Romes Last Dynasty

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by StevenIronside, Jul 11, 2019.

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What do you think of the timeline so far

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  1. Threadmarks: 1

    StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 1

    461AD
    Portus Illicinatus

    It was early 461, and the army of Majorian was readying for its next campaign. Majorians army consisted mostly of foedoratii troops and mercenaries, which totalled around 18,000, he also had a growing force of Romans in his army. He had around 4,000 roman men who formed his core bodyguard which he named Legio I Augusta. With 20,000 Infantry of varying types he could also count upon the Scholae, the imperial cavalry which numbered 2000, and 2,000 Foedoratii cavalry supplied by the visigoths and burgundians.

    It was a massive army which had helped him defeat many enemies and had continuously grown. He had lead then down the Rhone valley against the Burgundians, into Aquitaine against the Visigoths, and into Hispania where they had put down rebels and fought the Suebi. Now he was leading them against the Vandals and inti Africa.

    For such a feet he had created a navy in southern Hispania where it waited at Portus Illicitanus for his use. The Vandal King Genseric had tried for peace but Africa was needed to secure not only Majorians future but also the Empires. Genseric had deployed a strategy of schorched earth and had scorched all land that could be of any use to Majorian. Majorian only looked foward to his future.

    A captain of one of Majorians ships, a hispanic roman Flavius Ulpius Aurelianus was just finishing up the final duties on his ship with his men, making sure all equipment was in order. There was news just came in from the armies scouts that ships had been spotted down the coast, Vandal ships. Aurelianus had heard it just before the scout continued on his way to the Emperor. The thing Aurelianus a experienced soldier didnt understand was that the Vandals were so daring so close to the roman fleet who had them outnumbered. As he was going back to his quarters in the city he happened to pass close by one of the other officers quarters and heard talk from several men.

    Aurelianus had been having wierd suspicious feelings for the last few weeks as several of the ships captains continued having secret meetings. It was only when he heard of the Vandals Payment did he auctually stopped. The man had said "the vandal payment has arrived" and one could here the clinking of many coins. He snuck closer to the other mans quarters and could here then even better. "

    "What is the kings orders?"

    The day of the battle we are to switch side and ram our own ships."

    It was at this Aurelianus turned and ran towards the Emperors quarters, he knew who the treacherous captains were and immediately seeked to infrom Majorian.


    That night Majorian captured the treasonous captains and had them all imprisoned and left them to rot in the prisons. For his loyalty Aurelianus was named Admiral of the fleet and the bribe paid to the turncoats was given to him as a gift.

    2 days later Aurelianus lead the fleet out to battle the vandals were he was victorious and destroyed half the vandal fleet and captured the rest. The Vandal men were taken prisoner and made into work slaves and sent to the mines while the rest their ships became roman ships.

    Only a week later Majorian would lead his army onto the boats and sailed to Africa. Landing just west of Icosium the most western point of Vandal territory on June 1st the conquest of Africa had begun.
     
  2. Tarabas Well-Known Member

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    Aug 30, 2018
    Very interesting start. Watched.
     
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    StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 2

    461AD

    The campaign in Africa started with the surrender of Icosium, the city which had only been occupied by the Vandals for roughly 10 years and still remembered its Roman routes. The Army of Majorian 26,000 strong including his personal Scholae who were a cataphract cavalry, had camped a few miles from the city and the next day found the cities residence bringing them supplies.

    To his suprise they contributed greatly to his cause. They gave him as much food as the could without starving the city, and provided him 500 men to act as light cavalry and as guides and scouts. From here Majorian set up his campaign, the new scouts were sent ranging out to find any force of the Vandals. Within days his forces were on the march again Aurelianus and his fleet carrying their supplies while the army marched along the coast. After 1 weeks of marching they reached Saldae.

    Saldae was the next major city on the way to Carthage the capital of the Vandal Kingdom. It was a major port in the region and a perfect place to let his army rest while news came in from his scouts. It was also here that he got news from his General Marcellinus who was in southern Italia. Marcellinus was a good general and man in general, loved by his men. Marcellinus had lead his own dalmatian kingdom independent of Rome until accepting Majorian as Emperor. Marcellinus had invaded Sicily and was on trac to have the island captured before Majorian made it to Carthage
    .

    After 3 days he got news from his scouts. Genseric was assembling an army at Hippo Regius and further along the Vandal kings son Huneric was raising an army at Carthage to support his father. Genseric's army numbered around 25,000 men half of which were auctually Vandals, the rest were militia and men raised from local towns. Hunerics army numbered around 15000 and was entirely formed from Vandals and more were joining it by the day.

    Majorian confident of his men began the march to Hippo Regius the second city of the Vandal Kingdom. The march took the better part of 2 weeks. His men were eager for battle after so much marching without a chance of blood or plunder they were hungry.

    Majorians camp was situated about 15 miles from the city which Genseric had occupied. The fleet of Majorian had pushed onto shore the thousands of mariners doing there best at readying the beached ships for sudden storms.

    Majorian met with all his commanders to inlude Aurelianus. There they decided how they would put the city to siege but found out the next day their plans were for naught.

    It was the 26th of June nearly a month into the African Campaign, as the men of Majorians army marched closer to Hippo Regius they were surprised to see the Vandal army formed up 3 miles from the city. It was mid day with no wind and sun directly above the battlefield. Majorian did not waste time. He ordered the army to form up. His Legio Augusta formed up on the right of the formation, on the inland side of the battlefield, they would have the most difficult battle with no obstacles to the flank only the foederatii cavalry protected their flank. To the left of the legion were the rest of the infantry who formed up in a thick block that extended right to the shore of the Mediterranean. The scholae formed a reserve with Majorian. The Vandals were formed up much the same but their numbers were greater than thought, they had roughly 25,000 infantry, and another 4,000 cavalry. Genseric had conscripted any armed man he could find. To the suprise of the Romans the Vandal fleet which was three quarters the size of the roman fleet rowed out of Hippo Regius and approached the battlefield intent on distracting the Roman fleet, Aurelianus was happy to oblige them.


    As the 2 fleets moved to engage eachother the Vandals charged the romans who kept a steady marching pase. In a move that was expected Majorian fielded the scholae up with the Foederatii cavalry and lead them in a charge against the overwhelmed Vandal Cavalry. The opening blood was from the cavalry were the cataphract like Scholaes drove deep into the enemy killing many on their lances.

    As the Vandal cavalry faultered, their infantry did not meet any better chances. As the infantry closes the romans halted and threw devistating volleys of small javelins, which decimated the front ranks of the Vandals killing hundreds if not into the thousands. As the Vandal infantry baulked at the massacre the romans took the initiative and charged. Their massed charge reaked havoc with the vandal army and only after a few minutes of being pushed back did the Vandals regain their footing on the battlefield. And a bloody clash ensued.

    To Majorians elation his cavalry charge had succeeded and the Scholae lances had proved extremely effective. While he had lost a few hundred men, the vandal cavalry had been chase from the field with less than 2000 men left in their ranks, they were lead away by Genseric.

    Many of the infantry did not see their cavalry lose so decisively and continued on fighting, otherwise they probably would have routed already.

    Majorian watched the infantry battle ensue as his cavalry reformed. Foederatii will swing around the Scholae and cut off any escape while the scholae will hit them in the flank." He gave a minute for the orders to be relayed, and then yelled "For the Glory of Rome! Charge!"

    The Scholae smashed the Vandal flank with devastating effect, raking their way through the massed men, hundreds were trampled many lanced, and others were thrown from their feet. The Scholae pulled back reformed and chared again with much the same effect, though this time the Legio I Augusta had turned and charged after the withdrawal of the Scholae. After the continuous pressure on the flank the remaining men ran. To their dismay, thousands were caught and slaughtered by the foederatii cavalry. Out of 29000 men, roughly 5000 made it to the city walls, the remaining were either injured, dead, or taken prisoner. The vandals were effectively routed at the battle of Hippo Regius with the loss of thousands. Majorians army only lost roughly 4,000 men. And in the seas Aurelianus fleet chased the few remaining Vandal ships away from the city abandoning the chase several miles past the city.

    The day of the June 26th 461AD was forever remembered as the first triumph for Rome in the years since Aetius had defeated Attila.

    But hundreds of miles away in Northern Italia, one of Majorians most trusted. The man who was truly behind what would have cost Majorian his fleet in Hispania, continued to plot how to kill the greatest Augustus Rome had had in many years.
     
  4. ImperialxWarlord Well-Known Member

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    I’m a sucker for late Roman stories, especially ones about Majorian.
     
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  5. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    Haha ya so am i. What made me auctually think about trying to make this was auctually the timeline done on the julius nepos dynasty. Majorian was one of my favorite emperors, and the only one in my mind who could have msde the empire last a little longer.
     
  6. ImperialxWarlord Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, he really was the western empires last shot. People always talk about Athemius, Romulus, and nepos but by then the empire had no real chance at retaking any territory.
     
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  7. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    Exactly Majorian was the last Emperor able to auctually retake territory, Anthemius and Nepos were both basically stuck to Italy with no ability to stretch any further, even in this timeline, if Majorian is totally successful it will still take a significant amount of time to stabalize and heal the empire. As it wouldve in otl
     
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  8. Alexander Helios The Last Heir of the Ptolemies

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    My fingers are crossed for an independent Dalmatia under Marcellinus' heirs after the fall of Rome.
     
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  9. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    I would auctually be interested in knowing if Marcellinus has any children, the only info i can find on his family is Nepotianus married his sister and Julius Nepos is his nephew through that marriage.
     
  10. Alexander Helios The Last Heir of the Ptolemies

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    Probably not, and if he did, they were murdered by Ricimer. If he did, why would Julius Nepos (his nephew through a female line) be recognized as his heir and assume control of Dalmatia OTL?
     
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  11. ImperialxWarlord Well-Known Member

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    Maybe he just didn’t have any sons so he named his nephew as his heir.
     
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  12. ImperialxWarlord Well-Known Member

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    Majorian needs to rule for several decades and be able to have his heir peacefully succeed him. Marrying one of Valentinians daughters would give him legitimacy, so he’s not seen as a usurper but a restorer. He should hold many young Germanic heirs as wards in order to keep their families under his thumb. As well as gaining the loyalty of Germanic commanders and their troops, so they’re more loyal to him than their kings.
     
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  13. Alexander Helios The Last Heir of the Ptolemies

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    Yeah, that's what I was trying to get at (i.e the only reason Julius Nepos would succeed him would be if he had no kids of his own)
     
  14. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    Thats what im thinking. Im wondering if he had a daughter.
     
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  15. Flavius Iulius Nepos Emperor with the support of the East

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    Inheritance of power back then (due to personal choices or external factors) didn’t strictly favour the firstborn son, hence his eventually son/daughter could just have faded into obscurity. Anyway I’ll follow this.
     
  16. Alexander Helios The Last Heir of the Ptolemies

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    We'll never know if he did, but you could always include it in as a secondary POD. She would have an interesting position politically. Maybe she could marry an emperor (one of Majorian's son's?), creating a blood link between Marcellinus and the imperial family.
     
  17. StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    Thats what i was thinking, but at the same time im trying to not create a whole bunch of fake characters Aurelianus being one exception.
    Trying to follow the example made by Flavius Julius Nepos in his Nepos timeline
     
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    StevenIronside Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 3

    461AD

    After the battle of Hippo Regius, Majorians army rested for 3 days. During these days the dead were buried or desposed of, and the injured taken care of. The city itself had surrendered without much of a fight, the few thousand men who had hidden within its walls surrendered without a fight. The only problem now was Majorian had roughly 10000 Vandal prisoners of war.


    For the past decades often times defeated enemies were brought into the victors army. Majorian would incorporate this practise but not to the point that his predecessors did. On the morning of the 29th of June, the decision was given to the prisoners. Any of clear Vandal birth were to be held at Hippo Regius till the end of the war as prisoners, after which they would be given a choice, the army or slavery. The remaining 6000 prisoners were of the militias formed by the Vandal King. Though they were only Militia, they could have thier uses, and Majorian brought them into his army.

    On the 30th of June the army began the 2 week march to Carthage. Every town or city they passed surrendered without a fight, as their garrisons were either with the Vandals at Hippo Regius or awaiting the romans at Carthage. On July 14th Carthage was in sight.

    So far the campaign had been straight forward without much resistance. But Carthage was the major challenge. On the 15th the army marched the last few miles to the huge city, while the fleet surrounded the city from the sea.

    While the romans set siege to the city, a ship was sent to Sicily where Marcellinus was waiting with his army and the Italian fleet. Within a week Majorian would be reinforced by 50 ships and 10000 men. On the 22nd the last of Marcellinus's men arrived, giving Majorian a force of 38,000 men, one of the biggest forces rome had fielded in recent history.

    The siege continued until the 15th of August without change and without battle, Majorians army continued to get supplies while Carthages supplies dwindled. It was on the 15th that Majorian decided to send Marcellinus with his 10000 to make sure the rest of the Vandal Kingdom was docile, and to purge any place of resistance. The port of Utica had already surrendered when Aurelianus had lead the fleet along the coast, because of this Marcellinus was tasked with securing the southern cities all the way to Leptis Magna. This was expected to take the rest of the year, and therefore Majorian would continue his siege with 28,000 men.

    The departure of 10000 men also had a second goal, and it worked. Seeing the departure of a large force, the Vandals took to action. The city had been under siege for a month and supplies were dwindling, with the people were starting to starve and the army on half rations. Majorians plan had worked and on the morning of the 18th of August, the army of Majorian waited for the Vandal army to attack.

    The Vandals with a force of around 30,000 men, many of which were men armed with spears and clubs tried a dawn attack as the romans were awaking. But Majorian had been waiting since the 16th for such an attack, In a major clash of arms along the fortifications of Majorians army and outside the walls of Carthage Majorians army crushed the Vandals in a hard fought victory.

    The vandal attack had purposely attacked the area guarded by the men recruited after the battle of Hippo Regius. These men being not well trained and armed had held as best they could but with many losses they routed. The Vandals had followed their momentum thinking they would win the day, but had fallen into a trap. The Legio Augusta had launched its several javelin volleys straight into the Vandal attack over the heads of the routing men. This had stunned the enemy, and the follow up charge nearly shattered the Vandals. Unbeknownst to the Vandals their King Genseric who had lead them from the front had died during the storm of Javelins.

    His son Huneric had reformed what men he could and tried to flank the legion only to be killed on Majorians own sword during a charge from the cavalry which shattered any Vandal counter attack. The Vandals at this point were slowly being surrounded, and their rear seeing defeat routed. These were chased by a troop of Foederatii who captured the city gates before they closed.

    At this point the Vandal army tried to surrender, but Majorian was at this point bent on getting revenge for every Roman the Vandals had killed since they crossed the Rhine. There was no mercy given, and all were killed, and the city stormed and parts of the city were sacked before Majorian got a reign on his men.

    The city had surrendered, any Vandals found of the royal family were killed including Genserics wife. The only member of the royal family spared was a woman. By the name of Eudocia daughter of Valentinian III. The mother of Eudocia and her sister Placidia were found and spared as well, but it was with Eudocia, Majorian found something he needed, a lady of Theodosian descent who was now free to marry.
     
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  19. ImperialxWarlord Well-Known Member

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    Well it’s good to know that the formerly royal family is safe

    Also by this point the Romans no longer used javelins like they did in the earlier days of the empire. They used plumbata iirc.
     
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  20. darthfanta Offline

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    I'm not sure Majorian would try to kill every Vandal he could find. The Western Empire is in chronic shortage of manpower. He really can't afford to kill them all.
     
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