Anaxios: A Discussion on a Modern Byzantium

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Pressedflowers, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. Pressedflowers I listened to the Cure, and then I cried.

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    And they already were doing so... this is the alluring concept of being a Roman. Since Caracalla granted all free men and women citizenship, being a Roman meant being a citizen, thus exapnding the concept to a national one, outside of language, religion, and heritage. The Romans later made the focus more on following the established church, but that did not make one a non-citizen for not being a subscriber to the universal church. Turks, Bulgarians, Armenians, Albanians, Arabs, Egyptians, Syrians, Hellenes, all were Romans. All were bound by laws and had the use of the courts for justice. The emperor was their emperor and the empire theirs. The Republic was a public thing, a government and civilisation held in the commons. They were one nation, with one emperor. Something they guarded jealously and their neighbours never understood.

    Unfortunately this unique quality of worldview, their ideology, made them into total snobs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  2. Pressedflowers I listened to the Cure, and then I cried.

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    I think the comparison to the Russians is good, but insufficient. The Romans are not a people of megalomaniac nobles ruling simpering Slavic serfs. The peasantry is free (thanks be to God and Leo III), amd the rising urban peoples are enough counterbalance to the aristocrats and beuracrats to keep the power struggles violent enough to prevent a plutocracy. Remember that the Roman government is very socialistic/democratic (before the Komemnoi) and thus the nation will continue to be a very politically expressive (and violent) land.

    I agree with your statement about the east. The Romans will pick their battles with infidels ratger than heretics. Even without a fourth crusade, they will grow to see the Latins as demons just as the Russians did. Idk about a westernisation a la Peter the Great, but aside from the political, economic, and religious outlook, Greeks did trade extensively with the West, so i imagine they will continue to do so. They at least will not lag behind the West in terms of molitary, as the Romans (before the Latin occupation, and even after, as they did use canons) were astute observers of what made for sound military strategy and technology. I'm planning on having a back and forth with the Muslim east and the Romans, particularly with the Egyptians, so as to keep the Romans on their toes and from sliding into comfortable domination. Thus it keeps the people from sliding into decadance as can be seen in America.

    They will be the most odious of statist societies, making this hard core libertarian cringe. They will depsise any and all of the political theory of the West. They will laugh at their democracies, pointing out the plutocratic nature of them.

    As for the West... with feudalism already quite established, the trajectory is set for the plutocratic governments and capitalistic societies that will come. The hierachies are in place, one need only to introduce those historical inventions for the historical outcomes to be the same, the European aristocrats to become entrenched. Add in firearms and centralised states will emerge. These states tax and spend until an Enlightenment happens, to counteract and critique the centralised states. Revolutions will follow. Reactionaries will react to said revolutions and will win or not. Greed is ever prevalent in man, so I am certian colonialism will follow. More centralisation occurs, and an industrial revolution will spark from the progress of technology amd the resources made available to the Europeans. Epidemics will pave the way for more modern science, as will escalted conflicts. Eventually this will culminate in some catastrophic war that shifts rhe balance of power worldwide. My thoughts on history.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  3. Pressedflowers I listened to the Cure, and then I cried.

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    I think I have a name for the previous Bulgarian descended Emperor who switches thrones, Symeon Asanis (Συμεών Ασάνης). The new emperor, a descendant of a local Ionian family, is Leon Metaxas. He is only 27.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  4. John7755 يوحنا Lightweight Faqih

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    The entire misconception of the previous posters was the concept at all of a Silk Road. There is no true Silk Road after the Islamic conquests. The Kushanshahs were essentially the crucible and necessary component of the Silk Road. The Silk Road in essence was the transfer by land of goods from Rome, Hindustan, Arabia, Persia, Central Asia and China with little political restrictions such as war blocking access. This was possible for only a single reason, that being the domination of most of the heavily populated sections of Afroeurasia by approximately four political entities (such an occurrence was only replicated once more with the Mongol Empire or the Pax Mongolica), those four being the Roman Empire, the Arsacid Parthian Empire, the Han Dynasty of China and the Kushanshahs of Central Asia and Hindustan. There is a reason cities such as Antioch declined so rapidly. The 'Asian' trade that did reach the Islamic world was through the Persian Gulf and less commonly, the Red Sea (once more, look at the decline of Aksum, Berenice, Himyar, Aden and Alexandria as examples of this decline in the Red Sea trade).
     
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  5. Pressedflowers I listened to the Cure, and then I cried.

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    @Viralworld , would you imagine that as the urban individuals peoples rise in population, the Romans could become even more socialistic? I could see the society growing evermore into a welfare society as resources and technology advance in the empire.
     
  6. Viralworld Éirí Amach an Ghealach Donor

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    Considering the price controls on goods within Constantinople and the Christian abhorrence of "making a profit" off of supply and demand (although granted this wasn't unique to Byzantium), I could see it possibly happening. Providing for the poor, farmers, and provincials would fit in as an extension of the Thematic system since instead of granting land for service you could frame it as granting necessities for to keep the economy functioning. Also, considering the "republican" nature of holding the throne, perhaps this welfare system is simply introduced just like the old Roman grain dole as a way to keep the support of the mobs and maintain popularity.

    Granted though, this does not take into account any outside factors happening to the Empire like the spread of mercantile practices and an overall shift like Western Europe to a more modern Capitalist economy, but can definitely see a socialistic and collective identity being formed in Byzantium as a possibility.
     
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  7. Pressedflowers I listened to the Cure, and then I cried.

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    I wonder how the byzantines would react to the Western transition from feudalism to capitalism?
     
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  8. Pressedflowers I listened to the Cure, and then I cried.

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    I wonder @Viralworld if the central government could adopt a state capitalist attitude such as China, but much earlier. I liked @Soverihn 's timeline, but i don't remeber if that was a state capitalist. I'm imagining the Romans taking a Japanese/Chinese attitude towards westernisation, standing at the door and cherry-pivking what comes through.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  9. Socrates Well-Known Member

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    The problem Romania will have is its heritage of a golden age being under autocratic rule. All the debates about democracy and liberalism will fall under the shadow of this not being the Roman way, but Western decadence. The prestige of an absolutist emperor makes it much more difficult to tear down and replace with democratic institutions. Given the entwinement of state power and religion, there will also be great religious legitimacy to the imperial office. The liberals will be forced into a position of arguing for abandonment of current institutions, a proud political history and the views of the church. Remember the allure of Roman and Christian conservative history kept Spain and Portugal as dictatorships into the 1970s, Italy reverting to one in the 1920s until foreign occupation and Russia a dictatorship to today, despite 80 years of communism trying to wipe out Christianity. I think modern Romania is likely as illiberal as modern Russia and Turkey. Occasional swings towards liberalism, but always partial and thwarted.
     
  10. Soverihn Proud Tribalist

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    I'd argue thats the most likely way capitalist development would occur in the empire. State led development is the tradition there rather than on private actors, and the state has the most capital available.

    It was moving into a state capitalist development since the trends of the time were based off trying to copy of what was successful- in this case the Italian City States. Mostly Venice as opposed to Genoa. The Romans liked Venetian state capitalism, and hated Genoa's pseudo libertarianism.

    In any case, briefly skimming this thread, any surviving Roman state dramatically impacts Russia and vice versa since there won't be sponsoring of Crimean slave raids, a steady trade of ideas and goods north and south towards the two nations (also ending Russia's currency shortage in the 1500s/1600s so hello to a more fiscally liquid and richer Russia), and the ERE having a huge source of imported raw materials and a market to sell goods to that in turn promotes economic development.

    This also plays out to a smaller degree with Georgia.

    Also we really shouldn't project the idea that Eastern Europe and the MENA basin is destined to fall behind and will need to play a century of catch up.
     
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  11. Pressedflowers I listened to the Cure, and then I cried.

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    Thank you! That was enlightening. What are some of your ideas about the effects of a wealthier Russia? I really would like a similar rise and expansion by Muscovy or Tver after a Mongol invasion. I was also musing of the Romans seeking to expand their influence in Russia by "giving" the crown of the grand prince to whom they choose, to their "spiritual sons." Idk how that would happen, but it could lead to some tensions (thinking in terms of my TL World War to come in the 1900s with similar sides).

    I was also wondering about the impact of a perhaps orthodox Lithuania taking the historical route of expansion only to become Russinised and just becoming the next line of grand princes. But perhaps a wealthier Russia, even under the Tartar yoke, fair better.
     
  12. Soverihn Proud Tribalist

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    A wealthier Russia in the 1500s is something I unfortunately don't know enough to comment on, but I suspect it would equate to a larger population and a larger and better equipped military, which of course means pushing the Tatars back earlier.
     
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  13. Pressedflowers I listened to the Cure, and then I cried.

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    Which means that Tver, Vladimir, or any other Russian city have a better chance of uniting the Russians, if that happens, and stop the expansion of Lithuania, if that happens, earlier.
     
  14. Pressedflowers I listened to the Cure, and then I cried.

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    Labarum 2.png
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    Romania Flag Map 4.png Romania Flag Map 2.png
    Romania Flag Map.png Romania Flag Map 3.png

    Just playing around with some flags. The trouble is, is that the Romans wouldn't use heraldry and even flags in the way that the West does or would. That presents a problem. While the Palaiologoi did begin using a heraldic form for their family as well as creating a "flag" in the last century of the Imperium, this Romania has not had to go through the difficulties of a post 4th crusade existence, and was able to return back to a free peasantry and a growing middle class, thus escaping feudalism in the time. Thus I used the Cross of Constantine to symbolise the Romans. Maybe hammer and sickles will take on new forms?
     

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  15. Pressedflowers I listened to the Cure, and then I cried.

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    Our Sacred Empire.png
    Progress.