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Alternate History Vivat Stilicho!

PsihoKekec

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Turks will receive a crushing blow here and Muslims are preparing a second invasion...

Of course the ERE is badly bled and unification is bound to be fraught with friction, so it is unlikely that Roman Empire will be able to to recover lost territories.

Avars probably lost greater part of their army, but my guess is that RE will focus on lost territories across the Bosphorus, so they will have time to rebuild.
 

stevep

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Looks like the Tegregs are reinforcing failure here, something that will cost them much(too much?).
Would agree. Sounds like Heshana is displaying a bad case of hubris, although having a son cut off by the Roman advance is possibly a factor as well. Hadn't realised how ancient the Turkish Khan had got but then this war has been going on a long, long time.

When did 666 become associated with Satan in Christian theology? ;)
 

ATP

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Turks will receive a crushing blow here and Muslims are preparing a second invasion...

Of course the ERE is badly bled and unification is bound to be fraught with friction, so it is unlikely that Roman Empire will be able to to recover lost territories.

Avars probably lost greater part of their army, but my guess is that RE will focus on lost territories across the Bosphorus, so they will have time to rebuild.
Both true - muslims would take all turkish and part of ERE lands here - but,Egypt and Jerusalem should remain christian.
Armenia and Georgia - maybe,maybe not.

Avars would survive,if muslims attack before romans crush turks completly.

P.S i could undarstandt Heshana - he waited for capturing Constantinopole 60 years after all.
 

stevep

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Both true - muslims would take all turkish and part of ERE lands here - but,Egypt and Jerusalem should remain christian.
Armenia and Georgia - maybe,maybe not.

Avars would survive,if muslims attack before romans crush turks completly.

P.S i could undarstandt Heshana - he waited for capturing Constantinopole 60 years after all.
I suspect they will end up with Egypt as well because its basically too much of a pain to hold onto. However northern Syria, especially if the empires can secure Antioch and neighbouring regions could be a different matter.

In the east with the Turks exhausted like the Sassanids OTL the path is open probably as far as the eastern Greek kingdom now hopefully secure in the Afghanistan region and parts southwards. How they hold when the storm comes and what happens on either side of then, into Central Asia in the north and the weakened Huna empire to the south I suspect we will have to see.
 
665-667: Katechon

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The Western Roman Empire spent the entirety of 665 preparing for a great eastward offensive in 666, with the double intent of both rescuing its hard-pressed Eastern counterpart and breaking the back of the Avar enemy that had troubled both empires for more than a century. Having effectively declared holy war on Christendom’s enemies to the east toward the end of the previous year, Aloysius was able to successfully petition the Church for funds with which to rebuild the Western Roman army, which had torn itself apart yet again in the civil war which toppled the Stilichians a few short years ago. While his most numerous and loyal legions inevitably came from the north, being drawn from the ranks of mixed Romano-Germanic (mostly Frankish) military families who had long lived on the frontier with barbaric Teutons and Slavs of various stripes, the Augustus also copied the Stilichian tactic of land redistribution – targeting chiefly the estates of the defeated Greens in Italy and eastern Hispania – to rebuild the legions of the Mediterranean basin. He and his father Arbogastes also oversaw the construction of siege weapons, mostly mobile carroballistae, in Ravenna and Aquileia after Helena’s court sent warning that the Turks were beginning to field war elephants with mercenary riders from India, where the end of several decades of warfare had left many warriors out of a job.

That said, speaking of the northern frontier, the religious call to arms issued by Pope and Patriarch was also heard in the increasingly Christianized kingdoms of the northern Germanic federates. The Lombards, Thuringians, Bavarians and Alemanni all supplied not-inconsiderable contingents to the Roman army in a show of both their loyalty to Aloysius, whose family had been their steward for one or two centuries, and their newfound Christian fervor. The captains of these contingents were all princes of rank among their people who had grown up at the court of Augusta Treverorum with the incumbent Augustus, such as Haistulf of the Lombards. The more firmly integrated and more-or-less fully Christianized Franks & Burgundians made even larger contributions, including units of cavalry who had been equipped with stirrups and trained to fight as lancers in the style of their Roman overlords. Coupled with the remnants of the faithful Sclaveni, these federates would constitute more than half of the army due to march in the next year.


Northern Roman legionaries from Gaul and especially the March of Arbogast as well as Alemannic and Lombard federates, called up by Aloysius Augustus to serve as the core of his proto-crusading army

Aloysius’ former enemies in Hispania and Africa also made contributions of their own to his crusading host, although they were generally not as numerous or enthusiastic as the Teutonic federates. Reccared of the Visigoths dispatched to the Emperor’s side a modest force of 4,000, mostly drawn from cities with a high Hispano-Roman population such as Hispalis and Corduba, though they were willingly led by his zealous heir Roderic. Stilicho of Mauretania initially promised a massive contribution of 20,000, but the ongoing distraction presented by Donatist raids on the weakened African frontier resulted in him sending barely a tenth of that number: 2,500 mounted archers and skirmishers whom he placed under the command of a distant cousin on his mother’s side, Simon of Sufetula. While hugely underwhelmed, Aloysius nevertheless accepted this token of reconciliation from Altava, and made a brief journey to Carthage so that he might witness Stilicho swearing an oath on the relics of Saint Augustine to join him with the full might of the Moors as soon as Hoggar was dealt with (again). He would be lying if he claimed he did not doubt Stilicho’s loyalty, however; Stilicho could either follow his sense of duty to Rome and fight loyally for the dynasty which had displaced his own, or more easily follow his heart and reclaim the purple once Aloysius was dead on some eastern battlefield, and the Emperor knew it.

As the Papal and Patriarchal call to arms was broadcast to all Christendom, not just the Roman Empire(s), the Western Romans also received help from beyond their borders. Lech of the Polans, while not a Christian, pledged to follow through on his continuing alliance with the Romans. The Anglo-Saxons, long their most reliable partners in the north, naturally sent men – 2,000 to be exact, which may have been small by the standards of the continent but definitely comprised a reasonably sized army by those of the British Isles, and was led by the English king Ealdred’s firstborn son Eadweard, who had volunteered for the job. Even some of the Gaelic petty-kings sent a few hundred warriors; the largest contingent to come from these untamed Celts was one of 200 volunteers assembled by Énda mac Diarmata, brother of the King of Laigin – which (by virtue of being the southeasternmost Irish kingdom) was the kingdom that traded most extensively with the Roman ports in Gaul – while the smallest was one of 20 Dál Riatans including and led by Áedán mac Eochaid, youngest and most adventurous of the ten sons of the King-Between-The-Isles.

To Aloysius’ great surprise even old Albanus of Britannia sent him assistance: 900 British longbowmen led by one of his grandsons, Corineus. The reason the Romano-Britons gave was that despite differences in faith, they had not forgotten their Roman heritage and would not idly stand by as their fellow Romans were threatened by a horde of demonic pagans from the east. Arbogastes and Aloysius were skeptical, thinking this to just be a diplomatic maneuver on the part of the estranged Romano-British to buy goodwill with them and thus stave off the possibility of a continental Roman invasion in the near future, but all help was appreciated in this great undertaking and they ultimately did not turn the Britons away. At the very least, this occasion did mark the Pelagians as slightly less vile heretics in the eyes of the Ephesians than the persistently troublesome Donatists in Africa.


Aloysius' war of reunification gave the Anglo-Saxons and Romano-Britons their first ever opportunity to fight alongside, rather than against, one another

Toward the year’s end it became apparent that the army Aloysius was pulling together would be the largest singular host in Western Europe since the Crisis of the Third Century, even if more than half of it couldn’t be said to be ‘Roman’ in character. From his native March and the provinces of Gaul, Italy and Hispania the Augustus had assembled no fewer than 20,000 legionaries, divided into 20 legions. The Franks, mightiest of the federate kingdoms and the closest among them to the House of Arbogast, had made the single largest barbarian contribution – 7,000 men. The Burgundians sent 5,000 and the Lombards, Bavarians, Alemanni and Thuringians contributed a total of another 7,000. On top of the 4,000 Visigoths and 2,500 Moors Aloysius could also count on another 8,000 Horites, Dulebes and Carantanians – the remaining strength of his faithful Slavs. The insular contribution numbered another 3,500 between the English, the British and a total of 600 Gaelic volunteers. Coupled with the pagan Polani (but still missing the vast majority of the promised African troops), Aloysius would march in the spring of the next year with almost 60,000 soldiers – a force so huge that he wanted to depart Ravenna at their head as soon as possible, not just to quickly come to grips with Rome’s enemies, but also so that they didn’t unduly stress his logistics and drive northeastern Italy (where they were amassing) to starvation.

Such power was not only welcome but necessary, for in the Orient the Romans’ enemies were marshaling every ounce of strength they still had for what they anticipated to be their final battle at Constantinople. In the spring, the Avars’ advance across Thrace was temporarily halted in the Battle of Arcadiopolis, though they comfortably outnumbered the 10,000-strong defending Roman army, thanks to a herculean effort on the part of the general Ovida and the three Khosrovianni princes Mithranes, Pharasmanes and Bacurius (all exiled along with their parents after the fall of their home kingdom of Georgia). But Mouhan Khagan returned in the fall with over 40,000 warriors, and this time the Eastern Romans could not withstand him: Ovida and Pharasmanes were both killed, while Mithranes and Bacurius led the shattered remnants of their army on a retreat back to Constantinople, during which Avar outriders continued to harass them.


The demise of Pharasmanes the Georgian on the battlefield of Tzurullum, south of Arcadiopolis

On the other side of the Bosphorus, Heshana Qaghan was also stomping out the last embers of resistance on his path to the Queen of Cities. Having spent the past winter conscripting and training every able-bodied man his agents could find to further replenish his depleted ranks, he captured Nicaea in the spring of this year and Nicomedia in the summer by way of quick but costly assaults, ruthlessly putting the populations of both to the sword for their resistance. The Turks spent most of the summer and fall overwhelming the Roman garrisons still holding out in Ionia, culminating in their conquest and savage sack of Ephesus beneath an October downpour; however they were unable to take Smyrna, and in any case Heshana soon directed them to focus their attention and full might against Constantinople. For this final attack the old Qaghan had effectively bled his own realm white, mustering an earth-shaking horde of 120,000 for the upcoming siege of Constantinople (they would have been more numerous still had he not thrown many lives away in the bloody assaults on Nicaea, Nicomedia and Ephesus).

The single-minded zeal with which Heshana was now concentrating against Constantinople left the Turks vulnerable to other threats. Caliph Qasim had not been blind to how the Turks were emptying their cities, farms and pastures, and accordingly chose 665 as the year in which he would strike north – in part to appease the increasingly antsy warhawks within his own court. The Muslim armies moved quite late in the year, having first spent eight months testing the Turkic defenses with ghazw raids and striking only after finding them utterly wanting, but they did so with purpose and deadly effect; Islamic forces rapidly surged through the greatly weakened Turkic underbelly to extinguish the Lakhmid state in just the last few months of the year. Heshana was not sympathetic to the concerns of the highest-ranking Lakhmid prince to both survive the Islamic seizure of Al-Hira and escape his chains, Qabisah ibn Abjar, and instead informed him that he would only turn south to drive the Muslims out of the former Lakhmid territories after he had conquered Constantinople.

Far beyond the mortal struggles of the Romans and the Turks, on the opposite end of the latter’s realm the Indo-Romans had been enjoying a far better time than their progenitors in the past several years. Freed of the threat of a renewed Huna invasion, Hippolytus continued to build upon his father Sogdianus’ limited gains to the north and absorbed additional Sogdian chiefdoms & city-states into his growing kingdom along the western edge of the Roof of the World. By the time of his death late in 665, the Indo-Romans had asserted their suzerainty across the entirety of Sogdia, with even Marakanda and the site of Sabbatius’ final resting place – Alexandria Eschate – now flying the eagle banner their kings had inherited from Belisarius. But still the Belisarians were not done, for Hippolytus’ son and successor Hippostratus was destined to take their kingdom to its zenith as the eighth century drew closer.

666 was perhaps the most pivotal year in Roman history since the two Romes united to defeat Attila in 450, as it marked both the high-water mark of the Turk & Avar offensive against Constantinople and the march of the Western Romans to save their beleaguered Eastern counterparts – quite the reversal from the situation two hundred years prior. After wintering at Nicomedia Heshana marched on to Chalcedon, which he overran after only a short fight on account of the vast majority of the population having evacuated and their defenders reassigned to Constantinople itself ahead of his coming, after which he began to lay siege to the great Oriental capital across the Bosphorus while the Avars descended upon its landward side. Meanwhile Aloysius set out from Ravenna with his great host behind him in March, after the worst of the snows had fallen and the weather began to warm up.

Mouhan Khagan had dispatched his remaining son and heir, Zuhui Tarkhan, to take command of the Avars’ western frontier and organize the defense against the oncoming Romans. However, with so much of their people’s remaining strength concentrated against Constantinople, Zuhui was left with precious little to work with and easily defeated on the singular occasion on which he tried to fight the Western Roman army head-on, the Battle of Siscia in April. Following this debacle, the Tarkhan switched up his tactics to instead disperse his smaller army into the hills, mountains and river valleys of Dalmatia, from where they harassed the advancing Roman host with ambushes and raids on its supply line with support from the Slavic vassals whom they had settled in these lands.

Zuhui’s guerrilla tactics slowed Aloysius’ march, but failed to completely grind it to a halt. Worse still for the Avars, the Occidental Augustus countered by directly undermining the allegiance of those aforementioned Sclaveni vassals. While he allowed the Horites, Carantanians and Dulebes to scour unwelcome guests from the lands rightfully allotted to them by the Stilichians in years past, as Aloysius left western Dalmatia behind toward the end of April he struck up new alliances with other Slavs, previously unknown to the Western Romans save as enemies who followed the Avars, and turned them against their former masters. Of these the most prominent were the ‘Merehani’ or ‘Southern Moravians’ – Moravtsi in their own tongue – who had come to settle in the valley of the Margus River (which they called the Morava). Together with their confederates they were dubbed the ‘White Serbs’, for they claimed their ancestors were Sorbs who hailed from lands near both the Lombards and the Polani, and Aloysius showed favor to their prince Dobreta (whose name was Latinized as Daurentius in official correspondence). Worse still for the anti-Roman alliance, Stilicho of Mauretania firmly drove the Hoggari away at the Battle of Dimmidi and sailed from Carthage in May with an additional 15,000 reinforcements, sending word to Aloysius of his intent to catch up to & unite with the main Western Roman army at Thessalonica in a month’s time.


Aloysius exhorts his army to continue marching as Dobreta and the White Serbs guide them out toward Moesia

Unable to prevent large numbers of his Slavic thralls from defecting to such an overwhelmingly superior enemy, Zuhui decided that the best he could do in these difficult circumstances was to plant double-agents to maul the Roman army from within, while also collecting reinforcements from further behind his lines and shadow the Romans’ movements. To that end he had his brother-in-law Kelagast, prince of the Branichevtsi who lived north of the Merehani, fake a defection to the side of the Western Romans along with some other lesser Slavic tribes neighboring their lands, such as the Abodriti (relatives to the Obotrites who still lived well beyond Rome’s northeasternmost border). Dobreta counseled Aloysius not to trust these latecomers, especially not when they were led by the husband of Mouhan’s eldest daughter, but Kelagast successfully argued that the Moravtsi prince was just jealous of him and did not wish to share the rewards of victory with them. For his part, Aloysius welcomed the additional help but took Dobreta’s warning to heart, giving these so-called ‘Black Serbs’ a place of lesser honor toward the rear of his marching columns and assigning his half-brother Rotholandus to watch them for treachery.

While the Western Romans were still marching through Moesia, the main Avar force and their Turkic allies were tightening the noose around Constantinople. Mithranes and Bacurius were successfully defending the Anthemian Wall against Mouhan’s hordes throughout the middle spring months; to correct this, Heshana conscripted Greek sailors from the captured Anatolian ports to first ferry his grandson Maniakh Tarkhan and 30,000 Turks over the Hellespont, and then to participate in attacks on Constantinople’s seaward defenses, always under the threat of being flayed alive and having their families sold into slavery if they did not comply. Maniakh’s Turkic reinforcements attacked the Anthemian Wall from behind on April 30, and a day later its Eastern Roman defenders had already been forced to retreat back to Constantinople lest they be crushed utterly between the Avars and the Turks, with many more still dying (although, no doubt ‘most’ was better than ‘all’) on the field between this outermost wall and the city proper.

The fall of the Anthemian Wall brought Mouhan’s Avars to the Theodosian Walls, their last and most dangerous obstacle on the path into Constantinople, which were defended by some 12,000 remaining Eastern Roman legionaries and an indeterminate (but probably not significant) number of considerably less well-equipped and trained civilian militias. The Avars relentlessly battered those redoubtable walls with their mangonels, and also threw more and more of both themselves & Maniakh’s men into dangerous escalades and assaults on the city gates, but time and again they failed to break through. Heshana joined in with forceful attacks on the sea-walls of the city, knowing that the extensive provisions stockpiled in the city and the approach of the Western Roman army which the Avars had warned him of would make it impossible for him to simply starve Constantinople into surrender, but the Empress Helena’s generals successfully raised a great chain between Constantinople’s northernmost tower and that of nearby Galata[1] across the Golden Horn; this denied the Turks entry into the waters north of the capital, allowing the Eastern Romans to mass more of their limited numbers along the southern walls rather than stretching themselves too thinly.


Patriarch Antony and the Georgian prince Bacurius lead a religious procession along Constantinople's northern walls (with whose defense the latter had been entrusted by his personal friend, the Empress Helena) to shore up morale

Like the Avars, the Turks were unable to overcome these stiffened defenses; even when they got past the war-galleys and fireships of the Eastern Roman navy their landing parties were often destroyed in minutes, in part due to the stalwart performance of an unusually large and determined contingent raised from Constantinople’s Jewish population. Paranoid about being betrayed to her death like her grandfather, Helena had taken hostages from almost every Jewish family in the city to force their men into fighting for her, not dissimilar to how Heshana himself had found his sailors and ships (an irony not lost on Helena herself, who justified her harsh measures with the desperation the war had driven her to). Fighting would rage around the walls for the entirety of May and most of June – while the Avars and Turks could not achieve any major breakthrough, they most certainly could and did wear the already much smaller defending army down by sheer attrition with their constant assaults.

The Western Romans reached Thessalonica early in May. However, word of mounting distress at Constantinople compelled Aloysius to strike his tents and march off earlier than expected. After sending word to Stilicho that he’d changed plans and now wanted the African fleet to sail directly for Constantinople, he set out eastward less than halfway into the new month and (in part thanks to the hasty surrender of a large Sclaveni tribe in the region, the Strymonitai) broke through Mouhan’s rearguard at the Battle of the Strymon on May 29. Marching along the Via Egnatia, the lumbering Western Romans had reached Cypsela[2] by June 8. They were now finally in position to intervene in the Siege of Constantinople, and would begin by driving the Avars from the Anthemian Wall in the Battle of Aprus[3] a few days later, but were distracted by their scouts’ reports that Zuhui Tarkhan had never stopped shadowing them and was approaching from the north with a force of Avar reinforcements, assembled from those few among his people still left in northern Dacia for a desperate counter-stroke against the Roman West.

Aloysius dispatched Rotholandus and the Black Serbs (altogether 15,000 strong) to engage Zuhui south of Adrianople while he committed to the main battle around Constantinople. Though the Avars were larger still in number, Rotholandus led an admirable effort to check their advance in the battle which followed until Kelagast betrayed the Romans just as Dobreta had warned he would, crushing the Armoric duke and his 5,000 between themselves and their true masters. It is said that the Dux, badly wounded in the fighting, blew his horn (both to call for aid from his half-brother and to warn him of the Black Serbs’ treachery) until it burst asunder, soon after which he died. In any case, Zuhui wiped the Roman contingent at Adrianople out to the last man and had his forward-most ranks bear their heads (including that of Rotholandus) on their lances as they moved to engage Aloysius’ main army.


Kelagast's Black Serbs betray Rotholandus in the forests outside Adrianople

The climax of the Siege of Constantinople began on June 20, shortly after the Battles of Aprus and Adrianople. Toward the end of yet another long day of fighting across the walls, where the Avars had finally managed a few limited breakthroughs along the middle outer wall or Mesoteichion while the Turks had landed assault parties beneath some of the seaward walls for the first time, Aloysius launched a massive attack against their rear with his cavalry, leaving the infantry and siege weapons behind under his father; by this point, attrition and the need to leave behind detachments to secure their logistics had reduced the strength of the Western Roman army (even counting their faithful Slavic reinforcements) to about 50,000. Organized into three massive cunei or wedges by sunset, the Roman heavy cavalry effortlessly smashed through the feeble and disorganized Avar response (already further diminished by the attacks of the African skirmishers who had come all this way with their Augustus) and had surged into the city itself to destroy those Avars who’d managed to get over the outermost gates and walls throughout the night. Enough defenders remained to contain the Turkic amphibious attack to its beach-heads, while the Eastern Roman fleet cut them off from reinforcements, so that by the early morning hours they too had been eradicated.

However neither the demise of Heshana’s eldest remaining son Törtogul Tarkhan beneath the Gate of the Lion nor that of Mouhan Khagan, who was cut down by Aloysius himself at the conclusion of a celebrated duel in the peribolos between the outer and inner Theodosian Walls, would buy the Romans respite. Heshana poured his reserves into the fight, escalating the ongoing assault into a massive and desperate final push to capture Constantinople, and took to personally directing the renewed attack on the sea-walls despite his extreme age and being blind in even his one remaining eye. His grandson Maniakh counterattacked against the infantry under Arbogastes with reinforcements from over the Hellespont, including several war elephants, and while the magister militum initially held them back and shot down many of their elephants with his carroballistae as intended, this initial setback was offset by the arrival of Zuhui Tarkhan (or rather Khagan, though he did not know it at the time) in the wee hours of the morning of June 21.


The golden Aloysius charging atop his faithful steed Ascanius through the ranks of the Avars and their Slavic subjects within Constantinople's peribolos. The Emperor had wings affixed to his saddle, but these presented obvious targets and were destroyed by Avar lances & blades early in the fighting

The Avar and Slavic attack on the flank of the Western Roman infantry increasingly drove them off the field and toward the city walls, where Aloysius was hurriedly rallying his cavalry to go back out the gates and ride to his father’s rescue. In this his hopes were vain, for Arbogastes was trampled by a Turkic elephant while directing his men’s retreat toward the safety of the Theodosian Walls. But the Romans found their hope renewed come daybreak, as Stilicho’s Moorish reinforcements had arrived to the south of the city and destroyed another contingent of Turkic reinforcements as it departed Gallipoli at midnight, before marching to engage the Turks and Avars west of the Bosphorus. There had been doubt at the very highest levels of the Western Roman court that Stilicho would actually help them, for if Aloysius were to fall on the battlefield he could very easily have retrieved the crown of his forefathers; but like past Stilichians, his sense of duty and loyalty to the Roman Empire (regardless of who ruled it) was stronger still than selfish ambition.

With the commitment of the main African contingent to the fight at daybreak, the tide of battle shifted once more to favor the Roman side, this time permanently. After nine hours of hard fighting the Avar army was driven from the battlefield in disarray, having endured a thorough mauling between Aloysius’ cavalry and the African reinforcements, while Maniakh Tarkhan had been killed by Stilicho and the remaining Turks who’d made it over the straits destroyed utterly. Meanwhile Heshana’s hordes had smashed themselves to pieces against the seaward walls, their efforts further compromised by mutinies among their drafted Greek sailors. The Qaghan had absolutely refused to order a retreat, but his increasingly wavering men had already begun to do so even before an Eastern Roman fireship burned his flagship to ash with him still aboard it some time after-noon, stubbornly refusing to leave the battlefield at all costs. By the morning of June 22, the last traces of hostile presence had been scoured from all around the Oriental capital and it could be said that the Romans had decisively won the Siege of Constantinople.


Heshana Qaghan meets his fiery end in the waters around Constantinople

Alas, this victory came at a great cost. On top of all the losses of the previous thirty years of almost-nonstop warfare, the Eastern Romans had lost some 4,000 men over the course of the siege, as well as thousands of civilians who died from disease, hunger or the boulders flung by Avar mangonels. The Western Romans’ losses were graver still: of the 50,000 Aloysius brought to the Queen of Cities, nearly a fifth would find her bosom to be their graveyard. The Western Emperor lost his father Arbogastes as well as friends both old and new; Prince Zdeslav of the Horites, Agilolf of the Bavarians, Sigismund of the Burgundians and Dobreta of the Moravtsi all fell in the battle. The losses endured by the insular extra-Roman reinforcements were not insignificant either, though most memorable of these were the Twenty Martyrs of Dál Riata - Áedán mac Eochaid and his men all perished, though their banner was found to have remained firmly upright in the dead prince’s hand.

Meanwhile Helena Karbonopsina was crushed by the death of Bacurius of Georgia, one of her few trusted friends, above all the other Eastern Roman losses, which included Gondophares the Sasanian. The Turks and Avars of course had been shattered – of the nearly 70,000 Avars who had fought, fewer than 30,000 had managed to escape under Zuhui’s leadership, while another 30,000 of the 120,000 Turks were killed or captured and either executed or sold into slavery; more would follow in the chaotic weeks following their crushing defeat – no small number of these losses could have been avoided had Heshana been less fixated on taking Constantinople and more willing to order a retreat as the Romans piled up around him. As well the treacherous Kelagast was no more, slain in mutual combat with his rival Dobreta.

Though their enemies had been left reeling, they were still active, and so neither Aloysius nor Helena had much time to lament their many and grievous losses. As promised, the two were formally wed before the end of June, after which Aloysius was immediately acclaimed as the Emperor of the Roman East by the Senate of Constantinople and crowned as such by Patriarch Antony: now, all Rome formally had only one and the same Emperor for the first time in nearly 300 years. Especially in the east both monarchs were hailed as joint katéchonoi, ‘withholders’ – righteous bulwarks prophesied by Saint Paul to hold off the coming of the Antichrist and the End of Days – and on account of both this nickname and the religious fervor which had motivated so many of Aloysius’ soldiers, to differentiate the reunited Roman Empire from its pre-395 self their empire was titled the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ by historians.

However, in official practice this new incarnation of a unified Rome was still referred to strictly as the Imperium Romanum, and neither Aloysius nor Helena believed they were building a new state so much as they were simply reversing the division of 395 (hopefully permanently). In any case, the Emperor and Empress were keenly aware that their legacy was not yet set, and that they still had a long way to go to fully solidify the great triumph of 666. After their first night together (as a result of which Helena became visibly pregnant before the year’s end) the imperial couple spent the rest of the year reorganizing their forces, fighting against Avar remnants in Thrace and pushing the crumbling Turks away from Chalcedon (well, mostly it was Aloysius who was responsible for this), and planning their next moves.


The marriage of Aloysius, hereafter nicknamed 'Gloriosus' ('the glorious'), to Helena Karbonopsina following the former's relief of the latter's capital finally reunited the two Romes after nearly three centuries of separation

667 was the year in which the Romans began to mount serious offensives after staving off the fall of Constantinople the year before. Helena and her court (especially the various displaced eastern royals who had survived up to this point) favored chasing the Turks over the Bosphorus, but Aloysius and the Western Roman generals successfully pushed for them to concentrate on the Avars first, so as to consolidate Roman authority over the Peninsula of Haemus and secure their rear before they crossed the straits. Besides these strategic factors, the Avars were an attractive target on account of already being in extremely bad shape after losing the Siege of Constantinople, more than half of their army having been destroyed either in the battle itself or in the rout, skirmishes and frantic rearguard actions following it, and their remaining strength was further diminished with the surrender or outright defection of many more of their Slavic and Gepid subjects to the Romans since.

Aloysius set out northward from Constantinople in the spring and defeated Zuhui Qaghan’s remaining forces in Thrace twice more, first at Develtos in March and then again at Dorostorum in April. With these victories he drove the Avars back over the Danube, but before he could cross the great river to finish the job, fate intervened: the long-rebellious Turkic component of the Avar Khaganate, resentful of being stuck in the empire’s second rung below the Rouran elite and finding an opportunity to shake their situation up with said Rouran decimated from the recent string of defeats, toppled Zuhui and the Yujiulü clan in a violent coup shortly after the Battle of Dorostorum. It also helped the anti-Rouran elements that yet another great tribe calling themselves the Bulgars, displaced by Khazar expansion, began to migrate into the Avars’ undefended northeastern frontier this year. The leader of this uprising claimed leadership of the Avar remnants as Bayan Khagan and immediately sued for peace with the Romans, offering them Zuhui's head as a goodwill token.

The Emperor took his chance to impose harsh terms on the Avars in the hope of neutralizing them, reducing them to a Roman dependency and rewarding his loyal allies all at once. The Avars were required to abandon all lands outside of the old Dacian provinces: this meant returning Thrace and Macedonia to the Holy Roman Empire as well as Dalmatia to the Horites, ceding the Pannonian Plain to the Dulebians, and releasing the Gepids from vassalage so that Aloysius could immediately place them under his suzerainty instead, giving the Romans a foothold in Dacia once more. Bayan was also required to release all the slaves taken in Mouhan’s and Zuhui’s wars and pay war reparations as tribute, which was recognized as only the first step to compensating the Romans for over a century of incessant destructive raids and invasions. In exchange, the Romans agreed to confront these Bulgars with them – this latest wave of barbarians was steadily pushing through Avar territory toward the Danube, so Aloysius figured he’d have to meet their challenge sooner or later anyway.

Dealing with the Avars and now preparing to meet the Bulgar horde were far from the only challenges the Romans had to deal with in 667. As was the case with Honorius II and his federates after the defeat of Attila, Aloysius and Helena now had to repay their various allies (old and new alike) for their help in reuniting the empire and breaking the backs of the Avars & Turks. They certainly could not keep for their depleted treasuries all of the considerable riches plundered from the Avar and Turkic camps, huge amounts of which they had to shell out to the legionaries and various federates in their service; the same was true of the enemy warriors and camp-followers they spared to take into slavery. The foreigners also had to be paid their share before going home, their obligations fulfilled. There was quite a bit of redrawing of the map of southeastern Europe to do, as well, for the benefit of the Sclaveni who had served as Rome’s front line against the Avars and borne some of the hardest fighting.

The Carantanians, who had been the westernmost of the South Slavic federates and suffered the least against the Avar advances following Theodahad’s treachery, were restored to their old borders in full. The Horites and Dulebes for their old lands back and then some: the Horites were awarded the entirety of the Dalmatian hinterland up to the Moesian border at Sirmium, while the Dulebes took from the Avars the entirety of old Pannonia, including long-ruined Aquincum, and then even further beyond onto the old Iazyges plains up to the abandoned Roman fort at Partiscum[4] and the Tisia River[5]. As for the new federates, the so-called ‘White’ Serbs were made into the masters of the old Diocese of Dacia and Dobreta’s son Vojislav, who chose to rebuild the ruined Singidunum as his capital of Belograd (the 'White City'), was recognized by the Roman court as their prince.

Regarding their ‘Black’ Serb neighbors, Aloysius did not have it in him to forgive the treacherous killers of his half-brother who nearly brought about his defeat at Constantinople and even had the audacity to taunt him with Rotholandus’ severed head: already leaderless, with their army shattered and shorn of Avar protection, these people he now subjected to mass enslavement and deportation, turning their lands over to the more trustworthy White Serbs instead. The Augustus of all Rome was more forgiving toward the other Slavs south of the Danube who had fought with the Avars, since they did so honestly and wasted little time in submitting to him after he defeated their overlords, and those like the Strymonitai who chose his side and actually stuck to their decision. These he allowed to live in the countryside of Scythia Minor, Moesia Inferior and Dacia Ripensis, though he set a man named Borimir – an Eastern Roman general whose people had never wavered in their loyalty to Constantinople – to rule over them and keep them in line; this Borimir in turn made his hometown Preslav[6] into the capital of the new federate realm. In time the seven tribes settled by the Avars in this region, of whom the largest was an offshoot of the Severians among the easternmost Antae far to the north, would merge with their neighbors and the few remaining locals who’d survived the Avar ravages to become known simply as the ‘Thracians’ (not to be confused with the decidedly non-Slavic original Thracians).

Aloysius also had to reward the fidelity of Stilicho the Moor, whose loyalty (in a time and place where, if the roles had been reversed, Aloysius had to admit to himself he’d never have made the same decision) inadvertantly shamed the new Emperor. Furthermore no chronicler would soon forget that the Stilichians’ competent stewardship was the only reason there was even still a Western Roman Empire for Aloysius to unite with the East, so that it became a common saying that ‘the Stilichians shaped and baked the cake, but it was the Aloysians who ate it’. Thus did the Augustus name Stilicho and his heirs hereditary urban prefects of Carthage and proconsuls of Africa Zeugitana, essentially ceding the African capital region to the Stilichians, and also elevate the Moorish king alongside himself as the first two Consuls of the reunited Roman Empire for 667-668. Around the same time his first legitimate child with Helena was born – he had insisted that he should name their firstborn while Helena named their secondborn, thinking it would be a son, and was disappointed when she birthed a daughter in Constantinople’s porphyry chamber instead, who he nevertheless named Serena after his mother.


Stilicho of Mauretania, now a Consul of Rome, contemplating whether he did the right thing in putting (the Second) Rome above his own ambition, even if it meant aiding a former enemy. His father, who died fighting Aloysius for the purple, surely would have disapproved; but his namesake and progenitor may well have sympathized

While all this was happening west of the Bosphorus, east of it the Southern Turkic Khaganate was beginning to unravel. The deaths of Heshana and his immediate heirs plunged the massive but fragile realm into chaos; with the most senior line of descent from the deceased Qaghan now represented by his eleven-year-old great-grandson Doulan, his remaining older kin, generals and governors began fighting to carve out their own fiefs. This suited the Muslims just fine – in this year alone Caliph Qasim and his chief general Talhah ibn Talib crushed the Tegreg prince Irbis in the Battle of Ayn al-Tamr, after which they compelled the Jewish elders of Babylon and other municipal leaders to surrender that great city to them bloodlessly. Few Mesopotamians still had any love for Turkic rule on account of the increasingly ruinous taxation and conscription regimes Heshana had been imposing for thirty years, and openly welcomed the Muslims. By the end of 667 the Southern Turkic Khaganate had definitvely collapsed into anarchy while the Dar al-Islam had added to itself most of the lands along the lower Euphrates & Tigris, though they had begin to face slightly stiffer opposition spearheaded by the Turkic princes Külüg and Bögü out of Damascus and Arbela.

Notably, 667 was also the year in which affairs in Rome had settled sufficiently for the new Pope Gregory and Emperor Aloysius to properly examine the report Liberius had sent them three years prior. The revelation that there was an entire continent of unknown (but likely large, hopefully at least comparable to Europe) size west of the Atlantic was one that stirred up much excitement and wonder in the Western Empire, and was a welcome distraction after the turmoil of the last couple of years. Many suggestions were bandied about for its name – some of the most popular were Vesperia, ‘land of the evening’, for it lay in the direction of the setting Sun; ‘Elysium’, after the afterlife of Greco-Roman paganism that was said to lie far in the west; or ‘Terra Mariana’, thereby claiming the continent for the most-blessed Mother of God and Queen of Heaven.

Ultimately however, the prideful Augustus Aloysius requested that the continent be named for him in honor of his successful holy war & reunification of Rome, and neither knowing just how massive the land Abbot Liberius had discovered was nor wishing to offend the glorious & seemingly ever-victorious restorer of Roman unity, Pope Sylvester assented. Thus, in another twist of great fortune early in the reign of the new Emperor, the western continent was dubbed ‘Aloysiana’[7] in the records of the Heptarchy, and the other proposed names would find themselves applied to various European colonies and nations in its distant future. News of this decision did not matter overmuch to the colonists already living there however, least of all the Pelagian Britons who continued to try to build alliances with local Wildermen and explore up the Saint Pelagius River to compensate for the ever-shrinking and less frequent convoys from their homeland.

====================================================================================

[1] Karaköy.

[2] İpsala.

[3] Kermeyan.

[4] Szeged.

[5] The Tisza River.

[6] Veliki Preslav.

[7] Since Aloysius is the Latin form of Louis, this is more or less tantamount to naming the entire North American continent ‘Louisiana’.
 

PsihoKekec

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The decision to crush the Avar remnants first was the correct one, repairing the damage they left behind will take a long time, but needs to be done if the Roman Empire is to have chance of recapturing the ravaged Anatolia. We will see how much resistance the Turkish remnants can offer to the Muslims and how soon before the first clash between Quasim and Aloysius.
 

stevep

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Well that was bloody but the empires are united and the NE flank secure for the moment, although it will take some time for the lands so long battered by the Avars to recover. Nice working in of the legend of Roland and the HRE. ;)

How much of the bulk of the eastern empire they will actually keep out of Muslim control will be seen. The last remnants of the Turkish empire - destroyed by Heshana's stupidity will provide some check on the Muslim advance but probably not much as their too discredited by the costs of the long war against the ERE. However the empire will need to concentrate on regaining and restoring some order 1st to Anatolia before they could push further. Although possibly secure a number of the islands - assuming the Turks didn't have much of a navy Crete, Cyprus and the smaller islands should be safe.

If they do that then do they look for overland advances into Syria or by sea to Egypt. Despite the hostility of much of the population that might also prevent a new front in N Africa opening but then Islam has already established itself in the ruins of Axum and started attacking Nubia. Syria is going to be easier to reach possibly but could be difficult to hold.

An ominous statement about the Indo-Roman state that it is going to be reaching its zenith under its current ruler but wonder how long it will last?
 

ATP

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The decision to crush the Avar remnants first was the correct one, repairing the damage they left behind will take a long time, but needs to be done if the Roman Empire is to have chance of recapturing the ravaged Anatolia. We will see how much resistance the Turkish remnants can offer to the Muslims and how soon before the first clash between Quasim and Aloysius.
Indeed.First finish Avars,then consolidate,and now they should wait year or so for muslims and turks fighting each other.
And then crush winner.
With one exception - retake Jerusalem by sea.Turks have no navy,after all,and it is christian Holy City.
Not only christians,but Samaritans should help there.

Aloysiana - why not?
But,we could have practical outcome - Ephesian church could copy celtic monks.Maybe to the point when they gave power to abbots,not bishops in many places.

And,somebody would try and find way from Spain.It is practically sea road which could be used by relatively small ships - and now romans knew,that there is land there.

Roland died on schedule,and certainly would get his song,even if schared with other dead heroes.
Considering everything,i except next Illiad to be written by somebody.

And wings on saddle were practical - Tatars could not use their lasso/arcans/ to take people from horses,when they had wings on saddles.
Winged hussarls used it that way - on back of their armours it was moved in 18th century,when they were ceremonial units used in funerals.
And,poles rarely let horses go into churches,so winged hussarls need wings on their back.

About winged hussarls - they were effective mainly thanks to :
1. 6m long lances - romans could made them
2.Special hybrid horses - mix of warm blood horses from Persia and Ottoman Empire mixed with local polish warm blood horses.They were big,fast,strong and capable of long fight.Something which others horses were unable to do.
Romans could do that,too.
 

stevep

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Indeed.First finish Avars,then consolidate,and now they should wait year or so for muslims and turks fighting each other.
And then crush winner.
With one exception - retake Jerusalem by sea.Turks have no navy,after all,and it is christian Holy City.
Not only christians,but Samaritans should help there.

Aloysiana - why not?
But,we could have practical outcome - Ephesian church could copy celtic monks.Maybe to the point when they gave power to abbots,not bishops in many places.

And,somebody would try and find way from Spain.It is practically sea road which could be used by relatively small ships - and now romans knew,that there is land there.

Roland died on schedule,and certainly would get his song,even if schared with other dead heroes.
Considering everything,i except next Illiad to be written by somebody.

And wings on saddle were practical - Tatars could not use their lasso/arcans/ to take people from horses,when they had wings on saddles.
Winged hussarls used it that way - on back of their armours it was moved in 18th century,when they were ceremonial units used in funerals.
And,poles rarely let horses go into churches,so winged hussarls need wings on their back.

About winged hussarls - they were effective mainly thanks to :
1. 6m long lances - romans could made them
2.Special hybrid horses - mix of warm blood horses from Persia and Ottoman Empire mixed with local polish warm blood horses.They were big,fast,strong and capable of long fight.Something which others horses were unable to do.
Romans could do that,too.
Good point on Spain, or even N Africa. Would be interesting if a Stilicho state was set up somewhere in southern N America or the Caribbean.

Why would the Samaritans help Christians, who have persecuted them, against Muslims who if they follow the OTL path will be far less oppressive, at least in the short term? Ditto with Jews, Coptics and any other non-Ephesians groups. That coupled with the initially much lower general taxes applied by the early Islamic states were the prime reasons why the Sassanid empire collapsed and the ERE suffered the loss of the bulk of its territory. Here the support of the western empire means the Romans have more resources available and the western units haven't let been bled white by decades of war as the east has but its not going to be easy to regain lands outside Anatolia although Ephesian theology is more powerful in places like Syria and Palestine compared to OTL.
 
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ATP

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Good point on Spain, or even N Africa. Would be interesting if a Stilicho state was set up somewhere in southern N America or the Caribbean.

Why would the Samaritans help Christians, who have persecuted them, against Muslims who if they follow the OTL path will be far less oppressive, at least in the short term? Ditto with Jews, Coptics and any other non-Ephesians groups. That coupled with the initially much lower general taxes applied by the early Islamic states were the prime reasons why the Sassanid empire collapsed and the ERE suffered the loss of the bulk of its territory. Here the support of the western empire means the Romans have more resources available and the western units haven't let been bled white by decades of war as the east has but its not going to be easy to regain lands outside Anatolia although Ephesian theology is more powerful in places like Syria and Palestine compared to OTL.
That it is why they should do that by sea before arabs come there.When samaritans hate jews and turcs more then christians,and do not meet arabs.

About Stilicho state in Central America - why not? in 666AD there were only city-states there,nobody who could oppose them seriously.
City state with gold,cruel pagan gods demanding blood,and stone weapons.Perfect target for evert crusader.
 

stevep

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That it is why they should do that by sea before arabs come there.When samaritans hate jews and turcs more then christians,and do not meet arabs.
I think that the Arabs are likely to be in charge before there is time for that given how exhausted the Turkish empire seems to be.

About Stilicho state in Central America - why not? in 666AD there were only city-states there,nobody who could oppose them seriously.
City state with gold,cruel pagan gods demanding blood,and stone weapons.Perfect target for evert crusader.
That would be interesting. The Romans would have less technological edge and also ability to ship people across the ocean, at least without stepping stones like Ireland-Iceland-Greenland. However their still going to have a clear advantage, while the locals are going to be hit hard by disease as OTL. Christianity here isn't as bloodthirsty as OTL - or its rather more muted in the scenario - so going to be an even greater contrast in religious views.
 

ATP

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I think that the Arabs are likely to be in charge before there is time for that given how exhausted the Turkish empire seems to be.



That would be interesting. The Romans would have less technological edge and also ability to ship people across the ocean, at least without stepping stones like Ireland-Iceland-Greenland. However their still going to have a clear advantage, while the locals are going to be hit hard by disease as OTL. Christianity here isn't as bloodthirsty as OTL - or its rather more muted in the scenario - so going to be an even greater contrast in religious views.
1.Exhausted or not,there is still 90.000 turks there.Before arabs made their way to Palestine,roman navy could be there arleady.
With fresh,united troops.

2A.Romans ships were not worst then what Columb had.

2B.they have there kind of searoad thanks to winds and currents which let basically any ship get to America from Spain in less then 2 months - as long,as they start in right seazon.

2C Catholics,unlike protestants, were not bloodthirsty,that is why in South and Central America we still have indians and metiso,when in USA local indians was practically wiped out.
Indians were treated good in church property - problems were with spanish settlers.Which prosecuted indians becouse they were bad catholics,not good.
When protestants wiped out indians becouse they were good protestants.
 

stevep

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1.Exhausted or not,there is still 90.000 turks there.Before arabs made their way to Palestine,roman navy could be there arleady.
With fresh,united troops.
There may be 90,000 conscripts but many were not Turks and the army is demoralised and disorganised. Under attack by both Rome and the Muslims and spread over a vast areas their likely to collapse quickly.

2A.Romans ships were not worst then what Columb had.
Beg to differ. Their a lot more based on Med designs with less capacity to sail at angles to the winds and possibly excepting those which have seen service on the trips by the northern route have little experience of storms in open water.

2B.they have there kind of searoad thanks to winds and currents which let basically any ship get to America from Spain in less then 2 months - as long,as they start in right seazon.
This assumes that they know about both the existence of such winds and currents and that there are lands within reaching distance before the supplies run out. Even OTL Columbus was lying to his men about the distance covered to avoid the growing unrest about what many were fearing was a death ride with no land in range.

2C Catholics,unlike protestants, were not bloodthirsty,that is why in South and Central America we still have indians and metiso,when in USA local indians was practically wiped out.
Indians were treated good in church property - problems were with spanish settlers.Which prosecuted indians becouse they were bad catholics,not good.
When protestants wiped out indians becouse they were good protestants.
:ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
Leaving aside the difference between the Catholic church and TTL's Ephesians, which like the OTL church has been involved in widespread persecution of other groups the former had a hell of a dark reputation even before the reformation. Think of all the schisms and abuse of other Christians let alone non-Christians. Its the problem of any totalitarian faith system that its open to such brutal excesses and xenophobia. Disease and greed killed a lot of Indians in the Catholic controlled lands but sheer brutality and religious fanaticism did a lot as well. Its not for nothing that we still can't read Aztec, Mayan or Inca records to any real degree because the Spanish were so determined to stamp out all knowledge of their culture.

There were two primary reasons why more natives survived in Spanish/Portuguese lands than what became the US.
a) There were vastly more of them in the lands ruled by the 1st set of conquerors than the 2nd. Even with the disease pandemics, savage massacres and brutal oppression places like central Mexico and the Andean plateau there were still a lot left.

b) It was less religious than system of rule. The Spanish and Portuguese not only faced much larger populations but came as overlords intent on ruling and taxing the native population. The settlers in what became the US were generally of a poorer class and came for land with with the relatively low number of local inhabitants meant that the latter were pretty much totally displaced in many locations, especially as the US grew stronger and more advanced.
 

ATP

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There may be 90,000 conscripts but many were not Turks and the army is demoralised and disorganised. Under attack by both Rome and the Muslims and spread over a vast areas their likely to collapse quickly.



Beg to differ. Their a lot more based on Med designs with less capacity to sail at angles to the winds and possibly excepting those which have seen service on the trips by the northern route have little experience of storms in open water.



This assumes that they know about both the existence of such winds and currents and that there are lands within reaching distance before the supplies run out. Even OTL Columbus was lying to his men about the distance covered to avoid the growing unrest about what many were fearing was a death ride with no land in range.



:ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
Leaving aside the difference between the Catholic church and TTL's Ephesians, which like the OTL church has been involved in widespread persecution of other groups the former had a hell of a dark reputation even before the reformation. Think of all the schisms and abuse of other Christians let alone non-Christians. Its the problem of any totalitarian faith system that its open to such brutal excesses and xenophobia. Disease and greed killed a lot of Indians in the Catholic controlled lands but sheer brutality and religious fanaticism did a lot as well. Its not for nothing that we still can't read Aztec, Mayan or Inca records to any real degree because the Spanish were so determined to stamp out all knowledge of their culture.

There were two primary reasons why more natives survived in Spanish/Portuguese lands than what became the US.
a) There were vastly more of them in the lands ruled by the 1st set of conquerors than the 2nd. Even with the disease pandemics, savage massacres and brutal oppression places like central Mexico and the Andean plateau there were still a lot left.

b) It was less religious than system of rule. The Spanish and Portuguese not only faced much larger populations but came as overlords intent on ruling and taxing the native population. The settlers in what became the US were generally of a poorer class and came for land with with the relatively low number of local inhabitants meant that the latter were pretty much totally displaced in many locations, especially as the US grew stronger and more advanced.
1.And fighting cyvil war.That is why they would lost - but not quickly enough to take Palestine before roman army sail there.
2.Not enough difference to made it impossible - boats could made it.
3.Yes,they do not knew.But they knew about continent there - so,after 20-50 years somebody would discover searoad and use it.And then we have roman america.
4.If you go to Mexico,you would find beautiful old churches/those which survived masons backed by USA/ with basically everything there - sculptures,painting,etc - made by local indians.Only architects were - no,no from Spain.From Italy.
Could you show me ONE protestant church build by local indians?

And,about numbers - indians on East shore was arleady settled,and have almost the same numbers as Aztecs.
 

stevep

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1.And fighting cyvil war.That is why they would lost - but not quickly enough to take Palestine before roman army sail there.
2.Not enough difference to made it impossible - boats could made it.
3.Yes,they do not knew.But they knew about continent there - so,after 20-50 years somebody would discover searoad and use it.And then we have roman america.
4.If you go to Mexico,you would find beautiful old churches/those which survived masons backed by USA/ with basically everything there - sculptures,painting,etc - made by local indians.Only architects were - no,no from Spain.From Italy.
Could you show me ONE protestant church build by local indians?

And,about numbers - indians on East shore was arleady settled,and have almost the same numbers as Aztecs.
As the author has pointed out the empire still has distinctly limited resources and it can't afford a serious set-back. Hence its 1st target is to defeat the Avars and then Anatolia is the obvious target as to leave that in potential hostile hands exposes Constantinople to further attack. Sending another army into Palestine by sea would be a serious splitting of forces that they can't afford unless their getting very reckless. Already I think at least some of the forces that rallied to the 'crusade' have dispersed as they view their duty done.

They know there is some land to the west in the north but I don't think much if any has been explored south of the Gulf of the St Lawrence. The Brits have gone some way inland but their keeping it as secret as possible for obvious reasons and again that is largely west rather than south. It would be a total guess to assume both that the landmass goes as far south as the latitude of Spain or that such winds and currents exist and until there's evidence of at least one of those an expedition is unlikely to occur.

Were those churches built after the natives were converted, in which case they have lost their older identity or prior to that with them being used as forced labourers - similar to the English by the Normans to build their castles and cathedrals?

I know there were a number of tribes further north who converted to Christianity, which would have been of some Protestant form but unfortunately the desire of the white settlers for land and the much lower numbers of natives compared to Meso America meant that they were still overwhelmed.
 

ATP

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As the author has pointed out the empire still has distinctly limited resources and it can't afford a serious set-back. Hence its 1st target is to defeat the Avars and then Anatolia is the obvious target as to leave that in potential hostile hands exposes Constantinople to further attack. Sending another army into Palestine by sea would be a serious splitting of forces that they can't afford unless their getting very reckless. Already I think at least some of the forces that rallied to the 'crusade' have dispersed as they view their duty done.

They know there is some land to the west in the north but I don't think much if any has been explored south of the Gulf of the St Lawrence. The Brits have gone some way inland but their keeping it as secret as possible for obvious reasons and again that is largely west rather than south. It would be a total guess to assume both that the landmass goes as far south as the latitude of Spain or that such winds and currents exist and until there's evidence of at least one of those an expedition is unlikely to occur.

Were those churches built after the natives were converted, in which case they have lost their older identity or prior to that with them being used as forced labourers - similar to the English by the Normans to build their castles and cathedrals?

I know there were a number of tribes further north who converted to Christianity, which would have been of some Protestant form but unfortunately the desire of the white settlers for land and the much lower numbers of natives compared to Meso America meant that they were still overwhelmed.
1.To take Palestine back they need less then 10.000 soldiers - and arabs need at least 2 year to get there.

2.Yes,they must quess that continent is still there - but,they arleady new patterns of winds there.So,it is matter of time till somebody wait for seazon of westerns winds and go there.
Of course,it take time - but dozens of years rather then hundrets.

3.Indians mass converted when Holy Mary showed Herself to Juan Diego in 1531.And ,after that,many churches was made by free indians living in church lands.
in First painting and sculptures was made white monks,but since at least 1600 it was indians and metises.
How many indian paintners lived in protestant lands?

4.They were overwhelmed,becouse puritans considered themselves as "New Izrael",and colonies as "New Caanan".
And,becouse they belived in OT bulshit that caananites were genocided,they genocided indians there for real.
 

stevep

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1.To take Palestine back they need less then 10.000 soldiers - and arabs need at least 2 year to get there.

2.Yes,they must quess that continent is still there - but,they arleady new patterns of winds there.So,it is matter of time till somebody wait for seazon of westerns winds and go there.
Of course,it take time - but dozens of years rather then hundrets.

3.Indians mass converted when Holy Mary showed Herself to Juan Diego in 1531.And ,after that,many churches was made by free indians living in church lands.
in First painting and sculptures was made white monks,but since at least 1600 it was indians and metises.
How many indian paintners lived in protestant lands?

4.They were overwhelmed,becouse puritans considered themselves as "New Izrael",and colonies as "New Caanan".
And,becouse they belived in OT bulshit that caananites were genocided,they genocided indians there for real.
Well we're taking the thread way off topic with points 3 & 4 but so will send a private mail. This isn't the place to discuss such issues as its a thread about an AH TL.

1) Can 10,000 isolated forces hold it that long given a lot of the population are almost certain to be hostile. Plus how are you getting that two year figure when there's very little other than whats left of the Turkish Khanate to stop the Muslims? Not to mention that 10,000 men is a substantial force for Rome at this point and there are huge demands on its military. Apart from everything else while the west is looking secure and united at the moment it can't be left undefended.

2) I agree its likely to come up in a few decades say rather than hundred - possibly we're in alignment but not clear on the time scale we were talking about as I assumed you were thinking of pretty much right away. Also I will point out they know some details of currents near the coast but how deeply into the Atlantic has anyone actually sailed to tell how far those currents carry that same course yet?

Steve
 

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Well we're taking the thread way off topic with points 3 & 4 but so will send a private mail. This isn't the place to discuss such issues as its a thread about an AH TL.

1) Can 10,000 isolated forces hold it that long given a lot of the population are almost certain to be hostile. Plus how are you getting that two year figure when there's very little other than whats left of the Turkish Khanate to stop the Muslims? Not to mention that 10,000 men is a substantial force for Rome at this point and there are huge demands on its military. Apart from everything else while the west is looking secure and united at the moment it can't be left undefended.

2) I agree its likely to come up in a few decades say rather than hundred - possibly we're in alignment but not clear on the time scale we were talking about as I assumed you were thinking of pretty much right away. Also I will point out they know some details of currents near the coast but how deeply into the Atlantic has anyone actually sailed to tell how far those currents carry that same course yet?

Steve
1.Both christian and Samaritans hated turkd there - and new Emperor could be merciful.Jerusalem is Holy City - that is why take and hold it.
Remember,that.at least for now,muslims are wary of fighting romans - at least till they defeat those turks which have 2 soldiers for one muslims,or more.

2.They knew when winds are going West,all they need is follow them.
 
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