So after seeing some particular artwork over on deviant art. I got to thinking, what would an alt history campaign with low magic look like if rome had not fallen or at least not completely.With the eastern roman empire still being the strongest of the two but the west still holding onto all of italy, the southern portion of germany, some portions of france, and the balkans. Keeping their hands on corsica and Sardina for basically control of the Mediterranean sea.What would you guys think of the political landscape of the land, would a nation like the holy roman empire and france come into being? How about the vikings, would they have gotten as strong as they were with a strong imperial power throughout what was the dark ages.Would rome still be a powerhouse with a focus on their infantry and tactics compared to the medieval domination of Calvary forces. As in could they compete with a strong calvary force like the medieval heavy Calvary. This is assuming they upgraded to heavier armor at the very least such as the plate mail in the image.
going to image dump some of the artwork from said da page as it has given me the inspiration.
Well we're speaking of centuries and centuries of alt-history there, but with strong WRE I guess the moors might not have been able to take Iberia. Consequently there wouldn't be any Reconquista either.
>>41540825One of the downfalls of Rome was that alot of their society relied on constant expansion, which soon became unsustainable. Perhaps, in your alt history, Rome found another way to hold the empire together and became inward looking and isolationist.
>>41540860Well that depends if the WRE would even be in Spain if it was not seperate kingdoms. Although a strong france with its southern half in WRE could be somewhat strong.I imagine that if it is not as strong as it once was the goths and other hordes that lead to the fall of rome may fight over the scraps left from the retreat of Rome
>>41540890That is true, it needed the revenue for sure, on top of the resources that brought in as well, which to be frank was running out by the time of the fall.What would instead focusing on trading while securing the borders against threats be a better solution of how they survived to the time period.Lets say it is around 1200 AD as the time period of the setting.The eastern roman empire would have control of cyprus and a good portion of turkey but is facing the muslims something fierce still.Would the roman legions even be effective still against the archers and knights of the later medieval era? Especially since the invention of the stirrup made the use of heavy Calvary extremely powerful. Although using the macadeon pike may help in that regard as it would fuck over Calvary.
Hey, the source of a piece of art I like!
>>41541106The artwork is pretty good, I honestly wish the artist would make more of it.
>>41540825>So after seeing some particular artwork over on deviant art. I got to thinking, what would an alt history campaign with low magic look like if rome had not fallen or at least not completely.Always, always, start off with the point of diversion. A western roman empire that survives because of a butterly in the 1st century, second or because Justinian magically reconquers the western half and sets it up again will all look completely different.Not to mention the further you get from that point the further it is to say anything with any degree of accuracy
>>41541212Hmmm this is a good point, not sure exactly the divergence would be. As I still want the roman empire to be driven back somewhat as that will let nations like France and Germany to develop.Would midway through the third century be a good place for the divergence to happen? That would probably be a place of where a lot of the territories of rome were being handed out as appeasement for the tribes invading.
>>41540825I'm stealing all these armour sets etcfor the next BBEG in my campaign.
>>41541292The problem with that is, a HUGE chunk of Western Europe's development hinged on the fall of Rome and it's attendent consequences. For instance if Rome never falls, what becomes of Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire?More pertinently the most likely outcome of rome not falling is Rome ending up as a poorer version of the ERE (or Justinian straight up annexing them and reunifying the Empire, which honestly sounds more interesting).
>>41541308>bbegOdd, it's actually the armor basis for the Lawful Reasonable !Romans in the setting I've inherited.
Honestly the only thing that would make these the best images for a medieval roman legion would be the removal of the lion and replacing it with the roman eagle.
>>41541390Oh, and just as an addendum for posterity: 1200 is still firmly in the High Middle Ages not the Late Middle Ages, and sophisticated plate harnesses like the ones you've posted wouldn't be practical until the mid-1300s.
>>41541391"BBEG" more like.Story goes that at one point in the setting, the princess returns from faraway lands with her legions where she waged war in the name of her father.Thing is, said father has done some horrible things back home and the kingdom has gone to hell (aswell as it's neighbour kingdoms each for different reasons).Now she's going to restore order. If they want it or not.
>>41541086But the Roman Empire did exist well into the 1400's. Maybe not in the way you've envisioned, but they did exist none the less.The legions as we know them were long since phased out. The Byzantine army was pretty much on par with other armies of the time, albeit with little or no gunpowder weapons, afaik.The thing is, if the Western Roman Empire had still existed, it would've changed. Probably so much that it's military and politics would be very similar to the other powers surrounding it. I'm imagining something like the Holy Roman Empire, though less German, and with more Latin and/or Italian names.
I like the concept. The art is very fantastical however wouldn't Medieval Roman armies just be equipped similarly to other Medieval armies of the same era? Of course the Romans used both state and contractor run arms and armour factories called "fabricae". So that would be a variable.
>>41541390So in the end it would basically end up as a portion of the eastern roman empire.Justinian could move from Constantinople to Rome to keep it as the roman empire as well. One of my thoughts as well for why the other regions can devolpe is the lack of the roman empire being there anymore, such as north and middle france and the majority of Germany. Spain could still be fighting against the Moors but have help from the roman empire as well with the spanish growing worried that they may get annexed into the roman empire once more as they grow to relay on Rome more and more. This is also a growing concern to the Kingdom of France as they count on a free spain for trading partners and to help check the romans.Charlemagne would still have happend just with less territory and being crowned the Holy King of Germany, or in a bit of hubris he calls his land eventually the holy roman empire which does not sit well with the romans leading to the classic conflict between the german emperors and rome even if the pope is crowing the german emperor. The romans just don't have the manpower to try to take Germany on especially with the growing power of islam in the east and in africa.
>>41540825By the end the roman army was of two types, a local militia (infantry) and a cavalry force that could travel at speed to troubled areas.
>>41540825Honestly standard medieval soldiers with mail and perhaps some Roman fluff pieces like the mohawks would be historically accurate. The Romans were Germanized a lot, so they'd have a lot of Germanic influence in their army as Auxiliaries would be necessary to maintain their sprawling empire into the medieval era, especially since the "barbarians" would be packing mail and similar weapons. HRE guys with a more Romance influence would work.
So we don't really see cap-a-pie (from head to toe) plate armour till the mid 15th Century. So we can surmise that the anime styled bullshit the artist has drawn portray a mid to late 15th century. Though we have to take into account no dark ages if Rome never falls. So perhaps full plate appears on the scene much sooner.
>>41541564Wasn't a great deal of the Legion made up of foreigners like Germans by the 4th Century?
Add a horizontal horsehair crest to this sallet and that's about it. The Medieval Roman armour would look like other Medieval armours of the same period.
>>41541584Exactly, as a result they were heavily influenced by the Germanic cultures. In the medieval era it would be safe to say that MOST Romans were ethnically barbarians that were civilized, and since the even more remote barbarians civilized quickly, I'd wager that these Germans would be a level up on the civilized scale, attempting to emulate the Romans of old. They'd be... Plastic Romies?
>>41541450Well to be fair the progress of arms and armor would not send it a huge backseat since rome would not have technically fallen leading to the dark ages. So you could see platemail being in place by an earlier era>>41541453Well that is true that the roman empire existed well into the 1400's but I am talking specifically if rome never fell and the western roman empire stood against the hordes of invaders, or at least a lot of the core regions did.I would think that the senete of rome would still be around maybe with more power but if they combine with the eastern roman empire maybe the emperor ruling from Constantinople would have less influence as the roman senate decided to stay in Rome. Combined with the power of the pope staying in the west and you may not see a divide of the church as the pope would still technically be in the roman empire instead of the italian kingdoms.One of the key reasons as well the west could have survived was that they held the alps and mountainous regions better, able to defend the passes where Calvary did not have a chance to be as effective with infantry being able to defend it. Along with the inclusion of the pike from macadeon for instance would make it so they could defend a lot easier.
>>41541659Platemail was actually replaced by the much cheaper Lorica. Easier to maintain in the field and the long marches the Roman Army had to do. Unlike the feudal powers the Romans Required on large campaigning forces that had to move long distances on foot, so plate mail for the common soldier would have been a logistical nightmare to maintain, let alone wear on the march. Chainmail was far easier to keep in good shape.
>>41541508Maybe run it as similar to real life, with Charlemagne being crowned HRE because the Papacy are opposed to the Orthodox Roman Emperors in a very passive aggressive manner. Could even be a lot of tension in Rome itself, with the Vatican being a fortified suburb, cut off from the rest of the city. As for the Moors in Spain, perhaps they do make gains due to Roman neglect or introversion (or simply consolidation of Italy over looking outwards), and Charlemagne's reconquests there are part of what grants him legitimacy as a rival to Justinian Rome. This way divergence doesn't get too out of control. >>41541568Quick correction, it's present at Agincourt in 1415, so early 15th Century not mid. >>41541659Smithing and technology didn't really regress or even stop progressing that much in the Dark Ages, the reason they're called that is simply because people stopped writing stuff as much, due to most Germanic/Celtic cultures having primarily oral historical traditions.
>>41541292That may tough to justify. A modest part of those nations forming was splitting The Carolingareich at the treaty of Verdun. One huge question here is how friendly were the empires with each other during the rise of Islam? Did they tag team to reclaim the Arabian peninsula? Did they even hold out long enough to redirect their effort along North Africa? If you want them to be friends but still want some damnable heathens in the south maybe some crazy asshole is trying to rebuild Carthage.I'm going to go and lie down before I start snapping at all the pictures of plate and shield together>>41541659>dark ageOh for fuck sake you just had to do it. It's called the dark age because it was unrecorded, not because everyone was living in mud huts screaming about the dangers of this newfangled "fire" thing. If Hispania is still a part of the empire then Toledo is going to massively influence architecture and a few other things but you didn't see the muslims running around with full plate. Had they the option they damn well would have done.
>>41541659Thing is, all of those institutions moved to constantinople, and exist to some degree or another up till 1204. So it's not a case of them existing in both places. Really, the survival of the west does not hinge on geographical advantages or some minor minmaxing about infantry and cavalry, it comes down to how are you going to avoid a few civil wars that cripple central authority. I don't like being a naysayer, but there's a reason why it's easier just making up your own setting with not roma
>>41541681>>41541659Platemail isn't a term, plate armour or just plate is the word you're looking for, as mail (or maille depending on your fancy) refers specifically to what is referred to mostly as chainmail these days.
The Byzantines for example absorbed cultural armors and styles of their surrounding neighbors, so it would suffice to say that a WRE surviving into the medieval era wouldn't look much different. Its like claiming the Danes who ruled England looked like fur clad fantasy Vikings. OFC not, by the end they were chainmail wearing Christians using helmets common in Europe, as in dominant strategy got to them that cheap chainmail with sloped helmets.>>41541733Historically yes, we all know this. I'm using the term to differentiate the two. If I was doing a reenactment OFC I'd refer it to mail, but that's like calling both muskets and rifles guns and making no differentiation. In a historical perspective, we have to be specific, or else Normans could have been interpreted as having invaded England clad in 60 pounds of plate.
>>41541086The execution of Stilicho is probably the best one. Say the ERE emperor doesn't make an issue out of Illyricum and gives it to the WRE, then Stilcho, and later Aetius, can stabilize the empire with Italy, Africa and some of southern Gaul.You have to stop the civil wars somehow. Strong Persia and strong kingdoms springing up in the west will keep the focus outward instead of inward.You have German kingdoms spring up in Spain, France, England and Germany. The east remains the same with a strong Persia. weather or not the muslims are able to do anything will rely on the situation between ERE and Persia when they spill out of Arabia.>Would the roman legions even be effective still against the archers and knights of the later medieval era?Legions will still absolutely be effective against medieval armies. The equipment will change but the system, if preserved, and enhanced with better cavalry would be dominant. They just wouldn't have the manpower for a knockout punch against their enemies.
>>41540825>Would rome still be a powerhouse with a focus on their infantry and tactics compared to the medieval domination of Calvary forces. As in could they compete with a strong calvary force like the medieval heavy Calvary. This is assuming they upgraded to heavier armor at the very least such as the plate mail in the image.http://www.amazon.com/The-Grand-Strategy-Byzantine-Empire/dp/0674062078While the author seems unprofessional in his snide quips his overall thesis and analysis of the Byzantine way of war is thoroughly sound and not the usual ramblings of a byzantaboo idiot. Rather, he identifies that the Byzantines faced a far different threat than Rome and with far different resources. As such they pursued a much more 'modern' outlook on warfare rather than the meatgrind attrition of the Republican Romans. Eastern Rome did not have the manpower to pursue warfare by infantry-attrition (and you could contend many of their enemies did not even allow for that doctrine had it been possible). Even if they did, they faced an unending cycle of opponents sweeping in from the steppe, across the Taurus Mountains, or from further afield in Europe. Enemies today (Whether Turks, Khazars, Rus, Franks, ect.) could be your allies tomorrow, allies today would be your enemies tomorrow. Wasting time and resources destroying an enemy outright was foolish when a new enemy would be around the corner (and profit from your eliminating their foe & losing your men in the process).That's not to say they didn't have and rely on infantry but with exception for a brief resurgence I think around the 800s-900s cavalry remained the essential arm and infantry served to offer them a place to operate from.
>>41541770I'm sorry, I was meaning for common people. A layperson could interpret mail as being plate or chain.
>>41541829Ah, that makes more sense, I was somewhat confused as to your initial meaning.
>>41540825Wanted to come in and clear up how the Late Roman Army actually operated, but this Anon >>41541825 kindly did for them.tl;dr version: The 'classic' segmentata-clad Roman Legion of pop culture fame was hopelessly obsolete by the 4th century AD, and any WRE (whether independent or under the ERE) would be almost indistinguishable from its neighbours had it lived until the Middle Ages.
>>41541702That actually is pretty good right there about the divide between the orthodox and roman influence. You could see a divide as well between the more greek influence coming into the roman capital from Constaniople as well but still following the emperor since they are loyal romans.>>41541722Did not mean that they started living in mud huts or something like that. What i men't was the lack of progress in the western portions of Europe since you know they lost a lot of lore and stuff with the fall of rome, such as plumbing.>>41541730So the best bet is to say that some of the civil wars that hurt the empire did not happen, such as generals using the pretorian guard as a stepping stone to lead the roman empire along with other generals gathering the legions under them to install them onto the throne.>>41541730So there would be roughly three major powers in the setting then at least in the roman territories, the emperor, the senate, and the pope.The pope has been giving tact approval to the holy roman empire by crowning them, but the emperor can't just dispose of the pope as that would lead to a civil war. So the emperors are crowned by the pope and the leader of the orthadox church along with the senate.>>41541722One reason then for the rise of islam at least with how it got ignored for so long was the eastern roman empire absorbing the western roman empire under him so they had one ruler once more. This was because while the western empire was still strong, it was not stronger than the east and were starting to lose land to charlemagne for instance. By the time they were able to focus on more expansion it may have been too late to stop the loss of territories in the east. Although the east would have been able to hold onto most of turkey and maybe syria still while they lost north africa and spain to the muslims.
>>41540890I dunno, I studied archeology at York and did a lot of stuff about the Romans. My lecturer (a stringent Marxist perhaps colouring his bias) repeatedly said he sees the main reasoning behind Rome 'fall' wasn't expansion, but a lack of progression and a focus on tradition. As tiem went on, the status quo was established and Roman nobility pretty much said 'don't fix what aint broken'. Their entire culture stagnated for centuries as their world fell apart around them. They no longer kept up with technological shifts and instead relied heavily on foreign workers to do more advanced tasks and soldiery. Th whole period is an extremely interesting one, though. I'm currently writing something similar to OP where I'm looking at the idea of Rome surviving and prospering in the early middle ages as a setting. My main area of study was Roman infrastructure, which unfortunately doesn't make for much interesting RP (unless you're talking Roman plumbers vs sewer monsters in a medieval Mario setting) so I'll be watching this thread with interest.
>>41541825> I think around the 800s-900s cavalry remained the essential arm and infantry served to offer them a place to operate from.Lol so the Byzantines became Asian.Everyone from Russia, through the Middle East to China fought like that. Steppes very much so.
>>41541722>It's called the dark age because it was unrecorded,It's called dark age because the fragmentation of the Western Roman Empire created a period of destabilization in Europe only fixed when Charlemagne got the HRE together and pretty much set the landscape for the rest of Medieval Europe.
>>41541106Apparently the artist, L3monjuic3 has done some drawfagging here before.
>>41542037Did somebody record that?
>>41541825>>41541920Well this is why I was thinking they upgraded along the way, not being stuck with lorica but changing with the times but keeping a roman feel, such as the leather skirt along with plumes for the officers like here>>41540825Some of the military traditions would stay with the romans throughout the course as they upgraded weapons and armor.However probably one of the biggest things that would stay the same would have to be having a standing army at all times. Most of the medieval armies were not a standing proffesional army at all times, since most worked the lands as farmers still.
>>41542117The reason they weren't is because standing armies are expensive, like really REALLY expensive. Even looking at semi-standing professional armies seen by the times of the Hundred Years War where most soldiers were either mercenaries, Yeomen/Men-at-Arms/Retainers (full-time soldiers maintained, trained and armed by either their city, merchants or their knight/lord) and Knights, army upkeep is a big chunk of their expenses, and a Rome limited to just Italy probably wouldn't be able to maintain a standing army much larger than the forces maintained by feudal lords anyway. Which they did maintain in the form of Huscarls or whatnot, levies being primarily defensive militias to deal with invaders as 1. Farmers aren't soldiers 2. Sending your chief bread winners off to die isn't a great plan. When you went to somebody elses place to fuck their shit, you took Mercs, Knights and Freemen, the Middle and Upper Class basically, people who could afford to arm and amour themselves and knew how to fight (not to mention were motivated to do so in the pursuit of glory or gold).
>>41542241Well a roman empire consisting of italy, the islands of the Mediterranean, Greece, southern France, some of southern Germany, most of turkey, and portions of syria would probably have the funds to be able to keep a permanent standing army. As they would control the Mediterranean pretty well with having most of the ports on the northern side under their control along with the islands, combine that with the money pool of Constantinople and you got some good income from just trade alone.
>>41542449True, but if we go with the Justinian reconquest divergence point, I think we have to let France and Germany go as they're beyond the Empire's means (ERE had its hands full even in a best case scenario). So Italy, Sicily and Syria + Greece, Turkey and most of the Balkans, inherited from the ERE, that could probably maintain a professional army though one most likely strongly dependent on Mercenary support (similar to the historical Byzantine army post 800s), though it's like the Syrian holdings would be lost at some point during the rise of Islam. Whether such an army would remain viable by 1200 is up in the air, especially with the empire strung out across the Mediterranean.
>>41542082Yes. Pretty muchDestabilization is a bitch, you know, nothing gets done. Kingdoms rose and fell far too quickly, and all that.
>>41542832Possibly holding onto portions of modern day Switzerland and austria as well for that matter.So overall it would be the largest of the nations in the middle ages to say the least, with its main rivals being the holy roman empire and the Ayyubid's. Possibly Egypt would also be on that list as a power.Mercs would most likely make up a large auxiliary army with a good elite core of legionnaires. So while you would have a legion with 5k men in it, it would have double that in mercs and levies when wartime happens. Legion wise there would be about 7-10 legions active at a time. Doing work such as helping with roads and keeping the roads clear. The Calvary would make up a greater portion of the army but still would be more infantry focused with the use of pikes with the roman gladius being their main backup weapon compared to the spartha that the later roman legions were adopting. The roman legionaries would have their front ranks with a pilum and gladius while they were supported by the pikes in the 2nd and third ranks. Archers would adopt the hunnish bow similar to how the Byzantines had theirs.The moors are currently fighting against a Crusade made up of the Spanish, French, and Romans. The Spanish are having concerns of Roman Orthodoxy spreading in their primarily catholic region.Easter Orthodox church would be called the Roman Orthodox church, with the Roman catholic church being stronger in the Germanic regions especially with the crowning of the Holy Roman Emperor as partly a move to give the pope more power. The Romans primary concern would be their eastern frontier hoping to reconquer the holy land not only to bring it back into christian hands but to further secure their control over the waterways. This could help ensure that all products from the east basically had to go through roman hands to reach the west.One of the major roman ports would be venice or should that be dropped because it would not be built because no fleeing romans?
>>41542832The Empire could have split again post-Justinian; the west could remain an independant entity and survive the Lombards, creating a culturally Latin kingdom comprising of Italy, Sicily, and tentatively parts of Africa, France, and Iberia as time went on.
I made this map to bump the thread.Western Roman Empire in the year 1066.
Stat me /tg/
>>41543759Why is the ERE lacking it's anatolian heartland? This butterflies Manzikert, hell, it's even too early for it. Hell, why does mohammed still happen with a butterfly so old?Bretty gud for ten mins in paint...was it really ten minutes in paint?
What may be a fun idea is a rebuilt roman carthage as their only real holding left in africa.
>>41543858I just painted the western roman empire. The original map is pic related.
>>41543858Forgot to put source >>41543915http://wiki.alternatehistory.com/doku.php/resources/revised_worlda_maps
>>41543798can i ask wtf pic related even is??
>>41543952Reliquary.You know, those disgusting pieces of saints (usually bones) Catholics are proud of displaying.We had those in our church (some mummified bit of some Saint). Scared the shit out of me as a kid.
>>41543400Well keeping the east and west together may be the best idea to help keep the divergence more level and to be able to keep the roman empire as one of the major powers of europe, in this case holding the largest empire along with control of a good portion of the Mediterranean.
>>41544018If the empire is united is too powerful for everyone unless they fight another big enemy like a Islamic empire.
>>41541702>>41541568 (You)Quick correction, it's present at Agincourt in 1415, so early 15th Century not mid. I mean in common usage. Not that it existed.
>>41544053Well it is why we have been saying the big enimies are the holy roman empire, or at least rivals if they are not fighting each other, and the muslim empire which has basically taken north africa and the holy land from the romans.
>>41542117>Well this is why I was thinking they upgraded along the way, not being stuck with lorica but changing with the times but keeping a roman feel, such as the leather skirt along with plumes for the officers like hereThe "leather skirt," or pteruges, was actually still used by the Byzantines well into the medieval era. You don't need to go all alt-history to get that.
It depends what 'Rome' you preserve. Republic era Rome? Post 'Great Man Cult' Rome?What would make the Romans 'unique' in any such case would be their professional army. Not Knights, in fact seldom nobles or the wealthy post Marian (this mostly due to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, as well as the influx of slaves). This vanished post Rome, and would only return in later middle ages.Essentially, you'd have the Holy Roman Empire but with more classical roman aesthetics.
>>41544070But how are you going to explain the existence of the Holy Roman Empire when the roman empire still exists? A bigger Frankish empire makes more sense.
>>41544018Well, the art that's predominantly been in this thread has been very western-inspired, so ai figured a split might be a good idea, themarically speaking. Hell, it could coincide with a decline in the Eastern Empire. Besides, an empire/kingdom spanning the western Mediterranean with advanced infrastructure and technolical levels could still be a major power, even without the east. >>41544070I'm wondering; why would the HRE exist in a world that still had the WRE? The entire reason it existed was because Charlemagne filled in a political vacuum that never existed in our timeline.
So we got:- Barbarians to the north- WRE- ERE- Persia- Egypt- Muslim Carthage
>>41544313Why is Egypt independant?
>>41544161>>41544141Well we discussed the roman empire in the west slowly shrinking from the constant loss of land from barbarians. The civil wars that plagued the west did not happen or were minor. The sack of rome never happend in fact the barbarians never really got past the defenses of the Alps. But rome was unable to really hold onto land outside of italy, the balkans, and the islands. With the roman empire gone from those lands Charlemagne would have had the power vacum to fill and form his own empire. Getting crowned by the pope was a power move on both their parts to deny the schism that had grown between the emperor of the Roman empire and the increasing power of the Bishop of Constantinople. Thus the schism between the orthodox church and the catholic church happened sooner. The emperor could not simply have the pope killed because that would just cause a civil war. Armor wise of it appearing more western would be that since rome never fell even if it is not as important as Constantinople since it is the capitol is mainly tradition. Rome itself would be the capital of the province of Italy and would still have a big palace for the emperor who would probably try to get there every few years.After Justinian reabsorbed the western empire after its financial difficulties they were able to regain some land such as modern day switzerland and portions of austria. Hower by this point the fighting in the northern portions of europe was too much and the romans decided to consolidate their claims and focus more inwardly and against the growing powers in the east.
>>41544313I would drop spain from that list as we were discussing the romans helping the spanish fight the moors in spain.
I do not think that there would be a pope. A West Roman emperor would not tolerate such a thing.
>>41544452What about this?
>>41544421Would the WRE still have carthage? Carthage is such an agricultural and naval powerhouse that capturing it pretty much made the roman empire.
What your suggesting would require and incredibly.complex rewrite of all of western history and the culture of Rome itself. Times greatest heights as well as its civil wars and downfall were caused by the cult of personality great men who realized they could have it all with the mob behind them.
>>41544506Yea that works betterSo by the looks of it on this map the eastern portion of the empire has the most land but basically has two big foes to contend with, while the west would be somewhat safer.If we go with the justinian taking over the west, the western roman emperor of the time could of had their daughter married to one of Justinians children.The other former emperor's family now makes up a powerful block in the senate with most of their family holdings in the west. >>41544490A western roman emperor may not have had a choice in the matter with the growing power of christiandom and the biship of rome getting stronger. Or he may have helped appoint the first pope as a sign of being over the church.
>>41544558Well The point of this is that the fall of rome never happend, but basically lost almost all of its territories. The civil wars could have damaged the roman empire a lot in the west too the point they lost land and money. But again never having them invade past the alps or too a certain point.
>>41544642By the point Rome fell that much, it couldn't not fall. Only a complete revolution in its politics and the utter destruction of its social systems would stop the decay from.claiming it.Essentially, the world you want is a world where Rome did fall, but then it got back.up again. Which is fairly par for the course for Roman history as much of it is them refusing to give up in the face of their own fuckups. But what would this post apocalyptic Rome look like? Would I return to its Republican roots or double down on Central power, exchanging its Emperor for a king and its Senate for nothing at all?
>>41544546Presumably, since Germanic and Gothic forces never getting past the Alps would probably include Vandals never getting to Africa.
>>41544753That's kind of what I was thinking, with Rome falling and being occupied by Ostrogoths, immediately following it being reclaimed (successfully) by Justinian and Belisarius.
>>41544818So what follows? Does Justinian become the next Emperor, or does he decide the only way to fix things is to return. to the original values of the republic, and slaughter all the surviving nobles and ewuites to return power to the Plebians?
>>41544818If Justinian retook Italy then his restoration didn't fail, if his restoration didn't fail than Byzantium would be a huge power house stretching the globe
>>41544546And fucked it up, as only a few senators owned all land there - without paying taxes.
>>41544976I'm not too up to scruff on ERE history, but wouldn't it be possible for Justinian to have limited long-term success in the West, but still get fucked in the east by Sassanids/Muslims in the future? >>41544879Idk, Justinian could decide that another split after his death could be necessary. I don't think any Roman ruler at that point would give up on the Emperorship though.
Could the Germanics have simply continued the Western Empire?>The last hope for a reunited Empire came in 493, as Odoacer was replaced by Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Theodoric had been forced to appear subservient to Zeno in order to deal with a dangerous Odoacer. While in principle Theodoric was a subordinate, a viceroy of the Emperor of the East, in fact he was his equal.>Following Theodoric's death in 526, the Western half of the Empire was now fully controlled by Germanic tribes (though many of them continued to recognize Roman law and made claims to continuity), while the Eastern half had established itself under the Justinian dynasty. While the East would make some attempts to recapture the West, the Roman Empire was never reunited.
>>41544879Honestly Justinian would probably stay as emperor. >>41544785Well if they got past the alps they were never able to successfully sack rome. Since that is considered the official end of the western roman empire. Could be that the Vandals and goths rampaged around Italy for awhile before Rome got its shit together and booted them out, getting their territory back until they got all of italy back and returned to the size as presented here >>41544506The west never really got rich and had a weak emperor when Justinian came along. They married the families together to reunify the entire roman empire into a whole instead of two empires.So with the exception for the areas around Rome and the islands they controlled like Sicily and maybe a few cities in Italy, the roman empire for a few years basically lost control of Italy. This could also mean that venice would actually be a city in this divergent timeline as roman citizens fled during this time and started building the city.
>>41545062They wouldn't give up on Emperorship and that's the problem. Caeser was the beginning of the end for Rome. Scipio showed them the cult of personality and Sulla showed them armed disregard for law and tradition. Caeser combined them both to become the most successful. In ANY case we can come up with, the surviving Roman Empire would not be classically Roman.>>41545119This is possible since the culture of the whole region was still sort of Roman, but this would require the Germanics to uniteFrankly I think the Romans stopped being interesting lost Caeser and definitely post Christianity so o don't see a point. You're just exchanging the regional Italian principalities for a unified Italian boot. Nothing about it is very Roman
>>41545149Vandals never rampaged around Italy though, that was a goth thing. And having Barbarians having free reign across Italy kind of presents a no-win scenario for the WRE; they wouldn't be able to reasonably get their shit together at that point. Rome had to either solidify and make that scenario impossible in the first place, or fall and get re-established later.
>>41545207Gemanticus would like to speak to you.
>>41545249Not really, it would not be the first time an enemy got into italy and just sat there wrecking shit as the romans sat in rome and their cities afraid for their lives. It happend during the 2nd punic war with Hannibal.
>>41545207>Frankly I think the Romans stopped being interesting lost Caeser and definitely post Christianity so o don't see a point.Republiboo pls go
>>41545207Which is funny, seeing as the design aesthetic most people associate with Rome is distinctly post-republic.
>>41545207>Caeser was the beginning of the end for Romecareful,your Roman Republic boner is showing
Another map here.- Not-Charlemagne divided the kingdom between his two sons- Muslim Not-Carthage wrecking the Visigoths and WRE- WRE are still mad about losing almost all Africa- Ménage à trois between ERE, Persia and Egypt for the Holy Land.- Everyone claims that their version of Christianity/Islam is the true one.
The imperial crown is quite a different beast than a purely regal one for that matter, the roman senate in constantinople was still a legitimate political force until 1204. The emperor was always princeps of the republic in addition to being a monarch, they were fused offices.
>>41540825>what would an alt history campaign with low magic look like if rome had not fallen or at least not completely.The entirety of Europe would be unified under the Caliphate. Rome would be able to do fuck-all against the Muslim conquests and by squandering manpower and resources Islam would never have been contained to Iberia.
>>41545404>Islam surviving all dem butterflies
Honestly, I'd be more interested in a timeline where the ERE doesn't fuck up and stomps Islam before it gets started.
>>41545332The WRE may have an emperor still but the senete is a lot more powerful in the west compared to the east. He may even be weaker than the ERE emperor and may answer to him while being their own nation.
>>41545251Oh whats he gonna do, get recalled then assassinated by his step dad again?Germanics could've saved Rome if NOT for the great man syndrome that afflicted it. Tiberius couldn't allow someone so capable and competent to stay around, no matter how ostensibly loyal. Great man syndrome in essence made it fucking bad for any Emperor to have competent generals. Thanks Caesar!>>41545279>>41545300Or what you'll ineffectively govern at me? The problem wasn't the loss of the republic which was a clusterfuck in its own right but in the cut throat self serving politics that would erupt from the mega rich and the ambitious. Say what you will about Stoics but they didn't start the decline
>>41545431good luck invading Arabia
>>41545426Honestly one of the main reasons that islam survived was that no one really gave a damn about the arabian area.
Just because it is a bit related Lux Invictushttp://www.ckiiwiki.com/Lux_InvictaA crusader Kings 2 submod where Rome as a State failed but instead adopted a common culture and religion.
>>41545459Mohammed doesn't get stomped, he gets identified by the future AI and belisarius makes him a roman noble and he Christianizes while still pagan
Rome would have adopted well in the age of heavy cavalry methinks. They used massed cavalry before most.
>>41545529All of which was auxiliary. Romans could not into cavalry or navy
>>41545471Pompeius winning the Civil War would only delay the inevitable. It would have made the death more painful for the Roman State.
>>41545471>Say what you will about Stoics but they didn't start the declineWeren't the Stoics definitely a thing in positions of power post-republic? Marcus Aurelius is considered one of the more important modern stoic authors since Meditations details a lot of their beliefs.
>>41545529One thing people forget is that one of Rome's greatest advantages was its adaptability. Even during the 'fall' of Rome, the Roman Armies in both the East and West remained highly competent fighting forces who routinely wiped the floor with Barbars and Persians even while the state was wracked by civil war and financial ruin.The Romans basically adopted the best of the Persians heavy cavalry and the best of the Germanic infantry shieldwall and perfected them.>>41545590> Implying this is true any point past the 2nd century ADThe post-Crisis of the 3rd Century Roman Army hinged itself on having fantastic cavalry and naval might.Segmentata 'muh legions' fanboys pls go
>>41545621Yes but by that point they were rocks in the river that was Roman corruption following their own success. I'm not saying.progress is bad, but once Rome.learned it could just murder thenfuck out of its political rivals.or shit over its own.laws, the decline was inevitable. Territories and legions became.loyal to specific generals, not Rome. You can thank Scipio for that one
Honestly, one of the real problems was that the civil wars just left Rome grinding it's own legions into paste. Nobody quite killed Romans as bad as Romans, not even the barbarians.
>>41545679Rome was a victim of its own success. It was inevitable that an empire of that size and population began to fragment and localize among local strongmen, because those local strongmen could actually get shit done (unlike a corrupt and ineffectual bureaucracy thousands of kilometres away)>>41545703All of which was further complicated by the fact that the 'barbarians' were themselves thoroughly Latinized mini-Romans who took what they learned from their former masters and used it to swooce right into governing their old lands.
>>41540825>what would an alt history campaign with low magic look like if rome had not fallen or at least not completely.>laughing_byzantines.mosaic
>>41540825>Rome in the Medieval eraSo you mean the Byzantium Empire.
>>41545796>Byzantines>Not Greeks pretending to be Romans
>>41545826>>41545796Entire thread is about the western roman empire not falling. Shit post talking about the eastern roman empire not falling
>>41545832ur just jelly
>>41545832What does this "pretending to be Romans" even mean? You know that in the third century all those living within the Roman Empire got Roman citizenship, even though a tiny minority of them even spoke Latin to begin with?Greek was the lingua franca of the Eastern Mediterranean since the days of Alexander the Great, why change that? You know the upper class of the Roman Empire always universally learned Greek the same way the upper classes of the Western World universally learned French until the 1950s?As for that "not making them Romans", the Eastern and Western Roman Emperors were both equally considered fully emperors of the entire Roman Empire. When the Western Emperor fell, only the Eastern one remained as the true heir to the full and complete Roman Empire.So yes, Eastern Romans were fucking Romans. They even referred to themselves as Romans and their leader as the Roman Basileus. "Byzantine" is a modern invention, I think Montesquieu used it first (or some German guy, not sure).tl;dr: Get rekt Germanic scum.
>So after seeing some particular artwork over on deviant art. I got to thinking, what would an alt history campaign with low magic look like if rome had not fallen or at least not completely.Where is the low magic in this thread?
>>41546015Basically we just talked about how the divergance would work.The only thing low magic about it would be such as items would be somthing granted by the gods or rarely made. It would be an object of legend basically like durendal or excalibur.
>>41546015Who knows? Certain kinds of low magic is always something that could have just been planning and luck.AlternativelyMost hagiography stories are pretty thick on the miracles and quite a lot of them took place in more or less this time span, so there you go.
>>41543759WRE should have Germania. The Germanic influence on Western Rome would mean lots of Germanics allied to Rome after barbarian General after General.
>>41546074A)Germania was not a unified state or province by any means, and would be almost impossible to govern for the already overstretched WRE. B)Germanic troops and levies were already employed heavily as Foederati, and have nothing to do with territorial control.
>>41546074The last map is this one >>41545332
>>41546074The only way Western Rome would survive would be to get rid of those smelly, uncivilized, borderhopping Germanics that settle down in Roman lands, steal Roman jobs, refuse to learn Latin and shit out a ton of babies. Remove Germanics, acquire Gallo-Roman master race.
>>41546015Praying to gods may have subtle influences in nature. You don't have magic missiles, but perhaps preying to Jupiter causes a storm to miraculously bog down your enemies. Praying to God may cause a diseased individual to get better out of the blue, etc. Gods would be entities that would be as powerful as the energy given to them by their followers.>>41546124If we're talking medieval era Rome, then its implying Rome was never in any danger of collapse and as a result would be able to assert territorial control. Centuries of subjugation of Germania by the Romans as well as Catholic conversion would make for a Germanic state under the territory of Roma. Religious unity would have greatly secured the allegiance of Vassals to Rome. >>41546183The only way for Rome to survive would be to Romanize the Barbarians. Hell, the Germanics romanized themselves, claiming to be the successors to Rome. Auxillaries turning into loyal armies of Rome, and kept in check by a unified faith in the Catholic Church.
Romans - ElvesArabs - OrcsGermans - HumansPersians - DrowsJews - Dwarves
>>41546259Wouldnt germans be the orcs?
>>41546226>>41546124>>41546057A large german auxillary could work although that would mean no holy roman empire. They could instead be mercs that eventually decide to settle in roman lands after working with the legions as presented here>>41543179
>>41546226>Hell, the Germanics romanized themselvesWeren't the Franks an exception to that rule, and even then mostly because they didn't have the numbers tgo displace the already existing Gallo-Romans (who, ironically, themselves started identifying as Franks (ie. French) despite remaining very Latin in language and culture)? Or was this Romanization a trend among all Germanics?
>>41546329You know that the Frankish Empire, and the Franks were Germanic people, was a thing before Charlemagne was crowned HRE. Charlemagne wouldn't need to create an HRE without Italy, he could just expand the Frankish realm and claim his father's primary title rather than making something new.
>>41546259Romans-HumansSemitic(Arabs+Joos)-DorfsSlavs and Hungarians(and other mostly peaceful migrating tribes)-ElvesHuns and Mongols(and other violent migrating tribes)-OrcsDrows r gay btw so screw them.
>>41546348After the Roman Empire fell and Christianity spread to the Barbarians, Roman aesthetics and culture was seen as hip, because none of the Germanics by 1000 AD remembered a time when they were seen as subhumans. They were too busy considering non Catholics and people outside of their local nationality subhuman.
>>41546397Germans, the orginal hipsters
>>41546639>What is this, a bath house? How conformist>Don't you know that washing yourself with a dirty rag on a stick is stylishly retro?
>>41540863>Wolf House>-WolfThat's adorable, someone adorable made this.
>>41541453>Hellenic Byzantine Empire is the same as the Latin Roman EmpireI love this meme.
>>41547558>"Latin" Roman Empire>Only a tiny minority of the Roman Empire spoke Latin>The entire Eastern half spoke Greek>Romans in Rome learned Greek as a second language because it was really damned fucking useful>Romans fapped all over Greece to the point where their culture is a Greek spin-off>Both Roman Emperors were fully emperor of the entire Roman Empire, and as only one of them survived he effectively inherited the entire Roman empireGermanics, contain your butthurt. Please think rationally before doing something stupid like founding an empire that is actually just a collection of very loosely aligned principalities, has no connection to the Roman Empire and will wage war on the pope at the drop of a hat.Oh... wait.
>>41547617The pope shouldn't have been such a twat all the time, the ERE had a reeeeeeeeeally smart idea with the whole caesaropapism thing.
>>41547837>Caesoropapism>GoodSpot the Brit.
>>41547875>Not having a pet pontiff ready and willing to sanction excommunications, divorces and military ventures. Yeah, you just wait for that sneaky Florentine bitch to get her bastard son the Pope to excommunicate *you* cause she wants her other bastard son to take your lands. Sounds like a good plan.
>>41547617>implying it's the Germans who are ass-hurt about their favourite team losingNot only was the Holy Roman Empire more qualified to carry on the legacy of Rome due to them being free of disgusting eastern heresy but they also lasted longer making them the last true Romans. How does it feel to be cucked out of your Empire by barbarians? Not to mention these same Germanic barbarians formed your best fighting force because your "Romans" were worthless! And to make matters worse the tatters of your "Empire" were used to wipe the arses of fucking steppe nomads.
So in this setting the WRE is catholic and the ERE is orthodox, right?
>>41548035>Not only was the Holy Roman Empire more qualified to carry on the legacy of Rome[liberté, égalité and fraternité intensify]>due to them being free of disgusting eastern heresyU fookin' wot m8?>but they also lasted longerLets assume the Eastern Roman Empire literally did not exist until Western Rome collapsed. If we assume this lie, then the ERE and "Holy" "Roman" "Empire" existed for about equally as long, with the difference being that for the last half of its existence the HRE was a pitiful collection of infighting second rate European monarchs. Napoleon was the angel of death to a diseaseridden dog that had been writhing in its deaththroes for literally centuries. He did nothing more than take Old Yeller to the back of the shed, with the difference being that Old Yeller was literally everything wrong with Europe.
>>41548035>>41548096And those laughing barbarians you're posting? From the Osprey books... Varangian guards ie. Norse mercenaries in the exclusive service of... Byzantium!
>>41548051It seems like there was no great schism and there is only Chalcedonian Christianity but of political Roman (East and West) and then German varieties. At least that's how I am seeing this.
>>41548117That's the point you fucking idiot. The best "Roman" fighting force weren't that at all but in fact mercenaries imported from the north. How dense are you?
>>41548096Voltaire's pithy nonsense aside (because let's be real, that lecherous Frenchman has any knowledge of holiness, Romanness or empire?) they did make a mistake, in my opinion, with the name. Charlemagne should have simply called his realm "The Roman Empire in the West" or even "Empire of the West" Imperium Occidente. But that's with 1200 years of hindsight of course.
When the romans took over a place and recuited members of the populace into the legion how well were they treated? Did they have any chances at real promotion and status or were they just expected to be regular footmen
BumpingI think that a better point of divergence would be the very end of the West. Have Orestes defeat Odoacer, consolidate his power and set about fixing Italy. Then as an adult Romulus Augustus could prove to be a tremendously good leader, and continue the line of emperors in the West, ruling only over Italy, and the following emperors would continue his work, not expanding, but just keeping hold of what they have and trying to replenish manpower. Then 300 years later, due to some sucession crisis, the pope would ask for the intervention of Charlemagne, crown him emperor for saving the city, and Charlemagne would simply combine his German kingdom with his new Italian domain, and then the Roman Empire would finally be able to go about reclaiming its old lands, probably trying to take Spain first. As for the low magic, maybe we could have God be definitively real, and have some Jesus-level miracles like healings and such happening at a greater scale throughout Europe?Also, if we could have East and West be friends? I mean, we get enough of them being rivals in real history, it would be nice for them to not hate each other in this fiction. Just have a single, united Roman Empire, with two rulers for facilitating administration, instead of two distinct states who claim supremacy over the other.
>>41549357Locals were auxiliaries which were a separate command structure entirely. But you often got citizenship after serving so your sons were full Romans.
>>41549620Well we want the hre and wre to be completely separate.I think the best point of divergance is that the fall of rome never happend. As in it never got sacked, that the legions were able to hold onto it and a few key cities until they could build their strength up enough to retake italy and some of their lands. This helped that the island provinces never got captured, Eventually Justinian reabsorbed the WRE into a single roman empire by marrying the two lines together.
>>41553378to where? Carthage?
>>41553378They're called Chausses and were worn all the damn time in the High Middle Ages especially.
>>41548166Meanwhile, the armies of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria were universally considered the laughing stock of Europe for nearly 600 years. Not to mention the Varangians were bodyguards far more than they were a self-contained 'fighting force,' the cream of the Roman army was always its professional heavy cavalry (whether they went under the title of Clibinarii, Kataphractoi, Excubitores, etc.)
>>41556515I never said the germans were great, you're right about that. What I said is the Greeks managed to be worse somehow.
>>41558113So one thought is that one of the main differences is that the WRE could basically just be ran by the Senete with the emperor being a figurehead, similar to how a constitutional monarchy would work. This would be one of the major dividing points between the east and the west with the eastern emperors generally being considered stronger but the west having stronger ties to tradition because of a return to the roots of the republic.
>>41540825Is there a reason Africa was left out? Because that was pretty central to Rome's power.
>>41540890The central problem to rejigger, directly causing the civil wars that broke down the empire, was that once new areas were properly integrated into the empire, they ended up becoming more important and productive than the imperial core. Gaul suffered particularly from this, and there was a series of civil wars between factions supporting greater patronage for Rome and Gaul respectively.This was also the cause of the split in the first place between East and West. The East was just too prosperous to be governed by the West.
>>41559502To give the islam nations ability to form in northern africa, although WRE held onto carthrage
>>41545832You realise that the romans were massive greek fanboys right? Their ruling class spoke greek instead of latin. The transition was always going to happen.
>>41560356Yea having a greek tutor slave was aa sign of high fashion with the elites.However it is like the english speaking french in the royal courts, it was not as popular with the lower classes.
>>41560432>it was not as popular with the lower classesProbably because until the 1950s, the lower class could barely even read. You can't overstate how unimportant the lower classes were until about the end of WW2. How do you expect some poor kid from the slums of London to speak French if he can't even read English?It's not like today where everyone can read enough to post his useless thoughts on Twitter and feel like the center of the universe.
>>41563475Not quite true. The American Civil War was the first major conflict where most combatants, which included a metric fuckton of lower class people, could read and write.