Roman Empire (English)Timeline: Principia Moderni III (Map Game)
Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων (Greek)
Esto perpetua (Latin)
Let it be Eternal (English)
"Civilization Marches On"
The Roman Empire in 2010.
(and largest city)
|Official languages||Greek, Latin|
|Regional Languages||Gothic, Bulgarian, Albanian, Aramaic, Italian, Berber, Egyptian, Hebrew|
|Ethnic groups||Greek, Latin, Goth, Phoenician, Egyptian, Bulgarian, Berber, Jewish|
|Government||Federal Constitutional Hereditary Monarchy|
|-||Emperor||Thomas V Palaiologos|
|-||Upper house||House of Nobles|
|-||Lower house||House of Commoners|
|-||Foundation of Rome||753 B.C.|
|-||Foundation of Constantinople||330 A.D.|
|-||Recapture of Constantinople||1261 A.D.|
|-||2010 A.D. estimate||307,735,000|
The Roman Empire, sometimes rarely referred to as the Empire of the Greeks or the Greek Empire, is a state that borders the Aegean Sea and controls the majority of Greece. The Empire, as Nicaea, was one of the three survivor states of the classical Roman Empire, the other states being the Empire of Trebizond and the Despotate of Epirus, both of which faded from existence in the 15th century. The Germanic Holy Roman Empire is a claimant to the same title, but has different origins.
Following centuries of political, economic and cultural success, the Roman Empire went into decline. When the Arabs took Egypt and the Levant from the Empire, the Empire went into constant decline, interrupted only by occasional periods of resurgence between tensions on all borders.
The Fourth Crusade in 1204 took Constantinople and signaled the virtual death knell of the Empire. Even as the Empire recovered Constantinople in 1261, the Empire continued to decline. Despite the efforts of the Palaiologos dynasty, the majority of whom were capable rulers, external factors continued to reduce the empire's territory and economy.
This reversed at the turn of the 15th century, when Manuel II marshaled aid from Western Europe and successfully recaptured several important cities like Thebes, Nicomedia and Sinope. Famagusta was the greatest prize and helped to restore the Empire's rapidly declining economy.
The Empire proceeded to defeat the remaining Latin states in Greece as well as expand its trade across the Aegean and Black Seas. The internal structure of the Empire was improved by the Palaiologan Reforms initiated by Manuel II's son and successor, John VIII. These reforms would be crucial for the defeat of the Latins in the Latin Revolt and the War of Albanian Independence against the Ottomans.
Following the defeat of the Ottomans in the War of Albanian Independence, the Roman Empire became a rising power in Europe again. During the colonial rush for the New World the Roman Empire established colonies alongside major powers like Spain, France and Britannia. The Roman Empire continued to expand, gaining land in Africa, Europe and Asia as the remnants of the Ottomans continued to crumble and neighboring states became ripe for conquest.
The Roman Empire gradually regained its place as one of the dominant nations in Europe and Asia, exercising considerable power over the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa. As the Roman Empire grew, it also grew in terms of technology and trade, becoming one of the global powerhouses in science and commerce, backing up its already sizable military and political power.
In the 20th century, the Roman Empire emerged from both the great Communist War and the World War victorious, albeit at the cost of hundreds of thousands of men. By the end of the World War, the Roman Empire was the undisputed master of the Middle East and one of the major powerhouses in Asia, along with its ally the Tartary and the Empire of Japan.
The Roman Empire is a nuclear weapons state and hosts one of the largest and best equipped militaries in the world. It is a center of global trade, exercising control over the Suez Canal and all of the ports and resources of the eastern Mediterranean. It is also widely seen as the authoritative voice of Christianity in the world, holding all five cities of the traditional pentarchy, the graves of most of the original apostles and a multitude of artifacts associated with the Christian faith.
For more information see main article: History of the Roman Empire
1400 - 1500
The Empire was in a tough spot in 1400, with the capital Constantinople being blockaded by the Ottoman Empire over diplomatic disputes. As such, Emperor Manuel II traveled across Europe, requesting aid to drive the Ottomans away from the capital. He visited many nations, such as Aragon, Castile, France, and the Holy Roman Empire. Manuel II would be the first Roman Emperor to travel to England in many centuries.
Back in the Empire, the Emperor's rebellious nephew and former Emperor John VII commanded the defense. While John VII was rebellious in the past, he stayed loyal to the cause and the Ottomans never attacked the city. In the Despotate of Morea, Roman troops were able to seize several more towns and outposts that were deserted or owned by the Latins. This increased the defense and economy of the Empire, if only slightly.Manuel II managed to get a wide array of nations to contribute troops to the defense of the capital. England, France, Castile, Aragon, Venice, Bavaria, Holland, Saxony, Novgorod, Muscovy, Naples, Sicily, the Papacy, and Genoa all contributed troops or ships. This massive influx of support vastly increased morale in the Empire.
The Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire and Venice met for negotiations regarding territorial and political disputes. The negotiations concluded with the blockade of Constantinople ended and the Empire gaining back some land, including the Anatolian city of Nicomedia. This re-secured Roman control over the Bosphorus Straits.
This agreement would later play an important role in the following months. The Latin Duchy of Athens was broken away from Venetian control and came under the control of a Florentine, Antonio I Acciaioli. Venice countered and as a reward for Roman service in the war, the Empire received half of Attica and all of Boeotia.
Soon after, general war with Genoa erupted in Western Europe. Wanting a more satisfying conclusion to the Roman-Genoese War in the previous century, the Roman Empire attacked Genoese trading ships, as well as the Genoese trading colony of Galata, in 1407. The war ended with the Empire getting much wealth and many ships, as well as control over Galata and Famagusta.
The Empire began to recover from its problems in this phase, as new territory had been reconquered, the military, while small, was effective enough and the treasury began to fill again. This new found power attracted the attention of the Empire of Trebizond, who entered into Roman vassalage. These reconciled nations together invaded and organized the disordered Emirate of Sinope and soon made quick work of the country. The invasion added another trade port to the Empire, along with a sizable shipyard.
The next ten years were ones largely of peace for the Empire, although there were some instances of war. Following the continues attempts of Savoy to get involved in the Aegean, the Empire along with Naples and Florence defeated the Savoyards and the Empire received some Aegean islands, as well as guaranteed independence for its relatives in Montferrat.
Following this war, the Empire and Naples attempted to annex the nation of Cyprus in order to further each other's influence in that area, but the attack was a failure due to a miscommunication between the Neapolitan and Roman forces. A Cypriot followup attack on Famagusta ended in failure, making the war end in the status quo.
The Empire's influence did expand in this time period, as the Emperor's son-in-law King Stephen of Theodoro submitted to Roman vassalage and the Empire of Trebizond, already a Roman vassal, rejoined the Empire, ending the Roman schism present since the Fourth Crusade in 1204.
With this part of the nation's history behind it, the Empire turned its focus towards defeating the rest of the Catholic Latin states that also claimed to be the heirs to the Roman Empire, through the Latin Roman Empire that ceased to exist in 1261.
Determined to end it once and for all, the Empire invaded Cyprus in 1423 and 1424, and Achaea in 1424. Both of these states were defeated and their kings imprisoned. This finally ended the schism of the Empire in its entirety, except for the Venetian-ruled dominions in Greece.
By 1425, the Empire was becoming increasingly multicultural once again. The Latins in Greece were still a sizable minority and despite the freedom of the Greeks from serfdom, they still occupied several important positions in local commerce and governance, as well as the military. Crimean Goths also immigrated to the Empire, in part because of the rich trade links between the Empire and Theodoro. In the east, the population of Armenians and Georgians also rose.This was a cause of celebration for the Empire, who saw it as further proof the Empire was expanding once more. The death of Emperor Manuel II in 1425 saddened the Empire, but the ascension of John VIII was a cause for celebration and John took to reviving the Empire with vigor.
One of the major reforms carried out early in the reign of John VIII was a major military reform for the army. These reforms dismissed many of the Latin mercenaries working in the army and altered the structure of the army as well. These reforms would be crucial in combating the Latin revolt two years later.
With the Latins pacified, the Empire expanded its control over the rich Black Sea trade routes by annexing Theodoro as the Despotate of Taurica. Land was also gained in Rhodes and Pylos, gifted by John VIII's brother-in-law Vittorio de Luca, the grand master of the Knights Hospitaller. The start of the 1430s heralded a new era for the Empire, in which its wealth was increasing due to lucrative trade routes, its culture was expanding due to new cultures in the Empire once again, its military was strong and growing due to numerous reforms and the capital had recovered. Another Roman Renaissance had occurred.
The 1430s brought in a new era in Roman history in trade and culture. Roman literature and science expanded due to an increased interest in the University of Constantinople and the Imperial Library, bringing back to light important philosophical and scientific texts. The Mausoleum of Bodrum, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, was repaired during this time of cultural interest.The 1440s was largely the same as the 1430s. The Roman Renaissance continued and the Roman economy continued to gain strength. It was during this time that the unification of the Churches occurred, unifying most of Christianity beneath the Holy Catholic Church.
The first half of the 1450s was dominated by the Albanian War of Independence and the defeat of the Ottomans in Europe, pushing Islamic influence from southern Europe for good. The conversion of the Tatars to Christianity over the next few years and the defeat of the Granadan Muslims over the next few years forced Islam out of Europe.
The war was a major turning point for the Empire, who only fifty years earlier was faced with imminent destruction. As such, the victory of the Christians in 1453 against the Ottomans was widely celebrated in both the Empire and the rest of Europe, who had begun to see the Empire's revival as a parallel to the Reconquista taking place in Spain.
Albania also won its war and gained its independence from the Ottomans. In order to protect the fledgling nation, the Roman Empire and the Albanians entered into an agreement in which the Roman Empire would protect Albania from the machinations of the Venetians, Italians, or Hungarians.
The Roman Empire began to pioneer the development of gunpowder weapons along with the Netherlands and Castile. John VIII was always highly impressed with firearms and his continued interest ensured its importance in the Roman military for decades to come.
The Empire set about the task of integrating such territory back into the government and had to address issues such as taxation and a residual Ottoman insurgency. Because of the new population base, the Roman government was able to lower taxes somewhat, gaining support from the new provinces. The insurgent Ghazis were hunted down and either executed or exiled to Ottoman lands. The Roman Empire continued to expand in trade and cultural influence during this decade, although noticeable changes in military structure and technology. During this decade the explosive grenade was first invented in the Empire and a young Carlo de Patra began to attend the University of Constantinople.
Carlo de Patra's inventions and knowledge revolutionized the world. De Patra became renowned for his scientific knowledge about the physical sciences and Human anatomy were considered breakthroughs and some of his inventions were not replicated until the modern era. The reign of Michael IX was relatively peaceful and was largely filled with cultural and scientific advancement. This decade was marked by the decline in Roman-Venetian relations following the capture of Arta in Greece and increasing trade competition. This was offset by better relations with Europe, especially Scandinavia due to the new Emperor Thomas I's wife Elsa of Scandinavia and the newly reformed Tatar Empire.
By this time hospitals had become a regular feature in most major Roman cities and the Roman Empire and its nobility were becoming increasingly Westernized, exactly as John VIII had planned. During this time the new found antagonism with Venice was reaching a boiling point. The alliance with the Venetians was rendered null and the Venetian ambassador was evicted from Constantinople. A growing rebellion in Crete attracted the interest of many Roman nobles and the Empire began supported such rebels through the nobles.
1500 - 1600The war with Venice finally arrived as the Cretan rebels rose up in full revolt and the Empire sent troops to aid them as well as seize Greek land from Venice. Thanks to better technology and superior armies, the Roman Army triumphed on land and occupied many of the Venetian holdings in mainland Greece. The Roman Navy played hit and run tactics against the superior Venetian fleet until the climatic Battle of Naxos that ended the war in the Aegean in the Empire's favor.
Albania also entered the war, both because of the debt owed to the Romans for winning Albanian independence and also to unite all Albanians under the kingdom's banner. Through this war, Albania gained a coast.
The war had interesting social consequences for the Empire and the Greeks, who discovered the brutality of Venetian slavery and the practice of drowning for capital punishment. As part of the first anti-Venetian backlash caused by the aftermath, Thomas I outlawed slavery, viewing it as a tool of oppression unworthy of the Romans and that everyone could become "Roman." Drowning was also outlawed as a form of punishment.
Many Venetians and Italians fled the new Roman territories in the years following the defeat of the Venetians.
During the decade, the Empire suffered two natural disasters that cost the Empire dearly. In 1502 a storm closed the Egyptian canal, cutting off Roman access to the trade goods offered by Indochina and India. In 1509, a devastating earthquake struck Constantinople, killing thousands and damaging the city. In the aftermath Emperor Thomas I was assassinated by a disgruntled Venetian, causing the second anti-Venetian backlash and a crisis in the line of succession.
With Thomas I dead and his eldest sons not yet old enough to take the throne, the nobles compromised and allowed Thomas' consort Elsa of Scandinavia to head the regency. She earned the trust and loyalty of the Roman nobility and people by rapidly rebuilding Constantinople.After a few years on the throne, Elsa abdicated and her eldest son Theodore took the throne as Theodore III at the age of 16. Theodore III's rule was an important one for the Empire, as he would be the most successful Emperor in terms of territorial conquest since Heraclius or Basil II.
Although young, Theodore III jumped to the task of restoring the Empire's greatness. Over the next twenty years, the Empire regained control of Egypt, Judea and parts of Anatolia as well as expanding into the Balkans and Serbia after defeating a treacherous Hungary.
Despite these rapid gains, the Empire lost Judea and Egypt at the beginning of the 1560s. This was a hard blow to the Empire and Theodore III, who had aspired to restore the Empire's borders to what they were before the Arabs invaded. However the Roman Empire was able to maintain its grip over Egyptian colonies like Bahrain, Singapore and Socotra, although all of Egypt's colonies were sold or abandoned within forty years except Socotra. Anatolia also erupted into warfare between Greek and Turkish militias at this time and Roman support for the Greeks ensured Roman annexation of Ionia and Bythnia.
Despite the loss of Egypt, the Empire also entered into the world stage as a colonial power, settling colonies at Atlantis (OTL Bermuda) and the city of Reme in Roanoke (OTL Outer Banks). The Italian city-state of Banche Esterno was also obtained in this time frame as a protectorate, later to become a full colony. Due to aid provided to Urdustan in one of their many wars, a small enclave in southern India was obtained as a refuge for Indian Christians.
Theodore III restored considerable prestige to the Empire when it defeated the Austrians along with a coalition of other Western European nations. The Empire gained the Ionian islands and the Austrian colony of Schlossburg, which was renamed Powhatan in honor of the Empire's native allies. The Empire also received the Iron Crown of Lombardy and the Bridle of Constantine, two relics that had significant importance to the Roman people. A triumph was commissioned for the victorious general Cesare de Patra, who led the expedition into Italy.
1600 - 1700
Despite his conquests and geopolitical successes, Theodore III was never able to get past the loss of Egypt and Judea. He died on the 12th of September, 1589. His son, Thomas, took the throne as Thomas II.
Thomas II was a much more conservative and cautious ruler than his father, trying to make up for the loss of Egypt and Judea by solidifying Roman control over its territories. Despite this, he was a military ruler at times and ordered the expedition that reconquered Cappadocia from its Turkish rulers. The Empire was at peace for most of his reign.Thomas II's son, Andronikos V, was, by comparison to his father and grandfather, a weak ruler. Despite the fact that a Roman army under general Theodore von Chersenesos reconquered Egypt for the final time, Andronikos V did little in its execution, planning, or consideration, only giving his tacit approval for the expedition. The success was overshadowed soon after by an uprising against Imperial authority. Called Theodore's Revolution, Andronikos V was forced to make considerable concessions to the various Archonates in the Empire as well as restore the Imperial Senate.
The Revolution did more to damage his reputation rather than strengthen it. Familial relations with the Halvar branch of the family in Scandinavia's civil war brought the Empire in as well and 50,000 Romans fought in the frigid north. The defeat and exile of the Halvars brought the war to the end and the occupation of Scandinavia's colonies was lifted, all to the shame of the Empire. The defeat in the war was blamed on Andronikos V, even though he was only alive for the beginning.
Stephen I came to the throne on the 25th of July, 1632. Staunchly conservative in his belief of Imperial Autocracy, Stephen I opposed the increasingly Republican overtures of the first Imperial Senate and, unlike his father, had the strength to resist. Several Republican supporters were assassinated with no obvious connection to the Emperor, but Consul Theodore von Chersenosos understood the message.
To remove or at least alleviate the contention between the two, Stephen I proposed a military expedition. The two launched the Anatolian Expedition. Starting in 1650, the two led an army of 60,000 of the Empire's best against the various Turkic Beyliks that still occupied Anatolia. The campaign was a success and Stephen I, Theodore von Chersenesos and his successor Thomas Doukos received acclaim for their achievements.
Several deaths and assassinations followed until Emperor John IX was crowned. During the reign of John IX, there was a coup against him in 1663. Consul Andronikos Mouzalon, a staunch Republican highly influenced by the ideals of ancient Greek writers and philosophers, seized the palace with the support of a few renegade officers and mercenaries. John IX barely managed to escape to Adrianople with his supporters.
Unable to abolish the crown right away, Andronikos had Sophia Angelina, the Empress, crowned as the ruler of the Empire. It would take nearly a year for John IX to marshal his forces and regain Constantinople. John IX regained the throne and Andronikos was mutilated and executed.
During the 1680s, the Roman Empire and the Tartary intervened in the Caucasus-Damascan War. In the aftermath the Empire pulled away with Georgia and Armenia, though many were not satisfied with allowing the Assyrians languish under Muslim rule. Despite this, the Roman Empire was not strong enough to intervene against the Damascan Sultanate by itself and had no allies to call upon, as the Tartary was soon beset by internal conflict and political intrigue.
The Empire concluded the 17th century with the war against Dacia alongside Croatia, which resulted in a bloody war in the Balkans. The Dacians were ultimately defeated and the region of Bulgaria was ceded to the Empire. The Empire had become a major power at this point and sandwiched between Damascus and the Spanish Empire made it seem likely that war was going to break out again.
The first half of the 18th century was one of peace and the Empire prospered as it entered into its beginning phase of industrialization. Factories sponsored by nobility and wealthy commoners began sprouting up around the Aegean Sea in cities like Athens, Thessalonica and Smyrna. Steam power powered this industrial growth and coal reserves in Anatolia provided for the fuel of the new Roman economy. Cash crops like tobacco, indigo and cotton were grown in the Borealian provinces and shipped back to the Empire to provide the factories with the materials to produce consumer goods.However, while the Empire was prosperous economically, it was at risk internationally. The Spanish Empire was, without doubt, the major power in the world at the time, possessing territory on each continent and dominating world trade. However, this power convinced the Spanish government to act without impunity and as a result, many in Europe began to resent Spanish power. In 1737, a coalition of anti-Spanish nations invaded Spain in order to reduce its power and enhance themselves. The War of the Grand Coalition lasted twelve years and ended with the complete destruction of Spanish power. The Roman Empire emerged from the war with Italy and the city of Rome in its possession, enhancing its prestige at home and abroad considerably. However, the fall of Spain triggered a global recession that took years to recover from.
The recovery of Italy was perhaps one of the major moments in modern Roman history and many works of art and monuments were made to commemorate the liberation. The defeat of Spain and acquisition of Italy also propelled the Roman Empire into the top three nations of Europe, behind France and Britannia. The Roman Empire continued its path of continuous growth and industrialization, as its homeland was hardly affected by the war. However, this peace would not last.
In order to gain the loyalty of the Bulgarians, Andrew I the Magnificent and his successor and grandson Stephen II supported the migration of Bulgarians into the region of Dardania. Eventually, the constant support of Bulgarian immigration put the Serbians at edge and they wrote to the Senate, demanding action. Indifference in the Senate and the transfer of Dardania and the city of Skopje from Serbia to Bulgaria was the final straw. Serbia revolted against the Roman government with the aid of Croatia and while the war went back and forth, it soon became clear that Serbia would never be pacified. In the aftermath, Serbia joined Croatia, while the region of Dardania remained with Bulgaria in the Empire. Emperor Stephen II, already mentally unstable, committed suicide following the war's end.
This defeat had a sobering effect on an Empire drunk off of victory and overconfidence following the defeat of Spain. Stephen II's brother Thomas IV realized that without better integration and unity between the Empire's provinces and cultures, the Empire would always be fragile. As such, he and his successors encouraged inter-imperial cooperation and dialogue. His successors would do the same to varying degrees, although once again the peace would not last.
In 1773, the Illuminati was formed as a political society dedicated to reforming the Imperial government along several ideological lines. These included representative government based on population, freedom of religion, speech, press, and association, and religious interaction with the government. However, the Republican Senate in power did not approve of this party, and neither did Thomas IV's son, Stephen III. The Illuminati was forced to spread underground with the backing of wealthy nobles, merchants, and government officials.
By 1791, the situation had reached a boiling point. Stephen III's younger brother Andrew declared himself the true Emperor with the backing of the Illuminati. Italy, a center of Illuminati support, declared support for Andrew II. Most of Greece followed suit. The Roman Revolution had begun. By early 1793, however, the Senate was not pleased with Stephen III's inability to crush the uprising. With political and implied military pressure, the Senate forced him to step down and declared his more military apt brother Andronikos VI to the throne.
By this point, the war had effectively spread to the rest of the Empire and all of the Archonates had to pick sides. Bulgaria sided with the Illuminati while Andronikos VI's powerful connections with Egypt lured them over to his side. The war was further complicated by the Reman Revolt, which had effectively ended any real Roman authority in the Borealian provinces. By 1798, however, it became clear that the Senate cause was hopeless, and Andronikos VI and his forces surrendered to Andrew II and the Illuminati leaders at Illium.
The war had reshaped Imperial government considerably, and the new Illuminati government prepared for elections in 1800, which it resoundingly won. Following its electoral victory, the Illuminati party enacted the Imperial Act of 1800, which amended the existing Imperial Roman Constitution, allowing for freedom of speech, religion, press, and assembly as well as reforming the Imperial Senate from a unicameral to a bicameral legislature. Andrew II formally took the throne and tried to mend relations with his older brothers. Stephen III never forgave his brother or the Senate and lived out his life in exile on Cyprus. Andronikos VI remained friendly with Andrew II and remained a trusted advisor in Alexandria.
1800 - 1900
Following the reshaping of the Roman political structure, the Roman Empire began to explode in both population and prosperity. Andrew II wanted to expand, as well as keep his promise to the Zevi dynasty and its Jewish followers, who wanted the Roman Empire to push the Damascan Sultanate back and reclaim Jerusalem.War broke out in 1808, and in the following Roman-Damascan War, the Roman Empire effectively crushed the Damascan Sultanate, which had sunk into a period of stagnation following the reign of Sultan Sulimen VII. Roman forces were able to capture Cairo, Jerusalem, and the rest of the Levant, restoring Roman control to a region for the first time since Heraclius. These territories were integrated into the rest of the Roman Empire's political system, although the region remained restive for some time under Roman military occupation.
The Empire remained at peace following the war, although the chaos that soon enveloped the rest of the Middle East following the collapse of the Damascan Sultanate forced the Roman Empire to pay attention. When the Hashemites managed to seize control over Arabia and the Zand dynasty established itself in Persia, the Roman Empire formed the Holy League to help protect its new eastern border. These fears eventually became unfounded, and when relations between the Hashemites and the Empire improved, the Empire was able to focus its gaze elsewhere.
Internally, the Roman Empire was prosperous. With a new democratic system of government and freedom of expression, the Empire soon experienced a boom of independent ideas and economic growth. Trade between other parts of the Empire grew and goods from the Levant found considerable value in Greek and Italian markets. Roman trade with other countries in the world also expanded the Roman economy.
With its eastern frontier secured by its Assyrian and Armenian allies, the Empire was free to look to the west. In Borealia, the New Munich Pact had effectively declared full opposition to colonial rule by European powers. Efforts by Algonquinia, Borealia, and Mexaca to remove European colonies were of considerable concern for the Imperial government, which feared potential complications in an eventual reconquest of the lost Borealian provinces.
Eventually, the Empire was forced to fight a colonial war just like most of the other European powers. In Antillia, some nationalists hoped to establish a state independent of Roman rule and initiated a bloody uprising. Roman forces were hard pressed to defeat the rebels, who had considerable support from Borealia and the Reman Republic. However, some of the rebels committed many acts of savagery against both the native population and European planters, ostracizing them from the main movement.With increased support from the mainland and the loyalty of most of the island's population, the Roman military was able to put down the Antillian Revolt, capturing rebels or forcing the remnants to flee the island. Most of the rebels who committed horrific acts were captured and executed as an example. While it was clear ethnic tension was an important part of the rebellion and that the new government wasn't perfect at representing all interests in the Empire, the Roman government failed to learn this lesson at the time. Instead, the Roman Empire saw its Atlantic provinces as under threat, and purchased Madeira and the Azores from Portugal to help consolidate its foothold in the area.
Following the revolt, the Empire proceeded to enter into a period of economic explosion. New inventions for travel like the steamboat and the railroad enabled faster transport than ever before. The Empire engaged in two major construction projects designed to enhance the economic might of the Empire and allow for faster movement of goods and people. The Trans-Imperial Railway was built to encircle the eastern Mediterranean, traveling from Berenice in the south of Egypt all the way to Patras in Greece. The railway was split only once, when it reached Constantinople, as the technology to build a bridge over the Bosphorus wasn't available. In Italy, a Trans-Italian Railway allowed people to move from Bari in the south to Florence and Ravenna in the north. The Trans-Imperial network was started in 1847 and wasn't finished until 1866.
The other major project was a canal designed to connect the Mediterranean and Red seas directly, eliminating the need to travel around all of Africa to reach Asia. Construction began in 1860 and the canal was finished in 1875, with a major lull in construction thanks to the Italian Civil War. The new canal enabled the Empire to travel to Asia faster as well as expand its economic and political strength, as now every ship had to either travel through the canal or sail around Africa.
However, while the Roman Empire was prospering economically, it was still lacking internal unity. As the Antillian Revolt proved, ethnic unity of the Empire couldn't yet be taken for granted, despite years of equal representation and governance by all the various states.
This lingering issue would soon become apparent in the Italian Civil War, which began in 1867 and would last until 1871. The state of Italy had joined the Empire after the War of the Grand Coalition and quickly became a major power center for Roman politics and foreign influence. The region was the staging ground for the Illuminati forces in the Roman Revolution and as a result had been an important part in the evolution of the Imperial political system.
However, as the notion of ethnic nationalism grew, Italy became a hotbed of such agitation. The Roman political system was able to effectively stifle other such nationalist movements in other states but it had little effect in Italy. Beset by political corruption and scandal, the ruling establishment soon became under considerable criticism and the popularity of the Empire was declining. Furthermore, the rise of new political movements like Communism exacerbated the difficult political discourse taking place.The war in Italy began in 1867 when Italian nationalists declared a new and independent Italian state in their power base of Umbria and leftist republicans rose up in Pisa, quickly establishing a council republic modeled around the ideals of Communism and socialism. Pressured by both fronts, Roman forces were forced on the defensive as the republicans threatened Tuscany and the nationalists marched on Ancona and Ravenna.
Lack of foreign support eventually doomed the rebels, who also suffered from divided support amongst the Italian population. The Communisti in particular enacted multiple harsh measures that sapped their support amongst the general public. Because of this, the Roman military was able to focus on the nationalists and recapture the Italian north and relieve the city of Ravenna before moving on to the Comunisti in Pisa.
The war was a reminder to the traditional Roman elite, who realized that the reforms Emperor Andrew II to establish ethnic unity within was still not enough to prevent major ethnic unrest. In response, the Roman government passed the Imperial Act of 1872, designed to help resolve issues between the eastern and western parts of the Empire. From this point in time, most internal legislation in the Roman government was vetted carefully to ensure that Imperial unity was maintained.
Successful in its attempts to preserve national unity and the Muslim powers on the backfoot, the Roman Empire began to look again to the west. The Empire desired to not get involved in significant conflicts between the European powers and especially in the new world, where constant struggles over minor colonies sapped the strength of many nations there. The Roman Empire enjoyed watching the other great powers in the world fight themselves to exhaustion as long as Roman interests were unaffected.
Eventually, those interests were affected, much closer to home than the Empire would expect. The rising allure of Communism in Europe accelerated in the last quarter of the century, and several governments began to fall to the movement. Beginning with Russia, Communism soon spread to Poland and Northern Vlachia. The most notable failures in Roman interests were the falls of France, which fell to a Communist revolution in 1884, and the Tartary, which was partitioned between Russia and Mongolia, with a Communist rump state established in the southern part of the country.
In addition, the rise of the Caliphate in the Middle East was unexpected and upset the delicate balance of power that the Empire had worked to establish. The new Caliphate aligned itself with the rising power of India and soon stretched from Turkestan to Africa. The involvement of the Caliphate in destroying the Tartary earned the Caliphate the Empire's mistrust and derision. The alliance of the Caliphate and India resulted in the most powerful Muslim alliance since the United Islamic Nations, which fell apart following the defeat of the Damascan Sultanate.
Unwilling to allow its interests to be damaged and believing the Empire was in the process of being surrounded by hostile forces, the Imperial government decided to take a more assertive stance in promoting its power and influence both at home and abroad. In order to prevent French Africa from falling to the new Communist movement, Roman forces invaded the new African Republic in 1888. Facing a relatively disorganized resistance, the Empire took control of most of the territory with support from Spain, which had replaced France as the Empire's main ally in Western Europe. The invasion of Brittany by French forces in 1891 confirmed Roman suspicions of the Communist threat.
In response to governments under threat by Communist activity, the Empire stepped up aid to members of the Holy League, which itself was rebranded from a military alliance against Muslim nations to include Communist threats as well. An alliance was established with Spain and relations improved with the nations of Borealia, who also viewed Communism as a threat. Roman forces supported the establishment of the Tatar Empire and the Kingdom of Vlachia, two successor states to the Tartary and the unified Kingdom of Vlachia, respectively, in order to prevent total Communist takeovers.
By the end of the century, the continent had been firmly divided into two different camps, one Communist and one not. The Empire began preparations for the worst, in which the Caliphate and Communist-leaning Croatia sided with the Communists and invaded at the same time. As such, the Empire soon became one of the most militarized nations in the world, on par with Andea or Japan and clearly the single strongest nation in Europe.
1900 - 2000
Tensions continued to rise in Europe. The Caliphate, having since thrown off Roman influence established at the beginning of the 17th century, began making aggressive pushes for influence against Assyria and Roman Syria. In 1907 they demanded joint influence over the Syria region alongside Rome in order to "protect the interests of the Muslim community." Rome naturally refused this. A few months later, in 1908, a local rebellion of Arab and Socialist elements provoked a military response and the Caliphate and its allies declared war. The People's Entente, sensing opportunity, declared war on Rome and most of its European allies shortly after.The Roman war was divided primarily amongst three fronts with additional fighting elsewhere. The first front, of course, was Syria, which had to fight against both the armed forces of the Caliphate as well as local insurgents. The Vlachian front revolved around the fight to unify the capitalist Kingdom of Vlachia with the Communist north. The final main front was the Caucasus Front, defending Georgia and the remnants of the Tatar Empire from the Russians and their Tatar puppet state.The Romans, while expecting to partake in battle against the Communist French in Europe, were forced to limit their involvement to naval warfare rather than send troops, as the Russian and Syrian fronts were more intensive than they had expected.
The Roman Empire is a federal constitutional monarchy. Roman nobility such as the Emperor now have a largely ceremonial role as compared to when such nobility commanded every aspect of the Empire, while the Imperial Senate now holds most of the political power and controls most of the functions of government.
The current monarch of the Roman Empire is John X of the Palaiologos Dynasty. The Emperor does not hold much of the power he once had and can rarely act by decree like his ancestors were able to. That being said, the Emperor does still hold considerable power within the military and within the Metropolates and Exarchates, nominating members of the government or military to govern those territories.
The Imperial Senate holds most of the actual legislative and executive power within the government. The Senate is divided into two houses, the House of Nobles and the House of Commoners, designed to represent both parts of the general population. However, it was not always this way, and for a long time the Senate didn't even exist. Only in the late 17th century after Theodore's Revolution did the Senate regain its power, which steadily grew until its climax in the Roman Revolution.The House of Nobles are appointed by their respective state governments and serve terms of five years, after which they may be re-appointed. In the House of Nobles, each archonate is represented by three senators while each exarchate and metropolate, despotate, and exarchate are represented by one each. Being a member of the House of Nobles effectively confers noble status for appointees and as such is a valued position. The House of Commoners, as opposed to the House of Nobles, has each state represented by population rather than by equal value. As such, each state is allotted one representative for every 500,000 inhabitants. The House of Commoners is responsible mainly for legislative acts and the common source of new laws.
Both houses of the Senate are responsible for electing a Consul, who acts as the elected executive figure in the Imperial government, as opposed to the Emperor who is the hereditary executive head. Typically, the Consul is elected in the House of Commoners and confirmed by the House of Nobles. The Consul is elected to a five year term, which can be renewed once.
The Imperial government is also aided by the Council of the Patriarchs, the five main Christian religious leaders in the Empire from Constantinople, Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch. The Council is responsible for determining the proper interpretation of the Constitution in a neutral matter and also mediating conflict between the Emperor and the Senate or the Imperial government and the various states. The Council has its own share of controversy, as it is exclusively a Christian establishment in an Empire with multiple religions. There have been suggestions to open up the Council to Jewish and Muslim religious leaders as well.
The current division of land in the Roman Empire is in three different types of divisions. Exarchates are territories with special needs or are considerably far away from central authority. As such, they are ruled by military governors. Archonates are the most independent subdivisions. Its rulers are also hereditary, have broad control over what happens in their own realm, and can, within limits, raise and manage their own armed forces. Following Theodore's Revolution in 1635, the Despotates were removed and reconstituted as special autonomous regions within each Archonate.
Overseas colonies part of the Roman Colonial Empire were typically administered as Apoikanates, which are essentially Exarchates but with extra authority to control the far-away colonies. The last Apoikanate, Lutriwita, was raised to Archonate status in 1897.
The Roman Empire also maintains its claims over provinces that now make up the Republic of Reme, although Roman authority hasn't been recognized in those former provinces since the end of the Reman Revolt. These were the provinces of Pamlico, Powhatan, Yamasee, Delaware, Creek, Cherokee, Tuscarora, and Seminole. Now they are typically referred to as the "lost provinces" or the "lost chiefdoms" or just simply the "lost eight."
Roman Colonial Empire
Rome had an extensive colonial empire during the Colonial Era. The crown jewel of this empire was the Borealian provinces with its capital of Reme. Rome also had colonial possessions in India, Australia, and the Imperial Sea.
Roman colonial policy revolved largely around cooperation with the natives and peacefully incorporating them into the Empire and its institutions. This policy did make colonial expansion slower compared to other great powers but at the same time it did allow the natives to integrate into colonial society better. Natives were trained and educated and by the time the Borealian provinces revolted many were craftsmen and planters. A few even became wealthy plantation owners and government officials.
The Roman Colonial Empire largely began to draw to a close in the aftermath of the Reman Revolt, and most of the remaining colonies were further integrated as Archonates along with the homeland provinces.
The Roman military is the descendent of the legions and navy of the classical Empire. When the classical Empire ruled much of the known world, its military was the most powerful fighting force on the planet. However, as the Empire went into various swings of fortune and misfortune, the military likewise shifted in strength. At the present moment, the Roman military is one of the strongest military forces in the world, but doesn't outrank all the others put together.
ArmyThe Roman Army of the 14th century and early 15th century was based on the organizational unit called the allagion, and each regimental commander was known as an allagatōr. The overall commander of the armed forces, other than the emperor, was known as the protallagatōr. The army numbered around 50,000 total soldiers in 1460, most of them being native Greeks, Latins, or Goths. Imperial guard units included the Varangian Guard, the Paramonai, and the Vardariotai.
Since the military reforms of John VIII, the allagion was changed from a formation of 300-500 soldiers to one of 1000 soldiers. In addition, the Imperial guard units were merged into a new one, also called the Paramonai.The military was reformed once again following Theodore's Revolution. The basic unit of the new Army was renamed the Legion after the traditional legions of old, although the size of the regiment remained unchanged. The Paramonai were also now instructed to guard the Senators and any of the Archons while they are in Constantinople, as well as receiving certain benefits to protect against potential coups like in the past. The Allagion is no longer a unit in the Imperial Army, but is a unit in the local armies that the Archons can raise to handle internal and local issues.
In the early modern era, the Roman Army was vastly underfunded and manned, resulting in steady loses to the Turks and Latins. At that time the most common equipment of the Army were swords, spears, and crossbows along with shields and chain mail. As the Empire recovered and could afford more training and advanced weapons for its troops.At the turn of the 18th century the Roman Army was one of the strongest in Europe, capable of fielding at least 200,000 on the field and perhaps more depending on the severity of the situation. It was also one of the most technologically advanced, with sophisticated line tactics, handheld flamethrowers, grenades, and some of the finest muskets available. By this point most armor had been phased out, but plate armor was still available for the Paramonai and the heavy cavalry.
The Roman Army continued to evolve over the modern era, as more advanced weaponry like rifles, automatic weapons, and improved artillery enhanced the ability to kill. Improved communication methods like telegraphs and telephones also enabled the Army to co-ordinate its movements over large areas.
Prominent Roman generals of the modern era included Cesare de Patra, who fought in the Austrian War, and Theodore von Chersonesos, who fought in the Hamburg and Egyptian Wars.
Since the establishment of the Empire in Oriental Europe and the fall of the Occident, the following generals or Emperors have received triumphs:
- Flavius Belisarius: 534 AD, Conquest of Africa and Italy.
- Cesare de Patra: 1564 AD, Campaign in the Holy Roman Empire, acquisition of the Crown and Bridle.
- Theodore von Chesenesos: 1628 AD, Reconquest of Egypt.
- Emperor Stephen I, 1659 AD, Reconquest of Anatolia.
- Emperor Andrew I the Magnificent, 1750 AD, Liberation of Rome and Italy.
- Emperor Andrew II the Great, 1811 AD, conquest of eastern Anatolia and the Levant.
The Roman Navy is one of the strongest in the world, with nearly global reach and high quality. However, at the start of the Roman era, the Navy was non-existent and had to be rebuilt over time as the Empire regained its strength. The victory over the Venetians at the Battle of Naxos was a sign that the Navy was a power once again.
The Roman Navy is one of the most advanced navies in the world, complete with powerful battleships and cruisers. The deadly Greek fire is still used in the Roman Navy, although now that the age of wooden ships has passed it is mainly used by the Roman Army for flushing out enemies.The Roman Navy is also notable for its history of submarines. In 1800 a Roman man by the name of Konrad Albrecht invented the Nautilus, the world's first practical submarine, along the coast of Gothia in the Black Sea. While impractical as a weapon, the Nautilus gained considerable interest and Albrecht's family continued research. In the Italian Civil War, the first confirmed sinking of a ship by a submarine occured, when the RIV Thessalonica sank the rebel blockade runner Luisa. At the present, the Roman Navy has the largest count of submarines in the world.
The Roman Navy was always considered secondary to the Army for most of the Empire's history, although the wars in Greece made it clear that the Navy was a key component in maintaining control over theatres of war. Since then, the Navy has become a crucial component of Roman military power and has been responsible for many victories.
Air ForceThe Roman Air Force was founded in 1916 when it became clear that the development of aircraft and other such devices would play important roles in modern combat. Before that, airplanes and other such devices were under the wing of the Roman Army.
The Roman Air Force is one of the largest and most advanced in the world, with jet aircraft and helicopters offering considerable aid to Roman forces on the ground and at sea.
The Paramonai are considered a separate branch of the Roman military, dedicated specifically to the protection of the Imperial family, the Imperial Senate, the Archons, and any other important government officials. The Paramonai in its modern form was formed after the Palaiologan Reforms, merging the Varangian Guard, the Paramonai, and the Vardariotai into one single guard unit.
The Empire's economy has fluctuated constantly over the modern period. At the start of the modern era the Imperial treasury was empty and the Empire had considerable debt and few means to accumulate money for either. As a result defense and infrastructure suffered and much of the Empire's defense was based on the good will of other countries and the mass of mercenaries that it employed. Expanded relations with Venice helped ease the economic burden and gradually, as the Empire recovered territorally, the economy began to do so as well.
The capital of Constantinople was once the capital of world trade, and the Empire was made rich from its strategic location. Constantinople is once again the major trade city in the Empire, rivaled only by Alexandria in Egypt. Its strategic position, relative security, and considerable investment by the Imperial government have helped solidify its position as the epicenter of Eastern Mediterranean trade. Constantinople is the center of one of the world's largest stock markets and the Empire has one of the largest merchant fleets in the world.
The currency was reformed by Emperor Manuel II in 1420, standardizing the currency and also officially re-introducing gold currency. The official currency in the Roman Empire is the Stavraton, so named for the crosses that typically marked its obverse. By around 1600, however, most coins were stamped with the Imperial eagle rather than the cross.
Silver coins were remarked as the Aspron, which is usually pegged as four Asprons to a Stavraton. Asprons are typically the most common currency used in the form of international tributes and trade transactions, for fear of Stavratons being stolen. Despite this, both are often used.
Copper coins, known as Tournesions, are still in circulation, often used as pocket change or offerings of charity rather than important purchases. There are a hundred Tournesions to an Aspron.
The demographics of the Roman Empire, as of 1980 AD, is roughly as follows:
- Greeks - 60 Million
- Egyptians - 55 Million
- Italians - 50 Million
- Syrians/Mesopotamians - 32 Million
- Berbers/North Africans - 30 Million
- Armenians - 18 Million
- Bulgarians - 18 Million
- Jews/Israelis - Nine Million
- Kurds - Seven Million
- Phoenicians - Five Million
- Albanians - Five Million
- Goths - Four Million
- Arabs - Three Million
- Latins - 700,000
- Antillians - 70,000
- Lutriwitans - 30,000
- Atlanteans - 15,000
- Other - Ten Million
As such, by the Roman census of 1980, the total Roman population is around 307,735,000, ranking in as one of the largest national populations in the world.
The most senior noble in the Empire is, as expected, the Emperor. Below him is his family. The Archons, the rulers of independent realms inside the Empire, are the next most senior, answering to the Emperor only. Below the Archons are the Despots and Exarchs, who are regional governors. Below them are members of the Empire's native knightly orders, the Order of the Golden Fleece and the Order of the Phoenix, as well as minor nobles and any recipients of foreign honors.
Most of the Empire is composed of commoners, or people who have no noble blood or reward. Despite this, it is entirely possible for commoners to become nobility, as hard as it is.
There are no serfs in Roman society nor has there ever been. Slavery was legal in the Empire until 1503 following the war with Venice. Despite this, slavery is still present in many areas of the Empire and is only persecuted in Constantinople and the outlying parts of the city.
The Empire is known for its many versions of art. The medieval art of the Empire is known as Icons, and it is a characteristic part of medieval Roman culture. Mosaics and sculpture are also prominent in Roman art, and such art is widely recognized as beautiful.
ArchitectureThe Empire has a wide array of architecture that sets it apart from the rest of the world. Some prominent structures are the Mausoleum of Bodrum, the Parthenon of Athens, and the Imperial Palace and the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople.
Roman cuisine has evolved over the millennia but currently, mostly consists of seafood, vegetables and fruits, along with luxury foods like honey. The Empire is a melting pot of cuisine and it has changed widely over time. One thing that Romans are fond of is salad, something that sets them apart from their European brethren.
The Roman Empire uses the calendar of Creation, which puts the current date of 1401 AD as 6909 AM (Anno Mundi, or Year of the World). One of the first reforms of Thomas I was to make the Julian calendar of Western Europe official as well. In 1582 the Empire adopted the Telesphorian or Reformed Julian calendar. Both the calendar of Creation and the Reformed Julian calendars are currently used.
The Empire is noted for its distinct way of referring to ethnicities. While all members of the Empire are legally Romans, it has a diverse background of Greeks, Latins and Tauricans (OTL Crimean Goths).
In referring to other ethnic groups outside the Empire, "Latin" or "Frank" is used to describe Western Europeans. In the same manner, "Varangian" is used to describe people of Germanic descent, and "Rus'" is used for people who are of Russian descent.