The eagle's left head

With Maritsa not far, I wonder if the Lascarids will be able to take on the opportunity to expand a bit into Macedonia.

Within the cadre of TTL War of St Titus, they have already captured most of Epirus from the Serbs, right?
@Lascaris, did they make any advance north of Thessaly, to link up Lascarid Thessaly with Thessaloniki?
If not, then I suppose they would use the occasion post Maritsa to do it.
Their armies so far have been... occupied so to speak.
How are they surviving even though they are Serbian, in rebellion against the homeland and they rule over majority Greeks?
What homeland? Stefen V is a nonentity. If John V in OTL had not been a nonentity pressured by the Turks as well the Serbian principalities would had likely crumbled. And the irony is John VI was clearly more capable but after getting deposed got resigned to this. One wonders how much he cared for the purple in the first place.
What you mean? Becoming a king,especially a king of kings, is the last thing an honourable Roman should do! Their allegiance is to the republic, to democracy!
Julius Caesar and Octavian hear with interest. And Rome might had been a republic but never was a democracy. An oligarchy sure.
 
Their armies so far have been... occupied so to speak.
Until they are not.
Unless Venice pulls another ace from up it's sleeve, by the time Maritsa happens, the Lascarids would have taken Candia and recaptured Rhodes.
And while they have dealt with Epirus, I read about raids on Thessaloniki by the Serbs, raids that have not yet been answered openly to in the storyline.
 
Their armies so far have been... occupied so to speak.

What homeland? Stefen V is a nonentity. If John V in OTL had not been a nonentity pressured by the Turks as well the Serbian principalities would had likely crumbled. And the irony is John VI was clearly more capable but after getting deposed got resigned to this. One wonders how much he cared for the purple in the first place.

Julius Caesar and Octavian hear with interest. And Rome might had been a republic but never was a democracy. An oligarchy sure.
Julius Caesar: I’m just a dictator, not a king. Which traitor is trying to make me king?*staring daggers at Marcus Antonius*
Octavian: Greetings citizen, what? I’m a king? Nah, I’m your friendly First Citizen here. Time to kill that traitor Marcus Antonius who’s trying to make HIMSELF a king.
 
Julius Caesar: I’m just a dictator, not a king. Which traitor is trying to make me king?*staring daggers at Marcus Antonius*
Octavian: Greetings citizen, what? I’m a king? Nah, I’m your friendly First Citizen here. Time to kill that traitor Marcus Antonius who’s trying to make HIMSELF a king.
Marcus Antonius : "I swear it was just a stunt bro"
 
The dynasty and the ruling circle around it have seen what happens when you give Genoa and Venice trade privileges or worse things like Galata. Its policy is no different than the Ottoman one on the matter...

Indeed, the Ottomans did so. But in the ottoman case, they didn't have an influential merchant class to take over the international trade of the empire. Ragusans. Italians or even French controlled that trade. Even when gradually christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire got a slice of that lucrative trade, they were second-class subjects without any significant political influence.

However, in this case, the Sicilian merchants have a lot of political power and they can flex their muscles in the Romania and Levantine trade. They can use the advantageous geography of the lascarid realm to inflict horrific damage to the venetian trade, even after peace has been firmly establised. They have the expertise and institutions (parliament) to take over from the Venetians.

Speaking of which, with the Ionian Sea being a sicilian lake, the venetian commerce must have collapsed. It is not like a run-of-the-mill war with Genoa when the ability of one opponent to destroy the other's trade was severely limited by geography. If we take into consideration the dutch example, the ability of the venetians to finance a fleet of the 1370 size will be limited. They have lost a lot of manpower and a decent size of their remaining manpower is in Candia. They can fight one last campaign with reduced numbers, but I don't see how they can continue the fight post 1371.

With Maritsa not far, I wonder if the Lascarids will be able to take on the opportunity to expand a bit into Macedonia.
In OTL, post-Maritsa Manuel Palaiologos who held Thessaloniki as an appanage, recovered Serres in November 1371. It seems that the Byzantines had also recovered Veroia, Chalkidiki, Christopolis (modern Kavala), Drama and Gynaikokastro. He then proceeded in turning half the land held by athonite monasteries into pronoias. If Manuel with just Thessaloniki as a fief, managed to recover a bit more than half of Macedonia, then what will Philanthropenos accomplish with all the might of Greece behind him? I also think quite possible that he will take more than half of monastic lands for pronoias.

Overall, I think it will be quite easy for Philanthropenos to recover all of Macedonia. And then things will get interesting.
 
However, in this case, the Sicilian merchants have a lot of political power and they can flex their muscles in the Romania and Levantine trade. They can use the advantageous geography of the lascarid realm to inflict horrific damage to the venetian trade, even after peace has been firmly establised. They have the expertise and institutions (parliament) to take over from the Venetians.
The alliance of the monarchy and the merchant classes... Hmm, sounds awfully like England in the 17th-19th centuries.

Rule Sicilia, Sicilia rules the waves....
What a fine little tune in my ear.
 

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Well, with this one can say that the 'Heroic Age' of the Laskarid Despotate has ended. Alexander II. still had been influenced by the lifes of his Father and uncle, they had their father as an example. Theodor II. is too young to get influenced by these personal family moments and will have to find a new way to settle things.

With most of the Aegean now in their hands the LD should use the growing up of the new despot as a pause of breath to integrate the former venetians possessions into their realms and kick them out of Crete permanently. As the LD de jure is still a vasall of Anjou-Hungary the court of Syracuse should keep an eye out on that front if things will change there. Same for the Hospitaliter and Cyprus. In the West, Sardinia is a concern, of course.

The LD has pretty much stayed out of anatolian politics for now and, while it was understandable with the focus being the Aegean, now there should be some sort of politics to connect with the beyliks in some sort of way to open another front of war for the Osmans in Asia
 
Part 73
Bulgaria, February 1371

Ivan Stratsimir and Ivan Shisman succeeded their father Ivan Alexander in the tsardom of Bulgaria. This of course given the rivalry between the two brothers meant that the Bulgarian state already broken in two would now be broken in three...

Corfu, March 1371

Adrienne Lascaris had followed her husband on the island. 28 Sicilian and Calabrian galleys and 20 Greek galleys had gathered in the island under the command of Ioannis Maniakes. If the Venetian navy wanted to get out of the Adriatic it would have to get past them. Sicilian spies in spies had reported that Venice was arming 47 galleys this year and had been forced to impose more forced loans on its citizens to keep the fleet and the army in Crete paid.

Frascia bay, Crete, April 1371

Over a hundred transport ships begun unloading ten thousand soldiers under Alexandros Philanthropenos. Philanthropenos would soon link up with the army of Ioannis Kallergis and move on Candia. With fifteen thousand men marching on them, the Venetians would prudently hole up behing the fortifications. But they would be besieged there by Philanthropenos and Kallergis, while a squadron of 8 galleys blockaded the city from the sea. The blockade would prove porous, the blockading quadron would prove not numerous enough to cut off every Venetian blockade runner but the Venetian defenders would slowly but surely be cut off from supplies.

Padua, August 1371

The previous year Francesco Carrara, the lord of Padua had diverted the waters to Camposampiero river from flowing into the Trevisano river which was controlled by Venice. Now emboldened by the troubles Venice was finding itself in, he begun building new fortifications on the contested border with Venice. The signoria would react by proclaiming an embargo on Paduan trade.

Candia, October 16th, 1371

The city was finally forced to surrender under terms. The garrison and every Venetian colonist so desiring would be allowed to leave for Venice with their arms and movable property. It was lighter terms than Philanthropenos could possibly squeeze, but what truly mattered was Crete being free from end to end...

Adrianople, October 1371

A Serb army of 20,000 men under co-king Vukasin and his brother Jovan Ugliesa the ruler of Serres put the Ottoman capital under siege taking advantage of the move of the bulk of the Ottoman army for campaign in Anatolia. But Adrianople, defended by Lala Shahin pasha would stand up against the besiegers.

Venice, January 1372

The news of the surrender of Candia had not been received well in the city. Vettor Pisani in command of the Venetian navy would be unceremoniously sacked and sentenced to prison for six months. Pisani, well aware his fleet was the last Venice could mobilize had prudently avoided to give battle with the Sicilian fleet at Corfu. But this had also meant he had failed to come to the aid of Candia, while Greek privateers had played havoc on Venetian trade outside the straits of Otranto, Syracuse had been giving letters of marque to Sicilian captains with both hands. Thus the public and perhaps more importantly the aristocratic houses suffering from the Sicilian raiding and the loss of Cretan plantations wanted a scapegoat. Pisani, as the man in the head of the fleet made an excellent one.

Adrianople, January 1372

Murad I had crossed the Hellespont aboard ships provided by the Genoese of Galata in the middle of winter, forced marched his way to Adrianople in eight days and attacked the besieging Serb army taking them by surprise. The Serbs would be routed and thousands would drown in the waters of the Ebros river. Both Ugliesa brothers would die in the battle. Coupled with the death of Stefan Uros V in December the last semblance of Serb centralization would be gone. Vukasin's son Marko would be proclaimed king of Serbia but in effect every semblance of centralized authority would come apart.

Candia, February 1372

Men were flocking from all over Crete to Candia, the "Magalo Kastro", the Great Castle as the Cretans used to call it. For years the Cretans had been providing crews to the Venetian fleet. Now for the first time in nearly two centuries the Cretans were arming a dozen galleys on their own volition. As soon as the weather allowed the squadron would be sailing north to meet the rest of the fleet.

Thessaloniki, March 1372

Alexandros Philanthropenos marched east after Chalkidiki at the head of 10,000 men. Thessaloniki had been a Greek island among Serb controlled territory for the past two decades. But now the Serbs had been crushed before Adrianople by the Turks and Philanthropenos had no intention of letting the opportunity go to waste, after all he very much remembered his elder brother dying fighting the Serbs during Dusan's invasion of Thessaly. It was time to liberate Macedonia and of course that hardly meant restoring it to the control of that weakling in Constantinople.

Off Lissa, May 16th, 1372

The Venetian fleet attacked. If any of the Venetian commanders had second thoughts over taking on Maniakes fifty galleys with their forty-eight, the fate of Vettor Pisani earlier in the year was enough to dissuade them from expressing them. The battle not unexpectedly remained in the balance with neither side gaining the advantage and neither willing to pull back. Then twenty more sail appeared over the horizon as the squadron under Kallergis sailed to the aid of their comrades...

Chioggia, June 30, 1372

Vettor Pisani had been dragged out of prison to be placed in command of the Venetian fleet and defenses. But his report back to the council of ten was bleak. Twenty-three galleys had survived the disaster at Lissa. Maniakes had fifty, after sending half a dozen east to deal with the siege of Rhodes. The fortifications at Chioggia had been improved since the assault of Alexandros II, but not enough to stand up to the five thousand Cretans and Calabrians, Maniakes and Kallergis had brought along. And just to compound the Venetian problems, Francesco Carrara of Padua despite the efforts of pope Gregory XI to mediate between him an Venice had first made a failed plot to assassinate several leading Venetian citizens and as soon as the treaty was over had declared war on Venice. Louis I of Hungary had not followed him for now at least but had already sent 1,500 cavalry to the aid of the Paduans. Something had to give.

Venice, July 1372

Doge Andrea Contarini put his signature on the peace treaty between Sicily and the republic. The republic was to surrender, Crete, Euboea, Korone, Methone, Kythera and Karpathos. Sicily was to secure the right of Venetian merchants to freely trade in the realms of the basileus... as long as they adhered to his laws and payed their taxes. The Sicilians undertook to keep the custom duties imposed on Venetian merchants at their post-war levels but then, Alexandros I had already copied the Aragonese in placing somewhat higher custom duties on foreign merchants over Sicilian ones...

Rhodes, August 15th, 1372

Back in May Ioannis Buas had landed with six thousand men on the island. Now Kallergis had joined him with even more men and ships following the peace with Venice. But the knights despite being massively outnumbered had no intention of giving up easily.

Macedonia, December 1372

Serres, Drama had just thrown their gates open to Philanthropenos army. The Athonite monks had not, the Sicilians after all were potentially closet papists and definately anti-hesychast Baa rlamites. But Philanthropenos had an army, they had not and they had no real alternatives thus had submitted. By the end of the year Macedonia between Thessaloniki and the Nestos river was back under Greek control and Philanthropenos was looking after the lands of Radoslav Hlapen to the west. After all why should Hlapen be left between the Lascarid lands to his east, south and west?

Rhodes, February 25th, 1373

The knights had held out to incessant Sicilian attacks for over half a year. But in the end the Sicilians were too many and the Hospital could not expect support from anywhere. After seven years the second occupation of Rhodes was over.
 
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Doge Andrea Contarini put his signature on the peace treaty between Sicily and the republic
Did Carrara also gain something from the treaty ?

Great update. It will be interesting to see how the war starts between the ottomans and the new byzantine / Sicily empire.
I think unofficially will have started already. In OTL there were raids in Macedonia as early as 1372 with a proper invasion a decade later. The Lascarids are now a Great Power and Murad might not want to attack them before he feels strong enough. However, I am not sure how much he can control the various Turkoman tribes. So my guess would be that minor raids might take place in the coming years.

By the end of the year Macedonia between Thessaloniki and the Nestos river was back under Greek control
Good news for Thessaloniki! The city recovered its hinterland which will be under the centralized and well-organized administration of the Lascarid Empire. The city is also integrated with the trade network between Palermo and Rhodes. I expect Thessaloniki to slowly start returning to prosperity.

How many soldiers the eastern half of the realm can provide if Hlapen's domain is included as well? And how many soldiers the italian half? Of the latter how many are the standing army that can be quickly sent in a campaign without touching the pronoia-men?

The Venetian fleet attacked. If any of the Venetian commanders had second thoughts over taking on Maniakes fifty galleys with their forty-eight, the fate of Vettor Pisani earlier in the year was enough to dissuade them from expressing them. The battle not unexpectedly remained in the balance with neither side gaining the advantage and neither willing to pull back. Then twenty more sail appeared over the horizon as the squadron under Kallergis sailed to the aid of their comrades...
Venice has lost so many men in this war! Considering the loss of her colonies, most of the seamen would have to be Venetians. It seems the losses for the metropole are much steeper than OTL and they will have a much higher debt to repay the following years. All of that while their share in the Mediterranean markets will be smaller than OTL and without the income of the cretan plantations.
 
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pls don't ban me

Monthly Donor
Adrianople, January 1372

Murad I had crossed the Hellespont aboard ships provided by the Genoese of Galata in the middle of winter, forced marched his way to Adrianople in eight days and attacked the besieging Serb army taking them by surprise. The Serbs would be routed and thousands would drown in the waters of the Ebros river. Both Ugliesa brothers would die in the battle. Coupled with the death of Stefan Uros V in December the last semblance of Serb centralization would be gone. Vukasin's son Marko would be proclaimed king of Serbia but in effect every semblance of centralized authority would come apart.
Genoa:
business-1.jpg
 
Where could they relocate to? Malta and Sicily are off the table and Cyprus doesn't look very secure.

it doesn't even matter
I had to fall to lose it all
But in the end it doesn't even matter

perhaps in Spain on the border with Granada or in Africa ( although there could also be the Hungarian option which in this period in Otl, tries to convince with Rome to divert the Teutonic knights to its border to fight the Turks in the Balkans or the Bogomil heretics, therefore a similar solution for the Hospitallers cannot be discarded )
 
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After Rhodes falls, while Alexandros P. is in Macedonia, nothing prevents Buas and Kallergis from finishing off the job by invading Cyprus, in lieu of the OTL Genoese invasion of 1373.
 
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