Iron is also by no means rare in the borders of modern day turkey .
Yes but those coal deposits are thousands of feet underground, not exactly accessible and nobody was aware they were there until relatively recently. Unlike British coal which often comes all the way up to the surface. There's also quite a bit of Lignite shown there which wasn't really ideal for steam engines.
England never had a powerful naval tradition till King Henry VII
Yes it took a while but Geographical imperatives are inevitable.
even then till the 18th century was not dominant when compared to France or Spain
That was mostly because of the wealth and population advantages said states had over England, even then a far greater budget of the treasury was spent on the fleet than the Army. As Britain got wealthier through increased industrialization and it's colonial ventures it was only a matter of time before they surpassed the rest of Europe regardless.
Also lol even a greatly weakened Ottoman empire was able to protect itself from the Brits in WWI at least the straits of Constantinople. Heard of the failed landing at Galipoli. So that argument doesnt work.
I'm sorry I meant to say the Byzantines could probably hold Gallipoli.
Also as golden pointed out there is coal places in turkey and east Africa.
Yeah but how many of those were accessible in the 19th Century? Not to mention the costs of hauling coal all the way from Africa your better of importing it from Russia.
Byzantium had everything needed for industrialization
Except for reliable water and questionable steam power, which even if they somehow get super good at mining thousands of feet underground without causing mine explosions still puts them behind their competitors.
France and Byzantium by the way had excellent relations
True enough but historical relationships sort of become null towards the end of the 19th century, look at France and Russia who not seventy years before were ready to kill each other allied together against an up and coming Germany. Realpolitik is what matters to most countries at the end of the day.
russia was defined by its identity as third rome following the end of the byzantine empire
Technically it was called the Third rome long before Byzantium fell so maybe it does or doesn't. Either way though, an expansionist power isn't going to stop being an expansionist power just because they lost one or two convenient excuses for doing so. I'm sure there are plenty of Slavic nationalists begging for Russia to free them from the Greek yoke in the Balkans.
In otl minorities were not persecuted that much in the byzantine empire.
Depends on the time period really. Even then, actual persecution doesn't matter to hardcore nationalists. All it takes is for Greek to become the language enforced in schools and maybe a few mismanaged police officers or soldiers firing at a protest and bam. Maybe they could assimilate the slavs before then through military service but I'm not so sure.
As for India being divvied up, I expect the byzantines to be involved in India just as Ottomans were in Gujarat for example prior to their loss to the Portuguese in the Indian ocean. And besides I dont see any reason why the Byzantines wont set up their own east india companies. They can use the red sea coastline to build the ships.
It's possible though I do see them getting out-competed by more advanced Portugese or Dutch. That is assuming the Byzantines aren't more advanced for some reason.
Really it all comes down to butterflies and how author wants to write there tl but Byzantium as we know in the modern scholarship is a state that was well on its way to industriaze and had the conditions to do so at least pre-Manzikert and even post manzikert but pre establishment of the pronia system by Alexius Komnenus and the issuence of favorable golden bulls by the byzantines to the italian city states.
A lot of people say the Song dynasty was on it's way to industrialization, the thing I think is that if Byzantium were to occupy such vast territory then it would only become a matter of time before the rise of powerful landlords become a dominating power in politics again, it's literally something that's happened to every single large contiguous empire in history. Assuming they beat the Arabs the in seventh century the conditions pre-Manzikert probably won't happen as more archaic frameworks of administration will have to be kept. So you are right in that it all comes down to butterflies and it all depends on what's the most likeliest to happen.
I think it's possible for Byzantium to cash in on the Capitalist revolution in a similar manner to Italy but Industrialization is a bit different.
To be fair Byzantine was largely rural but compared to most of europe at the time it was urbanized and I dont see why we wont see a continued strong trend towards urbanization in the case of a stable byzantine polity that has secured its borders and prevented Italian and foreign domination of the eastern med.
Being Urban doesn't necessitate Industrialization; after all the beginnings of it took place in semi-rural cottage industries or small mining towns like Coalbrookdale. You could make a case that it was the lack of development in cities in places like the U.K. that allowed for industrial growth the happen as easily as it did.
The Byzantine could have easily ended up going the wrong path (galleys vs galleons) just like Venice and Ottoman IOTL. Geographical conditions suited galleys better in the Meds during the 15th-17th centuries, but that path was a dead-end. OTOH, Atlantic nations were incentivized to develop larger ocean-going galleons earlier. The result is that they could have easily bottled up in Eastern Meds a.k.a east of Malta.
This is a fairly likely outcome though I do think they could adopt a sort of Xebec like ship.
Out of curiosity if the Byzantines do manage to lose everything south of Syria and dismiss it as a lost cause would western Europe be any more feasible or would they just bunker down with Italy, the Balkans, and Syria? I'm thinking the later but I wanted to check just in case.
While desert nomads would be a pain I do think it would be easier than taking western Europe. Though the difficulty increases as time goes by and the western European states become more and more established.
Would the Byzantine navy be any better if they held Morocco?
Marginally if at all. The Moroccans themselves never really could get a proper navy and while being part of the Empire certainly would help I don't think there's enough of an economic interest to have more than a few trade expeditions to Mali for Gold and Slaves (which they could get from Eastern Africa/Nubia much easier).
I don't believe there are special borders which are "natural".
Doesn't change there really are, not that they can't be tampered with but when done so often lead to over-extension and the like. Sometimes entire nations just aren't feasible and for their whole history they're living on borrowed time (I'm looking at you Lothringia). There also places where there really are no Natural borders and it causes everything to be a mess, see: Balkans.
Unless they invent guns (and a hell of a lot of them too) before anything in modern Russia rises to relevance then that's not too likely. Why would they even bother doing so? Russia only did so to negate threats to their heartland and to possibly get to Transoxiana and Persia. The Byzantines at most could just wall up the Caucus Mountains and the Isthmus in Crimea, maybe even the Volga river even if they want loads of land for sheep herders.We could see a byzantine empire expand into the steppes
and with a 6th century pod the possibilities are endless.
Sure, but I do think a touch of realism should be appreciated. While the possibilities are endless we still need convincing reasons why people do the things they do.
What challenges do we think that the empire based out of Constantinople would have in reclaiming and holding the Trajanic borders, given that we're giving them basically 1400 years?
I don't think it's possible unless some things beyond the Empire's control were to happen. Maybe the Magyars are more stronk in this timeline And absolutely devastate the Franks and Lombards while somehow not going after anything Byzantine for some reason, maybe Persia is irrevocably weakened and turned into a Roman client state through some combination of unlikely but not impossible circumstances. Maybe the Alchemists who made Greek fire start to diddle around with proto-gunpowder. Maybe the Franks stay Arian? You probably know better than me with all the timelines you did.
The Danube is navigable, with some work, all the way to Bavaria, where a Rhine canal can be built.
Yeah but a supply line that Runs along the border doesn't sound the most stable to me. A canal was built in Charlemagne's time so it's fairly possible.