Q: Could the capital of the Roman/Byzantine Empire return to Rome after Justinian if there is no Langobardic invasion of Italy?

Let's consider a scenario where the Langobardic invasion of Italy in 568 is butterflied away (maybe if the Gepids somehow manage to defeat them and they are evicted from the Alpine area) and the Byzantine Empire is able to consolidate the annexation of the whole Italian peninsula after the end of the Gothic Wars.

Could the idea of returning the capital from Constantinople back to Rome be considered at some point, specially during the Byzantine-Sasanian Wars and later the Arab sieges of Constantinople, when the capital city was at risk of being captured? Or in any case should be Ravenna considered as the first option if the Emperor leaves Constantinople? Could it be done at some point by religious reasons (maybe some Emperor wants to stay in the same city where the Pope is)?
 
Butterflying away the Lombard invasion will change history drastically, such that we can no longer speak confidently of the OTL 602-628 Roman-Sassanid war or other conflicts taking place as they did historically.

If we instead choose a successful Arab siege of Constantinople in 717 as our POD, Ravenna would be much more likely than Rome to become the new capital. Perhaps if this rump-empire manages to retake most of inland Italy from the Lombards, it can move the capital back to Rome for sentimental or historical reasons. Certainly not strategic ones, however.
 
as said by nikoloz the lombard invasions in 568 could italy remains united and despite its trouble its stable and would recover also means more taxes , the 602 war was in part due to maurice not paying his soldiers so with italy the troubles from 568 to 602 can be some what alieviated , so no i dont think the emperor would wanna leave how ever you can have it so that over time the exchart of revena seat moves back to rome.
 
as said by nikoloz the lombard invasions in 568 could italy remains united and despite its trouble its stable and would recover also means more taxes , the 602 war was in part due to maurice not paying his soldiers so with italy the troubles from 568 to 602 can be some what alieviated , so no i dont think the emperor would wanna leave how ever you can have it so that over time the exchart of revena seat moves back to rome.

Well, the fact of getting more tax income does not mean that Maurice would spend the money more efficiently (even the partial loss of Italy, Maurice still controlled IOTL rich territories like Egypt) or simply might neglect the payment of the soldiers by other reasons (this is something that happened sometimes regardless the status of the Imperial treasury). Or maybe the rebellion of Phocas or whoever in his place might take place anyway by different reasons. But given the continued tensions in the Byzantine-Sasanians relationships, the war is something that it was highly likely to happen anyway, if not in 602 maybe sooner or later by different circumstances. And the chances of Constantinople to be besieged by the Persians is equally high, even if the circumstances of the war vary.
 
Could the idea of returning the capital from Constantinople back to Rome be considered at some point, specially during the Byzantine-Sasanian Wars and later the Arab sieges of Constantinople, when the capital city was at risk of being captured? Or in any case should be Ravenna considered as the first option if the Emperor leaves Constantinople? Could it be done at some point by religious reasons (maybe some Emperor wants to stay in the same city where the Pope is)?
Its pretty hard for either of these events to result in the capture of the Imperial Capital. Though the Empire's situation did look grim that Heraclius briefly considered relocating to his old base of Carthage before the government officials and patriarch firmly shot him down.
Let's consider a scenario where the Langobardic invasion of Italy in 568 is butterflied away (maybe if the Gepids somehow manage to defeat them and they are evicted from the Alpine area) and the Byzantine Empire is able to consolidate the annexation of the whole Italian peninsula after the end of the Gothic Wars.
If you buttefly away the Langobard invasion, then the Empire has more resources freed up that would have been devoted to the Italian theater. Though for something like this you'd need Justinian having a competent heir as Justin II was way over his head. Just have Germanos make it to the Capital first when Justinian is on his deathbed and you have a much better Emperor on the throne. Germanos was a successful military commander and was reported to have a good head on his shoulders.

Though this likely avoids the Romano-Persian war and the later Arab invasions as the Persians and Romans would be strong enough to easily quash the caliphate in its its crib. Though a pod like this is quite far off from the Rise of Islam, so it might butterfly it away entirely.

Though I wonder what @Eparkhos and @Goldensilver81 would have to say about this as they're quite knowledgeable on this subject as well.
 
Its pretty hard for either of these events to result in the capture of the Imperial Capital. Though the Empire's situation did look grim that Heraclius briefly considered relocating to his old base of Carthage before the government officials and patriarch firmly shot him down.

Well, I think any city in Italy (if Italy would have be stable and safe) would have been a more suitable idea than moving to Carthage, which was obviously a desperate bad idea.

If you buttefly away the Langobard invasion, then the Empire has more resources freed up that would have been devoted to the Italian theater. Though for something like this you'd need Justinian having a competent heir as Justin II was way over his head. Just have Germanos make it to the Capital first when Justinian is on his deathbed and you have a much better Emperor on the throne. Germanos was a successful military commander and was reported to have a good head on his shoulders.

Not really sure about it. Keeping Italy safe from Germanic/Slavic/Avar invasions would have been really costly too. This considering that there would have not surged separatist movements/rebellions inside Byzantine Italy.
 
It tough to imagine that at this point in time the eastern emperors would choose to abandon Constantinople.
Firstly the strategic position of Constantinople is much better than Rome. Massive walls surrounded by sea on three sides, easy to provision during a siege in which the Romans controlled the sea.

Secondly Constantinople was the central node of trade in the eastern Mediteranean with a bright future as a metropolis and with all the amenities necessary to sustain a lavish court. Rome was sinking as an urban center after the germanic invasions. Also the entire administrative apparatus was in Constantinople, it would be costly just to pick up and move.

Thirdly Rome would be hard to maintain. The Italian wars of Justinian were bloody, pyrhic victories which left the byzantines in an unstable situation. They held on admirably, discovered some useful devices to prolong their presence in the area, but they would lose control next time some tribe of barbarians plunges into Italy.

No, Constantinople is here to stay as a capital.
 
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Well, the fact of getting more tax income does not mean that Maurice would spend the money more efficiently (even the partial loss of Italy, Maurice still controlled IOTL rich territories like Egypt) or simply might neglect the payment of the soldiers by other reasons (this is something that happened sometimes regardless the status of the Imperial treasury). Or maybe the rebellion of Phocas or whoever in his place might take place anyway by different reasons. But given the continued tensions in the Byzantine-Sasanians relationships, the war is something that it was highly likely to happen anyway, if not in 602 maybe sooner or later by different circumstances. And the chances of Constantinople to be besieged by the Persians is equally high, even if the circumstances of the war vary.
more taxes and less over extension means a lot from 568 and while justin II was an idiot in many ragards assuming this got the same from 568 to continue the 572 war occurs
with no lost of italy Tiberius II Constantine does not have to waste time money and troops on italy as he did in otl and thus Baduarius and the byzantine army there is not defeated there in 576 , which means he can instead use them in the persian war .

and the extra free troops since he does not have to deal with the lombars means he never leaves the western provinces exposed and thus the avars the Avars do not go an massive attacks from advantage of the lack of troops in the Balkans in 579 and thus no eventsof 582 if maurice takes power he doesnt have to commit as much and since taxes and men from italy could replinish them so what iam saying is that the butterfly from keeping italy means more taxes and troops

Even if the avars destroy a roman army there is more money to pay them to leave as for the avars attacking italy the avars co

also hormizd IV was a massive tyrant and a incompent one at that .


Assuming things to difirent who is to say maurice does not give chobin khosrow II head on a platter

And even if he doesn't he needs time for an excuse to break his word to maurice or a cue

Also why is the persians getting to Constantinople a given the persian gained so much because they had good Generals and took advantage of governors like heraclius and narces hatred of phocas for been ilegítimate and like khosrow II he was a bloody tyrant.

Some one of aristocratic line who was more competent and less could have taken the throne and if the persians attacked won early battles and that eliminates most of the problems that others had with phocas .

So None of this is a given
In short while the avars would be a pest having italy helps to control their damage output also keep in mind maurice defeated the avars so hard that it took them till mid 610s to attack the Byzantines aka after heraclius lost at antioch and left the west defenseless .
 
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As it stands, even if the Italian Peninsula comes back under imperial sway Rome has little value to be reinstated as the administrative seat of the Empire over Constantinople.
 
As it stands, even if the Italian Peninsula comes back under imperial sway Rome has little value to be reinstated as the administrative seat of the Empire over Constantinople.
True but now the have extra men And money they also don't have to waste as much as sending armies against the lombards just Merely to defend the alps .
 
Rome was a bad location for a capital. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, Rome itself was a bit of the backwater. The imperial capital was at modern Milan, Ravenna, or modern Split depending on the year. There was little reason to return the capital to Rome even if Italy was secured. I think the only city that may have been considered as an alternative to Constantinople was Syracuse and that is up for some debate
 
Why spend such huge money on a new capital (the old capital was mostly dilapidated by the Medieval era) and traumatically move, when you have a Christian themed Mega polis in Constantinople? Instead, just making Rome cultural And historical center while retaining Constantinople as the capital while further developing it, would help.
 
To add to the above, the protection to Rome is terrible. Any power can invade it from Gaul or Hispania and if they are Byzantine's enemies, its a nightmare for them. So, Constantinople would not be moved from.
 
Could the idea of returning the capital from Constantinople back to Rome be considered at some point, specially during the Byzantine-Sasanian Wars and later the Arab sieges of Constantinople, when the capital city was at risk of being captured? Or in any case should be Ravenna considered as the first option if the Emperor leaves Constantinople? Could it be done at some point by religious reasons (maybe some Emperor wants to stay in the same city where the Pope is)?
Possibly. IOTL the Empire didn't have many Italian lands left by 602, but ITTL it would, making the Empire less eastern-/Greek-focused. And, with the Empire's easternmost territories having been successively lost to the Sassanids and Arabs and much of Anatolia and the Aegean subject to enemy raids, Italy would seem like one of the most peaceful and secure of Byzantium's remaining provinces. I'd expect Ravenna would be chosen as a capital instead of Rome, though, as it had better natural defences and would be closer to the frontiers in the Alps and the eastern Mediterranean.
 
Constantinople was superior to Rome in every way. I really just can’t see why they’d ever choose Rome as the capital, even if they had to abandon Constantinople.

Constantinople was easily defendable and sat on a lucrative trade route. Rome has neither of these. It’s also (obviously) easier to administer the eastern empire from there instead of somewhere in the west.

Even if the emperors had to feel the city I doubt Rome would be at the top of their list of places to make the new capital. Ravenna, Milan, Carthage, that one city in Sicily that one emperor thought about moving the capital to, or somewhere else in Greece would all be better choices for a new capital.
 
Let's consider a scenario where the Langobardic invasion of Italy in 568 is butterflied away (maybe if the Gepids somehow manage to defeat them and they are evicted from the Alpine area) and the Byzantine Empire is able to consolidate the annexation of the whole Italian peninsula after the end of the Gothic Wars.

Could the idea of returning the capital from Constantinople back to Rome be considered at some point, specially during the Byzantine-Sasanian Wars and later the Arab sieges of Constantinople, when the capital city was at risk of being captured? Or in any case should be Ravenna considered as the first option if the Emperor leaves Constantinople? Could it be done at some point by religious reasons (maybe some Emperor wants to stay in the same city where the Pope is)?
Even in italy Rome would not necessarily be the best location for a capital, there are reasons the WRE preferred Ravena or Milan.
 
Constantinople was superior to Rome in every way. I really just can’t see why they’d ever choose Rome as the capital, even if they had to abandon Constantinople.

Constantinople was easily defendable and sat on a lucrative trade route. Rome has neither of these. It’s also (obviously) easier to administer the eastern empire from there instead of somewhere in the west.

Even if the emperors had to feel the city I doubt Rome would be at the top of their list of places to make the new capital. Ravenna, Milan, Carthage, that one city in Sicily that one emperor thought about moving the capital to, or somewhere else in Greece would all be better choices for a new capital.
Even Venice would have been superior to Rome in terms of location.
 
Well, many people stated (rightly) here that Rome were in clear disadvantage regarding location compared to not only Constantinople but also other possible candidates to capital city as Ravenna, Milan or Syracuse (I think Carthage would not be a more suitable option regarding location).

However, let's consider some points:

- After the mid-7th century, the migrations pressure over Italy declined and the risk of general invasion was lower than, let's say, the Balkan peninsula. This is why IOTL the Lombards were able to keep their ground more or less comfortably. The gradual decrease of the external pressure on Italy would have allowed to do not prioritize location safety over other considerations. In fact, Constantinople was far more exposed to external attacks (Persians, Avars, Bulgars, Arabs and finally Turks). Maybe an ITTL stronger Byzantine Italy would have attracted more attempts of invasion than IOTL, but anyway, the expansion of the Franks over the Alpine and Upper Danubian areas would eventually had a buffer effect anyaway.

- The Franks would have been probably not interested in attacking Italy without Papal consent, and by the 8th-9th century they would be mostly the only great power able to disturb Italy, because probably the Arab expansion would have been not that aggresive with a stronger Byzantium ITTL. As long as the relations between the Franks and the Pope do not strain, it is unlikely they would intervene in Italy.

- Given this more safe situation of the Italian peninsula, the location of the capital would be not that important in terms of security. Milan or Ravenna would be still better cities, but the Pope does not live there, and the alignment between the Pope and the Emperor could be a key factor for such decision. It already happened IOTL when Otto III decided to move his court to Rome (which was a bad decision in any other term).
 
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