This isn’t in any way intended to be a wank—I’ve been against the notion of that from when this TL was made several years ago.

Rather my efforts are directed towards striking a balance between ‘wank’ and the by-now stereotypical ‘anti-wank’ wherein the Empire basically just arbitrarily gets impeded due to some meta need to ‘balance’ things.

If someone told you that England, as it was in the time of Henry VIII, would go on to rule the largest empire the world had ever seen, without the hindsight of it actually happening you’d probably have scoffed at it.

I want to treat the world of this TL, and that includes the Empire, as a living breathing thing that would make logical and illogical choices; I don’t want to approach it from the meta mindset of ‘balancing’ everything out to avoid it being called a ‘wank’.

I want realism—and all the stuff said beforehand that has yet to happen is in reality a loose ‘we’ll get there, maybe’—it’s a rough idea of where things will go, but that isn’t set in stone. I’ve had to go back several times since resuming this TL, and even since then, to edit chapters to reflect changes I had decided on later.
Very well said. Can't wait For more
 
Agreed here, especially with how, in addition to the British Empire reference you mentioned, the rise of Genghis Khan was arguably even more impressive, with how an illiterate nomad in the steppes of Mongolia was able to forge one of the largest empires in history.
A more apt example given the timeline would be the Ottomans themselves. In 1324, they were a minor beylik, one of many similar minor statelets in Anatolia. They didn't control any significant urban centres or ports.

Two hundred years later, that same state is stretching from Yemen to Budapest and from Persia to Algiers ... and is battering at the gates of Vienna with basically the entirety of Europe shaking at the thought of the Ottoman armies.
 
This TL is not a wankfest, thankfully. As the world stands right now, the Byzantines are relatively stable and secure in Europe, and there is no great eastern enemy for them. The idea of Basil's borders, or at least most of them, aren't out of the equation. Even a foray into Italy wouldn't be THAT much of a stretch with the Pope tucked away in Avignon.
 
This TL is not a wankfest, thankfully. As the world stands right now, the Byzantines are relatively stable and secure in Europe, and there is no great eastern enemy for them. The idea of Basil's borders, or at least most of them, aren't out of the equation. Even a foray into Italy wouldn't be THAT much of a stretch with the Pope tucked away in Avignon.
Yep, although in my opinion they should left italy alone, justinian tried it and it didn't work out, better concentrate in the balkans and anatolia
 
Yep, although in my opinion they should left italy alone, justinian tried it and it didn't work out, better concentrate in the balkans and anatolia
I mean control over parts of Southern Italy and Sicily, not a total reconquest of the whole thing. Basil's OTL Italian borders + Sicily are the fullest extent I think TTL Byzantium would even want.
 
I mean control over parts of Southern Italy and Sicily, not a total reconquest of the whole thing. Basil's OTL Italian borders + Sicily are the fullest extent I think TTL Byzantium would even want.
Fair enough but i imagine that Rome would want good relations with spain. Hope they can work out naples and sicily with them
 
Agreed here, especially with how, in addition to the British Empire reference you mentioned, the rise of Genghis Khan was arguably even more impressive, with how an illiterate nomad in the steppes of Mongolia was able to forge one of the largest empires in history.
Very well said. Can't wait For more
A more apt example given the timeline would be the Ottomans themselves. In 1324, they were a minor beylik, one of many similar minor statelets in Anatolia. They didn't control any significant urban centres or ports.

Two hundred years later, that same state is stretching from Yemen to Budapest and from Persia to Algiers ... and is battering at the gates of Vienna with basically the entirety of Europe shaking at the thought of the Ottoman armies.
This TL is not a wankfest, thankfully. As the world stands right now, the Byzantines are relatively stable and secure in Europe, and there is no great eastern enemy for them. The idea of Basil's borders, or at least most of them, aren't out of the equation. Even a foray into Italy wouldn't be THAT much of a stretch with the Pope tucked away in Avignon.
🙏
Yep, although in my opinion they should left italy alone, justinian tried it and it didn't work out, better concentrate in the balkans and anatolia
I mean control over parts of Southern Italy and Sicily, not a total reconquest of the whole thing. Basil's OTL Italian borders + Sicily are the fullest extent I think TTL Byzantium would even want.
Fair enough but i imagine that Rome would want good relations with spain. Hope they can work out naples and sicily with them
As far as my mind is made up, actual territorial control within Italy will be limited--if one counts Malta as a part of Italy, and maybe an enclave in Rome itself.

By and large, if anything, Italian control would be through softpower, or general power projection.
 
As far as my mind is made up, actual territorial control within Italy will be limited--if one counts Malta as a part of Italy, and maybe an enclave in Rome itself.

By and large, if anything, Italian control would be through softpower, or general power projection.
That sounds very reasonable. I'm all for it.
 
As far as my mind is made up, actual territorial control within Italy will be limited--if one counts Malta as a part of Italy, and maybe an enclave in Rome itself.

By and large, if anything, Italian control would be through softpower, or general power projection.
Maybe in Italy there are zones more under the influence of Rhomania? They have autonomy in all but name, allowed to do their thing as long as it doesn't cause any problems.
 
Book 2; Rough Palaiologos Family Tree c.1371
This is a very rough collection of family tree images; it doesn't include everyone within the family, or those they're married to--an example of this is Maria the Younger, twin-sister of Irene Palaiologina, wife of Basil Megas Komnenos.

I'll likely invest more time into this family tree and greatly expand it, if only for my own record keeping. It could then be shared as a link to view--but we'll see.
 

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This is a very rough collection of family tree images; it doesn't include everyone within the family, or those they're married to--an example of this is Maria the Younger, twin-sister of Irene Palaiologina, wife of Basil Megas Komnenos.

I'll likely invest more time into this family tree and greatly expand it, if only for my own record keeping. It could then be shared as a link to view--but we'll see.
Amazing work!
 
Thinking back to when Manuel was sent to the University of Constantinople, I assume TTL Manuel II will be a very learned man. Highly skilled in the matters of languages/diplomacy/history/etc. compared to his warrior-like older brother, Manuel's sons can be the fighters. It would be an interesting contrast, the scholarly emperor having to reign in his aggressive sons looking for an excuse to fight. It could be a recurring joke that Manuel just wanted to be a teacher, not emperor 🤣🤣🤣.
 
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Amazing work!
Thanks!
Nice family tree, good that Prince Manuel has several sons already
Thinking back to when Manuel was sent to the University of Constantinople, I assume TTL Manuel II will be a very learned man. More skilled in the matter of languages/diplomacy/history/etc. when compared to his warrior-like older brother, Manuel's sons can be the fighters. It would be an interesting contrast, the scholarly emperor having to reign in his aggressive sons looking for an excuse to fight. It could be a recurring joke that Manuel just wanted to be a teacher, not emperor 🤣🤣🤣.
That is an interesting dynamic to be sure; Manuel II very much matches his OTL equivalent in that regard--he'd rather be an eclectic traveller-scholar than Emperor, but he's also a dutiful man who firmly believes in the continued survival and prosperity of his homeland.

Where as his father is very matter of fact, and sort of 'get it done', and his elder brother was a gallivanting knightly-type, Manuel II is more in the vein of John Kantakouzenos--a scholar at heart, but a driven workaholic ruler and administrator.
 
Manuel II is more in the vein of John Kantakouzenos--a scholar at heart, but a driven workaholic ruler and administrator.
Sometimes you need a ruler like that, stability and prosperity is the bread and butter of every country, specially after the war they just experienced
 
he'd rather be an eclectic traveller-scholar than Emperor
Manuel will randomly ask history questions to his sons, then give long detailed answers worthy of the best teachers. My dad does the same thing 🤣🤣. Manuel will be known for writing several well-read books throughout his reign. Manuel II will be found dead in his study, having completed his magnum opus historical analysis book.
 
This TL is not a wankfest, thankfully. As the world stands right now, the Byzantines are relatively stable and secure in Europe, and there is no great eastern enemy for them. The idea of Basil's borders, or at least most of them, aren't out of the equation. Even a foray into Italy wouldn't be THAT much of a stretch with the Pope tucked away in Avignon.


I certainly agree with what has been said, except that I don't see the Pope ( whether the one from Avignon or one created by the Roman aristocracy ) remaining calm in seeing Constantinople set foot in Italy again or supporting the spread of Orthodoxy in its territories, if we consider that in Otl the French pontiffs have organized numerous expeditions to regain control over the State of the Church (with French support) it seems absurd to me to imagine that in TL they are calm in accepting that they will never again be able to govern even the eternal city, now certainly I too I think that the borders of Basil II ( except Hungary and Croatia ) are within the reach of Constantinople, but not so easily, given that Rome, unlike the Ottomans, has important limits in the integration of non-Orthodox minorities ( something that the Ottomans did not have, being Muslims is therefore treating the various churches equally without too many preferences, given that in any case they would all be seen as inferior to the culture of the current ruling class ) which was impossible in the Rome of the Basileus, without forgetting that Anatolia and the Balkans in Otl saw a lower population growth than Western Europe in this period, therefore the possibility that Constantinople could competing on equal terms or even winning against France ( I use France as an example of a major Latin power that has interests in controlling Italy, but HRE, Aragon or a Visconti Milan that don't collapses after the death of Gian Galeazzo would also fit, would be suitable as a replacement example ) seems very difficult to see happening, I already believe that trying to keep a foot permanently in Italy is a step too far for Byzantium, given the countless cultural differences between the two regions, that's all
 
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