Let's say that the Gothic War is a lot shorter ITTL (say it lasts "just" five years instead of almost twenty) so that, by the 550s, the Eastern Roman Empire's finances are in much better shape despite the plague. Because of this, they are considerably more successful in their invasion of Visigothic Spain, not stopping near Córdoba but instead marching all the way to the Duero, the Pyrenees and maybe even Septimania if the Franks don't get there first.

What would be the effects of a much larger Provincia Spaniae? Would there be major rebellions against Constantinople's authority, or would most of the population and clergy there in particular be glad they're not ruled by Arians anymore? Would the place become a source of revenue to the empire, or is it just too far away and with too many powerful local notables to be controlled effectively at this point? Would the place be divided into smaller provinces, or become one giant Exarchate like Africa and Ravenna? Would the Franks stir up trouble (I assume they'd want to take Septimania and maybe Catalonia after that)? Would it become a source of usurpers, like Heraclius and Gregory the Patrician in Africa?

Lastly, could a longer lasting and more thorough reconquest of the west make the empire as a whole be less Greek and more Latin in character? Would the Pope become completely subordinate to the emperor, much like the Patriarch of Constantinople? What about the Roman Senate, which was devastated by the long Gothic War and would likely at least last longer ITTL?​
 
Justinian stretched the resources of the Empire too thin so Spain as Italy will be left to its own devices when the Empire will need to face threats closer to its homebase (from the Slavs or Persian or from the Arabs if they rise like în OTL). As for what Spain will become its hard to say: a Frankish protectorate, a series of squabling kingdoms some belonging to the natives some to descendants of rebelling byzantine generals, some to visigothic princes etc.
 
I think any version of ERE which manages to retain (and maybe expand upon) Justinian's conquests in the long term, would have an emperor reduced to what the later Abbasids or Ottomans were like- Absolute control over the core territories, and the autonomy of the exarchs increasing or decreasing depending upon the ability of the men in the center.
This is provided nothing dramatically changes in terms of administration- the capital stays at Constantinople, the Senate only retains nominal authority, etc.
 
I wonder if, assuming the Byzantines miraculously retake Gaul from the Franks without much trouble (they'd have a lot more problems to deal with in the late 6th century, such as the Sasanians in the east, the Slavs in the Balkans and the aftermath of the plague), they could help what was left of the Romano-Britons in their conflict against the Anglo-Saxons. Maybe "King Arthur" ends up being a Greek?​
I think any version of ERE which manages to retain (and maybe expand upon) Justinian's conquests in the long term, would have an emperor reduced to what the later Abbasids or Ottomans were like- Absolute control over the core territories, and the autonomy of the exarchs increasing or decreasing depending upon the ability of the men in the center.
This is provided nothing dramatically changes in terms of administration- the capital stays at Constantinople, the Senate only retains nominal authority, etc.
That would be very interesting, autonomous kings who are independent in all but name but still minting coins in the name of the Roman emperor. Maybe the Senate could get some real power (at least in Italy) when Constantinople goes through one of its typical coups/civil wars?​
 
I wonder if, assuming the Byzantines miraculously retake Gaul from the Franks without much trouble (they'd have a lot more problems to deal with in the late 6th century, such as the Sasanians in the east, the Slavs in the Balkans and the aftermath of the plague), they could help what was left of the Romano-Britons in their conflict against the Anglo-Saxons. Maybe "King Arthur" ends up being a Greek?

That would be very interesting, autonomous kings who are independent in all but name but still minting coins in the name of the Roman emperor. Maybe the Senate could get some real power (at least in Italy) when Constantinople goes through one of its typical coups/civil wars?​
At the technology level of the time, I honestly doubt it. The naval resources and investments needed to project power in the Mediterranean are fundamentally different from the North Atlantic.

As for the OP, I can't imagine that it'll be much more than another commitment that isn't worth it for the Romans. The Visigoths, IIRC, were still Arian until 589, and so there will be religious as well as economic and ethnic strife between them and the Romans. Additionally, while Hispania certainly was a wealthy province, a lot of that wealth is in mineral resources that require a large, stable labor base to extract, something the Romans won't really have. Thus, their best case scenario would probably be to basically find a Visigothic noble who's willing to acknowledge Roman suzerainty and perhaps provide some slight material or military tribute, and install and prop up said leader, but given that the Romans' long term threats--first in the Sassanians, then the Rashidun and Umayyad--are in the East, the investment required to hold Spain will probably serve only to weaken Rome.
 
At the technology level of the time, I honestly doubt it. The naval resources and investments needed to project power in the Mediterranean are fundamentally different from the North Atlantic.

As for the OP, I can't imagine that it'll be much more than another commitment that isn't worth it for the Romans. The Visigoths, IIRC, were still Arian until 589, and so there will be religious as well as economic and ethnic strife between them and the Romans. Additionally, while Hispania certainly was a wealthy province, a lot of that wealth is in mineral resources that require a large, stable labor base to extract, something the Romans won't really have. Thus, their best case scenario would probably be to basically find a Visigothic noble who's willing to acknowledge Roman suzerainty and perhaps provide some slight material or military tribute, and install and prop up said leader, but given that the Romans' long term threats--first in the Sassanians, then the Rashidun and Umayyad--are in the East, the investment required to hold Spain will probably serve only to weaken Rome.
Hm, IIRC the south of Hispania at least (the future center of Al-Andalus) had some good agriculture. Also, wasn't Arianism a very small minority at that point? Either way, I agree that the Visigothic aristocracy would play a very important part in a lasting Byzantine Iberia.
 
I wonder if, assuming the Byzantines miraculously retake Gaul from the Franks without much trouble (they'd have a lot more problems to deal with in the late 6th century, such as the Sasanians in the east, the Slavs in the Balkans and the aftermath of the plague), they could help what was left of the Romano-Britons in their conflict against the Anglo-Saxons. Maybe "King Arthur" ends up being a Greek?
First of all, I'd watch the shit out of that Timeline!
and second I honestly don't think Slavs would be that much of an issue if the Danube border isn't denuded of all forces to fight the Sassanids and then the Arabs. Also, an Italy that isn't completely wrecked by the Gothic Wars would be much more stable, maybe even a net contributor to the imperial manpower pool.

Thus, their best case scenario would probably be to basically find a Visigothic noble who's willing to acknowledge Roman suzerainty and perhaps provide some slight material or military tribute, and install and prop up said leader, but given that the Romans' long term threats--first in the Sassanians, then the Rashidun and Umayyad--are in the East, the investment required to hold Spain will probably serve only to weaken Rome.
Wouldn't it be better to have a multitude of minor nobility instead? Instead of replacing Visigothic Nobility, Rome could co-opt it, with the exarch of Hispania getting stability and the Visigoths getting much more autonomy.
 
Hm, IIRC the south of Hispania at least (the future center of Al-Andalus) had some good agriculture. Also, wasn't Arianism a very small minority at that point? Either way, I agree that the Visigothic aristocracy would play a very important part in a lasting Byzantine Iberia.
Agriculture is still in the same boat of being labor intensive, in addition to being something that the Romans don't really need when they also have Egypt and perhaps Diocesan Africa. Meanwhile, the Visigoths didn't formally convert back to Orthodoxy until 589.
 
Agriculture is still in the same boat of being labor intensive, in addition to being something that the Romans don't really need when they also have Egypt and perhaps Diocesan Africa. Meanwhile, the Visigoths didn't formally convert back to Orthodoxy until 589.
The Visigoths were only a small fraction of Hispania's population, and they'd probably convert sooner.
 
For gaul i think at max the byzantines would get parts of aquitaine and the coast and control of aquitaine would not be stable the death of Chlothar I would mean the franks would devided in 561
 
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With 15 years less conflict, with the silver mines of Spain, with the population boost, I think as long as Justinian doesn't get overly ambitious and try for Gaul and makes effort to try and reintegrate the economies, we could honestly see a decent situation. The problem lies in how this affects diplomacy with the Franks and the sassians.
 
Would the Pope become completely subordinate to the emperor, much like the Patriarch of Constantinople?
He might be more open to Imperial influence, but not to the same degree as the Patriarch of Constantinople -- he is, after all, hundreds of miles away from the capital, and so harder for the Emperor to keep a close eye on.
 
I can only see it inevitably slipping out of Constantinople's control sooner rather than later. Between numerous foreign threats and civil wars the Byzantine Navy is bound to be depleted. Once that resource is gone Spain will slip out of Constantinople's control. Now Constantinople may set up a client relationship with the new power in Spain but any sort of direct rule is bound to be very limited indeed.
 
In contrast to a lot of people, assuming that the birth of Islam is butterflied away, I could see Constantinople retaining significant influence in Spain. It will likely increase its autonomy as Constantinople deals with threats more closer (and important) to it. It'll go the way of Sardinia and Venice: the governor recognizing Constantinopolitan hegemony as a formality but in practicality is his own man. Or someone might unite the Berber tribes in Morocco and conquer Hispania.
 
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