The eagle's left head

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?
They could do it tomorrow without the greek themselves making any fuss considering the popularity of the ruling dinasties.
But it would be a short sighted focusing everything there .
They have to consolidate their land in Italy, weave a graceful diplomatic move toward the Hungarian angevins , prepare their greek holdings for a Clash with the Serbians, and use the vacuum left by the Turks beylics
 
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.
That would be the case IF the Hungarian invasion fails . I'd say that ITTL , with the Neapolitan Angevin army considerably smaller and the treasury considerably depleted , the chances of Hungary losing it are low .
 
That would be the case IF the Hungarian invasion fails . I'd say that ITTL , with the Neapolitan Angevin army considerably smaller and the treasury considerably depleted , the chances of Hungary losing it are low .
The Hungarians lost not because they had a bigger army. They absolutely wiped the floor with the much smaller Neapolitan army IOTL and ejected Joanna. They lost because they couldn’t gain the support of the local nobility after they started to loot the place to recuperate the expense of the expedition. Combined with cultural issues, the Neapolitan nobles started rebelling and ejected Louis’ army.
 
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The Hungarians lost not because they had a bigger army. They absolutely wiped the floor with the much smaller Neapolitan army IOTL and ejected Joanna. They lost because they couldn’t gain the support of the local nobility after they started to loot the place to recuperate the expense of the expedition. Combined with cultural issues, the Neapolitan nobles started rebelling and ejected Louis’ army.
The situation is different now . If the Neapolitan Barons don't accept Louis , there is a quite real chance that they will be calling a Vatatzes their king afterwards .
 
I’d blame Anna more than him. Arguably, the man had already proved his by refusing to become Andronikos III’s co-emperor, but she intrigued against him nonetheless, even leading to his mother’s death. There was no choice but to rebel.
Anna can certainly be blamed for starting the civil war with Apokaukos. But Kanakouzenos... there wasn't a Turkish emir he wouldn't like and bring along to fight his battles.
The romans ( from what I see) just need to whack their enemies, speedrun to the capital, get the senate(if this thing still exists in the eastern roman empire) to proclaim them emperor, and voila, no problem no illegitimacy. So really shitty succession law if the guy overthrowing the emperor can usually get away with no problems if he succeeds.
And to put the reverse question what would had been better? Andronikos II staying in power for 46 years or Alexios Philanthropenos overthrowing him in 1293? There is something to be said about having a way to do away with incapable emperors and generally if you are a capable strong emperor you don't get people rebelling against you,
I do think that that's good for the Lascarids to deal with the turks first, this will free their navy to be used against Charles and Stefan Dusan in the future. Considering that the pretender in Achaea is dead too. That's just good news for the Lascarids, and I'd wager the navy in Greece would be very good when Dusan comes to fight the Lascarids.
Dusan isn't very vulnerable to an enemy navy, though by now he has quite a bit of a coastline. That doesn't mean dealing with an enemy with a strong navy cannot be a pain in the posterior.
This is the victory they needed. Crushing Charles' army is a very fortunate thing indeed, and even though Charles isn't dead, such a defeat will be very disheartening to the armies of Naples in general. I'd think the nobles would have less want to fight except the tarantines.
Most of the nobles are not actively involved beyond their minimum feudal obligations which is a reason Charles has been effectively fighting with one hand tied behind him...
Also, when Thessaloniki defects to the Despotate it's going to be a huge prestige blow to the remnant ERE, who is stuck in Thrace and Constantinople at this point. There is no way that the court is seen as fucking incompetent, and history will remember Kantakozenos as one of the worst emperors due to Despotate writings, especially by Palamas in the University of Syracuse. He's literally teaching Syracuse's best, who'll write down a bunch of things that will be remembered by the people in the future.
Palamas is in Kantakouzenos pocket but if the university of Syracuse survives as a center of Greek learning it is not exactly likelt to treat Ioannis VI well...
And the remainder of Sicily rises up against the Angevins. I just wonder if we'd see the Palermitians wanting to form their own state, or the city commune allying with the Despotate and gaining boons (and a short war) due to it. Long term acquiescing to Despotate suzerainty will be advantageous to them. It may be a tough pill to swallow...
Their options are Theodore or perhaps Peter IV and Theodore is much closer.
With Louis being nudged into war, I wonder if we'd see Louis ally with the Despotate for Basilicata and Aquila/Puglia.
In OTL he refused a similar Sicilian proposal. TTL... well he has not actively gone after Naples yet and as long as Charles III is ruling there are reasons not to. After all his brother was supposed to be Charles III successor.

Other way around, Its Barlaam of Calabria(or I guess Syracuse TTL) that is in Syracuse, Palamas and his followers are all buddy-buddy with Kantacouzenos as per OTL and the Vatatzes are pro-Barlaamites/latin rite in the hesychast controversy, heck the synod in Athens denounced the patriarch in Constantinople as a usurper, which is by the way, a possible route to favor with the Pope.
Possibly but arguably not as long as Clement VI is ruling. Post him things arguably get interesting.

Things are heating up for the Regno. These 2,000 mercenaries, that's practically an open alliance even if that's not official.
They certainly aren't a show of solidarity to the Angevin cousins are they?
They never learn, do they?
Feudal lords and royals? I'm inclined to say no they never do but then being a committed republican I'm prejudiced.
The new disaster at Imera river is crippling but hardly fatal in itself, since we saw Mela river the year before a huge blow as well.
But add to that the crushing defeat at Capo d'Orlando giving the Lascarids de facto control of the Tyrrhenian sea - with it the ability to interdict any communication between Palermo and Naples -, and the Second Vespers, and you get yourself a promenade into the Val di Mazarra.
Counterpoint your army and navy are going to get ravaged by the plague as are your cities, but still Theodore should clearly have the upper hand in Sicily.
The Angevin have not coherent standing army left to oppose Lascarid advance in Sicily after the twin blows of Mela and Imera, and what's left is stuck in garrisons defending against either rebels or Lascarids, without possibility of relief and reinforcement from the Regno, and so left to be picked up one by one through 1348. With benefit of hindsight as well, I surmise that come 1348, Charles III will be busy dealing with the Hungarians, so won't have much to spare for Sicily and will have to write it off; besides, raising a third army, after two crushing defeats and the Florentine bankruptcies will surely be very, very hard to pull off.
Yes and no. His tax base in Provence and south Italy is intact and Theodore... drastically reduced his fleet and army expenses. That said the plague is hitting Naples hard its population goes down from 1.58 million to 844,000. Calabria is also hit hard but somewhat less from 407,000 to 225,000 or so.
The only thing that would significantly slow down the Lascarids would be the bubonic plague, but as long as Grypaios keeps control of the Tyrrhenian sea, it's more or less a settled affair.

But between reducing holdouts in Val di Mazara and retaking lost ground in Calabria, I don't see the Lascarids being able to shift back their resources in full to Greece and face the Serbs before the campaign season of 1349. They will have to play for time as well as they did so far, and they don't lack castles and fortified cities to tie down the Serbs in siege (it still took eleven months for 20,000 Serbs to besiege and take Durazzo in 1344-1345),
The Serbs have no fleet. So besieging coastal cities has to be done the hard way, starving them out is not an option. Now the Serbs are also hit by the plague but to a somewhat lesser degree compared to Italy, about a third of the population like Byzantium would be my guess. And of course Michael Philanthropenos moved into north Thessaly to put the Olympus between himself and the Serbs.
That should not escape Dusan, even if Louis is momentaneously distracted in Naples, but he won't be able to ignore it forever, and if he gambles his way into invading Lascarid Thessaly, he would need to hope he can overwhelm it fast, before Louis returns from Naples.
OTL he went to war in Bosnia in 1350 which effectively meant going to war with Hungary...
In this timeline, I think he's going to be extremely highly regarded among historians (not least because he never made any moves to seize the throne for himself despite the enormous level of power and influence that he was given). The fact that his final battle had such a one-sided outcome is only going to add to his reputation. The Belisarius of the 14th Century for sure.
He had every reason to be personnaly loyal to Alexandros after he saved him from Andronikos. And of course the despotate is something of a different beast being as much a continuation of the Norman kingdom of Sicily as an imperial offshoot.
With the war still raging and the dangers of moving large numbers of people from the Aegean over to Sicily I would've thought they'd be dropped off either on Rhodes or mainland Greece
It's not as if the Lascarid navy won't want new recruits is it...
tbf is all of angevin Greece taken by the lascarids at this point?
There wasn't much of one in the first place but yes. Only Corfu is left.
I think the Lascarids commanders in Greece would hold out (with a substantial army around 10000 to 20000 strong)
20,000 is out of the question. They had mobilized around 15,000 before the Black death. So closer to 10,000 post Black death arguably and a portion of that is in Sicily.
to hold out until the Lascarids get rid of Charles and co in mainland Italy (and maybe conquer Basilicata and Aquila), and then they go on the offensive.
Which means having a peace treaty with Charles, overthrowing him is likely not in the cards. Which would need Charles to agree to give up Sicily and his Greek holdings at a minimum and Clement VI after being driven to back Charles war looking like a fool. Both might need a bit more persuading...
It's not like Serbia has any navy to prevent these movements, and the Lascarids can strike behind the lines especially with their new cannonry and land armies behind Serbian lines too (and in Thessaloniki too).
Speaking of a Serb navy I wonder whether Dusan couldn't pick a page from the Turks and use his new subjects in Macedonia to build a fleet. He failed to do so in OTL of course but he didn't hold onto Macedonia particularly long prior to his death nor his hold on it was particularly secure.
I think a bunch of ppl would think he's better than Belisarius. After all, Belisarius' conquests were lost quickly after his death.
Not so quickly... south Italy was held till 1071 was it not? :angel:
How would things change if that's the case? An anti-constantinople kinda autocephalous church in Syracuse?
Syracuse technically is not a dependency of Constantinople. It's position even in OTL was that nice very hazy situation where a Basilian monk like Barlaam, who technically was subservient to the pope could simultaneously be acceptable run an Orthodox monastery in Constantinople and represent the Orthodox in theological discussions over re-union of the churches.
Charles III may not be finished yet, but the last setbacks and the probable doom of the last Angevin holdings in Sicily (Val di Mazara) and Greece (Corfu at least), the Hungarians getting more hostile, and with the succession and Joanna's reign looking to be as troubled as OTL, mean all that in the near future, the Despotate will be secure from threat in Italy, and thus free to focus its energies in the Balkans, the Aegean and eventually Anatolia.
That means dealing with the Serbs (where they stand to gain at least Epirus and the remains of Byzantine Thessaly, Thessaloniki's hinterland ie a good chunk of southern Macedonia and Chalkidiki), with the Ottomans after them (John V might well ask Lascarid protection instead of swearing fealty to the Ottomans), and the Turkish beyliks (interest of seizing pirate bases in Smyrna, Ephesus, etc).
The Ottomans are a tough nut to crack already arguably and with the Sicilians kindly smashing up the Aydinids and Menteshe for them at sea could well benefit to expand further there.
Nominated this TL for the Turtledoves!
And thanks a lot for that!
I feel like this should not just be glossed over... Kantakouzenos has just seen his reforms he had done with Andronikos III turn away a marauding army on its own. I wonder whether his reforms in Thrace were continued by Apokaukos? Would we see Thrace more centralized to the point that an Ottoman landing is butterflied away, or at least contested physically rather than diplomatically?
He was the one to bring the Ottomans in. As for his reforms Thrace was trampled over and looted for the past several years. He's likely to try to pick up the pieces... none can blame the man for not being capable and not having good intentions which makes his impact on the fate of the empire all the more frustrating.
Uhg, Andronikos III is turning in his grave... @Lascaris don't suppose you know if Anchialus is one of the 'forts' turned over in the exchange with Bulgaria?
If electricity had been invented he'd likely be sufficient to power up a generator or two... then he was responsible for a civil war himself, whether his grandfather was an idiot or not.
I think the Zealots would just straight up become part of the Despotate instead as Dusan has conquered most of the hinterland.
Ioannis VI likely tries to subdue the city, the zealots TTL can chose between Dusan and Theodore and I cannot really see why they would not choose Theodore. Particularly since a fellow Greek is likely more palpable than Dusan.

Also, considering that attack by Vignoso, and the end of the civil war in Genoa, is it possible to consider that the OTL Byzantine-Genoese war of 1348-1349 breaks out a year early ITTL?
Vignoso in OTL attacked Chios without that startig an early war. Still I don't see how Ioannis VI will not want to deal with the Genoese strangling his economy...
@X Oristos, I think, made a good point of how weaker Genoa's position in the Aegean due to the Laskarids and the importance of the Black Sea Trade. The attack on Lesvos may have been a development of this, but I don't imagine that Ioannis VI will let it pass unanswered, and Genoese positions in Galata might become precarious and tempting a target for retribution.
On one hand, if that happens that early, Ioannis VI would have much less time to rebuild a fleet to take on the Genoese, but on the other, Vignoso has just been defeated and the Genoese can only operate in the region at the pleasure of Theodore and his Katepan in Hellas. Will he able to take on that window of opportunity to take on Galata?
In theory the Genoese could use Turkish ports... or perhaps even Dusan's Serbia. Actually I find it somewhat interesting that Dusan at a time he looked at getting naval support to besiege Constantinople turned on Venice instead of Venice at the very time Venice had fought a war in alliance with the empire and Genoa actively fought against it.
Will he also press and support Dusan to attack, or divert, into Lascarid Hellas in retribution for Lascarid support of Genoa (and of Thessaloniki Commune, and the anti hesychast synod in Athens, ...) ? Or put otherwise, are the bridges burned between Theodore and Ioannis VI?
Yes, no, it depends. Kantakouzenos actions during the civil war were hostile given his close alliance with Aydin. They are on opposite sides of the hesychast controversary and that is not just politics or theology. OTOH at a personal level Kantakouzenos does not have reason to hate Theodore and vice versa. While at the state level both have reason to oppose Dusan. So... it's likely complicated.
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.
The Bulgarians are allied to Dusan, so not much of a factor. Louis is more of a problem particularly since Hungary likely has around twice as many people...
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.
Happily for Theodore and Alexandros, Michael was also mostly raised in Sicily. This does not necessarily make him immune to looking into the purple but probably makes him less susceptible. He probably was born sometime between 1290-1295 OTL which makes him about the same age with Theodore and means they were raised together... and should we point Theodore has been this charming used cars salesman fellow? What happens with the younger Alexandros is something for the future. Meanwhile Michael is arguably the second strongest man in the Lascarid realms. I actually wonder by the way whether the megas stratopedarches Michael Philantropenos attested in the sources around 1350 annd said to be a "cousin" og Ioannis V is none other but Alexios son. Well he would be second cousins with Ioannis grandfather and in about the right age...

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.
Well Dusan wasn't shy about besieging castle after castle in OTL, if anything what we notably do not see is big field battles. Of course since the empire lacked a big field army...

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?
Platamon is something of a bitch. Larisa compared to Durazzo has a majjor disadvantage.. it's inland.
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.
Peter IV will eventually want to pick up Sicily again. When? Different question
Now that the Angevins are totally wasted, declare yourself king?
Not totally wasted but their offensive war has gone badlt wrong
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 ) .
In OTL they refused Sicilian help exactly due to this.
 
Anna can certainly be blamed for starting the civil war with Apokaukos. But Kanakouzenos... there wasn't a Turkish emir he wouldn't like and bring along to fight his battles.
It’s that or die. Who cares about the country if the country’s rulers want you dead by no fault of your own?
And to put the reverse question what would had been better? Andronikos II staying in power for 46 years or Alexios Philanthropenos overthrowing him in 1293? There is something to be said about having a way to do away with incapable emperors and generally if you are a capable strong emperor you don't get people rebelling against you,
Arguably, this culture of the army rebelling makes it difficult for the emperor to trust capable generals and armies. It was likely a factor in Andronikos disbanding the army and navy along with cost issues. I am more surprised that the notoriously politically unreliable Roman army didn’t mutiny and overthrow both him and Constantine X Doukas (the guy also sacked the army) on the spot after being rendered jobless. Even in China, a grunt guarding a government post office revolted and overthrew the emperor of a 250+ year old dynasty after being laid off.
 
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Now the Serbs are also hit by the plague but to a somewhat lesser degree compared to Italy, about a third of the population like Byzantium would be my guess.
I wonder if TTL; with Dusan, presumably, having to spend more time in the campaign both due that he would have to deal with longer and harder sieges and/or maneuvering/battling with the late Philantropenenos' army... Would, perhaps, lead to help that the plague would spread and hit more than IOTL both into his army and in the Serbian kingdom/empire and on its ruled/controlled regions...
 
Speaking of a Serb navy I wonder whether Dusan couldn't pick a page from the Turks and use his new subjects in Macedonia to build a fleet. He failed to do so in OTL of course but he didn't hold onto Macedonia particularly long prior to his death nor his hold on it was particularly secure.
For that to happen, Thessaloniki must fall first. Otherwise, it is only Christoupolis as a city with any sort of trade tradition. Then there is Chalkidiki of course. So he can develop a navy but it won't be very easy. It would depend if western Chalkidiki beyond the Chortiatis-Cholomon axis has fallen as well. So that begs the question: what are the border's of the Commune of Thessaloniki?

Platamon is something of a bitch.
That gives me the opportunity to show the castle to my fellow readers. After all, Platamon sitting at the hilltop makes one beautiful castle!

In OTL they refused Sicilian help exactly due to this.
And I don't think that the used car salesman charming guy would be that obstinate if the strategic interests of his state were at stake.

Peter IV will eventually want to pick up Sicily again. When? Different question
Hmmm I bet during the Great Mediterranean War, that epic struggle between all the major Mediterranean naval powers. Coming up in HBO.
 
For that to happen, Thessaloniki must fall first. Otherwise, it is only Christoupolis as a city with any sort of trade tradition. Then there is Chalkidiki of course. So he can develop a navy but it won't be very easy. It would depend if western Chalkidiki beyond the Chortiatis-Cholomon axis has fallen as well. So that begs the question: what are the border's of the Commune of Thessaloniki?


That gives me the opportunity to show the castle to my fellow readers. After all, Platamon sitting at the hilltop makes one beautiful castle!


And I don't think that the used car salesman charming guy would be that obstinate if the strategic interests of his state were at stake.


Hmmm I bet during the Great Mediterranean War, that epic struggle between all the major Mediterranean naval powers. Coming up in HBO.
Could the Serbs not hire a fleet from say Venice,Pisa,Ancona etc?
 
Vignoso in OTL attacked Chios without that startig an early war. Still I don't see how Ioannis VI will not want to deal with the Genoese strangling his economy...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but TTL attack on Mytilene and Lesvos by Vignoso happened one year after OTL attack on Chios, which though little, makes the difference between happening after the civil war is officially over in the empire ITTL and happening before its conclusion IOTL so Chios could not expect relief; and unlike OTL attack on Chios, Vignoso's TTL attack failed.
So, one, well I, would be tempted to say the equation is significantly altered when it comes to the reaction of Constantinople. When combined to OTL policy decisions by Ioannis VI regarding the Genoese, a certain conclusion comes to mind. Ioannis VI could not do much IOTL about the fait accompli of Chios capture by Vignoso during the civil war, but here ITTL he has actually both a victory and the opportunity to follow upon it. Would it be in his character to let such an opportunity pass and go?

Counterpoint your army and navy are going to get ravaged by the plague as are your cities, but still Theodore should clearly have the upper hand in Sicily.
Yes and no. His tax base in Provence and south Italy is intact and Theodore... drastically reduced his fleet and army expenses. That said the plague is hitting Naples hard its population goes down from 1.58 million to 844,000. Calabria is also hit hard but somewhat less from 407,000 to 225,000 or so.
Yet, since the plague is going to hit both Angevins and Lascarids, my view is that the equation won't be significantly altered in relative terms, unless the Lascarids, contrary to what I'm expecting, are going to be hit harder than the Angevins.
Plus, an intact tax base in Provence and Italy only matters if he is going to move an army into Calabria. Without the control of the sea, this is not going to help Charles III change the situation in the Val di Mazara and save Palermo, or even Corfu.
 
That would be the case IF the Hungarian invasion fails . I'd say that ITTL , with the Neapolitan Angevin army considerably smaller and the treasury considerably depleted , the chances of Hungary losing it are low .
If you want to get technical AFTER defeat at Imera is is slightly larger than the army Joanna and Louis could scrap together. Charles III is a notably tougher nut to crack than his daughter.

It’s that or die. Who cares about the country if the country’s rulers want you dead by no fault of your own?
Well when John was bringing in Turks with Andronikos III still alive people did not quite want him dead. Neither was he in danger of losing anything but the purple when he brought the Ottomans in Europe. In 1346 when he married off Theodora to Orhan not even that was in danger, he was winning already.
Arguably, this culture of the army rebelling makes it difficult for the emperor to trust capable generals and armies. It was likely a factor in Andronikos disbanding the army and navy along with cost issues. I am more surprised that the notoriously politically unreliable Roman army didn’t mutiny and overthrow both him and Constantine X Doukas (the guy also sacked the army) on the spot after being rendered jobless. Even in China, a grunt guarding a government post office revolted and overthrew the emperor of a 250+ year old dynasty after being laid off.
And how many emperors aside from Constantine X and Andronikos took an active policy to reduce the army and remove capable generals during 11 centuries of history? Andronikos and Constantine are the outliers here.
I wonder if TTL; with Dusan, presumably, having to spend more time in the campaign both due that he would have to deal with longer and harder sieges and/or maneuvering/battling with the late Philantropenenos' army... Would, perhaps, lead to help that the plague would spread and hit more than IOTL both into his army and in the Serbian kingdom/empire and on its ruled/controlled regions...
He was constantly campaigning till 1355. In 1350 he supposedly led 50-80,000 men per the chronicles in an invasion of Bosnia.
For that to happen, Thessaloniki must fall first. Otherwise, it is only Christoupolis as a city with any sort of trade tradition. Then there is Chalkidiki of course. So he can develop a navy but it won't be very easy. It would depend if western Chalkidiki beyond the Chortiatis-Cholomon axis has fallen as well. So that begs the question: what are the border's of the Commune of Thessaloniki?
No idea but I pretty much doubt they extend much away from Thessaloniki. Not in the face of Serb armies.

Could the Serbs not hire a fleet from say Venice,Pisa,Ancona etc?
In OTL they could not. They did try to ally with Venice but Venice stayed mostly aloof.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but TTL attack on Mytilene and Lesvos by Vignoso happened one year after OTL attack on Chios, which though little, makes the difference between happening after the civil war is officially over in the empire ITTL and happening before its conclusion IOTL so Chios could not expect relief; and unlike OTL attack on Chios, Vignoso's TTL attack failed.
So, one, well I, would be tempted to say the equation is significantly altered when it comes to the reaction of Constantinople. When combined to OTL policy decisions by Ioannis VI regarding the Genoese, a certain conclusion comes to mind. Ioannis VI could not do much IOTL about the fait accompli of Chios capture by Vignoso during the civil war, but here ITTL he has actually both a victory and the opportunity to follow upon it. Would it be in his character to let such an opportunity pass and go?
John? Possibly. The man failed to take decisive action at times, which was one of the reasons the civil war begun in the first place and took 6 years to end.
Yet, since the plague is going to hit both Angevins and Lascarids, my view is that the equation won't be significantly altered in relative terms, unless the Lascarids, contrary to what I'm expecting, are going to be hit harder than the Angevins.
Plus, an intact tax base in Provence and Italy only matters if he is going to move an army into Calabria. Without the control of the sea, this is not going to help Charles III change the situation in the Val di Mazara and save Palermo, or even Corfu.
It's not going to help him in Sicily as long as the Sicilians hold control of the seas but moving an army into Calabria or dealing with an army coming from Calabria are both significant concerns by now...
 
In OTL he refused a similar Sicilian proposal. TTL... well he has not actively gone after Naples yet and as long as Charles III is ruling there are reasons not to. After all his brother was supposed to be Charles III successor.
As long as the Lascarids don't claim the Sicilian throne he should be okay with them right? Since the Lascarids could claim to be dukes of Sicily still...

And they're already working together with the cuman mercenaries.
If you want to get technical AFTER defeat at Imera is is slightly larger than the army Joanna and Louis could scrap together. Charles III is a notably tougher nut to crack than his daughter.
No matter how hard he is to crack he basically can't resupply his army in Sicily proper and will be stuck fighting in mainland Italy, which means he's on the backfoot. ofc Charles has a better position than Joanna (due to Dusan) but he also has it worse, as ittl Joanna wasn't fighting Sicily in otl while Louis rides down from Hungary. I'm not saying that Louis would work together with Theodore (even though it'll be smart if they do), it's just that they would functionally be allies as they're fighting the same person's armies. And its not like the Lascarids will swallow their pride for gain if it's important enough.
It's not going to help him in Sicily as long as the Sicilians hold control of the seas but moving an army into Calabria or dealing with an army coming from Calabria are both significant concerns by now...
thing is can Charles ship men from Provence if Theodore blockades Naples and other main ports?
 
And to put the reverse question what would had been better? Andronikos II staying in power for 46 years or Alexios Philanthropenos overthrowing him in 1293? There is something to be said about having a way to do away with incapable emperors and generally if you are a capable strong emperor you don't get people rebelling against you,
Good point, though there was a reason for the west adopting the method of primogeniture succession. After all, you can overthrow incapable emperors, but there is always going to be war, instability and strife. So much of the roman history is them basically killing each other so much, that the border armies are stripped bare or the army so weakened that their enemies could take advantage of. To me seems kinda a very bad downside of a shitty (but flexible)succession law.

Edit: And now that I think about it, the eastern romans are screwed either way. You get a primogeniture succession and get a child or a nero? Welp you gonna get invaded by everyone. You get a flexible (read: really bad) succession system? Welp everyone is killing each other to become the next Basileus to ignore all those barbs rolling across the border. Guess thats what happens when you rule some of the best(of that time? Or is it still) prime estate on the planet.
 
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Good point, though there was a reason for the west adopting the method of primogeniture succession. After all, you can overthrow incapable emperors, but there is always going to be war, instability and strife. So much of the roman history is them basically killing each other so much, that the border armies are stripped bare or the army so weakened that their enemies could take advantage of. To me seems kinda a very bad downside of a shitty (but flexible)succession law.

Edit: And now that I think about it, the eastern romans are screwed either way. You get a primogeniture succession and get a child or a nero? Welp you gonna get invaded by everyone. You get a flexible (read: really bad) succession system? Welp everyone is killing each other to become the next Basileus to ignore all those barbs rolling across the border. Guess thats what happens when you rule some of the best(of that time? Or is it still) prime estate on the planet.
Still better of the tsardom or hre or the polish commonwealth , I prefer this over the state collapse when the dinasty fall.
 
Actually, an electoral system might be better than what the ERE has. It would help create buy-in from all the electors, you could have one for Morea, the Aegean Islands, Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, and Thrace would be the Imperial Seat, granted it would make the electors strong enough to resist the central authority, the same problem the HRE had, but it would be cool.
 
Arguably, this culture of the army rebelling makes it difficult for the emperor to trust capable generals and armies. It was likely a factor in Andronikos disbanding the army and navy along with cost issues. I am more surprised that the notoriously politically unreliable Roman army didn’t mutiny and overthrow both him and Constantine X Doukas (the guy also sacked the army) on the spot after being rendered jobless. Even in China, a grunt guarding a government post office revolted and overthrew the emperor of a 250+ year old dynasty after being laid off.
“Andronikos the army is too expensive and prone to rebellion we should be expand the empire to get more taxable population as well as make the army more loy-

Andronikos; just disband the army bro

“Motherfucker did u hear what I just said”
 
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