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Alternate fall of the Byzantine Empire

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  Quote csw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Alternate fall of the Byzantine Empire
    Posted: 21-Mar-2009 at 02:03
I know most timeline of the Byzantine Empire involve it not falling, but for stories I'm contemplating I need the Empire to fall, but differently to give the Greeks a fighting chance at retaining a real demographic foothold in Anatolia in the 20th century. To that end I remember reading the massive blood shed between Christians and Muslims stopped when Memmel II puppeted the Patriarch and made the Christians willing dhimmis. There was still slaughter to be sure but not as much. So I need the Empire to fall late and in one fell swoop. Here goes:
 
Micheal VIII
(1258-1282)
 
Michael VIII does everything he can to appease western powers during his rule, while carving up large portions of the Rum Sultanate, which by that time had fallen into complete disarray. While he does not destroy the sultanate itself, he DOES restore the Commenian borders in the East, and subdues Trebizond and establishes trading rights with the Mamluks Through overland routes in Cilicia, greatly improving the Byzantine economy. More importantly, he raises his son in the saddle so that in that world he will become known as:
 
Andronic the Conqueror
(1282-1328)
 
Instead of becoming a masterful theologian, Andronic becomes a powerful warlord, who spends most of his reign fighting Latin interests, destroying Latin bases in Cyprus, Armenia (not really Latin, but often aligned), conquering Bulgaria, and securing all of the Komenian Empire except Crete and Serbia. The Ottomans attack, but are bloodily repulsed. The Ghazis turn on each other, blaming impiety for lack of victory against the Christians, and the Ottomans employ them mercilessly against their rivals, consolidating power in Rum while Byzantium bleeds itself dry and heads into a long period of Civil War and decline.
 
Good so far?
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2009 at 20:06
Originally posted by csw

Micheal VIII
(1258-1282)
 
Michael VIII does everything he can to appease western powers during his rule, while carving up large portions of the Rum Sultanate, which by that time had fallen into complete disarray. While he does not destroy the sultanate itself, he DOES restore the Commenian borders in the East, and subdues Trebizond and establishes trading rights with the Mamluks Through overland routes in Cilicia, greatly improving the Byzantine economy.
 
A more interesting alternative history would be to have Michael VIII remaining in the Empire of Nicaea and further consolidating it as the Byzantine power base.  In essence the new Empire would be one that reconquered Asia Minor, thus securing its traditonal source of manpower and wealth. 
 
Over the many centuries of Roman and Byzantine rule, the Balkans had been lost and retaken, all without much gain except for patriotic symbolism.  Realistically, the Balkans were a wasteland that had been ravaged and stripped of resources by the Huns, Slavs, Crusaders, and Turks.
 
You mentioned that in your scenario Michael VIII established trading rights with the Mamlukes and in Cilicia.  But this does not resolve the problems with the Italian trading republics, who had rested control of the Byzantine economy away from natives and were living as parasites on it.  They had done the real damage to the Byzantine economy and livelihood.
 
Originally posted by csw

Andronic the Conqueror
(1282-1328)
 
Instead of becoming a masterful theologian, Andronic becomes a powerful warlord, who spends most of his reign fighting Latin interests, destroying Latin bases in Cyprus, Armenia (not really Latin, but often aligned), conquering Bulgaria, and securing all of the Komenian Empire except Crete and Serbia. The Ottomans attack, but are bloodily repulsed. The Ghazis turn on each other, blaming impiety for lack of victory against the Christians, and the Ottomans employ them mercilessly against their rivals, consolidating power in Rum while Byzantium bleeds itself dry and heads into a long period of Civil War and decline.
 
One of the main criticims of Michael VIII and the Andronikoi is that they neglected Asia Minor in preference to the Balkans and Constantinople, which had symbolic value more than anything.  Andronikos III actually made some military reforms and reconstituted a small navy.  Perhaps even more could have been done if the seat of the Empire remained at Nicaea.
 
For more background reading, I would suggest the following.  Some of these can be viewed on Googlebooks in part.
 
Angelov, Dimiter. Imperial Ideology and Political Thought in Byzantium (1204-1330). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
 
Angold, Michael. A Byzantine Government in Exile: Government and Society Under the Laskarids of Nicaea, 1204-1261. London: Oxford University Press, 1975.
 
Bartusis, Mark C. The Late Byzantine Army: Arms and Society, 1204-1453. Middle Ages series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.
 
Geanakoplos, Deno John. Emperor Michael Palaeologus and the West, 1258-1282; A Study in Byzantine-Latin Relations. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959.
 
Nicol, Donald MacGillivray. The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261-1453. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
 
Nicol, Donald MacGillivray. The Immortal Emperor: The Life and Legend of Constantine Palaiologos, Last Emperor of the Romans. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
 
Nicol, Donald MacGillivray. The Reluctant Emperor: A Biography of John Cantacuzene, Byzantine Emperor and Monk, C. 1295-1383. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
 
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Feb-2010 at 19:58
I would suggest to anyone studying this history to think sometimes of substituting the word "Lion" anytime you read of "Andronicus" or "Leo?"

The possible connections might well be worthwile?

Regards,
http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Mar-2010 at 17:20
Perhaps I should have also mentioned "Lyon?", that place in France! And, as an outside guess, I might also mention that there might well be a connection to "Leon?", as in Spain!

Actually I am a "word play" kind of guy!

Edited by opuslola - 13-Mar-2010 at 17:23
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  Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2010 at 13:30
I have come across alternative fiction about the Byzantine Empire but I cannot recall the titles or the authors.
Λοιπόν, αδελφοί και οι συμπολίτες και οι στρατιώτες, να θυμάστε αυτό ώστε μνημόσυνο σας, φήμη και ελευθερία σας θα ε
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2010 at 10:11
Eaglecap, and others, since this is the "Alternative History" section, I will propose an alternative to the Fall of Byzantium!

First, I propose that the fall of Greece to Alexander (defender of man) was really the fall of the Byzantine Greek?/ Hellene Empire to the Ottomans! IE, the Moslems, who follow a prophet whose holy city is Mecca, which is also spelled variously as Makka, were those believers of Mecca / Makka or variously misplaced as the Makka-donians / Mecca-donians or Mace-donians, etc.! And, I also believe that the "Prophet" was also called either "defender of men" or "defender of the word!", very similar to Alexander. Phillip, meaning "horseman" or "horse lover", and the famous "Arabian Horses!"

Even the take over of Israel /Judah, etc., by the Maccabeans/ Makka-beans / Mace-beans could be related? Note that this family became famous / infamous for destroying "idols!" Seems strangely similar to Muslim beliefs, does it not?

As history is concerned, you must throw out maps made by modern historians, since map-making was only made reproducable after the invention of the printing press! Very old handmade maps sometimes showw a very different world! It is only after the "world places" had been assigned and approved, that historians decided to create places for ancient cities and nations upon the map!

Just a few "alternative" things to think about!

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  Quote tzar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jul-2010 at 11:18
Originally posted by csw

I know most timeline of the Byzantine Empire involve it not falling, but for stories I'm contemplating I need the Empire to fall, but differently to give the Greeks a fighting chance at retaining a real demographic foothold in Anatolia in the 20th century. To that end I remember reading the massive blood shed between Christians and Muslims stopped when Memmel II puppeted the Patriarch and made the Christians willing dhimmis. There was still slaughter to be sure but not as much. So I need the Empire to fall late and in one fell swoop. Here goes:
 
Micheal VIII
(1258-1282)
 
Michael VIII does everything he can to appease western powers during his rule, while carving up large portions of the Rum Sultanate, which by that time had fallen into complete disarray. While he does not destroy the sultanate itself, he DOES restore the Commenian borders in the East, and subdues Trebizond and establishes trading rights with the Mamluks Through overland routes in Cilicia, greatly improving the Byzantine economy. More importantly, he raises his son in the saddle so that in that world he will become known as:
 
Andronic the Conqueror
(1282-1328)
 
Instead of becoming a masterful theologian, Andronic becomes a powerful warlord, who spends most of his reign fighting Latin interests, destroying Latin bases in Cyprus, Armenia (not really Latin, but often aligned), conquering Bulgaria, and securing all of the Komenian Empire except Crete and Serbia. The Ottomans attack, but are bloodily repulsed. The Ghazis turn on each other, blaming impiety for lack of victory against the Christians, and the Ottomans employ them mercilessly against their rivals, consolidating power in Rum while Byzantium bleeds itself dry and heads into a long period of Civil War and decline.
 
Good so far?
No it's not good! I didn't understand why only Bulgaria was conquered? Ouch
Everybody listen only this which understands.
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Sep-2010 at 17:58
If there exists anything remarkable about the so called Byzantine Empire, is that for many hundreds of years, it seems this formerly great Roman Empire, became (according to some sources) more an more effiminate, and less and less manly! Those in power were less and less willing to risk their selves or fortunes as warriors, knights, or Caesars!

Rather it seems, for centuries, they began to more and more rely upon "foreigners" to bear the brunt of military service, and one unit, the Varangian Guard, became the most reknowned of these units, at least as personal defenders of Byzant proper! It even seems that the old Rome, on the Tibur, also had its own city defenders, the were it seems called the Praetorians!

See; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praetorian_Guard

And compare it to the Varangian Guard!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varangians

The above groups seem to have been so popular that certain "Muslim" dynasties, began to use them in a like manner!

In Islam Egypt they were called what?

In Othman controlled Istanbul, they were called what?

But, just what, if anything, did they all have in common?

Edited by opuslola - 12-Sep-2010 at 18:06
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