From Exile to Triumph: a Western Roman Timeline

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

Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: Chapter XII: Battle of Augusta

    Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    Chapter XII

    After some days of travel the roman army finally reached the city of Curia. Luckily for them the city still existed, serving as a refuge for the local population and the inhabitants of neighbouring destroyed cities. Although the roman authority had totally vanished from the region, attempts of coordinated resistance were made by prominent bishops or former officers of the Raetian army. Fortified city offered protection against barbarian raids, but now with the destruction of smaller settlements, they also became the new targets of attacks from the germanic populations. The biggest threat for the Raetian were the Alemanni, a germanic population that tried to establish a kingdom in the territory of the former provinces of Raetia, Germania I and Maxima Sequanorum. The Alemanni posed a bigger threat to the local inbatitants than the Rugii or the Heruli, yet they were also increasingly subjected to the power of frankish kings, as recent battles showed the superiority of the franks against them.

    [​IMG]

    During the first year of the campaign the roman army didn’t see any important battle, instead Nepos ordered his soldiers to repair local infrastructures: while marching further north, the romans provided for the reparations of roads and bridges, forts were built on strategic positions, while roman officers were temporarely the detached from the main army with the task of training the locals. New recruits along with the small militias of fortified cities were organized into units of “limitanei”, while former soldiers, previously abandoned to their destiny by the empire, slowly rejoined the ranks of their original units. Nepos main objective was to ensure the link between the various Raetian cities and forts with the Roman authority in Italy. However he also established local autonomous authority by seizing the powers of local bishops and restoring it to the Praeses of Raetia I and Raetia II, while the military commands of local units was assigned to a “Dux Raetia Prima et Secunda” subjected to the Magister Militum Praesentalis. Depots of grain were built or restored to ensure the supply and the payment of the Limitanei (foods composed a great part of the “Stipendium” of the roman soldiers during the Late Empire), necessary to avoid desertions of entire regiments, while Nepos also tried to bring people back to their villages and lands. The years saw small engagements between isolated imperial units and local bands of bandits or barbarians, constantly pushed north by the romans in an attempt to bring peace and security to the provinces. However small units of defeated barbarians were allowed to join the growing ranks of the roman army while their families where settled in depopulated villages in the southern part of Raetia, and occasionally northern Italy. By doing so Nepos hoped to incorporate part of the enemies, by giving them a place to live under the rule of the emperor and a reason to fight for Rome.

    [​IMG]
    Example of a roman fort, usually home to a small garrison of 500 men. This particular fort is situated at Saalburg.

    But the majority of the barbarians still preferred the old way of devastations and raids, forcing Nepos to constantly push North with his army while limiting the range of movement of the enemies. The more he moved North to bring order, the more the barbarians opposed organized resistance to his attacks. In 484 during his march to Augusta Vindelicorum and the Danube, after being reinforced by almost one thousand men from Italy, Nepos was forced to face the first serious threat to his campaign as an Alemannic army of almost 7000 men stood on his way to Augusta. Despite the almost equal numbers of the two armies the Alamannic king Valdomar totally underestimated the strength of his opponents, considering them equal to the roman garrisons he had faced during his previous campaigns. The following battle proved him wrong: the soldiers of the imperial army showed a resistance superior to that of Raetian while the Ostrogoths of the Scholae were able to surround and kill king Valdomar, provoking the route of his army. With the city of Augusta finally liberated from the immediate threat, Nepos proceeded with the reorganization of the defenses on the Danube and the restoration of the fortification in the city. During the winter that Nepos spent in Augusta he received important news from Noricum: similar results were accomplished by his general in the region, however the army had to stop the operations due to the sudden death of Ecdicius, who undefeated on the battlefield died of old age. While his son Eparchius Avitus, commander of the elite unit of the “Ioviani Seniores”, was too young to take the command of the entire army, he was promoted to the position of Comes Domesticorum Equitum, while Constantianus would take the role of Magister Militum Praesentalis and the command of the campaign in Noricum. Even more interesting was the news from Gaul, about the death of king Euricus of the Visigoths, who was succeeded by his young son Alaric II, a weak leader in the opinion of many, probably a great opportunity in the opinion of Nepos.


    NDiovianiSeniores.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
  2. TheHandsomeBrute Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Location:
    Göteborg
    Just found this TL and I think it's great. I love the idea that WRE is restored even if it isn't my favorite Rome Era.
    Though isnt Nepos pissing the church a bit much for comfort?
    Other than that keep up your good work.
     
    Flavius Iulius Nepos likes this.
  3. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    Really glad you like it.
    Probably you re right, but Nepos really need some of these reforms. Fortunately this point of history usually saw the prevailing of the imperial forces against the church, however in the future we will also see how the religious opposition can occasionally react to the emperor's policies
     
    TimTurner and crazyself00 like this.
  4. machine3589 Fabricator-General

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Location:
    Somewhere in time
    I`m loving the TL thus far. I do have a question though: where is Neops getting the money for all of this?
     
    Flavius Iulius Nepos likes this.
  5. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    Do you mean the money for the military expeditions in the north? Part of the money come from the economical reorganization of Italy, from the return of people to the land (thanks to the pacification of Italy and the reduced threat coming from external threats) and from the new class of the "beneficiarii", responsible for the payment of the army ( which is payed mostly, but not only, in nature). However as you can see the army is still small ( Nepos has only 6000 men under his command in Raetia), the fleet comes from Dalmatia, and most of the rebuildings will take time before gathering enough resources (in Mediolanum Nepos only made promises for the future). Anyway considering what Theodoric was able to do OTL with the control of Italy, I don't see why Nepos could not do the same.
     
  6. darthfanta Offline

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Is he getting any financial subsidies from Constantinople?
     
    Flavius Iulius Nepos likes this.
  7. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Location:
    Italy
    Saving the anciest and most important Roman settlement of Raetia is a good start. And Curia is still standing, providing a safe path to Helvetia. Next move is likely to secure Noricum and Vindobona...
     
  8. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    He had both financial and military help during the war for Italy at the beginning of the timeline ( nothing excessive considering the troubles the East is facing against the two Theodorics).
    After the end of this campaign I have something in mind concerning an offer from the East.
    While Ecdicius is dead his soldiers already made some progress in Noricum. As you can see there are lost of problems to solve, nominally roman provinces to recover and an interesting situation in Gaul. We will see what Nepos can effectively recover and what is definitely lost.
     
    crazyself00 likes this.
  9. SeaCambrian Alien Space Bat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Awesome story so far. I am not so familiar with many of the Late Roman internal developments, so I really like that you include justifications and additional context for many of the major Roman offices and the decisions made by Nepos and other leaders. Are there any particular sources on the WRE administration or post-Roman kingdoms that you used for this TL, that you can recommend?

    By the way, is it true that the Alemanni, Rugii, and Herulii at this point were indeed very un-Romanized even at this point? If so, that seems to hold a lot of alternate history possibility. A bit of a tangent from this timeline, but I wonder if they could have joined with the Lombards early on and assimilated northern Italy, or even Illyria.

    In honor of the late Ecdicius, Imperator Nepos must reconquer as much of Gaul as he possibly can. I think Narbonensis at least is achievable.

    Even if he doesn't, though, as long as the Alpine passes are fortified then Italy's survival can be relatively secured. Later, the almost inevitable divisions of the Franks could provide an opening for future Gallic Wars.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
  10. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Location:
    Italy
    As the Burgundians shouldn't have passed the Aar, Central Elvetia should return in the fold kicking or making fold the Alemans here. This could have interesting developments such as never German languages south of the Danube, and a stronger Rhaeto-Romance language covering all the Alps, from the Aar to Wien. Roman Switzerland and Austria look to be quite fun.

    I guess Pannonia is off limits for now, and maybe is for the best.
     
  11. SeaCambrian Alien Space Bat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    I wonder if a "Rhine expedition" to Trier and Colonia could be possible, eventually.
     
    Flavius Iulius Nepos likes this.
  12. TheHandsomeBrute Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Location:
    Göteborg
    Gaul shouldn't be much of a problem to reconquer if one gets rid of Clovis (assassination) before he Starts conquering everything around him. Though protecting Gaul would be something else all together.
     
  13. RyuDrago Italian? Yes, but also Roman

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Location:
    Italy
    I don't even think the Empire has the resources for the time to going beyond the OTL boundaries of the Kingdom of Odoacer. Besides if the WRE collapsed gradually we can't expect it to retake a fast reversed course. And Roman Italy needs security but not adventurism at the time. Anyway it was promised the Kingdom of the Romans would have a brighter moment than OTL so...
     
    Flavius Iulius Nepos likes this.
  14. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    Well currently I'm mostly using what I remember from my studies and from occasional readings (with an extreme simplification of what was the reality),however within one month I should be able to recover a book about the imperial administration that I once read in a library abroad the last year. If I'm able to recover the title I can give it to you.
    Sooner or later the Lombards, along with the Gepids and the Ostrogoths will play an interesting role in this timeline. Concerning the Alemanni, at this point they can be considered militarily advanced as the Romans but I suppose that administratively (due to their peripheral position) they are less advanded than the Goths or the Burgundians. Its highly unlikely that you will see something like the "Codex Alemannorum"
    I've to admit I didn't think about this possibility yet.
    In my opinion Pannonia would be a good addition to the empire, if the romans are able to secure again this region. I don't want to spoiler too much but I will try to arrange an interesting development with the Gepids, Goths, Lombards and later the Avars or the Bulgars.
    I doubt its possible during Nepos' reign. The Gauls are on their own
    There is not much time to change events in Gaul. Nepos' range of action is very limited and northern Gaul is outside his reach.
    Exactly. I don't want a complete Roman wank, but give me some centuries and I will give you a nice "Restauratio Imperii", better than OTL.
     
  15. darthfanta Offline

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    I think that is most likely what the Golden Cavalry of Constantinople's gonna be for. They will definitely want their western flank secured by a friendly state.
     
  16. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    We have to consider the relations between the two emperors, however it will be interesting to see how both empires will cooperate on the Danubian front against common enemies (when they are not busy fighting against each other)
     
    crazyself00 likes this.
  17. darthfanta Offline

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    The relationship between the current emperors aren’t bad though.It was a working relationship.Though I do suppose that the one in Constantinople sees Nepos as a junior partner.
     
  18. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    Currently Nepos enjoy full support from the east, but Zeno is gonna die soon. A more ambitious eastern emperor could try to absorb the western half, or even just ignore it if he is busy with the persians. If we are lucky we could even see the East actively support the west in a war or two.
     
    crazyself00 likes this.
  19. darthfanta Offline

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Next guy should be Anastasius.Nepos would be the senior emperor lol.It shouldn’t really be a problem unless Nepos try to back Longinus because he is grateful for Zenos’ support. I wonder if Nepos will be consulted in the election of the new ERE,given he would have had more legal authority in choosing the next ERE than Ariadne as the senior emperor.

    Regardless,I think the claimants will try to bribe Nepos to legalize their dubious claim to the throne.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
    Flavius Iulius Nepos likes this.
  20. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Location:
    Commonwealth
    Usually, the closer you are to the political heart of the empire the more influence you have on the election of the next emperor. Considering the distance between Constantinople and Rome (and the weakness of Rome), it would take a lot of time for Nepos before being able to arrange any serious response. Maybe in the future with a stronger West we will see the two empire meddling in the succession of each other
     
    crazyself00 likes this.
Loading...