The Eternal Empire: Emperor Maurice dies before being overthrown

Intresting but the vlachs werent living in moldavia and wallachia until the hungarians established themself in the region resulting in many vlachs fleeing from their till then mostly independent chiefdoms in transylvania. Maybe we could see a huge number of vlachs moving into the empire as it was mostlikely one of the best options without barbarian bulgars in the region in otl they even settled in moravia. And dont tell me the magyars gonna settle in moesia 😅😂 idk if i would like if my prediction is right hehe.
 
So iconoclastism is actually a mainstream church doctrine and it sticks this time round?

And are we going to end up with another Irene and Constantine V situation here??
 
You have written about coming decline of imperial power, do you mean power of the empire as a whole or power of the ruler over the empire?
A bit of column A, a lot of column B. Without a major external threat the Roman military is going to start declining as well as central authority will.

Love reading this TL , I also love the speed at which you update and this style of storytelling is also very good.
Thank you.

Guess TTL will be a dystopia.
I dunno if dystopia is the right word. That implies everything is going to be horrible, which I don't think it will. Worse yes, but not completely awful. Mostly its to indicate that for instance the idea of freedom of religion never really takes off, at least for non-Christian religions, in the West.

That depends. The author never said the reason why, so if the religion was simply lost out of practice after centuries of being disallowed, then it's no different than any other religion lost for that same reason. Hardly a dystopia.
Pretty much.
 
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Intresting but the vlachs werent living in moldavia and wallachia until the hungarians established themself in the region resulting in many vlachs fleeing from their till then mostly independent chiefdoms in transylvania.
Ah hell, I was afraid the map was anachronistic.

And are we going to end up with another Irene and Constantine V situation here??
I'm not quite sure how you mean that.what you mean by that.
 
Parrt 29: The Empire in 850
Part XXIV: The Empire in 850​

The Roman Empire has extended massively over the past century. You know of course that Leo’s campaigns against the Arabs retook all lost Roman, and also added Mesopotamia to Imperial territory. Additionally, Andronikos II’s campaigns in the Caucuses had led to the former client kingdoms of Lazika, Iberia, and Albania being directly annexed into the Empire as provinces. These territories were not yet organized into themes, though they would be in the coming century.

The expansion and securing of the Eastern border had also brought significant new revenues into the Empire. The three million nomismata of the pre-conquest Empire had ballooned into eight million under Justin III. This influx of wealth swelled Imperial coffers, when it wasn’t being spent on long wars at least, and was enough to fund a large standing army of over two hundred thousand men. The soldiers were paid annually, with a base salary of about six nomismata per year. Each year a soldier served increased this number by one gold coin, capping out at twelve nomismata after six years of service.

Cavalry units were paid more, with the starting at ten nomismata, and capping at sixteen nomismata after six. Additionally, each soldier was equipped by the Empire, something that the troops grumbled about occasionally, but by now that had been policy for almost two centuries, so it never rose beyond soldiers grousing about how unfair it was in their tents after a bit too much drinking.

When salaries and equipment was taken into account the Roman military absorbed somewhere between fifty and sixty-percent of the state budget. High, but actually significantly lower than it had been in previous centuries. Under Maurice and his predecessors the number had been closer to eighty percent. This decrease was in no small part due to the costs absorbed by the local themes, which employed soldiers in maintaining fortifications, and also bolstered soldier pay via other work, ie farming on theme owned land, that they performed. Over time this extra work would become more profitable than their salaries in many cases, leading many families to pay the Imperial government to hire full-time mercenaries to fight for them.

We will discuss those mercenaries and the impact on the Imperial army of this system in the coming century.

Returning the Imperial economy, agriculture still took up the vast majority of the populace’s work, and taxes on land brought in most of Imperial revenue. Specifically, the land tax levied on land owned by individuals or families, which was updated every few years by the epikroi as they sorted out land deeds and decided who owned what, and therefore who owed what. The most valuable land was of course in Egypt, which produced a quarter of Imperial revenue. Most of this was in the form of grain which was used in the free grain dole of the capital, or sent out to the soldiers as an alternative to gold.

The second most valuable region was Italy, which provided a fifth of all Imperial revenue. Italy was a major producer of grain, but also produced a vast array of other products, in particular olives and grapes. Portions of this revenue, including all revenue from Campania, went to the pope , but the remainder was still enough to make the Italian peninsula wealthy. Driving the wealth wasn’t just the agriculture however. No, Imperial control over the Mediterranean had also led to the old trade networks being reestablished. Italian merchants from Neapolis, Syracuze, and Venice criss-crossed the Mediterranean at will, ferrying goods anywhere they fancied. These trading ships brought in large quantities of gold for the Italians, and was a key source of gold coins for the Imperial tax collectors.

It wasn’t just internal trade the Italians worked in though, they also traded heavily with the Franks, the Goths, and even the Khazars. The Italian traders were also the key movers in the import of new slaves into the Empire from the pagan tribes to the north.

It was illegal to enslave a Christian, and so the pagans, particularly the Slavs were the biggest remaining source of slaves for the Empire. In time this would shift, as Arab and Nubian slavers would raid down the coast of Africa, while to the north the Slavs adopted Christianity and instead shipped in nomads from the East.

Less important than Italy, were the regions of Africa, Greece, Anatolia, Syria, and Mesopotamia. Together these regions accounted for about ninety-percent of remaining Imperial revenue, a little under fifty-percent of the total. Anatolia was the wealthiest, and Greece was the poorest, though the distinction means little in this case.

The last five percent of Imperial revenue came from Palaestina, Armenia, and the Danube border. Palaestina because it was largely desert, and did not have the wealthy centers of power like Antioch, the Nile, etc. It was however responsible for the defense of Egypt, held the holy city of Jerusalem, and was the wealthiest of the three poorest areas.

Armenia was barely a blip on Imperial radar in terms of revenue. The mountainous terrain was poor for farming, and did not see much trade pass through it either. But Armenia was invaluable for its key export, soldiers. In Armenia local disputes led to large families, often with experience fighting off other local groups, and since the land was so poor these families could not divide their family lands up, nor could they support extended families. So what was a man who couldn’t stay at home, and knew how to fight to do? Why, volunteer for the Imperial army of course. Armenians made up the best soldiers in the Empire, including virtually the entire non-officer part of the Tagmata. Even in the officer ranks they held many posts, as men were promoted into fill the posts from within the ranks.

The Danube frontier was decent for farming, and trade, but had also seen a huge amount of fighting in the past few decades. Recovery would be long, slow, and painful. But it didn’t matter how little the region sent to the Imperial treasury, as it served as the invaluable buffer against the barbarians across the Danube. With more marauding steppe tribes on their way it would remain as the key frontier until the coming of the Turks, which would rock the Empire to the core.

A key driver of the economy was of course, population. During the early five hundreds the Empire had a population of about twenty-million. That had taken a massive hit during the plague years, and the Arab conquests had done still more damage. At the lowest point the Empire was left with a mere ten million people in the late 600s. By 850 though the population was on the rise again. It had climbed past the sixth century total and now sat at about 22 million. Of these numbers, the largest lived in Egypt (four million), Italy (three million), Anatolia (four million), and Syria (four million), and Greece (three million). These numbers are rough estimates but give an idea just where the population lived.

Note that of the most populous regions three, Anatolia, Greece, and Syria, were most heavily inhabited by Greeks, or descendants of Greeks. In these territories the Greek language reigned supreme, and it was due to this supremacy that Greek was made an official court language in the 700s. Greek was used by official decrees and documents in Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Palaestina, Armenia, and Egypt. Latin was used in Italy and Africa. Mesopotamia meanwhile was actually governed officially in Arabic, though both Greek and Latin were used as well. Arabic was also used in Syria and Palaestina, though not to the same extent.

The Arabs had settled these areas in large numbers, and Leo had mostly left them unmolested when he retook the Eastern territories, and now Arabs were common sites in the Eastern cities, and had begun to migrate Westward as well, particularly into Anatolia .

Along the Danube meanwhile Slavic was the official language, though it was joined there by Latin, which the Slavs had begun to adopt as their mother tongue. In particular however, the Slavs had adopted the Latin alphabet for their own language, and this usage would eventually spread north into other Slavic lands, as well as among the Bulgars.

Finally, there is the matter of religion.

Chalcedonian Orthodoxy was the official religion of the Empire, and other modes of worship were discouraged. Heresy was a crime, though one not often looked for unless the offender crossed Imperial authorities in other matters as well. Being a non-Christian was legal, but penalized. Of non-Christians the largest groups were Muslims, who were still in the process of adopting their faith, and Jews. Both groups were more or less tolerated at this point, in no small part because Imperial success meant the Emperors did not have to worry about the status of their policies with God.

Jews however were openly encouraged to embrace their savior, and drop the ancient pagan practices that had clearly infested their religion before Christ. Some gave in, but most still refused at this point.

The Christians of the Empire were divided between the pope, who held sway over Italy, Africa, and the non-Roman churches of Europe (if only in theory much of the time), and the Patriarch of Constaantinople, who held sway over the rest. This power sharing caused a not insignificant degree of tension, which would not be settled for a long time. The Patriarch was the more immediately powerful position, since as a resident of the capital he held the Emperor’s attention. But being Patriarch was also far more dangerous. Because being inside the capital he held the Emperor’s attention. While the Emperor approved of papal appointments, he was keenly interested in the Patriarchs. The Emperor also had a tendency to directly appoint the Patriarch, and tended toward men who were more pliable rather than the best of the best among the clergy.

The pope, in faraway Rome had no such restrictions. Independent minded popes would increasingly come to dominate the seat of Saint Peter, while in Constantinople the pliable Patriarchs would gradually see their influence and prestige decline. Slowly the Christian bishops of the Empire looked to Rome, rather than to Constantinople for their cues, though the process would be a long and slow one.

And that is more or less how the Empire stood on the death of Justin III. It was a strong, wealthy, and prosperous government; but one without much in the way of external threats, as we will see. But with the Empire at the highest it had been since 476 it was inevitable that a fall from grace was coming. Wealth and prosperity would prove a double edged sword, as nobles accumulated more land, more influence, and more wealth around themselves. And in a state where the army worked the land, having that land under the control of nobles was never going to turn out well.
 
Well, the whole bride show bride and stuff just reminds me of Irene of Athens.
Ah okay, yes it was supposed to. Zoe is the daughter of an ATL Irene of Athens, and is the actual substitute ITTL. I thought you were talking about iconoclasm.
 
[/QUOTE]
The pope, in faraway Rome had no such restrictions. Independent minded popes would increasingly come to dominate the seat of Saint Peter, while in Constantinople the pliable Patriarchs would gradually see their influence and prestige decline. Slowly the Christian bishops of the Empire looked to Rome, rather than to Constantinople for their cues, though the process would be a long and slow one.
Wouldn't this be more of a concern to the emperor? I certainly will be, them controlling rome itself and being in control of campania means they can will have the influence to move some things in the empire. If i was the emperor ill be weakening their influence and reduce their control in italy.
 
Maybe the empire becomes a lil warhammer 40k ish in the future? Would be intresting and funny to so them kill all the heretics that dont believe in the emperor
 
Wouldn't this be more of a concern to the emperor? I certainly will be, them controlling rome itself and being in control of campania means they can will have the influence to move some things in the empire. If i was the emperor ill be weakening their influence and reduce their control in italy.
The pope doesn't really control that much of Italy, just Campania and Latium, as well as being the official head of the Church West of the Adriatic. Even there, mostly what control of the areas means is that the pope collects the local taxes for himself rather than forwarding them on to the Imperial treasury. Its a substantial sum, but not deemed important enough to pick a religious fight over. Especially since money isn't really an issue outside of major wars or massive projects.

The rest isn't really a conscious thing on anybody's part. Its just a slow shift in attitude that's going to cover the time between basically Anastasius II's reign, all the way to the 11th century, i.e. over three hundred years. No one just woke up and pursued the policy, it just moves in that direction by inches at a time until everything is different.

Maybe the empire becomes a lil warhammer 40k ish in the future? Would be intresting and funny to so them kill all the heretics that dont believe in the emperor
No, at most the Empire will eventually form a group similiar to the Inquisitions of the OTL middle ages.
 
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Oh no Iconoclasm....was it really inevitable? Guess the Pope is going to use to further strengthen his independence and power.

The years are passing by fast, looks like the next round of steppe nomad invasions is coming soon.
 
I FINALLY managed to catch and I have to say. What an adventure this whole series has turned out so far.
Although I am curious to know if the Seljuks wil make there appearance like otl, and how will it affect Rome's decline in the 9th century onward.
 
I FINALLY managed to catch and I have to say. What an adventure this whole series has turned out so far.
Although I am curious to know if the Seljuks wil make there appearance like otl, and how will it affect Rome's decline in the 9th century onward.
Not the Seljuks because the legendary founder of the dynasty has been butterflies, but Indid make mention in the summary of the Empire that the Turks are coming.
 
Not the Seljuks because the legendary founder of the dynasty has been butterflies, but Indid make mention in the summary of the Empire that the Turks are coming.
And I am curious to see if the Turks will recreate the Greater Persian state and/or make advances into the Indian Subcontinent.
 
Not the Seljuks because the legendary founder of the dynasty has been butterflies, but Indid make mention in the summary of the Empire that the Turks are coming.
but the turks could still unite tho i mean the climate change caused the turkish migrations at leas one of the principal causes and nothing will buterfly that so the turks united or not are going to come tho
 
but the turks could still unite tho i mean the climate change caused the turkish migrations at leas one of the principal causes and nothing will buterfly that so the turks united or not are going to come tho
Right, I was just saying they won’t be called the Seljuk Turks.
 
Part 30: The Franks in 850.
Part XXX: The Franks in 850​

When last we left the wider Frankish state you will recall that Pepin Martel had seized the throne from the Merovingingans and embarked on a war against his own nobility to bring them into line. However, Pepin died in 742, leaving behind a thirty year old son, who wasn’t the commander his father was initially. The nobility seized on Charles’s inexperience, and drove the young king from Parisius, effectively taking all of the Regnum Occidens from him. Charles fled to Cologne where he set up a government from which to reexert power over the West.

A series of skirmishes followed as Charles gained in experience and power, until in 746 he retook Parisium, decisively defeating a rebel army of eight thousand with his own force of twelve thousand. Their leaders dead much of the rebel army switched sides, and Charles suddenly commanded an army of sixteen thousand. This was joined by a force of Bugrundi who revolted against their Frankish masters and pledged allegiance to the king. Charles happily accepted their pledges of loyalty, and led his army south into Aquitaine to secure the region.

At this point all of the territory we would know as Burgundi and France was under Charles’s control, as well as Parisius.Much of Gaelli however remained firmly in revolt. Charles swept across the south of his kingdom first, securing the coastline and important networks of supply with Roman and Gothic merchants. In 749 however he was forced to rush back north to battle a noble army that was once again besieging Parisius. Winning another decisive battle near the city Charles now swung north, cutting the rebels off from supplies purchased from the Saxons, and soon the northern coast was also under royal control.

By now hope of rebel victory was slim, and nobles deserted the cause in droves, supplicating themselves before Charles in the hope that he would spare them. Charles magnanimously did so in most cases, but he also stripped vast areas of land from the surrendering nobles, bringing enormous territories directly under royal control. These would be often be handed out to his close associates, but much of the land would remain in the king, and later Emperor’s hands, until the Empire’s disintegration in the eleventh century.

By 751 only Bordeux and the environs on the West cost of Gael remained unconquered. Charles laid siege to the city and set about reducing its defenses over the next several months. After eight months the defenders had had enough. They murdered their lord who refused to give up and threw open the gates. Charles ordered the city sacked and its defenses destroyed. He might be generally magnanimous, but the city had been a thorn in his side for too long.

Charles returned to Parisius, but he disliked the city, and soon officially moved the center of Frankish administration to Cologne, where it would remain for the next fifty years. He also however built a residence in the town of Aquae, to take advantage of nearby hot springs. This town would eventually become Aachen, the capital of the Empire of the Franks, and even today is of course the capital of Franci.

The king set about tackling the many administrative duties he had been forced to neglect while on campaign, and he didn’t leave the city again before his death in 757. His son took power without issue when his father died, and while there were stirrings among the nobles King Carloman was a powerful and dynamic personality. He looked at all his nobles not really doing anything and decided that what they needed was a nice war. One where they could burn off the excess energy that led to rebellion, and maybe make a little money.

He considered invading Italy, but rejected it because that would war with Leo, who was a political ally of his family. And also, because he recognized that war with Leo was a really, really bad idea. Invading the Goths was an idea, but that might also draw a Roman response, treaty or no treaty, and really taking that territory would just bring a bunch of Gothic nobles under his control, and he had enough trouble with the aristocracy when they were just other Franks. Adding even more rebellious nobles, especially ones on the far side of a mountain range didn’t seem productive.

Fate intervened in 759 when Germani raiders from Saxony sacked a number of towns around Cologne, and burned down several churches. Carloman eyed the raiders, looked at his own forces, and decided he had his excuse. He ordered his vassals to come to Cologne, and the next year he crossed the border and invaded Germani. Carloman’s army at this stage was about fifteen thousand men, and for the next four years he waged war against the Westphali Saxons across the Rhine. Each year towns were captured, prisoners shipped off as slaves, to be shipped south to Marseilles, where they were loaded onto Italian ships and sent into the Roman Empire, in particular to Africa and Mesopotamia. And yes, this is why there is a modern city named Saxi near the Tigris today.

After four years of war Carloman felt he had done enough and ended the campaigns. He went back across the Rhine and planned to stay there semi-permanently. But the people he had just be terrorizing had other ideas. The Westphali had been hit hard by the campaign, and had called in their cousins across Saxony to take a bit of revenge on the Franks, and so in 662 a large barbarian army crossed the Rhine and sacked a number of Frankish towns, and made a point to destroy every church they could get their hands on before retreating back into their home territory. That could not stand, and so in 663 Charles re-raised his army and went back into Saxony, this time intending to finish the job.

He would continue the job for the next twenty years.

In the first year Carloman completely overran Westphalic Saxony, and set about setting up a new administration to govern the territory. Land was handed out to loyal nobles, and Frankish settlers moved into keep the locals in line. Forced Christianization also took place, with locals baptized at sword-point when necessary, and every altar, shrine, and sacred grove to the old German gods was pillaged, smashed, and then burned. Most famously when he took the sacred tree at Irminsul Carloman gathered every German chieftain he could find, put them in chains, and then made them watch as he had the tree chopped down, part of its wood made into an altar, had a mass conducted with it, and then burned the rest.

The message was clear. The time of pagans was over, and the Saxons had better get with the program.

The Saxons did not get with the program. Instead they fought on harder than ever. Carloman fought multiple major battles, and was virtually always victorious. Fort after fort fell to the Frankish king, until finally he had pushed all the way to the Northalbigini in the north, and the Alvis River in the East. Something like half of the Saxon population was dead, fled, or enslaved by the end of the war. Carloman returned to Cologne, and there he put the wealth and captives taken on display, before having the captives unceremoniously strangled.

Carloman was clearly emulating the Romans in this regard. Stories had come from Constantinople of the great triumph that Leo had staged on his return from the East, and while Carloman didn’t have quite that level of prestige, he was clearly trying to associate his reign with the Roman Emperors of old.

During the course of the war the army that Carloman led had changed. The wealth taken in plunder and from the sale of slaves had allowed his soldiers to buy better equipment, and transform into a disciplined force. In addition, Carloman had strengthened his own authority significantly, and was able to call up not fifteen thousand men, but fifty thousand. Frankish domination of the northern coast was solidified in 795 when the king of Frisia died without an heir. As the nobles squabbled over who to elevate Carloman provided an answer, namely himself. He marched ten thousand men into Frisia and dared the nobles to challenge him. They did no, and the region was annexed into the Frankish Empire.

Carloman would not live to rule his enlarged domain however ,as he died in 796, leaving his son Louis to take over.

Louis has already made his presence felt in our narrative of course, but we’ll now go back to the beginning of his career. There was a brief revolt to try to get back some of the powers Carloman had stripped away from the nobility returned, but Louis crushed this easily. Louis however wanted to cement his legacy as his father had, and so he turned to military conquest as well. For the next fifteen years he spent year after year invading and conquering territory across the Eastern border. In his campaigns he conquered in the north to the Viadrus River, incorporating even more tribes into his growing kingdom. In the south he invaded and conquered the kingdom being set up by the Serbi, leaving the Eastern border on the Danube, which meant he had a border with the Bulgars. This left him with two problems. One obvious, the other less so.

The obvious problem was that a border with the Bulgars was deeply dangerous. The powerful steppe tribe was currently in the middle of beating the pulp out of the Romans in the Balkans, and if they managed to win that war they might well turn on the Franks next. Louis had exactly zero interest in being next on Krum’s hit list.

Second, Louis had three sons. In Frankish tradition he was expected to divide up his kingdom, allowed each to rule a third. But Louis didn’t particularly want to divide his kingdom up. He was rather proud of his realm, which had grown to exceed even the old Roman borders in Germani. Dividing up the kingdom would just bring back civil war and, well division. So he went back to Cologne and set about trying to come up with a solution. We don’t know what exactly made him come to his eventual decision, but in early 819 Louis seems to have made up his mind. A kingdom could be divided. But an Empire? That was a different thing entirely. The title of Augustus was still respected inside the Frankish Kingdom. The Roman Empire was still the biggest, and most respected entity around. Even if the Western half was mostly gone the rest was still moving along just fine, less whatever the Bulgars were still holding onto.

Which led Louis to his great idea. He really didn’t want a powerful Bulgar state on his eastern border, and he really did want an Imperial title so he could lay the groundwork for a new succession system. So he decided to kill two birds with one stone. He would offer the Romans his large, well-trained, highly disciplined, experienced, and well-equipped army to crush the Bulgars, and in exchange his oldest son would marry a princess, and Louis would be crowned Augustus of the West.

He was talked down from this request by the bishop of Cologne, and instead asked to be crowned simply Emperor of the Franks. This was a lesser title, and would still leave him as a man with less prestige than the Emperor of the Romans, but it would still make the Frankish king the second most prestigious ruler in the world, so far as the Franks were concerned at least. This was acceptable, and messengers were sent to Constantinople.

You know what happened next. Justin accepted the proposal, Louis marched East, and the Bulgars were crushed. In doing so Louis led a Frankish army further East than any ruler would until Henry III marched a hundred thousand Franks, Normans, Goths, Saxons, Danes, Poles, and Bulgars to the walls of Constantinople itself in his great crusade in 1248. By then the Frankish Empire had risen, fallen, and risen again. For now when Louis departed the city he held an Imperial title, and began putting his real plan into action.

That plan did not proceed perfectly, and a major revolt broke out inside Franci itself that required Louis to crush it personally. When he did so territories on the edges of his Empire also rebelled, and had to be put down as well. But when Louis died in 830 he successfully handed power over to his son Charles, who would proceed to squander much of his father’s power and effort. Charles had two sons, and he left most of the Empire to his oldest son, but left large partes of Aquitaine to his younger, leaving the main branch of the royal family holding most of their territory in the northeast. Charles would also move the capital officially to Aachen, where it would more or less remain until the present day, even as the Frankish Empire of old would break apart.

That’s for next century though. For now, in 850 the Franks ruled over the second most powerful state in Christendom, and were poised to be the major Western rival of the Romans for the next three hundred years. While armed conflict would be rare for the forseeable future, it really was inevitable.

Next time we will cover the disparate territories of the Gothic kingdom and Britanni, as well as lay the groundwork for the great pagan invasions of the island that would begin in the 860s.
 
Henry III marched a hundred thousand Franks, Normans, Goths, Saxons, Danes, Poles, and Bulgars to the walls of Constantinople itself in his great crusade in 1248.
I wonder what series of events would lead to such insane situation....

If Crusades do occur would it be along OTL lines? If so those Steppe nomads/Turks must have been really successful.

Or would it be something different? Like a Catholic vs Orthodox conflict? You don’t just march a 100,000 army from Germany to Thrace by accident....
 
If Crusades do occur would it be along OTL lines? If so those Steppe nomads/Turks must have been really successful.
Seems likely, because this series is showing signs of becoming a Roman Wank. Plus I believe that the Turks this time around converted to Neostorianism as it was on the rise in central asia before Islam came on to the scene in OTL.
 
That plan did not proceed perfectly, and a major revolt broke out inside Franci itself that required Louis to crush it personally. When he did so territories on the edges of his Empire also rebelled, and had to be put down as well. But when Louis died in 830 he successfully handed power over to his son Charles, who would proceed to squander much of his father’s power and effort. Charles had two sons, and he left most of the Empire to his oldest son, but left large partes of Aquitaine to his younger, leaving the main branch of the royal family holding most of their territory in the northeast. Charles would also move the capital officially to Aachen, where it would more or less remain until the present day, even as the Frankish Empire of old would break apart.
Hold on if Charles was aiming for a north south split of his empire, wouldn't it make more sense for the younger son to also inherit Burgundi and North Italy as well. As this empire stretches from the Pyrenees to the Olde River, the inheritance should be equal in division.
Besides that the Gothic Kingdom as you have explained is weak enough to conquered with ease by this Kingdom of Acquitania.
 
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