WI: A luckier Justinian?

What if the two great crises of the 540s; the Persian invasion of Syria, and the Justinianic Plague had never happened? How far would Justinian's reconquest of the old WRE been able to go? Discuss.
 

sdrucker

Banned
What if the two great crises of the 540s; the Persian invasion of Syria, and the Justinianic Plague had never happened? How far would Justinian's reconquest of the old WRE been able to go? Discuss.
Along the lines of Agent of Byzantium, if the resultant loss of life from the plague is avoided and the Empire's better able to reinforce its Western conquests against the Ostrogoth remnants and the Lombards. The Balkans would also be more populated, which would also help against the Slavs post-Justinian. Overall less of a break from the Late Classical period, if the Empire can avoid taxing the provinces and imposing religious uniformity to the levels of OTL.
 
Probably his paranoia and mistrust of everyone else is going to kick in whenever the conquests reach their normal size, and it won't go any furthar.
 
Along the lines of Agent of Byzantium, if the resultant loss of life from the plague is avoided and the Empire's better able to reinforce its Western conquests against the Ostrogoth remnants and the Lombards. The Balkans would also be more populated, which would also help against the Slavs post-Justinian. Overall less of a break from the Late Classical period, if the Empire can avoid taxing the provinces and imposing religious uniformity to the levels of OTL.
I'm rather skeptical of "Agent of Byzantium" style TL's, where the Byzantines last until today with the Balkans, Anatolia, Egypt, North Africa, etc. The Byzantine Empire was overextended and had problems keeping itself together-Gregory the Patrician, exarch of Carthage, actually tried to break away in the 7th century, after Egypt fell to the Muslims. Granted, this was in the context of the Muslim conquests, but even if the empire is strong enough to prevent Muslims from having as much success as OTL, it will eventually have Turks, Slavs, Arabs, Berbers, Persians, and Italians to contend with, and will probably get wittled away over the centuries. Thats not to say the Empire was necessarily doomed by the 5th century-I can see them, given the right set of circumstances, surviving to the present with control over parts of the Balkans, Greece, and pieces of western Turkey. Anything more than that is, in my opinion, ASB.
 
I'm rather skeptical of "Agent of Byzantium" style TL's, where the Byzantines last until today with the Balkans, Anatolia, Egypt, North Africa, etc. The Byzantine Empire was overextended and had problems keeping itself together-Gregory the Patrician, exarch of Carthage, actually tried to break away in the 7th century, after Egypt fell to the Muslims. Granted, this was in the context of the Muslim conquests, but even if the empire is strong enough to prevent Muslims from having as much success as OTL, it will eventually have Turks, Slavs, Arabs, Berbers, Persians, and Italians to contend with, and will probably get wittled away over the centuries. Thats not to say the Empire was necessarily doomed by the 5th century-I can see them, given the right set of circumstances, surviving to the present with control over parts of the Balkans, Greece, and pieces of western Turkey. Anything more than that is, in my opinion, ASB.
Considering that the Ottomans, who were basically the successor state to the Byzantines managed just fine, I don't see it as that outlandish.

Egypt and the rest of North Africa is difficult on religious grounds, but if the Arab expansion doesn't happen against a backdrop of two crippled empires, and is outlasted/assimilated, then I don't see why a Balkan+Anatolian+Levantine Byzantine state is doomed.
 
I'm rather skeptical of "Agent of Byzantium" style TL's, where the Byzantines last until today with the Balkans, Anatolia, Egypt, North Africa, etc. The Byzantine Empire was overextended and had problems keeping itself together-Gregory the Patrician, exarch of Carthage, actually tried to break away in the 7th century, after Egypt fell to the Muslims. Granted, this was in the context of the Muslim conquests, but even if the empire is strong enough to prevent Muslims from having as much success as OTL, it will eventually have Turks, Slavs, Arabs, Berbers, Persians, and Italians to contend with, and will probably get wittled away over the centuries. Thats not to say the Empire was necessarily doomed by the 5th century-I can see them, given the right set of circumstances, surviving to the present with control over parts of the Balkans, Greece, and pieces of western Turkey. Anything more than that is, in my opinion, ASB.
I'd say Asia Minor is the definite necessity for the Byzantines to resist until modern times. The 1025 empire size is probably the most balanced of all...
 
I'd say Asia Minor is the definite necessity for the Byzantines to resist until modern times. The 1025 empire size is probably the most balanced of all...
Without wishing to be overly pedantic, probably you could get a bit better than this; take out Armenia (conquered in 1022) and add Sicily. This removes the Normans from the equation, and gives the Empire a more defensible eastern frontier in Cappadocia. :)
 
Without wishing to be overly pedantic, probably you could get a bit better than this; take out Armenia (conquered in 1022) and add Sicily. This removes the Normans from the equation, and gives the Empire a more defensible eastern frontier in Cappadocia. :)
The problem with Sicily is that it needs a good portion of Southern Italy. Then it needs to have a good relationship with Tunisia. Then the Empire needs to prepare for an all-out naval war against the power that controls western Mediterranean Sea. Not to mention the interference of the Pope, Guelfs, Ghibelins and the German Empire.

I feel that any territory in Italy will take out precious resources from the East...

Armenia, on the other hand, is practically family. It's easier to strike at Bagdad or Western Iran, it has a fierce population that can resist a Muslim invasion quite fine and it protects the less-populated areas of Central Anatolia...
 
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