The Roman Empire is a wide spread autocratic state in Italy, Dalmatia and North Africa, centered in the great cities of Rome and Carthage as both represent the greatest and strongest cities in the western Mediterranean. It is currently the successor state of the Eastern Roman Empire. It became centered again in Italy after the collapse of the Eastern Empire when the siege of Constantinople yielded a decisive victory to the Muslim armies and the later takeover of the Balkans and Greece from the Eastern Empire, and after the generals in Italy successfully led an army in Dalmatia against the Caliphate.
Origins Natali Secunda Roma
The Empire is reborn, as the troops from the Muslims take and loot the city of Constantinople and when the emperor flees to the province of Cherson founding his own Greek kingdom in OTL Crimea, the only remaining Christian state outside Cyprus and Crete, to remain independent in the east. The generals, led by Mauritius Flavius, begin gathering their forces to counter-attack the Muslim onslaught. Taking some islands off the coast of Dalmatia with ease, they pushed away the immediate threat to Rome and the rest of the West. While in North Africa, they manage to keep the Muslims armies at bay. Tired from the destruction of the remaining eastern army loyal to Rhinotmetus, the decisive battle is in Sirmium where the Romans ambush the Muslim forces and turn the tide of the war. By 676 Lucius Mauritius becomes Emperor of the Romans, crowned by the Pope Donus. By the end of the war, in 678, Rome controls North Africa and Dalmatia. The Empire begins expansion, restoring the rest of Italy to its rule.
The 50 years of Expansion and the Roman Italy
As soon as it was stable enough to hold its own, the Empire begin focusing on reunification campaigns in Italy. To ensure the power of Rome over all of them, the first Campaign is launched in Benevento by the year 707.
Bellum Italianum - Italian War: the End of Benevento
In January of 707 the Empire set its eyes south, seeking to capture Benevento. The wars were short period as the duchies of Benevento and other Lombard territories where the mainly Roman population rose up against the Lombard nobility who had lost the trust and respect of their people. In the end, this is what causes the rapid expansion of the Roman power back in Italy and North Africa.
Although the peace lasted from 709 to 714, the Empire experienced an unexpected threat to Roman power in the western Mediterranean.
The Muslim Occupation, The Emirate of Al-Maghrib
In 715 a Muslim pirate group manages to invade and occupy Mauretania poniente (backed by the Mauri tribe leaders who want to get rid of the Roman presence in Northern Mauretania). They soon start to convert or kill the local Christians, imposing Islam on the population. They also fortify the territories, knowing that without defenses they would fall to the Roman naval power.
The Muslims manage to hold the territories after this event, their priorities change as they invade the Al-andalus, taking with it the Mons calpe and seizing the capital of Malaca and invading Emerita. This prompts the beginning of the Roman-Hispanian diplomacy that would yield the later victories that would ensure the Roman reconquest of Mauretania Poniente and later finish off the Mauri threat in the south.
First Campaign 715-720
This first campaign is mainly the response against the Maghrebi emirate, and its leadership. The war is mainly against the Muslim population or the converts who are fighting against Roman rule with Mauri aid given from the south. The Muslim armies, however, are defeated losing most of Mauretania and holding only the Tip of Mauretania and changing their capital to the easily defendable Sebta - Septem (Ceuta).
Second Campaign 743 -747
Although being started by Emperor Arcadius II, it is his son who finishes the war and leads Rome again to victory over the Sebtanii emirate who now held only their capital city. This is the biggest victory the Empire has had since the fall of Constantinople.
The Battle of Ab-al-sadiq took place at a city in the border which was a military and trading outpost. 10,000 Sebtani forces and 1500 Roman forces engaged in combat when the Romans try to take the city. Although the Sebtanii armies are stronger and the Roman forces are not even large enough to constitute a legion, the Romans successfully take the city after the Romans kill the commander Ziyad Ibn Sadiq, a noble and commander from the royal family protecting the city. The taking of the city clears a path directly to Sebta.
In late September 746, Sebta is besieged and almost taken. This was avoided due to the surrendering of the nation agreeing to give up their remaining territories in Africa with the exception of a few coastal cities and Sebta itself.