Make Byzantine Anatolia the new Egypt, post 641 CE

In the year 639 CE, the Arab armies invaded the Byzantine province of Egypt, after overrunning the provinces of Syria and Palestine. Hence, the Byzantine Empire lost the richest province which was also a breadbasket.

But, they had retained Anatolia and though the Eastern parts were conquered, initially, they were reconquered, in a way Syria and Egypt could never be.

In an Alternate timeline, get the Byzantine Anatolia become as rich as or richer than the (Umayyad) Egypt, using its many rivers, plains and the Sunny climate (useful to grow food crops and spices), establishing more irrigated plains, agro-pastoral settlements (to feed a growing population and also earn trade through growing exotic crops that grow in the Sunny climates), and new cities named after the lost Egyptian and Syrio-Palestinian cities, which would together, eventually bring the much needed stability to the unstable Byzantine Empire. Keep the borders stable after that and have the Modern Byzantine borders stretch from Albania to Armenia. Maybe you could include Antioch but that's optional.
 
Egypt had the nile flood which brought in much needed fertility to the soil of Egypt and not to mention water through the rest of the year. Wheat yield per hectare was 1.7 tons in Egypt while Anatolia had 900 kg. This could be raised to 1100-1200 kg with the use of iron ploughs and better land management.

While Anatolia did have trade routes that pass through it which did make the region valuable but not at the same level as Egypt.

Besides Byzantine empire did not have much in the way of resources to invest so heavy in agricultural infrastructure
 
The flood plain is a major difference. However, with a few rivers that flowed year round and minimal frost and snow in Anatolia, there could have been developments that bring that region closer to Egypt, in being a breadbasket. Maybe that 900kg per hectare could be rised to 1000-1100kg per hectare, with more organization and infrastructure? The Solar irradiation is slightly higher in the Sahara but Anatolia isn't too up North, to not benefit from adequate solar radiation.

Once stable, the trade routes would become important, linking Asia with Europe.
 
Region around Trabzond and the rest of the Black Sea coast could leverage on crops that grow on the mountain slopes and the forests. Coffee and Tea, I'm not sure about its history but I think Black sea coast of Anatolia could have been a spice exporter. Cappadocian, Armenian and Phrygian river valleys could have been used for food crops as with parts of Western Anatolia where hybridization of crops could be practiced. Same can be said about Cilicia.
 
Constantine V discovered an alternative food source in anatolia to offset egypt lost how ever for anatolia to become as rich as egypt is hard especially during a time were the Byzantines are in chaos like the 7th century

For this to work you would need the byzantines to have an early victory from 640 to 660s to stabilize things and the. Have egypt decline sooner than it did In the ot
 
Constantine V discovered an alternative food source in anatolia to offset egypt lost how ever for anatolia to become as rich as egypt is hard especially during a time were the Byzantines are in chaos like the 7th century

For this to work you would need the byzantines to have an early victory from 640 to 660s to stabilize things and the. Have egypt decline sooner than it did In the ot
Empire was in an excellent position during the Macedonian dynasty. Probably more powerful than any Islamic power at that time. That could be the ideal time?
 
Empire was in an excellent position during the Macedonian dynasty. Probably more powerful than any Islamic power at that time. That could be the ideal time?
i mean in the year 1000 egypt had declined so yeah it can be possible (even thougth the fatimids could figth the byzantines) but both egypt and the byzantine empire as we know would decline a lot in the next 2 centuries.
 
Have a more successful Isaurian dynasty. They beat the Bulgarians, securing the Danube border, but lose Italy due to iconoclasm. They then use the money they gained from looting Bulgaria and the Empire's churches to rebuild Anatolia. After a while, you could have them reconquer Eastern Anatolia and Antioch to help in these efforts. Then make the early Turks look to Egypt, not Anatolia.
 
I don’t think you’re ever going to get Medieval Anatolia as rich as Medieval Egypt. For sheer agricultural output, I think your best bet is a better settled Ukraine as a trading partner. That is the sort of land that can compete with Egypt for per acre yields.

How to achieve that? No idea, short of introducing gunpowder early, allowing for earlier pacification of the steppes. Which is a much bigger divergence.
 
I don’t think you’re ever going to get Medieval Anatolia as rich as Medieval Egypt. For sheer agricultural output, I think your best bet is a better settled Ukraine as a trading partner. That is the sort of land that can compete with Egypt for per acre yields.

How to achieve that? No idea, short of introducing gunpowder early, allowing for earlier pacification of the steppes. Which is a much bigger divergence.
Is there actually any reason why they couldn't take over the entirety of the Crimean peninsular and build a wall/line of fortresses to fortify it(forgive the pun)?
 
I don’t think you’re ever going to get Medieval Anatolia as rich as Medieval Egypt. For sheer agricultural output, I think your best bet is a better settled Ukraine as a trading partner. That is the sort of land that can compete with Egypt for per acre yields.
The Pontic Steppe was the highway of all nomadic peoples. It is difficult for an agrarian society to establish control over it before the gunpowder era.

Is there actually any reason why they couldn't take over the entirety of the Crimean peninsular and build a wall/line of fortresses to fortify it(forgive the pun)?
I think it would have been too expensive. It is not just Perekop you need to fortify, but also the Chongar Strait and the Arabat Split. Come summer, even these fortifications are not enough, since a large part of the Syvash becomes one big saltpan, easy to cross for nomads.
 
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So in all, Anatolia is the best choice? The plains of Anatolia around Bithynia, Asia (province), Cappadocia, Isauria, Cilicia, Phrygia (valleys only) would be very productive and even protected compared to Ukraine.
 
So in all, Anatolia is the best choice? The plains of Anatolia around Bithynia, Asia (province), Cappadocia, Isauria, Cilicia, Phrygia (valleys only) would be very productive and even protected compared to Ukraine.
Not saying Anatolia is not possible, the region has thousands of small streams over which gravity dam can be build and canal affixed to it bringing in water to parched parts of the rugged landscape, heck the geography is suited for such construction, you can basically double the grasslands and farmland with this and the romans were pretty familiar with aqueduct and gravity dam but does the Byzantine have the manpower And financial resources to pull it off? Hell no.
Wars with arabs, slavs and with every neighbors. They weren't doing that good on the resource front.
But if they do pull it off in turning Anatolia arable, then id expect the Byzantine to push forward into levant and balkans in the 1100s when the situation stabilized and population recovered from the Justinian plague.
 
Not saying Anatolia is not possible, the region has thousands of small streams over which gravity dam can be build and canal affixed to it bringing in water to parched parts of the rugged landscape, heck the geography is suited for such construction, you can basically double the grasslands and farmland with this and the romans were pretty familiar with aqueduct and gravity dam but does the Byzantine have the manpower And financial resources to pull it off? Hell no.
Wars with arabs, slavs and with every neighbors. They weren't doing that good on the resource front.
But if they do pull it off in turning Anatolia arable, then id expect the Byzantine to push forward into levant and balkans in the 1100s when the situation stabilized and population recovered from the Justinian plague.
Pretty much that.

The Central Anatolia Plateau was turned into a productive grain producer after WW2. Dozens of polities held the region over the centuries and didn't turn it into a second Egypt. The cost for pre-industrial societies would have been absolutely staggering.

The fertile western anatolian valleys were intensely cultivated since ancient times. But they had a different role, as a lot of acreage was dedicated not to intensive grain farming, but to cash crops. Wine, raisins, figs were common cash crops. Another -not very well known- cash crop was valonia oak that provided acorns for tanneries.

The Central Anatolian Plateau had a different role, that of horse breeding. There is a theory that roman cavalry lost its edge after the pastures were lost.

The Armenian Highlands are terrible for farming and only some river valleys provide good conditions for subsistence farming, not exports to major cities.

The Pontic Coastline with its limited space between the alps and the sea was always better suited for nut orchards, namely walnuts and hazelnuts.

The best solution for losing Egypt, would have been to keep the Balkans under firm control and not go through de-urbanization and de-growth after the slavic migrations. An entity with a core of both Anatolia and the Balkans would have been a much stronger one.
 
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In the year 639 CE, the Arab armies invaded the Byzantine province of Egypt, after overrunning the provinces of Syria and Palestine. Hence, the Byzantine Empire lost the richest province which was also a breadbasket.

But, they had retained Anatolia and though the Eastern parts were conquered, initially, they were reconquered, in a way Syria and Egypt could never be.

In an Alternate timeline, get the Byzantine Anatolia become as rich as or richer than the (Umayyad) Egypt, using its many rivers, plains and the Sunny climate (useful to grow food crops and spices), establishing more irrigated plains, agro-pastoral settlements (to feed a growing population and also earn trade through growing exotic crops that grow in the Sunny climates), and new cities named after the lost Egyptian and Syrio-Palestinian cities, which would together, eventually bring the much needed stability to the unstable Byzantine Empire. Keep the borders stable after that and have the Modern Byzantine borders stretch from Albania to Armenia. Maybe you could include Antioch but that's optional.

Considering how exposed Anatolia is, the river areas won't be too wealthy like Egypt. The coastal area is a maybe.
 
exposed in what regard? the arab raids? sure unless the balance of power reverts earlier.

Arab raids, future Turkish/Kurdish/Persian raids when the Caliphate weakens. Wealth also draws the attention of nearby enemies. Anatolia becoming wealthy will draw Arab attention. Or if you want Anatolia to develop then avoid Arab invasions. Maybe they gain a momentum of success beyond the Caucasus Mountains against the Khazars?
 
Arab raids, future Turkish/Kurdish/Persian raids when the Caliphate weakens. Wealth also draws the attention of nearby enemies. Anatolia becoming wealthy will draw Arab attention. Or if you want Anatolia to develop then avoid Arab invasions. Maybe they gain a momentum of success beyond the Caucasus Mountains against the Khazars?
well when the caliphate weakens like the ot the byzantine most likely conquer the north levent and more areas for persian turkish ones yeah that makes sense but then again if the byzantine empire remians powerfull it just becomes minor things as massive raids most likely would be responded with a massive counter raid
after the late 9th cetury raids became less organzied and less big and after nikephoros II take care of the east and Jonh I the only raids that made any signifcant attack was the fatimid caliphate.

as for non arabs i dont think its necessary since the first khazar arab war was due to the caliphate wanting to expand the byzantines never show intrest north of the caucasus
 
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The big problem was the century of Arab raids into Byzantine Anatolia. This had the effect of driving many people out of central Anatolia or into more defensible cities and villages. It is no surprise then that Anatolia turned into ranching country with herds of cattle and horses. These same herds would be the target of Arab raids but they could at least be moved unlike agricultural crops.

If you want to create a more prosperous Anatolia you would need the Caliphates to break up sooner and remain divided. This would allow Byzantium to capture the Jihad cities and protect central Anatolia.

Then one has just has to figure out how to deal with the various steppe people
 
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