List of monarchs III

If Henry IV of France had a daughter, then she would only have been about nine at the Treaty of Ghent, given Henry IV of France was born in 1580, she'd also be a Valois Angouleme and not a Bourbon.

Edit: I appreciate part of this may be my fault, I think I used the wrong regnal numbers at points

Henry IV was also Catholic, having been influenced by his Catholic parents and the likely continued part the Guise's probably played. Thus no Edict of Nantes, and probably no Wars of Religion in the first place as Catherine de Medici never becomes Regent of France as Francis II survives.

Also unclear how a French Dowry to the Anglo-Spanish Courts would have compensated for the regaining of the eastern territories of France, as England didn't get them, the Holy Roman Empire did
The Valois-Angouleme die off in the male line as in this time line. These Bourbons are the Vendomes, aka the Navarrese ones, correct. The Valois-Angoulemes still die off, despite Francis the II living longer. His brother in Poland has no heirs, his other brothers also have no heirs. His grandson, Henry the IV dies off with no heirs. Thus, Henry of Navarre should be Henry V. I think in my earliest draft I put him up as Henry V, I've no idea how I somehow changed it back to IV.

The French wars of religion still happen, although they blow out of proportion (like otl) after the war of the three Empires.

The Holy Roman Empire is... unclear. Who got them? Austria? The Palatinate? It only makes sense, that the size of the Netherlands (Who are still part of the Holy Roman Empire in this tl, ruled by another branch of the Habsburgs, increase in size). Plus, Spain's territorries are the only French territories with a direct connection to the Holy Roman Empire sans Spain and Italy, unless France annexed Lorraine in this timeline and it was those territorries that were given to whatever HRE power was awarded the land. Otherwise it only makes sense that it is Spain's Imperial territories that are increased.

So, if this Henry of Bourbon is supposed to be some ATL descendant of Henry III of Navarre, remember that the Navarrese Bourbon's are cousins to the Tudor Habsburgs
Yup, they are. Doesn't mean they get along.

Making Louisa a sister of Henry IV could make it work, as with the male succession in France, it would mean that Anglo-Spain and France could never be unified and thus avoid the concerns that drove Anglo-Spain, Franco-Scotland and the Holy Roman Empire to the War of the Three Empires, and it would be age appropriate for the pair.

The Kings of France, then Franco-Scotland:
Francis II, b. 1544, r. 1559 to 1565
Henry I and III, b. 1560, r. 1565 to 1590
Henry II and IV, b. 1580, r. 1590 to "Present"
Nope, Louisa is a daughter of my mistakenly put Henry IV (Actually Henry V). Claude, the queen of France, is older sister of Henry IV. I will change it to a younger sister so it fits the timeline better.
 
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Why would the Treaty of Ghent specify with regards to the claim of Henry V in Scotland, if he is the son/grandson of Mary Gray, then he has no claim on Scotland, then presumably the senior claimant is Claude and not Henry?
 
Why would the Treaty of Ghent specify with regards to the claim of Henry V in Scotland, if he is the son/grandson of Mary Gray, then he has no claim on Scotland, then presumably the senior claimant is Claude and not Henry?
Claude is Henry's wife, and thus, he claims the Scottish throne jure uxoris. But he does espouse his wife's claim, yes, and through her, his and those of his children.
 
Claude is Henry's wife, and thus, he claims the Scottish throne jure uxoris. But he does espouse his wife's claim, yes, and through her, his and those of his children.
I'm still having trouble picturing it. Could you update the tree?
 
POD: George Mouzalon remains John IV's regent instead of getting killed by the future Emperor Michael VIII

Emperors and Autocrats of the Romans
1258-1305: John IV (House of Laskaris) [1]
1305-1330: Alexios VI (House of Laskaris) [2]
1330-1333: Constantine "The Brief" "The Scholar" XI (House of Laskaris) [3]
1333-1348: Anastasia I and Romanos V (House of Laskaris-Skleros) [4]
1348-1351: Anastasia I (House of Laskaris-Skleros) [4]
1351-1386: Basil III (House of Skleros) [5]
1386-1402: Andronicus II (House of Skleros) [6]
1402-1417: Constantina I (House of Skleros) [7]
1417-1450: Constantine XII "The Turk-Slayer" (House of Bagration) [8]
1450-1505: Sophia I "The Great" (House of Bagration) [9]
1505-1535: Theodosius IV Augustus "The Latin" (House of Bagration-Othmanos) [10]
1535-1542: Alexander II "The Butcher of France" (House of Othmanos) [11]
1543: Year of Three Emperors [12]
1543-1575: Alexander III (House of Othmanos) [13]
1575-1621: Nicephorus IV “The Magnanimous” (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [14]
1621-1622: John V (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [15]
1622-1650: Alexios VII Ferdinand (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [16]
1650-1667: Michael VIII “the Brute” (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [17]
1667-1701: Anastasia II (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [18]
1701-1713: Romanos VI (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [19]
1713-1720: Nikephoros V Dimitrios (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [20]
1720-1792: Alexander IV Constantine "The Magnificent" (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [21]
1792-1816: Dimitrios I (House of Konstantinopolites) [22]


[1] John IV Laskaris was acclaimed as Emperor of the Roman Empire at the age of eight after his father's death with the young Emperor initially being under the control of the regency of George Mouzalon, under which the Empire regained Constantinople from the Latin Empire, ending the Latin occupation of the city which had begun with the Fourth Crusade and the sacking of the city.

In 1266, at the age of sixteen, the young Emperor John IV would formally take control over the reins of state, the first Emperor of Rhomania to rule from Constantinople since Alexios V 62 years earlier. As Emperor, John IV's rule would prove to be in many ways a rule marked by an attempt to restore the Empire to its pre-1204 state with how John would energetically campaign in both Western Anatolia and Greece during his 39 years that he spent as Emperor with the Despotate of Epirus by the end of his reign essentially all but taken by the Empire by the time of his death. In his efforts to reclaim the European portions of Rhomania, both war and diplomacy being used by the energetic Emperor John IV to deal with the remnants of the Frankokratia and the Despotate of Epirus. Domestically, John IV would be a ruler who would spend much time and effort strengthening the central government at the expense of the dynatoi/nobility.

John IV would marry Mary of Hungary, seven years his junior, in 1275 with the couple having six children. John IV would die in 1305 and would be succeeded by his eldest son, Alexios VI

[2] Alexios VI, the result of his parent’s wedding night, was widely known and adored across Romania as a pious, intelligent prince and able commander. His only fault was his zealous hatred for his one year younger brother, John, born in 1277.
Thus, after Alexios's ascension, he needed to fight an rebellion from his brother's supporters, who claimed that Alexios is a bastard born from rape of Mary of Hungary by stableman and he, John is legitimate heir of John IV.
The rebellion lasted for a year, where Alexios hired a lot of Turkish mercenaries to fight his brother, who had most of his support in the European part of the state. John, although as able as his brother, was younger, less experienced and cocky - thus he lost.
Most of his supporters were zealously murdered and John himself with the group of closest aristocrats fled to Rome. Then he spent three years on Papal court, plotting his return and converting to Catholicism in hope of getting Papal support in gaining the Byzantine throne.
Years passed, during which Alexios mostly battled with Turks, gaining some minor border gains in Anatolia and solidifying Rhoman control there, but John's invasion - never came. In 1310, ban (governor) of Croatia, Pavao Subić, who wanted to put end to the anarchy which became widespread in Hungary (Croatia was part of this state back then) after Premyslids abdicated their claim to Hungary and the country was embroiled in civil war between Wittelsbach claimant and his opponents, with Wittelsbach claimant also leaving the country and opening 2-year interregnum, offered the crown to John, who had some claim to it as son of Mary, sister of Vladislaus IV. The Pope also offered to support him.
When the news about it reached Alexios, most people thought he was going to be furious. But he was unusually calm. In fact, he pledged to support his brother and forgive him for whatever he had done, if he pledged in return not to attack Byzantium.
Most of the courtiers acclaimed Alexios mad for wanting to help his hated brother, who tried to steal his crown - but there was a logic within it. As a king of Hungary John would have to stay Catholic and Catholic won't reign in Constantinople, ever.
John agreed and in 1312, despite protests from Henry of Carinthia, new king of Poland and Bohemia who was heir to Premyslid claim, John was crowned in Székesfehérvár as Janos I.
Alexios's next problem was Serbian attack, as Serbs ravaged northern Macedonia and temporarily occupied it, and it cause 5-year Serbo-Byzantine war to rise, ultimately ending with Stephen Uros II of Serbia being defeated, having to cede some border regions to Alexios and recognize himself as Alexios's vassal.
His grandson and heir, likewise named Stephen, was to be raised on court in Constantinople .
That all was done in 1317.
The rest of Alexios's reign was rather peaceful and uneventful, with Alexios passing away accompanied by his wife and three surviving children, to be succeeded by his son, Constantine.

[3] Constantine was the middle child of Alexios and only son. He was born in 1299 and known to be a scholarly boy who loved books and learning. When he became of age and had his own alliance, he commissioned a great library to be built in Constantinople, one to rival the library of Alexandria. He also had a university built, going as far to connect both buildings. Despite his sharp mind, he was no diplomat and actually hated interacting with people. However, his father believed he would rise to the occasion in time and so despite his protests, he continued to be his father's heir.

When his father died, Constantine ruled for three years in which he chose an heir, announced he would abdicate to join a monastery, made sure that the transference of power went smoothly, planned a grand ceremony where he handed the crown over, and then promptly left for a monastery. We know from letters that despite his rather flippant attitude to the crown, he remained on good terms with his family even giving his successor Anastasia advice.

[4] Anastasia was the oldest of Alexios VI's children and was born in 1297. When she was born to Alexios VI and his wife, few expected her to one day rule as Empress, especially after her brother Constantine was born. However, Constantine would name her as his heir, especially with how he refused to marry and planned to retire to a monastery. As such, Anastasia and Romanos Skleros, a prominent general who had served alongside Alexios VI, would marry in 1320.

Her joint rule with Romanos Skleros would be marked by the elimination of the last remnants of the Frankokratia in mainland Greece with both the Duchy of Athens and the Duchy submitting to the authority of Constantinople during her joint rule with Emperor Romanos. In addition, her rule would see Roman rule over Western Anatolia consolidated with the border in Anatolia being pushed to where it was before the Fourth Crusade. In terms of domestic politics, Anastasia and Romanos would both prove to be capable and competent administrators, especially with Constantine XI's advice when it came to administration.

Anastasia and Romanos would have seven children, four of which would outlive the couple when Romanos died in 1348 from the bubonic plague and Anastasia died three years later from an accident while hunting. The next Emperor would be Basil.


[5] Basil was born in 1325, as the second son. His older brother, Romanos died of measles in 1330 so when his uncle declared his mother his heir, Basil was groomed from that point forward as a future monarch.

Basil grew up with a rigid education, learning administration along with military training. It was clear that Anastasia and Romanos wanted their son to be a contempt leader. Despite keeping warm relations with Constantine, they were not prepared to let Basil shrink his duties to their people as his uncle had. This was doubly important with their efforts to bring their empire back to its former glory before the Fourth Crusade.

His parents drummed it into Basil's head that he needed to be a leader worth following and he needed strong allies. One way to do this was to gain a good marriage. His older sister, Anastasia was married to King Jean of France while another of his sisters would marry the King of Hungary. As for Basil himself, he married Constance of Sicily in 1344.

Although the marriage was relatively happy, the couple had trouble conceiving and would only have two surviving children. Despite this, Basil and Constance's relationship would remain strong throughout the years and when Basil was out campaigning, he would often leave his wife as regent.

Throughout the 1350s, Basil was in conflict with the Ottoman Sultan Murad I. He sought help from his allies in pushing them back, even sending an envoy to the pope in hopes he would call for a crusade. Pope Innocent VI did not call it thus, however he did loan Basil money to hire mercenaries. King Jean of France and Navarre and his cousin, Edward III of England also agreed to send men against the Ottoman threat. However hostilities between the two cousins soon caused them to withdraw their support.

Following a decisive victory during the battle of Kallipolis, Basil managed to push the Ottomans back, away from the European mainland. Basil would have to deal with the Turkish raiders for years to come. However, he would use the money left over from his loan to strengthen his defenses.

Doing his final years, Basil would found a trading company that would establish trade routes in the east, including China and other Asian countries. By the time he had died, he had managed to pay back most of his loan, leaving his son, Andronicus to take care of the rest of his debt.


[6] Andronicus II was born in 1348 as the older of Constance's two surviving children and would grow up to be a capable and intelligent prince, a worthy heir to the throne one Basil III died in 1386 and left the 38-year old Andronicus the heir to the throne. Owing to his capable record as Crown Prince, Andronicus would prove to be a ruler who would be capable and popular in his rule, especially with how he sought to fight off the Turkish beyliks in Anatolia and reform the administration to embolden the central government at the expense of the landed aristocracy. His reign would also see a golden age of culture and the arts and a flourishing economy as Constantinople finally recovered its pre-Fourth Crusade population.

However, his reign would not be defined by the policies or achievements of the Emperor, but how it ended. In 1402, Timur, having carved a swathe of destruction from the Levant to India and forging the most powerful empire in the world at this point, after Turkish beyliks threatened by Rhomania's expansion begged him for aid, would invade Anatolia with Timur hoping to use said invasion of Anatolia to burnish his credentials as a warrior of Islam. Andronicus II would meet Timur in battle and would be killed in said battle along with almost all of his army with his daughter, Constantina being the new Empress after said catastrophe.


[7] The aftermath of the battle of Anatolia was devastating to the empire, it was much more personal to Constantina. She had not only lost her father, but also her only brother (after losing another to illness) and her husband Alexios Maleinos to the war.

However, the young widow, who would wear black for the rest of her life, wasted no time on tears. Instead she acted fast to get herself elected as empress before any of her father's rivals could use the vacuum of power to their advantage.

Once her reign was secured, she began to look for a second husband. She received suits from all over Europe and even a few Muslims lords. She eventually would marry King Alexander of Georgia.

Constantina adhered to the old adage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, sending envoys to China, India and Castile in hopes of making pacts. With China and India, she sealed the deal with trade while she sought to make a marriage alliance with Castile, by having one of her daughters marry King John II of Castile.

Bit by bit, the empire began to recover. Constantina was famous for declaring. "The empire may crumple, but as long as our people stay strong, we shall always persevere." However, despite this, she did not make an attempt to reclaim the lost lands of the empire, fearing it was too soon to tempt fate. "It took over a century for us to recover what we lost after the fourth crusade. We must be patient."

In 1416, Constantina would fall pregnant at age thirty-nine, much to the shock of everyone who had thought the empress past child bearing years. Unfortunately, the pregnancy took a toll on Constantina's health. She died nine months later, of childbed fever. Her husband would be regent for her successor Constantine XI

[8] Constantine XII, born as the son of Constantina and her second husband, Alexander of Georgia, was hailed as emperor shortly after his birth, with his Georgian-born father taking in the reins of regency, despite protests of various figures like Patriarch of Constantinople.
Patriarch was backed by a clique of powerful nobles, wanting to depose "barbarian" - and thus unworthy of wielding the throne Emperor and his more "barbarian" father. When Constantine was a year old, they figured out the plot to kill both him and his father, using servants in the palace as scapegoats. They wanted to install Patriarch's cousin and most wealthy from the conspirators, Michael Palaiologos as emperor.
The plot, according to rumor, was overheard by some old lady who reported it to the emperor.
Main plotters were executed and it began nation-wide purge of their supporters who lasted 3 years with Alexander of Georgia managing to poison the patriarch of Constantinople, replacing him with Constantine's tutor, Gregorios Maleinos, very cultured man (accused of being a "Hellen" crypto-pagan by many due to his love of classic antiquity), ardent supporter of reunification with western Church, and what's more - brother of Alexios Maleinos, Constantia's first husband, so sort of an "uncle" figure to Constantine.
Maleinos was very influential in Constantine's upbringing and he transferred much of his views to his students. By combined efforts of both Alexander of Georgia and Gregorios Maleinos old plan of having Constantia's daughter from first marriage to John II of Castile was finished.
Maleinos' half-sisters of Constantine were all married to rulers of Catholic West - namely France, England and Poland-Bohemia (who was also HRE and that time). Alexander didn't want to marry his stepdaughters to Romans, as he feared that Roman husbands of Constantine's sisters would attempt to overthrow his son.
At the time of marriage of the last of his sisters, Constantine (who was an eight-years-old boy) met and befriended Sophia Maleina, daughter of a distant cousin of Gregorios Maleinos, considered the most beautiful woman in the empire.
They were mere children at the time, but that event would shape Constantine's life forever..
Alexander's regency was all about stabilizing the country from the havoc caused by Timur's forces and fortifying the borders. Young Constantine started to have a visible militaristic streak at that time, asking his father to take him to the forts, vigorously training with sword, spear and lance, reading books about warfare almost of the time.
After Constantine turned 15, the council of an empire considered the question of his marriage. There were many proposals including the daughter of the king of Hungary, niece of the emperor (who was also king of Poland-Bohemia) and granddaughter of the king of France.
The debate lasted around two weeks, but Constantine one day arrived at the council meeting with wife at his side. It was none other than Sophia Maleina. Some counselors attempted to have this marriage set aside, but Gregorios Maleinos and Alexander of Georgia defended the Emperor's choice.
The council ultimately recognized the marriage as legitimate, but also the Emperor as adult.
Constantine, in the first year of his reign, just after turning 16, announced that he is going to war. Sophia Maleina was pregnant so he forced every member of the council and every provincial governor to swear fealty to her unborn child as next Emperor in event he'd die in the upcoming war.
His focus was the Ottoman sultanate, located in western Anatolia, where three brothers - Sulayman, Isa and Mehmed squabble for power. Isa's domain was next to the Byzantine border, so he attacked Nicaea - Isa's capital and old site of the Laskaris dynasty and besieged it for three weeks. He ultimately retook it, but he campaigned in Isa's land by next year, finishing the war in 1434.
His next object was Sulayman, but the task was far easier than he thought. Sulayman, at that time endangered by Mehmed, converted to Christianity with his family (he was sympathetic to Christians even prior to his war with brothers), willingly submit himself to Emperor's authority in exchange for being confirmed governor of his former lands and his son being betrothed to eldest daughter of Constantine and Sophia Maleina.
There was another year of peace before Mehmed decided to attack, which saw Sophia Maleina falling pregnant again.
Mehmed's war was short and after four months of fighting Mehmed was forced into exile to Qara Qoyunlu tribe and his lands were added to Byzantine Empire. In 1436, Constantine returned to Constantinople, where he was hailed as one of the greatest commanders Rhoman Empire ever had.
Much of his successes could be attributed to graciously fusing old tactician's work with modern weapons like artillery. He was also noted to be extremely faithful to Sophia Maleina, widely considered one of the most beautiful women (if not the most beautiful) in the entirety of Christendom.
The troubles began again in 1440, where due to his troubles with Alexander of Georgia refusing to pay tribute to him, Jahan Shah, leader of Qara Qoyunlu decided to back Mehmed and attack Constantine's domain.
In 1441, Alexander of Georgia's forces faced Jahan Shah, Mehmed and his son Murad, being overwhelmed due to John IV Megas Komnenos supporting invaders, and Alexander of Georgia killed.
This greatly enraged Constantine who decided to avenge his father's death.
His enemies expected him to attack them upfront, waiting for him, while conquering much of Georgia, but Georgia was not the place he headed to. In 1442, he launched a surprise attack on "traitor usurper" as Constantine dubbed John IV and conquered Trebizond almost effortlessly, adding it's troops to the imperial army.
In 1443, most of Georgia except for the northwestern part was overwhelmed by invaders, who set traps on themselves, as they were heavily damaged by Georgian resistance and Constantine joined forces with free Georgians, as he was also king of Georgia as Alexander's heir. In the battle of Tiflis, he personally killed John IV, and Murad's head was destroyed by a horse, while elderly Mehmed was roasted alive by peasants trying to escaple. Jahan Shah escaped, but in 1444 Constantine also went to his domains, capturing Jahan Shah's capital - Tabriz and granting the city imperial governor.
Shakh Rukh, Jahan Shah's nominal overlord and brother of Jahan Shakh - Ispend joined forces against Constantine, but without much success. In early 1445, Rhoman army took most of northern Mesopotamia with Mosul. Ispend died of heart attack after he heard about Romans taking Mosul and his succesor betrayed Shakh Rukh and made peace with Constantine allowing him to rule what remained of islamic Iraq as imperial vassal, while Constantine himself, now dubbed "new Heraclius" went to Persia proper, when he destroyed Shakh Rukh's army, with the state of Shakh Rukh collapsing on itself with ruler's death in 1447. 1447-1449 period was spent on chasing Ulugh Beg, Shakh Rukh's eldest son. In 1450, when some semblance of stability after Ulugh's Beg's death was returned, with Constantine taking places as far east as Mazandaran and splitting Iran into 5 client kingdoms, he was murdered by peasant named Rostam while sleeping in some village in northeastern Iran.

[9] Empress Sophia was the oldest child of Emperor Constantine XII, being born on February 7, 1434 to Emperor Constantine XII and Empress Sophia and would end up being named after her mother, who would end up raising the young Princess as a result of her father being largely away at the front. However, Sophia would grow close to her father, being overjoyed every time he came to Constantinople to see his children. Owing to the agreement with Suleyman as part of his surrender to Constantine XII, the young Princess Sophia would marry Alexander Osmanos in February 1450, just a few months before news of her father's assassination reached Constantinople. With how Sophia's only surviving sibling was her younger sister Theodora as her brother Romanos had died in 1449 at the age of 14 from a fall from his horse, the young Sophia would find herself the new Empress and Autocratess of the Romans with Alexander by her side.

In the aftermath of her father's assassination, Sophia would spend her early reign dealing with opposition to her rule from those who still resented the Bagratid rule over Rhomania with a coup attempt on May 29, 1453 coming close to overthrowing the young Empress. With said coup attempt foiled, the young Empress would move towards consolidating her father's conquests and ensuring that what her father had achieved would not be quickly overturned. In this, while she was a ruler who was willing to use brutality against those who resisted her rule over Rhomania, especially as the conquest of Eastern Anatolia was done during her reign, she would prove to be magnanimous to those who submitted. In this, the Empress would also build a gunpowder-centered army during her reign, making heavy use of gunpowder to secure and consolidate her empire during her reign.

In the Balkans, Sophia would prove to be as energetic as in the East with how she would be a ruler who would see Bulgaria and Serbia subjugated under her rule with her empire reaching from Tabriz in the East to Dalmatia in the West by the end of her reign, even intervening in Italy during the latter part of her reign as the Roman Empire was once more a power to be feared. Her reign would see a golden age in both culture/learning and the economy as Rhomania became a center of trade and was a realm which was a center of the Renaissance (with the "Eastern Renaissance" seeing a fusion of Greek and Perso-Arabic-Turkic culture developing as a result of the diverse empire Sophia ruled over) with the latter being boosted by Empress Sophia's patronage of culture and scholarship (including how the Empress was something of a scholar herself, supervising the translation of many Arabic and Persian texts into Greek).

However, all good things must come to an end with Sophia dying on September 1, 1505 at the age of 71 with the Empress having had seven children. She would be succeeded by her son Theodosius.



[10] Theodosius Augustus, first son of empress Sophia was born in 1450,just after her marriage to Alexander Osmanos. He was named after Theodosius the Great, thought to be founder of Eastern Empire at the time (incorrectly) and Octavianus Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome at all. Somewhat unconventional choice of naming was the result of growing interest of empress Sophia in history, something she passed upon to her son, as she was close with her son. The court rumours stated that she got too close to her son, in very inappropriate way...She was widowed in 1464, when her son turned 14 and despite various incitements from the council, didn't marry again at all, saying that all her heart will belong forever to her dead husband, despite almost all top Roman aristocrats, king of France and Holy Roman Emperor proposing to her. It was said that 30-years old Sophia took her son's virginity after his 14th birthday and they were said to be lovers, although it was never proven.
The one of main issues regarding Theodosius was the boy his mother adopted in 1470, when the rumours about her living with her son reached critical point and two of her three sons died, leaving Theodosius sole surviving male heir of the family.
All her daughters were married off to either Catholics or Muslims, unwilling to convert to Orthodoxy, so the council once again asked her to marry again and bring the male heir to the empire.
She refused to do so and instead, a week later she brought a 6 years old boy to the council meeting, very much resembling her and Theodosius. She said she adopts him as the emperors of old did, and that she bestows name Alexander upon him, and that she orders him to be treated equally with her natural born children, meaning that the boy would be Theodosius's heir if he didn't produce children of his own.
Many said that the boy was bastard son of Theodosius and his mother, while another said that most likely he was posthumous bastard son of Alexander Osmanos and some Maleinos woman, which would explain resemblance to Sophia (that part is still unexplained in XXIth century and the government strictly refuses to subject their remains to DNA tests).
Anyways, Theodosius married in 1471 to Giulia of Anjou, princess of Naples (she actually got along well with her mother-in-law and it was speculated she was having threeesomes with Theodosius and his mother) and that drove the prince close to the Latinophile faction at court, composed mainly from Vlach nobles from Balkans, the remains of Frankish houses from Frankokratia period and Italian immigrants, who came in many numbers to the empire.
Theodosius was enamored with his wife and her culture, which he saw as more Roman than Rhomans. Despite the fact he was not popular in the eastern part of the Empire, his participation in Italian, Serbian and Bulgarian campaigns was a success, and when coming to the throne, aged 55 almost everyone expected him to reign as happily as his mother.
That could be achieved, if king of France didn't attack Naples in 1506, deposing Giulia's half-brother and murdering most of her family. Theodosius swore vengeance and in 1507, he drove French out from Naples, proclaiming himself lord of that country. Pope Innocent VI was both pro-French (born Louis de Foix, younger son of pro-French king of Aragon) and worried by Theodosius taking Naples. He decried Theodosius as an unlawful usurper and recognized the king of France as the rightful king of Naples. Most northern Italian states supported the Pope's decision and together with Aragon and France they formed the first Holy League against Theodosius.
In early 1508 Theodosius took Rome, forcing the Pope to seek refuge in Avignon and defeated the forces of Louis XII of France and northern Italian dukes in battle of Florence, 21st April 1508. After that, Tuscany recognized Theodosius as it's overlord but he returned south as king of Aragon launched a naval invasion of Naples. That didn't end well for him, as most of his army got shipwrecked and he himself got captured by Theodosius, who forced him to sign the peace, abandoning his allies, giving up Sicily and Sardinia in favor of Theodosius, recognize Aragon as vassal of empire, and give his daughter and son - his only children as hostages. However, Theodosius treated them rather generously as he married Aragonese princess to his own, 12 years old grandson, and Aragonese heir received his niece (well, if you believe that Alexander adopted by Sophia was her and Theodosius's son, it was his half-sister and granddaughter). In mid-1509 he returned north and by end of that year he conquered all northern Italian states except Venice and made peace with Louis XII who agreed to abandon his allies, recognize Theodosius's overlordship over him and pay Byzantines yearly tribute. The petulant Venice was humiliated and forced to abandon Venetian part of Dalmatia.
That was the end of the First War of the Holy League and everyone expected Theodosius to return to Constantinople, but he didn't do that. He said that the Roman emperor must reside in Rome and so he stayed in Rome, making it capital of the Roman empire, restoring the Roman senate and granting Roman commoners privileges akin to that Roman plebs had in Antiquity.
5 years later he also forced captive Pope Innocent to recognize him as universal head of the Church, thus "ending" the Great Schism. However, HRE Waclaw VI (also king of Poland-Bohemia, which at that time reached as far as Riga and Dnieper on east and as far as Meissen and Bohemian-Bavarian border on east), king of Hungary Stephen X Laskaris didn't recognize the changes with clergy in HRE electing antipope, one Zbigniew Oleśnicki hailing from small village Wadowice near Kraków in Poland. He took the name of John Paulus after his election.
That sparked the Second War of the Holy League. In 1515, Venetian-Hungarian army conquered much of Dalmatia and an angry mob tore Louis XII to pieces in Paris, with his successor Charles IX rejecting French dependence on Byzantium and recognizing HRE's Pope as legitimate. In 1516, Theodoisus faced Venetians and Hungarians near Belgrade and destroyed their armies with Stephan X escaping from the battlefield only to be murdered by his power-hungry cousin John.
1517 was spent over slowly retaking Dalmatia and besieging Venice. Charles IX was about to attack when Aragon attacked Gascony, acting as loyal vassal of the Empire. Aragonese didn't gain much, but they stopped Charles from attacking Italy, giving Theodosius much needed time to finish siege of Venice in 1518, and launching famous Hungarian expedition of 1519-1520, when he defeated John V and Vaclav VI in battle of Buda, placing Stephan X's son in charge of Hungary reduced to all non-Roman lands that state contained , while former provinces of Pannonia and Dacia were re-annexed to Roman Empire.
He also took Carinthia from Vaclav and arrived in 1521, after crossing the Alps in France. He defeated Charles IX in battle of Dijon, executing captured king after the battle under the assumption that Charles was behind the mob who murdered his vassal Louis and nominated king's cousin, Francis as king of France reduced to lands north of Loire, while he divided lands south of Loire equally between him and king of Aragon. Vaclav accepted the loss of Carinthia and didn't attempt to mess with Theodosius any further, and he left him alone.
Thus ended the Second War of the Holy League and Theodosius began awarding his Italian and Latinophile veterans lands in newly-conquered provinces, as he believed that Italians are close to old Romans and Latinophiles are the backbone of his political power.
He also attempted to tie the new aristocracy to the old one with moderate success. Rome enjoyed great prosperity under him and he became beloved across Romans. In 1530, however, he attempted the action which brought his downfall. He replaced Greek in his chancellery with Latin and Italian and outlawed use of Arabic and Turkic as he believed those languages are barbaric and unworthy of Roman.
In 1533, where those decrees began to be properly implemented he announced that he intended to head from Rome to the east, intending to make purges on Arabic and Turkic nobles. In Constantinople, in 1535 when he was on his way to the east, he was ambushed by a clique of Greek nobles, captured and forced to sign an abdication. He died in unknown circumstances in prison leaving east of the country from Tabriz to Ankara on the verge of rebellion, Francis I of France attacking newly conquered provinces north of Alps, Italy and Balkans full of Theodosian loyalists and still angry HRE to his successor, his son, Alexander.

[11] When his father died, Alexander was in England for a state visit, in hopes of making an alliance by marrying one of his younger grandsons to the newborn princess. He raged upon learning of his father's death and immediately sailed back to Constantinople, to bury his father, be crowned, and then meet with his generals.

Alexander had married three times. His first wife was Archduchess Margaret who he married in 1487. The couple had three children before she died of childbed fever. His second wife was an Italian noblewoman named Katrina in 1500. They had only one child before Katrina died after falling and hitting her head (dark rumors swirled around that she was murdered by Alexander himself). His third wife was Althea, the daughter of a Greek general. They were wed in 1505 and had eight children.

Less than two years later, he marched with his army towards France, having decided that the Greek nobles (that had been swiftly rounded up and executed) had been paid by the French King. A temperamental and bloodthirsty man (it is long suspected that his mental unbalance is result of him being inbred if the rumors were to be trusted), Alexander had nothing, but ruthless vengeance on his mind, having his prisoners executed with parts of them being sent to the French king, promising a similar fate to him.

King Francis took him seriously enough that he sent his family members into hiding. Francis also made an alliance with the Holy Roman Empire, with the two longtime enemies uniting against a common foe.

In 1542, the three rulers would face off in a battle. The aftermath left the Holy Roman Emperor dead, Francis captured and Alexander badly wounded. One of his last acts was to be carried out to see the French King executed. He ordered his rival to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Fortunately, he died before his orders could be carried out, and King Francis was taken to Constantinople for his fate to be decided by by the council of the empire

[12] When Francis I of France was brought to Constantinople, the council of empire dominated by Greek-Rhoman having captured king and authority over central provinces decided to reject absent Theodosius, Alexander's eldest son in favor of Loukas Notaras, descendant of John IV and richest man on the council . Loukas was recognized as legitimate emperor by western Anatolia, Macedon and Thrace but no more. Italy, most of Balkans and new conquests in the west recognized Theodosius and the eastern-central Anatolia , Caucasus and northern Mesopotamia hailed Alexander of Mosul, son of Alexander whom Sophia adopted as new Emperor, as he was very friendly to Arabs, Turks and Persians. The upcoming year would decide fate of empire ...

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[13] Alexander of Mosul was acclaimed as Basileus in Trebizond, taking Zoe Komnena, one of the last surviving members of the Komnenoi, as his wife to boost his credentials as Emperor to appease those who felt someone who spent too much time with Turks and Persians was not worthy of being Emperor on February 4, 1543. As Emperor, Alexander of Mosul would seize control over the Empire in the Battle of Nicomedia, where he defeated the followers of Loukas Notaras and paved the way for the taking of Constantinople by September 1, 1543 with Theodosius being killed by his own troops by the end of the year, who promptly surrendered to Alexander of Mosul. After winning the civil war, he would prove to be magnanimous in victory, largely confining executions and imprisonments to the major leaders and allowing for lesser figures in the leadership of the two sides that had fought against him in the Year of the Three Emperors to bend the knee to him.

After consolidating his power as the new Emperor, Alexander of Mosul would march on Syria, where he would deal the Mamluk Sultanate, increasingly decrepit and weak, a massive defeat which saw the Levant taken by the Roman Empire and the Mamluk Sultanate collapse in a civil war which resulted in the "Abbasid Restoration'' occur as the Abbasid Caliph becoming the ruler of Egypt once more. Domestically, Alexander of Mosul would preside over a restoration of peace and stability in the Empire, doing his best to ensure the various factions within Rhomania were satisfied and reorganizing an Empire which was now the largest and most diverse on Earth with the rest of Mesopotamia being annexed by the Empire. With France and the HRE still being bitter foes, Alexander would ally with Portugal and the Protestant realms of Northern Europe against the French and Habsburgs as well in terms of his foreign policy.

While Alexander of Mosul's reign would be long and marked by many great successes, his reign would ultimately end with his death at the hands of the Suri Empire, which had consolidated its rule over Northern India, invading and taking much of Persia and defeating Alexander in 1575, with the Emperor dying of an infected wound after the retreat in Mosul, being succeeded by his son, Nicephorus.


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[14] Nicephorus was the eldest surviving son of Alexander III and was born four years before his father’s victory in the Civil War. His older brother Alexander had died of what historians believe to have been a brain aneurysm, making Nicephorus the heir. While studying in Italy he would meet the young noblewoman Maddalena de Medici, the daughter of the Duke of a Rhoman vassal state in Tuscany. Despite her being over five years his senior (he was 14 and she was 19 when they met), the two would fall madly in love with each other and before Alexander had even considered finding his son a bride it was discovered that Maddalena had become pregnant. In order to avoid a scandal the emperor immediately demanded Maddalena’s father to betrothe her to Nicephorus and they would marry shortly after, although the word did quickly get out since it was obvious that she was heavily pregnant by the time of the marriage ceremony. Their relationship was said to have been extremely passionate as Nicephorus would never take another partner as long as he lived, and their romance would be the subject of Romances for centuries to come. It would turn out that Maddalena’s womb was almost abnormally fruitful, with the couple going on to have an impressive 14 children (five sons and nine daughters) in the span of two decades and miraculously all of them would outlive both of their parents.

When the news of his father's death had reached the capital Nicephorus immediately ordered for reinforcements to be sent and was coronated the week later. Nicephorus himself was not much of a military man and much like Augustus and Justinian before him he would delegate most military affairs to his most skilled and loyal general, Abraám Karamanos, a close childhood friend of Nicephorus. He would instead continue his father’s legacy of administrative reform and he would spend much of his time dedicated to establishing an efficient system of Bureaucracy to run the empire with the help of the revitalized Senate. He would with the help of his military advisors and Abraám reorganize the military into one of the most well-organized and formidable armies of the world at the time, with them even reviving the term “Legion”. In fact, much of the army was composed of mixed Turkish-Cappadocian Christian converts from Anatolia and one of the leading generals during the reconquests was a descendant of the Karamanids. Thankfully after two long years of fighting the Suri were driven back to the Zagros where they would eventually be finished off by a native Persian revolt a decade later.

One of his first acts as Emperor was to return the empire's primary capital to Constantinople due to its strategic importance, however Rome would still have the honor of being the Empire's ceremonial second Capital and would grow to be one of the largest cities in Rhomania. Shortly after his accession he would break with conventional naming tradition and rename the Imperial house Osmanos-Komnenos to honor his late mother and to tie his family deeper into the history of the Empire. As the ruler of an extremely diverse Empire he would be known for his great tolerance for the time and he would even controversially allow the Jews to build a Third Temple in Jerusalem shortly after its reconquest, although it would be accompanied by an even larger Orthodox Basilica on the other side of the city. In 1591 the Rhomans would ally with Portugal and Aragon in their war with Castle-Leon, which would lead to the House of Luxembourg inheriting the throne of Castile and the Rhoman annexation of Gibraltar. Using Gibraltar as a launching point he would launch several expeditions to the new world which had been discovered several decades earlier by lost Moroccan Merchants. They would be successful and Rhomania would go on to establish the Viceroyalties of Aurelia (ORL Southern USA), Nova Italia (Texas/Northern Mexico), and Theodorica (Argentina). Also worth mentioning was that Basil III's Rhoman Oriental Trading Company at this point had established forts on the East African Coast, Ceylon, and Sumatra. Nicephorus would also send envoys across the known world and make contact with the leaders of Japan, Joseon, Oman, Bengal, the Great Jin Dynasty of China, Ayutthaya, Kongo, Timboctou (greater Mali), Abyssinia, Nicaragua (Pan-Mesoamerican Empire), and Quechica (Tawantinsuyu).

He would adopt a new set of male preference primogeniture succession laws to avoid another civil war over and would also make payment of the army to a government matter so that no general would ever be able to usurp the throne. However, his greatest achievement would be the Rhoman reconquest of Egypt and North Africa. The Neo-Abbasid Caliph was in the middle of a civil war so the Rhomans would use this as an opportunity to strike at the Nile and would quickly overrun the Abbasids before turning to the West. After only five years of fighting, Rhomania would be firmly established in Egypt, Libya, and Carthage. After the War Abraám would be hailed as the "Avenger of Heraclius" and a third Scipio and would be awarded the first triumph held in Rome in over a Millennium, though only a few weeks later he would die of a stroke. After the War Nicephorus would appoint a distant relative of the last Neo-Abbasid ruler as the new Caliph, who would act as the Custodian for Muslims within the Empire. Many Sunnis would not accept this “puppet Calph” and as a result local Sunni clerics would declare a state of Jihad against the Romans. However, Nicephorus would not live to see the Rhoman victory in this war, as soon after the word of the uprising came to Constantinople he suffered a fatal heart attack. Upon his death he would be succeeded by his eldest son and third born child, John.
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[15] John was born the oldest son of Emperor Nicephorus in 1580 and would prove to be an intelligent, charming, and competent Prince, a worthy successor to his father Nicephorus as Emperor. As Crown Prince, he would be someone who would gain a great deal of prominence as heir to the throne during the last few years of his father's life, even if his reign would be ultimately short-lived. As Emperor, his nine months as Basileus would prove to be ones marked by a great deal of energy and drive with John seeking to eliminate corruption and reform the government and military. However, his reign would prove to be short-lived as he would die from smallpox at the age of 42 in 1622, leaving his younger brother Alexios Ferdinand as Emperor.

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[16] Alexios Ferdinand was not expected to become Emperor as he was his father's fourth son. He was named after Emperor Alexios VI and his maternal grandfather Ferdinando Medici, father of Empress Maddalena. Nicephorus' children in order of birth were Sophia, Maddalena, John, Constantina, Theodora, Basil, Constantine, Angelica, Alexios, Kamatera, Constance, Michael, Euphrosyne, and Maria. The second son Basil had abandoned his titles and joined the priesthood while the third son Constantine had died in a boating accident five months after John's ascension. John had married in 1611 to an Italian noblewoman, but their marriage failed to produce any children (though John acknowledged three illegitimate daughters through his various mistresses on his deathbed). Three years before his brother’s death Alexios married princess Joanna Trastámara of Aragon. The couple would get along well with each other and she would bear him seven daughters, four who would survive to adulthood, but no sons. Joanna was a woman of great intellect and she would write several notable books on politics during her life under male pseudonyms. In fact, it was later discovered that Joanna was responsible for many of her husband’s policies after her diaries were rediscovered.

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Empress Joanna of Aragon

Alexios’ reign would be marked by the further consolidation of the Empire that the Othmanoi-Komnenoi Dynasty had expanded and his greatest accomplishment would be to bring relative peace to the religious groups of the Empire. Despite the fact that Theodosius IV Augustus had simply claimed to have “ended” the great schism when he reconquered Rome, most of Italy was still locally to the Papacy, which had been located in Avignon since 1508, not to mention that most of Europe outside of the empire was still Catholic. During the reigns of Alexander II, Alexander III, and to a lesser extent Nicephorus IV, there had been sporadic Catholic revolts in Italy and the parts of the Balkans. The most notable one of these wars was when Catholic Sicilian nobles raised an army and actually managed to overrun most of the island for over a year. Knowing that fully merging the Catholic and Orthodox Churches was impossible, in 1626 Alexios called for a meeting of Catholic and Orthodox religious leaders, including a delegation from the Pope to meet in Rome to discuss improving relations between the two Churches. Alexios agreed to recognize Catholicism as an institution within Rhomania as well as provide full legal protections for Catholics in the Empire, and he would grant the area around St Peter's Basilica in Rome back to the Papacy (Although Avignon would remain the capital of the Papal States). And in return, the Papacy would have to declare that the Rhomania was the sole successor to the Roman Empire and that the HRE was illegitimate, which the Catholic Church eventually agreed to. The Holy Roman Emperor at the time, Maximilian II of Wittelsbach, was infuriated by this decision, but he was in no position to challenge the church as the rest of Europe was engulfed in the twenty-five years war so against a protestant coalition so he was in no position to challenge the Catholic Church, although all future Holy Roman Emperors would continue to claim the title. This compromise also was unpopular with some of the Orthodox clergy and a group of orthodox planned to assassinate Alexios, but the plot was discovered and the conspirators were executed.

Despite being one of the most populated regions in the Islamic world she would be fairly pacified, as the old Mamluk ruling aristocracy would be replaced by a new class of mostly Hungarian nobles, as the army that Abraám Karamanos’ had used many Hungarian mercies during his famous conquest down the Nile. As thanks for their assistance in the reconquest, a Hungarian prince of the Báthory family would be selected as the hereditary Exarch of Egypt and many more Hungarian nobles would move to Egypt in the following decades. Egypt would prosper under Magyar rule with the capital of Gézavarós being established, and Hungarian culture would mash with the existing Coptic and Arabic cultures to greatly reshape the province, which is the reason why the modern Egyptian language is classified as Uralic. Muslim landowners who assimilated into Rhoman culture would be given full legal rights and some would eventually even join the senate, although there was still a strong incentive to convert to Orthodoxy due to the higher taxes that they were forced to pay. Due to these taxes, the Rhomans would face sporadic revolts from time to time, but none would ever become a serious threat to the reconquest.

It is also worth mentioning that after the collapse of the Neo-Abbasid Caliphate, Hejaz would become an independent Emirate ruled by the Hashemite Dynasty, but it would quickly become a de facto Rhoman vassal. Alexios would also order the reconstruction of several of the great monuments of antiquity, such as the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and Colossus of Rhodes, as well as many new great Cathedrals for the five Episcopal sees in Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria based on Italian Designs. In 1650, Alexios Ferdinand would die of what historians believe to be a form of stomach cancer, leaving the empire to his last surviving brother.
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[17] Micheal was the fifth and final son of Emperor Nicephorus IV and his wife, Empress Maddalena, in 1592, twelve years after his eldest brother.
As he’s position meant he was not meant to claim the throne, Michael was allowed to choose a career path of his own, with him choosing to join the army.
Although he was the youngest son, Michael would grow to be the biggest and strongest of the brothers.
By the age of 16, he was riding into battles, wearing armour of made of Damascus Steel, which seemed to be nearly completely black.

He was 29 years old and fighting against, Susenyos I, Emperor of Ethiopia, who was pushing for Catholic Christianity became the official religion of Ethiopia, when he heard of his father’s death.

Once Michael had killed Susenyos, and placed the former Emperor’s 18 year old son Fasilides, onto the throne and reinstating the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as head religion, Michael would begin his journey returning home. Once his ship docked at the Royal harbour, he would discover that his oldest brother had died and that his other brother was emperor.

With Alexios as Emperor, Michael would be his military advisor and commander especially dealing with sporadic revolts from time to time, his harsh treatment of his enemy, would give him the nickname, Michael the Brute.

In 1650, 66 year old, Michael would claim his brother’s throne by marrying his 25 year old niece, Sophia Marie, as his first wife. Up to this point, Michael had many concubines but none he felt worthy to call his wife.

The marriage was not a happy one, with Michael being a dominant, controlling and aggressive lover, with one event leaving her unable to walk due to a shattered pelvis.
The only saving grace for her was that with the four pregnancies, she would enjoy the love she had between her and her children.

Over the 17 years, Michael would rule with an iron fist, putting down any unrest quickly and executed anyone who questioned his rule

His death in 1667, a few weeks shy of his 75th birthday, was diagnosed as a heart attack with the elderly Emperor unable to relax, feeling that if he gave up his routine of daily exercise, he would be perceived as weak.
His death would mean that the throne would be passed onto his daughter, Anastasia

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[18] Princess Anastasia was born in 1652 as the oldest of Michael and Sophia's four children. However, owing to her gender, Anastasia was not expected by many to be heir to the throne with the position of heir being one which was under Prince Romanos from his birth in 1654 onward. However, Prince Romanos' death in 1666 from an accident while sparring would put the young Princess as heir to the throne as the oldest of Michael's three daughters, which she became the next year. At the age of fifteen, Anastasia would already be a ruler known for her intelligence, courage, and wit, famously declaring that she needed no regent as Empress and as such, she would rule the Empire on her own.

Her reign as Empress would be considered the height of the early modern "golden age" of Rhomania as the Empire during her reign was an Empire which saw a golden age of arts, culture, and learning as well as an economic golden age. Anastasia's reign would be marked by the Empire seeing little, if any conflict, with the era being marked by peace and prosperity, even if stormclouds gathered with Germans seeing the final triumph of forces favoring a centralized realm over decentralization and Persia seeing the rise of a belligerent new dynasty, even if their focus was largely on consolidating influence over Central Asia, and the like. This was not helped by military stagnation being very much a thing, even if Anastasia would try to promote reforms to the military during her long reign.

As Empress, Anastasia would be notable for her marriage to a distant family cousin of hers to maintain the dynasty with the two having seven children, of whom Romanos would succeed Anastasia after she died in 1701 after a fall from her horse while hunting.

[19] Romanos was named for his mother's brother. He was born in 1675, the oldest of his siblings. Romanos was a smart boy, having been taught how to rule from an early age. He was known to be a great animal lover, having such a collection of exotic pets from around the world that some historians joked that he was the first zookeeper.

His favorite was a brown monkey, he named Archibald. He was seldom seen without the little chimpanzees hanging off of him. There is even a portrait of Romanos clad in his best outfit with Archibald on his lap. (It is suspected the artist had to paint the chimp from memory as it would not sit still).

Empress Anastasia allowed Romanos to choose his one bride, as long as she was of royalty and nobility. Romanos shocked all of Europe when choose Mastani, an Indian princess as his wife, citing the alliance with India should not be ignored. Despite the difference in culture and religion, the couple would get along very well with Mastani even surprising her husband with an elephant for his twenty-fifth birthday. The couple had three children.

In 1701, after the death of his mother, Romanos would crowned emperor. Unfortunately, a riot broke out in protest of Mastani being crowned alongside them. Romanos, normally a carefree and easygoing man took a very hard line to the slight against his wife, going out personally to crush the revolt.

Romanos sought to make alliances with the provencies in Asia, feeling closer relations would be far more beneficial. However, his foreign polices and his foreign wife were unpopular with the people.

After twelve years of reign, Romanos and Mastani were shot by xenophobic man while they were riding in a carriage together. Nikephoros Dimitrios would take the throne after his death.

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[20] Grand Duke Dimitrios was not expected to become Emperor, he was the only son of Anastasia’s eldest daughter, Zoe, and a prominent noble of the Tocco family, making him a nephew of Romanos VI. He was a sickly boy growing up but would manage to survive childhood and go on to attend the University of Paris, after which he returned to Constantinople to work as a high ranking magistrate.

After the assassination of Romanos, the Senate decided that none of Romanos and Mastani’s four children would succeed him due to the threat of a revolt due to their father’s lack of popularity, and instead, the throne would pass to Grand Duke Dimitrios. Romanos’ seven year old son, Alexios, would be forced to renounce all claims to the throne and sent to a monastery where he would die of smallpox a decade later, and his two daughters would be sent off to marry various European nobles over the next few years, one of them to the future King of France.

Upon his ascension to the throne, he would take the regnal name Nikephoros after his great great grandfather and would start the tradition of most future Emperors taking two regnal names. One month after his coronation he would marry the noblewoman Raimondina Tocco, the younger sister of his father and 14 years his senior. Despite her age, she was unmarried and had secretly had a relationship with her nephew that would result in her first pregnancy. Despite being thought to be past her childbearing years, her womb would quickly prove to still be in working order and she would birth Nikephoros eight healthy children in total, including two sets of twins. In private she would frequently persuade many other women into having “relationships” with both her and her husband at the same time, resulting in Nikephoros fathering over a dozen bastards. It was later discovered in Nikephoros’ private diaries that some of his partners were young effeminate men crossdressing as women.

Empress Raimondina, painted a year after the death of her husband
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Despite his blatant debauchery, he was fairly well liked by the public, although he often clashed with the Senate and Grand Consul. He was most notable for being one of the first monarchs in modern history to establish welfare in the form of free or subsidized grain for the urban poor in many of the Empire’s major cities, as well as providing funds to orphanages and education institutions. He would also provide more funds to the settlement and development of the colonies in Septentrional and Austral Vespuccia, which were lagging behind other European colonies. In 1715 the Empire would formally vassalize the three Catholic Outremer Kingdoms of Altava, Mauritania, and Ouarsenis that had been created by a successful Franco-German crusade in North Africa right before the wars of the reformation a few centuries earlier. The only remaining Muslim state in North Africa at this point was the Asmarid Caliphate of Morroco, which also controlled the remnants of Al-Andalus and had even established colonies in Vespuccia. In 1716 they attacked Gibraltar and would use their powerful navy to harass Rhoman ships headed to the New World. A war between the two powers would break that would end in a stalemate, and the ensuing peace treaty would finalize the Rhoman-Asmarid border and would force the Asmarids to allow safe passage of Rhoman ships from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean in 1718. That same year a massive Muslim revolt would break out in Lower Mesopotamia and just like Emperor Hadrian before him he would be forced to abandon the region due to the empire becoming overstretched. Although only a few years later the newly independent Sultanate would become a vassal of the Zoroastrian revivalist Dareshurid Persian Empire created after the fall of the Suri Empire.

The week after the seventh anniversary of his coronation, he would die of a bacterial infection in a wound he got from falling down the stairs in his study. Upon his death, he would be succeeded by Alexander IV Constantine, who would be the last Emperor of the Othmanos-Komnenos dynasty.


[21] Born in 1714 as the eldest child of Nikephoros V Dimitrios and Raimondina Tocco, Alexander became Emperor of Rhomania (sometimes also called the Roman Empire) at the young age of six, with his mother serving as regent. After becoming of age to rule in 1732, Alexander was crowned in a lavish coronation, and picked Constanine as his second regnal name, after Constantine "The Turk-Slayer". He soon married Grand Duchess Maria Vasilovich of Russia (daughter of Tsar Vasil VI) in 1735 in a also lavish wedding, and the couple had five children.

Alexander IV Constantine reigned a total of 72 years, the longest of any sovereign monarch. As such, many events happened during his reign, These included the Anti-Morocco Crusade (1737-1740), which resulted in Morocco becoming ruled by a Catholic King that descended from Castilian royality, the collpase of the HRE in the early 1750s due to the death of the last Wittelsbach Emperor in 1748 and the incompetence of his successor, the War of the Aragonese Succession (1759-1766) that followed the death of the childless John V of Aragon and ended with Castile-Leon inheriting Aragon and Sicily becoming a independent Kingdom ruled by Alexander's second son Ferdinand, Rhomania's colonies in the new world getting more autonomy, and much more.

However, all was not well for by the end of Alexander's reign the House of Othmanos-Komnenos was almost extinct, as he outlived many of his other male relatives who had mostly died either accidentally or naturally. So when he died in 1792 at the age of 78, Alexander was succeeded by his nephew, Dimtrios.

[22] Historians to this day marvel at the rise of Dimitrios, who were it not for the twists of fate should have been a nobody. His paternal great-grandfather was a Greek commander who managed to make a name for himself in the Franco-German crusade. His paternal grandmother was the soul heiress to an important vessel of the empire, even managing to win a dukedom and a high spot on the imperial council. And his father happened to be a boyhood companion of Emperor Alexander and later, his brother-in-law, after marrying his sister Zoe.

War and disease wiped out Alexander's children, leaving him with no valible heir and very few relatives to take the throne. Therefore, with a heavy heart, Alexander made his sister his heir and then when she died in 1783, her son.

Dimitrios was quickly married to a descendant of Emperor Ramanos' eldest daughter in hopes of consolidating his claim in 1785. The soon-to-be Empress Margaret was also the daughter of the King of France which proved to give Dimitrios a footing in European politics. As his dynasty was fairly new, Ana often saw the marriage was below her, and the couple had a strained marriage. Not helped was Dimitrios' affair with the Empress Maria's lady Anastasia.

When Emperor Alexander died, Dimitrois was crowned in a lavish ceremony. He went on to confirm his rule by crushing a rebellion in Georgia in 1800. Dimitrios began to slowly but surely consolidate his rule, winning supporters with a careful balance of charm and iron will. As Dimitrois had three brothers and two sisters, he made sure to arrange prestigious matches for them all, wanting to give his dynasty more power. He made his brother, Alexander, the Viceroyal of Greece, wanting to give more pristige to the land his great-grandfather was born in.

Despite all his efforts, he was not able to win over his wife. In the end, he decided to ask for a divoroce, wanting to marry his mitress. When that was refused, he proposed adopting his bastard children. He was again refused much to his chagrin.

Instead, he gave all of his bastard children lordships and high positions, in hopes of giving them enough power and prestige that if he were to make one of them his heir, they would have more support than his legitimate children with Margaret of France. There were also rumors that his children with his wife were actually by her suspected lover, Issac Cydones, his political rival and potential claimant of the throne. These rumors were largely thought to be the work of Dimitrois and his mistress Anastasia, but historians do not the unusual closeness between Isaac and Margaret, something even their supporters commented on.

In 1816, Dimitrois died alongside his mistress Anastasia. They were together in Dimitrois' hunting lodge when a fire broke out, killing most of the residents. While it was ruled as an accidentail fire, set by a lit cigar that no one bothered to put out, it wasn't surprising that many pointed the fingers at Margaret and Issac. The accusations would get so bad that _____would feel obligated to investigate to determine their guilt or innocence.
 
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What If ... Henry VIII has no surviving issue (legitimate or otherwise)

Monarchs of England:
1509 to 1547 : Henry VIII (House of Tudor)
1547 to 1567 : Frances I and Henry IX (House of Tudor-Suffolk) (1)
1567 to 1576: Jane I (House of Tudor-Suffolk) (2)

Monarchs of Spain and England:
1576 to 1603: Charles I and II (House of Tudor-Habsburg) (3)
1603 to 1627: Philip I and II (House of Tudor-Habsburg) (4)
1627 to 1630: Alexander I (House of Tudor-Habsburg) (5)




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Effigy of Frances I on her tomb in Westminster Abbey

(1) Despite multiple wives and mistresses and several births Henry VIII entered the 1540s with no surviving issue, legitimate or otherwise. But in 1542, the situation become of immediate concern, Margaret, Dowager Queen of Scots died in October, followed in December by her son, James V, which left the weeks old Mary as Queen of Scots and Henry VIII's senior heir. But Mary was guided by her Catholic mother, Marie of Guise, and betrothed to the Dauphin of France, next on line was the unmarried Margaret Douglas. In his 1543 Devices of Succession, Henry VIII explicitly stated that in the absence of any heirs (historians point out it failed to explicitly state heirs male, at this point, Henry was clearly satisfied with putting a woman in the line of succession) of his own body, that the succession would fall to the line of his niece, Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, a married mother of two young girls, Jane and Katherine, but an adult and a protestant, and thus better than Mary or Margaret. And this in 1547 when Henry VIII died, Frances succeeded to the throne, by then a mother of three, with Jane and Katherine joined by Mary.

Frances and her husband were crowned as Frances I and Henry IX of England. The Suffolk Coronation Act stipulated that Henry was only King jure uxoris and if he survived Frances, he would cease to be King. But the concerns about this eventuality ended up being tossed aside when Henry predeceased Frances in 1554.

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Frances I (Sara Kestleman), Henry IX (Patrick Stewart) Katherine, Queen of Portugal (Helena Bonham Carter) in "Katherine of Portugal" (1985)

Frances reign saw conflict with France and Scotland (and Francis II, and Mary, Queen of Scots) and in 1560, the birth of their first son, the Dauphin, Henri, who would become Henri III of France in 1565, and threaten an unholy Franco-Scots Empire if he also succeeded his mother. As such, Frances looked to Spain and Portugal for support of this threat, and married Katherine to Joao Manuel of Portugal, later King John IV of Portugal whose sister was Queen of Spain, married to Phillip II. And thus when France threatened invasion in 1564, it was the Spanish Armada that sailed in to the English Channel and saved the nation.

If the Franco-Scots threat was the Auld Alliance, then England-Spain-Portugal was the Nueva Alliance and this no doubt also influenced the marital prospects of both Jane and her youngest sibling. In 1567, having been a widow for over ten years, aged 50, Frances passed and was succeeded by hereldest daughter, Jane.

(2) When Princess Mary of England was born in 1547, pretty much everyone accepted Jane would become Queen of England. This rocketed up her marriage value. The princes of the Protestant nations of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were all courted by Francis I, but with internal politics and the burgeoning danger of France, one after another negotiations fizzled.

But it was the growing influence of France that prompted a new Alliance. The young King of Spain and recently widowed, Phillip II, would offer his had for Jane in 1550. France had recently begun an accelerated colonization effort in the new world that threatened the Spanish interests there, and with few other willing to stand up to France, Phillip was willing to bend on the religion issue.

After much deliberation, and a very complicated marriage contract, Francis would accept, and in 1554 Jane of England was wed to Phillip of Spain.

The first decade of their marriage served to build a partnership that would one day rule what many viewed at the time as half the world. They learned to lean on each other to counter weakness and rely on the others strengths. For example, Phillip can to rely on Jane for matters of language, as Philip was comfortable only in his native languages of Spanish and Portuguese, while Jane spoke upwards of 14 languages by the time of her death.

When they lived in the same place they enjoyed vigorous religion discussions that often became another vigorous and much more amorous activity. When separate they kept up an extensive letter correspondence that began during their marriage negotiations and lasted until Philip's death.

Jane would spend most of the first decade of her marriage in the Spanish Netherlands, with regular visits to England. Their first three children were born there. The education of their children was perhaps the most vigorous of Jane and Phillip’s discussions, and eventually it was agreed their children would receive educations in both faiths, for whatever their eventual religion they would rule lands of both faiths.

In 1563, when tensions between Franch-Scotland and England-Iberia heated up to the point of warfare, Jane and their 3 children would travel to Spain as Phillip gathered the Spanish Armada to combat France. Jane remained in Spain until 1567, and while there would give birth to a set of twins.

When news reached Jane in 1567, of the failing health of Frances I, Jane and her eldest son, the Prince of Asturias and Girona would travel to England leaving the younger four children in Spain.

At Francis’s death Jane was crowned Queen of England and her eldest son was made Prince of Wales. Several months later Phillip would arrive and another ceremony was held marking him as King Consort of England.

Religion would continue to be a hot topic for Jane and Phillip, both pushing the other to be more tolerant of their own religion. This was most successful in the Spanish Netherlands where by 1570, Protestant and Catholics were coexisting almost entirely peacefully.

In early 1575, Phillip would suffer what we now believe to be a stroke, his speech was severely impacted and he was often plagued by headaches. Jane would travel to Spain to care for him and the next year Philip would suffer another stroke.

Jane would travel to England where she abdicated so that their heir, Charles, could inherit and unify England and Spain. Shortly afterward would give birth to her and Phillip’s last child. She then retired to the Spanish Netherlands where she lived out the rest of her life.

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(3) Born in 1555 as the eldest child of Queen Jane and King Phillip, his birth, he bore many titles from the nation's of both of his parents and, like the Franco Scottish marriage between Mary and Francis, this marriage signified an attempt to consolidate two of Europe's powers, and the creation of the greatest naval power that Europe had. The problem became that whilst everyone wanted their daughter to be position as to marry Charles, nobody wanted any other powers to have the Anglo-Spanish allied to a rival. And thus, Charles was engaged to Ursula Stafford, daughter of Baron Stafford, and a distant cousin (a descendant of George, Duke or Clarence), this was a match that was largely agreeable to the majority of the continent.

Charles and Ursula would have three children from 1575.

Some discussion has been had that Charles could marry his second cousin, Sophie of Saxony, but Sophie's mother, Margaret (Clifford), resoundingly refused the match. In a letter to her cousin, Margaret explained that she could see the conflict that was approaching and that she had little to no interest in positioning her daughter on the front line.

Upon the death of his father, he became Charles II of Spain, and a handful of months later, he became Charles I of England upon his mother's abdication, due to her belief that the Anglo-Spanish Empire (such that it was, though not formally) was better served by a united government, and her son had exercised the powers of lord protector of England anyway during her confinement.

Jane would retire to the Spanish Netherlands to raise her youngest son, Philip (quite how the name had not been used thus far is unknown, but Charles at least had been named after his paternal grandfather, the Holy Roman Emperor ) whom Charles would create as Duke of Gloucester on his birth and install as Governor/Viceroy of the Spanish Netherlands upon his majority in 1595 (Dowager Queen/Queen Emeritus Jane, had informally "ruled" in the Netherlands in capacity as Governor/Viceroy since her abdication to her death, followed by a Stafford appointee from 1590 to 1595).

In 1580, the War of the Three Empires began (though only one power was technically an Empire) and lasted for much of Charles' reign. It was fought mostly on the continent, and stemmed from the Holy Roman Empire which, even after the death of Charles V in 1558, England and Spain had held significant ties to. Rudolf II had been crowned in 1576 and had immediately plunged the Empire into conflict with Henri I and IV of Franco-Scotland. Queen Jane, now ex-officio Viceroy of the Spanish Netherlands, saw how this conflict could threaten her new home and Charles and Ursula were coerced into supporting Rudolf II, both out of emotional blackmail from Jane, but from familial obligations in the Habsburg Pact (and the Spanish Marriage Agreement of 1554). This meant Henri IV positioned his Scottish domains against England causing conflict in Northumbria, and attempting an invasion across the Channel. Spanish Armada to the rescue again, and French fleet decimated. England was secure, at least until the French Navy rebuilt, as the Royal Navy and Spanish Armada could easily blockade further French support for Scotland.

By 1593, Scotland had been worn down and forces had largely surrendered. Henri II and V (succeeding his father in 1590) had not officially surrendered and continued to communicate as King of Scots from his estates in Paris. England was an occupying power (Charles did not become King of Scots, Scotland was subsumed into England, much as Wales had been), and Rudolf II succeeded in liberating (and they did use liberating, propaganda effecting that the Capets had been the occupying forces) some lands in Eastern France from the Capetian monarchy.

Despite a number of rebellions in Scotland, which were ruthlessly put down, this left Charles seeing the last eight years of his reign in comparative peace. He died in winter 1603, aged 48, believed to be of pneumonia, at Windsor Castle, it is believed his last words were, "I should have gone to Spain for Christmas ..."

He was succeeded by his son, Philip.



(4) The third child of the royal couple of England and Spain, Philip was brought up in the pampered courts of Madrid, London and Ghent, often travelling between the various estates of the Anglo-Spanish monarchy, speaking more than five languages, (Castillian, Catalan, English, Dutch and Latin) by the age of sixteen. His father, a rigorous man by all accounts, sent Philip to England when he reached his majority, where he joined in the occupation of Scotland and won his first victories against local rebels. While it would help him discover and develop his military talents, it would make him hated in the cold north of what would one day be his Empire, to dire consequences in the future.

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The death of his father in Windsor castle saw the young King land in London and then sail for Spain for his respective coronations - something that would stifle him, especially in Spain, where the long discontented nobility attempted to influence the young King to their whims. They, like had been done to the English before, demanded the King marry a Spanish lady, and that he stopped English involvement in Spain's overseas colonies. The King refused the first, but granted the second, saying to his English retainers "Even the aragonese have no right to trade in Castille's colonies. Why should England?". This provoked a great wave of discontent in England, especially the merchant classes, whom, due to England's recognition of the treaty of Tordesillas, were forbidden from colonizing the new world themselves. English merchants and immigrants had then, however, simply gone to Spain's colonies, but this new prohibition greatly affronted them. The King simply put the matter behind his back.

His focus was then in France - the French wars of religion had come to an end, an end that was not particularly favourable to England and Spain. Henry of Bourbon and his wife, Claude of Valois, were now Kings and Queen of France respectivelly. Henry of Bourbon's conversion to Catholicism and the Edict of Nantes calmed French society, with both the nobility and commoners of that country tired of the civil war. Spain and England, whose interest lay in making France as weak as possible, convinced the leader of the French Catholic league, the Duke of Guise, to attempt a coup and take the throne - something that went very badly. The Catholic leaguers were purged, and uprage took over France as Spanish and English involvement became known. The war of 1605-1607 saw the first french victory since the unification of England and Spain, due to the utter unpreparedness of the Dual Monarchy's forces and French outrage. England's attempts at landing in Normandy resulted in utter disaster, and French piracy in the Channel and Atlantic Coast saw the Spaniards be forced to traverse the Pyrenees or use the Spanish Road through Italy, which did not last long as French forces captured the Savoy region alongside the French-Compte. This setback was enough to force the Kingdoms to go to the meeting table, where a peace was drawn out.

The treaty of Ghent:
- France recovers it's Eastern possessions and annexes the Franco-Condado.
- King Philip of Spain and England marries Louisa of Bourbon, Henry the V's younger sister, and her rather huge dowry shall serve as compensation for the loss.
- France shall swear to not attempt to disrupt the Kingdom of England occupation of Scotland, but the French King refuses to continue to claim the country as his own.
- French ports shall be opened to Anglo-Spanish trade.

It was thus that the first great defeat of the dual-monarchy was handed - alongside Philip finally getting the wife his nobles wanted him to have so much. The couple would go on to have seven healthy children, with Queen Louise being mostly locked in a castle, serving only as a broodmare. Her treatment was used in various pieces of propaganda against England-Spain, and the rumoured raping of the Queen by her English guards during the King's stay in the Netherlands from 1617-1618 greatly diminished the prestige of the monarchy.

Philip did do many great things to help his Empire recover, but the various wars against the Ottoman Empire and against the protestants of the Holy Roman Empire delapited his coffers. A massive rebellion in Scotland started in 1623, followed by another revolt in Catalonia and another in Naples. Philip would die, unable to deal with either of the three. He was succeeded by his son, Alexander.

(5) A lover of great conquerors, Philip choose to name his first born son, Alexander or Alejandro in Spain, after Alexander the Great. Unfortunately Alexander took after his ancestor, Arthur of England, being named after a hero of myths, proclaimed to be the start of a great age for his countries, and dying before he reached his twentieth birthday.

He was always a healthy child, noted to have a love of sports. Having a regent do the actuall ruling, Alexander prefered spending the three short years of his reign hunting, playing tennis and other games. Tradgy would strike in 1630 when he fell off his horse and cracked open his skull, dying instantly. His sudden and brutal death would leave his two countries scrambling to recover, leaving his regent to pick the pieces as they made plans for his successor____.

Mary, Queen of France, b. 1497, d. 1533, married a) Louis XII of France, no issue; b) Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, with surviving issue
1b) Frances I of England, b. 1517, d. 1567, m. Henry IX of England
1) Jane I of England (defacto Viceroy / Governor of the Netherlands 1576 to 1590), b. 1537, r. 1567 to 1576, d. 1590, m. Phillip II of Spain, b. 1527, d. 1576
a) Charles I and II of England and Spain, b. 1555, r. 1576 to 1603, m. Ursula Stafford (1557 to 1587)
x) Philip I and III of England and Spain, b. 1582, r. 1603 to 1627, m. Louise of Bourbon
x) two other children born in the Spanish Netherlands before 1567
x) twins born in Spain around 1567
x) three children born in England after 1567
9) Philip, Duke of Gloucester, Viceroy / Governor of the Spanish Netherlands (from 1595), b. 1577, m. Gregoria Maximilliana of Austria
2) Katherine, Queen of Portugal, b. 1540, m. John IV of Portugal
x) had issue
3) Mary, Queen of Navarre, b. 1547, m. Henry III of Navarre, b. 1550
x) had issue
2b) Eleanor, Countess of Cumberland, b. 1519, d. 1547, m. Henry Clifford, Earl of Cumberland
a) Margaret Clifford, b. 1540, d. 1592, m. Johann Wilhelm, Duke of Saxony and Saxe Weimar
1) five issue, including Henry Wilhelm, Duke of Saxony and Saxe Weimar and Sophie or Saxony
 
What about this:
During world wide/national holidays, if a list dies due to the holidays, some one could necromancy the list or start another one.
 
POD: George Mouzalon remains John IV's regent instead of getting killed by the future Emperor Michael VIII

Emperors and Autocrats of the Romans
1258-1305: John IV (House of Laskaris) [1]
1305-1330: Alexios VI (House of Laskaris) [2]
1330-1333: Constantine "The Brief" "The Scholar" XI (House of Laskaris) [3]
1333-1348: Anastasia I and Romanos V (House of Laskaris-Skleros) [4]
1348-1351: Anastasia I (House of Laskaris-Skleros) [4]
1351-1386: Basil III (House of Skleros) [5]
1386-1402: Andronicus II (House of Skleros) [6]
1402-1417: Constantina I (House of Skleros) [7]
1417-1450: Constantine XII "The Turk-Slayer" (House of Bagration) [8]
1450-1505: Sophia I "The Great" (House of Bagration) [9]
1505-1535: Theodosius IV Augustus "The Latin" (House of Bagration-Othmanos) [10]
1535-1542: Alexander II "The Butcher of France" (House of Othmanos) [11]
1543: Year of Three Emperors [12]
1543-1575: Alexander III (House of Othmanos) [13]
1575-1621: Nikephoros IV “The Magnanimous” (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [14]
1621-1622: John V (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [15]
1622-1650: Alexios VII Ferdinand (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [16]
1650-1667: Michael VIII “The Brute” (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [17]
1667-1701: Anastasia II (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [18]
1701-1713: Romanos VI (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [19]
1713-1719: Nikephoros V Dimitrios (House of Othmanos-Komnenos-Tocco) [20]
1720-1792: Alexander IV Constantine "The Magnificent" (House of Othmanos-Komnenos-Tocco) [21]
1792-1816: Dimitrios I (House of Konstantinopolites) [22]
1816-1817: The Winter Interregnum/Succession crisis
1817-1839: Constantine XVI Sebastianos and Anastasia III Maria (House of Palaiologos) [23]


[1] John IV Laskaris was acclaimed as Emperor of the Roman Empire at the age of eight after his father's death with the young Emperor initially being under the control of the regency of George Mouzalon, under which the Empire regained Constantinople from the Latin Empire, ending the Latin occupation of the city which had begun with the Fourth Crusade and the sacking of the city.

In 1266, at the age of sixteen, the young Emperor John IV would formally take control over the reins of state, the first Emperor of Rhomania to rule from Constantinople since Alexios V 62 years earlier. As Emperor, John IV's rule would prove to be in many ways a rule marked by an attempt to restore the Empire to its pre-1204 state with how John would energetically campaign in both Western Anatolia and Greece during his 39 years that he spent as Emperor with the Despotate of Epirus by the end of his reign essentially all but taken by the Empire by the time of his death. In his efforts to reclaim the European portions of Rhomania, both war and diplomacy being used by the energetic Emperor John IV to deal with the remnants of the Frankokratia and the Despotate of Epirus. Domestically, John IV would be a ruler who would spend much time and effort strengthening the central government at the expense of the dynatoi/nobility.

John IV would marry Mary of Hungary, seven years his junior, in 1275 with the couple having six children. John IV would die in 1305 and would be succeeded by his eldest son, Alexios VI

[2] Alexios VI, the result of his parent’s wedding night, was widely known and adored across Romania as a pious, intelligent prince and able commander. His only fault was his zealous hatred for his one year younger brother, John, born in 1277.
Thus, after Alexios's ascension, he needed to fight an rebellion from his brother's supporters, who claimed that Alexios is a bastard born from rape of Mary of Hungary by stableman and he, John is legitimate heir of John IV.
The rebellion lasted for a year, where Alexios hired a lot of Turkish mercenaries to fight his brother, who had most of his support in the European part of the state. John, although as able as his brother, was younger, less experienced and cocky - thus he lost.
Most of his supporters were zealously murdered and John himself with the group of closest aristocrats fled to Rome. Then he spent three years on Papal court, plotting his return and converting to Catholicism in hope of getting Papal support in gaining the Byzantine throne.
Years passed, during which Alexios mostly battled with Turks, gaining some minor border gains in Anatolia and solidifying Rhoman control there, but John's invasion - never came. In 1310, ban (governor) of Croatia, Pavao Subić, who wanted to put end to the anarchy which became widespread in Hungary (Croatia was part of this state back then) after Premyslids abdicated their claim to Hungary and the country was embroiled in civil war between Wittelsbach claimant and his opponents, with Wittelsbach claimant also leaving the country and opening 2-year interregnum, offered the crown to John, who had some claim to it as son of Mary, sister of Vladislaus IV. The Pope also offered to support him.
When the news about it reached Alexios, most people thought he was going to be furious. But he was unusually calm. In fact, he pledged to support his brother and forgive him for whatever he had done, if he pledged in return not to attack Byzantium.
Most of the courtiers acclaimed Alexios mad for wanting to help his hated brother, who tried to steal his crown - but there was a logic within it. As a king of Hungary John would have to stay Catholic and Catholic won't reign in Constantinople, ever.
John agreed and in 1312, despite protests from Henry of Carinthia, new king of Poland and Bohemia who was heir to Premyslid claim, John was crowned in Székesfehérvár as Janos I.
Alexios's next problem was Serbian attack, as Serbs ravaged northern Macedonia and temporarily occupied it, and it cause 5-year Serbo-Byzantine war to rise, ultimately ending with Stephen Uros II of Serbia being defeated, having to cede some border regions to Alexios and recognize himself as Alexios's vassal.
His grandson and heir, likewise named Stephen, was to be raised on court in Constantinople .
That all was done in 1317.
The rest of Alexios's reign was rather peaceful and uneventful, with Alexios passing away accompanied by his wife and three surviving children, to be succeeded by his son, Constantine.

[3] Constantine was the middle child of Alexios and only son. He was born in 1299 and known to be a scholarly boy who loved books and learning. When he became of age and had his own alliance, he commissioned a great library to be built in Constantinople, one to rival the library of Alexandria. He also had a university built, going as far to connect both buildings. Despite his sharp mind, he was no diplomat and actually hated interacting with people. However, his father believed he would rise to the occasion in time and so despite his protests, he continued to be his father's heir.

When his father died, Constantine ruled for three years in which he chose an heir, announced he would abdicate to join a monastery, made sure that the transference of power went smoothly, planned a grand ceremony where he handed the crown over, and then promptly left for a monastery. We know from letters that despite his rather flippant attitude to the crown, he remained on good terms with his family even giving his successor Anastasia advice.

[4] Anastasia was the oldest of Alexios VI's children and was born in 1297. When she was born to Alexios VI and his wife, few expected her to one day rule as Empress, especially after her brother Constantine was born. However, Constantine would name her as his heir, especially with how he refused to marry and planned to retire to a monastery. As such, Anastasia and Romanos Skleros, a prominent general who had served alongside Alexios VI, would marry in 1320.

Her joint rule with Romanos Skleros would be marked by the elimination of the last remnants of the Frankokratia in mainland Greece with both the Duchy of Athens and the Duchy submitting to the authority of Constantinople during her joint rule with Emperor Romanos. In addition, her rule would see Roman rule over Western Anatolia consolidated with the border in Anatolia being pushed to where it was before the Fourth Crusade. In terms of domestic politics, Anastasia and Romanos would both prove to be capable and competent administrators, especially with Constantine XI's advice when it came to administration.

Anastasia and Romanos would have seven children, four of which would outlive the couple when Romanos died in 1348 from the bubonic plague and Anastasia died three years later from an accident while hunting. The next Emperor would be Basil.


[5] Basil was born in 1325, as the second son. His older brother, Romanos died of measles in 1330 so when his uncle declared his mother his heir, Basil was groomed from that point forward as a future monarch.

Basil grew up with a rigid education, learning administration along with military training. It was clear that Anastasia and Romanos wanted their son to be a contempt leader. Despite keeping warm relations with Constantine, they were not prepared to let Basil shrink his duties to their people as his uncle had. This was doubly important with their efforts to bring their empire back to its former glory before the Fourth Crusade.

His parents drummed it into Basil's head that he needed to be a leader worth following and he needed strong allies. One way to do this was to gain a good marriage. His older sister, Anastasia was married to King Jean of France while another of his sisters would marry the King of Hungary. As for Basil himself, he married Constance of Sicily in 1344.

Although the marriage was relatively happy, the couple had trouble conceiving and would only have two surviving children. Despite this, Basil and Constance's relationship would remain strong throughout the years and when Basil was out campaigning, he would often leave his wife as regent.

Throughout the 1350s, Basil was in conflict with the Ottoman Sultan Murad I. He sought help from his allies in pushing them back, even sending an envoy to the pope in hopes he would call for a crusade. Pope Innocent VI did not call it thus, however he did loan Basil money to hire mercenaries. King Jean of France and Navarre and his cousin, Edward III of England also agreed to send men against the Ottoman threat. However hostilities between the two cousins soon caused them to withdraw their support.

Following a decisive victory during the battle of Kallipolis, Basil managed to push the Ottomans back, away from the European mainland. Basil would have to deal with the Turkish raiders for years to come. However, he would use the money left over from his loan to strengthen his defenses.

Doing his final years, Basil would found a trading company that would establish trade routes in the east, including China and other Asian countries. By the time he had died, he had managed to pay back most of his loan, leaving his son, Andronicus to take care of the rest of his debt.


[6] Andronicus II was born in 1348 as the older of Constance's two surviving children and would grow up to be a capable and intelligent prince, a worthy heir to the throne one Basil III died in 1386 and left the 38-year old Andronicus the heir to the throne. Owing to his capable record as Crown Prince, Andronicus would prove to be a ruler who would be capable and popular in his rule, especially with how he sought to fight off the Turkish beyliks in Anatolia and reform the administration to embolden the central government at the expense of the landed aristocracy. His reign would also see a golden age of culture and the arts and a flourishing economy as Constantinople finally recovered its pre-Fourth Crusade population.

However, his reign would not be defined by the policies or achievements of the Emperor, but how it ended. In 1402, Timur, having carved a swathe of destruction from the Levant to India and forging the most powerful empire in the world at this point, after Turkish beyliks threatened by Rhomania's expansion begged him for aid, would invade Anatolia with Timur hoping to use said invasion of Anatolia to burnish his credentials as a warrior of Islam. Andronicus II would meet Timur in battle and would be killed in said battle along with almost all of his army with his daughter, Constantina being the new Empress after said catastrophe.


[7] The aftermath of the battle of Anatolia was devastating to the empire, it was much more personal to Constantina. She had not only lost her father, but also her only brother (after losing another to illness) and her husband Alexios Maleinos to the war.

However, the young widow, who would wear black for the rest of her life, wasted no time on tears. Instead she acted fast to get herself elected as empress before any of her father's rivals could use the vacuum of power to their advantage.

Once her reign was secured, she began to look for a second husband. She received suits from all over Europe and even a few Muslims lords. She eventually would marry King Alexander of Georgia.

Constantina adhered to the old adage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, sending envoys to China, India and Castile in hopes of making pacts. With China and India, she sealed the deal with trade while she sought to make a marriage alliance with Castile, by having one of her daughters marry King John II of Castile.

Bit by bit, the empire began to recover. Constantina was famous for declaring. "The empire may crumple, but as long as our people stay strong, we shall always persevere." However, despite this, she did not make an attempt to reclaim the lost lands of the empire, fearing it was too soon to tempt fate. "It took over a century for us to recover what we lost after the fourth crusade. We must be patient."

In 1416, Constantina would fall pregnant at age thirty-nine, much to the shock of everyone who had thought the empress past child bearing years. Unfortunately, the pregnancy took a toll on Constantina's health. She died nine months later, of childbed fever. Her husband would be regent for her successor Constantine XI

[8] Constantine XII, born as the son of Constantina and her second husband, Alexander of Georgia, was hailed as emperor shortly after his birth, with his Georgian-born father taking in the reins of regency, despite protests of various figures like Patriarch of Constantinople.
Patriarch was backed by a clique of powerful nobles, wanting to depose "barbarian" - and thus unworthy of wielding the throne Emperor and his more "barbarian" father. When Constantine was a year old, they figured out the plot to kill both him and his father, using servants in the palace as scapegoats. They wanted to install Patriarch's cousin and most wealthy from the conspirators, Michael Palaiologos as emperor.
The plot, according to rumor, was overheard by some old lady who reported it to the emperor.
Main plotters were executed and it began nation-wide purge of their supporters who lasted 3 years with Alexander of Georgia managing to poison the patriarch of Constantinople, replacing him with Constantine's tutor, Gregorios Maleinos, very cultured man (accused of being a "Hellen" crypto-pagan by many due to his love of classic antiquity), ardent supporter of reunification with western Church, and what's more - brother of Alexios Maleinos, Constantia's first husband, so sort of an "uncle" figure to Constantine.
Maleinos was very influential in Constantine's upbringing and he transferred much of his views to his students. By combined efforts of both Alexander of Georgia and Gregorios Maleinos old plan of having Constantia's daughter from first marriage to John II of Castile was finished.
Maleinos' half-sisters of Constantine were all married to rulers of Catholic West - namely France, England and Poland-Bohemia (who was also HRE and that time). Alexander didn't want to marry his stepdaughters to Romans, as he feared that Roman husbands of Constantine's sisters would attempt to overthrow his son.
At the time of marriage of the last of his sisters, Constantine (who was an eight-years-old boy) met and befriended Sophia Maleina, daughter of a distant cousin of Gregorios Maleinos, considered the most beautiful woman in the empire.
They were mere children at the time, but that event would shape Constantine's life forever..
Alexander's regency was all about stabilizing the country from the havoc caused by Timur's forces and fortifying the borders. Young Constantine started to have a visible militaristic streak at that time, asking his father to take him to the forts, vigorously training with sword, spear and lance, reading books about warfare almost of the time.
After Constantine turned 15, the council of an empire considered the question of his marriage. There were many proposals including the daughter of the king of Hungary, niece of the emperor (who was also king of Poland-Bohemia) and granddaughter of the king of France.
The debate lasted around two weeks, but Constantine one day arrived at the council meeting with wife at his side. It was none other than Sophia Maleina. Some counselors attempted to have this marriage set aside, but Gregorios Maleinos and Alexander of Georgia defended the Emperor's choice.
The council ultimately recognized the marriage as legitimate, but also the Emperor as adult.
Constantine, in the first year of his reign, just after turning 16, announced that he is going to war. Sophia Maleina was pregnant so he forced every member of the council and every provincial governor to swear fealty to her unborn child as next Emperor in event he'd die in the upcoming war.
His focus was the Ottoman sultanate, located in western Anatolia, where three brothers - Sulayman, Isa and Mehmed squabble for power. Isa's domain was next to the Byzantine border, so he attacked Nicaea - Isa's capital and old site of the Laskaris dynasty and besieged it for three weeks. He ultimately retook it, but he campaigned in Isa's land by next year, finishing the war in 1434.
His next object was Sulayman, but the task was far easier than he thought. Sulayman, at that time endangered by Mehmed, converted to Christianity with his family (he was sympathetic to Christians even prior to his war with brothers), willingly submit himself to Emperor's authority in exchange for being confirmed governor of his former lands and his son being betrothed to eldest daughter of Constantine and Sophia Maleina.
There was another year of peace before Mehmed decided to attack, which saw Sophia Maleina falling pregnant again.
Mehmed's war was short and after four months of fighting Mehmed was forced into exile to Qara Qoyunlu tribe and his lands were added to Byzantine Empire. In 1436, Constantine returned to Constantinople, where he was hailed as one of the greatest commanders Rhoman Empire ever had.
Much of his successes could be attributed to graciously fusing old tactician's work with modern weapons like artillery. He was also noted to be extremely faithful to Sophia Maleina, widely considered one of the most beautiful women (if not the most beautiful) in the entirety of Christendom.
The troubles began again in 1440, where due to his troubles with Alexander of Georgia refusing to pay tribute to him, Jahan Shah, leader of Qara Qoyunlu decided to back Mehmed and attack Constantine's domain.
In 1441, Alexander of Georgia's forces faced Jahan Shah, Mehmed and his son Murad, being overwhelmed due to John IV Megas Komnenos supporting invaders, and Alexander of Georgia killed.
This greatly enraged Constantine who decided to avenge his father's death.
His enemies expected him to attack them upfront, waiting for him, while conquering much of Georgia, but Georgia was not the place he headed to. In 1442, he launched a surprise attack on "traitor usurper" as Constantine dubbed John IV and conquered Trebizond almost effortlessly, adding it's troops to the imperial army.
In 1443, most of Georgia except for the northwestern part was overwhelmed by invaders, who set traps on themselves, as they were heavily damaged by Georgian resistance and Constantine joined forces with free Georgians, as he was also king of Georgia as Alexander's heir. In the battle of Tiflis, he personally killed John IV, and Murad's head was destroyed by a horse, while elderly Mehmed was roasted alive by peasants trying to escape. Jahan Shah escaped, but in 1444 Constantine also went to his domains, capturing Jahan Shah's capital - Tabriz and granting the city imperial governor.
Shakh Rukh, Jahan Shah's nominal overlord and brother of Jahan Shakh - Ispend joined forces against Constantine, but without much success. In early 1445, Rhoman army took most of northern Mesopotamia with Mosul. Ispend died of heart attack after he heard about Romans taking Mosul and his successor betrayed Shakh Rukh and made peace with Constantine allowing him to rule what remained of islamic Iraq as imperial vassal, while Constantine himself, now dubbed "The New Heraclius'' went to Persia proper, when he destroyed Shakh Rukh's army, with the state of Shakh Rukh collapsing on itself with ruler's death in 1447. 1447-1449 period was spent on chasing Ulugh Beg, Shakh Rukh's eldest son. In 1450, when some semblance of stability after Ulugh's Beg's death was returned, with Constantine taking places as far east as Mazandaran and splitting Iran into 5 client kingdoms, he was murdered by peasant named Rostam while sleeping in some village in northeastern Iran.

[9] Empress Sophia was the oldest child of Emperor Constantine XII, being born on February 7, 1434 to Emperor Constantine XII and Empress Sophia and would end up being named after her mother, who would end up raising the young Princess as a result of her father being largely away at the front. However, Sophia would grow close to her father, being overjoyed every time he came to Constantinople to see his children. Owing to the agreement with Suleyman as part of his surrender to Constantine XII, the young Princess Sophia would marry Alexander Othmanos in February 1450, just a few months before news of her father's assassination reached Constantinople. With how Sophia's only surviving sibling was her younger sister Theodora as her brother Romanos had died in 1449 at the age of 14 from a fall from his horse, the young Sophia would find herself the new Empress and Autocratess of the Romans with Alexander by her side.

In the aftermath of her father's assassination, Sophia would spend her early reign dealing with opposition to her rule from those who still resented the Bagratid rule over Rhomania with a coup attempt on May 29, 1453 coming close to overthrowing the young Empress. With said coup attempt foiled, the young Empress would move towards consolidating her father's conquests and ensuring that what her father had achieved would not be quickly overturned. In this, while she was a ruler who was willing to use brutality against those who resisted her rule over Rhomania, especially as the conquest of Eastern Anatolia was done during her reign, she would prove to be magnanimous to those who submitted. In this, the Empress would also build a gunpowder-centered army during her reign, making heavy use of gunpowder to secure and consolidate her empire during her reign.

In the Balkans, Sophia would prove to be as energetic as in the East with how she would be a ruler who would see Bulgaria and Serbia subjugated under her rule with her empire reaching from Tabriz in the East to Dalmatia in the West by the end of her reign, even intervening in Italy during the latter part of her reign as the Roman Empire was once more a power to be feared. Her reign would see a golden age in both culture/learning and the economy as Rhomania became a center of trade and was a realm which was a center of the Renaissance (with the "Eastern Renaissance" seeing a fusion of Greek and Perso-Arabic-Turkic culture developing as a result of the diverse empire Sophia ruled over) with the latter being boosted by Empress Sophia's patronage of culture and scholarship (including how the Empress was something of a scholar herself, supervising the translation of many Arabic and Persian texts into Greek).

However, all good things must come to an end with Sophia dying on September 1, 1505 at the age of 71 with the Empress having had seven children. She would be succeeded by her son Theodosius.



[10] Theodosius Augustus, first son of empress Sophia was born in 1450,just after her marriage to Alexander Othmanos. He was named after Theodosius the Great, thought to be founder of Eastern Empire at the time (incorrectly) and Octavianus Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome at all. Somewhat unconventional choice of naming was the result of growing interest of empress Sophia in history, something she passed upon to her son, as she was close with her son. The court rumours stated that she got too close to her son, in very inappropriate way...She was widowed in 1464, when her son turned 14 and despite various incitements from the council, didn't marry again at all, saying that all her heart will belong forever to her dead husband, despite almost all top Roman aristocrats, king of France and Holy Roman Emperor proposing to her. It was said that 30-years old Sophia took her son's virginity after his 14th birthday and they were said to be lovers, although it was never proven.
The one of main issues regarding Theodosius was the boy his mother adopted in 1470, when the rumours about her living with her son reached critical point and two of her three sons died, leaving Theodosius sole surviving male heir of the family.
All her daughters were married off to either Catholics or Muslims, unwilling to convert to Orthodoxy, so the council once again asked her to marry again and bring the male heir to the empire.
She refused to do so and instead, a week later she brought a 6 years old boy to the council meeting, very much resembling her and Theodosius. She said she adopts him as the emperors of old did, and that she bestows name Alexander upon him, and that she orders him to be treated equally with her natural born children, meaning that the boy would be Theodosius's heir if he didn't produce children of his own.
Many said that the boy was bastard son of Theodosius and his mother, while another said that most likely he was posthumous bastard son of Alexander Othmanos and some Maleinos woman, which would explain resemblance to Sophia (that part is still unexplained in XXIth century and the government strictly refuses to subject their remains to DNA tests).
Anyways, Theodosius married in 1471 to Giulia of Anjou, princess of Naples (she actually got along well with her mother-in-law and it was speculated she was having threeesomes with Theodosius and his mother) and that drove the prince close to the Latinophile faction at court, composed mainly from Vlach nobles from Balkans, the remains of Frankish houses from Frankokratia period and Italian immigrants, who came in many numbers to the empire.
Theodosius was enamored with his wife and her culture, which he saw as more Roman than Rhomans. Despite the fact he was not popular in the eastern part of the Empire, his participation in Italian, Serbian and Bulgarian campaigns was a success, and when coming to the throne, aged 55 almost everyone expected him to reign as happily as his mother.
That could be achieved, if king of France didn't attack Naples in 1506, deposing Giulia's half-brother and murdering most of her family. Theodosius swore vengeance and in 1507, he drove French out from Naples, proclaiming himself lord of that country. Pope Innocent VI was both pro-French (born Louis de Foix, younger son of pro-French king of Aragon) and worried by Theodosius taking Naples. He decried Theodosius as an unlawful usurper and recognized the king of France as the rightful king of Naples. Most northern Italian states supported the Pope's decision and together with Aragon and France they formed the first Holy League against Theodosius.
In early 1508 Theodosius took Rome, forcing the Pope to seek refuge in Avignon and defeated the forces of Louis XII of France and northern Italian dukes in battle of Florence, 21st April 1508. After that, Tuscany recognized Theodosius as it's overlord but he returned south as king of Aragon launched a naval invasion of Naples. That didn't end well for him, as most of his army got shipwrecked and he himself got captured by Theodosius, who forced him to sign the peace, abandoning his allies, giving up Sicily and Sardinia in favor of Theodosius, recognize Aragon as vassal of empire, and give his daughter and son - his only children as hostages. However, Theodosius treated them rather generously as he married Aragonese princess to his own, 12 years old grandson, and Aragonese heir received his niece (well, if you believe that Alexander adopted by Sophia was her and Theodosius's son, it was his half-sister and granddaughter). In mid-1509 he returned north and by end of that year he conquered all northern Italian states except Venice and made peace with Louis XII who agreed to abandon his allies, recognize Theodosius's overlordship over him and pay Byzantines yearly tribute. The petulant Venice was humiliated and forced to abandon Venetian part of Dalmatia.
That was the end of the First War of the Holy League and everyone expected Theodosius to return to Constantinople, but he didn't do that. He said that the Roman emperor must reside in Rome and so he stayed in Rome, making it capital of the Roman empire, restoring the Roman senate and granting Roman commoners privileges akin to that Roman plebs had in Antiquity.
5 years later he also forced captive Pope Innocent to recognize him as universal head of the Church, thus "ending" the Great Schism. However, HRE Waclaw VI (also king of Poland-Bohemia, which at that time reached as far as Riga and Dnieper on east and as far as Meissen and Bohemian-Bavarian border on east), king of Hungary Stephen X Laskaris didn't recognize the changes with clergy in HRE electing antipope, one Zbigniew Oleśnicki hailing from small village Wadowice near Kraków in Poland. He took the name of John Paulus after his election.
That sparked the Second War of the Holy League. In 1515, Venetian-Hungarian army conquered much of Dalmatia and an angry mob tore Louis XII to pieces in Paris, with his successor Charles IX rejecting French dependence on Byzantium and recognizing HRE's Pope as legitimate. In 1516, Theodoisus faced Venetians and Hungarians near Belgrade and destroyed their armies with Stephan X escaping from the battlefield only to be murdered by his power-hungry cousin John.
1517 was spent over slowly retaking Dalmatia and besieging Venice. Charles IX was about to attack when Aragon attacked Gascony, acting as loyal vassal of the Empire. Aragonese didn't gain much, but they stopped Charles from attacking Italy, giving Theodosius much needed time to finish siege of Venice in 1518, and launching famous Hungarian expedition of 1519-1520, when he defeated John V and Vaclav VI in battle of Buda, placing Stephan X's son in charge of Hungary reduced to all non-Roman lands that state contained, while former provinces of Pannonia and Dacia were re-annexed to Roman Empire.
He also took Carinthia from Vaclav and arrived in 1521, after crossing the Alps in France. He defeated Charles IX in battle of Dijon, executing captured king after the battle under the assumption that Charles was behind the mob who murdered his vassal Louis and nominated king's cousin, Francis as king of France reduced to lands north of Loire, while he divided lands south of Loire equally between him and king of Aragon. Vaclav accepted the loss of Carinthia and didn't attempt to mess with Theodosius any further, and he left him alone.
Thus ended the Second War of the Holy League and Theodosius began awarding his Italian and Latinophile veterans lands in newly-conquered provinces, as he believed that Italians are close to old Romans and Latinophiles are the backbone of his political power.
He also attempted to tie the new aristocracy to the old one with moderate success. Rome enjoyed great prosperity under him and he became beloved across Romans. In 1530, however, he attempted the action which brought his downfall. He replaced Greek in his chancellery with Latin and Italian and outlawed use of Arabic and Turkic as he believed those languages are barbaric and unworthy of Roman.
In 1533, where those decrees began to be properly implemented he announced that he intended to head from Rome to the east, intending to make purges on Arabic and Turkic nobles. In Constantinople, in 1535 when he was on his way to the east, he was ambushed by a clique of Greek nobles, captured and forced to sign an abdication. He died in unknown circumstances in prison leaving east of the country from Tabriz to Ankara on the verge of rebellion, Francis I of France attacking newly conquered provinces north of Alps, Italy and Balkans full of Theodosian loyalists and still angry HRE to his successor, his son, Alexander.

[11] When his father died, Alexander was in England for a state visit, in hopes of making an alliance by marrying one of his younger grandsons to the newborn princess. He raged upon learning of his father's death and immediately sailed back to Constantinople, to bury his father, be crowned, and then meet with his generals.

Alexander had married three times. His first wife was Archduchess Margaret who he married in 1487. The couple had three children before she died of childbed fever. His second wife was an Italain noblewoman named Katrina in 1500. They had only one child before Katrina died after falling and hitting her head (dark rumors swirled around that she was murdered by Alexander himself). His third wife was Althea, the daughter of a Greek general. They were wed in 1505 and had eight children.

Less than two years later, he marched with his army towards France, having decided that the Greek nobles (that had been swiftly rounded up and executed) had been paid by the French King. A temperamental and bloodthirsty man (it is long suspected that his mental unbalance is result of him being inbred if the rumors were to be trusted), Alexander had nothing, but ruthless vengeance on his mind, having his prisoners executed with parts of them being sent to the French king, promising a similar fate to him.

King Francis took him seriously enough that he sent his family members into hiding. Francis also made an alliance with the Holy Roman Empire, with the two longtime enemies uniting against a common foe.

In 1542, the three rulers would face off in a battle. The aftermath left the Holy Roman Emperor dead, Francis captured and Alexander badly wounded. One of his last acts was to be carried out to see the French King executed. He ordered his rival to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Fortunately, he died before his orders could be carried out, and King Francis was taken to Constantinople for his fate to be decided by_____

[12] When Francis I of France was brought to Constantinople, the council of empire dominated by Greek-Rhoman having captured king and authority over central provinces decided to reject absent Theodosius, Alexander's eldest son in favor of Loukas Notaras, descendant of John IV and richest man on the council . Loukas was recognized as a legitimate emperor by western Anatolia, Macedon and Thrace but no more. Italy, most of Balkans and new conquests in the west recognized Theodosius and the eastern-central Anatolia , Caucasus and northern Mesopotamia hailed Alexander of Mosul, son of Alexander whom Sophia adopted as new Emperor, as he was very friendly to Arabs, Turks and Persians. The upcoming year will decide the fate of empire ...



[13] Alexander of Mosul was acclaimed as Basileus in Trebizond, taking Zoe Komnena, one of the last surviving members of the Komnenoi, as his wife to boost his credentials as Emperor to appease those who felt someone who spent too much time with Turks and Persians was not worthy of being Emperor on February 4, 1543. As Emperor, Alexander of Mosul would seize control over the Empire in the Battle of Nicomedia, where he defeated the followers of Loukas Notaras and paved the way for the taking of Constantinople by September 1, 1543 with Theodosius being killed by his own troops by the end of the year, who promptly surrendered to Alexander of Mosul. After winning the civil war, he would prove to be magnanimous in victory, largely confining executions and imprisonments to the major leaders and allowing for lesser figures in the leadership of the two sides that had fought against him in the Year of the Three Emperors to bend the knee to him.

After consolidating his power as the new Emperor, Alexander of Mosul would march on Syria, where he would deal the Mamluk Sultanate, increasingly decrepit and weak, a massive defeat which saw the Levant taken by the Roman Empire and the Mamluk Sultanate collapse in a civil war which resulted in the "Abbasid Restoration'' occur as the Abbasid Caliph becoming the ruler of Egypt once more. Domestically, Alexander of Mosul would preside over a restoration of peace and stability in the Empire, doing his best to ensure the various factions within Rhomania were satisfied and reorganizing an Empire which was now the largest and most diverse on Earth with the rest of Mesopotamia being annexed by the Empire. With France and the HRE still being bitter foes, Alexander would ally with Portugal and the Protestant realms of Northern Europe against the French and Habsburgs as well in terms of his foreign policy.

While Alexander of Mosul's reign would be long and marked by many great successes, his reign would ultimately end with his death at the hands of the Suri Empire, which had consolidated its rule over Northern India, invading and taking much of Persia and defeating Alexander in 1575, with the Emperor dying of an infected wound after the retreat in Mosul, being succeeded by Nikephoros IV.


[14] Nikephoros was the eldest surviving son of Alexander III and was born four years before his father’s victory in the Civil War. His older brother Alexander had died of what historians believe to have been a brain aneurysm, making Nikephoros the heir. While studying in Italy he would meet the young noblewoman Maddalena de Medici, the daughter of the Duke of a Rhoman vassal state in Tuscany. Despite her being over five years his senior (he was 14 and she was 19 when they met), the two would fall madly in love with each other and before Alexander had even considered finding his son a bride it was discovered that Maddalena had become pregnant. In order to avoid a scandal the emperor immediately demanded Maddalena’s father to betrothe her to Nikephoros and they would marry shortly after, although the word did quickly get out since it was obvious that she was heavily pregnant by the time of the marriage ceremony. Their relationship was said to have been extremely passionate as Nikephoros would never take another partner as long as he lived, and their romance would be the subject of Romances for centuries to come. It would turn out that Maddalena’s womb was almost abnormally fruitful, with the couple going on to have an impressive 14 children (five sons and nine daughters) in the span of two decades and miraculously all of them would outlive both of their parents.

When the news of his father's death had reached the capital Nikephoros immediately ordered for reinforcements to be sent and was crowned the week later. Nikephoros himself was not much of a military man and much like Augustus and Justinian before him he would delegate most military affairs to his most skilled and loyal general, Abraám Karamanos, a close childhood friend of Nikephoros. He would instead continue his father’s legacy of administrative reform and he would spend much of his time dedicated to establishing an efficient system of Bureaucracy to run the empire with the help of the revitalized Senate. He would with the help of his military advisors and Abraám reorganize the military into one of the most well-organized and formidable armies of the world at the time, with them even reviving the term “Legion”. In fact, much of the army was composed of mixed Turkish-Cappadocian Christian converts from Anatolia and one of the leading generals during the reconquests was a descendant of the Karamanids. Thankfully after two long years of fighting the Suri were driven back to the Zagros where they would eventually be finished off by a native Persian revolt a decade later.

One of his first acts as Emperor was to return the empire's primary capital to Constantinople due to its strategic importance, however Rome would still have the honor of being the Empire's ceremonial second Capital and would grow to be one of the largest cities in Rhomania. Shortly after his accession he would break with conventional naming tradition and rename the Imperial house Osmanos-Komnenos to honor his late mother and to tie his family deeper into the history of the Empire. As the ruler of an extremely diverse Empire he would be known for his great tolerance for the time and he would even controversially allow the Jews to build a Third Temple in Jerusalem shortly after its reconquest, although it would be accompanied by an even larger Orthodox Basilica on the other side of the city. In 1591 the Rhomans would ally with Portugal and Aragon in their war with Castle-Leon, which would lead to the House of House of Luxembourg inheriting the throne of Castile and the Rhoman annexation of Gibraltar. Using Gibraltar as a launching point he would launch several expeditions to the new world which had been discovered several decades earlier by lost Moroccan Merchants. They would be successful and Rhomania would go on to establish the Viceroyalties of Aurelia (ORL Southern USA), Nova Italia (Texas/Northern Mexico), and Theodorica (Argentina). Also worth mentioning was that Basil III's Rhoman Oriental Trading Company at this point had established forts on the East African Coast, Ceylon, and Sumatra. Nikephoros would also send envoys across the known world and make contact with the leaders of Japan, Joseon, Oman, Bengal, the Great Jin Dynasty of China, Ayutthaya, Kongo, Timboctou (greater Mali), Abyssinia, Nicaragua (Pan-Mesoamerican Empire), and Quechica (Tawantinsuyu).

He would adopt a new set of male preference primogeniture succession laws to avoid another civil war over and would also make payment of the army to a government matter so that no general would ever be able to usurp the throne. However, his greatest achievement would be the Rhoman reconquest of Egypt and North Africa. The Neo-Abbasid Caliph was in the middle of a civil war so the Rhomans would use this as an opportunity to strike at the Nile and would quickly overrun the Abbasids before turning to the West. After only five years of fighting, Rhomania would be firmly established in Egypt, Libya, and Carthage. After the War Abraám would be hailed as the "Avenger of Heraclius” and a third Scipio and would be awarded the first triumph held in Rome in over a Millennium, though only a few weeks later he would die of a stroke. After the War Nikephoros would appoint a distant relative of the last Neo-Abbasid ruler as the new Caliph, who would act as the Custodian for Muslims within the Empire. Many Sunnis would not accept this “puppet Calph” and as a result local Sunni clerics would declare a state of Jihad against the Romans. However, Nikephoros would not live to see the Rhoman victory in this war, as soon after the word of the uprising came to Constantinople he suffered a fatal heart attack. Upon his death he would be succeeded by his eldest son and third born child, John.



[15] John was born the oldest son of Emperor Nikephoros in 1580 and would prove to be an intelligent, charming, and competent Prince, a worthy successor to his father Nikephoros as Emperor. As Crown Prince, he would be someone who would gain a great deal of prominence as heir to the throne during the last few years of his father's life, even if his reign would be ultimately short-lived. As Emperor, his nine months as Basileus would prove to be ones marked by a great deal of energy and drive with John seeking to eliminate corruption and reform the government and military. However, his reign would prove to be short-lived as he would die from smallpox at the age of 42 in 1622, leaving his younger brother Alexios Ferdinand as Emperor.



[16] Alexios Ferdinand was not expected to become Emperor as he was his father's fourth son. He was named after Emperor Alexios VI and his maternal grandfather Ferdinando Medici, father of Empress Maddalena. Nikephoros' children in order of birth were Sophia, Maddalena, John, Constantina, Theodora, Basil, Constantine, Angelica, Alexios, Kamatera, Constance, Michael, Euphrosyne, and Maria. The second son Basil had abandoned his titles and joined the priesthood while the third son Constantine had died in a boating accident five months after John's ascension. John had married in 1611 to an Italian noblewoman, but their marriage failed to produce any children (though John acknowledged three illegitimate daughters through his various mistresses on his deathbed). Three years before his brother’s death Alexios married princess Joanna Trastámara of Aragon. The couple would get along well with each other and she would bear him seven daughters, four who would survive to adulthood, but no sons. Joanna was a woman of great intellect and she would write several notable books on politics during her life under male pseudonyms. In fact, it was later discovered that Joanna was responsible for many of her husband’s policies after her diaries were rediscovered.

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Empress Joanna of Aragon

Alexios’ reign would be marked by the further consolidation of the Empire that the Othmanoi-Komnenoi Dynasty had expanded and his greatest accomplishment would be to bring relative peace to the religious groups of the Empire. Despite the fact that Theodosius IV Augustus had simply claimed to have “ended” the great schism when he reconquered Rome, most of Italy was still locally to the Papacy, which had been located in Avignon since 1508, not to mention that most of Europe outside of the empire was still Catholic. During the reigns of Alexander II, Alexander III, and to a lesser extent Nikephoros IV, there had been sporadic Catholic revolts in Italy and the parts of the Balkans. The most notable one of these wars was when Catholic Sicilian nobles raised an army and actually managed to overrun most of the island for over a year. Knowing that fully merging the Catholic and Orthodox Churches was impossible, in 1626 Alexios called for a meeting of Catholic and Orthodox religious leaders, including a delegation from the Pope to meet in Rome to discuss improving relations between the two Churches. Alexios agreed to recognize Catholicism as an institution within Rhomania as well as provide full legal protections for Catholics in the Empire, and he would grant the area around St Peter's Basilica in Rome back to the Papacy (Although Avignon would remain the capital of the Papal States). And in return, the Papacy would have to declare that the Rhomania was the sole successor to the Roman Empire and that the HRE was illegitimate, which the Catholic Church eventually agreed to. The Holy Roman Emperor at the time, Maximilian II of Wittelsbach, was infuriated by this decision, but he was in no position to challenge the church as the rest of Europe was engulfed in the twenty-five years war so against a protestant coalition so he was in no position to challenge the Catholic Church, although all future Holy Roman Emperors would continue to claim the title. This compromise also was unpopular with some of the Orthodox clergy and a group of orthodox planned to assassinate Alexios, but the plot was discovered and the conspirators were executed.

Despite being one of the most populated regions in the Islamic world she would be fairly pacified, as the old Mamluk ruling aristocracy would be replaced by a new class of mostly Hungarian nobles, as the army that Abraám Karamanos’ had used many Hungarian mercies during his famous conquest down the Nile. As thanks for their assistance in the reconquest, a Hungarian prince of the Báthory family would be selected as the hereditary Exarch of Egypt and many more Hungarian nobles would move to Egypt in the following decades. Egypt would prosper under Magyar rule with the capital of Gézavarós being established, and Hungarian culture would mash with the existing Coptic and Arabic cultures to greatly reshape the province, which is the reason why the modern Egyptian language is classified as Uralic. Muslim landowners who assimilated into Rhoman culture would be given full legal rights and some would eventually even join the senate, although there was still a strong incentive to convert to Orthodoxy due to the higher taxes that they were forced to pay. Due to these taxes, the Rhomans would face sporadic revolts from time to time, but none would ever become a serious threat to the reconquest.


During his reign he would see the creation of the position of Grand Consul, the highest ranking member of the senate who would be elected by popular vote and hold executive powers second only to the Emperor, though it is important to note that the Emperor could still act without popular approval of the Senate. Also worth mentioning that after the collapse of the Neo-Abbasid Caliphate, Hejaz would become an independent Emirate ruled by the Hashemite Dynasty, but it would quickly become a de facto Rhoman vassal. Alexios would also order the reconstruction of several of the great monuments of antiquity, such as the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and Colossus of Rhodes, as well as many new great Cathedrals for the five Episcopal sees in Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria based on Italian Designs. In 1650, Alexios Ferdinand would die of what historians believe to be a form of stomach cancer, leaving the empire to his last surviving brother.

[17] Micheal was the fifth and final son of Emperor Nikephoros IV and his wife, Empress Maddalena, in 1592, twelve years after his eldest brother.
As he’s position meant he was not meant to claim the throne, Michael was allowed to choose a career path of his own, with him choosing to join the army.
Although he was the youngest son, Michael would grow to be the biggest and strongest of the brothers.
By the age of 16, he was riding into battles, wearing armour made of Damascus Steel, which seemed to be nearly completely black.

He was 29 years old and fighting against Susenyos I, Emperor of Ethiopia, who was pushing for Catholic Christianity to become the official religion of Ethiopia, when he heard of his father’s death.

Once Michael had killed Susenyos, and placed the former Emperor’s 18 year old son Fasilides, onto the throne and reinstating the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as head religion, Michael would begin his journey returning home. Once his ship docked at the Royal harbour, he would discover that his oldest brother had died and that his other brother was emperor.

With Alexios as Emperor, Michael would be his military advisor and commander especially dealing with sporadic revolts from time to time, his harsh treatment of his enemy, would give him the nickname, Michael the Brute.

In 1650, 66 year old, Michael would claim his brother’s throne by marrying his 25 year old niece, Sophia Marie, as his first wife. Up to this point, Michael had many concubines but none he felt worthy to call his wife.

The marriage was not a happy one, with Michael being a dominant, controlling and aggressive lover, with one event leaving her unable to walk due to a shattered pelvis.
The only saving grace for her was that with the four pregnancies, she would enjoy the love she had between her and her children.

Over the 17 years, Michael would rule with an iron fist, putting down any unrest quickly and executed anyone who questioned his rule

His death in 1667, a few weeks shy of his 75th birthday, was diagnosed as a heart attack with the elderly Emperor unable to relax, feeling that if he gave up his routine of daily exercise, he would be perceived as weak.
His death would mean that the throne would be passed onto his daughter, Anastasia

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[18] Princess Anastasia was born in 1652 as the oldest of Michael and Sophia's four children. However, owing to her gender, Anastasia was not expected by many to be heir to the throne with the position of heir being one which was under Prince Romanos from his birth in 1654 onward. However, Prince Romanos' death in 1666 from an accident while sparring would put the young Princess as heir to the throne as the oldest of Michael's three daughters, which she became the next year. At the age of fifteen, Anastasia would already be a ruler known for her intelligence, courage, and wit, famously declaring that she needed no regent as Empress and as such, she would rule the Empire on her own.

Her reign as Empress would be considered the height of the early modern "golden age" of Rhomania as the Empire during her reign was an Empire which saw a golden age of arts, culture, and learning as well as an economic golden age. Anastasia's reign would be marked by the Empire seeing little, if any conflict, with the era being marked by peace and prosperity, even if storm clouds gathered with Germans seeing the final triumph of forces favoring a centralized realm over decentralization and Persia seeing the rise of a belligerent new dynasty, even if their focus was largely on consolidating influence over Central Asia, and the like. This was not helped by military stagnation being very much a thing, even if Anastasia would try to promote reforms to the military during her long reign.

As Empress, Anastasia would be notable for her marriage to a distant family cousin of hers to maintain the dynasty with the two having seven children, of whom Romanos would succeed Anastasia after she died in 1701 after a fall from her horse while hunting.

[19] Romanos was named for his mother's brother. He was born in 1675, the oldest of his siblings. Romanos was a smart boy, having been taught how to rule from an early age. He was known to be a great animal lover, having such a collection of exotic pets from around the world that some historians joked that he was the first zookeeper.

His favorite was a brown monkey named Archibald. He was seldom seen without the little chimpanzees hanging off of him. There is even a portrait of Romanos clad in his best outfit with Archibald on his lap. (It is suspected the artist had to paint the chimp from memory as it would not sit still).

Empress Anastasia allowed Romanos to choose his one bride, as long as she was of royalty and nobility. Romanos shocked all of Europe when choose Mastani, an Indian princess, as his wife, citing the alliance with India should not be ignored. Despite the difference in culture and religion, the couple would get along very well with Mastani even surprising her husband with an elephant for his twenty-fifth birthday. The couple had three children.

In 1701, after the death of his mother, Romanos would be crowned emperor. Unfortunately, a riot broke out in protest of Mastani being crowned alongside them. Romanos, normally a carefree and easygoing man took a very hard line to the slight against his wife, going out personally to crush the revolt.

Romanos sought to make alliances with the provinces in Asia, feeling closer relations would be far more beneficial. However, his foreign policies and his foreign wife were unpopular with the people.

After twelve years of reign, Romanos and Mastani were shot by xenophobic man while they were on progress. Nikephoros Demettake the throne after his death.


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[20] Grand Duke Dimitrios was not expected to become Emperor, he was the only son of Anastasia’s eldest daughter, Zoe, and a prominent noble of the Tocco family, making him a nephew of Romanos VI.

He was a sickly boy growing up but would manage to survive childhood and go on to attend the university of University of Paris, after which he returned to Constantinople to work as a high ranking magistrate. After the asasination of Romanos the Senate decided that none of Romanos and Mastani’s four children would succeed him due to the threat of a revolt due to their father’s lack of popularity, and instead the throne would pass to Grand Duke Dimitrios. Romanos’ seven year old son would be forced to renounce all claims to the throne and sent to a monastery, and his three daughters would be sent off to marry various European nobles over the next few years, one of them to the future King of France.

Upon his coritation, he would take the regnal name Nikephoros after his great grandfather, and would start the tradition of most future Emperors taking two regnals names. One months after his coronation he would marry the noblewoman Raimondina Tocco, the younger sister of his father and 14 years his senior. Despite her age she was unmarried and had secretly had a relationship with her nephew that would result in her first pregnancy. Despite being thought to be past her childbearing years, she would birth Nikephoros eight healthy children in total, including two sets of twins. In private she would frequently persuade many other women into having “relationships” with both her and her husband at the same time, resulting in Nikephoros fathering over a dozen bastards. It was later discovered in Nikephoros’ private diaries that some of his partners were young effeminate men crossdressing as women.

Despite his blatant debauchery, he was fairly well liked by the public, although he often clashed with the Senate and Grand Consul. He was most notable for being one of the first monarchs in modern history to establish welfare in the form of free or subsidized grain for the urban poor in many of the Empire’s major cities, as well as providing funds to orphanages and education institutions. He would also provide more funds to the settlement and development of the colonies in Septentrional and Austral Vespuccia, which were lagging behind other European colonies. In 1715 the Empire would formally vassalize the three Catholic Outremer Kingdoms of Altava, Mauritania, and Ouarsenis that had been created by a successful Franco-German crusade in North Africa right before the wars of the reformation a few centuries earlier. The only remaining Muslim state in North Africa at this point was the Asmarid Caliphate of Morroco, which also controlled the remnants of Al-Andalus and had even established colonies in Vespuccia. In 1716 they attacked Gibraltar and would use their powerful navy to harass Rhoman ships headed to the New World. A war between the two powers would break that would end in a stalemate, and the ensuing peace treaty would finalize the Rhoman-Asmarid border and would force the Asmarids to allow safe passage of Rhoman ships from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean in 1718. That same year a massive Muslim revolt would break out in Lower Mesopotamia and just like Emperor Hadrian before him he would be forced to abandon the region due to the empire becoming overstretched. Although only a few years later the newly independent Sultanate would become a vassal of the Zoroastrian revivalist Dareshurid Persian Empire created after the fall of the Suri Empire.

The week after the seventh anniversary of his coronation, he would die of a bacterial infection in a wound he got from falling down the stairs in his study. Upon his death, he would be succeeded by Alexander IV Constantine, who would be the last Emperor of the Othmanos-Komnenos-Tocco dynasty.

[21] Born in 1714 as the eldest child of Nikephoros V Dimitrios and Raimondina Tocco, Alexander became Emperor of Rhomania (sometimes also called the Roman Empire) at the young age of six, with his mother serving as regent. After becoming of age to rule in 1732, Alexander was crowned in a lavish coronation, and picked Constantine as his second regnal name, after Constantine “The Turk-Slayer". He soon married Grand Duchess Maria Vasilovich of Russia (daughter of Tsar Vasil VI) in 1735 in a lavish wedding, and the couple had five children.

Alexander IV Constantine reigned a total of 72 years, the longest of any sovereign monarch. As such, many events happened during his reign, These included the Anti-Morocco Crusade (1737-1740), which resulted in Morocco becoming ruled by a Catholic King that descended from Castilian royality, the collpase of the HRE in the early 1750s due to the death of the last Wittelsbach Emperor in 1748 and the incompetence of his successor, the War of the Aragonese Succession (1759-1766) that followed the death of the childless John V of Aragon and ended with Castile-Leon inheriting Aragon and Sicily becoming a independent Kingdom ruled by Alexander's second son Ferdinand, Rhomania's colonies in the new world getting more autonomy, and much more.

However, all was not well for by the end of Alexander's reign the House of Othmanos-Komnenos-Tocco was almost extinct, as he outlived many of his other male relatives who had mostly died either accidentally or naturally. So when he died in 1792 at the age of 78, Alexander was succeeded by his nephew, Dimtrios.

[22] Historians to this day marvel at the rise of Dimitrios, who were it not for the twists of fate should have been a nobody. His paternal great-grandfather was a Greek commander who managed to make a name for himself in the Franco-German crusade. His paternal grandmother was the sole heiress to an important vassal of the empire, even managing to win a dukedom and a high spot on the imperial senate. And his father happened to be a boyhood companion of Emperor Alexander and later, his brother-in-law, after marrying his sister Zoe.

War and disease wiped out Alexander's children, leaving him with no visible heir and very few relatives to take the throne. Therefore, with a heavy heart, Alexander made his sister his heir and then when she died in 1783, her son.

Dimitrios was quickly married to a descendant of Emperor Romanos' eldest daughter in hopes of consolidating his claim in 1785. The soon-to-be Empress Margaret was also the daughter of the King of France (making her a maternal descendant of Romanos VI) which proved to give Dimitrios a footing in European politics. As his dynasty was fairly new, Ana often saw the marriage was below her, and the couple had a strained marriage. Not helped was Dimitrios' affair with the Empress Maria's lady Anastasia.

When Emperor Alexander died, Dimitrois was crowned in a lavish ceremony. He went on to confirm his rule by crushing a rebellion in Georgia in 1800. Dimitrios began to slowly but surely consolidate his rule, winning supporters with a careful balance of charm and iron will. As Dimitrois had three brothers and two sisters, he made sure to arrange prestigious matches for them all, wanting to give his dynasty more power. He made his brother, Alexander, the Viceroyal of Greece, wanting to give more prestige to the land his great-grandfather was born in.

Despite all his efforts, he was not able to win over his wife. In the end, he decided to ask for a divoroce, wanting to marry his mistress. When that was refused, he proposed adopting his bastard children. He was again refused much to his chagrin.

Instead, he gave all of his bastard children lordships and high positions, in hopes of giving them enough power and prestige that if he were to make one of them his heir, they would have more support than his legitimate children with Margaret of France. There were also rumors that his children with his wife were actually by her suspected lover, Issac Cydones, his political rival and potential claimant of the throne. These rumors were largely thought to be the work of Dimitrois and his mistress Anastasia, but historians do not note the unusual closeness between Isaac and Margaret, something even their supporters commented on.

In 1816, Dimitrois died alongside his mistress Anastasia. They were together in Dimitrois' hunting lodge when a fire broke out, killing most of the residents. While it was ruled as an accidental fire, set by a lit cigar that no one bothered to put out, it wasn't surprising that many pointed the fingers at Margaret and Issac. The accusations would get so bad that Constantine XIV Sebastianos would feel obligated to investigate to determine their guilt or innocence.

[23] After the suspicious death of Demitrios, it was unclear who was to become the next Emperor. In Dimitrios' Last Will and Testament it was stated that he would posthumously adopt his oldest son with Anastasia, however not only was this against traditional laws it was claimed that this document was a fabrication by supporters of Prince Demitrios. In order to avoid a potential civil war the Imperial Senate formed a provisional government to settle the dispute from December of 1816 to February of 1817, with the Senatorial Mesazon, Victor Carignano, acting as Interrex. The two claimants to the throne were Alexander, the only living son of Anastasia and Emperor Demitrios, and prince Demitrios, son of Demitrios and Margaret but suspected as being son of Isaac. In January Alexander would be assassinated by supporters of prince Demitrios but Isaac would deny involvement and denounce the assassination. However, there was a third candidate for the Throne. Sebastianos Palaiologos was a young, popular Senator and the eldest son of Demitrios I’s older sister, Irene and Sebastianos Palaiologos senior. The Palaiologoi noble family had been fairly irrelevant for the past few centuries but had been growing in influence with Sebastianos’ grandfather serving as Grand Consul for two terms during the late reign of Alexander IV Constantine.

The Senate and People were growing tired of this violence so in February it was deceived that since both claimants were illegitimate, Sebastianos would become the next Emperor. However, to appeal to supporters of Anastasia’s children and prevent future conflict it was decided that Sebastanos would marry her and Demitrios’ eldest surviving daughter Anastasia Maria, who would take his last name and act as Co-Empress due to a legal loophole. Sebastianos would take the regnal name Constantine XIV Sebastianos to tie himself into the greater history of the Empire, even though Alexander Constantine used Alexander IV as in primary regnal name instead of Constantine XIII). After the couples’ marriage and ascension, it was decided that Issac would be put on trial for his suspected involvement with the death of Emperor Demitiros and prince Alexander. However, before the trial could come to a verdict, Margaret and Issac would form a suicide pact and both take their lives, effectively confirming the rumor of their affair and proving that Sebastianos was the rightful heir to the throne. After this Prince Demitros would then willingly go into exile in Aragon and would die shortly after of Smallpox.

Despite their very awkward family history, the couple would get along quite well and Sebastanos would never take a mistress. The couple would have 9 healthy children. His reign would be fairly uneventful, seeing minimal conflict with the exception of a minor war with Dareshurid Persian over Assyria that would lead to a Rhoman victory. He would be the last Roman Emperor to lead troops into battle at the head of an Army, most notably at the battle of Mosul which resulted in a decisive Imperial victory in the War. There was also a revolt in both Theodorica (Rio de la Plata) and Aurelia (Florida) and would lead to both of them being granted far greater autonomy (Nova Italia at that point had already been solid to the French, who themselves would lose it to the United Kingdom of England and the Netherlands after the War of the Flemish succession only a decade later). However, in 1839 Europe would be shocked as the King of Saxony would be overthrown and later executed by radical republicans (Saxony had unified most of Germany after the collapse of the HRE). The German Fraternal Republic would invade Western Europe including Roman Italy to spread their revolution. However Sebastianos would not live to see this brutal conflict as he would die of a stroke only a few days before the attack on Italy, and Anastasia abdicating shortly after. They would be succeeded by their eldest son, _________.
 
POD: George Mouzalon remains John IV's regent instead of getting killed by the future Emperor Michael VIII

Emperors and Autocrats of the Romans
1258-1305: John IV (House of Laskaris) [1]
1305-1330: Alexios VI (House of Laskaris) [2]
1330-1333: Constantine "The Brief" "The Scholar" XI (House of Laskaris) [3]
1333-1348: Anastasia I and Romanos V (House of Laskaris-Skleros) [4]
1348-1351: Anastasia I (House of Laskaris-Skleros) [4]
1351-1386: Basil III (House of Skleros) [5]
1386-1402: Andronicus II (House of Skleros) [6]
1402-1417: Constantina I (House of Skleros) [7]
1417-1450: Constantine XII "The Turk-Slayer" (House of Bagration) [8]
1450-1505: Sophia I "The Great" (House of Bagration) [9]
1505-1535: Theodosius IV Augustus "The Latin" (House of Bagration-Othmanos) [10]
1535-1542: Alexander II "The Butcher of France" (House of Othmanos) [11]
1543: Year of Three Emperors [12]
1543-1575: Alexander III (House of Othmanos) [13]
1575-1621: Nikephoros IV “The Magnanimous” (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [14]
1621-1622: John V (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [15]
1622-1650: Alexios VII Ferdinand (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [16]
1650-1667: Michael VIII “The Brute” (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [17]
1667-1701: Anastasia II (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [18]
1701-1713: Romanos VI (House of Othmanos-Komnenos) [19]
1713-1719: Nikephoros V Dimitrios (House of Othmanos-Komnenos-Tocco) [20]
1720-1792: Alexander IV Constantine "The Magnificent" (House of Othmanos-Komnenos-Tocco) [21]
1792-1816: Dimitrios I (House of Konstantinopolites) [22]
1816-1817: The Winter Interregnum/Succession crisis [23]
1817-1839: Constantine XVI Sebastianos and Anastasia III Maria (House of Palaiologos) [23]
1839-1888: Alexios "the Lionheart" VIII (House of Palaiologos) [24]


[1] John IV Laskaris was acclaimed as Emperor of the Roman Empire at the age of eight after his father's death with the young Emperor initially being under the control of the regency of George Mouzalon, under which the Empire regained Constantinople from the Latin Empire, ending the Latin occupation of the city which had begun with the Fourth Crusade and the sacking of the city.

In 1266, at the age of sixteen, the young Emperor John IV would formally take control over the reins of state, the first Emperor of Rhomania to rule from Constantinople since Alexios V 62 years earlier. As Emperor, John IV's rule would prove to be in many ways a rule marked by an attempt to restore the Empire to its pre-1204 state with how John would energetically campaign in both Western Anatolia and Greece during his 39 years that he spent as Emperor with the Despotate of Epirus by the end of his reign essentially all but taken by the Empire by the time of his death. In his efforts to reclaim the European portions of Rhomania, both war and diplomacy being used by the energetic Emperor John IV to deal with the remnants of the Frankokratia and the Despotate of Epirus. Domestically, John IV would be a ruler who would spend much time and effort strengthening the central government at the expense of the dynatoi/nobility.

John IV would marry Mary of Hungary, seven years his junior, in 1275 with the couple having six children. John IV would die in 1305 and would be succeeded by his eldest son, Alexios VI

[2] Alexios VI, the result of his parent’s wedding night, was widely known and adored across Romania as a pious, intelligent prince and able commander. His only fault was his zealous hatred for his one year younger brother, John, born in 1277.
Thus, after Alexios's ascension, he needed to fight an rebellion from his brother's supporters, who claimed that Alexios is a bastard born from rape of Mary of Hungary by stableman and he, John is legitimate heir of John IV.
The rebellion lasted for a year, where Alexios hired a lot of Turkish mercenaries to fight his brother, who had most of his support in the European part of the state. John, although as able as his brother, was younger, less experienced and cocky - thus he lost.
Most of his supporters were zealously murdered and John himself with the group of closest aristocrats fled to Rome. Then he spent three years on Papal court, plotting his return and converting to Catholicism in hope of getting Papal support in gaining the Byzantine throne.
Years passed, during which Alexios mostly battled with Turks, gaining some minor border gains in Anatolia and solidifying Rhoman control there, but John's invasion - never came. In 1310, ban (governor) of Croatia, Pavao Subić, who wanted to put end to the anarchy which became widespread in Hungary (Croatia was part of this state back then) after Premyslids abdicated their claim to Hungary and the country was embroiled in civil war between Wittelsbach claimant and his opponents, with Wittelsbach claimant also leaving the country and opening 2-year interregnum, offered the crown to John, who had some claim to it as son of Mary, sister of Vladislaus IV. The Pope also offered to support him.
When the news about it reached Alexios, most people thought he was going to be furious. But he was unusually calm. In fact, he pledged to support his brother and forgive him for whatever he had done, if he pledged in return not to attack Byzantium.
Most of the courtiers acclaimed Alexios mad for wanting to help his hated brother, who tried to steal his crown - but there was a logic within it. As a king of Hungary John would have to stay Catholic and Catholic won't reign in Constantinople, ever.
John agreed and in 1312, despite protests from Henry of Carinthia, new king of Poland and Bohemia who was heir to Premyslid claim, John was crowned in Székesfehérvár as Janos I.
Alexios's next problem was Serbian attack, as Serbs ravaged northern Macedonia and temporarily occupied it, and it cause 5-year Serbo-Byzantine war to rise, ultimately ending with Stephen Uros II of Serbia being defeated, having to cede some border regions to Alexios and recognize himself as Alexios's vassal.
His grandson and heir, likewise named Stephen, was to be raised on court in Constantinople .
That all was done in 1317.
The rest of Alexios's reign was rather peaceful and uneventful, with Alexios passing away accompanied by his wife and three surviving children, to be succeeded by his son, Constantine.

[3] Constantine was the middle child of Alexios and only son. He was born in 1299 and known to be a scholarly boy who loved books and learning. When he became of age and had his own alliance, he commissioned a great library to be built in Constantinople, one to rival the library of Alexandria. He also had a university built, going as far to connect both buildings. Despite his sharp mind, he was no diplomat and actually hated interacting with people. However, his father believed he would rise to the occasion in time and so despite his protests, he continued to be his father's heir.

When his father died, Constantine ruled for three years in which he chose an heir, announced he would abdicate to join a monastery, made sure that the transference of power went smoothly, planned a grand ceremony where he handed the crown over, and then promptly left for a monastery. We know from letters that despite his rather flippant attitude to the crown, he remained on good terms with his family even giving his successor Anastasia advice.

[4] Anastasia was the oldest of Alexios VI's children and was born in 1297. When she was born to Alexios VI and his wife, few expected her to one day rule as Empress, especially after her brother Constantine was born. However, Constantine would name her as his heir, especially with how he refused to marry and planned to retire to a monastery. As such, Anastasia and Romanos Skleros, a prominent general who had served alongside Alexios VI, would marry in 1320.

Her joint rule with Romanos Skleros would be marked by the elimination of the last remnants of the Frankokratia in mainland Greece with both the Duchy of Athens and the Duchy submitting to the authority of Constantinople during her joint rule with Emperor Romanos. In addition, her rule would see Roman rule over Western Anatolia consolidated with the border in Anatolia being pushed to where it was before the Fourth Crusade. In terms of domestic politics, Anastasia and Romanos would both prove to be capable and competent administrators, especially with Constantine XI's advice when it came to administration.

Anastasia and Romanos would have seven children, four of which would outlive the couple when Romanos died in 1348 from the bubonic plague and Anastasia died three years later from an accident while hunting. The next Emperor would be Basil.


[5] Basil was born in 1325, as the second son. His older brother, Romanos died of measles in 1330 so when his uncle declared his mother his heir, Basil was groomed from that point forward as a future monarch.

Basil grew up with a rigid education, learning administration along with military training. It was clear that Anastasia and Romanos wanted their son to be a contempt leader. Despite keeping warm relations with Constantine, they were not prepared to let Basil shrink his duties to their people as his uncle had. This was doubly important with their efforts to bring their empire back to its former glory before the Fourth Crusade.

His parents drummed it into Basil's head that he needed to be a leader worth following and he needed strong allies. One way to do this was to gain a good marriage. His older sister, Anastasia was married to King Jean of France while another of his sisters would marry the King of Hungary. As for Basil himself, he married Constance of Sicily in 1344.

Although the marriage was relatively happy, the couple had trouble conceiving and would only have two surviving children. Despite this, Basil and Constance's relationship would remain strong throughout the years and when Basil was out campaigning, he would often leave his wife as regent.

Throughout the 1350s, Basil was in conflict with the Ottoman Sultan Murad I. He sought help from his allies in pushing them back, even sending an envoy to the pope in hopes he would call for a crusade. Pope Innocent VI did not call it thus, however he did loan Basil money to hire mercenaries. King Jean of France and Navarre and his cousin, Edward III of England also agreed to send men against the Ottoman threat. However hostilities between the two cousins soon caused them to withdraw their support.

Following a decisive victory during the battle of Kallipolis, Basil managed to push the Ottomans back, away from the European mainland. Basil would have to deal with the Turkish raiders for years to come. However, he would use the money left over from his loan to strengthen his defenses.

Doing his final years, Basil would found a trading company that would establish trade routes in the east, including China and other Asian countries. By the time he had died, he had managed to pay back most of his loan, leaving his son, Andronicus to take care of the rest of his debt.


[6] Andronicus II was born in 1348 as the older of Constance's two surviving children and would grow up to be a capable and intelligent prince, a worthy heir to the throne one Basil III died in 1386 and left the 38-year old Andronicus the heir to the throne. Owing to his capable record as Crown Prince, Andronicus would prove to be a ruler who would be capable and popular in his rule, especially with how he sought to fight off the Turkish beyliks in Anatolia and reform the administration to embolden the central government at the expense of the landed aristocracy. His reign would also see a golden age of culture and the arts and a flourishing economy as Constantinople finally recovered its pre-Fourth Crusade population.

However, his reign would not be defined by the policies or achievements of the Emperor, but how it ended. In 1402, Timur, having carved a swathe of destruction from the Levant to India and forging the most powerful empire in the world at this point, after Turkish beyliks threatened by Rhomania's expansion begged him for aid, would invade Anatolia with Timur hoping to use said invasion of Anatolia to burnish his credentials as a warrior of Islam. Andronicus II would meet Timur in battle and would be killed in said battle along with almost all of his army with his daughter, Constantina being the new Empress after said catastrophe.


[7] The aftermath of the battle of Anatolia was devastating to the empire, it was much more personal to Constantina. She had not only lost her father, but also her only brother (after losing another to illness) and her husband Alexios Maleinos to the war.

However, the young widow, who would wear black for the rest of her life, wasted no time on tears. Instead she acted fast to get herself elected as empress before any of her father's rivals could use the vacuum of power to their advantage.

Once her reign was secured, she began to look for a second husband. She received suits from all over Europe and even a few Muslims lords. She eventually would marry King Alexander of Georgia.

Constantina adhered to the old adage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, sending envoys to China, India and Castile in hopes of making pacts. With China and India, she sealed the deal with trade while she sought to make a marriage alliance with Castile, by having one of her daughters marry King John II of Castile.

Bit by bit, the empire began to recover. Constantina was famous for declaring. "The empire may crumple, but as long as our people stay strong, we shall always persevere." However, despite this, she did not make an attempt to reclaim the lost lands of the empire, fearing it was too soon to tempt fate. "It took over a century for us to recover what we lost after the fourth crusade. We must be patient."

In 1416, Constantina would fall pregnant at age thirty-nine, much to the shock of everyone who had thought the empress past child bearing years. Unfortunately, the pregnancy took a toll on Constantina's health. She died nine months later, of childbed fever. Her husband would be regent for her successor Constantine XI

[8] Constantine XII, born as the son of Constantina and her second husband, Alexander of Georgia, was hailed as emperor shortly after his birth, with his Georgian-born father taking in the reins of regency, despite protests of various figures like Patriarch of Constantinople.
Patriarch was backed by a clique of powerful nobles, wanting to depose "barbarian" - and thus unworthy of wielding the throne Emperor and his more "barbarian" father. When Constantine was a year old, they figured out the plot to kill both him and his father, using servants in the palace as scapegoats. They wanted to install Patriarch's cousin and most wealthy from the conspirators, Michael Palaiologos as emperor.
The plot, according to rumor, was overheard by some old lady who reported it to the emperor.
Main plotters were executed and it began nation-wide purge of their supporters who lasted 3 years with Alexander of Georgia managing to poison the patriarch of Constantinople, replacing him with Constantine's tutor, Gregorios Maleinos, very cultured man (accused of being a "Hellen" crypto-pagan by many due to his love of classic antiquity), ardent supporter of reunification with western Church, and what's more - brother of Alexios Maleinos, Constantia's first husband, so sort of an "uncle" figure to Constantine.
Maleinos was very influential in Constantine's upbringing and he transferred much of his views to his students. By combined efforts of both Alexander of Georgia and Gregorios Maleinos old plan of having Constantia's daughter from first marriage to John II of Castile was finished.
Maleinos' half-sisters of Constantine were all married to rulers of Catholic West - namely France, England and Poland-Bohemia (who was also HRE and that time). Alexander didn't want to marry his stepdaughters to Romans, as he feared that Roman husbands of Constantine's sisters would attempt to overthrow his son.
At the time of marriage of the last of his sisters, Constantine (who was an eight-years-old boy) met and befriended Sophia Maleina, daughter of a distant cousin of Gregorios Maleinos, considered the most beautiful woman in the empire.
They were mere children at the time, but that event would shape Constantine's life forever..
Alexander's regency was all about stabilizing the country from the havoc caused by Timur's forces and fortifying the borders. Young Constantine started to have a visible militaristic streak at that time, asking his father to take him to the forts, vigorously training with sword, spear and lance, reading books about warfare almost of the time.
After Constantine turned 15, the council of an empire considered the question of his marriage. There were many proposals including the daughter of the king of Hungary, niece of the emperor (who was also king of Poland-Bohemia) and granddaughter of the king of France.
The debate lasted around two weeks, but Constantine one day arrived at the council meeting with wife at his side. It was none other than Sophia Maleina. Some counselors attempted to have this marriage set aside, but Gregorios Maleinos and Alexander of Georgia defended the Emperor's choice.
The council ultimately recognized the marriage as legitimate, but also the Emperor as adult.
Constantine, in the first year of his reign, just after turning 16, announced that he is going to war. Sophia Maleina was pregnant so he forced every member of the council and every provincial governor to swear fealty to her unborn child as next Emperor in event he'd die in the upcoming war.
His focus was the Ottoman sultanate, located in western Anatolia, where three brothers - Sulayman, Isa and Mehmed squabble for power. Isa's domain was next to the Byzantine border, so he attacked Nicaea - Isa's capital and old site of the Laskaris dynasty and besieged it for three weeks. He ultimately retook it, but he campaigned in Isa's land by next year, finishing the war in 1434.
His next object was Sulayman, but the task was far easier than he thought. Sulayman, at that time endangered by Mehmed, converted to Christianity with his family (he was sympathetic to Christians even prior to his war with brothers), willingly submit himself to Emperor's authority in exchange for being confirmed governor of his former lands and his son being betrothed to eldest daughter of Constantine and Sophia Maleina.
There was another year of peace before Mehmed decided to attack, which saw Sophia Maleina falling pregnant again.
Mehmed's war was short and after four months of fighting Mehmed was forced into exile to Qara Qoyunlu tribe and his lands were added to Byzantine Empire. In 1436, Constantine returned to Constantinople, where he was hailed as one of the greatest commanders Rhoman Empire ever had.
Much of his successes could be attributed to graciously fusing old tactician's work with modern weapons like artillery. He was also noted to be extremely faithful to Sophia Maleina, widely considered one of the most beautiful women (if not the most beautiful) in the entirety of Christendom.
The troubles began again in 1440, where due to his troubles with Alexander of Georgia refusing to pay tribute to him, Jahan Shah, leader of Qara Qoyunlu decided to back Mehmed and attack Constantine's domain.
In 1441, Alexander of Georgia's forces faced Jahan Shah, Mehmed and his son Murad, being overwhelmed due to John IV Megas Komnenos supporting invaders, and Alexander of Georgia killed.
This greatly enraged Constantine who decided to avenge his father's death.
His enemies expected him to attack them upfront, waiting for him, while conquering much of Georgia, but Georgia was not the place he headed to. In 1442, he launched a surprise attack on "traitor usurper" as Constantine dubbed John IV and conquered Trebizond almost effortlessly, adding it's troops to the imperial army.
In 1443, most of Georgia except for the northwestern part was overwhelmed by invaders, who set traps on themselves, as they were heavily damaged by Georgian resistance and Constantine joined forces with free Georgians, as he was also king of Georgia as Alexander's heir. In the battle of Tiflis, he personally killed John IV, and Murad's head was destroyed by a horse, while elderly Mehmed was roasted alive by peasants trying to escape. Jahan Shah escaped, but in 1444 Constantine also went to his domains, capturing Jahan Shah's capital - Tabriz and granting the city imperial governor.
Shakh Rukh, Jahan Shah's nominal overlord and brother of Jahan Shakh - Ispend joined forces against Constantine, but without much success. In early 1445, Rhoman army took most of northern Mesopotamia with Mosul. Ispend died of heart attack after he heard about Romans taking Mosul and his successor betrayed Shakh Rukh and made peace with Constantine allowing him to rule what remained of islamic Iraq as imperial vassal, while Constantine himself, now dubbed "The New Heraclius'' went to Persia proper, when he destroyed Shakh Rukh's army, with the state of Shakh Rukh collapsing on itself with ruler's death in 1447. 1447-1449 period was spent on chasing Ulugh Beg, Shakh Rukh's eldest son. In 1450, when some semblance of stability after Ulugh's Beg's death was returned, with Constantine taking places as far east as Mazandaran and splitting Iran into 5 client kingdoms, he was murdered by peasant named Rostam while sleeping in some village in northeastern Iran.

[9] Empress Sophia was the oldest child of Emperor Constantine XII, being born on February 7, 1434 to Emperor Constantine XII and Empress Sophia and would end up being named after her mother, who would end up raising the young Princess as a result of her father being largely away at the front. However, Sophia would grow close to her father, being overjoyed every time he came to Constantinople to see his children. Owing to the agreement with Suleyman as part of his surrender to Constantine XII, the young Princess Sophia would marry Alexander Othmanos in February 1450, just a few months before news of her father's assassination reached Constantinople. With how Sophia's only surviving sibling was her younger sister Theodora as her brother Romanos had died in 1449 at the age of 14 from a fall from his horse, the young Sophia would find herself the new Empress and Autocratess of the Romans with Alexander by her side.

In the aftermath of her father's assassination, Sophia would spend her early reign dealing with opposition to her rule from those who still resented the Bagratid rule over Rhomania with a coup attempt on May 29, 1453 coming close to overthrowing the young Empress. With said coup attempt foiled, the young Empress would move towards consolidating her father's conquests and ensuring that what her father had achieved would not be quickly overturned. In this, while she was a ruler who was willing to use brutality against those who resisted her rule over Rhomania, especially as the conquest of Eastern Anatolia was done during her reign, she would prove to be magnanimous to those who submitted. In this, the Empress would also build a gunpowder-centered army during her reign, making heavy use of gunpowder to secure and consolidate her empire during her reign.

In the Balkans, Sophia would prove to be as energetic as in the East with how she would be a ruler who would see Bulgaria and Serbia subjugated under her rule with her empire reaching from Tabriz in the East to Dalmatia in the West by the end of her reign, even intervening in Italy during the latter part of her reign as the Roman Empire was once more a power to be feared. Her reign would see a golden age in both culture/learning and the economy as Rhomania became a center of trade and was a realm which was a center of the Renaissance (with the "Eastern Renaissance" seeing a fusion of Greek and Perso-Arabic-Turkic culture developing as a result of the diverse empire Sophia ruled over) with the latter being boosted by Empress Sophia's patronage of culture and scholarship (including how the Empress was something of a scholar herself, supervising the translation of many Arabic and Persian texts into Greek).

However, all good things must come to an end with Sophia dying on September 1, 1505 at the age of 71 with the Empress having had seven children. She would be succeeded by her son Theodosius.



[10] Theodosius Augustus, first son of empress Sophia was born in 1450,just after her marriage to Alexander Othmanos. He was named after Theodosius the Great, thought to be founder of Eastern Empire at the time (incorrectly) and Octavianus Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome at all. Somewhat unconventional choice of naming was the result of growing interest of empress Sophia in history, something she passed upon to her son, as she was close with her son. The court rumours stated that she got too close to her son, in very inappropriate way...She was widowed in 1464, when her son turned 14 and despite various incitements from the council, didn't marry again at all, saying that all her heart will belong forever to her dead husband, despite almost all top Roman aristocrats, king of France and Holy Roman Emperor proposing to her. It was said that 30-years old Sophia took her son's virginity after his 14th birthday and they were said to be lovers, although it was never proven.
The one of main issues regarding Theodosius was the boy his mother adopted in 1470, when the rumours about her living with her son reached critical point and two of her three sons died, leaving Theodosius sole surviving male heir of the family.
All her daughters were married off to either Catholics or Muslims, unwilling to convert to Orthodoxy, so the council once again asked her to marry again and bring the male heir to the empire.
She refused to do so and instead, a week later she brought a 6 years old boy to the council meeting, very much resembling her and Theodosius. She said she adopts him as the emperors of old did, and that she bestows name Alexander upon him, and that she orders him to be treated equally with her natural born children, meaning that the boy would be Theodosius's heir if he didn't produce children of his own.
Many said that the boy was bastard son of Theodosius and his mother, while another said that most likely he was posthumous bastard son of Alexander Othmanos and some Maleinos woman, which would explain resemblance to Sophia (that part is still unexplained in XXIth century and the government strictly refuses to subject their remains to DNA tests).
Anyways, Theodosius married in 1471 to Giulia of Anjou, princess of Naples (she actually got along well with her mother-in-law and it was speculated she was having threeesomes with Theodosius and his mother) and that drove the prince close to the Latinophile faction at court, composed mainly from Vlach nobles from Balkans, the remains of Frankish houses from Frankokratia period and Italian immigrants, who came in many numbers to the empire.
Theodosius was enamored with his wife and her culture, which he saw as more Roman than Rhomans. Despite the fact he was not popular in the eastern part of the Empire, his participation in Italian, Serbian and Bulgarian campaigns was a success, and when coming to the throne, aged 55 almost everyone expected him to reign as happily as his mother.
That could be achieved, if king of France didn't attack Naples in 1506, deposing Giulia's half-brother and murdering most of her family. Theodosius swore vengeance and in 1507, he drove French out from Naples, proclaiming himself lord of that country. Pope Innocent VI was both pro-French (born Louis de Foix, younger son of pro-French king of Aragon) and worried by Theodosius taking Naples. He decried Theodosius as an unlawful usurper and recognized the king of France as the rightful king of Naples. Most northern Italian states supported the Pope's decision and together with Aragon and France they formed the first Holy League against Theodosius.
In early 1508 Theodosius took Rome, forcing the Pope to seek refuge in Avignon and defeated the forces of Louis XII of France and northern Italian dukes in battle of Florence, 21st April 1508. After that, Tuscany recognized Theodosius as it's overlord but he returned south as king of Aragon launched a naval invasion of Naples. That didn't end well for him, as most of his army got shipwrecked and he himself got captured by Theodosius, who forced him to sign the peace, abandoning his allies, giving up Sicily and Sardinia in favor of Theodosius, recognize Aragon as vassal of empire, and give his daughter and son - his only children as hostages. However, Theodosius treated them rather generously as he married Aragonese princess to his own, 12 years old grandson, and Aragonese heir received his niece (well, if you believe that Alexander adopted by Sophia was her and Theodosius's son, it was his half-sister and granddaughter). In mid-1509 he returned north and by end of that year he conquered all northern Italian states except Venice and made peace with Louis XII who agreed to abandon his allies, recognize Theodosius's overlordship over him and pay Byzantines yearly tribute. The petulant Venice was humiliated and forced to abandon Venetian part of Dalmatia.
That was the end of the First War of the Holy League and everyone expected Theodosius to return to Constantinople, but he didn't do that. He said that the Roman emperor must reside in Rome and so he stayed in Rome, making it capital of the Roman empire, restoring the Roman senate and granting Roman commoners privileges akin to that Roman plebs had in Antiquity.
5 years later he also forced captive Pope Innocent to recognize him as universal head of the Church, thus "ending" the Great Schism. However, HRE Waclaw VI (also king of Poland-Bohemia, which at that time reached as far as Riga and Dnieper on east and as far as Meissen and Bohemian-Bavarian border on east), king of Hungary Stephen X Laskaris didn't recognize the changes with clergy in HRE electing antipope, one Zbigniew Oleśnicki hailing from small village Wadowice near Kraków in Poland. He took the name of John Paulus after his election.
That sparked the Second War of the Holy League. In 1515, Venetian-Hungarian army conquered much of Dalmatia and an angry mob tore Louis XII to pieces in Paris, with his successor Charles IX rejecting French dependence on Byzantium and recognizing HRE's Pope as legitimate. In 1516, Theodoisus faced Venetians and Hungarians near Belgrade and destroyed their armies with Stephan X escaping from the battlefield only to be murdered by his power-hungry cousin John.
1517 was spent over slowly retaking Dalmatia and besieging Venice. Charles IX was about to attack when Aragon attacked Gascony, acting as loyal vassal of the Empire. Aragonese didn't gain much, but they stopped Charles from attacking Italy, giving Theodosius much needed time to finish siege of Venice in 1518, and launching famous Hungarian expedition of 1519-1520, when he defeated John V and Vaclav VI in battle of Buda, placing Stephan X's son in charge of Hungary reduced to all non-Roman lands that state contained, while former provinces of Pannonia and Dacia were re-annexed to Roman Empire.
He also took Carinthia from Vaclav and arrived in 1521, after crossing the Alps in France. He defeated Charles IX in battle of Dijon, executing captured king after the battle under the assumption that Charles was behind the mob who murdered his vassal Louis and nominated king's cousin, Francis as king of France reduced to lands north of Loire, while he divided lands south of Loire equally between him and king of Aragon. Vaclav accepted the loss of Carinthia and didn't attempt to mess with Theodosius any further, and he left him alone.
Thus ended the Second War of the Holy League and Theodosius began awarding his Italian and Latinophile veterans lands in newly-conquered provinces, as he believed that Italians are close to old Romans and Latinophiles are the backbone of his political power.
He also attempted to tie the new aristocracy to the old one with moderate success. Rome enjoyed great prosperity under him and he became beloved across Romans. In 1530, however, he attempted the action which brought his downfall. He replaced Greek in his chancellery with Latin and Italian and outlawed use of Arabic and Turkic as he believed those languages are barbaric and unworthy of Roman.
In 1533, where those decrees began to be properly implemented he announced that he intended to head from Rome to the east, intending to make purges on Arabic and Turkic nobles. In Constantinople, in 1535 when he was on his way to the east, he was ambushed by a clique of Greek nobles, captured and forced to sign an abdication. He died in unknown circumstances in prison leaving east of the country from Tabriz to Ankara on the verge of rebellion, Francis I of France attacking newly conquered provinces north of Alps, Italy and Balkans full of Theodosian loyalists and still angry HRE to his successor, his son, Alexander.

[11] When his father died, Alexander was in England for a state visit, in hopes of making an alliance by marrying one of his younger grandsons to the newborn princess. He raged upon learning of his father's death and immediately sailed back to Constantinople, to bury his father, be crowned, and then meet with his generals.

Alexander had married three times. His first wife was Archduchess Margaret who he married in 1487. The couple had three children before she died of childbed fever. His second wife was an Italain noblewoman named Katrina in 1500. They had only one child before Katrina died after falling and hitting her head (dark rumors swirled around that she was murdered by Alexander himself). His third wife was Althea, the daughter of a Greek general. They were wed in 1505 and had eight children.

Less than two years later, he marched with his army towards France, having decided that the Greek nobles (that had been swiftly rounded up and executed) had been paid by the French King. A temperamental and bloodthirsty man (it is long suspected that his mental unbalance is result of him being inbred if the rumors were to be trusted), Alexander had nothing, but ruthless vengeance on his mind, having his prisoners executed with parts of them being sent to the French king, promising a similar fate to him.

King Francis took him seriously enough that he sent his family members into hiding. Francis also made an alliance with the Holy Roman Empire, with the two longtime enemies uniting against a common foe.

In 1542, the three rulers would face off in a battle. The aftermath left the Holy Roman Emperor dead, Francis captured and Alexander badly wounded. One of his last acts was to be carried out to see the French King executed. He ordered his rival to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Fortunately, he died before his orders could be carried out, and King Francis was taken to Constantinople for his fate to be decided by the council.

[12] When Francis I of France was brought to Constantinople, the council of empire dominated by Greek-Rhoman having captured king and authority over central provinces decided to reject absent Theodosius, Alexander's eldest son in favor of Loukas Notaras, descendant of John IV and richest man on the council . Loukas was recognized as a legitimate emperor by western Anatolia, Macedon and Thrace but no more. Italy, most of Balkans and new conquests in the west recognized Theodosius and the eastern-central Anatolia , Caucasus and northern Mesopotamia hailed Alexander of Mosul, son of Alexander whom Sophia adopted as new Emperor, as he was very friendly to Arabs, Turks and Persians. The upcoming year will decide the fate of empire ...



[13] Alexander of Mosul was acclaimed as Basileus in Trebizond, taking Zoe Komnena, one of the last surviving members of the Komnenoi, as his wife to boost his credentials as Emperor to appease those who felt someone who spent too much time with Turks and Persians was not worthy of being Emperor on February 4, 1543. As Emperor, Alexander of Mosul would seize control over the Empire in the Battle of Nicomedia, where he defeated the followers of Loukas Notaras and paved the way for the taking of Constantinople by September 1, 1543 with Theodosius being killed by his own troops by the end of the year, who promptly surrendered to Alexander of Mosul. After winning the civil war, he would prove to be magnanimous in victory, largely confining executions and imprisonments to the major leaders and allowing for lesser figures in the leadership of the two sides that had fought against him in the Year of the Three Emperors to bend the knee to him.

After consolidating his power as the new Emperor, Alexander of Mosul would march on Syria, where he would deal the Mamluk Sultanate, increasingly decrepit and weak, a massive defeat which saw the Levant taken by the Roman Empire and the Mamluk Sultanate collapse in a civil war which resulted in the "Abbasid Restoration'' occur as the Abbasid Caliph becoming the ruler of Egypt once more. Domestically, Alexander of Mosul would preside over a restoration of peace and stability in the Empire, doing his best to ensure the various factions within Rhomania were satisfied and reorganizing an Empire which was now the largest and most diverse on Earth with the rest of Mesopotamia being annexed by the Empire. With France and the HRE still being bitter foes, Alexander would ally with Portugal and the Protestant realms of Northern Europe against the French and Habsburgs as well in terms of his foreign policy.

While Alexander of Mosul's reign would be long and marked by many great successes, his reign would ultimately end with his death at the hands of the Suri Empire, which had consolidated its rule over Northern India, invading and taking much of Persia and defeating Alexander in 1575, with the Emperor dying of an infected wound after the retreat in Mosul, being succeeded by Nikephoros IV.


[14]
Nikephoros was the eldest surviving son of Alexander III and was born four years before his father’s victory in the Civil War. His older brother Alexander had died of what historians believe to have been a brain aneurysm, making Nikephoros the heir. While studying in Italy he would meet the young noblewoman Maddalena de Medici, the daughter of the Duke of a Rhoman vassal state in Tuscany. Despite her being over five years his senior (he was 14 and she was 19 when they met), the two would fall madly in love with each other and before Alexander had even considered finding his son a bride it was discovered that Maddalena had become pregnant. In order to avoid a scandal the emperor immediately demanded Maddalena’s father to betrothe her to Nikephoros and they would marry shortly after, although the word did quickly get out since it was obvious that she was heavily pregnant by the time of the marriage ceremony. Their relationship was said to have been extremely passionate as Nikephoros would never take another partner as long as he lived, and their romance would be the subject of Romances for centuries to come. It would turn out that Maddalena’s womb was almost abnormally fruitful, with the couple going on to have an impressive 14 children (five sons and nine daughters) in the span of two decades and miraculously all of them would outlive both of their parents.

When the news of his father's death had reached the capital Nikephoros immediately ordered for reinforcements to be sent and was crowned the week later. Nikephoros himself was not much of a military man and much like Augustus and Justinian before him he would delegate most military affairs to his most skilled and loyal general, Abraám Karamanos, a close childhood friend of Nikephoros. He would instead continue his father’s legacy of administrative reform and he would spend much of his time dedicated to establishing an efficient system of Bureaucracy to run the empire with the help of the revitalized Senate. He would with the help of his military advisors and Abraám reorganize the military into one of the most well-organized and formidable armies of the world at the time, with them even reviving the term “Legion”. In fact, much of the army was composed of mixed Turkish-Cappadocian Christian converts from Anatolia and one of the leading generals during the reconquests was a descendant of the Karamanids. Thankfully after two long years of fighting the Suri were driven back to the Zagros where they would eventually be finished off by a native Persian revolt a decade later.

One of his first acts as Emperor was to return the empire's primary capital to Constantinople due to its strategic importance, however Rome would still have the honor of being the Empire's ceremonial second Capital and would grow to be one of the largest cities in Rhomania. Shortly after his accession he would break with conventional naming tradition and rename the Imperial house Osmanos-Komnenos to honor his late mother and to tie his family deeper into the history of the Empire. As the ruler of an extremely diverse Empire he would be known for his great tolerance for the time and he would even controversially allow the Jews to build a Third Temple in Jerusalem shortly after its reconquest, although it would be accompanied by an even larger Orthodox Basilica on the other side of the city. In 1591 the Rhomans would ally with Portugal and Aragon in their war with Castle-Leon, which would lead to the House of House of Luxembourg inheriting the throne of Castile and the Rhoman annexation of Gibraltar. Using Gibraltar as a launching point he would launch several expeditions to the new world which had been discovered several decades earlier by lost Moroccan Merchants. They would be successful and Rhomania would go on to establish the Viceroyalties of Aurelia (ORL Southern USA), Nova Italia (Texas/Northern Mexico), and Theodorica (Argentina). Also worth mentioning was that Basil III's Rhoman Oriental Trading Company at this point had established forts on the East African Coast, Ceylon, and Sumatra. Nikephoros would also send envoys across the known world and make contact with the leaders of Japan, Joseon, Oman, Bengal, the Great Jin Dynasty of China, Ayutthaya, Kongo, Timboctou (greater Mali), Abyssinia, Nicaragua (Pan-Mesoamerican Empire), and Quechica (Tawantinsuyu).

He would adopt a new set of male preference primogeniture succession laws to avoid another civil war over and would also make payment of the army to a government matter so that no general would ever be able to usurp the throne. However, his greatest achievement would be the Rhoman reconquest of Egypt and North Africa. The Neo-Abbasid Caliph was in the middle of a civil war so the Rhomans would use this as an opportunity to strike at the Nile and would quickly overrun the Abbasids before turning to the West. After only five years of fighting, Rhomania would be firmly established in Egypt, Libya, and Carthage. After the War Abraám would be hailed as the "Avenger of Heraclius” and a third Scipio and would be awarded the first triumph held in Rome in over a Millennium, though only a few weeks later he would die of a stroke. After the War Nikephoros would appoint a distant relative of the last Neo-Abbasid ruler as the new Caliph, who would act as the Custodian for Muslims within the Empire. Many Sunnis would not accept this “puppet Calph” and as a result local Sunni clerics would declare a state of Jihad against the Romans. However, Nikephoros would not live to see the Rhoman victory in this war, as soon after the word of the uprising came to Constantinople he suffered a fatal heart attack. Upon his death he would be succeeded by his eldest son and third born child, John.



[15] John was born the oldest son of Emperor Nikephoros in 1580 and would prove to be an intelligent, charming, and competent Prince, a worthy successor to his father Nikephoros as Emperor. As Crown Prince, he would be someone who would gain a great deal of prominence as heir to the throne during the last few years of his father's life, even if his reign would be ultimately short-lived. As Emperor, his nine months as Basileus would prove to be ones marked by a great deal of energy and drive with John seeking to eliminate corruption and reform the government and military. However, his reign would prove to be short-lived as he would die from smallpox at the age of 42 in 1622, leaving his younger brother Alexios Ferdinand as Emperor.



[16] Alexios Ferdinand was not expected to become Emperor as he was his father's fourth son. He was named after Emperor Alexios VI and his maternal grandfather Ferdinando Medici, father of Empress Maddalena. Nikephoros' children in order of birth were Sophia, Maddalena, John, Constantina, Theodora, Basil, Constantine, Angelica, Alexios, Kamatera, Constance, Michael, Euphrosyne, and Maria. The second son Basil had abandoned his titles and joined the priesthood while the third son Constantine had died in a boating accident five months after John's ascension. John had married in 1611 to an Italian noblewoman, but their marriage failed to produce any children (though John acknowledged three illegitimate daughters through his various mistresses on his deathbed). Three years before his brother’s death Alexios married princess Joanna Trastámara of Aragon. The couple would get along well with each other and she would bear him seven daughters, four who would survive to adulthood, but no sons. Joanna was a woman of great intellect and she would write several notable books on politics during her life under male pseudonyms. In fact, it was later discovered that Joanna was responsible for many of her husband’s policies after her diaries were rediscovered.

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Empress Joanna of Aragon

Alexios’ reign would be marked by the further consolidation of the Empire that the Othmanoi-Komnenoi Dynasty had expanded and his greatest accomplishment would be to bring relative peace to the religious groups of the Empire. Despite the fact that Theodosius IV Augustus had simply claimed to have “ended” the great schism when he reconquered Rome, most of Italy was still locally to the Papacy, which had been located in Avignon since 1508, not to mention that most of Europe outside of the empire was still Catholic. During the reigns of Alexander II, Alexander III, and to a lesser extent Nikephoros IV, there had been sporadic Catholic revolts in Italy and the parts of the Balkans. The most notable one of these wars was when Catholic Sicilian nobles raised an army and actually managed to overrun most of the island for over a year. Knowing that fully merging the Catholic and Orthodox Churches was impossible, in 1626 Alexios called for a meeting of Catholic and Orthodox religious leaders, including a delegation from the Pope to meet in Rome to discuss improving relations between the two Churches. Alexios agreed to recognize Catholicism as an institution within Rhomania as well as provide full legal protections for Catholics in the Empire, and he would grant the area around St Peter's Basilica in Rome back to the Papacy (Although Avignon would remain the capital of the Papal States). And in return, the Papacy would have to declare that the Rhomania was the sole successor to the Roman Empire and that the HRE was illegitimate, which the Catholic Church eventually agreed to. The Holy Roman Emperor at the time, Maximilian II of Wittelsbach, was infuriated by this decision, but he was in no position to challenge the church as the rest of Europe was engulfed in the twenty-five years war so against a protestant coalition so he was in no position to challenge the Catholic Church, although all future Holy Roman Emperors would continue to claim the title. This compromise also was unpopular with some of the Orthodox clergy and a group of orthodox planned to assassinate Alexios, but the plot was discovered and the conspirators were executed.

Despite being one of the most populated regions in the Islamic world she would be fairly pacified, as the old Mamluk ruling aristocracy would be replaced by a new class of mostly Hungarian nobles, as the army that Abraám Karamanos’ had used many Hungarian mercies during his famous conquest down the Nile. As thanks for their assistance in the reconquest, a Hungarian prince of the Báthory family would be selected as the hereditary Exarch of Egypt and many more Hungarian nobles would move to Egypt in the following decades. Egypt would prosper under Magyar rule with the capital of Gézavarós being established, and Hungarian culture would mash with the existing Coptic and Arabic cultures to greatly reshape the province, which is the reason why the modern Egyptian language is classified as Uralic. Muslim landowners who assimilated into Rhoman culture would be given full legal rights and some would eventually even join the senate, although there was still a strong incentive to convert to Orthodoxy due to the higher taxes that they were forced to pay. Due to these taxes, the Rhomans would face sporadic revolts from time to time, but none would ever become a serious threat to the reconquest.


During his reign he would see the creation of the position of Grand Consul, the highest ranking member of the senate who would be elected by popular vote and hold executive powers second only to the Emperor, though it is important to note that the Emperor could still act without popular approval of the Senate. Also worth mentioning that after the collapse of the Neo-Abbasid Caliphate, Hejaz would become an independent Emirate ruled by the Hashemite Dynasty, but it would quickly become a de facto Rhoman vassal. Alexios would also order the reconstruction of several of the great monuments of antiquity, such as the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, and Colossus of Rhodes, as well as many new great Cathedrals for the five Episcopal sees in Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria based on Italian Designs. In 1650, Alexios Ferdinand would die of what historians believe to be a form of stomach cancer, leaving the empire to his last surviving brother.

[17] Micheal was the fifth and final son of Emperor Nikephoros IV and his wife, Empress Maddalena, in 1592, twelve years after his eldest brother.
As he’s position meant he was not meant to claim the throne, Michael was allowed to choose a career path of his own, with him choosing to join the army.
Although he was the youngest son, Michael would grow to be the biggest and strongest of the brothers.
By the age of 16, he was riding into battles, wearing armour made of Damascus Steel, which seemed to be nearly completely black.

He was 29 years old and fighting against Susenyos I, Emperor of Ethiopia, who was pushing for Catholic Christianity to become the official religion of Ethiopia, when he heard of his father’s death.

Once Michael had killed Susenyos, and placed the former Emperor’s 18 year old son Fasilides, onto the throne and reinstating the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as head religion, Michael would begin his journey returning home. Once his ship docked at the Royal harbour, he would discover that his oldest brother had died and that his other brother was emperor.

With Alexios as Emperor, Michael would be his military advisor and commander especially dealing with sporadic revolts from time to time, his harsh treatment of his enemy, would give him the nickname, Michael the Brute.

In 1650, 66 year old, Michael would claim his brother’s throne by marrying his 25 year old niece, Sophia Marie, as his first wife. Up to this point, Michael had many concubines but none he felt worthy to call his wife.

The marriage was not a happy one, with Michael being a dominant, controlling and aggressive lover, with one event leaving her unable to walk due to a shattered pelvis.
The only saving grace for her was that with the four pregnancies, she would enjoy the love she had between her and her children.

Over the 17 years, Michael would rule with an iron fist, putting down any unrest quickly and executed anyone who questioned his rule

His death in 1667, a few weeks shy of his 75th birthday, was diagnosed as a heart attack with the elderly Emperor unable to relax, feeling that if he gave up his routine of daily exercise, he would be perceived as weak.
His death would mean that the throne would be passed onto his daughter, Anastasia

800px-Maria_Angela_Caterina_d%27Este%2C_Princess_of_Carignan%2C_follower_of_Rigaud.jpg

[18] Princess Anastasia was born in 1652 as the oldest of Michael and Sophia's four children. However, owing to her gender, Anastasia was not expected by many to be heir to the throne with the position of heir being one which was under Prince Romanos from his birth in 1654 onward. However, Prince Romanos' death in 1666 from an accident while sparring would put the young Princess as heir to the throne as the oldest of Michael's three daughters, which she became the next year. At the age of fifteen, Anastasia would already be a ruler known for her intelligence, courage, and wit, famously declaring that she needed no regent as Empress and as such, she would rule the Empire on her own.

Her reign as Empress would be considered the height of the early modern "golden age" of Rhomania as the Empire during her reign was an Empire which saw a golden age of arts, culture, and learning as well as an economic golden age. Anastasia's reign would be marked by the Empire seeing little, if any conflict, with the era being marked by peace and prosperity, even if storm clouds gathered with Germans seeing the final triumph of forces favoring a centralized realm over decentralization and Persia seeing the rise of a belligerent new dynasty, even if their focus was largely on consolidating influence over Central Asia, and the like. This was not helped by military stagnation being very much a thing, even if Anastasia would try to promote reforms to the military during her long reign.

As Empress, Anastasia would be notable for her marriage to a distant family cousin of hers to maintain the dynasty with the two having seven children, of whom Romanos would succeed Anastasia after she died in 1701 after a fall from her horse while hunting.

[19] Romanos was named for his mother's brother. He was born in 1675, the oldest of his siblings. Romanos was a smart boy, having been taught how to rule from an early age. He was known to be a great animal lover, having such a collection of exotic pets from around the world that some historians joked that he was the first zookeeper.

His favorite was a brown monkey named Archibald. He was seldom seen without the little chimpanzees hanging off of him. There is even a portrait of Romanos clad in his best outfit with Archibald on his lap. (It is suspected the artist had to paint the chimp from memory as it would not sit still).

Empress Anastasia allowed Romanos to choose his one bride, as long as she was of royalty and nobility. Romanos shocked all of Europe when choose Mastani, an Indian princess, as his wife, citing the alliance with India should not be ignored. Despite the difference in culture and religion, the couple would get along very well with Mastani even surprising her husband with an elephant for his twenty-fifth birthday. The couple had three children.

In 1701, after the death of his mother, Romanos would be crowned emperor. Unfortunately, a riot broke out in protest of Mastani being crowned alongside them. Romanos, normally a carefree and easygoing man took a very hard line to the slight against his wife, going out personally to crush the revolt.

Romanos sought to make alliances with the provinces in Asia, feeling closer relations would be far more beneficial. However, his foreign policies and his foreign wife were unpopular with the people.

After twelve years of reign, Romanos and Mastani were shot by xenophobic man while they were on progress. Nikephoros Demettake the throne after his death.



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[20] Grand Duke Dimitrios was not expected to become Emperor, he was the only son of Anastasia’s eldest daughter, Zoe, and a prominent noble of the Tocco family, making him a nephew of Romanos VI.

He was a sickly boy growing up but would manage to survive childhood and go on to attend the university of University of Paris, after which he returned to Constantinople to work as a high ranking magistrate. After the asasination of Romanos the Senate decided that none of Romanos and Mastani’s four children would succeed him due to the threat of a revolt due to their father’s lack of popularity, and instead the throne would pass to Grand Duke Dimitrios. Romanos’ seven year old son would be forced to renounce all claims to the throne and sent to a monastery, and his three daughters would be sent off to marry various European nobles over the next few years, one of them to the future King of France.

Upon his coritation, he would take the regnal name Nikephoros after his great grandfather, and would start the tradition of most future Emperors taking two regnals names. One months after his coronation he would marry the noblewoman Raimondina Tocco, the younger sister of his father and 14 years his senior. Despite her age she was unmarried and had secretly had a relationship with her nephew that would result in her first pregnancy. Despite being thought to be past her childbearing years, she would birth Nikephoros eight healthy children in total, including two sets of twins. In private she would frequently persuade many other women into having “relationships” with both her and her husband at the same time, resulting in Nikephoros fathering over a dozen bastards. It was later discovered in Nikephoros’ private diaries that some of his partners were young effeminate men crossdressing as women.

Despite his blatant debauchery, he was fairly well liked by the public, although he often clashed with the Senate and Grand Consul. He was most notable for being one of the first monarchs in modern history to establish welfare in the form of free or subsidized grain for the urban poor in many of the Empire’s major cities, as well as providing funds to orphanages and education institutions. He would also provide more funds to the settlement and development of the colonies in Septentrional and Austral Vespuccia, which were lagging behind other European colonies. In 1715 the Empire would formally vassalize the three Catholic Outremer Kingdoms of Altava, Mauritania, and Ouarsenis that had been created by a successful Franco-German crusade in North Africa right before the wars of the reformation a few centuries earlier. The only remaining Muslim state in North Africa at this point was the Asmarid Caliphate of Morroco, which also controlled the remnants of Al-Andalus and had even established colonies in Vespuccia. In 1716 they attacked Gibraltar and would use their powerful navy to harass Rhoman ships headed to the New World. A war between the two powers would break that would end in a stalemate, and the ensuing peace treaty would finalize the Rhoman-Asmarid border and would force the Asmarids to allow safe passage of Rhoman ships from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean in 1718. That same year a massive Muslim revolt would break out in Lower Mesopotamia and just like Emperor Hadrian before him he would be forced to abandon the region due to the empire becoming overstretched. Although only a few years later the newly independent Sultanate would become a vassal of the Zoroastrian revivalist Dareshurid Persian Empire created after the fall of the Suri Empire.

The week after the seventh anniversary of his coronation, he would die of a bacterial infection in a wound he got from falling down the stairs in his study. Upon his death, he would be succeeded by Alexander IV Constantine, who would be the last Emperor of the Othmanos-Komnenos-Tocco dynasty.

[21] Born in 1714 as the eldest child of Nikephoros V Dimitrios and Raimondina Tocco, Alexander became Emperor of Rhomania (sometimes also called the Roman Empire) at the young age of six, with his mother serving as regent. After becoming of age to rule in 1732, Alexander was crowned in a lavish coronation, and picked Constantine as his second regnal name, after Constantine “The Turk-Slayer". He soon married Grand Duchess Maria Vasilovich of Russia (daughter of Tsar Vasil VI) in 1735 in a lavish wedding, and the couple had five children.

Alexander IV Constantine reigned a total of 72 years, the longest of any sovereign monarch. As such, many events happened during his reign, These included the Anti-Morocco Crusade (1737-1740), which resulted in Morocco becoming ruled by a Catholic King that descended from Castilian royality, the collpase of the HRE in the early 1750s due to the death of the last Wittelsbach Emperor in 1748 and the incompetence of his successor, the War of the Aragonese Succession (1759-1766) that followed the death of the childless John V of Aragon and ended with Castile-Leon inheriting Aragon and Sicily becoming a independent Kingdom ruled by Alexander's second son Ferdinand, Rhomania's colonies in the new world getting more autonomy, and much more.

However, all was not well for by the end of Alexander's reign the House of Othmanos-Komnenos-Tocco was almost extinct, as he outlived many of his other male relatives who had mostly died either accidentally or naturally. So when he died in 1792 at the age of 78, Alexander was succeeded by his nephew, Dimtrios.

[22] Historians to this day marvel at the rise of Dimitrios, who were it not for the twists of fate should have been a nobody. His paternal great-grandfather was a Greek commander who managed to make a name for himself in the Franco-German crusade. His paternal grandmother was the sole heiress to an important vassal of the empire, even managing to win a dukedom and a high spot on the imperial senate. And his father happened to be a boyhood companion of Emperor Alexander and later, his brother-in-law, after marrying his sister Zoe.

War and disease wiped out Alexander's children, leaving him with no visible heir and very few relatives to take the throne. Therefore, with a heavy heart, Alexander made his sister his heir and then when she died in 1783, her son.

Dimitrios was quickly married to a descendant of Emperor Romanos' eldest daughter in hopes of consolidating his claim in 1785. The soon-to-be Empress Margaret was also the daughter of the King of France (making her a maternal descendant of Romanos VI) which proved to give Dimitrios a footing in European politics. As his dynasty was fairly new, Ana often saw the marriage was below her, and the couple had a strained marriage. Not helped was Dimitrios' affair with the Empress Maria's lady Anastasia.

When Emperor Alexander died, Dimitrois was crowned in a lavish ceremony. He went on to confirm his rule by crushing a rebellion in Georgia in 1800. Dimitrios began to slowly but surely consolidate his rule, winning supporters with a careful balance of charm and iron will. As Dimitrois had three brothers and two sisters, he made sure to arrange prestigious matches for them all, wanting to give his dynasty more power. He made his brother, Alexander, the Viceroyal of Greece, wanting to give more prestige to the land his great-grandfather was born in.

Despite all his efforts, he was not able to win over his wife. In the end, he decided to ask for a divorce, wanting to marry his mistress. When that was refused, he proposed adopting his bastard children. He was again refused much to his chagrin.

Instead, he gave all of his bastard children lordships and high positions, in hopes of giving them enough power and prestige that if he were to make one of them his heir, they would have more support than his legitimate children with Margaret of France. There were also rumors that his children with his wife were actually by her suspected lover, Issac Cydones, his political rival and potential claimant of the throne. These rumors were largely thought to be the work of Dimitrois and his mistress Anastasia, but historians do not note the unusual closeness between Isaac and Margaret, something even their supporters commented on.

In 1816, Dimitrois died alongside his mistress Anastasia. They were together in Dimitrois' hunting lodge when a fire broke out, killing most of the residents. While it was ruled as an accidental fire, set by a lit cigar that no one bothered to put out, it wasn't surprising that many pointed the fingers at Margaret and Issac. The accusations would get so bad that Constantine XIV Sebastianos would feel obligated to investigate to determine their guilt or innocence.

[23] After the suspicious death of Demitrios, it was unclear who was to become the next Emperor. In Dimitrios' Last Will and Testament it was stated that he would posthumously adopt his oldest son with Anastasia, however not only was this against traditional laws it was claimed that this document was a fabrication by supporters of Prince Demitrios. In order to avoid a potential civil war the Imperial Senate formed a provisional government to settle the dispute from December of 1816 to February of 1817, with the Senatorial Mesazon, Victor Carignano, acting as Interrex. The two claimants to the throne were Alexander, the only living son of Anastasia and Emperor Demitrios, and prince Demitrios, son of Demitrios and Margaret but suspected as being son of Isaac. In January Alexander would be assassinated by supporters of prince Demitrios but Isaac would deny involvement and denounce the assassination. However, there was a third candidate for the Throne. Sebastianos Palaiologos was a young, popular Senator and the eldest son of Demitrios I’s older sister, Irene and Sebastianos Palaiologos senior. The Palaiologoi noble family had been fairly irrelevant for the past few centuries but had been growing in influence with Sebastianos’ grandfather serving as Grand Consul for two terms during the late reign of Alexander IV Constantine.

The Senate and People were growing tired of this violence so in February it was deceived that since both claimants were illegitimate, Sebastianos would become the next Emperor. However, to appeal to supporters of Anastasia’s children and prevent future conflict it was decided that Sebastanos would marry her and Demitrios’ eldest surviving daughter Anastasia Maria, who would take his last name and act as Co-Empress due to a legal loophole. Sebastianos would take the regnal name Constantine XIV Sebastianos to tie himself into the greater history of the Empire, even though Alexander Constantine used Alexander IV as in primary regnal name instead of Constantine XIII). After the couples’ marriage and ascension, it was decided that Issac would be put on trial for his suspected involvement with the death of Emperor Demitiros and prince Alexander. However, before the trial could come to a verdict, Margaret and Issac would form a suicide pact and both take their lives, effectively confirming the rumor of their affair and proving that Sebastianos was the rightful heir to the throne. After this Prince Demitros would then willingly go into exile in Aragon and would die shortly after of Smallpox.

Despite their very awkward family history, the couple would get along quite well and Sebastanos would never take a mistress. The couple would have 9 healthy children. His reign would be fairly uneventful, seeing minimal conflict with the exception of a minor war with Dareshurid Persian over Assyria that would lead to a Rhoman victory. He would be the last Roman Emperor to lead troops into battle at the head of an Army, most notably at the battle of Mosul which resulted in a decisive Imperial victory in the War. There was also a revolt in both Theodorica (Rio de la Plata) and Aurelia (Florida) and would lead to both of them being granted far greater autonomy (Nova Italia at that point had already been solid to the French, who themselves would lose it to the United Kingdom of England and the Netherlands after the War of the Flemish succession only a decade later). However, in 1839 Europe would be shocked as the King of Saxony would be overthrown and later executed by radical republicans (Saxony had unified most of Germany after the collapse of the HRE). The German Fraternal Republic would invade Western Europe including Roman Italy to spread their revolution. However Sebastianos would not live to see this brutal conflict as he would die of a stroke only a few days before the attack on Italy, and Anastasia abdicating shortly after. They would be succeeded by their eldest son, Alexios.

[24] The war of the German Fraternal Republic, spread throughout Europe and Asia as the rivals of Roman Empire were eager to join in which in turn brought their allies as well.

Alexios was a young and healthy man of twenty when his father passed and his mother abdicated. The war went into full swing in 1840 with Alexios leaving his eldest sister, Zoe as regent as he lead the armies Many begged him not to go, wanting him to stay so he could marry and have a family---his brothers were all underaged with the oldest being fifteen.

However, Alexios refused to hear of it. "My country is under attack, good Sir. I must fight as my fellow men would. I will not be a lamb, but a lion." It is long though the last part was tacked on by his biographer to coin his famous epithet.

Despite his young age, Alexios proved to be a competent and strong commander. He is noted to be one of the last front line generals, adding with the how brutality of this war, his career was documented closely.

The most famous battle took place outside of, of all places, Rome. Alexios managed to lure the army into a trap, where they were ambushed. The emperor got hit by a bullet in his leg, but that did little to slow him down. He reportedly refused medical help until the fighting was over. This unfortunately, would cause the wound to become infected, but the surgeons were able to save his life by amputation.

Afterwards, Alexois would proclaim that he would gladly lose his other leg if it meant serving his country. Alas, he would not get the chance as he was all, but forced to retire from fighting.

Luckily, it was not in vein as the battle of Rome was a decisive victory and in 1850, the German Republic would surrender.

In 1855, Alexois would marry Ursula of Sweden in an attempt to make better alliances with the European monarchs. They would have five surviving children.

There would a skirmishes in the boarders between Eastern Europe and Asia, but the rest of Alexois' reign would be very peaceful.

He would die at sixty-nine of a stroke, leaving his kingdom to_______
 
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POD: Fyodor Godunov successfully beats the agents of False Dmitry sent to kill him.

Tsars of Russia
1598-1605: Boris I (House of Godunov)
1605-1611: Fyodor II (House of Godunov) [1]

Emperor of Russia
1611-1654: Fyodor II (House of Godunov) [1]


[1] Fyodor Borisovich Godunov was born in 1589, the first son of then regent and in the future Tsar Boris Godunov. Godunov, a cunning man who had managed to rise through the ranks of Russia's court through great achievements, cunning plots and devious political manouvers, had secured his election as Tsar of Russia after the death of the last Rurikid. He curried favour amongst the service and lower nobilities, mainly, alienating the powerful boyars. This would lead to the time of troubles, as discontent continued to grow against the reign of his father. The appearance of False Dmitry in the southern borders with the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth resulted in many Russian boyars denying their loyalties to Moscow, and even after the victory of the Russian army, the death of Tsar Boris made the army defect to False Dmitry.

In Moscow, the resident boyars took the opportunity caused by the death of Boris to invade the palace and assassinate his son and heir, Fyodor. After a brief scuffle, the brawny 16 year old Fyodor survived, protecting both his sister and his mother in the process. Running away from the city with many of his supporters, Fyodor went North to the city of Novgorod, where he and many of his father's supporters got around to building an army, and most importantly, establishing connections with Sweden and other European states, attempting to get foreign support. This went on, with many of Dmitry's boyars in Moscow panicking at the survival and growing strenght of Fyodor. False Dmitry's death in 1606 saw the Shuisky family, one of the Godunov's hated enemies, take the throne under Vasily IV.

In 1608, Fyodor had entered an official alliance with Sweden, his sister Xenia marrying the Duke of Ostergotland and governor of Swedish Finland, Johan Vasa while Fyodor himself was promised Maria Elisabeth of Sweden when she came of age. With Sweden reinforcing his army, Fyodor marched south and decisevely defeated the Shuisky army in the battle of Pestovo, but Fyodor's hatred against the nobility hindered a march on Moscow - Fyodor purged most of the treasonours boyars of their land, sometimes leaving whole great families disposessed of everything they had, and distributing it to either lower gentry and nobility or to his commoner officers, peasants, soldiers and his mercenaries, mainly german, swedish and danish. This would be the start of a process that would see most of the very powerful Russian nobility purged during the reign of Fyodor.

Finally, Fyodor would take Moscow in 1609, purging the Shuisky family and continuing to re-conquer the rest of Russia, defeating two men claiming to be the false Dmitries in 1610, the year which is considered the end of the time of troubles. During this time, Fyodor had surrounded himself with many foreigners and Russians fascinated with the West, which made Fyodor in his mind that the Westernization of the Russian state would be the mark that would cement the Godunov family as rulers of Russia and his own personal legacy. Thus, when his coronation eventually came, Fyodor claimed the title of Caesar and renamed the Tsardom as the Empire of All the Russias, with a unusual readyness. Claiming Russia as the Third Rome, it set him on a path of eventual conflict with the Ottomans that would mark most of his reign.

Petro_Doroshenko_19.jpg

A painting of Tsar Fyodor at his coronation.
The new Tsar delved deep into reforming the state - serfdom was liberalized, as the lack of land-owners due to Fyodor's various purges saw much of the land be divided in rental property to the Emperor, or be allocated to soldiers, mercenaries and officials. Thus, many peasants now had properties of their own and/or employment, but many of them found themselves without any land. Thus, the new Imperial government encouraged the immigration of many these peasants southwards, usually towards the Don and Volga basins, where there were many open plots of land, or towards the Tatar Khanate or the lands of the Nogai. This new demographic impetus saw the start of the Russo-Turkish war of 1624-1627, as Russian Cossacks sneaking in and raised the banner of Fyodor in the city. Ottoman demands to leave the city were refused, and Fyodor massed his well-trained armies of the fashion of the Netherlands, the French and new modern Russian strategy southwards, defeating the Ottomans Giray vassals and managing to break into Crimea in the first semester of 1625. The Ottomans, seeing the Russians so close to conquering all of Crimea, sent two more armies northwards to defeat the Russians, but Fyodor's commanders defeated both armies in detail, handing the Ottomans one of the worst defeats of their history. The annexation of the Crimean Khanate and Ottoman territorries on the Northern shore of the Black greatly increased the size of the Russian Empire, and the new territorries were organized into Novorossya territory and the Crimea territory, both of which would see influx of Russian settlers, most of them Great Russians, Ukrainians, Cossacks, Karelians, Germans, Swedes, Finns and Greeks. Sevastopol, the great port city of Crimea built by Fyodor, was designed with classical greek architecture in mind.

His wars with Poland, as vengeance for Polish interference in the Time of Troubles, would see much of the central Kievan Rus liberated by Russia, with Kiev becoming the second city of the Russian Empire in 1634. Fyodor and his wife, Maria Borisovna, originally Maria Elisabeth of Sweden, would spend the winter of 1635 in the city, where their eight and last child was born. Fyodor, however, did not move against the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth again. Fyodor's brother-in-law, the Great Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, had invaded Poland-Lithuania shortly after the Kievan war and decimated the Polish armies, securing Sweden's possessions in Estonia, and conquering for himself Livonia and Courland, which had permitted the Elector-Duke of Brandenburg-Prussia to take West Prussia for himself, liberating his Prussians domains from Polish rule. This created a new balance of power in the region, and put northern Russian cities such as Pskov and Novgorod as easy preys for an expansionist Sweden. Thus, the Russo-Swedish alliance, that had so characterized Fyodor's reign, started to break down piece by piece.

Thus, Fyodor "the invincible", as he came to be know, spent the last years of his reigns with an eye on both Sweden and Poland, which re-organized itself after the various defeats it had suffered. An alliance was created with Brandenburg-Prussia, as the german polity was rightfully afraid of Poland attempting to force it to it's knees again and a wish to take Swedish possessions in Pomerania. A treaty was signed in which the Tsar's heir would marry one of the daughters of the Elector. This alliance with Brandenburg-Prussia would serve as a way-point to invite many displaced germans from the thirty years war to Russia, with many of them settling in South Russia, the Urals or even beyond in Siberia. The city of Orenburg, below the Urals, was founded around this time. Many Russians, Ukrainians and Cossacks also moved eastwards, mainly into Siberia. The rapid settlement of Siberia would see the port-city of Okhotsk founded as the first Russian settlement in the Pacific.

On a visit to the recently annexed province of Kuban, Fyodor managed to secure the allegiance of various Christian Circassian tribes in conflict with their muslim neighbours. Thus, the Tsar died in Rostov-on-don, a growing city at the mouth of the Don river, while planning an invasion of the western Caucasus to provide relief to his Circassian vassals. He died while walking the docks of the city, having a stroke and falling into the cold water. His wife, Maria Elisabeth of Sweden would become insane after the death of her husband. He was succeded by ______________.
 
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