The Battle of CallunicumOn April 19, 531, the Byzantine army, which had been fighting the Persians for Iberia for 5 years, fough them at Callinicum. Both sides had an army of 20,000 men, with the Byzantines led by Belisarius, versus the Persians lead by Azarethes. Belisarius began by forming his troops in a strong, yet unusual, position, made to confuse the Persians, while his opponent formed his army in a strong, and well-placed, position. Belisarius placed his Ghassanid allies on his left flank, believing that would be the side his enemy would attack first. This proved wrong when the Persian cavalry attacked his right flank. But Belisarius' troops held firm, and the cavalry charge was repulsed, leaving a big hole in the Persian's line. The Byzantines counterattacked early in the afternoon, and forced the Persians into a full-scale retreat. The Byzantines relentlessly pursued them, and pushed the Persians back into Persia, who sued for peace in 532.
In 532, a riot began in the Constantinople Hippodrome, where 30,000 civilians in attendance began to scream Nika! Nika! (Win! Win!) toward Emperor Justinian's seat, in protest of his high taxes and dictatorial practices. The emperor returned to his palace, where the citizens rioted outside, and the emperor began planning to move to the other side of the Bosporus, but his wife, Theodora, convinced him otherwise. He called in 15,000 Imperial soldiers to crush the rebellion, but this only inspired more rioters, who took to the streets, and the Nika riots evolved into a revolution. This revolution ended three days later when Justinian met with members of the revolutionary leaders, and the two sides declared a ceasefire. The result was an end to the high taxes, and the empowerment of the Byzantine Senate, along with the creation of the new position of Consul of the Byzantine Senate, as the new head of the Byzantine government. This position was to be elected by the Senators, and the first Consul elected was Belisarius, the general who had lead the Byzantines to victory against the Persians in 531.
Main Changes From OTL
These are the main differences between this ATL and OTL:
- Because of the Byzantine Empire's survival, imperialism is still widespread, and although most states are republics, a majority still have colonies, mostly in Africa.
- Because of the rule of mostly just the Byzantines and Sassanids, the Middle East is a much more stable area.
- Communism still exists, but most communist exists in only small-scale political parties. Communists revolutions, however, never really occurred outside Asian or Eurasian countries. Most socialist republics were established through elections of socialist parties and legal procedures those parties used.
See: List of Nations