Game: EU3, patch 1.3, Magna Mundi IV 1.31 mod
Start Date: Grand Campaign (1453)
Objective: Survival of the Papal State to 1792. Use actual historical figures whenever possible. Random bits of humor here and there. Please be gentle, This is my first AAR.
For anyone who is clicking on this thread for the first time, (or catching up on things) I've provided a table of contents for you to view the various chapters without having to click through all the pages of the thread.
Chapter 1: From Constantinople to Conflagration (1453-1455)
Thursday, May 31, 1453. Pope Nicholas V wrote in his journal that he would forever remember that day as, “one great dark day in my heart.” For on that day a fast trade ship entered the harbors near Rome with word that the great city of Constantinople had fallen to the Ottoman Turks. The Courts of Western Europe failed to heed Nicholas’ call for a new Crusade to defend the city and now all of Eastern Europe was open to attack from the Ottoman horde.
The Italian peninsula itself was a powder keg of shifting alliances, schemes, and delusions of unification. Nicholas knew that the mere aura of the Papacy was no longer protection enough from the princes whose lands surrounded the Pope’s lands. Alliances would be need and quickly. Bishops and prelates were summoned to an audience with the Pope and dispatched to Urbino, Tuscany, Siena, Modena and tiny Mantua. Only Mantua agreed to help defend Nicholas from enemies abroad and within.
Moreover, the recent schism in Church politics still had not healed completely. The Pope retained Leon Alberti to continue as official Vatican painter and increase stability. He also hired Prospero Verona to help with Governmental reform (though not in the Vatican itself) and Callistus Monfalcone to reform trade, though Nicholas couldn't fathom what the Papal State could trade.
In October of 1454, a minor Italian Baron died penniless and childless. His lands overlapped the Tuscan border with the province of Romagna, but the powerful di Medici family who administered Tuscany controlled his debts. The Baron willed the land to the Church to be used for blind nuns to grow olives, and sell the olive oil, but the bishop refused to cede the land as payment for the debt. And as with all conflicts over oil, (extra virgin wouldn‘t you know,) the fuse to start the First Great Peninsular War was lit.
Mantua immediately renounced the alliance saying that the conflict was a contractual matter and not a matter between nations and recommended a lawyer. Tuscany’s ally Milan committed to assisting against the Papal State. Thus Nicholas V faced a combined army of 15,000 troops against 2,000 Papal troops. The struggle might be quick, but not favorable for the Pope.
Tuscany began the war by laying siege to Romagna. Milan attempted a seaborne invasion of Rome but that was quickly rebuffed by a division of Papal cavalry. Nicholas marched the combined Papal Army into Romagna, and lifted the Tuscan siege in early February 1455. After regrouping in Florence, Tuscany’s army divided into two and marched simultaneously into The Papal State during March/April 1455. On the eve of the battle for Romagna, Pope Nicholas V fell ill with fever and died. He was 57.