The Third Rome - A Byzantine Timeline


Crusader, Emperor of the Romans, refugee; Antigonos I Palaiologos was all of these things and more. The second -- and last -- child of Constantine XI, Antigonos' war of resistance against the Ottomans after the fall of Constantinople have long been the stuff of legend.

Antigonos was born on the 13th of September, 1442, in the imperial palace of Blachernae. Later accounts attest that Antigonos came squalling into the world, a robust child with a head of thick black hair; the delight of his mother, the pride of his father. Antigonos inherited his father's strong, if plain, features -- and he grew into a fine young boy, with a passion for horsemanship and the arts of war, and, as an adult, was remarked upon by scholars as intelligent, charming and witty. Antigonos' critics considered him ruthless, with a bad, sometimes violent temper, blunt in his speech and often gloomy.

All of these things are true.

This is his, and his children's, tale.
Farewell to Constantinople
Thank you all kindly. Here's the next part.

On the 31st of August 1452, a dim blustery Thursday, construction on Sultan Mehmed II's Bosporan fortress was completed. The Ottomans named it Bogaz Kesen -- 'Throat-cutter,' -- and it had taken only four short months to complete. With its seventeen towers and fifty-feet tall curtain walls, the castle -- working in conjunction with Anadolu Hisari, another Ottoman keep that had been built by Mehmed's great-grandfather -- could now control the flow of grain and ship traffic through the Bosporus.

Most alarming, of all of this, was that the Throat-cutter had been built upon the European side of the strait. War between the Ottomans and the Romans now seemed inevitable. Constantine XI, the Emperor in Constantinople, sent word to his brothers in the Morea. Appeals flew to Venice, Genoa, the Pope and further afield.

In October of the same year, Turahan Bey, one of Mehmed's generals, marched into the Peloponnese and savaged the countryside. Demetrios and Thomas, Constantine's brothers, could no longer afford to send troops to support their kinsman and Emperor. Worse, the supply of grain from the Genoese colonies in the Black Sea was starting to dry up.

With the situation growing increasingly dire, Constantine resolved to send his son and heir, Antigonos, away. Constantine met with his advisors -- his wife, Caterina Gattilusio, amongst them -- in order to discuss where the young Antigonos would be sent.

To his grandfather, in Mytilene, was quickly dismissed. Lesbos was not as defensible as Constantinople, it was argued, and the Emperor found himself in agreement. Nowhere was truly safe with the Ottoman fleet ranging through the Aegean, Constantine knew; indeed, he and his wife had narrowly avoided capture when she was with child, only thirteen years prior.

What, then, about the Morea? Thomas and Demetrios were still embroiled in conflict with Turahan Bey, and of the two, Demetrios was quarrelsome, sly and self-serving. Constantine, mistrustful of his brother, once again put the idea down.

Now it was Caterina's turn to speak. George Sphrantzes remembered her, later in life, as the darling of Constantine's eye -- a beautiful, intelligent woman who captivated the soldierly Emperor. Her sister, she said, was married to Giacomo II Crispo, the Duke of the Archipelago.

Here, she suggested, was faraway enough that the Ottomans would not seek out Antigonos. Her sister, Ginevra, would care for the boy until the Turks were defeated or aid came from Europe.

Constantine now agreed.

On the 16th of January, 1453, Constantine and his wife bade farewell to their son. He was to travel to Naxos by galley, accompanied by a handful of noble companions. Into his care Constantine entrusted whatever treasures could be spared. A small household of tutors and guards, loyal to the Emperor above all else, were to travel with the boy.

Antigonos soberly embraced his mother and father before boarding the ship. He did not weep, though he would later confess to wanting to, as it was unbecoming of the son of the Roman Emperor.

He would never see his parents again.
I think this is far too late but I'll watch where it goes.
I think the same but then we have the example of Babur. Maybe Antigonus will pull off a Mughal here. Given the name of the timeline is third Rome, it seems likely to me.

In any case excited to see where OP takes this.
Last edited:
So an Eastern Roman people settling down and creating a third Rome ... I wonder if it will be Moscow or a possible trip across the ocean to America ^^