From Exile to Triumph: a Western Roman Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Flavius Iulius Nepos, Jun 7, 2018.

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  1. Pempelune c'est une chaussette

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    There are also a lot of Jews, who are in the process of finishing the redaction of the Babylonian Talmud. The Persians were quite tolerant of the Jews, the Romans not so much. A conquest might cause interesting butterflies.
     
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  2. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Interesting note, considering personally I am not knowing much if nothing at all about the Jew situation in the Roman-Barbarian realms or else in the late WRE. I wonder how the Empire and the Roman Patriarchate will relate with them. For sure there would be a community in the Eternal City but certainly can't be sure of their establishment across Italy beyond Rome at the time. Surely there would be Sephardi and Ashkenazi in Spain, North Africa and Germany, not sure about Gaul. But from what I gather so far they should have limited citizenship in the Empire as Constantine and Theodosious partially reversed the constitutio Antoniana against them, Justinian would do it OTL so likely TTL hence Marcianus may follow him?
     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter XXXIV: Nika,Nika,Nika!

    Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

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    Chapter XXXIV

    The news coming from the East worried the imperial court in Rome. Iustinianus wasn’t a supporter of the current Western imperial dynasty nor a supporter of the concept of two emperors for the empire of the Romans. This was clear to everyone well before Iustinus’s death. Since Marcianus had no possibility to prevent Iustinianus’s ascent to the throne, he resorted to prepare his own empire for the incoming troubles. Since 522 AC the “Dalmatian” fleet was moved back to the Adriatic, after having spent almost 40 years in the Tyrrhenian Sea protecting the coast of Italy against the Vandals. During the following year the emperor ordered the creation of a new western fleet to counter any possible threat coming from Africa. Since a war against Constantinople would require a huge amount of resources, Marcianus was forced to limit the expense for this new fleet, which would reach a total strength of 50 Dromons and a double amount of minor vessels. Most of these vessels were just mercantile ships forcefully included by the emperor in the new fleet.

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    Four years later, in 527 AC, with the death of the eastern emperor, the threat from Constantinople became real. Luckily for Marcianus, Iustinianus was now involved in a new conflict against Persia, as the two powers were now trying to increase their respective influence on the Caucasian region at the expense of the other. The war saw an alternation of Roman and Persian victories, like the battle of Dara and Callinicum, and a prominent role was played by Flavius Belisarius, the new Magister Militum in the war against Persia. Despite the ongoing conflict, Iustinianus was able to take some important measure concerning the civilian administration of the empire. He removed Iulius Procopius from his position of Quaestor Sacri Palatii, replacing him with Tribonianus. The new Quaestor would immediately start to work on a revision of all previous Roman laws and decrees which later would be included in a new Codex, a continuation of the previous Codex Theodosianus. In the meantime Iustinianus had to face the pressure of the Thracian Goths and their leader Athalaric, who was now eager to exploit the current conflict of the Romans with the Persian to increase his power and his influence. With promises and gift Iustinianus was able to postpone the problem but the days the Romans could buy time and peace were coming to an end.

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    13 January, 532: that day at the Hippodrome of Constantinople the population was restless. Iustinianus’s expensive policies, like the war against the Persians, the gift to the Goths, the lavish imperial court and many other ambitious projects, worsened the economic conditions of the Romans. At that time the inhabitants of the capital were grouped into two factions, the Blue and the Green, which represented the political evolution of the original four chariot teams. The Blue represented that portion of the population closer to the interests of (or better led by) the members of the Senate and also closer to the Chalcedonian creed while the Green represented those inhabitants linked with the merchants and other emerging social classes opposed to the predominance of the Senators/landowners. Religiously speaking these men were prone to Monophysite influence and thus close to Anastasius’s religious policy. Since the beginning of the races the crowd started to insult the emperor and his wife, who were watching the spectacle from the imperial palace. It wasn’t the first time a emperor was subjected to insults at the Hippodrome, but this time the two factions were now jointly expressing their anger against Iustinianus. No one in the Hippodrome even tried to defend the emperor, the few who attempted to speak in support of the emperor were quickly eliminated by the angry crowd. The population was now unanimously shouting their anger: Nika,Nika,Nika!. The emperor immediately retreated to the Great Palace, besieged by the Roman population of the capital.

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    Under the pressure of the rioters, emperor Iustinianus was forced to make some concessions like the removal of his most trusted advisors. Tribonianus and Praefectus Praetorio Ioannes ( responsible for the heavy fiscal burden placed upon the population) were some of the most prominent victims of this concession. However the news of their removal and replacement with Basilides and the patrician Phocas came too late, as the crowd were now asking for the removal of the emperor himself. At this point what they needed was a candidate to the throne and this candidate was Hypatius, Anastasius’s nephew. The crowd brought him to the Forum of Constantine were he was forcefully crowned emperor of the Romans before reaching again the Hippodrome.

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    In the meantime in the imperial palace, the emperor was discussing with his advisors about the possibility to escape by sea to the city of Nicomedia. Despite the support of many senators that had found refuge in the palace, empress Theodora spoke against this idea prompting Iustinianus to fight for the purple now instead of leaving the heart of the empire to the enemy. After having taken the decision to resist the rioters, Iustinianus ordered his generals to quell the revolt with the use of the remaining loyal military units. While the emperor could still count on the support of the Excubitores and on the support of his generals’s personal retinue, most of the soldiers of the city were simply waiting in their barracks, where they were waiting the unfolding of the events. Iustinianus knew that his soldiers couldn’t face the vastly numerically superior enemy, therefore he ordered the eunuch Narses to negotiate with the leaders of the Blue in order to undermine the unity of the rioters. Narses immediately left the imperial palace with a small retinue and enough money to buy the support of the Blue. At the hippodrome the bold Armenian delivered a speech to the most prominent members of the Blue, were he reminded them the favour they enjoyed under Iustinianus’s rule before finally showing them the gold. The Blue were ready to desert Hypatius, thus bringing the revolt to an end. Until the moment a man entered the Hippodrome accompanied by some soldiers. Flavius Iulius Procopius was now trying to take part in the recent events.

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    A couple of days earlier.

    16 January, Arcadiopolis: Athalaric was moving with some Gothic units toward the city of Constantinople, in the hope of receiving new concession for himself and his people. This was his last attempt to settle the matter with the use of diplomacy, since the Romans were now less prone to diplomatic pressure, given that their conflict with Persia was now reaching its final phase. It was during his march that a gothic soldier reached him, with news about the recent riot in the capital. He finally had the occasion to meddle in imperial matters, thus granting him the possibility to force the hand of the emperor. He therefore departed with 3000 horsemen in order to reach the city before the emperor could restore order in the city. Upon reaching the city a couple of days later, he realised that even with the riot inside the city, Roman units were still garrisoning the wall while awaiting news from the Hippodrome and the Great Palace. His arrival didn’t go unnoticed and immediately the Romans prepares for a possible attack. Carus, the officer responsible for the defence of Gate of Charisius was the first one to react. A sympathiser of Hypatius, Carus quickly warned the rioters about the possible Goths threat. Here the crowd decided to send the only men with enough authority, who hadn’t escaped after the beginning of the riot, to negotiate with Athalaric: former Quaestor Sacri Palatii Procopius, a friend of Hypatius and opposer of the current emperor, Flavius Pompeius, Hypatius’s brother and Olybrius Iunior. The Roman delegation met the Gothic leader outside the city where they explained the current situation. However Procopius altered some of the facts in order to win the immediate support of Athalaric. According to him Iustinianus had already been deposed and now the population was trying to eliminate his last supporters and find a suitable candidate to the throne, with Hypatius as the most likely choice. In this way Procopius leaved to Athalaric no choice, as Iustinianus was a lost cause leaving him with only the possibility to support the current change. Thus Athalaric officially sided with the man who had the highest possibilities to become the next emperor. Procopius later returned to the Hippodrome at the right moment, since his entrance coincided with the moment when Blue’s support for Hypatius was about to fade. Here he read Athalaric’s official letter to the Romans and the most important ( and still alive) representative of the imperial government, where he announced his support for Anastasius’s nephew. Before finishing to read the letter, Narses and his men attacked him, thus provoking the reaction of the Green immediately followed by the Blue, once again supporting Hypatius. Iustinianus’s delegation was captured along with the Gold, while the crowd started a new assault against the Great Palace, supported by the gothic soldiers who were allowed to enter the city and were now trying to destroy the last opposers, unbeknownst of the fact that they were actively crushing the resistance of the still alive emperor. After a short siege that lasted some hours, the rioters and the Goths were able to enter the complex where after a brief fight and the massacre of those civilians unable to escape the fury of the attackers, the defenders surrendered. The city of Constantinople now belonged to Hypatius and the defeated were at his mercy.

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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  4. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Well, that was totally unexpected and I totally root for it.

    Naturally I will spill out already the likely most important pending question: where was Belisarius?
     
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  5. TheCataphract Well-Known Member

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    Makes me wonder if the Army is just going to side with Belisarius, who then turns around and trounces the Goths to take the throne.
     
  6. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    I want to bet so much on this possibility.
     
  7. TheCataphract Well-Known Member

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    Emperor Belisarius has a hell of a ring to it doesn't it?
     
  8. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    He be one one of the best emperors they had and with him in control the Persians would be killed before they had a chance to rise again and the helplathites would survive and Islam would be killed in the cradle
     
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  9. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Definitely.

    And eventually a good friend of the Western Empire as well.
     
  10. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

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    He is still alive and he is going to make a comeback in the next update along with another character.
    He is only at the beginning of his career and the eastern provinces would probably prefer to join a Monophysite emperor rather than a general loyal to the deposed Chalcedonian Iustinianus, even though his wife Theodora was a Monophysite. I’m going to explain more about this in the next update.
    No love for Hypatius? However one day I could resume my other timeline about Belisarius
    He would be a really long-lived emperor. Anyway Islam is going to be butterflied anyway since this seems to be the most popular option.
    Considering the period, this seems to be the best moment to have an eastern emperor who actively support the West.
     
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  11. darthfanta Offline

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    An excellent commander yes,but not necessarily a good emperor.
     
  12. TheCataphract Well-Known Member

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    My worry with Hypatius is that he could very likely become the puppet of the Goths who helped put him on the throne. That could be disastrous.
     
  13. darthfanta Offline

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    The Goths taking control of the empire isn’t the most worrying bit,it’s how the rest of the empire responds that’s the most important part.Generals out in the provinces might march on Constantinople. They will definitely do so if the Goths push their luck and did what you said,in which case Persia’s not going to be idle.
     
  14. Fortuna The resident fascist

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    Belisarius was an amazing general but I think he was purely a military man and at best would be an average emperor in other places. I really wasn't expecting this kind of a twist to the story though good job. the empire might plunge into civil war and that's gonna be fun to read
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
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  15. machine3589 Fabricator-General

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    So I take it Iustinian isn`t getting the throne back?
     
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  16. darthfanta Offline

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    Best option for the new rulers would be to have him lynched by the mob.It’s the will of the people,and therefore,the new rulers are not guilty of his death.
     
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  17. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    That true know that I think about it he made some stupid decisions like the debocal in Italy with the peace treaty or the back stapping the Ostrogoths
     
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  18. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Don't examine this too closely. :-D
     
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  19. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

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    Or the Western Empire as well. Marcianus could decide to take action against Theodoric whatever the cost if things would degenerate in the East.
     
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  20. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

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    A couple of emperors were enthroned by barbarian leaders and turned out great rulers. Let’s hope Hypatius is one of them.
    Hypatius could just be lucky and able to consolidate his power. However sooner or later some problems will need to be dealt with. The conflict with Persia is almost over and unless a prominent roman general desert to them, I think they won’t try to prolong it. The empire could be able to avoid civil war this time, but in the future events could take a different and disastrous path. We just need to wait and see how Athalaric and Hypatius are going to handle the situation.
    This time the empire could just be lucky enough to avoid a civil war. However I’m already planning a devastating civil war for the future.
    I don’t think he would ever be able to regain back his power. Not sure yet but maybe in the future one of his relatives could succeeds where he failed...
    I haven’t decided the exact fate of Justinian yet. There will certainly be executions in the next update, so let’s see what’s going to happen to Justinian.
    Not entirely his fault since his successors didn’t consolidate his conquests.
    Unfortunately we will never know if people like Belisarius ( or Maniakes when exploring alternate Byzantine history) would have been great emperors, so in this timeline I can only try to guess the personality and skills of the historical characters I’m using for the story.
    Soon we are going to cover the problems coming from the north, but now we should start looking at other more important matters.
     
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