An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

The obvious place is modern Golcuk near Nicomedeia in TTL.
Yeah. Those two lagoons near Constantinople I showed are way too shallow. The bay in which Nicomedia sits, however, is comfortably deep. I think the Imperial Arsenal should indeed be near Nicomedia.

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Nicomedia is right next to 'Alikahya Fatih'.
 
There has been consistent slavic population movents to anatolia since it was first depopulated during the persian wars. I wonder how it has impacted the traditions and culture of the region
 
Also if memory serves at the time Venice went down to Napoleon the arsenal had a dozen ships of the line under construction. If we assume Constantinople is similar this means a capacity to simultaneously build 2 dozen liners at any time just in the two arsenals.
You are right. When I was doing research for my own timeline I discovered that the French took at least a half-dozen and probably more ships-of-the-line when they took Venice in 1797 and added them to their own navy. (Link here if people are interested in the specific ships of the main 18th Century Venetian class). Venice economically was on a bit of a upswing in the late 18th Century before Napoleon came knocking and the Arsenal was productive enough that Napoleon and the French not only captured or sank all the ships in the Arsenal but burned the complex itself before handing the city over to the Austrians.

Wikipedia tells us this which jives with what we've both read.

The end of the Venetian navy coincided with the end of the entire state in 1797, with the arrival of Napoleon's troops. At the Fall of the Republic of Venice, the French First Republic set the Venetian Arsenal on fire and captured or sank all 184 ships present. They also abolished every distinction between the merchant navy and the warships and fired all the 2000 employees of the Arsenal, to avoid the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria from seizing the fleet.
So long story short, as long as there's timber and other naval supplies (gotten both OTL and ITTL from the Dalmatian coast for the most part) there's no reason Rhomania can't use Venice to help produce ships. They were making and using third-rate ships of the line as shown above when they were a lower-tier power. No reason why they can't make more and better ships when they are a Rhoman colony.
 
So... I guess we all agree that the new Arsenal would best be somewhere on the Marmaran coast of the Mesothynian (modern Kocaeli) peninsula?
As for wood, the Russian sources will do quite well, while Dalmatia supplies Venice.
In fact, I could see there being three main Imperial shipyards with specific zones of operation: Venice deals with big ships for Mediterranean flotillas, Trebizond for the smaller Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean defensive flotillas with smaller ships, and Constantinople/Nicomedia does as the situation demands.
 
Why can't the Arsenal go there, then?
For the purpose of constructing ships, particularly in the early modern period when mechanical shiplifts/lift docks haven't been invented, riverbanks and slipways work well together when the depth isn't too deep, like the Golden Horn's 35m/115ft. However, if your main intention is just to dock ships (trade, maintenance etc), I concede that the Bosphorus (with a depth of 110m/360ft) will do. If the location isn't limited to Constantinople, there are definitely many better areas.
 
So... I guess we all agree that the new Arsenal would best be somewhere on the Marmaran coast of the Mesothynian (modern Kocaeli) peninsula?
As for wood, the Russian sources will do quite well, while Dalmatia supplies Venice.
In fact, I could see there being three main Imperial shipyards with specific zones of operation: Venice deals with big ships for Mediterranean flotillas, Trebizond for the smaller Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean defensive flotillas with smaller ships, and Constantinople/Nicomedia does as the situation demands.
I mean, there is the rest of the Sea of Marmara potentially, but more importantly, you left out a potential fourth.

RITE's Teak Fleet :p
 
It would be interesting to see how the situation in Vlachia will affect Serbia. Both countries are in somewhat similar situations, both suffering from war, not so developed economy and so on.
 
Yikes, Vlachia just went full second serfdom.
So the Vlachs introduced serfdom into their country.
I'm not surprised at all that the Vlachs did that. Low land productivity & low population & immigration opportunities next door are all strong incentives to keep workers tied down to the land, and Vlachia's got all three.

The Imperial government likely has an entire administrative arm limiting plot sizes for rural landowners to prevent countryside revolts.
Yeah, once I started exploring the Roman-Vlach relation as presented and the implications on the ground, this was pretty much inevitable.

Fascinating update touching on corruption and economics. However, in chaos arises opportunity. Maybe Rhomaion can enact more reforms so they won't need to scramble to come up with stopgap measures for each scandal. Also, once the East and Italy is settled, one can hope for a new Imperial Arsenal so Rhomaion can reassert dominance over Mare Nostrum. Is the next update(s) going to focus on the next 2 financial scandals or are the Ethiopian and Vlach affairs considered the eponymous scandals?

Sounds like Vlachia is ready for some revolution ala Zimmermann and Asanes.
The next updates are going to be focusing on the next two scandals. The OOC reason for why the next does not is because the book that inspired much of it, and provided necessary information, was due back at the library and I needed to write it while I still had it.

Vlachia could definitely use a revolution and I’d consider it justified. Unfortunately it’d be put down by a couple of the European tagmata for threatening Constantinople’s food supply.

So Constantinople is effectively watching their neighbor and ally head down the road to being the 17th century equivalent of a third world country and pick a fight with their larger less reliable neighbor. If it continues and the Hungarians pick a fight during the reign of an aggressive emperor, we could see him decide ruling the Vlachs is easier than having to constantly subsidize and save them.
The Hungarian-Vlach relationship is definitely the weak point for Demetrios III’s post-war settlement and going to be the source of many headaches down the road. It’s like having Austria-Hungary and Italy in the same alliance.

That sounds like the kinda cold and aggressive logic our favorite heir might be in favor of. It would completely undermine the Alliance though if the two bigger members ate a smaller member. Nothing said that alliance is rock solid though.

That said there’s a need for Rome to find a new source of people to repopulate areas with and Artisans to steal. Some capital would also be nice. And while we’ve suggested Lotharingia in exile locations before Constantinople might suck up a lot of their dissidents with the offer of free land, better paying jobs, and saftey from Triune raids. That’s only a temporary fix though. Eventually the population will likely grow used to triune rule. Long term though repopulation efforts might be what the Romans end up paying Ethiopian slavers for. Free them and give them a year of free Greek lessons. Not free like the Vlachs but it keeps Ethiopia happy.
Purchasing slaves from Ethiopia is one option, although given shipping constraints I doubt by itself it could do too much. Ten thousand slaves a year seems like a lot, but after a decade that’s still only 100,000, compared to the 16.7 million in the Imperial heartland. I think Rhomania’s going to have more of their own.

Nobles in the countryside: Nobles could go off to country estates, and perhaps even buy one in Vlachia. But much of social prestige in Rhomania is tied to rank and titles. A landowner might be the big fish on his Vlach estate, but he’d be a nobody when he went to Constantinople. Meanwhile his annoying cousin just made Kephale of Corfu and so is a somebody by Roman high society. Plus there’s the perceived cultural backwardness. The cities of Rhomania are where the action and the quality is, in their view.

Because if there's one thing Henri II needs is yet another thing going his way. Although in this case it is more his enemy is a moron rather than anything he did on his own merits. But still, it all counts in the end.
Unfortunately for Henry and the Triunes he is very much like Andreas I where he is building up the Triunes to a point that they can't maintain long term without an excellent ruler. The second they don't they will find out if they have the resilience of Rhomania.
I’m actively looking forward to the Triunes exploding. Because once it does I doubt anyone can put it back together. Everything has seemingly gone there way, where even when they lose, they win. And I know you can say that about Rhomania to a certain extent as well. But with the Triunes it’s like the norm to pull gold out of their butt, not the miracle in desperate moment like Rhomania. I’m looking forward to the equal amount of bad luck they’re due
I hope that the explosion will be glorious where they suffer immensely and won't be able to recover for a very long time. Even if they recover I still hope it will be near impossible to bring back their old glory days.
I picture Henri II like TTL’s version of Bismarck. He may not shadow-puppet everything to turn out the way he wants, but he’s brilliant at recognizing opportunities, seizing them, and exploiting them for all they’re worth. I will say though at some point he will be saying something like “God has granted me everything, save a successor capable of following me”.

I will say though that I’m liking how infuriatingly arrogant and disgustingly lucky (because of said arrogance) people find the Triunes, since they’re based on the OTL British Empire and a lot of Triune attitudes and actions are copies or adaptations from OTL.

One of the biggest plot points in Roman TLs is the 'Crisis-after-Crisis' I feel. While justified in this TL many others just leave you exhausted after a point.
To an extent Rhomania isn't really having that many more crisis than many countries did, look at Russian or Chinese history to see how things can go wrong, they are just in a position that can be very unforgiving to one. That being said this is likely the last major civil war/succession crisis they will be facing in a long time so most threats will be external.
I think the history of every country is filled with crisis after crisis, it’s just that the type and severity can vary. Some crises that are viewed as big when they’re happening, but don’t end up making it into the history books because it turns out they weren’t significant long-term. Every generation of Christians since St Paul has thought they’re living in the end times, because just look at all the crises surrounding them.

That said, the 1630s and early 1640s are definitely very busy years for Rhomania, and afterwards I plan for things to get quieter and more relaxed for them.

There has been consistent slavic population movents to anatolia since it was first depopulated during the persian wars. I wonder how it has impacted the traditions and culture of the region
It seems that the Slavs in Anatolia got absorbed into the preexisting populations, much as most of the Slavs that settled in Greece ended up getting Hellenized after the Byzantine re-conquest. But there were some holdouts; the Slavs of Mount Taygetos remained as a distinctly Slavic group until after the Ottoman conquest IOTL.

It would be interesting to see how the situation in Vlachia will affect Serbia. Both countries are in somewhat similar situations, both suffering from war, not so developed economy and so on.
Serbia’s in a bit better position than Vlachia. It doesn’t have as strong of trade links with Rhomania and isn’t considered a ‘larder of Constantinople’, so the White Palace isn’t as concerned with ensuring Serbian trade flows cheaply. There isn’t the set of ‘mega-landowners who want big agricultural holdings worked by staked-down laborers to feed Roman markets in bulk foodstuffs’. Serbia could go down the Vlach road if it ends up in the same kind of relationship as Vlachia did. Socially, Serbia will be better off if its trade links with Rhomania remain limited.

Roman Arsenal: Moving the arsenal to the mouth of the Golden Horn would be a bad idea. Because then one of two things happen. One, the remainder of the Golden Horn remains open to commercial traffic, a substantial amount of it foreign. That means foreign ships are constantly sailing back and forth in front of the Arsenal, which presents serious security issues. Two, to avoid that issue, the rest of the Golden Horn is closed to commercial traffic. This massively weakens Constantinople as a trade port and also makes provisioning it much more difficult.

Based on the discussion it seems the best place to move it would be somewhere near Nikomedia. The logistics to support the city can be up-scaled to support the shipyard rather than creating something out of whole cloth and if an enemy army can reach that area anyway, the Empire has bigger problems.
 
I will say though that I’m liking how infuriatingly arrogant and disgustingly lucky (because of said arrogance) people find the Triunes, since they’re based on the OTL British Empire and a lot of Triune attitudes and actions are copies or adaptations from OTL.
My favorite instance of Triune arrogance (and I'm sure it was inspired by OTL British/English arrogance) is this gem from the middle of the 16th Century when one of the Triune Emperors gave himself a new title:

He also takes the title ‘Sovereign of the Seas’, which is far more contentious. Kaiser Wilhelm in a fit of pique refers to Henry as the ‘Squid King, limp and stupid.’ Henry also demands that all vessels plying the Channel salute the Triune flag on any ships they pass as well as pay a Channel toll. King Albrecht (note the Dutch name) of Lotharingia orders the Calais garrison to fire on any Triune warships enforcing the toll, while in La Coruna an irate mob trashes the Triune quarter.

Rhomania on the other hand accepts the declaration, ordering its merchants to follow the directive. Henry’s pleasure at this quickly ends when in October the Roman ambassador presents him with a bill equivalent to two thirds the annual revenue of the Triple Monarchy for damages caused to Roman ships by storms and pirates. The grounds are that as ‘Sovereign of the Seas’ he is responsible for damages accrued on the water. Naturally he refuses, and at the same time rebuffs attempts from Rhomania to get outstanding debts repaid.
 
I wonder if the French Hitler of this tl will appear in south africa and create a sort of Draka analog. No way they'll take over the world or even all of Africa but i could see them absorb a good portion of southern Africa and be the racist democracy we've been hearing all this foreshadowing about
 
Daft question. As we've seen an element of the impact being a Roman satellite has, I wonder if there would be any benefits to Vlachia as a Despotate, or some other special status, on one hand it ensures in any Vlach-Hungarian conflicts the Romans are bound to take sides since it's a Despotate and not simply an ally, warding off any Hungarian mischief, but whether the would behoove the Romans to spend some of their revenues on Vlachia itself.

Ignoring the Despotate angle, I wonder if the Romans have seen fit to enhance their trade with Poland? It was historically an agricultural behemoth IOTL, it might serve Vlachia to play middle man, borrow money from the Romans to improve trade infrastructure and security, and start shipping Polish grain to the Romans, with one of their own cities the place to move to in order to make it rich off of the trade. How does a Dniester-Dniester-Vistula trade corridor compare to the long trip?
 
Daft question. As we've seen an element of the impact being a Roman satellite has, I wonder if there would be any benefits to Vlachia as a Despotate, or some other special status, on one hand it ensures in any Vlach-Hungarian conflicts the Romans are bound to take sides since it's a Despotate and not simply an ally, warding off any Hungarian mischief, but whether the would behoove the Romans to spend some of their revenues on Vlachia itself.
They have no reason to do that. Being Orthodox and closer to the Imperial heartland, the Vlachs will get preferential treatment anyway. There's no reason for them to give up independence and dignity like that. Also spending money on developing the Despotate of Vlachia will open Pandora's Box as far as the White Palace is concerned, since all the other Despotates will start demanding the same.
 
Ignoring the Despotate angle, I wonder if the Romans have seen fit to enhance their trade with Poland? It was historically an agricultural behemoth IOTL, it might serve Vlachia to play middle man, borrow money from the Romans to improve trade infrastructure and security, and start shipping Polish grain to the Romans, with one of their own cities the place to move to in order to make it rich off of the trade. How does a Dniester-Dniester-Vistula trade corridor compare to the long trip?
I don't think so. For one, Skythian and Egyptian grain are easier (therefore cheaper) to get to Roman cities, so those would outcompete Polish grain anyways.
Secondly, as I understand it, much of Poland's grain-producing area OTL is in TTL Lithuania/Skythia or has just been turned over to Vlachia.
Thirdly, Germany and Scandinavia would be the natural markets for Polish grain, so Polish merchants have little incentive to lug grain across eastern Europe to sell at less profit than their competitors.
 

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I don't think so. For one, Skythian and Egyptian grain are easier (therefore cheaper) to get to Roman cities, so those would outcompete Polish grain anyways.
Secondly, as I understand it, much of Poland's grain-producing area OTL is in TTL Lithuania/Skythia or has just been turned over to Vlachia.
Thirdly, Germany and Scandinavia would be the natural markets for Polish grain, so Polish merchants have little incentive to lug grain across eastern Europe to sell at less profit than their competitors.
Yes, the Vistula is the heart of the Polish realm and by flowing north means their mercantile focus will largely be towards the Baltic and the North Sea with The Empire of All North, the HRE, and Lothringia. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if Poland and the EAN don't end up having a rather tight alliance in the long run as they don't have many competing interests and a lot of the same enemies.
 
My favorite instance of Triune arrogance (and I'm sure it was inspired by OTL British/English arrogance) is this gem from the middle of the 16th Century when one of the Triune Emperors gave himself a new title:
Oh I had forgotten that little gem of arrogance. Although this makes me wonder something. I doubt the Romans have forgotten that insult, we currently have Greek Maritime Napoleon, and we’re approaching what is the OTL Golden age of Piracy. Within the next 20 years the Triunes are going to have some sort or coalition launched against them when Henry dies. While we know we are at the high water mark for Roman interaction in Latin affairs there’s nothing preventing the unofficially approved Roman Pirate Raid to end all Pirate Raids from hitting the Triunes during that war. Imagine what havoc you could cause in Kings Landing with the proper preparation. Trojan horse your way in as merchant craft filmed to the brim with Marines. You could never keep the city but you could sail out with as many ships as you could man filled with riches beyond imagining. If someone could do that they’d be the true “Sovereign of the Seas”
 
Vlachia could definitely use a revolution and I’d consider it justified. Unfortunately it’d be put down by a couple of the European tagmata for threatening Constantinople’s food supply.
Hungarian-Vlach relationship
These among other factors could spell their gradual demise. An astute Emperor may capitalise on the situation to demand economic/political/military concessions in return for restoring order. Conversely, if Vlachia collapses while Rhomaion has its hands full with something else, we may see dare I say this timeline's version of the Polish Partitions.

I will say though that I’m liking how infuriatingly arrogant and disgustingly lucky (because of said arrogance) people find the Triunes, since they’re based on the OTL British Empire and a lot of Triune attitudes and actions are copies or adaptations from OTL.
The higher one climbs, the harder one falls ;)
 
These among other factors could spell their gradual demise. An astute Emperor may capitalise on the situation to demand economic/political/military concessions in return for restoring order. Conversely, if Vlachia collapses while Rhomaion has its hands full with something else, we may see dare I say this timeline's version of the Polish Partitions.


The higher one climbs, the harder one falls ;)
Vlachia being partioned? No sane Roman emperor would allow that, they'll fight tooth and nail to keep one of their most trusted neighbour alive and well. Its right across the border, they'll be daming their selves if they allow it to happen unmitigated.
 
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