An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

The entirety of the new world is such a wild card. So much can happen. Ethnically it's even more diverse than otl I'd say, especially in the case of political diversity.

I do think that the likelihood of any of the large colonies staying United is not certain.
Liberty in North America which led to such a unifying power for countries might be a lot different. And we might even see colonies fragment even more than otl.

Personally I would like to see a more fragmented north America, effectively turning into a copy of Europe, imagine at least 10 different countries, and some sort of North American great war occuring.
 
The entirety of the new world is such a wild card. So much can happen. Ethnically it's even more diverse than otl I'd say, especially in the case of political diversity.

I do think that the likelihood of any of the large colonies staying United is not certain.
Liberty in North America which led to such a unifying power for countries might be a lot different. And we might even see colonies fragment even more than otl.

Personally I would like to see a more fragmented north America, effectively turning into a copy of Europe, imagine at least 10 different countries, and some sort of North American great war occuring.
agreed, if the union fell apart who would get which colonies???
 

Cryostorm

Monthly Donor
have the turks in anatolia been assimilated by now?
Pretty much for all intents and purposes, yes. There is a reason it was the Sunni Arabs that played fifth column in Rhomania and not Turks. There are still Turks in the empire but at this point there is little cultural difference between them and a Greek aside from which building they worship in. This is also largely because the two groups intermarried a lot, as they did OTL, and essentially merged.
 
Pretty much for all intents and purposes, yes. There is a reason it was the Sunni Arabs that played fifth column in Rhomania and not Turks. There are still Turks in the empire but at this point there is little cultural difference between them and a Greek aside from which building they worship in. This is also largely because the two groups intermarried a lot, as they did OTL, and essentially merged.
I'm fairly certain that except for the easternmost stretches Islam has largely disappeared from Anatolia proper by this point.
 
I'm fairly certain that except for the easternmost stretches Islam has largely disappeared from Anatolia proper by this point.
As I recall Islam is dead outside of households and trading quarters in European and West Anatolian territories; Sunni Islam has been genocided in the Levant and new territories though other sects of Islam are allowed to exist; exists as a syncretic Islam/Christianity that is heavy on local customs and long on orthodoxy in highland and rural central/eastern Anatolia amongst the leftover Turks; the only real organized Sunni Muslims left within Rhomania at this point are to be found amongst trading cities and the Kurds only.

Orthodoxy has become completely dominant in just about every city/town in Rhomania and only rural Levant, Eastern Anatolia, and new territories is it not a majority in rural areas.
 
The Cesspit family? Not unsurprisingly not a single person with that surname can be found in the Greek White page directory. :p

You will be surprised to learn that the greek translation for fossa is bothros for example ignuakos bothros(popliteal fossa) or the three cranial fossa, while that surname does not exist you can be comforted that in fact all of us have bothroi in us 😂

Can’t say that surprises me either. But the Prosoprographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit does have 3 Bothroi and one Bothraina in its listing of Byzantine name inscriptions…

I’d have to look up the reference but I also remember reading a paper about a village in Ottoman-era Greece that had two men both with the surname of ‘burnt ass’.

Wow. What a crappy update.

Normally, in my experience, you don’t seem to live up to your username with ‘evil’ in it.

This is an exception. ;)

New World: I think I have the very broad strokes for what I want in North Terranova set, although it is just the broad strokes. South Terranova is still up in the air. Honestly it’s suffering from a double whammy of (1) I know a little about South American history, but it’s the level of ‘I know enough to be aware of the much larger pile of what I don’t know’ and (2) it’s far removed from Rhomania.

Currently I like the idea of a mega-Brazil (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay) and a mega-Peru (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile) facing off against each other somewhat like OTL Brazil and Argentina. They’re both stable and prosperous great powers, but practically nonentities outside of South Terranova because each is afraid that if they get involved elsewhere the other will take advantage at home. Colombia and Venezuela then get the unenviable role of being the football/playthings of their much bigger neighbors.

Turks/Islam: What other users have already said. There’s a lot of regional variation, such as between western and eastern Anatolia, or between highland and lowland, or between nomads (they are still there in Anatolia; see upcoming update) and sedentary peoples. But they’re phrased in those dichotomies, not as being between Greek and Turk. The folk religion of much of central and eastern Anatolia is somewhat of a syncretic blend. The Sultanate of Rum era tekke of a Sufi saint is still revered as a shrine of a saint by the locals, for example, even though they are Christian.
 
hey Basileus444
In relation to a divided between mega-brazil and mega-peru. You would need a 3 factor to make the south of terranova stable. Meru can't compete with Manzil in the long run. A nation that control both brazil and argentina becomes THE power in south terranova. There is a reason that despite argentina and brazil stumbling economically and politically in the last 20 years, they are still the biggest forces in the region.
A union of these two countries (+ uruguay and paraguay) has basically all the materials needed to industrialize relatively easily, (except coal, this only exists in acceptable quantities in southern brazil OTL, and is of low quality). In the agrarian part he would have the most fertile parts of south america (terranova). which would make it possible to sustain a massive population. The reason for the wars between the Spaniards and the Portuguese and later between the Brazilians and Argentines was for these regions and the la plata river. Uruguay and Paraguay were buffer zones for a long time.
In the long term, I believe that a dispute between Mazil and Meru will be similar to the Paraguay War (or the war between Rome and Carthage). No matter how many battles Carthage and Hannibal win, in the end they will be drowned in a sea of bodies.
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( la plata river, and the most fertile regions)
this will be the area where the majority of the population will be. At least the Catholic part.
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(this image shows where each river goes.)
The rio la plata allowed contact between the capital of the empire of brazil( Rio de Janeiro) and the regions of Mato Grosso. (That's because the areas had forests and other biomes so dense that it was easier and faster to go by river). Another problem is the fact that if the rio de la plata is basically a Spanish lake and then a Brazilian lake. you strangle the region of bolivia in relation to exports. Perhaps a border in the Andes would be ideal to separate the two powers. The Andes saved Chile more than once.
You could maybe make them have a mini cold war or something like the Great Game (between england and russia).
The dispute is very unequal, it would be like a war between OTL France and Spain, one side will win in the end, even if it is costly. A league of alliances like in pre-first world war europe to keep the balance in terranova could be an alternative if you want to keep the continent isolated from the rest of the world. Mazil and Canada(canada vikings is insane)vs Usa and Meru. With Mexico serving as the UK, mediating disputes.
 
The Contexts of Roman Society, Part 5-1: A Mostly Subsistence Agriculture New
hey Basileus444
(Snipped for length)
Makes sense and thank you for the info. Nothing's set in stone yet but it looks like it'd have to be more complicated. Say Mega-Brazil could beat Mega-Peru in a 1-on-1 fight, but it would be costly and a victorious Brazil would be exhausted that it'd be really easy for those Yanquis to take advantage, so in the long-term it's too risky. (One concept that I really want to have is that concerns over overbearing and interfering TTL-Yanquis is a real concern, but South Terranova is much better placed to resist such pressures than is the case IOTL.)

* * *

The Contexts of Roman Society, part 5-1: A Mostly Subsistence Agriculture
As the importance of the content of civic cesspits shows, the need of the farm fields loomed over Roman society in the early modern age. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, agriculture was the absolutely dominant aspect of society and economy, immensely more significant than everything else combined. (In the non-agricultural sphere, most commercial activity involved moving agricultural, not manufactured, items.) Many Romans might complain that the cost and time for shipping packages at harvest times went up, but none questioned the basis for it. Those part-time carters and shippers needed to be back home bringing in the harvest. Everything was subordinated to the harvest, and that could mean everything. In years when the harvest was endangered for whatever reason and needed to be gathered in quickly, local army units could be called out to help, and woe to the commander who was found to be lax in such emergencies.

Roman agriculture in the mid-1600s is a perfect example of the immense diversity contained within Rhomania, ranging from state-of-the-art to extremely primitive.

Near cities and the larger towns, the focus was on what could be called modern market agriculture. The land was consolidated with a focus on producing a few food items in as much quantity as possible, with those items mostly to be sold as opposed to being consumed by the producers. The items would vary, with larger estates focusing on cereal cultivation while smaller plots would concentrate on vegetable, herb, and flower gardens. Given the consolidated land and the amount of cheap fertilizer available from urban cesspits, these areas were the most productive agricultural lands in the Imperial heartland. Another factor that helped in this regard is that these were areas, such as the plains of Thrace, Bithynia, and Lower Macedonia, that had the best soil for farming already.

But while this market agriculture gets most of the attention of historians, it was the exception, not the rule. Twenty percent of Romans lived in cities and towns, which means that a substantially larger eighty percent did not. And even then, the smaller towns usually had a ‘big village’ air about them as well, with large proportions of their inhabitants being farmers who lived in the town but then farmed their outlying fields, and not necessarily on a market basis. The bulk of Roman agriculture was of the subsistence, not market, type.

Agricultural yields could vary widely throughout the heartland, influenced by a number of factors. A field that produced 6 grains reaped for every one sowed (6:1 ratio) was considered first-rate arable land for tax purposes. The market agriculture fields near cities and household gardens could get higher yields, but they benefited from much higher manuring than was typical for most arable farming.

There was substantial regional variation. The fertile Anatolian river valleys could regularly get a 6:1 yield in average years, but most of Anatolia was in the 3-4:1 range. Hellas was somewhat better, with the better areas of the Morea at a 4-5:1 yield. [1] This was a production little changed from the high and late Middle Ages, where a 4-5:1 yield seems a reasonable estimate of the productivity of Roman agriculture. [2] In short, subsistence cereal agriculture, the bulk of cereal agriculture, produced a yield of 3-6:1, which illustrates both the wide variability and the limited productivity.

Most Roman agriculturists were performing subsistence, not market, agriculture, and thus their operating model was substantially different from what a modern would expect. The typical Roman farmer produced many different food items, spreading their efforts throughout many different endeavors. Furthermore their landholdings would not be consolidated but spread out in various packets throughout the village lands, plus their access to the common pastures and woods available to all the villagers.

From the standpoint of efficiency, this was an extremely poor design. Peasant efforts were dispersed throughout many different endeavors rather than concentrating on one or two items, while much time was used up simply by travel between the various strips that a particular farmer would hold. The more productive market agriculture did not have these issues, and that combined with the higher manure, explains said higher production. But such criticisms completely miss the point. The goal of market agriculture is efficiency, to produce as big a surplus as possible to be sold on the market. Any needs of the producers are expected to be filled by the market, assuming the producers can make enough of their target crops. However subsistence agriculture’s goal is not efficiency, but food security. Subsistence agriculture is based on the assumption that the market is not a reliable means to fill one’s needs, which means one must look to one’s fields to fill those needs instead.

That is the reason for diversification. No man can live on bread alone, so the subsistence agriculturists need to produce more than just grain. Also producing multiple items is a way of spreading out the risk. If one crop fails, another might pull through just fine. That is also the reason for the dispersal of landholdings. These take advantage of local microclimates that will favor one crop over another, while again minimizing the risk of a local disaster wiping out all of a peasant’s efforts. It is farming operating under the ‘put your eggs in as many baskets as possible’ principle.

As is typical for a Mediterranean society, the main items were the Mediterranean triad, wheat, olive oil, and wine. These made up the bulk of items produced and consumed in both market and subsistence agriculture. The typical farmer practicing polyculture would not just restrict themselves to those three though. Barley was a backup cereal to wheat, while fruit orchards, vegetable gardens, beekeeping (for both honey and wax), and small-scale animal husbandry were common alternative products. The growth of flax and cotton was, in certain areas such as Cilicia, also a frequent strategy.

While typically grown for subsistence, there was a cash crop aspect to the production of non-cereals. Wine and olive oil were both useful as cash crops and often functioned in that way in addition to subsistence use. Flax and cotton more often functioned as cash rather than subsistence crops, as were the products of apiculture. In this regard, vegetable gardens varied, with those close to active markets often acting as cash crops while those farther away used primarily for subsistence use.

No peasant was completely cut off from the market. They needed coinage to pay their taxes and to get products that couldn’t be sourced locally, such as salt. The peddlers plying the roads and sea routes helped to fill this need, especially in more isolated areas, as did regional and seasonal trade fairs. But due to the limitations of transportation, once one moved away from the cities and towns, the market declined drastically in importance in economic activity.

Thus the goal of subsistence farmers wasn’t to produce as much as possible, because it was pointless to labor hard to produce a surplus that would just rot away in the fields. If there was no market that could usefully absorb such a surplus in a way that would profit the peasant, as opposed to a middleman merchant, there was no incentive. In that case, the farmer would just produce enough for his needs, plus a little extra if possible.

The extra was as a security measure. Some surplus could be stored as a reserve for inevitable hard times, and when available said surpluses were used that way. However given the limited food preservation means of the time, only so much surplus could be effectively used in this manner. If there was a surfeit after this, then it was time to feast instead, and this was the foundation for countryside harvest feasts.

This was also a security measure, since if one was having a feast, one invited one’s neighbors. This was a way to maintain communal ties, an essential insurance policy. If a farmer was having a bad year, his neighbors would help him through it if they could, in the expectation that when things were the other way, the farmer would then help them. The support of the village was a critical support for common peasants, and these feasts were a way of sustaining the ties that guaranteed that support.

Outsiders often considered this an example of peasant sloth and stupidity, devouring their surplus rather than banking it. But that was to completely misunderstand the situation. The peasants out in their rural villages did not have access to banking services as city-dwellers would understand them. Marketing their goods could be extremely laborious and time-consuming and not warrant the effort. Selling some extra wine and eggs to a peddler passing through was a good way to get a new knife or mirror or salt, but was not a model that could sustain life. Their banking was in the goodwill and support of their village, not in a pile of coins or bank certificates deposited in a building. For most of the 80% of the Roman population that was not urban, the market was a part of their economic life, but decidedly secondary and much less important than their subsistence agriculture.


[1] Based on OTL Ottoman agricultural yields from the same period. Sam White, The Climate of Rebellion in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire, pg. 66.

[2] Jacques Lefort, “The Rural Economy, Seventh-Twelfth Centuries”, in The Economic History of Byzantium, pgs. 259-60.
 
Thank you for highlighting the part about peasants not being stupid nor lazy. Being a peasant (regardless of era) was really hard and in order to survive the various trials and tribulations peasants needed to be smart, industrious, and lucky. A stupid or lazy peasant was a quickly dead peasant. Glad you didn't fall into the common trap that many of our surviving written sources (who were usually not peasants, but better-off city folk or nobles) typically fell into when they regarded peasants as lazy morons.

People should be more kind to peasants - odds are pretty good our ancestors were peasants after all :)
 
Here is another map that shows the importance of the Rio de la Plata and that if its entrance is controlled, the entire region becomes is dependent on the power that controls it. If that's what will happen. something similar to Brazil OTL's control of the Amazon River. The region. The size of the piece of the Amazon controlled by Brazil is linked to its control of the main river.

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Control of the river basically gave Brazil the monopoly of the Amazon. There will be a difference in the form of control due to the fact that it is not the Portuguese who will control it, but the Muslims. To be honest, I think that the advance in the Amazon region will be much more aggressive than that of the Portuguese from OTL.This is because Muslims don't have as many places to expand. (It's been a while since I looked at the map). This could be a big factor in the political weight of Muslims. Probably this region would have a more intense martial trandition due to the continuous dispute with the Amazon natives together with the ridiculous number of diseases and parasites that exist in the Amazon. Considering the period, dying a glorious mission to increase the prestige of the nation is much more attractive than dying of yellow fever for the youth of the region.
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In relation to Yankee interference in South America. It started to really have an impact after the First and Second World War. Before that she was very small or even non-existent. South america, especially chile, argentina and brazil are not the republics of central america. Brazil had some revolts that were armed by the Americans but they were inconsequential. Chile almost went to war with the USA , Brazil with the UK and Argentina for a good period was richer than several european countries. The fall of the empire of brazil and the birth of the first republic has more to do with the fact that emperor Dom Pedro II fell into depression and wanted to retire to become a teacher. Even though the name of the first republic was the united studies of brazil (the flag is a green and yellow american flag, it is very ugly). it was inspired by French positivism. By the way, he was a joke candidate (more or less) for the presidency of the United States. A man wrote to The New York Herald a letter that he cast Dom Pedro II for president, and Charles Francis Adams, a descendant of the father of the country John Adams, for vice.(world history is pretty bizarre sometimes)
The coup launched by the military against the brazilian republic in the 60s was supported by the united states, but it was also by a large part of the population that was afraid of a possible communist revolt (unlikely to happen).

For there to be a fear on the part of mega-brazil or mega-peru of an American influence at this level, the US has to be scaled up. Whether by population or with an industry more massive than our OTL. That's the only way I see real fear exists.
Mega Brazil will be bigger geographically if the USA is more or less the same size, and with a population it won't be much smaller (if population growth is similar to OTL).
Mega Peru will have a larger population compared to France's OTL. OTL US 329,5 M, OTL Mega brazil ( argentina + brazil + uruguay +paraguay) 268,587 M , OTL Mega peru (Peru+Ecuador+ Bolivia+ Chile) 81,4 M .

The problem of comparing OTL US interference in Central and South America is one of scale. Just like russia ttl will be a monster that maybe china can fight, but other than that i doubt there will be another one to compete with such massive power. Mega brazil and Mega peru are powers that are much higher scales than OTL brazil an peru. This means that when a country reaches a mass it tends to want to create spheres of influence like the US with the banana wars in central america

PS:I hope my criticisms don't sound nationalistic or something stupid in that sense. I'm just saying because I really enjoyed this TTL and I really want the new world to be shown in its splendor. From Scandinavian Canada, through the Mexican-Roman nation to Tierra del Fuego, which will probably be the mega peru or mega brazil.
 
Makes sense and thank you for the info. Nothing's set in stone yet but it looks like it'd have to be more complicated. Say Mega-Brazil could beat Mega-Peru in a 1-on-1 fight, but it would be costly and a victorious Brazil would be exhausted that it'd be really easy for those Yanquis to take advantage, so in the long-term it's too risky. (One concept that I really want to have is that concerns over overbearing and interfering TTL-Yanquis is a real concern, but South Terranova is much better placed to resist such pressures than is the case IOTL.)
A Brazil more oriented towards the Paraná Basin will probably be proportionally weaker on its northern frontier and vice-versa; the dynamics of a Mega Brazil are very challenging for a pre-industrial state, the distances involved (and the terrains in question) make it all but impossible to administer any distance from the coast or the river (and there's a pretty hard limit to how far into Brazil you can sail on the Paraná and its tributaries, marked by waterfalls). A Mega Perú built on the Incan Empire wouldn't have the same problem (and is a large part of the reason the Spanish colony of Perú worked, because it essentially carried over the Incan mita system and had extensive roads to depend on), but there's more driving Argentina/Brazil apart than together (though I'd have to review the maps to get a better handle on how Southern Terranova is divided at present).

"Overbearing and interfering yanks" is I daresay an exclusively 20th century phenomenon, and it wouldn't have taken too much different IOTL to be even less of a problem. A South Terranova of 4-5 larger nations would have nothing to worry about from the north, and would be more vulnerable to domestic infighting because of difficult geography than anything else.
 
I would love to know more about ottoman culture. How such a mishmash state of cultures is built. Their borders are vast and mainly land based, isn't it very decentralised? I would imagine that the communication across the land isn't as easy as Rome has it. I'd love to know how the Turks are thriving in this land, especially since they are quite in the minority, or is the idea of being a Turk more of a upbringing than actual ethnicity? And what is the position of Islam there, since Islam has received some tough punches in the last few centuries.
 
will the turks in mesopotamia and iran assimilate the arabs and persians? I dont see them doing that to the arabs because the arabs are already muslim and speak arabic (language of the quran). They might turkify more of persia tho due to them being close to central asia and getting more turkic waves
 
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A Brazil more oriented towards the Paraná Basin will probably be proportionally weaker on its northern frontier and vice-versa; the dynamics of a Mega Brazil are very challenging for a pre-industrial state, the distances involved (and the terrains in question) make it all but impossible to administer any distance from the coast or the river (and there's a pretty hard limit to how far into Brazil you can sail on the Paraná and its tributaries, marked by waterfalls). A Mega Perú built on the Incan Empire wouldn't have the same problem (and is a large part of the reason the Spanish colony of Perú worked, because it essentially carried over the Incan mita system and had extensive roads to depend on), but there's more driving Argentina/Brazil apart than together (though I'd have to review the maps to get a better handle on how Southern Terranova is divided at present).

"Overbearing and interfering yanks" is I daresay an exclusively 20th century phenomenon, and it wouldn't have taken too much different IOTL to be even less of a problem. A South Terranova of 4-5 larger nations would have nothing to worry about from the north, and would be more vulnerable to domestic infighting because of difficult geography than anything else.
The problem is that the amazon is to the north. What is happening now in relation to the death of the natives and deforestation has to do with the colonization by Brazil of the region. It only really started in the 70's and 80's. That's because the region is ridiculously inhospitable. The vast majority of diseases in the region are treatable and people still die from it. People can't walk in the Amazon for more than an hour or two, it's very hot and humid. Most of the soldiers that patrol this region are native or mixed. Only they can patrol for more than a few hours.Brazil for a long time only had forts in the region, controlling the most important rivers. The rest kind of doesn't matter, Venezuela and Colombia basically had no interaction with Brazil because of that.
Brazil to this day has most of its population on the coast. With the coast and rivers you basically control all the regions that matter. The power disparity is so great that a government with weak power already prevents its fracturing.This is the main reason that prevented breakdowns in the nation. The other was violence, a city that revolted was basically a death sentence.During the revolt of Canudos , the central city of the revolt "the city of Canudos" was basically murdered,every house burned, was a massacre. When you compare the american revolution with the independence revolutions within brazil, it looks like a disney fairy tale versus a european drama movie (everyone dies in the end).That's the problem with nations with a high concentration of slaves, they tend to be overly violent
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(what was left of the city, most of the population was killed, +- six thousand people.)

The only time Brazil really entered the war mode was against Paraguay. In the end, it resulted in the death of 95% of the male population and 50% of the female population in Paraguay. If the USA followed the Brazilian war model, Mexico would have one-sixth of its current population. The model was basically let's kill all the men who could take weapons, the army basically understood this as we're going to kill all boys over 8, and those under 8 we're going to take to Brazil, to become Brazilians. Fuck me, it is literally worse than the Great Crime committed by the Romans.

Ps: I'm not familiar with the Incan mita system, it would be something like India's caste system?
Regarding the division of Brazil, maybe the Muslim part can separate, but I don't think the rest will be able to separate. Especially if he has a mega-peru as a neighbor and the united states is trying to "influence" the two countries. Same thing with mega-peru.
 
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To be honest, though I'm not too familiar with the New World OTL or TTL, I have doubts over the continued long-term existence of the Double-Empire, especially when nationalism pops up a century or two down the line. Depending on how exactly the country is administered, the Andean peoples might have a problem with being ruled from far-off Texcoco, especially considering just the sheer distance involved. They have good roads, yes, but those stop at around OTL Ecuador, and the only way to get to Mexico from there is on water. That's nice for trade and speedy travel, not so much for moving large armies when some rebellion begins up south.

Of Great-Brazil, it would be kinda cool if it stuck together, but I dunno, rising religious tensions might cause Al-Jahmr to split and eventually colonize and rule roughly the area between OTL Maracaibo and the Amazon if I'm reading "Guyanas and northern Brazil" correctly. Even the remainder, however, would still be an incredible heavyweight, OTL Argentina plus most of the important bits of OTL Brazil would be no joke. Developing such a large empire would be a right pain, but being able to focus much more on the La Plata basin would probably do wonders for development in that whole region especially.

I do wonder if we might see new players in Terranova. Perhaps a Japanese expedition to Alaska (or even California!) or the Arletians expanding into Florida to better control Mexico-Europe trade, or even a native empire like the Haudenosaunee or some Native American people in the Mississippi basin.

Meanwhile: Australia. Pretty sure the last we heard of them was the Wu state declining and dissolving into a number of smol city-states. Could Mataram in particular expand into Australia to build up a power base outside Java, since they're largely boxed in by RITE? It's low value right now, but it's probably not a lot of effort either. Could help in relieving possible population pressures in Java as well, considering that island is by far the most populous of all the islands of Island Asia.
 
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At this point I know I'm going off on a really far tangent, but I must ask about Vijayanagar. It's only the third major South Indian empire to be significant in North Indian affairs, but it's now the first undisputed Indian hegemon based south of the Vindhyas. Must be a pretty good time for them, but I'm wondering how their administration (and culture) have evolved due to continued and sustained contact with Romania and Ottoman Iran.

Could they have taken a cue from Roman highways (and from the idea of the Mauryan Uttarapatha; though the Sadak-e-Azam, which is the modern Grand Trunk Road, hasn't been built for obvious reasons) and begun building a highway network in South India? In particular, highways connecting the rich and fertile western coastal plain with the interior through mountain passes would be very conducive to promoting trade and maintaining Vijayanagar military dominance, since they have a primarily land-based military.

Besides that, a south-north Dakshinapatha highway between Vijayanagar and the north would go a long way towards improving their power projection capabilities. Given the recent fracas in North India, I think this might sound appealing to them.

As immense as its numbers are, however, its capabilities are hobbled by what seems to be a feudal system of administration and military. I don't remember much about Venkata Raya, but he might be dead by now, and there might be some reformist faction in the government advocating for reform on the Roman model, looking at their successes across the field in Asia.

What might be most interesting is the Vijayanagaris playing on being the sole hegemon of India. Obviously not a current concern, but in a century or two the idea of the entire subcontinent being Vijayanagar's natural dominion might begin to influence politics in India. Now that would be interesting times for India.
 
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