Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Flavius Iulius Nepos, Jun 7, 2018.
So I'm guessing this timeline is gonna be a bit of a byzantine screw
Well it may bring balance of sort across the region, especially if moving towards true equity between West and East Rome.
This is true the west is a long way from recovering completely and so to keep the east from dominating in its affairs the east will need to be screwed a little at least for another 50 years. But once the west is fully recovered to the point it doesnt need to rely on the East's support we will likely see a large amount of cooperation between the empires to guard against the common enemy and therefore usher in an era of peace and prosperity, or since both empires are on equal footing they will constantly fight for dominance over each other and eventually weaken and crumble.
The division between western and eastern Romans is not permanent. More than a “Byzantine” screw, this timeline represent a partially successful Roman restoration of the west and its effects on the Mediterranean.
So if the division isn't permanent are you intending to reunite them?
But more interesting and worrying was the news that the former child emperor (no more a child now) Romulus had a son from a local Campanian girl, the daughter of his preceptor. The child was called Orestes, as the man who once deposed him, and Nepos ordered to the Consularis of the Campanian province to regularly inform him about the former usurper and his family.
Damn, I hope Romulus and his family can live peacefully.
Temporarily yes. The reunification could however be undone by another emperor in the future (peacefully or not). And successive division of the empire could follow a different border.
Yeah I spoke too soon
This sounds very, very interesting. Could we see mainland Greece + Constantinople going with the west, perhaps?
It’s a possibility, but we are talking about a very distant future so nothing is certain so far. Just it wouldn’t exactly be the “western” empire. This could prompt the rise of a new city in the east to serve as imperial residence for the eastern Augustus/Caesar, as long as Constantinople remains outside this portion of the empire.
With the riot over Hypatius now had to deal with the consequences of it. The city had been devastated during the days of the riot and despite the victory of the population over the loyalists, the inhabitants of Constantinople had suffered heavy casualties. Among the victims of the recent events there were the Praefectus of the city Eudaemon, senators loyal to Iustinianus and even Belisarius’s wife, Antonina. The fate of the survivors was now up to Hypatius: Iustinianus, Narses, Mundus and many others. Unfortunately for Hypatius and his supporters, Magister Militum Belisarius and empress Theodora, along with the remainder of the loyalist troops, were able to escape from the city before the fall of the palace. Some days later news would reach Hypatius that the survivors fled to the city of Nicomedia.
Among his first measures as emperor, Hypatius attempted to consolidate his power while trying to reconcile the population of the capital with the imperial authority, now his own authority. His friend and main supporter Procopius was granted the office of Quaestor Sacri Palatii, while Olybrius received the Praetorian Praefecture of Illyricum, with administrative responsibilities over the european side of the empire. Finally senator Origenes received the Praefecture of the city. Militarily speaking, the emperor had to move really carefully: Athalaric, who after being deceived had supported his claim to the throne, was rewarded with the title of Magister Militum per Thracias , thus receiving official recognition for himself and for his people, while the current Magister Militum Chilbudius was recalled to Constantinople. Hypatius know that his fate was currently in the hands of the Goths, forcing him to grant all the concessions that the gothic leader demanded, like additional land for the Goths and the payment of subsidies. With the support of the Goths and the few Roman troops inside the city who supported him, Hypatius was able to bring back order in the capital.
Another problem for the new emperor was represented by what was left of the previous regime: emperor Iustinianus was allowed to live his life peacefully in the palace of Hormisdas, the palace that two centuries ago belonged to the Sassanian prince Hormisdas and more recently, during Iustinus’s reign, served as residence for Iustinianus himself. Heavily guarded by the emperor’s soldiers, Iustinianus would be able to spend his life focusing on theological matters. His most trusted commanders were less lucky: the eunuch Narses was condemned to death while the Germanic general Mundus, having played a less prominent role during the riot, was temporarily imprisoned in the imperial palace. The real threat however was now represented by Belisarius, the hero of Dara and Magister Militum per Orientem. The man was loyal to Iustinianus, having served as his bodyguard and now there was the serious possibility that a civil war could erupt between the two factions. Certainly the fact that empress Theodora was among his retinue only reinforced this hypothesis. However Belisarius was also a pragmatic man: he knew that he couldn’t take the city without the support of the population and even if he could, Iustinianus would be dead before the end of the siege. Moreover there was the possibility that a war against Hypatius would quickly turn into a war against the Thracian Goths and the Western Romans. Finally despite Cosroe’s desire for peace, in order to consolidate his power after his father’s death, the outbreak of a civil war between the Romans could prompt him to prolong the war in the East.
Thus after the deposition of the previous emperor, a long and difficult negotiation was established between Constantinople and Nicomedia. Through their representatives, Procopius and Petrus, the two sides finally reached an agreement before the end of the month which included the confirmation of Belisarius as Magister Militum and an economical compensation for all his properties destroyed during the riot. Belisarius would accept to serve under the new emperor and would also deliver the former empress to Hypatius who would in turn grant her the possibility to spend her life with her husband in Constantinople. Her return to Constantinople however would be kept secret in order to avoid to inflame the population of the capital. Yet the new emperor was forced to sacrifice the most prominently representatives of the previous government, if he wanted to preserve his throne: Praefectus Praetorio Ioannes, the man responsible for the heavy fiscal burden placed upon the population, Tribonianus, hated by the senators who considered him an upstart, along with many others were executed in order to appease the people.
Even though Hypatius was forced to get rid of important members of the imperial administration in Constantinople, outside the city he had the possibility to impose his own will. Concerning the current war with the Persians, Hypatius decided to follow the same path of his predecessor: he confirmed Sittas as Magister Militum per Armeniam while resuming official negotiation with Cosroe. An agreement was only reached before the end of the year and included the recognition of Roman influence over Lazica while the Persian would retain control over Iberia. Additionally the Romans would pay the incredible sum of 10000 pounds of gold ( during the celebrations for his consulship in 521, Iustinianus spent 4000 pound which was already considered at the time an incredible sum) to the Persians, thus avoiding the humiliating condition of an yearly tribute. A minor note of this agreement was the return of the last members of the Academy to the empire, after they had been forced to flee in 529 AC. With peace secured in the east, Hypatius could now focus on the many internal problems of his empire which threatened his rule. In the east he would start the works necessary to rebuild Antioch, after an earthquake had destroyed the city in 526 AC. In the west he would find a way to repay a friend.
Hypatius showed mercy and accepted to compromise, I am somehow glad he got rid of Narses, that man left of his own would have caused nuisances and plot. Point is, the Eastern Roman Empire is weak now: Hypatius while moving reasonably still had to pay part of his power to the Thracian Goths and in part paying some concessions to Persia. Belisarius is not into a better situation - at least for now. Two of the main cities of the Empire were in crisis (Constantinople due to the riot and Antioch due to the earthquake) and if the plague will explode TTL will createulterior issues... For last, there is some Western influence on him which I doubt in the long term to be accepted.
Hypatius would need a miracle to have a successful or to better say a long reign.
Who is Hypatius friend in the West?
The concessions he is paying to Persia are the same of our timeline, the only difference is that Hypatius is probably going to take the problem of Antiochia and the threat of a new war with Persia more seriously. Really interesting would be how Hypatius and his successors are going to deal with the Goths and their increasing influence, something that could involve even the Pannonian Goths and the WRE. Anyway I doubt Hypatius would rule for long, since he is already an old man, probably he can only try to improve situation before leaving the empire ( and its problems) to his successor.
I was referring to Procopius: this man is certainly a faithful servant and a friend of the new eastern emperor but he is also trying to promote the interests of his family, which equal to the interests of the Western Roman Empire.
Long life the Anastasian Dynasty!
Very interesting unfolding of the events. I am particularly intrigued by
I guess Marcianus will be quick to recognize his new eastern colleague, enhancing the relations between the two Empires. I just wonder, how could they best help each other? Of course, they share a common source of headaches, the Goths (resp. Pannonians and Thracians) and one day or another they will have to deal with them.United, they could have some really good chances, I believe, Before that, of course, there is always the possibility of a joint venture to retake Carthage...
Eastern Roman involvement in the west is going to have some limits: Illyricum and Africa.
As you already realised the goths represent a real problem for the two emperor ( Theodoric basically has a possible Roman usurper with him while Athalaric is too close to Constantinople).
The two men are old but their successors will equally cause some problems to Hypatius and Marcianus and the two emperor can’t afford to leave a constant source of troubles in the north while dealing with other matters. That’s why I decided to keep Mundus alive but I will explain this better in the next update.
About Africa there isn’t much to say, the pro Roman Chalcedonian king Hilderic has been overthrown and now Rome and Constantinople have to deal with Gelimer. As you can expect soon there is going to be a punitive expedition against the Vandals, since enough time has passed since the last attempt and Rome is finally militarily and economically ready to face Gelimer.
Yet I still don’t know if I’m going to cover this war in the next update since I also have to resume the narration about the events in Gaul and Spain. Finally there are also a couple of laws/reforms and administrative decisions that I need to cover but probably I should just wait until I have enough material to write an entire update.
Thanks for your feedback! So, if I am not mistaken, the Empires will strike back against the softer spot first (i.e. the Vandals) and wait for the right opportunity to strike against the Goths, presumably the death of one of their Kings... After all, Theodoric died in 526 OTL and we are already 533 by the end of the last chapter.
PS: And as always, great update(s)! The situation in the east was totally unexpected, and I am loving its development and implications.
Or maybe the Goths could wait for the right opportunity to strike. Probably I should just stop here and wait for the appropriate chapter...
Anyway I’m glad you like this, let’s see if the next surprise is going to be as successful as the last one.
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