The eagle's left head

Will he also press and support Dusan to attack, or divert, into Lascarid Hellas
This is an interesting idea as from the Serbian perspective the Laskarids are occupied with a major war in Sicily and Calabria. On the other hand Byzantine lands are far easier to take than Despotate land so maybe take Roman Macedonia first as you are the Emperor of Serbs and Romans and then move to Greece as the plague hits the somewhat urbanized Despotate harder than you. All the while Louis/Lajos is in Italy rampaging. Of course if He presses too much against the Romans then the Bulgarians might interfere as they see Serbia as a threat as well as Michael joins against him to curb the Serbian advance. So Dusan is in a pickle to decide where to unleash his armies.

I have a feeling Dusan will live longer and I would like to see that. And while I am on the topic of the future I wonder if the new Philanthropenos who is married to the royal line and has some quite Byzantine raising will be as loyal as his father especially if Theodore dies from the plague. That would put the Despotate in a very precarious position. Although Alexandros n2 is already leading armies in Sicily and Calabria but Greece is a whole other stage. To be honest I don't see him rebelling yet except if he is removed from position or if his heir doesn't get favored. He has kids right? I think he should be older than Theodore.
Palermitan mobs screaming Morte ai Francesi
Yeah man! F** em French!!! :p
On another take on this event I really don't think the barons will bow easily to Theodore but more than likely the peasants will want an end to the raids and the war and of course the heavy taxation. What I fear is for the big concentration of Laskarid pronoia getting infected by the plague and getting decimated...
 
On the other hand Byzantine lands are far easier to take than Despotate land so maybe take Roman Macedonia first
I'd assume he has already taken over most of Byzantine Macedonia since the Lascarids are moving into Byzantine Thessaly to secure the Olympus passes - according to the last post (Platamon castle, october 1347) - in anticipation of a future confrontation with the Serbs.

Plus, the Byzantines are in a state of weakness they won't be coming out of anytime soon, so if Dusan waits even a few years, he will still find the Byzantine lands rip for the taking, while if he waits even a couple years, he won't be finding the Lascarids in the same state of weakness as they are now.
 
I'd assume he has already taken over most of Byzantine Macedonia since the Lascarids are moving into Byzantine Thessaly to secure the Olympus passes - according to the last post (Platamon castle, october 1347) - in anticipation of a future confrontation with the Serbs.

Plus, the Byzantines are in a state of weakness they won't be coming out of anytime soon, so if Dusan waits even a few years, he will still find the Byzantine lands rip for the taking, while if he waits even a couple years, he won't be finding the Lascarids in the same state of weakness as they are now.
Then again here comes the argument that we had here between attacking Rhodes before going against Charles in Sicily. Rhodes is easier by far as it can be cut off easily with a mediocre fleet. But it also closes a front. So going against Rome is easier and could lead even to take the City which is the grand prize. Why bother then to take Thessaly from a well fortified enemy? Whatever Dusan chooses won't be wrong I just point out options as I said in my post.
 
Then again here comes the argument that we had here between attacking Rhodes before going against Charles in Sicily. Rhodes is easier by far as it can be cut off easily with a mediocre fleet. But it also closes a front. So going against Rome is easier and could lead even to take the City which is the grand prize. Why bother then to take Thessaly from a well fortified enemy? Whatever Dusan chooses won't be wrong I just point out options as I said in my post.
I'm not sure Rhodes is a good parallel. Geographically, it was isolated from the Angevin holdings with the Lascarid standing in between, occupying the central position both on sea and land, so Theodore could well make the bet with good odds. Here, the Serbs position is even less central, and they don't have any fleet to deny the Lascarid freedom of navigation in the Aegean and cut their communications.

The root of the problem is whether or not there is going to be a conflict between the Serbs and the Lascarids. If confrontation between the two look unavoidable in the near future, as it seems here that their mutual interests in Epirus and Macedonia are bound to collide, the question becomes not if but how it will happen and how can it happen to the Serbs' advantage.
The fact is that with the Lascarids being stuck for the time being on the Italian theater and now on the defensive in Greece, the Serbs won't have any better occasion. Whether they invade, attack now or later, they will definitely face an entrenched enemy in its castles, but the difference is that if they do it the sooner, they will have better odds.
Taking on a fortified enemy did not deter Dusan from besieging Durazzo for a year. Fortresses and walls are good only at delaying the result, and only can hold if there is a relief army. And for the time being, the Serbs have a big numerical superiority and the Lascarids' manpower is largely tied in Italy and Sicily. The longer Dusan waits, the bigger the chance be that things in Italy will settle and the Lascarid will bring their full resources to bear on him, with a way less favorable outcome for him, and any gain he might extract from the Byzantine will be negated by what he'd lose to the Lascarids on his flank.
 
Αnd for the time being, the Serbs have a big numerical superiority
For the argument's sake I will continue and grab on this. Either way they have a superiority in numbers which will stop the Laskarids from making any attacking moves. So if it takes a year to take Durazzo which is all on it's own without support how long will it take to get Larissa or Platamon which have support? Why risk it? We know that the plague just about now starts. Will you focus your army so it can be infected? Why risk it again? Isn't it easier to take Roman land? By far I would argue.
It is indeed a great time to attack the Laskarids I won't argue with that. It is easier to take on the Byzantines though that is what I am arguing.
and any gain he might extract from the Byzantine will be negated by what he'd lose to the Lascarids on his flank.
When you have the bigger army you can afford to let your enemy come out to play. If the Laskarids attack and lay a siege you can swoop right in and strike them. It's not like Thrace and Macedonia are that far apart like a 3-4 days march at most which is enough for a fort to hold.
 
It will always be easier to take on the Byzantines, for sure I agree, but it will never be easier to take on the Lascarids than it is now, which is my point.
From this, I argue that unless Dusan plan on avoiding conflict with the Lascarids in the next couple decades, taking on the Byzantines might be the easier choice, but also it is also the most disadvantageous one, because it means taking on ever stronger Lascarids later.
 
It will always be easier to take on the Byzantines, for sure I agree, but it will never be easier to take on the Lascarids than it is now, which is my point.
From this, I argue that unless Dusan plan on avoiding conflict with the Lascarids in the next couple decades, taking on the Byzantines might be the easier choice, but also it is also the most disadvantageous one, because it means taking on ever stronger Lascarids later.
I agree. Dusan would like to deal with the Lascarids asap bc they're at their weakest rn due to Charles attacking them, and he's already rolling through Epirus already. Its now or never for our Serbian warlord.
 
But if Dusan takes Greek land he gets stronger so he is getting stronger at tge same time the Vatatze holdings are staying more or less static, at least in the Balkans.
 
I get the intention that House Barcelona will make another bid for Sicily
I rather doubt it. The Palermonians would rather simply ask Theodore to be part of the despotate in exchange for some privileges, rights, or help in fighting the Black Death. And even if they do, the interested parties themselves are unlikely to respond to the call. Aragon is currently more focused on taking over Majorca and suppressing the uprising in Sardinia, if I remember the history of the region correctly.
 
Now that the Angevins are totally wasted, declare yourself king?
This would create an enemy out of a potential ally . After all , the Hungarian Angevins are both powerful and probably willing to press a claim to the kingdom of Naples ( that includes the despotate as a vassal ) .
 
This would create an enemy out of a potential ally . After all , the Hungarian Angevins are both powerful and probably willing to press a claim to the kingdom of Naples ( that includes the despotate as a vassal ) .
That would be their OG thought, but unless they can consolidate control over Naples, it wouldn’t make much difference to the Hungarian Angevins once their invasion fails. They could potentially back the Sicilians out of spite. It might even change to back our invasion, and we will recognise your independence.
 
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Not unless you want to be continuously pulled into Italian and Papal conflicts. Though that may be unavoidable anyway.
It‘s unavoidable. I can certainly see the Papacy dropping the Angevins at one point though if the Lascarids show that they are favourable to the papacy in the Schism. They would be seen as the key to the East.
 
It‘s unavoidable. I can certainly see the Papacy dropping the Angevins at one point though if the Lascarids show that they are favourable to the papacy in the Schism. They would be seen as the key to the East.
Claiming the crown of a Papal fief via descent from the Stupor mundi makes that a little more difficult though.
 
Claiming the crown of a Papal fief via descent from the Stupor mundi makes that a little more difficult though.
It’s been generations since Frederick II died. The Lascarids have no hope of taking the throne of the HRE, and they carry the possibility of helping Greece go under the Latin Church. A compromise is possible.
 
Why would the despotate be that desperate for prestigious titles when the title of emperor of the Romans is more appealing, appetibile and probably less troublesome in the immediate future.
Speaking of which, this raises a good question: What are the chances of the Lascarids returning in triumph to the Queen of Cities, stolen from them by the Palaiologos in 1261, with the recent civil war and all that?
 
Why would the despotate be that desperate for prestigious titles when the title of emperor of the Romans is more appealing, appetibile and probably less troublesome in the immediate future.
Why did you think that taking the emperor title would tick off people less? The Pope and the Angevins will still see this as an attempt to steal their land. It’s not like the Kings of France stopped going after Plantagenet land after they took the English throne. With the Angevins now totally wasted, they can’t do anything about it If the Lascarids took the title of King of Sicily. In order to take the Roman throne, the Lascarids would first have to go through the Serbs first. They aren’t going down without a really hard fight.
 
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