Hadrian's Consolidation - reboot

in this instance if you stop expanding the communication and transport network 'you die' because the issue with expansion was always communication, logistics and rebellion
 
What do you mean?
by this I mean when a period comes where money is tight the tendency would be to decrease infrastructure spending this would signal the death of the empire rather than stopping expanding per say. Past the proto-industrial phase we are in now comes the industrialization age........ factory working, water power etc empires in this stage that don't have good communications and logistic always die OTL at least
 
Here comes the post I really wanted to publish yesterday but could not due to conflicting agenda (I've given my resignation at work because I could not support my boss anymore and did not want to get angry or bitter about the situation, but now I got to find a job before my last last day :) )
Standing for what you believe is right and for your own (mental) health is always the best option. Sadly that doesn’t feed you, so best wishes in your search. What are you looking for?
 
Alright, everyone, map update time!

The Roman Empire in AD 247:

View attachment 494838

Edit: Uploaded new draft of the map with changes in Jutland peninsula
Hecatee, will the Roman Empire expand to the Vistula/Tyras frontier in your timeline, now that the threat from the Parthians and their Scythian allies have been dealt with decisively? And will that be the last major imperial expansion, at least in Europe?
 
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Hecatee, will the Roman Empire expand to the Vistula/Tyras frontier in your timeline, now that the threat from the Parthians and their Scythian allies have been dealt with decisively? And will that be the last major imperial expansion, at least in Europe?
The Urals, I hope.
 

Hecatee

Donor
Hecatee, will the Roman Empire expand to the Vistula/Tyras frontier in your timeline, now that the threat from the Parthians and their Scythian allies have been dealt with decisively? And will that be the last major imperial expansion, at least in Europe?
I've not decided yet, but it would take quite some time if I were to go in that direction, due to logistical concern. While the Romans now have railroads and have the legions and slaves to build the lines, they still have weak kind of rails, metallurgy is not yet up to the task of producing all metal rails, and chemistry has not yet invented gunpowder, not to speak of dynamite... so rail developpment will be slower than what you might expect, and Rome will not grow until it has solved that issue, it is already as big as one can expect and will start to face a new kind of threat while facing serious challenges linked to the chinese situation.
 
Why they still didn't conquered Caledonia? If they finish the Picts off they would have a easier time garrisoning the island.
 
Why they still didn't conquered Caledonia? If they finish the Picts off they would have a easier time garrisoning the island.
Easier said than done.

You can win a major battle, if you can get them to concentrate their forces. And you can win every little battle.
But the highlands are split into lots of glens and suchlike, and garrisoning such a place is a nightmare. Even exterminating the population is not possible, since people can flee up the hillsides and into caves and the like.

To some extent, the best possible solution is the Antonine Wall, and whenever a group raids across it, engage in massive retaliation. Which is what they tried iOTL.
 
Easier said than done.

You can win a major battle, if you can get them to concentrate their forces. And you can win every little battle.
But the highlands are split into lots of glens and suchlike, and garrisoning such a place is a nightmare. Even exterminating the population is not possible, since people can flee up the hillsides and into caves and the like.

To some extent, the best possible solution is the Antonine Wall, and whenever a group raids across it, engage in massive retaliation. Which is what they tried iOTL.
Yet they conquered Germania and its hell-like forests, who had a much bigger population.
 
Yet they conquered Germania and its hell-like forests, who had a much bigger population.
There are also a lot more legions involved in pacifying Germania and Alba (eight) than are available to garrison Britannia (two). Britannia is a strategically unimportant side theater. Any legion stationed there is a drain on the empire's resources that is not available for the defense of the heartland.
 
There are also a lot more legions involved in pacifying Germania and Alba (eight) than are available to garrison Britannia (two). Britannia is a strategically unimportant side theater. Any legion stationed there is a drain on the empire's resources that is not available for the defense of the heartland.
Nah, I don't believe there's an in-universe explanation to why they would conquer all of Germania and wouldn't bother to exterminate the Picts. Having to guard the Wall is a drain in the empire's resources that they wouldn't have in the long run if they had conquered Caledonia. Possession of all of Britania means they would only have to be wary about Hibernian raids.

I would go as far as to say they would've conquered Hibernia before going as far as they got in Germania.
 
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Yes I always thought that squaring away the British Isles would be a good move for Rome. ITTL the region is more secure and profitable than in OTL but they still face a lot of raids from Picts and to a lesser degree the Irish. If those places were pacified, an expensive prospect yes but profitable in the long term. The place would not need two legions but one or even a smaller formation.

EDIT: I think probably the best borders for Rome are all of North Africa (with oasis and such secured to prevent desert raiders from being a nuisance), Arabia taken, Persia taken (it makes for excellent borderland), Caucus mountains secured, land border to be roughly the Vistula river, Danish islands secured too so that Scandinavians can't raid (unless they go viking ;) ) and as mentioned the British and other important islands to deny staging and stopover points to raiders.

That said Rome could probably expand further, mimic 3rd Rome and take over Siberia ;) take Americas (they do seem the most likely to get it) and Australia. Africa, India and the Spice Islands would likely be more of a colonial setup because they are populous and most of it is not good land for Europeans.
Indeed I know it is a challenge for @Hecatee to keep this Rome from steamrolling the world. Think about it, they are advanced, well organized, massive. They have just about all of the advantages of Europe from the age of colonialism except their rivals are even more backwards compared to the edge the Europeans had. Think about it, barring Persia, India and China plus a handful of others everyone is in the stone age or thereabouts.

I know I am not the first to draw a parallel between USA and Rome and like the USA this Rome could carve out new "states" out of Eastern and Northern Europe whenever they like, and keep them too if they are not overly ambitious and overextend. This can keep going as long as there is a pool of willing settlers (which will decrease as people become more affluent and advanced, after all not many people today are excited when they hear there is free dirt somewhere out there ;) ) and state communications and administration are capable of overseeing the new territory oh and also when they decide genocide is impolite :p Now maybe Romans settle down on the defensible borders I outlined or thereabouts, or maybe they will be fighting China to take Manchuria in 200 years it all depends on where Heca wants to take this. ;)
 
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Well Britannia will always take 3 legions and the same number of Auxiliaries to keep the islands pacified. Especially if u have ireland as well. Theres also more advantage in taking Germania. Good farmland recourses and it makes the border shorter
 
I've not decided yet, but it would take quite some time if I were to go in that direction, due to logistical concern. While the Romans now have railroads and have the legions and slaves to build the lines, they still have weak kind of rails, metallurgy is not yet up to the task of producing all metal rails, and chemistry has not yet invented gunpowder, not to speak of dynamite... so rail developpment will be slower than what you might expect, and Rome will not grow until it has solved that issue, it is already as big as one can expect and will start to face a new kind of threat while facing serious challenges linked to the chinese situation.
I only want Rome to advance to the Vistula/Tyras frontier before a Hadrian-like emperor emerges in Rome to declare that from then on no further conquests will be made. I am not asking for this Roman Empire to conquer the world like some posters here are fantasizing about. China certainly did not.
 
I think soon enough a usurper will succeed in becoming Emperor. Perhaps a jealous son or somebody who thinks they should be emperor. Or the Emperor proves a horrible emperor and is Usurped starting a crisis of the third century type senario causing Rome to lose some territory while its in a civil war.
 
Governor’s palace, Alexandria, March 250

Hecatee

Donor
Governor’s palace, Alexandria, March 250

Manlius Torquatus Primus could not deny it, if felt good to be back in the Empire, even if it was in Egypt, a region that in some ways felt more alien than Serica itself. At least here his toga did not cause everyone to stare and the wine was good and plentiful, and the food much more to his taste, although he’d seen to his disgust that rice had been imported and was seen as a delicacy by the local elite who had it planted in some areas of the Nile’s delta.

But rice was far from his main concern as he sat in a chair in the governor’s office, talking with the man about the collapse of Serica. After his escape from Luyang Shi he and his party had made their way to the coast, where they’d waited for the yearly roman trade fleet. While there they had collected information and they all pointed to a confused situation.

The imperial capital had been besieged but not taken by the barbarians, despite the fact they had been able to defeat not one but two imperial armies in the field. One had been led by a southern general while the other had been commanded by a palace official who’d organized a sortie, and both men’s head had found their way to pikes set in front of the capital’s main gate.

But then the really bad news had started to come to the ambassadorial mission : two governors had declared that the Tiānmìng, the mandate of Heaven, had been withdrawn from the emperor and that they, of course, would become the new emperor. One, commanding a southern coastal province, had been more prepared than the other : not wasting time, he’d sent a large cavalry force to his rival’s province in a swift decapitation move while he made ready for the inevitable imperial reaction.

Unfortunately those had been lacklustre effort due to peasant revolts and lack of direction by the court, still besieged in Luyang Shi. One army had been beaten while a second one had simply switched side when it saw what forces had already been amassed by the rebel.

That when news of a third pretendant had arrived from the western most reaches of the empire, muddling the state of affairs further.

For the Romans that would not have been that much of an issue in and off itself, but from their position in a city known for its trade they immediately understood that Rome would be impacted too. Sericulture was impacted by war, and taxes had to be levied to pay for all the new troops. Luckily they had already stockpiled a lot of silk and made sure to have an imperial tax dispensation that prevented any new costs, but next year’s trade fleet would pay a lot more !

Also Torquatus Primus had understood that the western rebellion would probably also impact the land trade, a bad news for the indian kingdoms and for Parthia, through which this trade largely went, another reason why silk would be more costly in Rome in a few months.

When his successor arrived with the trade fleet Torquatus Primus presented him with the still deteriorating situation and both men agreed that the situation was bad enough to warrant an immediate return to Rome with as much silk as possible. Torquatus had already ordered the construction of two local ships of larger than usual dimensions, under supervision of his attached engineer, and had enough precious silks on hand to fill the holds of all of the fleet, spending all his remaining money (both imperial and private) on the endeavour.

At first his replacement had been unhappy with the situation, for the fully loaded holds meant that there was no room onboard for him to bring anything back to make his own fortune but Torquatus Primus agreed to sell him half his private share at the day’s market price, which the man did not know was already 15% higher than what Torquatus Primus had paid ! Even better from Torquatus Primus point of view, the paiement was to be done in Rome, which meant he would not pay any taxes on the cash given that it would not cross the borders !

Also, with the news they brought, if they were careful they would be able to make a fortune by delaying the sale of their marchandises by one or two years.

So it was that after a year of sailing Torquatus Primus was giving the official account of his journey to the governor of Egypt, already savouring in his mind the fortune he’d made, enough for him to buy senatorial rank for his four sons and still invest in his own silk fabric which he planned to build in Asia Minor : he had the perfect estate for that not too far from Illium… And thanks to his newfound wealth the Albini would not be able to stop him either, so while they would be the first to make roman silks the Torquati Primi would be the second !
 

Hecatee

Donor
Great story as always.

Are you planning an updated map, taking into account the changes after the Parthian war?
As you may know I'm not the one making the maps, and we also have a problem because the template does not go that far east, however the territorial gains are quite limited so an update is not necessary.
 
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