Alternate History

Nikifor Vsevolodovich (Barbarian Empire)

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"...Nikephoros Monomach was half-bother to the ruling Emperor, and also held land in Trebizond. Like his brother, he was a great military leader, campaigning in Jerusalem, the Caucasus and in Syria. Like his brother, he often promoted favourites (even if few of them had the undeniable military and administrative ability like Alexander’s Salah Mansur and Grigorios Palaiologos) and held court where he was present rather than in Constantinople. Like his bother, he was eventually sainted. Still, there were important differences. Where for Alexander military glory was an end in itself, Nikephoros preferred to fight only if there was a good reason – and perhaps lacked the drive to force reluctant princes to war with the mighty Seljuks yet again during the Georgian campaign; where for Alexander political dominance was paramout, Nikephoros tired of politics by the end of his life and ruled from Corfu in semi-retirement, allowing the Petzikopouloi to dominate the administration. Unlike his father and brother, he did not struggle with the power of the Church; rather, he was outwardly the most orthodox of all the Monomachs. This allowed him to attempt to de-polarize and de-politicize the church, with new establishments emphasizing artistry and industry rather than proselytizing, especially in regions with populations of mixed faiths, which he did not try to convert as aggressively as his brother did. He staved off civil war during his lifetime by forestalling a campaign by Michael of Jerusalem, but his hands-off governance created a power vacuum that whetted the ambitions of the Bureaucratic city clans, the Dynatoi and the various Monomach branches and lead to the devastating civil wars of 1218-1234. He was widely acknowledged as connoisseur of the finer things, and an able diplomat who did much to politically orient the few successful crusader states towards Constantinople rather than the Western kingdoms as well as aiding the Christian states in Nubia retain their religion by sending bishops and money. He restored some princely power in Novgorod, centralizing and strengthening the northern Tzardom under his relatives’ rule. The flowering of literature and art during the Monomach period and especially under Nikephoros is especially obvious when compared to the dearth of new works and new copies during and after the Civil War – which Nikephoros was as guilty of causing through his inaction as anyone directly involved was guilty of causing it due to greed and ambition. After he died, neither of his sons could be elected Emperor, and neither could his niece Ekaterine, unless she were to marry a Petzikopoulos or Palaiologos, which she refused to do. Young Andronikos Petzikopoulos was chosen instead, a compromise that pleased no-one..."

Predecessor: Nikephoros V Monomach-Rurikovich (Barbarian Empire) Successor:
Alexander I Nikephoros V

Basileus of Eastern Roman Empire

Andronikos I
Vsevolod III Nikephoros I

Prince of Trebizond

Iordanes I

Despot of Corfu

Staurakios I

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