+ Reply to Thread
Page 10 of 10 FirstFirst ... 8 9 10
Results 181 to 190 of 190

Thread: Victorious through Godís grace: de Hautevillesí chronicle

  1. #181
    Lt. General Hastu Neon's Avatar
    Cities in MotionDeus VultEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor the Motherland
    Hearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Semper FiSword of the StarsEU3 Collectors Edition500k club

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    1,292
    LXXXII. Those damned dull Byzantines

    Theodoros carries on his lovely affairs for four years, until the need of an heir and the strong pressures of Pope Louis II induce him to marry a good party. Two choices stand out from others: Beatrice de Lorraine, sister of the young king of France Lorenzo, and Elena Marsvin, sister of Hardeknut of Poland. While the alliance links would recommend choosing the Polish princess, the superior traits of Beatrice (including her Italian origins) and the sponsorship of the Pope decisively bolster the prospects of the ďFrench betrothalĒ.


    So Theodoros and Beatrice wed and consummate the marriage in early 1428; few months later, with her already carrying a baby in the womb, they visit Agrigento and found there a church as a vow to Virgin Mary for a sound pregnancy. The thanksgiving proves fruitful as by year-end the heir is born safely and baptised Ezio (the queen would give birth also to Alexandros in 1430, Zeno in 1432 and many, many others in the following years!). The year and half which approximately goes from the royal coupleís wedding to Ezioís first birthplace is full of joy and success: first the king revokes Hermann of Spoleto of his lands (annexing them to the royal demesne), and then between May and October 1429 he orders an expedition that captures Leptis Magna on the coast of Libya.

    Unfortunately such apparently happy setting is destined not to last, ruined one more time by a revival of Byzantine aggressiveness which abruptly interrupts ten years of stability. Romanos V has succeeded his brother Nikolaos as Emperor in 1422, coveting since then the revenge for the embarrassingly ineffectual war of 1416-19 (a clear symptom of how the Byzantine armies of today are far from the old glories of the past). After seven years of waiting his chance comes in December 1429 by declaring war on Smbat II (Theodorosí strongest vassal in Egypt), guilty of having assailed the Byzantine post in the oasis of Buhairya during the previous war.

    Differently from the last time, this one the Sicilian fleet succeeds in keeping the Byzantine forces at bay. The whole Italian peninsula is adequately sheltered from the attacks coming from across the Adriatic and Ionian seas (with the minor exception of a pillaging raid conducted against Bari in spring 1430), while Anatolia, Egypt and Crimea are the main theatres of a war mainly fought on the attack by King Theodorosí armies. At the opening of the hostilities in early 1430, Smbat II proceeds to occupy Buhairya while the Sicilian forces begin to act vigorously in the Aegean Sea by capturing the Anatolian town of Laodikeia and Thessalia.

    The remainder of the year and the following 1431 record mixed developments: on the one hand, a strong Byzantine counteroffensive in Egypt liberates Buhairya and even force Smbat II out of Alexandria; on the other hand, the Sicilian expedition in Anatolia makes its way east and occupies Adana and Amisos, but leaves Laodikeia undefended against the return of the imperial troops. As Romanos V Ė probably puzzled by these mixed signals Ė refuses to come to terms, Theodoros commands the 8.500 Sicilians to embark at Amisos for Crimea, where the Chersonid emperors have always had their base of power. The landing occurs in summer 1431, and by September Lukomorie and the Lower Don delta are in Hautevilleís hands. The years from 1432 to 1434 record a ping pong too hectic to be accounted for: in Greece, Egypt and Anatolia towns and forts are lost and retaken by each side several times, but the trend is generally favourable to the Sicilians. At length Theodorosí large use of mercenary armies Ė responsible for horrendous pillages in Crimea Ėmakes unsustainable the war for the Byzantines, who finally surrender in a peace gesture the oasis of Buhairya (August 1434).

    Rumours from distant lands Ė The German Confederation: a shaky amalgam

    The confederation inaugurated from the ashes of the Hohenstaufen empire has lived for nearly 60 years in a peculiar situation: presided since its beginnings by a representative of the commune of Milan, with the accession of more and more German noble, ecclesiastical and urban lordships the league has turned into a chimera with a small Italian head on a big German body. All efforts of Igino of Milan (consul of the Confederation since 1371!) to expand influence over Northern Italy have been thwarted for decades by both Venice and Isaakios the Great.

    At least, the confederation has brought more than 30 years of peace to Germany. But trouble brews again in 1401 when Consul Igino declares war on King Amedeo of France in order to profit of the weak grip of the Lorraine dynasty on the throne. Even if successful for the Germans, the conflict brings destruction and impoverishment everywhere Ė and a papal interdict to Igino, guilty of having attacked fellow Christians. Finally in 1419 a peace treaty transfers the provinces of Nordgau and Perigord from France to the German Confederation, and Igino chooses to move to Strasbourg the capital of the league in order to appease its other members. A good intent turns very bad for the cause of the Milanese leader, given the number of external and internal opposers envious of his power and irritated with Iginoís staunch defiance to leave an office which to most critics seems to have become a life and quasi-hereditary tenure. While the Hautevilles, owners of the Iron Crown since 1387, have now an easy time in asserting their claims on the whole Lombardy, likewise the rulers of Scandinavia and Bohemia gain the help of some members of the confederation (such as the Dukes of Brabant, Meissen and Brandenburg) alienated by the decaying hegemony of Milan.

    After a quite long period of low-grade discord, the situation conflagrates in the 1320s with major fightings occurring in Lombardy, along the Milan-Genoa line, and in central-northern Germany; King Vit of Bohemia takes the lionís part of the profit by extending his grip on Saxon lands. For several years Consul Igino holds the line against his foes and finally saves the confederation from complete collapse: in the early 1430s the estates of the Dukes of Brandenburg and Meissen, plus the rich trading city of Hamburg, are reincorporated in the federation (but not the equally wealthy Brabantine lands). Igino passes away in 1437 at the venerable age of 70 and with his death comes the necessity to devise a reshuffle of the German Confederation, now more and more centered on its German core. Unfortunately, the strong Milanese leadership of Igino would be followed by two weak officeholders, Adhemar da Cardano and Innocenzo von Vinstingen, strengthening the impression that such loose confederation cannot easily stand the rising power of great nation-states.


    Bohemia has aggrandised itself at the expense of the German Confederation

  2. #182
    Lt. General Hastu Neon's Avatar
    Cities in MotionDeus VultEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor the Motherland
    Hearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Semper FiSword of the StarsEU3 Collectors Edition500k club

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    1,292
    LXXXIII. The Golden Age of Renaissance


    Saint Jerome in his Study, viewed by the Neapolitan painter Colantonio as a humanist scholar

    While Europe is in flames because of various conflicts, under Theodorosí cautious direction the Italian peninsula undoubtedly enjoys its golden age in the fields of art, science and economy. Virtually untouched by the recent war against the Byzantines, the Hauteville homeland has even benefited from it as the expeditions in Greece and Anatolia bring back inestimable scientific and cultural knowledge from the millennial inheritor of the Roman legacy.

    The migration of many Greek scholars and artists to Italy is one of the catalysts of the revival of classical studies, particularly in those areas which share a strong cultural affinity with the East: just think of ancient Hellenic colonies like Napoli, Reggio and Messina, Byzantine seats like Bari or centres of recent immigration like Salerno and Capua. In all such places humanists (some of whom are clergymen, others lawyers, literati or civil servants) rediscover the lost pieces of classical art and develop a new vision of the world, based according to the model of antiquity on the revaluation of the freedom and ingenuity of the human mind. The learned Theodoros (so called the Magnanimous) patronises many court humanists to preserve his reputation to posterity: one of the most renowned is Hamelin Angevin, appointed by the king to a benefice in a local diocese and to the education and cultural advisory of the heir to the throne Ezio. The latter, raised by his father to the Duchy of Calabria in 1435, gathers at Reggio a number of scholars, theologians and artists and occupies himself with courtly romances ad lyrics.

    As already said with reference to the Council of Lecce (1425), also the Church is clearly affected by humanism in the attempt at reforming its institutions and traditions, and a righteous sovereign as Theodoros Ė so aligned with religious precepts that he orders the closure of money lending activities Ė cannot agree more with this approach. The long enlightened pontificate of Louis II ends in 1434, but the reform movement continues under his successors Humbert, Philippe and Hamelin (named the ďScottish PopesĒ due to the strong influence on their selection by Malcolm V of Great Britain, a control only interrupted by Theodoros in the early 1440s).


    In the field of economy, as the royal coffers are full Theodoros can launch a plan of liberalisations, agricultural improvements and tax cuts. Napoli (finally incorporated in the royal demesne in 1433) becomes a major cultural centre with a brand new classical school. Furthermore, the city is largely fortified and provided with a naval harbour. The estatesí attitude towards the central government remains multifaceted: the core of the Hauteville domains (in essence, Italian peninsula plus Egypt) is now stable and homogenous. There is still some residual dissent among burghers Ė which for instance provokes the Messina riot of 1440, soon quelled with good sense and tolerance by Theodoros Ė but it is with the magnates that the dealings are trickier (even if a great part of them remain pleased with the kingís rule). Particularly during and after the last Byzantine war, some vassals (both secular and ecclesiastical) have broken free: just to mention a few, the Archbishop of Galilee, the Duke of Aquitaine, Ardai Countess of Ephesos and Naxos and the governors of Djerba and Cornwall. Concerned by these losses, Theodoros adopts a more conciliatory approach (in other words: sends gifts); however it is worth noting that defections of isolated holdings and fickle nobles are even desirable to render his empire more and more harmonized, trusty and defensible.

    No surprise so that Theodorosí foreign policy in this period is quiet and prudent: nothing more to record save the prolongation in 1434, upon the ascension Birger (Hardeknutís son), of the alliance pact with the kingdom of Poland; and the conquest of Maan and AlíAqabah in 1446-47, which brings for Theodoros the additional title of Duke of Arabia Petra.

    Rumours from distant lands Ė The War of the Auld Alliance

    Since the beginnings of 14th century there has been an anti-English convergence between France and Scotland (the so-called ďAuld AllianceĒ), which has endured both the defeat of the Angevins by the Scots and even a 7-year quarrel towards the end of the century. In the meantime, both realms have changed ruling dynasties (Scotland-England from Dunkelds to Aed of Marís family; France from Capetians to the House of Lorraine) and the Scottish sovereign Malcolm V has also annexed Wales in 1424, thus merging his three crowns in the single Kingdom of Great Britain.

    France has undergone less dramatic changes, at least until the death of King Onorio. Profiting of the minority of the heir to the throne Lorenzo, the powerful faction of the generals takes control and leads France to invade Rosello in June 1427, thus starting the War of the Auld Alliance (France and Scotland/Great Britain against Spain). The first years of the war are disastrous for the Spaniards: French troops coming from north capture Calatayud (King Affonso IIIís capital), while the Scots ravage vast tracts of AndalucŪa. But Malcolm Vís involvement in the war is short-lived, as he soon appreciates that the Scottish armies are fighting more for the benefit of France than his own. In November 1431 Malcolm V pulls out of the war for little, but the Spanish prospects do not improve materially as the following year Affonso III is wounded in battle and dies, leaving all the Iberian crowns to his minor son Sancho. Hence the French army continues to have the upper hand in the north of Iberia, occupying the capital and the strategically important town of Burgos. Yet, the French occupation brings monarchy and people together in one of the first examples of patriotic war of liberation. Episodes of mass resistance multiply, and by the late 1430s the guerrilla becomes stiffer and stiffer. Every town and piece of land is contended, the Spanish partisans even manage to gain control of Rosello and Narbonne for a while. All the 1440s elapse in a balanced warfare whose final outcome is hard to predict. What is sure is that this conflict is probably changing the nature of politics: next wars will be fought among nations rather than dynasties Ö

  3. #183
    Patron Saint of Suenik Iain Wilson's Avatar
    Deus VultFor The GloryRome Gold

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Posts
    2,364
    Blog Entries
    3
    Wow - impressive achievements by Scotland!

    In my CK games my poor home country normally ends up getting creamed (sometimes when I'm playing it)!
    ~~ My Current AARs ~~
    The Sleeper - an EU3 Narrative
    These Oranjes Are Not For Eating - Fun and Games in the Orange Free State
    Favourite Comedy Victoria AAR: Q1 10 Q2 10 Q3 10 Q4 10 Q1 11 Best Character Writer: 28th Feb 10; 5th Jul 10 WritAAR of the Week: 6th Mar 10
    For AARs past and present please visit my Ink Well


  4. #184
    Lt. General Hastu Neon's Avatar
    Cities in MotionDeus VultEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor the Motherland
    Hearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Semper FiSword of the StarsEU3 Collectors Edition500k club

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    1,292
    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Wilson View Post
    Wow - impressive achievements by Scotland!

    In my CK games my poor home country normally ends up getting creamed (sometimes when I'm playing it)!
    ... And here, instead, a great success for Scotland! I am quite impressed by the "plausible" alternate history which has developed in the later part of the game (there are still 5 years I have to play, I stopped around 1447):
    1. The three countries of Great Britain have been unified by the Scots.
    2. The whole Iberia has been unified by Aragon, 2 centuries before Felipe II of Spain.
    3. The Holy Roman Empire has collapsed, substituted by a loose confederation unable to sustain the power of centralised states like France, Poland, Scandinavia, Bohemia.
    4. Scandinavia unified.
    5. Italy south of the Po Valley unified (by me).
    6. The Byzantine Empire survives strong in its core holdings (Balkans, Anatolia) and outside (Ukraine, Levant).
    7. Christianity holds on in Egypt (me) and the area formerly occupied by the Crusade States.
    Overall, what would have been the history of Europe in the Modern Age with such setup?

  5. #185
    Lt. General Hastu Neon's Avatar
    Cities in MotionDeus VultEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor the Motherland
    Hearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Semper FiSword of the StarsEU3 Collectors Edition500k club

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    1,292
    LXXXIV. Epilogue


    Hauteville family tree in 15th century

    The last years pass amid concord and people acclaim for Theodoros. Left a widower by the premature death of Queen Beatrice, the king is anyway blessed by the presence of many sons and daughters to the point that he does not consider marrying again. Four of his sons acquire a notable power in different branches of the government:
    • Petros, the illegitimate son born to Theodoros by a mistress, has always been treated fairly by his father and the court. Invested with the county of Agrigento in Sicily, Petros has proved capable and strong-minded. In 1445 he surprisingly declares himself Theodorosí legitimate heir based on his strength of rule;

    • Ezio is Duke of Calabria, but has occupied himself mainly with literary pursuits and continues to show aversion to the cares of government (that is probably the reason inducing Petros to advance his pretension);

    • The younger sons Alexandros and Zeno prove more concrete than their elder brother Ezio, and Theodoros carves out for them two appropriate offices of responsibility in the public life: Alexandros becomes marshal of the kingdom and Zeno spymaster.
    In this idyllic and balanced state of the Hauteville kingdoms, there is a last series of events to account for: in June 1447 the re-acquiescence with King Theodoros of the new Archbishop of Galilee, Louis Pico, brings fresh plans of expansion in the Levant which materialize in the 1449ís conquest of Monreal.

    There is nothing more to say, really. The last couple of years go by placidly giving me the time to enjoy the details of my empire. Here is a quick map of the territories ruled by Theodoros, the last descendant of Tancred of Lecce, on 1st January 1452Ö so the game is over, and I enjoyed it very much. I hope you enjoyed the reading!


    Extension of Theodoros' domains (Kingdoms of Two Sicilies, Egypt and Italy) in 1452;
    Lecce, starting point and actual capital, shown in red

  6. #186
    Congratulations Hastu Neon on some fine writing!

  7. #187
    Lt. General Hastu Neon's Avatar
    Cities in MotionDeus VultEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor the Motherland
    Hearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Semper FiSword of the StarsEU3 Collectors Edition500k club

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    1,292
    Thanks Morrell8, for this final message and for your continuous support.

    Before showing the final political map of Europe and the Mediterranean basin, let's have a look to religion.

    No doubt in the West (thus, no need for a map): Europe is Latin Christian and North Africa is Muslim.

    The situation is much more complex in the East, where several waves of conquest and consolidation (the Crusades, the Byzantine resilience, the Polish and Hungarian rush to the Baltic Sea, the Sicilian expansion in Egypt and Palestine) have left their mark on peoples' worship.


    Religious confessions in the East

  8. #188
    The muslims didn't defend to well against the crusades. In my games I see the Crusaders annihilated less than a generation after their conquests.

  9. #189
    Lt. General Hastu Neon's Avatar
    Cities in MotionDeus VultEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor the Motherland
    Hearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Semper FiSword of the StarsEU3 Collectors Edition500k club

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    1,292
    Quote Originally Posted by Morrell8 View Post
    The muslims didn't defend to well against the crusades. In my games I see the Crusaders annihilated less than a generation after their conquests.
    I agree, their Jihad has not been so strong in this game. Completely annihilated in Iberia in roughly ten years at the beginning of the scenario, they have somewhat resisted in the Levant until the Sixth Crusade. With the Hauteville's conquest of Jerusalem (1337) the necessary compresence of Christians and Muslims in the East has become a matter of fact.

  10. #190
    Lt. General Hastu Neon's Avatar
    Cities in MotionDeus VultEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor the Motherland
    Hearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition
    Semper FiSword of the StarsEU3 Collectors Edition500k club

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    1,292
    Atlas Update (1452)


    The last half century has been as shocking as the previous one.
    • The German Confederation has generally held off the attacks of its enemies, but lost some ground particularly to Bohemia.

    • After England, also Wales has been annexed by Scotland. The whole island of Great Britain is now unified under a single banner.

    • Similarly, the Kingdom of all Spain is the final outcome of the victorious campaigns which have brought the rulers of Aragon to conquer Castile, the Papal States (now relocated to Rome) and Portugal.

    • Both Hungary and the Byzantine Empire have suffered domestic troubles, rebellions and military defeats. Consequently their territories have got relatively smaller when compared with 1400.

    • France, Scandinavia, Poland and Venice have remained quite stable, while the Hauteville domains have expanded both in North-Central Italy and in Egypt/Holy Land.
    If you go back to the first post of this thread, you will find (from 1187 to 1452) a summary of the Apulian Hauteville rulers, a chronology of events and all the atlas maps. I hope you enjoy it.

    - - - -

    Guys, now it's really the end. My project of three AARs closes here (in order: EU2, Victoria, CK). It took several years and a big effort, and I'm proud of it.

    Thanks you all!

+ Reply to Thread
Page 10 of 10 FirstFirst ... 8 9 10

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts