them diplomatically (I think it can tbh) but has solid economic presence globally.

It'd be a push, but that Russia could even have a Russian Africa/Australia scenario without much difficulty.
 
You can somewhat get around the inflexibility of parliament, as medieval English kings did, by using the convocations. People often forget that England had the same three estate system as the mainland. The second estate, the clergy, was represented at a convocation in York or Canterbury depending on which archdiocese they served in. At convocation all clerical estates could vote to give the 'king's tenth' or 1/10th the income of their estates as assessed at the Taxatio Ecclesiastica in 1292 and, for three northernmost diocese, the Nova Taxatio of 1318. Convocations were always more willing to provide the king with taxes than parliament since most of the bishops held their position by Royal appointment and had a background in the English clerk staff. And this was before Anglicanism. Come 1535 Henry VIII ordered the Valor Ecclesiasticus to update the almost 250 year old document to more accurately give both the king's tenth and the owed tithes to him as leader of the church for 20% of their income from land, tithes, and offices. This document led directly to the dissolution of the monasteries to bring all their considerable income into royal hands.

What you have made here B444 with the clergy mostly of French stock and working in a pseudo-Anglican framework tells me that Triune monarchs of England will be pulling considerable money from taxes on church estates and tithes but won't have the same restrictions as with parliament on its use, just like OTL. I don't know how much it was expressed as pounds in 1535 but I do know where I can get the 1291 information to compare to parliamentary grants of a fifteenth and tenth when I get back to my computer.
I found it.

"The revenue of the clergy, including such portions of the property of the bishops as were not taxed with the property of the laity, amounted, spirituals and temporals together, to £210,644 9s. 9d., under the taxation of 1291. ... When Edward I in 1294 took a moiety of this, or £105,000, the exaction bore to the sum usually demanded about the same proportion as the tax on wool bore to the usual custom, but the demand was fully paid by the clergy, whilst the wool to a great extent escaped. In 1371 the clergy voted a sum equal to that granted by the laity, £50,000; and in 1380 half as much as the lay grant, 50,000 marks." William Stubbs, The Constitutional History of England in its Origin and Development, 3vols, 6th edn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1903), Vol. II, 580.

A mark is worth 2/3rds of a pound so 50,000 marks is £33,333 6s. 8d.

In this section of his work Stubbs is trying to estimate total royal revenue. This type of work is not done often these days so he's one of the best sources, even if over a hundred years old. So here's some perspectives from the next page to show what these incomes translated to.

"From these data we may conclude that when the king would live of his own, and in time of peace, he had a revenue of about £65,000; that for a national object, or for a popular king, grants would be readily obtained to the amount of £80,000; and that under great pressure and by bringing every source of income at once into account, as much as £120,000 might be raised, in addition to the ordinary revenue."

Basically, during a time of war (what Stubbs calls a 'national object') the king could call forth around £185,000 from all sources of central revenue in England. This wouldn't count continental holdings and doesn't really show what the King was fully capable of mustering during a time of war. During such periods it was expected that the nobles who served him would pay for the upkeep of their own soldiers. Almost no royal revenue other than from the royal demesne and clerical estates was a land tax. Most wealth was derived from extracting income from land, which was put to use by the nobles and in wartime expected to be used to upkeep soldiers of those nobles while on campaign.

The Triunes are an early modern state but fundamentally taxation was the same until the civil war with only a few serious changes in the form of the introduction of a general subsidy during the reign of Henry VIII on land and goods at 20% and 13 & a third % respectively. That was a parliamentary tax and required consent of parliament, and pulled in around £100,000 during Henry's reign but the value of the subsidy was reduced to £80,00 by the end of the 16th century. As a subsidy and not general yearly taxation parliament was relatively unreliable as it needed consent of parliament. Elizabeth's first parliament gave her £160,000 pounds or so by granting her a Henrician-style subsidy as well as two fifteenths and tenths. That, is a lot of money for the Triune parliament to have spent on England but doesn't include the £20,000 that convocations would grant in addition, as they also paid the subsidy, and doesn't include a convocational grant of the king's tenth and the tithe which could triple that value and give some flexible income for Triune kings.

The English fiscal system changed dramatically as a result of the civil war, which has yet to happen but will, so much of this information will be thrown out the window once Cromwell happens.
Thank you for that information; it’s really helpful. England is a money-maker for the Triunes. It’s just that France is so much larger and King’s Harbor is in France so it gets more attention.

But this also works nicely with what I have planned going forward. Puritans can complain about King’s Harbor always appointing pliable Frenchmen as bishops just so the monarchs can ensure the convocation money keeps flowing smoothly.

Here's the updated map!
Man, i really hope prussia is able to avoid being gobbled up by russia. It's one of the most interesting states to pop up in this tl. Or if not they could at least live on through their possession in the carribean lmao
I’m planning for Prussia to stick around. Not all small states will get eaten and I like the idea of a hybrid Russo-German state on the shores of the Baltic ruled by a Komnenid King.

I don't remember where I first read it (probably somewhere on this site) but someone once said "Joan of Arc didn't save the French from the English; she saved the English from the French."

Seems like a lesson the English ITTL are learning all too well.
This is a lesson about being careful about what one wishes for.

I think it's unlikely since we have gotten hints that Russia will unite under a new Megas Rigas/Great King.
The empire, once divided, must unite…

That said, I’m planning for TTL Russia to have a much more developed Siberia (see the Don-Volga canal for example) so it’ll be more Asia-focused than OTL.

That raises a question... could Prussia in the future somehow become its own constituent "kingdom" in a reunited Russia?
Prussia won’t be part of Russia (unless my plans change), but the Russians will be pioneering the ‘Federal Empire’ concept with the pre-existing principalities as the framework.

I wonder if the Cossack state will be incorporated into the newly united russia
It will be. The Cossack Host ITTL has a similar relationship to Russia as the various OTL hosts did to Russia and the PLC.

Well, here's an updated version of the ruler list for the Romans! Man, the Drakids really did not last long.

HOUSE OF LASKARIS (1204-1282)
Theodoros II Laskaris (1254-1282): Theodoros Megas
John IV Laskaris (1282-1316)
Manuel II Laskaris (1316-1324)
Anna I Laskarina (1324-1381)
Andronikos II Laskaris (1373-1376): usurper
Konstantinos XI Laskaris (1381-1401)
Theodoros III Laskaris (1401-1403): killed at Cappadocian Caesarea
John V Laskaris (1403-1410)
Thomas I Laskaris (1410-1414)
SECOND HOUSE OF KOMNENOS (1414-1541)
Demetrios I Komnenos (1414-1439): Demetrios Megas
Manuel III Doukas (1414-1431): Manuel the Protector
Theodoros IV Komnenos (1439-1458): Theodoros the Miser
Andreas I Komnenos (1458-1517): Andreas Niketas
Herakleios II Komnenos (1516-1518): Herakleios the Apostate
Nikephoros IV Komnenos (1518-1528): Nikephoros the Spider, the Bloody Emperor
Alexios VI Komnenos (1528)
Alexeia I Komnena (1528-1537): Alexia the Mad
Ioannes VI Komnenos (1537-1541)
THE LATER TROUBLES (1541-1548)
Isaakios III Angelos (1541)
Stefanos I Doukas (1541-1543)
Alexios VII Papagos (1544)
Manuel IV Klados (1544)
Giorgios I Laskaris (1544-1547)
Andreas II Drakos (1547-1548): Andreas Pistotatos
HOUSE OF DRAKOS (1548-1630)
Helena I Drakina (1548-1625)
Andreas “III” (1570-1571): usurper, never held Constantinople
Demetrios II Drakos (1587-1625)
Helena II Drakina (1619-1630)
Andreas III Drakos (1625-1630)
HOUSE OF SIDEROS (1630-ongoing)
Demetrios III Sideros (1630-ongoing)
Thanks for doing this. When I was starting Helena I’s reign they were originally going to last to the present day. Boy, did that change. (When Timur II took refuge in Rhomania though, I’d decided that the Sideroi would end up on the throne.)

I tired to make one of these like a year ago and just gave up somewhere around Andreas Niketas so I applaud you commitment to it. Really drives home how chaotic the empire was during the TOT
It was a mess. I got the inspiration from the OTL 705-717 period.

Well, I did make one a while ago, then B444 made a legitimate one which is threadmarked. Yeah, the Times of Troubles was a true mess, thirty something years of chaos. Hopefully the Sideroi don't go through something like that.
Not planning on any. Unless something changes, the Night of the Tocsins will be the last real dynastic/succession dispute the Romans face.

All this endless world warfare has missed some opportunities for comical interludes with claimants from such illustrious lines as Alexios Papagos
Given the eldritch abomination that the Roman Imperial dynastic tree has turned into at this point, there is something attractive about burning it all down and bringing in a complete outsider.

It really does drive home how much of a sheer mess the Empire went through from Andreas I's death up to Helena I. I wonder if the treasury even bothered to try and keep up with all the name changes.

Also shows how much weight the Komnenos have on Roman thought and culture that pretty much all of them get a nickname.
Every Emperor had at least some coins in their name issued; it’s pretty much the first thing Roman Emperors do. That said, the single year Emperors in particular don’t have many coins minted in their name. They’d be impressive collector items today, far more so than one from, say, Demetrios III.

To go from the "Dragon" dynasty to the "Iron" dynasty is a pretty cool jump.
The OOC reason for having the Sideroi take the throne was that I found the idea of a Timurid on the throne of Rhomania to be far too juicy.

Very Game of Thrones.
Total coincidence. Really.

Stop looking at me like that.

P-Russia best Russia. Maybe if the kings convert to Orthodoxy. Heck, they may even be the catalyst for a united Rus.
Aren't the kings of Prussia, and the kingdom itself, Orthodox or did I miss them changing to something else?
I’ve been unspecific. The royal family is Orthodox, but the kingdom is a mix of Russian Orthodox and German Catholic.

Well the other thing holding Great Russia from those boundaries ITTL is that they are friendly with Vlachia and Super Georgia, so barring something like a personal union, Russia will not get to the Caucasus or the Carpathians because they are firmly held by long term friends. That said, if we look to the Far East, I don’t see the Russian border with Machuria from OTL being the same sort of natural barrier as say the Tien Shan or the Caucasus. Perhaps this Russia, which has not experienced the depredations of OTL Mongols, and cannot expand into the friendly nations of the South and West (minus maybe Poland and Finland) will have the manpower and energy to spread further into Manchuria. Of course there is also N. America.
A TTL Russia's friendly relationship with Vlachia and Georgia is the same fundamental logic that followed WWII. Plug the holes in your decisive boundaries by ensuring our neighbours won't invade you. Formerly Russia did this by invading its neighbours and making them part of Russia. But after WWII it instead set up surrounding satellite states to make invasion from its access points impossible, impractical, or at the very least more difficult for an opposing power.

Remaining friendly with those two realms is within Russia's interests but it followed a model of international relations fundamentally similar to the post-WWII world order in western Europe with the foundation of the steel and coal commission along with larger developments of the EEC and EU. Integrated economies and friendly political leaders are less likely to war with each other as they become mutually dependent. However before the development of industrial economies and the scale of trade that came with it there is no possible way than two large countries could be so interconnected economically as to prevent war. You only need one ambitious, warmongering, stupid, or opportunistic leader to ruin everything. It won't be popular but without serious economic impact on their own nation any cultural or political blowback can be navigated albiet with some difficulty.

It's best if a unified TTL Russia keeps its friendships with its southern neighbours not to help plug holes in their defensive boundaries but to ensure useful allies to counter threats from that space. The entente cordial is the best example but so too were the partitions of Poland. Rhomania wants to keep buffer states and is fine with that situation so a Russian state that plays ball can be friendly with Rhomania to provide a counterbalance to perceived threats from central Europe, be they Hungarian, Polish, Czech, or German. But this requires a consistent foreign policy that likely won't occur over the centuries due to the unstable nature of human elements in politics. We are just as likely to have a Russian State perceive the Romans as an existential threat (maybe because of religious reasons like an ecumenical patriarch might insult the Russian church, that could be one cool apart for conflict. Or maybe even just due to the rise in economic protectionism wanting Russia to build its own industry, do they pass tariffs and thus the Romans end up upset with them and it spirals out of control from there.) as we are to see a Russian state remain allies with them. I could also see a Russian State compete for influence economically, politically, culturally, and religiously within Georgia and Vlachia in order to bring those dates into the Russian orbit rather than the Roman one. However given how easy it would be to invade those countries, it's a simple 'solution' that will likely end up being tried at some point. As they say, war is politics by other means, and a unified Russian State could bring down a large army with which to threaten those two middle powers should they ever feel like it and the opportunity presents itself such as if the Romans are busy elsewhere.
Yup, never underestimate the ability of the human element to mess things up. The issue that definitely will cause trouble down the road is the economic protectionism you brought up. Russian manufactured goods will inevitably compete with Roman imports. Queue tensions.

Also to point this the other way around, Roman paternalism can often be…trying, so that’s another source of tensions. A united Russia is in a position to be the top dog of Orthodoxy instead of Rhomania, so a perceived subordinate position would very likely be resented.

Are they friendly with the Empire of All the North? That could be an alternative outlet for Russian ambitions. Especially whilst they maintain ties with the Romans. After all, the Russian Periphery overlaps significantly with the Roman one, and as said elsewhere, until someone messes that up, that can exist quite happily. The Empire of All the North however would be a great opponent as the Baltic would enable swathes of ice free ports near a traditional economic heart. It also controls the path to the Atlantic, imagine a Russian Copenhagen, the lynchpin for a Baltic-focused Russia. That would open the doors to the New World, which could well include OTL Canada. Baltic and (2100AD) Arctic Russia is a cool alternative that has defence issues if it can't hold them diplomatically (I think it can tbh) but has solid economic presence globally.

It'd be a push, but that Russia could even have a Russian Africa/Australia scenario without much difficulty.
Very much not friendly with the Empire of All the North. Novgorod, Pronsk, and Prussia just fought a war with it to get some of the losses from the Great Northern War back.
 
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