Latest POD that can save the Roman Empire

It cannot be because ever since the marian reforms Romans have been fighting each other giving their enemies the opportunity to defeat them. If you want to save rome prevent those reforms and it's republican origins prevented forming dynastic legitimacy
 
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Perhaps battle of Frigidus (or Valentinian II's murder and Eugenius' usurpation). The battle decimated much of the standing Western forces of the empire and also led to the Visigoths sustaining high losses, which was the pretext - at least - that Alaric used to declare war on the imperial government in 395 shortly after Theodosius' death. No usurpation and battle (perhaps Valentinian shows a bit more determination and orders the execution of Arbogastes for the death of Armonius but dies shortly afterwards) could help the West in having more forces available for the next few years at least.
 
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"Save" for how long? Nothing lasts forever.
I don't think it would have been impossible for the empire to last 500 more years, till the modern age. Maybe not as a superpower, but definitely possible. After all surviving till the present day doesn't equal forever anyway.
At least until 1453 when the Eastern Empire fell IOTL
Oh, so you mean just the Western half surviving longer. Definitely possible (I mean the kingdom of Odoacer and Theodoric was essentially the WRE with just a new guy at the top, more successful at ensuring internal stability), but I think in the long run it would just be reabsorbed back into the ERE. Almost happened during the reign of Leo I.
 
If for a United Roman Empire, I would say that Julian wakes up a minute earlier on the 26th June AD 363, enough time to put his armour on and defeat the Sassanids and conquer Mesopotamia, including Ctesiphon, then with the Sassanids defeated, concentrates on the Germans, more specifically the Goths, and also has heirs.

For the Eastern Roman Empire, I would say that Andronikos doesn't revolt in 1321, allowing the much reduced Byzantines to narrowly survive.

For the Western Roman Empire, I would say that Majorian purges Ricimer when he starts to gain real power, and this leads to the invasion of Vandal Africa going well, landing and conquering, restoring Rome's grain shipments to expel the Visigoths and Suebi from Hispania (likely in exchange for some land grants) and is able to connect with Syagrius in Northern Gaul, although after that I would expect the Western Romans to lose Northern Gaul and Galicia to the Suebi, becoming a loose confederation of Italy, Hispania and North Africa as they enter the middle ages.
 
I'm a big fan of Majorian's expedition to North Africa to beat the Vandals in 461 succeeds. OTL it failed because the Vandals paid off men to burn his fleet before it could ever launch from Spain.

Reconquering North Africa from the Vandals has two big positives for Rome: 1 - Africa was a productive province, providing lots of grain and tax revenue, two things that the WRE badly needed and 2 - Odds are Majorian isn't deposed and killed if he conquers Africa. Majorian was one of the rare late-era Emperors who wasn't completely useless.

Bring Africa back into the fold, have Majorian keep doing his thing for a bit longer as a result, and who knows how long the WRE could survive?
 
Not really a late POD but maybe if Livia and Augustus had a competent male son, this could create enough of a precedent that the Empire could be organized around the idea of the divine legitimacy of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. The height of the Empire was well past Nero, but when the Julio-Claudian Dynasty ended with him, this opened up the precedent for basically any good commander managing to take the Imperial Throne, a thing which ended up destroying the Empire in the coming centuries.

If the Julio-Claudian Dynasty lasts for longer, then maybe you could create enough cultural and historical inertia so that the ambitious generals would seek to become some kind of Prime-Minister in the model of Cao Cao or Hideyoshi. This would do wonders for continuity.
 
For the Eastern Roman Empire, I would say that Andronikos doesn't revolt in 1321, allowing the much reduced Byzantines to narrowly survive.
Personally I would say the civil war between Palaiologos and Kantakouzenos, but close enough.
For the Western Roman Empire, I would say that Majorian purges Ricimer when he starts to gain real power, and this leads to the invasion of Vandal Africa going well,
Ricimer played no role in the failure. When the fleet was destroyed he was still in Italy. Honestly people are placing too much blame on Ricimer when the truth is that he was just proof of how the Western emperors were no longer in touch with reality and the needs of the Italian aristocracy. Thus a lot of them siding with the him rather than the emperor.
landing and conquering, restoring Rome's grain shipments to expel the Visigoths and Suebi from Hispania (likely in exchange for some land grants) and is able to connect with Syagrius in Northern Gaul,
No Syagrius, Egidius is still alive and already loyal to Majorian. He is not an independent warlord yet and geographically he is still connected to the rest of the empire.
although after that I would expect the Western Romans to lose Northern Gaul and Galicia to the Suebi, becoming a loose confederation of Italy, Hispania and North Africa as they enter the middle ages.
Why though?
I'm a big fan of Majorian's expedition to North Africa to beat the Vandals in 461 succeeds. OTL it failed because the Vandals paid off men to burn his fleet before it could ever launch from Spain.

Reconquering North Africa from the Vandals has two big positives for Rome: 1 - Africa was a productive province, providing lots of grain and tax revenue, two things that the WRE badly needed and 2 - Odds are Majorian isn't deposed and killed if he conquers Africa. Majorian was one of the rare late-era Emperors who wasn't completely useless.
Definitely a possibility, Africaa would be a huge boon, but Majorian still has to do his best to keep the army and the ruling social class happy.
 
I don’t know about the United empire. Afterall it was marching towards splitting for over a century by the time the time the final split occurred. I think longer if you look at how iirc Gallienus and Valerian co ruled and all. The empire was too big to be dealing with so many threats at one time for one man to rule.

So for the east and west:

The west: I view Majorian’s reign as it’s last chance. He was successful and seemed reform minded. I think his planned North African campaign had a good chance of success and with it I think his legitimacy would’ve been cemented. He’d return with gold, prestige, and the royal family. After that if he had competent heirs and can avoid destructive power struggles I think the west could recover.

The east: I sometimes see people proplr say stuff after 1300 but I’m not too sure. I think Michael VIII while not great was there last real chance. If he’d had just a bit more luck he’d of been able to secure greece and turn to Anatolia by the mid 1260s imo. Doesn’t guarantee anything but it would put them in a much better spot that iotl.
 
It all depends a bit on definitions
- If you mean "save a unified Roman Empire", then you need to butterfly the Tetrarchy, which means having Diocletian or someone deciding to re-centralise the Empire in the aftermath of the 3rd-century crisis. After Diocletian, partition became standard practice - although exceptional Emperors (Constantine, Julian, Theodosius) temporarily re-unified the Empire, their successors immediately re-partitioned it.
- If you mean "maintain a West Roman Empire that Constantine or Diocletian would recognise", then I think you have to prevent the revolt of Magnus Maximus in 383. He was the first to strip the frontier garrisons to reinforce his field army, and following the losses at the Save the garrisons were never restored. Plus after the Save Arbogast became the first Germanic generalissimo to start playing Imperial politics.
- If you mean "maintain a West Roman Empire that controls the Italian heartland with some semblance of the old Imperial administration", then a successful reconquest of Africa province by Majorian, or even by Anthemius and Leo a few years later might do it. The Western Empire will be dependent on the East, and consist of no more than Italy, Illyria and Africa plus federates, but it has a shot at holding the line of the Alps until the Migration Period dies down.
- If you mean "maintain a Western Roman Emperor somewhere in Italy, who is generally recognised as legitimate even if he's effectively the puppet ruler of a Germanic successor-state", you can go all the way to Julius Nepos. Odoacer didn't have to decide to settle his spat with Zeno by mailing the Imperial regalia back to Constantinople, and if he hadn't, Theodoric and his successors might well have gone along with the fiction of Empire.
 
It all depends a bit on definitions
- If you mean "save a unified Roman Empire", then you need to butterfly the Tetrarchy, which means having Diocletian or someone deciding to re-centralise the Empire in the aftermath of the 3rd-century crisis. After Diocletian, partition became standard practice - although exceptional Emperors (Constantine, Julian, Theodosius) temporarily re-unified the Empire, their successors immediately re-partitioned it.
- If you mean "maintain a West Roman Empire that Constantine or Diocletian would recognise", then I think you have to prevent the revolt of Magnus Maximus in 383. He was the first to strip the frontier garrisons to reinforce his field army, and following the losses at the Save the garrisons were never restored. Plus after the Save Arbogast became the first Germanic generalissimo to start playing Imperial politics.
- If you mean "maintain a West Roman Empire that controls the Italian heartland with some semblance of the old Imperial administration", then a successful reconquest of Africa province by Majorian, or even by Anthemius and Leo a few years later might do it. The Western Empire will be dependent on the East, and consist of no more than Italy, Illyria and Africa plus federates, but it has a shot at holding the line of the Alps until the Migration Period dies down.
- If you mean "maintain a Western Roman Emperor somewhere in Italy, who is generally recognised as legitimate even if he's effectively the puppet ruler of a Germanic successor-state", you can go all the way to Julius Nepos. Odoacer didn't have to decide to settle his spat with Zeno by mailing the Imperial regalia back to Constantinople, and if he hadn't, Theodoric and his successors might well have gone along with the fiction of Empire.
The only thing I disagree with is that with Majorian I don’t see why he wouldn’t have hispania or Gaul as well?
 
The only thing I disagree with is that with Majorian I don’t see why he wouldn’t have hispania or Gaul as well?
Majorian expelled the Visigoths from Septimania and the Burgundians from the Rhone Valley and returned them both to federate status. The Visigoths were also made to officially relinquish their control of Hispania, but there's little evidence that Majorian was able to restore Imperial administration in anything more than a few coastal cities. Likewise Aegidius's domains in Gaul (which became the Kingdom of Soissons) were effectively independent. By this point, maintaining control of the federates was about the best the Empire could hope for.
 
Majorian expelled the Visigoths from Septimania and the Burgundians from the Rhone Valley and returned them both to federate status. The Visigoths were also made to officially relinquish their control of Hispania, but there's little evidence that Majorian was able to restore Imperial administration in anything more than a few coastal cities. Likewise Aegidius's domains in Gaul (which became the Kingdom of Soissons) were effectively independent. By this point, maintaining control of the federates was about the best the Empire could hope for.
I mean most the territory that he had retaken in Gaul and Hispania was only recently conquered by the Visigoths and Burgundian’s. It he didn’t have full authority re established by that point iotl then I don’t think that it would be out of the realm of reality to do so in a TL where he wins in Africa and establishes himself rather securely then him regaining imperial authority over alot of places is not unrealistic.
 
Majorian expelled the Visigoths from Septimania and the Burgundians from the Rhone Valley and returned them both to federate status. The Visigoths were also made to officially relinquish their control of Hispania, but there's little evidence that Majorian was able to restore Imperial administration in anything more than a few coastal cities. Likewise Aegidius's domains in Gaul (which became the Kingdom of Soissons) were effectively independent. By this point, maintaining control of the federates was about the best the Empire could hope for.
I mean most the territory that he had retaken in Gaul and Hispania was only recently conquered by the Visigoths and Burgundian’s. It he didn’t have full authority re established by that point iotl then I don’t think that it would be out of the realm of reality to do so in a TL where he wins in Africa and establishes himself rather securely then him regaining imperial authority over alot of places is not unrealistic.

I would be surprised if the Visigothic/Burgundian local administration was anything kther than the existing Roman elites in the area.
 
"Save" for how long? Nothing lasts forever.
I always hate this line of argument regarding the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire entity could exist to the present, there isn't really anything stopping that-tons of modern day countries are iterations of their past selves, from most countries Europe, to China, Iran, etc. It's obviously not going to look exactly the same, but then the Roman Empire of 320 looked nothing like the Roman Empire of 20 CE or the Roman Empire of 1071.

To answer the question, since I assume it's referring to the Western Roman Empire, then I think the last POD is probably the 460s, specifically the failed invasion of Vandal North Africa in 468.
 
The Majorian in Africa POD makes sense, but I think the big issue ultimately was the balance of power issue between Germanic migrant groups and the Roman Gvt caused by their entry onto imperial territory in 406. Before that, even the Visigoths were a Roman Army for more time than they were not, and were looking for a stable post.

So if the Romans are able to smash the attempted crossing of the Rhine, they'll be able to deal with these groups as far weaker entities, not rampaging military professionals picking up slaves and hangers on from across Roman Gaul with demands for land and tax revenue.

The best way to achieve this is to avoid open hostilities with the Visigoths after 400

If you have an Imperial Field Army available in 406, the crossing fails or is not attempted, and the subsequent migratory pressures can be handled much easier without destroying the internal administration of the Western Empire
 
I would be surprised if the Visigothic/Burgundian local administration was anything other than the existing Roman elites in the area.
So would I, but neither was the Imperial administration - by this point repeated invasions/migrations, civil wars and general disorder have completely disrupted the larger-scale economy and administration and the local elites - who are sliding rapidly into manorialism - are just paying their taxes/tribute/protection money to the local military boss. And they won't be keen on seeing their taxes and young men shipped off god-knows-where in the name of the Empire.

I mean most the territory that he had retaken in Gaul and Hispania was only recently conquered by the Visigoths and Burgundian’s. It he didn’t have full authority re established by that point iotl then I don’t think that it would be out of the realm of reality to do so in a TL where he wins in Africa and establishes himself rather securely then him regaining imperial authority over alot of places is not unrealistic.
He can establish authority - if you mean turning up with an army and slapping the local federates back into line. Re-establishing the Imperial administration in devastated or disrupted provinces - to the point where they become an asset to the Empire rather than a drain on it - is harder. When Justinian re-conquered Italy in the 6th century, he sent in the Imperial tax-collectors - who swiftly reduced Italy to poverty and revolt. And Justinian had far more resources available than Majorian would have - Attila and Gaiseric did a number on the Italian economy in the 440s and 450s and the Eastern Empire isn't going to be subsidising rebuilding the infrastructure in Gaul or Hispania.

Even victorious, Majorian would have only so many soldiers, so much money and so much time. The Italian landowners are muttering, the Ostrogoths are massing on the Danube and every provincial governor he appoints is a potential usurper. In practice, my guess is the best he could do is maintain direct control of the heartland (Italy, Illyria, Africa province, maybe Narbonese Gaul and part of coastal Hispania) and let everything else be ruled by local federates - who may be Imperial officials instead of/as well as Germanic kings - who govern as client-kings rather than as integrated parts of the Empire. In the short term, it's going to look more like the Holy Roman Empire than anything Augustus would recognise.

That's why I think that to preserve the "classical" unified Empire you need a POD before Magnus Maximus. It was after his revolt (and Adrianople) that federates became a thing in the western Empire.
 
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