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Ever since I heard of the exploits of Belisarius I have wondered what if he seriously accepted the title of Western Roman Emperor when it was offered to him? I am by no means an expert on this time in history; in fact my greatest interest lies in the Victorian age and beyond but this is a fascinating what if for me. This timeline extends from the time of Belisarius to the Renaissance. I decided not to take it any farther for now, though I may change my mind later.
Now as any good writer of alternate history will tell you, the slightest change in history will alter the future dramatically, thus it is highly unlikely that a timeline with a POD taking place in 540 will see the likes of Charlemagne or Saladin, much less other historical figures like George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte and Winston Churchill. It is even unlikely to see England, France, Spain or the United States rise in such a timeline.
That said, this timeline is going to share a lot of historical figures, nations and events with ours. No I am not trying to pull a Harry Turtledove, but I have found people tend to be more interested when historical figures they're familiar with interacts with an alternate world. After all who cares how Joe-Bag O'Donuts will react, nobody knows him or his motives. That's not to say there won't be fictional characters in my timeline, just not as many of them.