The 1000 Year Dynasty of the Kommenos TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Tongera, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone here know the correct term for Spymaster in the Byzantine Empire?
     
  2. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Here's the next update, apologies for the longish wait:


    Chapter 8: Problems In Anatolia

    With the moving of the Turkish nobles complete, it is decided to let the Greek nobles to get acquainted and to give them time to work the land and raising the herds and to get the peasants from other parts of the empire (mostly from Bulgaria, southern tip of the Crimea, Illyria and Serbia) ready to transport to the Central Plateau, primarily to the villages and farms outside Ankyra and Ikonion, with some of the peasants to be put in Ikonion (after the massacre there, which killed around 8,000), with around 5,000 being put there.

    But before the rest of the peasants can be moved to the Central Plateau, the raids that is plaguing the area needs to be stopped. There are two types of raids, those done by the Turcoman, who generally raid isolated farms, attack travellers, isolated army units out on patrol and steal livestock in the area, the Turcomans are a constant but manageable threat. Then there is the Turks, usually lead by Kilij’s son, Kaykhusraw, although sometimes lead by the Turkish nobles, who are a problem because they attack and ambush the Rhomaios armies, usually leaving no survivors, they usually attack unfortified towns and then disappear very quickly, but the constant and well-planned raids by the Turks are nearly overwhelming against the garrison’s in the area and require a large part of the Imperial army in the Central Plateau.
    The solution to the problems in Anatolia is to first try and bribe the Turkish nobles to come back and settle back in the Central Plateau (knowing this is a lie and they would most likely be sent across the Bosphrous). The Rhomaioi sends a diplomat to Kayseri (Kaisareia in Greek) to the nobles based in the city, so that the diplomat can try and convince them to come back, or at the very least stop the raids. Suffice to say, while negotiating with the Turkish nobles, who are upset and doesn’t trust the Rhomaios, the diplomat is thrown out of Kayseri, though not before he tries to get an audience with Kaykhusraw, which fails.

    Manuel is not surprised much (disappointed nonetheless), but he is forced to shelve a plan where he intended to use the Turkish nobles against Kaykhusraw in a rebellion and then handing his lands over them, until a later date. He considers trying to assassinate the Sultan of Kayseri and then moving in with the Imperial army, but this is decided against because of the risk of failure of the assassination and the need to rest for the generals and the soldiers, plus there are other priorities right now.

    However he decides to send the diplomat back to the Sultan and asks for trade and for a formal peace, so that raids are no longer a problem and the Rhomaioi can build up their new provinces in peace. The Sultan accepts (due to only being able to raid as the only way to fight the Rhomaioi), but with a 5 year peace as well, which is accepted by the Rhomaioi.
     
  3. SlyDessertFox Warren/Castro 2020

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    Is this dead? I hope not. It was promising.
     
  4. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    It isn't dead. I am trying to resurrect it by writing a new update. But i can't finish the update to my satisfaction.

    Its when i can finish the update satisfactily, then i post it. Hopefully soon.

    Also, it would help if more interest is shown in this, as then if i get stuck and need help, then i can ask and finish updates faster.
     
  5. SlyDessertFox Warren/Castro 2020

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    Okay. It's good to know this is still alive. I look forward to the next update.
     
  6. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Here is chapter 9, apologies for the wait, as i had laptop trouble and needed to rewrite it. I hope the update is decent and you enjoy it:


    Chapter 9: Training of a Rhomaios Basileus


    Early 1178:

    During the peace with the Turks, Manuel decides to start training Alexios so he is prepared for his role as the Basileus of the Rhomaioi, which he intends to do by hiring the best tutors, partly teaching himself based on his knowledge and experiences and sending the boy to the themes so that he may learn from first-hand experience how to conduct the affairs of the state. Manuel decides to first hire a tutor for Alexios, before any hands-on tasks may be given. Manuel is given the encouragement to start training his son after the Turkish raids start happening in force, in the newly conquered areas and due to his old age, in which he starts reflecting on the previous battle.

    The first tutor that he hires is for the economical side of the Empire, so that the future Basileus will learn to tax correctly, encourage trade (very important for the Empire). The name of the tutor is Vittore Boccaccio, a Pisan who fled after a trade war between Genoa and Pisa broke out in 1165, he arrived in Konstantinoupolis in 1175, after he supplemented income by tutoring the children of the Palaiologos from Makedonia, Laskaris from Makedonia, Angelos from the Thrakesion Thema and the Kantakouzenos from the Samos Thema. It was his reputation and advice from the Basileus advisors that brought the Pisan to Manuel's attention. When the Pisan is brought into the Palace of Blachernae, he struck at the thought of teaching the next in line to the throne of the powerful and ancient Empire that has recently rebounded in the last 100 years. He is also struck by the beauty of the Palace itself, which was recently improved by Manuel, while more improvements are being built. Once he meets the Basileus in the Palace, it takes a short meeting before Manuel agrees to hire him and Vittore is given a room in Blachernae next to his students room. He is to meet Alexios in the morning, while the tutoring is to begin the very next day.

    May-August 1178:

    The first months of the tutoring sessions is spent tutoring the boy on the basics of the economics of the Rhomaios Basileia, with a particular focus on the strengths, which mostly include trade (Konstantinoupolis is the main trade), agriculture (olive oil, wine, grain, barley etc) and raising animals (cows, horses, sheep), which is more important now that a part of Central Anatolia is taken back. It is also explained to Alexios that it also be preferable if the nomads in the area (they often ignore the Sultan) can be either persuaded to stop raiding or made to stop by force, as when they raid they cause disruptions to the provinces, often making the farmers and herders of the provinces flee to the walled cities, while the nomads often take the produce and any slaves they capture. Alexios is responsive to the economical training he is given, but he is otherwise uninterested, which annoys Vittore, but Manuel is too busy and pre-occupied with making plans for the Central Plateau, such as establishing control and dealing with the nomads, who are causing disruptions with their incessant raids.

    Manuel decides to start training Alexios in matters pertaining to the army by sending him to the Varangian captain, Erik Lagerbkelke. Erik is to teach Alexios the basics of warfare, before he is sent to the themes. Alexios is to continue his training with Vittore, but warfare is to be taught as well.
     
  7. cimon Well-Known Member

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    Usually the focus of instructing a person should be on giving special attention to his weak points not the strong ones.
    (By the way Tongera,was the map ref. usuful?)
     
  8. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Map reference is useful. I used it to create a decent-ish map.
     
  9. cimon Well-Known Member

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    Do you need supplementary maps?
     
  10. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    At the moment no. But thank you anyway.



    I might have the next update up by tomorrow, hopefully.
     
  11. SlyDessertFox Warren/Castro 2020

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    Nice update. Alexios looks like he has promise.
     
  12. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Here's the next update, dealing with the church and nomads in the Central Plateau:

    Chapters 10: The Church and Nomads:

    August 1178:

    During the later months of 1178, Manuel decides to start giving the Orthodox church in the Central Plateau lands and making it a central part of people's lives, like it was before Manzikert, just over a hundred years ago. He also decides to help make the Orthodox church in those areas secure from raids, any potential invasions that may come from the east and to help them flourish. To do this he decides, with the help of Patriarch Michael III to do the following: Rebuild the church in the Central Plateau by rebuilding the Metropolis lands for the future, sending new Metropolitan Bishops to Ankyra and Ikonion (as those are the two most important settlements captured), while making those the base of the Metropolis and any lands outside the city belonging to the old Turkish nobility is to be given to the church and then most likely rented out.

    There is also problems with discipline in the new territories, as several metropolitan bishops have illegally usurped metropolises in the new territories, often to safer and more prosperous ones. While attempts to bring them to justice have failed, usually because the Patriarch had no authority in the new territories when they were under the control of the Turks and thus unable to bring them back to the capital. Manuel decides to forgive the bishops, but he also decides to make them the official Metropolitan bishops of their current metropolises, so to smooth over the succession of rule from the Turk to Rhomaios. The old Metropolitan bishops of the new territories are to be put in some of the smaller towns that came as part of the peace treaty.

    Since the peace treaty with the Seljuks, there have still been raids from the Turcomans. They usually come over, plunder the unwalled settlements and farms, take and sell any captives that they capture into slavery and try and settle onto the newly captured land (usually near the border). This disrupts the provinces economics, imperial administration and they often raid closer to the big towns, scaring the farmers into hiding in the walled towns until the nomads leave, preventing the farmers from working the fields to feed the Empire.

    Several solution to the Turcoman nomads is presented by Andronikos Kontostephanos, the Strategos of the Boukellarion Thema: Actively fight the nomads whenever they appear in the hope that this will deter them from attacking towards that particular region, although this will require a significant part of the Rhomaios army in Anatolia to stay near the borders, more specifically Light Cavalry to chase down the nomads. The other solution that is proposed is try and buy of the nomads off and hope that they move off back into Eastern Anatolia. The solution that is brought up last is try and raid into Eastern Anatolia and destroy the nomads.

    Since Manuel still wants to rest and build up the army for a later invasion of the Eastern Anatolian, it is decided for the next few years to try and buy of any nomads that may try and raid and/or settle into the Central Plateau. If they refuse to be brought off or continue raiding, the Rhomaios army is to defend only or to march to any threats within the Empires borders and deal them. But they are not to chase any nomads or raiders over the borders into the Turkish lands, lest they be ambushed and destroyed. However if Manuel decides to personally sanction any such action or if the nomads are close enough to the border so that they easy enough to destroy and led by someone who is appointed by the Basileia to lead them, then they may cross the border and destroy them. Overall, a defensive policy with the intent of saving strength for later.





    Hope that update was decent. Also, any ideas on what i can focus on in detail, anything you want?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  13. Zireael Well-Known Member

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    Love the update.
     
  14. cimon Well-Known Member

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    Nomads are on horse back;you cannot 'march' to endangered points,since 'march' denotes infantry and in these large spaces in Anatolia only cavalry is effective and especially mounted archers.

    Nomads cannot be bought,they will do the same and same again since it is their nature therefore you can only get them by hot persuit even on the enemy land since they start from there.

    Further,you cannot keep a victorious army inactive;that would alert your enemy that something is terribly wrong!
    Beware of the church!the more power they get the more you undermine the crown.
     
  15. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    1) Agreed, i should have been more clear that it is cavalry, but i wasn't quite sure of the word to use for cavalry, so i used march instead.

    2) Acknowledged, i shall edit the update to reflect that. Edit: Actually i shall change the update so that it is given as a option. You sure no nomads can be bribed? I reckon some can.

    3) Militia a better word? Wait, that's the wrong word isn't it?

    4) I will remember the church, but the church in the Central Plateau is just being given lands to help the poor, sick etc.

    5) Other than that, was the update alright?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  16. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Apologies for the wait, but i had a bit of trouble:

    Chapter 11: Considerations For War

    During the later months of 1178, Manuel is feeling energetic despite his old age and generally wants to finish of the remnants of the Seljuks, who are currently led by Kaykhusraw, who have managed to keep his realm under control and has been able to somehow convince the Turcomans into raiding west into Rhomaios lands and south into the Principality of Antioch, who is a vassal of the Rhomaioi. Any war with the Turks, once the treaty peace is up, would most likely be directed at Amasya (Amassia in Greek), as that is where the Seljuk Sultan is located currently located. However, it will be a few years before the 5 year peace will be up, there are also issues with ambushes by Turcomans and by the Turks, which weakened the Rhomaios during the Central Plateau campaign.

    Another choice that has r4ecently been given consideration is the Kingdom of Armenian Cilicia which currently has a troubled history with the empire, due to Manuel and his father John's invasion of Armenian Cilicia in the years before Myriokephalon. Manuel, much like his father, considers Cilicia a rightful part of the Empire despite the treaty signed with the Armenians, the provisions of the treaty being that the Rhomaioi give up all claims to Cilicia in exchange for the Rhomaioi having access to ports on the Gulf of Alexandretta and the Cilician Kingdom becoming formally a vassal. However, enforcing the vassal status of the Armenians can be difficult at times, depending on the situation, often when the Rhomaioi are busy dealing with other matters.

    The considerations that are given to each target are extensive, but priority is given on two factors in particular, namely how the Armenians and Turkish lands can benefit the Rhomaioi the most in terms of security to the Empire and the economic benefits of the conquered lands, with immediate benefit from the re-conquests. Another consideration is whether the Armenians or Turks have circumstances that allow them to being conquered at the quickest possible opportunity. However, a casus-belli will be required to help legitimize the re-conquest in the eyes of the peasants and nobles in the areas, along with foreign powers in the area.

    3 January 1179:

    It is decided by Manuel in January to invade Cilicia in July of that year, with the main targets of the campaign being Iskenderun (Alexandretta in Greek), Tarsus, Kozan (Sision in Greek) and Mersin (Zephyrion in Greek). It is also decided to invade from several directions, with one army attacking from Ikonion, one from Kalonoros and the final army being put in the Principality of Antioch (a vassal) and invading from Antiocheia. It is hoped by this that the Armenians will split their forces and could be defeated by superior Rhomaios forces, which would be supplemented by vassals and allies, such as Antioch. The armies would be headed by Manuel who would be leading the army going out of Antioch while accompanied by Alexios, Andronikos Kontostephanos is to lead the army out of Ikonion and John Vatatzes is to command the army from Kalonoros. The Antiocheia army is to invade and go north and capture Alexandretta, then move north again and try and capture Sis. The Ikonion army is to invade and capture the cities of Cybistra, then move east to Tyana and Gamar, then go through the mountains and capture Gouglak and then move onto the Cilician Plains and capture any settlements and clear a path towards Sis. The Kalonoros army is to move along the coast until it captures Zephyrium, then move north east and capture Tarsus and Adana (Tarsos in Greek).

    Before any war with the Cilician Armenians can begin however, there needs to be a casus-belli. Only three casus-belli's can perhaps be used: One is that the Armenians have reneged on their side of a previous treaty, which is to allow merchants and Rhomaios ships have access to the Gulf of Alexandretta and to the ports there. Since the Armenians have kept to their side of the bargain in this instance, that is not available. Another casus-belli is that the Armenians have tried to break free from Rhomaios suzeranity, with the Rhomaioi going to war to enforce vassalige over the Armenians. There is problems with this, since the Armenians have remained de jure vassals, but de facto they are vassals when the Rhomaioi are in a position to enforce it, the other problem is that the Rhomaioi want to conquer Cilicia, not put it under vassalige again.

    It is eventually decided to use the casus-belli of re-conquest, since Cilicia was Rhomaios before Manzikert and it is in a position to enforce that claim. It would also be useful to share a border with the troublesome Antioch Principality and to use it a potential springboard into Eastern Anatolia and Syria. It also allows for direct control from Konstantinoupolis (under a Strategos at least) and is useful for defence from the mountains from any invasions from that area.




    Any feedback will be appreciated.:D
     
  17. cimon Well-Known Member

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    1) you can use the word 'Advance'
    2) Hire them as irregular cavalry and attach them to regular cavalry units with pay and the plander(wherever it is going to be...) is theirs.
    4) Exactly,that is how the church starts(Orthodox or Catholic makes no difference) give them a finger and they will take your arm.Church has never confined itself to spiritual guidance...given a chance they...
    5) You are trying to organise the new parts,good,also looks like a prelude to someting bigger....Nothing wrong with the update!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  18. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    I don't think i can change it now, too late i believe. Also, what do you think of the new update?
     
  19. cimon Well-Known Member

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    OK,I will.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  20. cimon Well-Known Member

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    The update is very good if it acts as a prelude to something bigger;As I can see it,Cilikia protects Manuel's right flank so that in a second stage he
    can operate inland safely from that direction.
    Try to increase the Byzantine light cavalry(archers) in the east you need a lot more of them to mask your movements and conduct in depth recon to discover enemy intentions and plan better your movements...
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012