@Averious ! Amazing work! Very happy that Selim converted!

Yet another draw, hope that the romans can resist when the ottomans come back for trouble. Glad that the navy was streghtened at least

Man, edward BP really saved his family by a hair there! Hope his boys continue to grow strong and good riddance to that vile mistress.

Poor edward III what a way for the greatest plantagenet to end up as, Philipa'a death truly broke him. Thankfully his heir is healthy and able here.
Great chapter, the war between the Romans and Ottomans has concluded, sad the amount have died all over border raids by Murad. A lot of rebuilding is going to be needed for future battles, the Romans will surely win them 😤😤. Like what's happening in England with the Black Prince now as regent for Edward III, good job in getting rid of Alice Perrers 😎😎. With John of Gaunt being given Bordeaux, it will be interesting to see his adventures into Castile, another Kingdom friendly to the Romans isn't such a bad thing. You think we can get a map of if possible?

Keep up the great work 👍 👍 👍
Glad you enjoyed it!

I feel like looking at this from a strickly Roman perspective is just grounds for bias, whatever happens to Castile will happen--and to be honest, John of Gaunt didn't have a chance OTL, and he likely won't here.
Hopefully the Mameluks offer a good distraction to the Turks. Are the Ottomans the biggest power in Asia Minor besides Byzantium? Would be cool if something like a reverse Manzikert happens that forces the Ottomans out, leaving a vacuum that the Byzzies (and to a lesser extent, the Trebies) fill up. With what happened in Aydin, it seems like there's a bigger precedent of Turks converting to Christianity.
Ottomans are the biggest power in Anatolia by a wide margin--only Trebizond and Dulkadir (a Mamluk vassal) even remain in Anatolia besides the ERE.

Aristocratic conversion honestly isn't that big a deal.
I just remembered that Charles V of France dies soon at 1380 and his son, Charles VI, would be a minor at the time. He'd have to deal with mental illness and all the infighting between his regents IIRC. If England wasn't plagued by similar issues, they could actually try to strike back land France. When the Black Prince becomes Edward IV, I'm positive he's gonna lead an army during all the division in France to retake his lands.
Who knows, we'll have to see.
It will be interesting seeing the cultural and social effects of so many Turks simply converting and joining the Roman Empire.
'Simply converting' isn't going to be a thing, just to be clear, lol.
For my part i just hope that his son John II cuts his loses with France and focuses on the british isles themselves since Edwars BP is too invested to pull out now
John II will follow the Serbian method and create client states throughout France
Sounds great, gotta focus more than ever on the alliance with Burgundy.
Though thinking about it, if the Serbian method is successful in France, I have no doubt that outside actors like Castile/Spain or the HRE will try to get their claws in France.
Yep. Gotta be careful
The 'Serbian Method' is very much a Roman thing, built off of an old Greco-Roman worldview that simply doesn't exist in wider Europe. It simply won't be a thing that the English, regardless of how influenced by the Romans they are considering their future Queen is Roman, and future King is half-Roman.

Europe as a whole functions on a broadly feudalistic mindset, and that would be the way the English realm functions--the 'Method' wouldn't spread this quickly, or really be seen as something to adopt per say, because in the minds of any European aristocrat there's no point.

Also--to clear up something about the Aydinid Turks--this isn't that big a deal, or shift. The Romans hoovered up a good few Turks when they first began chipping away at Anatolia during Andronikos' day, and the broader Turkish population in Aydin is actually smaller than it's Roman coastal one--to the point that the Aydinid's actually had their capital inland, rather than at Smyrna, because of how Roman the area was verses Turkish.

This isn't some big event where a mass number of Turks convert to Christianity--it's two aristocrats who converted because the situation called for it, amongst other things.
 
Glad you enjoyed it!

I feel like looking at this from a strickly Roman perspective is just grounds for bias, whatever happens to Castile will happen--and to be honest, John of Gaunt didn't have a chance OTL, and he likely won't here.
I always do, and he never stood a chance. Long live the Trastamaras!

Hope his son Henry Serves John II well though.

The 'Serbian Method' is very much a Roman thing, built off of an old Greco-Roman worldview that simply doesn't exist in wider Europe. It simply won't be a thing that the English, regardless of how influenced by the Romans they are considering their future Queen is Roman, and future King is half-Roman.
Then really hoping John II cuts his loses with france when he has the upper hand and focuses on the isles themselves.
 
This isn't some big event where a mass number of Turks convert to Christianity--it's two aristocrats who converted because the situation called for it, amongst other things.
I think you might've misunderstood my comment, I'm talking about such a thing being done over many years as the Romans begin the reassert themselves throughout Anatolia. There will be obvious unique changes within the Empire with Turks who accept Roman domination.
 
I always do, and he never stood a chance. Long live the Trastamaras!

Hope his son Henry Serves John II well though.


Then really hoping John II cuts his loses with france when he has the upper hand and focuses on the isles themselves.
I took a brief look at his attempt on Castile, it seems like he could have had more success if he managed to engage the Castilians in an actual battle.
 
A plantagenet britian would be cooler
0fc.gif
 
one can dream but have more faith in the lions dominating the british isles.
It would be interesting if instead we get an Iberia with Portugal more dominant than Castile. I have been looking at the Fernandine Wars, the final Third Fernandine War is about to happen at 1381. The English were involved in the wars between Portugal and Castile. Maybe we get the Black Prince getting involved? Maybe John of Bordeaux or Edward of Angoulême lead forces?

Random map I found of Portugal being the top dog in the Iberian Peninsula:
imagem_2024-05-14_113337272-png.906623
 
Last edited:
It would be interesting if instead we get an Iberia with Portugal more dominant than Castile. I have been looking at the Fernandine Wars, the final Third Fernandine War is about to happen at 1381. The English were involved in the wars between Portugal and Castile. Maybe we get the Black Prince getting involved? Maybe John of Bordeaux or Edward of Angoulême lead forces?

Random map I found of Portugal being the top dog in the Iberian Peninsula:
imagem_2024-05-14_113337272-png.906623
SO cursed
 
It would be interesting if instead we get an Iberia with Portugal more dominant than Castile. I have been looking at the Fernandine Wars, the final Third Fernandine War is about to happen at 1381. The English were involved in the wars between Portugal and Castile. Maybe we get the Black Prince getting involved? Maybe John of Bordeaux or Edward of Angoulême lead forces?

Random map I found of Portugal being the top dog in the Iberian Peninsula:
imagem_2024-05-14_113337272-png.906623
So Galicia, Portugal and Leon joined isntead of Castile and Leon?
 
So Galicia, Portugal and Leon joined isntead of Castile and Leon?
Seems so, though that would require an earlier POD I believe. The TL would also be cool seeing a Portugal-Castile union happen instead of OTL Castile-Aragon forming Spain.

Another random map I found with Portugal-Castile and Aragon independent:
thon3fwm3e-png.323000
 
Last edited:
A random thought just came to me, Andronikos The Eagle in a way reminds me of the Roman equivalent of Edward the Black Prince, only if Edward died much younger during his campaigns into France.
 
Last edited:
Book 2; 1376 to 1378 - The Gregorian Crisis
Constantinople was a rainy city, and that wasn't something one often reflected on. Winter, for the Romans of the Queen of Cities, was quite rainy, as was the Autumn build-up.

So now here stood the Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans, John V Palaiologos, roughly the 168th of that lineage of rulers from the time of Augustus; gazing out over the seawalls that had, by now, begun being integrated into portions of the Boukoleon Palace.

The churning, and currents, of the Propontis was something to behold--belying the harshness of the Black Sea itself.

He was 48 years old today, and his eldest living son was 27.

Andronikos would have been 30 this year.

He'd taken the habit of coming up here after the settling of peace with Murad about 3 years ago, and he saw little reason to stop now; even as the rain cascaded down around him.

The sound of footsteps coming up behind him should have alarmed the Emperor, but he well knew who it was; his son Manuel was quite tall--and had a different gait than almost any other man he'd ever heard.

"Father," came Manuel's opening, as the young Prince of Hellas eased in beside his father, and leaned into the seawall just the same.

John's gaze had drifted to Sykai--the land a motley collection of stripped ruins that had once been the Genoese knife at the Roman neck, Galata, and some crashed ship-hulks of both Roman and Genoese make. The land had been returned, in parts, to irregular sheepherding since the time of Galata's sack and destruction--but it was clear from the way John looked at it that he was scheming.

"Son," came John's slow response, before he let out a long sigh, and Manuel settled in for some news, or idea, "I've added Sykai and all the lands surrounding the Golden Horn in such a direction to our direct possession, and I intend to play the part of our ancestor, Saint John III, and cultivate some land in good order," came the Emperor's words.

Manuel looked at him with a tilted gaze, before a soft smirk broke out over his visage, "And, of course, ensure no one else tampers with such an important place,"


1376 to 1378

The Romans had been at near constant war for nearly a half-century come the end of 1375, and the start of 1376. A tiredness had clearly started to settle over the polity, and its people; the loss of so many in the final push for Greece, and now many more in the defensive war against the Ottomans, playing its part.

Of course, the Ottomans, and the general enemies of the Empire, had effectively suffered just as much, if not more in some cases; thus it should be no surprise that near-a-generation would pass without much in the way of an actual war for the Romans.

Not quite so for everyone else.

Italy was wracked by religious strife, and war, as Pope Gregory XI, attempting to reclaim Rome for the Papacy, had overstepped in appointing French priests and akin over the Italians, who then treated their flocks, traditions, and relics with such disrespect that fears of the Pope causing discord in Italy if he were allowed to return to Rome spread.

This would only worsen, as in early 1376 Gregory XI would make it known that he intended to expand the domains of the Papal States once he was to return to Rome, and in that the peoples of Northern Italy, such as Milan, and Florence--the former which had already been put under excommunication as vengeance by the Papacy for Milan's gathering of what had once been vassal cities of the Pope--revolted. Florence would lead a League in the aid of Milan, as the Pope had declared war on it, and in this too would be excommunicated.

Torn between his duties, and ideals--and pressured by letters from the mystic and determined Catherine of Siena, Gregory was overwhelmed by stress, and an unknown illness, and was left unable to protract his own war against the League.

In France, and England, at this time the Black Prince would rally a parliament and through it dispose of many of the corrupt royal councillors that had wormed their way in during the later, bad, years of his father Edward III; it quite clear that this had been led by the Prince of Wales, and not the overreaching parliament. In this too would be the treaty between the French and English extended yet another year; giving John of Gaunt more time to shore up things for his new domain of Aquitaine--even as he still angled for the Castilian throne.

The following early year of 1377 only saw the Avignon Papacy shrivel yet further, as Gregory's attempts to get back to Rome were crushed by illness, and the urging of his fellows in Avignon, who by now were a clear majority French and refused such a notion.

Rather than do nothing, instead, Gregory took to denouncing in several letters, and Papal Bulls, the favourite churchman of John of Gaunt, John Wycliffe, who had advocated for clerical poverty within the Church in order for those preaching the word of God to be closer to Jesus in character [1].

Of course, Gregory didn't stop here--and in fact, dusted off an old Papal policy that had seen its epoch during the years of John III Doukas Vatatzes; the threatening of the Romans.

A scathing letter from Gregory reached John V on June 28th, 1377, and contained within were denouncements of Roman 'heresy', of Roman refusal to bow down to the 'rightful' throne of Saint Peter, and of course threats of calling a Crusade on the Romans to reclaim the rightful place of the 'true faithful' over the lands of the 'Greeks'. Gregory continued on; decrying the supposed butchering of 'good Christians' by the 'heretical Greeks' during the campaigns of Andronikos the 'False Eagle' in Greece, and Crete; calling on John to submit, and apologise for the plight of Venice, and of the Catholics.

John was having absolutely none of it.

It is said that once the Emperor was done reading the letter he stormed out onto the seawalls that had, by now, been integrated into the Boukoleon, and gazed out onto Galata; to inspire himself to achieve what his father had and crush a Latin threat so deeply it died scantly a few years later.

But of course, John was not his father; he was blunt, and sarcastically witty--matter of fact, and not wrathful by nature, merely angry.

So, he took to the pen, and in the manner of his namesake, cut the Pope down to size in a rebuke still kept in both Roman and Papal, archives;

To His Holiness Gregory XI,

From John V Palaiologos, faithful-in-Christ Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans, greetings.

It is with a sense of bemused astonishment that I received your recent missive, in which you so zealously denounce our Empire, and race, and threaten us with the spectre of yet more Latin brutality. I must commend your imaginative flair, for it requires a certain audacity to dress up an act of naked aggression, and arrogance, as a divine mission.

Let us be frank, Your Holiness. The scars of your forebears, and their actions, still mar our land and our people. Was it not so long ago that your predecessors saw fit to justify, and extol, the sack of the Queen of Cities? Was it not so long ago that your flock would desecrate our holy places, impose their will upon us in a most un-Christian manner, and butcher and rape any who refused? I must be honest in saying that in you I see little virtue; only spite, and a will to repeat such misdeeds under a false banner of righteousness.

It appears that history is of little consequence when ambition is at play. You decry our reclamation of our homeland, and in it, the refusal of your temporal throne, as acts of heresy, conveniently ignoring that these lands were ours long before the Latins set foot on our shores. Our reclamation is not an act of heresy, but one of justice and restitution.

My son, a man you never met, yet insult as easily as you breathe, gave his life in the service of this cause. His sacrifice and the blood of countless brave Romans have restored these lands to their rightful place within the Empire. I find it perplexing that such efforts to reunite our fractured realm under the Orthodox faith should earn us the label of heretics. But then, perhaps it is easier to call others heretics than to confront the heresies within one's own heart.

Still, of course, you threaten us in typical Latin fashion with a Crusade, but of course should that not work, perhaps you'll call on your predecessor's ancient wisdom of colluding with the Turk in missives like this one to seek our destruction. With either, the memories have not faded, and nor has our justified anger.

I am forced to wonder, does Christendom truly need another war born of political machinations masquerading as holy zeal? The very idea seems more a matter of politics than piety, more suited to the ambitions of princes than the spiritual concerns of shepherds of souls.

Should I thus remind you that your throne, that of Saint Peter as you proclaim, is as temporal as mine? One which any mortal man can comprehend? Your rule, and thus mine, over the lands of men should thus argue in the same respect no? Yet here you are, decrying our own refusal to submit to a line of butchers in the name of spiritual power... with the use of temporal threats; interesting, when Your Holiness does not even reign in Roma, and could thus be said to be quite less Roman than we 'lowly Greeks'.

I would urge you, Your Holiness, to reconsider this path of conflict. While it looks as if the time for seeking reconciliation has seemingly passed, with such blatant hostility from you and yours, I would ask you to see that brandishing the sword against us would be a very poor idea; we've shown what we do to invaders, no matter how much time has passed.

As astonished, and unimpressed as I am, I will still ask for the Lord to grant you the wisdom to see beyond the ambitions of this world and find a path that leads to true peace and unity.


When Gregory received this response in mid-July 1377, to say he was livid would be an understatement; seemingly pushing himself through his ailing condition through sheer indignation at it. In this he would be further influenced by his fellows at Avignon to let the matter pass, which he would respond to by doing the exact opposite; wanting to strike out against the constant tugging and pulling by his fellows, and of his situation in general.

Publishing John's letter as widely as he could, in an attempt to garner Catholic anger on his behalf against the Emperor, the Pope would receive the exact opposite reaction [2].

John Wycliffe would pounce, and denounce Gregory, alongside the Pope's own denouncements of Wycliffe. The Black Prince, as Regent of England, would simply posit openly a "What purpose does this serve?" which in its own way was a rebuke.

A more general response was indignation from the rest of Catholic Europe because in effect the Pope had acted as if he could simply wield them all as a weapon whenever he wished; Naples was where this was openly proclaimed, as Otto III of Montferrat, now Otto I of Naples through much-irked marriage to Queen Joanna of Naples (pregnant with his child), would (likely under influence from his wife) repudiate the Papal vassalage of 'Sicily' that had existed since the arrival of the Normans to Italy roughly two centuries ago.

In retaliation, and saying of Otto that he was 'of the same heretical and spineless race' as his kin in Constantinople, the Pope would call in August 1377 for a rising against the King of Naples; seeing disaffected Genoese attempt to oust his garrisons from Genoa itself, and from Corsica.

Of course, in the former, Otto's brother John, and his regent and namesake Duke Otto of Brunswick-Grubenhagen, would crush the uprising; with Otto naming his brother Marquis of Montferrat as John III in return. In Corsica it wouldn't be the men of Palaeologus-Montferrat that put down the Genoese, instead, it would be the Corsicans themselves; unwilling to see the isle returned to the mercantile, gouging, Genoese.

With his last real ploy ended, Gregory died a broken man the following year, on the 27th of March 1378; in his place would be elected Bartolomeo Prignano, known as Urban VI, an Italian candidate, over the Frenchman Robert of Geneva. This choice of Bartolomeo was one of pragmatism by Avignon, as Robert's brutality in the name of the Papacy against the northern Italians had earned him a very poor reputation.

Seeking to tie back together the Church, and wipe away the failures of his predecessor, Urban would work throughout the latter year of 1378--even as, at this time, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV would die, and the title would effectively fall with him, as none were able to truly win the loyalties of the Empire, not even Charles' own son Wenceslaus, despite the former's best efforts.

Urban had, come the end of the year, managed to bring an end to the League's war against him by lifting the excommunications of Milan, Florence, and all others 'unjustly' put under it. In a bid to avoid the threat of a Naples that now controlled a good portion of Northern Italy, as well as having already held Provence, Urban would apologise to the Neapolitans as Catholics, and when Otto and Joanna's son, Louis, was born publicly [3] that year, he presented praise.

No apology was sent to the Romans in Constantinople, but no further attacks were planned either.

Charles V of France, having been thoroughly embarrassed by Gregory's antics, further tightened his control over the Papacy in Avignon by sending soldiers to garrison its citadels as 'protection'; Urban forced to accept, as any chance of other avenues in Italy itself had evaporated; none were going to revolt in Rome for the return of the Papacy there--no, the nobles of the city would rule it in the Pope's name, but in reality their own.

In the span of 119 years, since the time of Michael VIII Palaiologos, the Palaiologi had extended their control from Rhomania to Montferrat, and now to Naples; the latter two through careful marriages.

To say the Angevins of Hungary-Croatia-Poland were displeased was, like Gregory's lividness, an understatement. Yet, luckily for the Romans, Louis the Great of that tripartite realm, was far too busy haggling within Poland for his own power, and that of his daughters, as he lacked a male heir, and seemed unlikely to sire one.

Thus, by the end of 1378, the 'Gregorian Crisis' as it would be known, would have come to a firm end.

Meanwhile, in Constantinople, John would, on a rainy day, fully bring the lands around the Golden Horn into the Palaiologi Demesne; not content to let such a weak spot out of sight after all this.

Because it hadn't been the Theodosian Walls that had failed the Romans, and the Queen of Cities, 174 years ago; it had been the seawalls of the Golden Horn.
---
[1] This would birth the 'Lollard' movement within Catholicism, which would be one of the many fractures within the denomination that would later allow for the Reunion Movement to gain enough steam that Italy would be forever lost to Catholic prayers.

[2] Gregory's choice here, amongst others in his time as Pope, and when combined with the failures of his predecessors, did much to weaken the temporal power of the Papacy, as well as respect for it in general.

[3] Using Constance, Queen of Sicily, and Empress Dowager of the Holy Roman Empire, as inspiration, Joanna gave birth to Louis openly in order to avoid speculation that it was a false birth due to her age. The fact that Louis matched Otto in appearance quite clearly also put an end to attempts to cause strife by claiming that she'd gotten pregnant by someone other than her young husband.
 
Last edited:
Great chapter @Averious, nice showing of the religious battles throughout Europe. Gregory XI has greatly damaged the reputation of the Papacy throughout Christendom with his actions. It's not at all helped with his callous insults towards the Romans and John V's masterful response. Calls for reform will only grow stronger throughout the various kingdoms.

You think we can get a map of Italy and how much territory the Montferrat-Palaiologos branch hold?

Would love to get a chapter on the Angevins of Hungary-Croatia-Poland, ruling such a realm without a clear male heir must be very difficult.

Keep up the amazing work 👍👍👍👍
 
Last edited:
Top