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Thread: Anagennisi Ton Rhomaion - A Roman Empire MEIOU AAR.

  1. #41
    Starting to look like a second Komnenian restoration! You just need a few more provinces in the south and a couple of islands (and a few more pesky Bulgarians)

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    Slacker Extraordinaire Zzzzz...'s Avatar
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    I hate video games HabemusZlatan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabid View Post
    Starting to look like a second Komnenian restoration! You just need a few more provinces in the south and a couple of islands (and a few more pesky Bulgarians)
    We'll get what we can when we can, I don't want to go over the infamy limit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zzzzz... View Post
    To Jerusalem!
    Oh, we will get there, you bet we will.

    Quote Originally Posted by GulMacet View Post
    And beyond! (1877: First Byzantines on the moon, 1912: Byzantine space station built)
    1922 - Byzantines win the Footbal World Cup even before the sport got invented.
    1936 - Hiled dies by the hands of a byzantine farmer becuase he said his grain was not fresh enought.
    1946 - Mars colonized. Name changed in Nea Nea Nea Nea Rome.
    2011 - Byzantines are the only population left in the universe.
    And now, the update!

    Part 11 : The delights of cascading alliances and how every little war is the first crusade

    The recent victory over the turks and the venetians and the sheer superiority showed in the brief conflict against the Bosnian-Serbian commonwealth had caused great prestige to be awarded to the army and its organization. Generals started to be rewarded with great amounts of wealth, soldiers started to have increasing privileges, more people became interested in the military life. This caused an increased mythisation of the Roman Army in the Empire, as some literates and generals started to label it as "Invincible". Most latin countries were appalled by the speed needed to the romans to forget the humiliating Genoese campaign and start to brag again about the superiority of their army. In a more modern perspective, while the Roman army was indeed temible, it surely wasn't the best one around tactics and equipment wise, with the contemporary Bohemian, English and French being sensibly superior.



    The remnants of the Genoese conflict still burned the romans. Seen the impossibility to compete with their navy and considerating a landing in Ligura impossible and the probability of the Genoese to face the Roman Army on the field scarce, Andreas decided to use again his head and not his muslces, as he sent some agitators among the greek population of the city of Amasra. While the peace contracts stipulated with Ladisav II of Bohemia told that the Romans were to tolerate and help the Genoese settlements in both Crimea and Anatolia, it said nothing about popular insurrection and the conseguent defection of the provinces. The agitators made a fine job, and the population started to see the genoese as tyrants and swiftly took the arms to liberate themselves of their oppressors to embrace the more enlightnet Imperial rule.



    With the peace that came with the stabilization of the Imperial supremacy in the Balkans, art, literature, trade and science started to flourish in the Empire. Increasing interest in the western paintings, which Andreas always showed to love, and epic (which was, in reality, heavily influenced by the Roman tradition and the hellenic classics) resulted in an increased trade between the italian principialities and the Empire.



    This new commerce route opened the Emperor to different options than simply buying clothes and paintings. He felt that if he could buy art, he could also buy books, literates, weapons and technologies. He thought that if Constantinople was to have a central role in the world, then Constantinople had to look more like the world. Being aware of the latin superior technologies and engineery, he started to assold italian, castillians, german and austrian counselors and physicists, giving them protection and freedom of research. The outcome of his mecenatism was a period of great progress for the Roman Empire, as even more literates started to undergo their studies in Constantinople and to consequentially spend their life there.



    To further improve the image of the empire, Andreas also wisely decided to strenghten the anti-piracy measures to protect the newfound trade of the empire. This decision was greeted joyfully by the international community and helped improve the rather tarnished image of the empire.



    The increasingly use of western clothes and uses however started to irritate a great part of the population. Most of the paesantry, inlcuding the nobles and soldiers, felt that the use of Latin dresses and costumes was too much for them to sustain. Riots started to be had in most of the empire, with burning of western clothes and books. This complicated situation forced the emperor to ban western clothes and uses and forced him to ask the foreign literates in Constantinople to adopt roman clothes and uses. While it seemed a rushed solution, it calmed down the population, but also slowed considerably down the pace of the Roman progress, who continued in a more sustained pace.



    The people of Samsum, seeing how the city of Amasra had succesfully thrown the genoese away, decided to emulate them by organizing an uprising in the city. Of course, much of this decision was due to the financial aid of the Emperor.




    Andreas also decided, in a period of social unrest, to consolidate the happiness of the populace more than anything. He started to give concession, freedom of trade and enterprise, and opened the universities to the Burghers, prioritizing the Roman citizens. This actions caused the stabilization of the situation, who could be again labeled as under control (stab 0, I decided to move towards isolationism.)



    The serbian citizens were also granted the same rights reserved to the Bulgarians, and became an integral part of the Empire multicultural core. In change, they started to recognize the Roman Emperor as their only legitimate ruler and true successors of Constantine.



    On the 31th October 1497, a letter arrived in the Constantinople university. The day after, the same letter arrived to the Patriarch himself (which at the time was Nepho II). The subject of the letter was found rather "interesting" by the patriarch, as it was a deep critic on the Catholic church (which at the time was still the dominant branch of christianity) resumed in 95 theses wrote by a veronese monk, Martin Lutero. The emperor, when informed of a new schism possibility in che Roman church, rejoiced and called it as a "sign of weakness of the schismatic".


    (It says Verona, so I'm gonna guess this time it happened in Verona and not Wittemberg. Also, since Verona is still independent, I guess he could possibly be italian.)

    The peace period, interrupted by the Lutero's episode, permitted the emperor to face other matters with ease and slow pace. Not young anymore, the emperor was close to the 60 when he ordered the Athen vassal to reduse their privileges to join the empire. The Athenian nobles, after an initial refuse as they would have been the "bridge between the Latins and the Romans", finally accepted the integration in the empire. The role of "safe haven" for the latin lifestyle was changed into the city of Ioannina.



    Andreas was enjoying the peace, but something still bugged him, meaning the Anatolian region, still with regions in the hands of the heathens. With the destruction of the Karaman sultanate, another, more dangerous enemy had settled in the souther Anatolia: The Sultanate of Fez, arguably the most powerful heathen nation, had decided to start reclaim "Al-Rumiyya" from the Christians and turks alike. Their first move was to annex the remnants of the Karamanese sultanate. If the emperor didn't act fast, the could also have to face another moselem resurgence in Anatolia, and his latest focus in the Balkans had put in on the guard, as it was the reason Rome lost Anatolia twice. Before it was too late, the Eperor decided to avoid that the Fezian would increase their influence in the little Hamidoglu emirate. With his health getting worse, he tasked his son Konstantinos to take care of the campaing.



    The peventive campaign was, useless to say, a success. The Fezian forces, while formidable at home, had no hope to stop the Romans in their territory and returned to Morocco as soon as they deemed possible. While the Fezian Navy gave troubles to the Romans, a victory was never in doubt.



    However, in the October 1498, Andreas II died in his bed, due to the complication of a simple fever. The nation was in mourn, and countless usurpers decided to exploit the situation to arise on the imperial throne instead of the legal heir Konstantinos, who was then occupied with the Heretanid campaign.



    Konstantinos, this must be said, while giving himself generously into the administrative field with not exceptional results, was more confortable in the battlefield and showed an incredible strength even at the age of 46, when he personally chased and destroyed the usurpers army while letting his army complete che campaing in his absence. The rebellion, however, took time to be completely annihilated and the peace resolution that caused the end of the Heretanid Emirate only arrived in the July 1499.



    The territories were reintegrated in the roman state and settlers started to move from Constantinople to the newly acquired lands.
    The empire was, even at war, going trough a period of great prosperity and wealth. The increased demand for studies to be had in the Constantinople university caused Konstantinos to use a great deal of money to open a second university in Gallipoli.



    The new campaign, that now was continuing in Cyrenaica as the Nubian allies of the now dead sultanate kept fighting, paradossaly, helped the Emperor to further improve his army. While the infantry was still the Andreian one, he thought that the Stradiotai were not being decisive enough in the recent battles, and their skirmish tactics had been neutralized by the Fezian bow cavalry and even by the Kanem Bornu archers. At this rate, he revolutionized the role of the Cavalry, reintroducing the heavy cavalry in Anatolia (a modernized version of the Cataphactoi, with a longer lance, plate armor, a saber and a hand gun for close combat and a crossbow for long rage combat) and introducing a new tipe of light cavalry, the Husaroi. These units, while being heavily armored than the Stratiotai, were used to cause havoc in the infantry and archers of the enemy field, preparing the charge of the Cataphractoi and then helping them in the melee fighting attacking from the flanks. The use of the Tatar bows instead of the experimental arquebuses (wich started to be favoured among the infantry), caused the Husaroi to be terribly effective in the battlefield, but also terribly expensive as a good riding archer costed more than a farmer with an arquebuse in his hands. However, the new cavarly gave Kostantinos the edge in combat.



    The new tactics and strategies caused the Nubian army to rout and being easily defeated by the Romans who, to end the war, asked them most of their cyrenaical possessions. While this request seemed at first incomprehensible (as the region was very poor), it granted to the Romans a foothold in Africa and a possible second front to the Mameluk sultan, who kept possessing the holy cities of Alexandria and Jerusalem.



    Date is 15 august 1501, and here ends the update.

    Extra image: Religious situation in Europe.

    Last edited by HabemusZlatan; 15-06-2011 at 20:44.
    Here be dragons

  5. #45
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Now, to the Pillars of Hercules and far beyond?

  6. #46
    Are you gonna conquer Iraq now?

  7. #47
    Slacker Extraordinaire Zzzzz...'s Avatar
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    Colonel oberstbrooksy's Avatar
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    Good to see expansion carrying on, Orthodoxy should keep pace!


    Also, what happened to bleedin France?

  9. #49
    I hate video games HabemusZlatan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Now, to the Pillars of Hercules and far beyond?
    We'll see

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralYork View Post
    Are you gonna conquer Iraq now?
    I don't think, the Pentarchy looks much more covenient, and the priority at the time is the levant, maybe secure position in Italy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zzzzz... View Post
    Heathens in my Roman Empire?
    They'll soon cease to exist, but with the meagre number of missionaries I have I'm already making miracles. (I've used Missionary cheat once due to roleplay, I don't think I could've sustained a sunni Nicaea as a roman emperor).

    Quote Originally Posted by oberstbrooksy View Post
    Good to see expansion carrying on, Orthodoxy should keep pace!


    Also, what happened to bleedin France?
    Orthodoxy shall become the most prominent christendom branch as soon as I get in Rome. About France, well, that usually happens in my games when I go random lucky nations. They're still powerful, believe me, even if they look crippled. By the way, they lost the 100 years war but the English didn't force them a PU. Weird stuff.

    And here it comes the update. I'm going to change the titles as my rulers keep dying during updates, which is quite annoying.

    Part 12 : Arquebuses and farmers are a conqueror best friends

    With the increased trading and cultural exchange with the latin world, he Empire was undergoing a radical societal change. While most of the uses remained the same, some thing would change forever. The new cultural curiosity lead to a renewed interest in the hellenic classic thinkers, expecially Archimedes and Pythagoras, and to a further development of the epic poetic and to a rediscover of the Alexiad. This cultural flourishing did, of course, attract literates from all europe and, to a certain extend, even technicians and military engineers who pledged allegiance to the Empire in change of mecenatism and money, due to the hard religious tension problems the latin world was going through. A most notable change in the empire was the introduction of latin military tactics and weaponry, expecially the Aquebus based infantry teory that intrigued most generals and the Emperor alike.
    While this would have took time to be absorbed by the well consolidated roman military, a more sensible use of firearms in the army would have led to an increased efficiency in the recruiting of soldiers. It must be said that since most of the cavalry was still formed by the noble elite of the country, the Husaroi system remained the basilar cavalry system for a long time and demonstrated more than once that an Archery based light cavalry was sill more effective than a firearm based one for almost a century. Nonetheless, a firearm based infantry was surely more effective and cheaper than a melee based one.



    The emperor needed however a pratical test of his new military doctrine, and what better target than the Eretnaoglu Beylik? If the roman emperors ever learned a lesson, that would be to not let the Turk Beylik advance or even stay in Anatolia any more and to crush them while it was still possible. Following these reasons, war was formally declared to Eretnaoglu, with Konstantinos himself leading the army in battle to witness by himself how the new weapons would act in battle.



    He was pleased to discover that the result were outstanding. While slow to recharge and in need of some discipline to effectively coordinating the attack/reload phases, the melee based turk infantry simply had no hope to even advance. In the whole campaing, the roman casualties were limited to 5 soldiers while the turks lost most of their forces. The annexation was unavoidable, and the Emperor was greatly pleased by the performance of his new firearm based infantry. The whole capaing, the sources report, was 2 weeks long.


    (Seriously, I love westernized infantry

    The obvious consequence of the renewed confidence in the army was, of course, the invasion of the Fezian controlled lands in Anatolia. The conquest of Cyrenaica prooved to be a great strategical addition to the war, since the roman soldiers could invade the Fezian mainland and stop the Fezian soldiers in their home while the great of the troops destroyed the Iraqi and Maghreb armies in Anatolia. Iraq, who didn't parteciapate in the defence of Eretnaoglu, honoured the alliance with Fez, as the Sultan saw them as a more reliable ally than the weak turkish beylik. This lead to the invasion of Cilicia, who the romans reclaimed as their rightful territory. The plan of Konstantinos was to reclaim those lands from the Iraqi to obtain a connection to Syria and Antioch, which was his next objective in the reconquest of the Levant.



    However, Konstantinos did never see the end of this campaing as he died after only 6 years of rule, due to the complications of a wound received during a battle against the Iraqi troops in Cilicia. His first son, Theodoros, became emperor in his place. Theodoros was truly a gifted administrator and a capable diplomat while not being interested at all in the military life and not showing any attitude at it. He knew, however, that the campaing had to be continued and left the entirety of the campaing in the hands of the nobles and the generals, while him remained well secure in Constantinople.



    The superiority of the new infantry was proving too much to sustain for the Iraqi, which complied to cede their possetion in Cilicia and war reparations in change of the much needed peace.



    Meanwhile, in Europe, the conflict between the Catholic Church and the new protestant doctrine was escalating in a open war of the Church against the new lutheran heresy. The Emperor didn't care much about the conflict but he did not formally condemn the new doctrine, as most of the Bosnian population appeared to have converted to the Lutheran faith.
    An interesting comment Theodoros has left us is contained in one of his writings, in which he defined the latins "Not even agreeing on how their own heresy should be". He tolerated the Bosnian for the moment mosty because that would greatly irritate the Catholic Church.



    He was more interested in the Samsun revolt, and rejoiced when he finally received the new that the Greeks in the Genoese city had finally thrown away the latins and recognized him as their true ruler. Anatolia was finally free of western control.



    During the fezian campaign another minor conflict erupted as the Tripolitanian maalik, that finally declared independence to the Nubians, refused to give access to the roman army as they were marching toward Tunis. At the Roman request, they answered that "they could try passing through the desert, as they surely wouldn't pass trough Tripoli". Theodoros then replied that he would simply take Tripoulis as the army was moving and their concerns about the desert were not of his interest. And so he did.



    After having forcibly crossed and occupated the Tripolitanan Maalikate, the Roman and Fezian armies finally met in the outskirts of Bouma. With an army of over 50000 soldiers, the Fezian felt confident to dispatch the little roman contingent of 10000 men. The battle that followed was one of the greatest testimony of the superiority of the firearm based infantry over the old medieval counterpart, as at the first charge no roman soldier died while 3000 berber soldiers met their fate as the rifles fired. The result was a stunning victory of the Romans and a massacre for the berbers, who lost 25.000 soldiers in their assaults, forcing them to retreat. Their gargantuesque army was then completely destroyed in Algeri, assuring the victory to the Romans and renewing the arab tales of the invincibility of the christian soldiers.

    [img=http://img541.imageshack.us/img541/8595/144riflesarecool.jpg]

    After this humiliating defeat, the fezian sultan was finally forced to cede their anatolian possession and to pay a great sum of war reparation, 625.000 perpers, in 2 years. It was a great victory and a great display of power from the romans.



    With Anatolia finally secured, Theodoros was starting to worry about their italian province of Langobardia. He felt it needed to be secured from the neapolitan threat, and he thought it would be wiser to finally throw the neapolitans away from the balkans and finally secure their undisputed supremacy in the region. The 26 August 1511, roman troops started to invade neapolitan territory and siege the major cities of the italian Kingdom.



    The city of tripoli felt little time after the new campaign against naples started, and was finally reannexed to the empire. The foothold in Africa started to grow bigger, and Theodoros felt that he could finally start to menace the Mamluks since he could give them two fronts.



    The Roman - Nepolitan war proceeded swiftly as the Neapolitans weren't expecting a roman aggression any time soon. When they finally understood the situation, the Roman troops were occupying most of the lands and sieging Naples itself.



    Naples itelf felt the 12th October 1512, signing the end of the brief war.



    As a peace resolution, the king of Naples was to cede the wealthy regions around Salerno, Basilicata and Cosenza, to renounce to their possetions in the Balkans (with Zamhunjie becoming part of the Kingdom of Bosnia and Kotor becoming part of the Empire) and pay 175.000 perpers. This ruthless aggression caused, however, great reprisal in the latin world and the vision of an increasing threat from the romans. Constantibople, on the other side, rejoiced.



    And with the map of europe as of the end of the Roman-Neapolitan war ends this update.



    (aww yeah, look at how sexy we are now)
    Last edited by HabemusZlatan; 15-06-2011 at 20:44.
    Here be dragons

  10. #50
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Why are you renaming provinces with silly names in wrong places?

  11. #51
    I hate video games HabemusZlatan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Why are you renaming provinces with silly names in wrong places?
    I think the new names are cool (But I'll lose the patience to rename the provinces soon, I'll assure you). Also I felt dirty when having turkish names all along in my Greek Empire. It is WRONG.
    Wrong places? Well duh, a decent Byzantine map is pretty hard to find, I work with what I have
    Here be dragons

  12. #52
    NAVARRA! Oo

  13. #53
    Slacker Extraordinaire Zzzzz...'s Avatar
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  14. #54
    I like your AAR here, it's interesting, makes sense and updates often!

    That no-casus-belli war looks nasty, how is your infamy looking?

  15. #55
    I hate video games HabemusZlatan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralYork View Post
    NAVARRA! Oo
    Ah yes, they usually get this big often in MEIOU. It's sorta of "What if Charles II the Bad was not this bad?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Zzzzz... View Post
    Super Fez again! I hate Fez
    Fez always get huge in my games. Always. I'm starting to think I sould play as them sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mediiic! View Post
    I like your AAR here, it's interesting, makes sense and updates often!

    That no-casus-belli war looks nasty, how is your infamy looking?
    Thank you for the support! My infamy is currently of 24.9, 0.1 point behind the limit. Which is stunning if you think I didn't calculate nothing and it happened perchance.
    Here be dragons

  16. #56
    Major GulMacet's Avatar
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    I think renaming provinces to their old Greek names is awesome. It's like the Reconquista IN ASIA MINOR! Also: Wow, that infamy must really hurt...
    What's your next goal? Cyprus? Massalia? Syracuse? Chersonesos? They all used to be Greek...

  17. #57
    Topaz-Fisted Demi-God Moderator Mr. Capiatlist's Avatar
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  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by HabemusZlatan View Post
    Ah yes, they usually get this big often in MEIOU. It's sorta of "What if Charles II the Bad was not this bad?"
    Okay, seriously,
    how can France be as strong as you said a few posts ago when Navarra and Savoy are in possession of most of its territory?

  19. #59
    Colonel oberstbrooksy's Avatar
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    Thrilling stuff, can't wait for more.

  20. #60
    I hate video games HabemusZlatan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GulMacet View Post
    I think renaming provinces to their old Greek names is awesome. It's like the Reconquista IN ASIA MINOR! Also: Wow, that infamy must really hurt...
    What's your next goal? Cyprus? Massalia? Syracuse? Chersonesos? They all used to be Greek...
    As you may have understood, the biggest objectives of the Emperor by now are 1 - Secure land in Analolia and drive out the heathens and 2 - Drive out the Latins from the balkans, in this order. Cyprus represents a strategic foothold to Galilela and Antioch and will be taken in serious consideration once the Iraqi lands in Anatolia cease to be so. Messalia? Well duh, I'm not going to conquer Provence since it was yes a greek colony, but that happened a lot of time ago and that would lead to a complete Roman restoration, which I'm trying to avoid. I could, but it wouldn't be believable since Provence has few and weak allies and a Roman foothold in france would cause a very large conflict in realuty. About Syracusae and Chersonenos we'll see, but I'm definitely taking Sicily at the first chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Capiatlist View Post
    Congrats, you are this week's showcase AAR! Enjoy your week in the spotlight!
    I'm honoured to have you posting in my AAR and even more happy to know I'm in this week showcase! I will surely enjoy the spotlight!

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralYork View Post
    Okay, seriously,
    how can France be as strong as you said a few posts ago when Navarra and Savoy are in possession of most of its territory?
    Military strength at the time was also mesured by the strength of mercenaries: If I may make an example, the same Stradioti were valued incredibly well by the Venetians and Neapolitans and were later adopted by Spain and even France while the Greeks and the Albanians weren't really powers (or existing anymore). Also, you should note that in this game Savoy doesn't show any Italian ambition and is in the Langue D'Oc culture grup, same goes with Navarra that has changed is primary culture from Baque to Norman, resultin in a french kingdom. By france I also mean the combination of all forces, but I think I'll explain this better in the update as you raised and interesting question and it will help me write something.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberstbrooksy View Post
    Thrilling stuff, can't wait for more.
    I'm gald you guys lliked the pseudo-history book style, I'm having a hard time into writing this stuff directly in english and I use however way too much.

    After the chit-chat, here comes action.

    Part 13 : Zen and the art of waiting for infamy to burn out

    The empire, after the conquest of great parts of south Italy, would go through a long period of peace and prosperity. While it had been the undisputed protagonist of the european history in the last century, it assumed a more marginal role in the beginning of the 16th century, at least in warfare. With the fight against the reformation going on in the western countries, Constantinople preferred to watch and criticize more than exploit the weakness of their latin neighbours, since an aggression would have probably had dire consequences for the empire and the Romans had tested too much the Latin patience with the invasion of south italy and a further unjustified aggression in a short time would have caused a heavy retaliation from most of the great powers of europe.



    With the forced peace, the money of the Imperial treasury was used for different uses than war. Theodoros felt that the empire needed to emulate its glorious ancestors, and started to hire architects and to give financial aid to artists and sculptors in the whole empire to create something that would rival the ancient home or Rome itself. He encouraged the built of new aqueducts, churches, he ordered the construction of a new Arena and Imperial palace in Salerno. His demanding features caused the advancement of the classic roman achitecture, with a sensible develop of the classic roman Dome into a multi-dome system of great refine. While the new style adopted by the architects was heavily tied to the sober roman tradition, it started to use more gotic and baroque features and to show influences from the italian school and a more refined taste for decorations. The works however required a great number of workers, and the combination of relative free subject and quasi-fanatical devotion to the Emperor required by the law caused some unrest and slow down in the construction of the new buildings.



    Being point of passage and rest for both Oriental and Latin merchants, Constantinople flourished in this peace period, starting to have contacts with different and esotic uses day to day. New spices coming from Arabia as well as Italian wine started to be traded in Constantinople and became part of the regular Roman cuisine, which started to take long steps away from the classic medieval cuisine. New spices meant new way to cook the meals (and indeed new ways to hide the corruption of old meat and conservation) and the new winery influence started to take the place of the classic roman wine. This, united with the multicultural nature of the Empire, was a sign of the rising melting pot the Empire would become in his late days.



    While peace was dominating the political scene, the Roman military system wasn's simply waiting for something to hit it hard. As the time passed, new military techniques and renovation were necessary to mantain the edge in combat. The most notable change was the adoption of battlefield commission and the possibility for a simple soldier to even become General if he showed the attitude and the skills needed. Of course, to avoid much problems, this right was denied to mercenaries and was reserved only to the greek population, with the exception of the Serbian and Bulgar people (who in this period were granted the same right as the Romans). An interesting digression could be had about the military in europe by now, as the Romans started to be again a force technologically and strategically at par, if not slightly superior, with the other european forces. As Theodoros himself notes, the "Bohemians and German soldiers were the most impressive among the latins, as they were fierce, devout and sturdy fighters for being barbarians. After them, most notable were the Spanish with their disciplined and extremely organized wall of lancers. The most effective mercenaries appeard to be the French soldiers excaping from the Savoyard and Norman egemony, as most of them had the honour to serve me as my personal guards with brilliant results. Another [impressive?] force would be the one of the other two great Frankish Kingdoms, but the only reason of their predominance seems to be the past alliance with the English and their naval support". His last statement, which shows some doubts about the effective military superiority of the Savoy and Navarran kingdom over the French is due to the result of the French - Navarran war which lead to a stunning French victory, who was able to retain some territory and to recover his Briton vassal. The Savoyard kingdom itself didn't seem much safer despite the extensive size.



    From peace it comes ingenuity, and with ingenuity comes treason. Or at least this is what Theodoros thought when one of his nephews, Kastor Kantakouzenos, started to talk freely about the difficulties met by the empire in the development of the South Italian regions describing them as "Unruly bastards". Kastor at the time was the Strategos of the Theodoro thema, a peaceful and relatively safe avampost of the Empire in the crimean peninsula that was enjoying a renewed trade with the Crimean khanate, which showed to be tolerating of the Roman presence and accepted them as neighbours as they saw the Genoese and the Khan of the Blue Horde as their true menaces. Even if the two populations often waged war to each other, id didn't mean this would destroy the income of Tatar weaponry and spices. After this digression, the Emperor didn't take well the words of Kastor and judged them uncautios and inopportune, excpecially because he had that speech with a Bohemian ambassador during an official meeting between the two countries to dispute about the Roman claims on Bosnia (Which, this is to be said, the Bohemian recognized as they didn't have much interest in the region to start with and focalized their military in the acquisition of a Pommeranian port). The only option left to the Emperor was to release Kastor from his role and put instead of him a Gabras noble. The true fate of Kastor is not known for sure, but we can think that the emperor didn't hurt a relative and limited his punishment.



    Another flourishing art during peace was literature. The most impressive and famous writing of the era was the "Ioanniad", a chronicle of the life of Ioannes VII The Young, which was wrote as emulation of the more ancient Alexiad by the daughter of an important Roman noble, Clio Melisourgos, which later became wife of his brother Andreas. The chronicle started with his victory in a jousting tourneament in France and with a nice description of the future emperor by the much younger Clio and a rather enchanted sublimation of his aestethics and fighting prowess, and ended with the premature death of the emperor and her not so hidden fears about the ruling ability of Andreas. While being an old work, it was mostly considered trash at the time of the creation and was rediscovered in the 16th century. While an immature and often uncorrect epic, it contained several points of interest as accurate descriptions of the Emperor court, rather enthusiastic descriptions of the battles (even if geographically wrong), descriptions of the most important latin nobles of the time and ended with her calling him the "marble emperor". This last statement caused the birth of a recurring legend in the european history, the one of the "sleeping king". The legend said that Ioannes didn't really die, but was rather turned into stone by an angel moved by his unlucky life and premature death. The Emperor was then transported in a secret hall of the Hagia Sophia and was supposed to wake up and guide the Empire back to Glory if the Venetians or the Heathens were to menace its existence again.



    Another interesting develop was the growth of the city activities, which lead to the serfs abandoning their villages to try the fortune in the major cities of the Empire, most of them joining the army or becoming merchants.



    The period of peace was briefly interrputed by a token war against Sweden, in which the Roman Empire was to give support and naval aid to the Muscovian prince. This war was however very short as the Muscovian swiftly recovered Ingria and the Swedish couldn't really pose any menace to the romans. Two moths after the call, peace was signed.



    The mercifullness showed by the emperor and his not aggressive policy changed the view of the empire for the better. As the years passed, they were started to be seen as a wealthy and benevolent Empire, with the relations among the Latin world and the Romans normalizing again. A great deal of this change of vision was of course due to the great diplomatic effort spent by the Emperor, who tried to assure the latins that the roman claims on south italy were rightful and was lost only due to the norman aggression, and that the southern italian were even happy to have the roman back as their lords.



    The truth was completely different. The Neapolitans did not stand the Greek rule and mostly sought for independence. Large revolts were to be registered in the Langobardia and Kalabrion themes, and all of them were repressed in blood by the army.



    On the 28th September 1524 there was an incident between a Bosnian merchant ship and a Venetian war galley. The Venetians, that were patrolling the area, asked for recognition to the Bosnian merchants and its escort. The Bosnian, probably fearing that the Venetian war ship was in reality a pirate ship in disguise, started evasive maneuvers, refusing to stop. This irritated the Venetian commander, which started to fire as a warning to the Bosnians. The Bosnians at this rate thought they were really pirates and opened fire to the Venetian galley. This quickly escalated in a naval battle which ended with the destruction of the whole Bosnian fleet and the requisition of the goods by the Venetians. While the Venetians tried to justify their actions with the Empire telling them that their reaction was justifiable as they thought the Bosnians were smugglers, this blatant incident caused the Emperor to think that the Venetians probably shouldn't be allowed to be in Dalmatia any more. What followed was, of course, war.



    The war was fought mostly on water, with alternate results. While the Romans never landed in Venice proper, which was defended by the bulk of the newly reformed and again formidable Venetian navy, they had obtained important successes in the Adriatic sea and had invaded succesfully the Ionian islands and Dalmatia. Venezia tried to resist, but it was clear they didn't have any more authority in their former greek possessions. After a 2 years struggle, the Romans finally convinced the Doge to officially cede to them the Ionian island and to recompensate the Bosnian loss with a repayment of the fleed and goods and the possession of the Dalmatian land. They were also to renounce to their claims on their former aegena possessions.



    After that, a long period of peace came back. The quick victory caused however relaxation in the Roman people, and the fact that most forces would have never been used caused to the loss of discipline and to the degradation of some recruits, who seemed to be bored young nobles who enlisted in the military just to obtain a privilegate status in the society. The Emperor decided it was time to enact stricter enlisting policies and to cut most of the recruits that didn't reach the prerequisites. This caused a purge in the army, which lost 22000 effectives.



    In 1528 tragedy strikes the Imperial family, as Demetrios, the heir to the imperial throne, died. His place in the imperial succession was taken by his sister Zoe, which at the time was 20 years old. While she was not thought to be the Empress and had little knowledge of the administrative and military doctrines, she was well known in the europeans courts and would have been a decent diplomat. As the Emperor didn't have any other sons and thought his relatives were unreliant, Zoe seemed to be the best choice.



    The military skirmishes with the Venetians, who made extensive use of firearms, inspired the Emperor. The use of venetian based firearms, who were faster and more precise than the roman ones, became the base equipment of the infantry. Also, the experience gained in fighting other firearms based armies has led to a tactical evolution of the infantry charge, who now became more coordinate and learned how to effectively use the pauses between the shots to charge the enemy. The new infantry system, which was still based on the Andreian army, saw the implementation of a sabre and a shield to the firearm infantry and the presence of two lines of infantry. While the first line was exlusively composed by arquebusers and a sporadic archer, the second and flank lines were composed by lancers. The lance itself became different, as it became longer and heavier to effectively reduce the space between the enemy firearm line and the charge unit.



    On 25 October 1529, Theodoros decided it was time to finally reclaim the final parts of Anatolia from the Iraqi sultanate. After the declaration of war (in which the Crimean Khanate, the Mamluk Maalikate and the Fezian Sultanate partecipated as defenders of the Iraqi territories), a huge revolt erupted in Naples, which lead the Neapolitan King to effectively declare war on the Empire, seeing how most of their forces were busy trying to stop the Mamluks from invading Anatolia.



    After two years of fighting on all fronts, however, the tide turned in favor of the Romans who completely occupied the roman territory and started to make their way deep into Mesopotamia and menacing Baghdad directly.



    The Iraqi, after losing most of their battles, decided it was time to cede their last anatolian possessions to the Emperor in change of peace.



    After the fell of Iraq, the Mamluks and the Neapolitans were still at war with the empire. While the Mamluk situation was slightly better as they actually managed to menace the Tripolitanian possessions of the Empire and barely avoided a grand invasion of Egypt proper, the Neapolitans were crushed with ease. A peace treaty was signed with both nations on 10th August 1532, but the content was different. While the Mamluk one was a symbolic defeat, the Neapolitans were completely smashed, as they had to renounce on theri claims on the roman south italian possessions, cede the city of Foggia and pay the sum of 1.300.000 perpers as war reparations.



    And here ends the update.
    Last edited by HabemusZlatan; 15-06-2011 at 20:45.
    Here be dragons

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