DBWI: Opposite fates for the East and West

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Flavius Iulius Nepos, Sep 12, 2019 at 9:48 PM.

  1. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    Nowadays what was once one of the greatest empire on earth is now divided between several countries, some bigger and more powerful than others. All of these countries share one faith even though we have lots of divisions between Christians. What’s interesting is that way before the fall of the Roman empire, the Romans finally divided for the last time their world into a mostly latinized half and a mostly hellenized half. Even though this was only supposed to be an administrative division the two halves quickly took different routes. The same can be said about the two cultures once considered the pillars of the empire: Latin and Hellenic.

    While latin identity was almost entirely wiped out from the West, with the exception of Britain, Africa, the Dalmatian city states, Sicily and other really small enclaves and replaced by Germanic and Slavic identities brought by the invaders, the eastern countries all share a common Hellenic-Roman culture/identity. Only Armenia and the territory of former Dacia, Palestine and inner Syria no longer share this identity (and in the case of Armenia probably never did). Rhomania even claim to be the heir and continuation of the old empire, despite obvious objections from its neighbours and Carthago.

    With a POD after the rise of Theodosius I in 379 try to revert the fate of the Latin and Hellenic world.
     
    spectrum and Alexander Helios like this.
  2. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    No Gothic War. The Goths were too few in number to replace the Latins in Italy, the hoards of Sclaveni Basileus brought with him to Italy were a very different story.
     
  3. Arcvalons L'Internationale sera le genre humain.

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    Sozialistische Weltrepublik
    Maybe if there was a strong not-christian eastern empire which could have conquered Constantinople and absorbed/assimilated the Romans. IOTL, the Holy Persian Empire was a bulwark against steppe invaders and a consistent ally against Arab raiders.
     
    KaiserWilhelm and SeaCambrian like this.
  4. SeaCambrian Alien Space Bat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Maybe have one of the highly Romanized Germanic tribes start to unify the others which necessitates adopting Roman institutions.. Like the Franks or Goths instead of Alemanni and Saxons.
     
    FranzAncheNo likes this.
  5. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    That would probably be enough to change the situation in Italy and also a very interesting situation to explore. Without such massive devastations the Latins would easily assimilate the Goths. But what about the rest of the empire and especially the East?
    That wasn’t always the case, and with such an early POD the enmity between Romans and Persians could continue with devastating effects and even the possible collapse of one of the two. Besides no one (except claimants to the throne) ever conquered the Constantinople. In fact it was internal collapse that caused the fall of the original empire not external conquest.
    The Goths seem the most likely to succeed since the Franks were confined to northern Gaul and more often than not busy dealing with the Britons. All of this could save the Latins in the West but how can we crush the Hellenes in the East?
     
  6. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Well, those slavs were going to go somewhere, and if Basileus hadn't hijacked their migration they'd probably end up in Greece/Illyria/Thrace.
     
    Flavius Iulius Nepos likes this.
  7. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    Well the Balkan was far less populated than Italy at the time but also more protected and closer to Constantinople. Unless the Slavs manage to completely annihilate Romans presence in Europe, wouldn’t these new polities be subjected to the inevitable Roman counterattack and annihilation?
     
  8. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Basileus used them rather "imperial" troops for a reason. Rather than the professional units of old or the future thematic units, the 6th century "legions" were just large bands of barbarian mercenaries. There's no real reason to expect the Empire to have much of an advantage over the slavs, and with their perpetual troubles in Egypt its not like they could even afford to put their whole weight into it.
     
  9. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    I think people tend to underestimate the quality of barbarian troops, always portraying them as mindlessly charging the enemy. Actually they were able to fight in formation as much as any other “Romans” units and usually they were physically better than the recruits drafted among the Romans. But even assuming the total collapse of Roman position against the Slavs we can safely assume that some strongholds like Constantinople itself and Thessalonika would be able to survive the Slavic tide. Than what would stop the Romans from coming back once they’ve sorted out their problems in the East and reformed the army?
     
    SeaCambrian likes this.
  10. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    And that goes for the non-Roman barbarians too.

    Presumably the Slavs. The Romans weren't able to retake Italy after the Slavs booted them out, even though they kept some toe holds like Naples and Otranto for a long time. The Balkans probably wouldn't be too different.

    Additionally their problems in Egypt would be much harder to sort out without the Balkans as a low maintenance tax/manpower pool.
     
  11. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Welp for the west u have someone like Majorian become succeful become an Emperor who starts another long lived stable dynasty this could recuperate the west and give it extra life.

    As for the east if your trying ro have it fall like the west, have a large civil war say Anthemius and Zeno or someone then an invasion by the parthians while there weak woth the goths cousing more serious trouble
     
  12. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    After the loss of Carthage it became more difficult for the Romans to operate in the West without their naval superiority. There is a reason Africa easily wrested Sicily from Constantinople after a while, even though many emperors would later try to reclaim it.

    A Balkan conflict on the other hand would be much easier to manage than an Italian one and being closer to the capital the emperors would feel compelled to restore a certain degree of security around the city and a safe link between the most important strongholds left.


    The loss of the Balkans wouldn’t really damage Roman economy. Constantinople would just need to pay a different ethnicity (Armenians, Arabs, other barbarian groups…) to fight for them instead of the Illyrians.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 10:30 PM
  13. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Location:
    Philippines
    You can thank King Arthur for that.
     
  14. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Location:
    Philippines
    Even if the two empires followed sects of Christianity each saw as heretical as the Rhomanians practice Chalcedonian Christianity while Persia follows Nestorianism.
     
  15. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    This seems to be the most plausible solutions: the empire has to collapse from the inside like it did historically, just earlier. We also have to make sure that none of the successor tries to claim the mantle of Rome and its identity or any post-Roman state emerges after a while.
     
    StevenIronside likes this.
  16. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    Also the britons minding their own business after the collapse of the West instead of letting themselves being dragged into the conflict for supreme control over the empire (or what was left of it).
     
  17. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    @Flavius Iulius Nepos

    This is a thread on how to get the west to survive way longer and the east to fall right?
     
  18. volantredx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    I think it'd be hard to pull this off using the provided POD. The East has been largely Hellenized for centuries before the Romans, and really the Romans basically just provided a strong bureaucratic support system to reinforce this. You'd have to change things about how Alexander's empire fell and how the non-Hellenized parts reacted. Meanwhile, the West had always been largely dominated by a strong cultural identity separate from the Latins. The Germanic invasions and such didn't help, but even at the height of Roman power, there were a fair number of Gaulic tribes who, despite being ruled by Rome, never saw themselves as Roman. As soon as the central authority of the empire fell they simply stopped paying lip service to the Latin culture.
     
  19. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    If so i would stay witb Majorian becoming a founder of a great stabalizing dynasty, while that is taking place have Anthemius and Zeno or Anthemius and Leo fight a civil war in which the Parthians get involved and take much of the Eastern territories, with the Goths joining in later. In essence you end up with the goths taking the European holdings of the eastern empire. And the Parthians much of the rest. That would essentially take an eastern roman revive out for a long while unless Majorians dynasty decideds to pull a Justinian
     
  20. KingOnTheEdge Vive La Revolucion

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2019
    Ironically they probably retained Roman culture and law the best even in spite of being abandoned to their fate. the people of the cities were able to maintain order and basically recreate the legion, even conquering Hibernia and Caledonia pretty quickly. even the remnants of the empire considered them an equal. It's pretty funny that the island was the runt of the empire