Let's say that due to internal issues, it takes longer for the Arabs to be properly united after the death of Muhammad. How does this influence the course of events? Could Antioch remain held by the Romans? Could Mesopotamia be kept by the Persians? Or would the Arabs still conquer as they did OTL due to superior morale, experience, and a unified goal?

Alternate scenario: They start seven years earlier
 
I’ll go with the ten years later scenario:

First of all Heraklios will not face the Arab invasion, which would make him one of the greatest Roman emperor in history (conveniently ignoring how he first brought the empire to its lowest point). This could also be a positive thing as, by the time the Arabs invaded the empire, the emperor was already too old and weary to lead a long and successful campaign. This leaves the empire in the hands of three possible candidates: Constantine (his death could be butterflied away), Constants and Heraklios jr. Both Constant and Heraklios jr would be too young to lead the army even with ten more years to secure the throne. Their regent (Martina in Heraklios’ case) would then pick the general to lead the defence of the empire. However I would expect this general to be picked with his loyalty to the current emperor in mind rather than his skill. Therefore I wouldn’t hold high hopes for the Romans.

Different would be situation under Constantine. I don’t know much about his military experience, but being much older would secure him a firmer grip on the throne once his father dies. He may personally lead the campaign or rely on a much more experienced commander, but from here is anyone’s guess. But I think the empire stands the best chance against the invaders with Constantine as emperor rather than his half-brother or his son. Of course there is also the usual consideration of the army being in a better shape after ten more years, the people of the East once again being “used to be ruled by Romans”, and with some luck the Sassanids would also be in a position to better help against the Arabs, but it’s more probable they are not. However even if they fail to defend Mesopotamia, a Sassanids (or anyway Persian) Persia would still be a key player in the future.

Back to the Romans, I’m going to quote what my professor once said about Egypt, i.e. it’s a land difficult to defend because there are no rivers, no mountain range or anything to hide behind. That’s why the Ptolemies were so anxious to get as much of Palestine as possible (also other reasons). In case the Romans still lose most of Syria and Palestina (and that a big question), it would be quite hard for them to protect Egypt, but with more determination, more luck at sea and of course with no "throwing the entire army in a pitched battle" thing, they could realistically hold certain coastal cities including Alexandria. I have to look better at this but I think to remember that by this time Alexandria was run as a separate political entity from the rest of Egypt, a Greek island in a Egyptian sea. This could be even more ture after this alt-Arab conquest of Egypt. Even in the worst case scenario, with the fall of Egypt, if you can avoid the complete Arab conquest of Persia and Arab naval victories at sea, I think you can at the very least prevent the fall of Roman Africa ( a fleet is in my opinion a key factor in any African campaign, moving soldiers and supplies to Africa while preventing the enemies from doing the same, considering the most important African cities are all coastal ones). The fact that in OTL the final conquest of Africa took place while the Romans were busy replacing one emperor with another didn't really help, but here we can hope for a more solid leadership. That and the survival of some kind of Persian state beyond the Zagros due to butterflies could already be considered a victory for the empire in my opinion.
 
I’ll go with the ten years later scenario:

First of all Heraklios will not face the Arab invasion, which would make him one of the greatest Roman emperor in history (conveniently ignoring how he first brought the empire to its lowest point). This could also be a positive thing as, by the time the Arabs invaded the empire, the emperor was already too old and weary to lead a long and successful campaign. This leaves the empire in the hands of three possible candidates: Constantine (his death could be butterflied away), Constants and Heraklios jr. Both Constant and Heraklios jr would be too young to lead the army even with ten more years to secure the throne. Their regent (Martina in Heraklios’ case) would then pick the general to lead the defence of the empire. However I would expect this general to be picked with his loyalty to the current emperor in mind rather than his skill. Therefore I wouldn’t hold high hopes for the Romans.

Different would be situation under Constantine. I don’t know much about his military experience, but being much older would secure him a firmer grip on the throne once his father dies. He may personally lead the campaign or rely on a much more experienced commander, but from here is anyone’s guess. But I think the empire stands the best chance against the invaders with Constantine as emperor rather than his half-brother or his son. Of course there is also the usual consideration of the army being in a better shape after ten more years, the people of the East once again being “used to be ruled by Romans”, and with some luck the Sassanids would also be in a position to better help against the Arabs, but it’s more probable they are not. However even if they fail to defend Mesopotamia, a Sassanids (or anyway Persian) Persia would still be a key player in the future.

Back to the Romans, I’m going to quote what my professor once said about Egypt, i.e. it’s a land difficult to defend because there are no rivers, no mountain range or anything to hide behind. That’s why the Ptolemies were so anxious to get as much of Palestine as possible (also other reasons). In case the Romans still lose most of Syria and Palestina (and that a big question), it would be quite hard for them to protect Egypt, but with more determination, more luck at sea and of course with no "throwing the entire army in a pitched battle" thing, they could realistically hold certain coastal cities including Alexandria. I have to look better at this but I think to remember that by this time Alexandria was run as a separate political entity from the rest of Egypt, a Greek island in a Egyptian sea. This could be even more ture after this alt-Arab conquest of Egypt. Even in the worst case scenario, with the fall of Egypt, if you can avoid the complete Arab conquest of Persia and Arab naval victories at sea, I think you can at the very least prevent the fall of Roman Africa ( a fleet is in my opinion a key factor in any African campaign, moving soldiers and supplies to Africa while preventing the enemies from doing the same, considering the most important African cities are all coastal ones). The fact that in OTL the final conquest of Africa took place while the Romans were busy replacing one emperor with another didn't really help, but here we can hope for a more solid leadership. That and the survival of some kind of Persian state beyond the Zagros due to butterflies could already be considered a victory for the empire in my opinion.
I want to say thank you for your response. I wasn't expecting something so large or thorough! :)
 
well if by invasions do you mean the first incursions of 629 or the invasions of 633 i will take 633 , making the invasions start in 643.

for one persia has now 11 years of recovery as compared to 1 , and the romans have 15 instead of 5 ,

lets go with the easy one , persia would fare horribly even after 10 more years the war crippled the sassanid empire but the anarchy from 628 to 632 made it horrible and i dont think 10 years is enough time there is also the fact that despite the anarchy ending in 633 some lords where declaring their independence and did not even recognized the sha , also rostram ( the man with the real power) probably would have died from old age or assassination by 643, the nobles in rebelion and turks raiding , an incompetent sha and rostram dying would slow down the recovy , the sassanid most likely still loose mesopotamia to the arabs.

Heraclius will not face the Arab invasion, which would make him one of the greatest Roman emperor in history saving the roman empire form its biggest crisis since the third century now he is giving an extra 10 years to consolidate , no one would dare questioned his authority so the man could do the consolidation he need it , heck iam even certain that his compromise would be accepted but the moment his body gets cold it would rejected .
as for rome , heraclius would most likely be dead by 643 he died in 641 when he was 66 i really doubt he survives past 642.

as for his successors, i disagree with @Flavius Iulius Nepos Constantine III would still die , he was not in health during his whole life he was sickly , he probably had cancer or something on that regard that is not going to be butterflied , he died in his 20s , he did not trust Heraklonas and asked as emperor to general valentinus to save his son constans from martina and Heraklonas , assuming he dies in 641 like the OTL , Valentinus and the senate can still force martina and Heraclonas to crown constans as co emperor if heraclius is still alive by 641 to see the death of constantine he most likely accepts his son dying wish , if that does occur no one will side with martina if that she refuses , even if Heraclius does not ,so most likely constans is proclaimed co emperor, when heraclius dies ,Valentinus could use rumors to kick Martina and Heraklonas out , he did this in the otl claiming that she killed Constantine III ,so he could kick them out and install constans , the young boy himself made a speech where he condemed martina , still by 643 , he would not be emperor since he would be 13 by the arab invasions.

so Valentinus would deal with the invasions

on the side note ,by 643 khalid al walid was dead , since he was never killed it most likely was age , sure the arabs still have Sa`d ibn Abī Waqqās (the one who won at al quadisyia) Muawiyah and Sakhr ibn Harb ibn Umayya ibn Abd Shams (participated in yarmourk) and more even though with a longer unification lets say a longer ridda wars , there is no guarantee that one of these men would have died in battle , if they

for taking egypt the arabs would have to take syria and palestine first , in the otl the arabs could have easily died , for one khalid marched from firaz to suwa to surprise the romans since he was crossing a inshospitable part of the syrian dessert , his sub comanders did not agree with that but it worked as he surprised the ghasanids and cougth bosra out of guard , so in this timeline maybe the arabs take the safe route and the romans have more time to prepare.

even in haste the byzantines still where a tough Ajnaday is proof the romans where out numbered the romans managed to inflict many casualties and lasted 2 days , even during the siege of damascus , despite not being prepared the siege lasted 1 month , and thomas could have won , if he sallied when khalid left to deal with the roman
reinforcments.
or in pela the romans pushed the arabs back to the camp but thedore was attacked and thus morale was low and retreated.

emesa was another close call as harbis sallied out and he killed houndreds and pushed back to their camp , had khalid not arrived abu abiadah and his force would have been killed.

based on these close calls a stronger byzantine empire , khalid and other leaders dead i can see the arab invasions of the roman empire being a failure and they would concentrate on the corpse of persia.

I really doudt Valentinus would try to ooverthrown constant sure he defeated the Arabs (most likely) but kicking the successor of the greatest emperor is a kin to political suicide even in the otl he got killed when he tried by a mob .
So yeah I think he is ok just being a highly position general
If they manged to win later constans may want to inavde Italy like he did in 663 in the otl and this time he was a full empire (who had been giving 35 years to recover) and with Persia being occupied and the caliphate defeated in 640s disentigraed or consolidating mesopotemia unlike justinian he would
really not have any Eastern menace .
(Shamless plug this kinda happens in my timeline lol)
And maybe constans pushed refroms if some sources are to be believed he created the theme system so that tells you how good he was in that regard .
 
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Just a question: Would the byzantines (and Sassanids) just sit back and watch the unification of Arabia? I mean OTL they were too busy with trying to kill each other but here when they are done with that could they decide they dont like whats going down in the south? What could they do if they decide to try something?
 
Just a question: Would the byzantines (and Sassanids) just sit back and watch the unification of Arabia? I mean OTL they were too busy with trying to kill each other but here when they are done with that could they decide they dont like whats going down in the south? What could they do if they decide to try something?
The war is over they both have to consolidate the Romans never really cared and the ghassanids where still around so they have that , the Persians would care but are in a bad situation that they can do little but to wait for the invasion.
 
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