An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

Just to interpret that, I assume this is "Roman Lation and Emilia, Sicilian Umbria, Arletian/League Lombardy, Free Genoa and Free Tuscany" correct? It's an interesting idea
Almost. Lombardy isn't part of Arles or the League, but is an Accord member. (I didn't draw those borders - I was hit by a sudden bout of laziness.) Lation and Emilia would be Roman/Sicilian dependencies: Sicily mighn't take well to these places being absorbed in Rhomania proper.
 
Almost. Lombardy isn't part of Arles or the League, but is an Accord member. (I didn't draw those borders - I was hit by a sudden bout of laziness.) Lation and Emilia would be Roman/Sicilian dependencies: Sicily mighn't take well to these places being absorbed in Rhomania proper.
Interesting, I can see Lation being Rhomania proper, simply because its... Rome, but Emilia I think would probably be very closely tied to the authorities in Venice, not directly, but I can see them being very bound by common interests. I like it. Hopefully the rest of Europe likes it
 
I'm curious actually, off the back of this fiasco - would the Romans commit to a reform to prevent an accidental "Eastern Only" office happen again? It would be interesting to see if this led to a reform of the foreign office to make sure there were always regional departments that HAD to have specialties and competencies in their areas. I.e. A Western Department with a variety of sub-offices like an Arles Office, League Office, etc - and the equivalent for the Middle East, and via the Exarchate in the East (If that continues to be a thing...? I don't recall a new one being appointed but I've not gone back to check) for East Asia. I have no idea where Vijayanagar would fit under that (woo, spelt it right first time!) but I think the Italian affair and the need for a serious long-term policy for interacting with Latin Europe would warrant it, if only so it doesn't happen again.
 
I'm curious actually, off the back of this fiasco - would the Romans commit to a reform to prevent an accidental "Eastern Only" office happen again? It would be interesting to see if this led to a reform of the foreign office to make sure there were always regional departments that HAD to have specialties and competencies in their areas. I.e. A Western Department with a variety of sub-offices like an Arles Office, League Office, etc - and the equivalent for the Middle East, and via the Exarchate in the East (If that continues to be a thing...? I don't recall a new one being appointed but I've not gone back to check) for East Asia. I have no idea where Vijayanagar would fit under that (woo, spelt it right first time!) but I think the Italian affair and the need for a serious long-term policy for interacting with Latin Europe would warrant it, if only so it doesn't happen again.
It seems inevitable that they will undergo reforms to tighten up the diplomatic bureaucracy and actually take the Latins as a serious threat towards their interests. There were Romans that were significantly more knowledgeable in Latin affairs in the Foreign Office but much of the higher ups were more experienced with Eastern matters, which is why Rhomania was very incompetent in dealing with the Italian Crisis. I suppose that any senior ambassador or envoy position within the Foreign Office to the West will be staffed by these Romans who have had experience with states like Arles, Spain, or the Triunes or perhaps even by Sicilians themselves, since they're more closely tied to the Latin sphere and are willing to work with the Spanish or the Arletians. I also agree that the diplomatic department could be drastically more structured than it is right now, with branches for the Latin West, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, and East Asia respectively.
 
I’ve been unplugged for a couple days so I just caught up with everything. I’m just going to start by saying that I think the update is fantastic and that the changes you’ve made are all positive. Everything makes logical sense now and my biggest issue being the involvement of the Germans has been removed completely. So thank you for clarifying and listening to the criticism that has been given, even when the tone of said criticism wasn’t the greatest. You’re a fantastic storyteller and I always look forward to your updates.

That said I’m going to make a comment here. It’s not a criticism and please don’t take it as such. And I would appreciate it if no one piggybacked of this comment to criticize B444. But out of timeline Rome as been as war, major full fledged war and small side show wars like in the East with the Spanish, for most of the last 4 and halfish years. I think people making hyperbolic to jingoistic suggestions after that long a period of reading a country in a seemingly perpetual war is at least understandable if not desirable. Especially about the country they’re favorite country is at war with. You’re saying you don’t want to discourage people from commenting and theorizing but I myself feel like I shouldn’t anymore for fear of my favorite “character” being punished, as I know I’m more on the aggressive side when it comes to foreign policy for the Romans. I don’t view myself as jingoistic but at this point I feel like my comments might now be viewed as that when in my mind, having discussions about the border in wars currently happening or that we know will happen soon in the timeline is natural. Anyway before I ramble any farther, maybe consider what I said about how long Rome has been at war and how that effects the view us commenters have when commenting before you punish Rome with whatever you plan on having the final borders be in Italy/Elsewhere. If you were trying to teach the more aggressive posters a lesson I think you have.
 
I'm curious actually, off the back of this fiasco - would the Romans commit to a reform to prevent an accidental "Eastern Only" office happen again? It would be interesting to see if this led to a reform of the foreign office to make sure there were always regional departments that HAD to have specialties and competencies in their areas. I.e. A Western Department with a variety of sub-offices like an Arles Office, League Office, etc - and the equivalent for the Middle East, and via the Exarchate in the East (If that continues to be a thing...? I don't recall a new one being appointed but I've not gone back to check) for East Asia. I have no idea where Vijayanagar would fit under that (woo, spelt it right first time!) but I think the Italian affair and the need for a serious long-term policy for interacting with Latin Europe would warrant it, if only so it doesn't happen again.
I suspect that there'll be a new bicephalous position right beneath the level of Foreign Minister, so that there's always at least one high ranking member of the foreign ministry with their focus on Latin Europe.
 

Arrix85

Donor
Loved the update. It was very good to see the Sicilians become more assertive, with their agenda made clear. I eagerly await to see how the dust settles...
 
The update was great going back to the Latins for their aspect on the Italian settlement. It only makes sense for the accord to bring in the neighboring dragon in order to end said Rhomano-Italian escapade. Perhaps this will bring Ody down on the Logothete (& the Office of Barbarians consequently for failing to notify the Imperial Family about such a threat) finally... After all, it only makes sense for a western coalition to occur at some point, so why not at a point when Rhomania is at its arguably weakest (yet strongest also??). **Weakest as in terms of recent financial struggles & strongest in terms of military might that could be thrown around.** Overall, another well written update @Basileus444, cannot wait for the next one.
 
Like I said earlier, I won’t be doing a regular response post(s) this cycle because I need the time those would take to write the actual next update in the writing series, which I’m sure people would prefer I prioritize. That said, there do seem to be some topics I think should be addressed. (Please note I am not quoting anyone because again I don’t want ANYONE to feel that they’re being singled out.)

Like I said earlier, I don’t want to cut down on commenting/theorizing. After all, if I never got responses to my updates, this TL would’ve died out a long time ago. My intention also wasn’t to punish people. My intention was to show the dangers of an overly aggressive mindset (execution faulty, but that was the intention) and how that can be dangerous for Rhomania. Be the Ogre; get the coalitions. If you want to theorize aggressively, do so. But be aware of the consequences that can arise from that and plan accordingly.

Furthermore, this was also a warning not to get too carried away with magnifying Rhomania’s strength. Rhomania has just celebrated a triumph in the form of crushing Theodor’s invasion. But remember the ancient Roman custom of a triumph. As the victorious general, garbed as the King of the gods, rode in his chariot through the streets of Rome, surrounded by the cheering crowds, his conquering army, and the spoils of war, a servant constantly whispered in his ear the refrain ‘Remember, you are only a man.’

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There were some remarks about Roman glory (or lack thereof). When Demetrios III dies, there’s going to be a retrospective of his reign and why he is the Forgotten Emperor. A large part of that is going to be because while his reign was significant and eventful, it was very much not fun for the Romans. The 1630s were an important decade, but one the Romans endured.

In contrast the reign of Odysseus the Magnificent will be the poster child of ‘glorious’, the brilliant sunrise to follow the grim night. Odysseus will effectively blot out his father in historical memory. It’s Alexander and Philip, to an even greater extent. That was part of my plan, going to even the earliest years of Demetrios III’s reign.

But speaking of glorious, there is another comment I feel needs to be made. I’m not picking on anyone here, nor do I think this thread is particularly bad in this area. I think it’s a societal issue (at least where I live, so your mileage may vary) and here is where I have a voice, and by having a voice, a responsibility.

The stories we tell are an important part of our culture, and as a storyteller I feel that I have a responsibility to use my stories responsibly. So we talk about glory, in this case in a martial aspect. There is that component. Speaking for myself, I enjoy reading lots of military history about wars and battles, I enjoy playing games around that, and I sure love my explosions in the films I watch. Certainly there’s been a lot of military stuff in this very TL. I’m probably being hypocritical but that is how I am.

But, and I’m speaking to myself just as much as everyone else here, we need to remember that there is another side of war, one far greater in scope, and that is the tragic side of war. There will be the glory aspect, but I dare not lose sight of the fact that war is a tragedy. That Rhomania gained a border territory and a general celebrated a triumph would be considered by most to be glorious, but that does nothing for the mother weeping for a son whose body was eaten by ravens on some foreign field or a traumatized veteran trying to return to his peacetime life.

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This isn’t one of those themes, but a comment was made which I think should be repeated, regarding genocide and/or ethnic cleansing. I’m not going to ban discussion on that, which would be hypocritical because I’ve had it and I’m going to have it in the TL. It’s ugly, but it’s a part of history. But let all of us make sure we treat these topics with respect and sensitivity, especially since there are a lot of easily-drawn OTL parallels.

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Finally, the next part of Not the End: The Empire Under the Laskarids, Chapter 5 part 3 has been posted for Megas Kyr patrons on Patreon.

This was absolutely not planned to sync up but in it Nicaea faces a western coalition as the Greek and Latin states of Hellas combine in an effort to take down the growing power of Nicaea.

Thank you again for your support.
 
Odysseus the Magnificent has a really nice ring to it. Odysseus the Wrathful would be a more badass name but there would really be nobody outside of the Ottoman empire who would remember him in such a way
 
Like I said earlier, I won’t be doing a regular response post(s) this cycle because I need the time those would take to write the actual next update in the writing series, which I’m sure people would prefer I prioritize.
I dunno about people, but personally, I would like you skip the current update cycle, if only to know your opinion in your response posts (and some time to rest, we aren't that harsh taskmasters hehehe).

But speaking of glorious, there is another comment I feel needs to be made. I’m not picking on anyone here, nor do I think this thread is particularly bad in this area. I think it’s a societal issue (at least where I live, so your mileage may vary) and here is where I have a voice, and by having a voice, a responsibility.

The stories we tell are an important part of our culture, and as a storyteller I feel that I have a responsibility to use my stories responsibly. So we talk about glory, in this case in a martial aspect. There is that component. Speaking for myself, I enjoy reading lots of military history about wars and battles, I enjoy playing games around that, and I sure love my explosions in the films I watch. Certainly there’s been a lot of military stuff in this very TL. I’m probably being hypocritical but that is how I am.

But, and I’m speaking to myself just as much as everyone else here, we need to remember that there is another side of war, one far greater in scope, and that is the tragic side of war. There will be the glory aspect, but I dare not lose sight of the fact that war is a tragedy. That Rhomania gained a border territory and a general celebrated a triumph would be considered by most to be glorious, but that does nothing for the mother weeping for a son whose body was eaten by ravens on some foreign field or a traumatized veteran trying to return to his peacetime life.
You know what, I agree with this. I agree quite much with this. So...

Slice-of-life of random soldier update wen?

I had especially liked two updates you had made a long time ago: one about a Roman troop arriving in a village in Armenia burned down by Turkmen raids, and another about the boy-Emperor Andreas witnessing the carnage of the Apulian revolt. Those were particularly effective in driving home the darker side of war, the mound of skeletons behind the gilded triumph.

We do know intellectually that war is sick and cruel. But we need to be shown that cruelty to our faces from time to time to truly grasp it on an emotional level.

This isn’t one of those themes, but a comment was made which I think should be repeated, regarding genocide and/or ethnic cleansing. I’m not going to ban discussion on that, which would be hypocritical because I’ve had it and I’m going to have it in the TL. It’s ugly, but it’s a part of history. But let all of us make sure we treat these topics with respect and sensitivity, especially since there are a lot of easily-drawn OTL parallels.
Right, drawing OTL quarrels in here really won't end well for anyone.
Also, I'm still curious as to how exactly the Romans will carry this deed out. I don't think many people have the stomach to stand there and just... kill, even if they hate the people they're killing.
Meh, I guess we'll find out soon enough.
 
There were some remarks about Roman glory (or lack thereof). When Demetrios III dies, there’s going to be a retrospective of his reign and why he is the Forgotten Emperor. A large part of that is going to be because while his reign was significant and eventful, it was very much not fun for the Romans. The 1630s were an important decade, but one the Romans endured.

In contrast the reign of Odysseus the Magnificent will be the poster child of ‘glorious’, the brilliant sunrise to follow the grim night. Odysseus will effectively blot out his father in historical memory. It’s Alexander and Philip, to an even greater extent. That was part of my plan, going to even the earliest years of Demetrios III’s reign.
Demetrios III the Forgotten does have a nice ring to it, though, as does Odysseus the Magnificent. It'll be interesting to see how Odysseus and Athena will reverse the fortunes of the Roman Empire, so I can't wait until we get to see how they'll perform once Ody takes up the purple.
There will be the glory aspect, but I dare not lose sight of the fact that war is a tragedy. That Rhomania gained a border territory and a general celebrated a triumph would be considered by most to be glorious, but that does nothing for the mother weeping for a son whose body was eaten by ravens on some foreign field or a traumatized veteran trying to return to his peacetime life.
I always commend this timeline for doing the nitty gritty of war at such an amazing level, as well as the emotional reactions of the different characters or the normal soldiers on the frontlines. For us living in a time of relative peace compared to those that had to deal with the horrors of war, we often take that for granted and sometimes romanticize conflict in a disturbing manner. It's good to be reminded of the terrible experiences that people had to go through during such chaotic times, so we can appreciate peace a lot more.

(Actually, this response post does remind me a lot of Gundam's anti-war message, especially with Gundam 0080's final moments....)
Also, I'm still curious as to how exactly the Romans will carry this deed out. I don't think many people have the stomach to stand there and just... kill, even if they hate the people they're killing.
The Romans have crossed over the moral event horizon many times before, and it's fair to say that they certainly have the capacity to do it again on a much larger scale. I think the darkest part about Rhomania right now is how deeply embedded hatred of other people is within their society, which is kinda abnormal even for the Early Modern Period. You can arguably say that it is justified given the Latins near-equivalent hatred for the Romans but it still doesn't justify their behavior in the slightest. IIRC, I'm pretty sure that even the peasants treat Latins as less than human and a Roman scientist offered to literally wipe out Arabs with primitive poison gas Holocaust-style before D3 rightfully shut that Pandora's Box and put it into the void. I hope that the 1630s is arguably the Romans' lowest point in terms of how they actually treat other people because it's gonna be terrifying at what they could do at an industrial level.
 
The Romans have crossed over the moral event horizon many times before, and it's fair to say that they certainly have the capacity to do it again on a much larger scale. I think the darkest part about Rhomania right now is how deeply embedded hatred of other people is within their society, which is kinda abnormal even for the Early Modern Period. You can arguably say that it is justified given the Latins near-equivalent hatred for the Romans but it still doesn't justify their behavior in the slightest. IIRC, I'm pretty sure that even the peasants treat Latins as less than human and a Roman scientist offered to literally wipe out Arabs with primitive poison gas Holocaust-style before D3 rightfully shut that Pandora's Box and put it into the void. I hope that the 1630s is arguably the Romans' lowest point in terms of how they actually treat other people because it's gonna be terrifying at what they could do at an industrial level.
That's the thing: I don't think that there are many Romans willing or able to just kill.

Killing after sacking a city is kinda understandable to them: the soldiers are quite angry at being denied their prize for so long, so they go on a mad rampage.

But to keep that up, across the whole of Northern Mesopotamia?
The only people who could sustain that length of killing, whether hot-blooded or cold, are the kinds of people who need to be rushed to mental institutions immediately these days.

In conclusion, I simply don't think it feasible that most soldiers will actually follow through with this, or that anyone would have the stomach to order the general massacre of a whole region and follow through with that.

That scientist you mentioned? That is a rarity, both then and now. It's just unfeasible to commit to wholesale massacre at such a scale, at least before trains become a thing.
 
It's just unfeasible to commit to wholesale massacre at such a scale, at least before trains become a thing.
Sadly that is not true. The Armenian Genocide didn't happen because of trains and the same is true also of the Pontic Greeks Genogide (there were no railways in Pontus at that time.)
And of course, the actions of Timur could probably be described as genocidal .
By Ottoman Government - &lt;a rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; class=&quot;external free&quot; href=&quot;http://www.midafternoonmap.com/2013/02/trains-and-telegrams.html&quot;&gt;http://www.midafternoonmap.com/2013/02/trains-and-telegrams.html&lt;/a&gt;Ataturk Kitapligi: Htr_Gec_00063, Public Domain, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59344276">Link</a>
 
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Sadly that is not true. The Armenian Genocide didn't happen because of trains and the same is true also of the Pontic Greeks Genogide (there were no railways in Pontus at that time.)
Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't most Greeks in the Ottoman Empire by population live in cities and large towns? It would be easier to round them up and... take care, so to speak, of them when most of them live in the most developed regions of the Empire and are often the most visibly prosperous people living there?

On the Armenians, the Ottoman resorted to forced death marches precisely because there were no trains to allow the Ottomans to, euhm, get rid, so to speak, of them faster.

And the Ottomans had to set aside quite a lot of money for this, money that Rhomania in the 17th century, having concluded one of the most wide-reaching and expensive wars in its history while simultaneously reeling from the effects of three financial crises, does not have.

When I said 'railroads', I did not mean just getting these unfortunate people to their deaths, but also, for example, in supplying guns and ammunition, and also the general state of technology and economies during the early 20th century, which were, I suppose, more advanced than the TTL 17th century.

Also, I hope you aren't implying that I think the Ottomans did this abominable crime just because they had trains.

And of course, the actions of Timur could probably be described as genocidal .
OTL Timur had one advantage in this: the Assyrians were concentrated in one small geographical region, and where they weren't, they were a small minority.
Unless you speak of some other ethnic massacre by Timur, in which case I wouldn't know.

TTL Romans have to deal with, so to speak, a population that is a significant majority in most of a region stretching from the Syrian Desert to the foothills of the Zagros.
With all the disadvantages I've talked about before.
That's a fair bit more difficult, no?
 
I simply don't think it feasible that most soldiers will actually follow through with this, or that anyone would have the stomach to order the general massacre of a whole region and follow through with that.

That scientist you mentioned? That is a rarity, both then and now. It's just unfeasible to commit to wholesale massacre at such a scale, at least before trains become a thing.
That is true, that the Romans at this point aren't capable of doing systematic genocide, because the Romans lack the means neither the will to do so, but I still believe that the Romans are flying way too close to that state of mind as a people, and they're getting closer to developing the methods to do it as technology advances. The warhawk faction and their ideology is real and given enough time, perhaps that kind of mind virus from those warhawks will make their way to the people in the far future, where they get to use that kind of technology for real. Hopefully that never happens, but the possibility is always a dark spectre for a future Rhomania.

Perhaps Odysseus' reversal of fortunes for the Romans could make things a bit better, but I seriously doubt it, given that despite the humility of the Triumph, it's still a glorious festival of conquest of the other, and I definitely think we're going to see a lot of Triumphs happen for him.
 
I think most of the unfortunate civilian deaths in the upcoming war of the wrath will be a side affect of the mass looting Rhomania will do in mesopotamia I imagine it being like the black day for cities like Bagdad but Ody will most likely spare cities that open the gates for the Romans or at least I sincerely hope he will
 
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