What does your ideal surviving Roman Empire look like?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by NAF, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. NAF Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2017
    Let's say that by whatever means the Roman Empire has managed to survive until the modern day. In your ideal (while still being somewhat plausible) world, what would this surviving Rome look like?
    • What territory does it control?
    • What is its government?
    • What is its religious situation?
    • How does it look demographically?
    • How powerful is it on the world stage?
    • What is modern Roman society like? Anything interesting about the culture that you'd like to share?
    You do not have to strictly adhere to this list, its just a few things that I'd be interested in knowing about.

    With that in mind, there are a couple restrictions:
    • The most common language must be either Latin or Greek.
    • It must be a direct continuation of the Empire in one of its various forms - i.e., no Charlemagne or Ottomans.
    Zagan likes this.
  2. cmakk1012 Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2012
    Let’s see:

    >Greece, most of Anatolia, southern Italy up to and including Rome, Cyprus, and Crete, the Levantine coast and much of the Syrian interior. Client/friendly sphere of influence over Armenia (covering all of the Armenian Highlands), all of the Caucasus, northern Italy, the rest of the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Egypt.

    >Probably a “constitutional Empire,” something like a more liberal Second Reich. Is ruled by a prestigious dynasty with a long, long heritage—possibly one that didn’t exist IOTL.

    >Caesaropapism is alive and well but the importance of faith in daily life has receded, so something like the modern Church of England. Over 95% of the Empire is historically Orthodox Christian.

    >85% of the Empire is ethnically Greek, with most of the remainder being immigrants from former colonies (the Empire once directly owned Egypt and went ham with colonies in East Africa, Indian trading posts, and Southeast Asia)

    >One of the major powers, but not quite hegemonic.

    >Modern Roman society isn’t that far off from modern Greek, but with a historical focus on Rome instead of Ancient Greece.
  3. Byzantine fanatic Pasha of the Rumistan beylik

    Mar 19, 2015
    The Old World
    The Roman Empire is a small nation on the Aegean coast. About the size of Bulgaria, but located in western Anatolia, its capital is Smyrna.

    Despite being greatly diminished since ancient times, it is a centre of Orthodox Greek Christianity, similar to the Vatican. With the city of Nicaea within its small but compact territory, it exists mainly as a religious state with a focus on spirituality.

    The ruler is the Patriarch of the Orthodox church, who at some point in history overtook the role of sovereign. The Roman Empire is thus a Greek version of the Vatican state, with a bit larger territory and many churches, religious centres, monasteries and other religious institutions in its territory.

    It extends from the Black Sea coast a short distance northeast of Iznik (Nicaea) down to Antalya. The city of Eskisehir is on the border with Turkey, and is currently the centre of a free trade zone which allows both countries to trade in a special low-tax environment. Much of both countries' financial sector is located there, although some elements in the more religious part of society condemn the focus on worldly wealth and commercial goods.

    The Roman Empire has not participated in any war for hundreds of years, since it moved in the direction of a mostly religious, spiritual kingdom several centuries ago.

    Likewise, the Turkish nation has spent most of its history engaged in struggles with various Persian and Arab dynasties to the east and south. This Turkish nation has been a key player in power politics between Sunni and Shia, with the nation briefly experiencing Shia rule in early modern times before a Sunni revolution overthrew the Persian-backed Shia royal family. These struggles have consumed so much time and energy that there has never been much interest in the small Roman Greek Orthodox religious state to the west, which has mostly been a backwater for the last several centuries quietly focused on the religious life.
  4. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member Banned

    Jan 15, 2004
    The Chaos TL
    Songhay (from Gurps AE 1, Ezcalli). ;-) (First the empire falls apart after Nero's death, then the Huns overrun Greece, Hispania and Italy, so they flee to North Africa, about 1000 years later the Mongols take North Africa, so they flee to Timbuktu, and the rest is history.)
  5. danteheadman Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2015
    This anti-Latin Empire bias will not stand!
    NAF, Avalon, LunazimHawk and 6 others like this.
  6. GorillaTheater Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2018
  7. Dargonaut The explorer of all things

    Apr 16, 2018
    Moon, Moon
    Rome into space
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  8. Emperor-of-New-Zealand It's a figure of speech

    Aug 2, 2009
    Christchurch, NZ
    A Roman Empire centred on North Africa. The centre of the empire would be Tunis, with territory extending as far west as Algiers and as far east as Tripoli (and their surrounding areas). It would also control Sicily and/or Sardinia for good measure. The language couldn't really be Latin, because historically that doesn't make sense (Greek today is different from Roman Greek, and modern Latinate language such as Italian, French, Spanish, etc. are all descendants of Roman Latin), so we'd see something that sounds similar to other Romance languages but with a unique Berber flair. Of course this nation is a constitutional monarchy, along similar lines to OTL Britain.
  9. WilliamOfOckham Frog Emoji

    Oct 1, 2016
  10. SpaceRome Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2018
    Rome (or rather western rome, the east is... complicated) controls all of Italy, France and the west bank of the rhine, germania up to the elbe, Hispania, all of the british isles and north Africa (morroco to tunisia).

    Rome is a republic again after a popular uprising in the 16th century, and is close to OTL liberal democracies. however, the empire is also a prosperous federation with regional capitals in Londinium, Paris, Carthage, Cologne and Toledo.

    Religiously the empire is pagan, with the main ones including latin, celtic, germanic and north african beliefs. these are more umbrella terms than actual religions - pantheons and canons vary wildly across regions, and every small town has its own local god or saga that is known only there and in the great libraries of Rome. besides that, small pockets of jewish and zoroastrian immigrants live in the larger cities, and a tiny community of latin-chinese buddhists live in northern gaul - a result of the long-lasting roman occupation of southern and eastern china.

    demographically, the empire is extremely diverse (no 80-95% ethnic latins here :p) - celtic, germanic, north african and semitic peoples live alongside ethnic latins (mainly in italy, hispania and southern gaul and germania).
    linguistically, bilingualism is the norm in the empire and multilingualism is as common as bilingualismis in OTL europe. besides knowing one of the staggering amount of languages and dialects in the empire, the vast majority is fluent in modern latin as it is the language of communication in the internet, across the empire and in its former colonies.

    strength wise, the empire is the undisputed hegemon in the world.
    besides having the second largest population in the world, the most overall and per capita GDP and the largest army in the world, rome is also absolutely dominant in africa, europe and america through the latin union - an economic and diplomatic union including rome and her latin-speaking colonies, meaning most of africa, the entire new world, europe, australia and the western indian states.

    culturally, Rome has advanced much faster than OTL in terms of civil rights - the first wave of feminism ended in the 17th century with women being given the right to vote, and most sexual orientations were already widely accepted by that time. the only exception to this stellar record is slavery, which was abolished in the late 18th century after a brutal slave insurrection known as the fourth servile war.
    Leftism also developed much quicker than OTL, with the equivalent of modern socialism appearing in the 15th century and gaining large traction in the 19th. fascism and right-wing authoritarianism is mainly shunned from the mainstream, as the fall of the empire (also popularly called 'the second kingdom') only strengthened the fear of Rome from all forms of dictatorships.
  11. TheKutKu Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2016
    Autonomous Region of Cabinda
    A western mediterranean empire, controls all of italy (which has a population comparable to japan's, if not higher), Iberian peninsula, north africa, the adriatic coast and a good 2/3rd of france (although the rest would be germanized).
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  12. AnonymousSauce Raisin Canesian

    Aug 17, 2016
    by the deep fryer
  13. Daedalus Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2018
    -Capital in Constantinople, territory extends from Epirus to the Danube (Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria) in the Balkans, Southern Italy (no Rome) including Sicily, Trebizond to Antioch in the east, and outlying territories in Crimea and Cyrene.
    -Government has a developed from absolute caesaropapism to a republic form of government. Emperor is a figurehead, ceremonially appoints new Patriarch of Constantinople. True government is led by a prime minister heading the executive branch, Senate in the legislative, and a separate judiciary.
    -religion is primarily Orthodox Christian with Catholic minorities in Italy, Armenian Orthodoxy in Armenia and Cilicia, and Muslim minorities closer to Syria. The Patriarch of Constantinople is highly influential and people remain largely faithful.
    -Ethnically most people are Greek, about 80% in Greece, Southern Italy, Sicily, Anatolia, Antioch, Cyrenaica, and Crimea but historically spoke different dialects(Central or Standard, Italiote, Pontic, Cyrenaican, and Cappadocian). Largest minorities are Bulgarians, Armenians, Albanians, Neapolitan Latins, and Arabs.
    -It is considered a Great Power, attained from its wealth of trade as well as its formidable army. Its policy had been largely defensive, trying to hold borders as opposed to expanding. It holds great influence over Armenia and the Caucasus, the Levant, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Dalmatia, and Wallachia/Moldavia.

    It has had a history of being friends and rivals with Muscovy, and the Papal States had long been a thorn to their side until its dissolution into the Central Italian Republic.

    -Culturally, people are very proud of their heritage. Orthodoxy is highly influential. Progressive values tend to be more clustered in Western Anatolia and Southern Italy.
  14. CtrlAltHistory bleeding heart

    Sep 12, 2015
  15. GauchoBadger Representative of Gamers to Society

    Feb 28, 2016
    And afterwards minting commemorative medallions with the emperor's face superimposed over the leading mission astronaut's face on one side, and a figure of a woman with the moon on her hand, representing "Luna Victa" on the other.
    Too bad paper currency is already in use for long.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  16. Emperor Casey Banned

    Jul 1, 2013
    • It would control Italy, Greece, Crete, Loose North Africa (Tunis, Algerian Coast, Part of northern coast of Libya), Sardina/Corsica, Illyrian Coast
    • The government would be a Quasi Constitutional Monarchy with an Emperor largely being ceremonial (Think along the lines of modern Britain)
    • Catholicism is dominant but there are sizable Greek Orthodox and Coptic Christians along with a sizable amount of indigenous religions in North Africa
    • Thanks to a more stable history the large portion of the center of the Empire is Romano-Greek but with a good chunk of lower class Germans inhabiting the northern parts of Italy and Illyrian coasts and most of the North African holdings are an ethnic mix between Africans/Greeks/Egyptians and Romans
    • It is one of the most dominant powers in the Mediterranean but enjoys a reasonable say on the world stage.
    • Extremely multi-cultural society and wealthy given different trade routes with a very strong sense of culture and thus has grown as a liberal part of Europe
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  17. Jiraiyathegallant Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2012
    The world.

    Kingdom and Empire

    Everything West of Italy is Roman Catholic, everything East or Constantinople is Orthodox.

    Entirely Latin speaking Christians, otherwise heavily intermixed with most areas still having a sizable number of “traditional” looking people for its region for old times sake.

    The Emperor is King of the world. Rome is the world.

    There is a road on every continent leading to Rome. Rome has claimed all of the universe it’s legal territory.
  18. FleetMac Patriotic Scalawag

    Jan 13, 2011
    VA boy living in a TX world
    Other than agreeing wholeheartedly and unironically with @WilliamOfOckham (the Empire didn't fall soon or hard enough!), I guess the immediate environs of the city of Rome itself with a city state-esque status post- 3rd Century.

    Or, I kinda like it living on in a similar way to the Ottoman Empire, like in THIS thread; hemmed-in, atavistic, declining, and barely holding onto what little glory there is to be had...the true Sick Man of Europe and an embarrassment to its OTL pretenses...it would require something of a butterfly net to get the full effect, but would be plausible and interesting to see the Byzantines lasting to the modern era. Of course France, Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, and/or Portugal could still carry on the Empire in the West's legacy by and by.

    Roma delenda!
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  19. John I of Brazil Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2018
    Name: Imperium Romanum

    Territory: France, parts of Germany(Rhine river as official frontier), Italy, Iberian peninsula, otl Yugoslavia and Albania, Malta, Crete, Cyprus, and northern african coast minus Egypt ; has tributary states in germania (between the Rhine and the Elba), Balkans, Egypt, the Levant and British isles.

    Form of government: democratic Cesaropapism
    - In this form of government, all the citizens are equal and there are three powers: the legislative, represented by the Senate and comanded by the people's Tribune (as there are no more distinction between pleb and patricians, this office's ocuppation changed); the executive, comanded by the consul and his delegates; the judiciary, by the supreme judge.
    -All the political offices are achieved through universal elections every four years, except by the judiciary and the emperor.
    - The emperor is the Head of state and is de jure the chief of all three powers, but has little power over them de facto. The emperor is the religious chief and the supreme commander of the military forces. The emperor's position is hereditary, but dynasties can change if the it is decided by the three powers and approved the church.
    - The provinces have autonomy, with each of then having a provincial parliament whose members are chosen by election, a also elected governor and a interventor appointed by the central government. Cities have political parliaments (political from polis), with members elected between the local tribes (read city areas).
    -The Roman constitution defends the concepts of Libertas, dignitas et aequitatem (liberty, dignity and equality )

    Religion: the official religion is catholic Christianity , with the emperor as the Pope; there is, however, freedom of faith, all religions being accepted by the state and people of different rreligions can participate of the politics (you need to be catholic to be emperor, obviously, but the other positions are free).

    -87% being latins.
    - 1% Jews.
    - 5% germanics.
    - 5%others (basque, celtic..)

    _ rreligious_
    -Catholics: 85%
    -pagans/old believers :3%
    -Agnostics /atheists:8%
    - non-catholic christians:3%

    -the most powerfull state in Europe and Mediterranean area, Rome keeps a tributary relationship with most of the countries in the region (specially the remnants of the Eastern Roman Empire), also keeping them safe from enemies like the persians. Rome also has a good relationship with Russia and Poland. Rome is a very developed country, even if not the most (think about OTL Western Europe HDI)

    - the Imperium is a diverse country. Even if Latin is the official and moat used language, it has many dialects that have a variable degree of intelligibility. The catholic church has much influence in the roman culture, but many pagan celebrations survived to this day, adapted as christian or state festivals (Sol invictus became Christmas, for example). The ancestors cult , a tradition as old as Rome itself, remains strong, and became very connected with the saints of the catholic church (many families have what is called "house's saint", an ancestor whose devoted life made them be revered by his family, even if he is not a official saint). The romans are generally stereotyped by other nations as being talkative, party-loving, very artistic and (for their enemies) lazy, but also very warlike and proud.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  20. deathstrokenorris Ah Israel, que país tan interesante

    Mar 31, 2016
    • Roma controls most of their historic Mediterranean territories (aka northern Africa, Galia, Hispania, Italia, etc)
    • A constitutional monarchy. A string of strong Emperors, a few lucky reforms and other lucky breaks allowed for the implementation of democracy in slow stages. The Emperor still has a voice and is heard when he or she speaks, but they aren't autocrats anymore.
    • No state religion (there was a separation between the office of the Emperor and the Pope)
    • Mostly latins, with a good chunk of northern africans and some germans.
    • Not quite an hegemon but getting there.
    • Roman society is pretty free sexually but somewhat patriarcal still. They value military service and have it as a requeriment for citizenship (as in having some special rights and being able to vote). This was alter amended to service to the empire in general.