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This is a Timeline for the Forward Byzantium! AH. a more detailed TL will eventually be provided.
6th Century*536: POD: the Byzantine Emperor Justinian sends 6000 extra troops to support Flavius Belisarius's invasion of Italy, but doesn't send Narses to undermine Belisarius's authority.
- 537: Belisarius captures Ravenna, and kills most of the Ostrogothic royalty. in a brilliant political coup, Justinian allows many of the remaining Ostrogoths to join several auxiliary units attached to Belisarius's army. This swells his army from 13,500 to 25,000. in addition, almost 10,000 other goths are sent to Syria as auxiliaries, where they are instrumental in repelling a Persian incursion.
- 540-542: Belisarius leads an amphibious invasion of the Iberian peninsula. After leading a brilliant campaign against the Visigoths, he succeeds in completely wiping the Visigoth Kingdom off the map, and adding the entire Iberian peninsula to the Byzantine Empire. also, one of Belisarius's subordinates invents stirrups, after accidentally tangling his leg in his saddle straps, then noticing that this actually made it easier to ride.
- 545-550: Great Frankish War: the Franks lead an alliance of Central European tribes in an invasion of Hispania and Italia. After two years of brutal fighting in the Alps and Pyrenees, the Frankish alliance is driven back in Gaul and Germania by newly recuited Hispanian and Italian legions, supported by Belisarius's hardened veterans. Belisarius then leads a powerful counter-thrust in Gaul, overrunning Francia and several other Germanian territories.
- 560-561: in his last campaign, Belisarius leads a small force across the Channel, to aid the Romano-British in resisting the barbarians. Belisarius's troops are welcomed, and the hardened veterans drive the barbarians out of the former province of Britannia, and begin rebuilding Hadrian's wall.
- 565: Justinian and Belisarius die within a week of each other, and are given a fitting funeral for the two men who more than doubled the size of the empire. Before he died, Justinian adopted one of Belisarius's protegees, Volsevius of Pontus, who becomes Emperor Volsevius I, upon Justinian's death.
- 566: Volsevius institutes several reforms in the west which greatly increase the recovery of the western portion of the Empire.
- 585: the Romans support a rebellion against Persian rule in the Hindu Kush, which leads to the creation of the Kushan Empire.
- 601: Volsevius convinces the Pope and the Patriarchs of Antioch, Constantinople and Alexandria to come together and issue the Edict of Milan, which universally condemns the persecution of Monophysitites and other religious minorities. This greatly improves relations with several East Africa nations, most importantly the Kingdom of Axum, which recently conquered much of Southern Arabia.
- 603: Volsevius and the King of Axum sign the Treaty of Elephantine, which establishes a military alliance between Axum and Rome, for the purposes of stabilizing the Red Sea.
- 604: a joint Axum-Rome invasion of Western Arabia ends in a border being established at the Arabian Holy city of Mecca. Mecca is under the control of Axum. Rome also invades and annexes Blemmyes.
- 605-620: Axum establishes trading posts all along the East Africa coast, to trade for valuable goods like ivory for manufactured goods from Axum and Rome. Ge'ez becomes the de facto trading language in much of East Africa.
- 625: Volsevius dies, leaving the Roman Empire to his 25 year old son, Tiberius.
- 625-630: eager to please their new masters, much of western Arabia converts to Christianity.
- 630: after watching the effect of longbows on charging barbarians along the Elbe, Tiberius begins the Tiberian Reforms, a complete reform of the Byzantine military. he drastically reduces the number of auxiliary units, and replaces them with professional longbowmen. each archer also carries a shield and gladius, and they are cross-trained to be competent light infantry. Tiberius retains most of the cavalry auxiliaries, since the professional Roman army has a small cavalry arm.
- 635: wanting to test his new forces, Tiberius leads his armies across the Elbe river, and invades the lands that constitute OTL Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland. He drive entire villages and cities before him, greatly reducing the population of the region.
- 636: Wanting to repopulate the newly conquered territories, Tiberius issues the Act of Cultivation. essentially, it declares that any Roman Citizen who farms a plot of land in the new territories (now known as Sarmatia) for ten years in the owner. at the same time, he declares that every resident of Gaul, Italia and Hispania whose family has lived within the Roman Empire for a generation, in now a citizen. this proves to be a masterstroke. the poor residents of many of the western empire's slums flood to the new area, lured by the promise of free land. this also reduces the increasing urbanization of the west, which had crippled it's economy for centuries.
- 640: Tiberius founds a colony on the Crimean Peninsula, and extends teh Act of Cultivation to that area. soon, enough of the eastern empire's slum dwellers have moved to Crimean that the the entire peninsula is made its own province, Bosporia, after the old Bosporian Kingdom.
- 650: Tiberius finishes the last project of his reign: a reorganization of the administration of the empire. he merges and destroys several traditional roman provinces, and ends up with a few, large provinces. to prevent one of these provinces from rebelling, the civilian government has no authority over the military, and the legions are paid by the Imperial government in Constantinople, not the provincial government.
- 652: Emperor Tiberius dies in a hunting accident, and is succeeded by his son Alexander, who becomes Emperor Alexander I.
- 654: wanting to continue the expansion of the Roman Empire, Alexander leads several legions across Hadrian's wall, and into Caledonia. while Alexander is only a mediocre military commander, his fathers reforms have made the Roman Army the most powerful in the world, and he easily conquers Caledonia. he also begins planning an expedition to invade Hibernia.
- 655: the Roman Army begins it's invasion of Hibernia. within 6 months, most of the island has been pacified.
- 670: the Persians finally stop their century-long attempt to recapture the territory they lost to the Kushan Empire. in a surprise move, both the Persians and the Kushans invade North India.
- 675: after a long campaign, Persia and the Kushans destroy the Ye-tai Empire, and divide the Indus Valley between them. the Kushans are given the Punjab, and Persia takes control of the Sind. Kush begins a huge program of fortification in Punjab, but otherwise stay out of affairs in India.
- 676: Axum begins assisting the Cholan Empire, a South Indian kingdom, expand in order to resist the expansion of the Persian Empire into India. Axum also invades and annexes the isle of Ceylon.
- 677: The Roman province of Dacia is expanded. it now touches the Roman province of Bosporia.
- 680: Emperor Alexander dies and is given a modest state funeral. his adopted son, Marcus Augustus inherits the throne.
- 683: the Persians invade Arabia, officially annexing the Lakhmid territory and occupying OTL Oman.
- 684: Axum expands north, annexing the weaker nations between it and Rome.
- 690: King Kayleb II of Axum comes to power. he begins an organized program of annexation in the lands south of Axum (which have been greatly influenced by Axumite culture). Axum now extends to the Horn of Africa.
- 695: Kush begins establishing trading outposts throughout central Asia, and along the Caspian Sea. this allows greater traffic along the Silk Road, which Kush places a light tax on. the Kushans use the profits from this tax to play one central asian tribe off the other.
- 701: an Axumite trading vessel is accidentally blown off course, and lands on the coast of Madagascar. Kayleb quickly establishes several colonies on the island.
- 705: tired of the Axumite monopoly on the spice trade, Persia invades Axumite Arabia. while Rome doesn't directly fight Persia, they place an embargo on Persia, along with the Kushans. The Irano-Axum Wars begin.
- 720: the Irano-Axum Wars finally end when a financially stricken Persia collapses in civil war. However, Axum is to war-weary to occupy Persian territory.
- 725: Emperor Marcus Augustus dies peacefully in his sleep. he is replaced by Maurice Nicephorus, who become Emperor Maurice I
- 730: Greek Fire is invented in the Roman Empire.
- 735: the Maurician Reforms of the Roman Military go into effect. each of the Roman Navies dromon's are equipped with two greek fire pumps, each Roman Archer is given three firebombs, and each cohort has a small Greek fire pump attached to it.
- 738: Rome makes contact with Ghana, and Roman traders introduce the camel to Ghana.
- 745: Ghana invades it's neighbor, Anbiya, and conquers much of their territory using tactic they learned from the Romans.
- 747: Ghana begins construction of a port on the Atlantic coast, and the Romans begin constructing a trading post in the recently discovered Canary Islands.
- 755: The first Galleons begin sailing between the Canary Islands and Ghana, carrying salt and gold from Ghana in exchange for Roman foodstuffs.
- 760: Rome builds several settlements along the Baltic sea, and in the Gulf of Riga.
- 765: Emperor Maurice dies, and is replaced by the native greek, Zeno Archiallis, who becomes Emperor Zeno I.
- 780: The first Viking raids begin along the OTL Estonian Coast. the Roman Navy is brought up to help stave off these incursions.
- 790: Forced out by population pressure, groups of Vikings begin settling the interior of Scandinavia, and a Viking expedition lands on Iceland, and establish a colony.
- 790-800: Scandinavians settle much of Iceland.
- 803: The Kushan Empire establishes trading posts along the Aral Sea, and annex much of the Central Asia between the Hindu Kush and the Aral Sea.
- 804: Emperor Zeno is succeeded by his son, Anastasius, who is crowned Emperor Anastasius II
- 805: Scandinavians begin settling in Finland, and using it as a base for raiding Roman Estonia.
- 806: Axum makes contact with the Tibetan Empire, and begins using their ports as a stopover point for the China trade
- 815: Ragnar Haraldson, the leader of an influential Scandinavian clan, has himself and his descendants declared the heads of the five most powerful clans in southern Sweden and Denmark, creating the United Clandoms of Scandinavia
- 825: The Byzantine Empire begins building trading posts throughout the Caucasus mountains, and build a small port on the Caspian Sea, in order to facilitate trade with the Kushans.
- 840: Axum officially annexes it's East Africa trading posts, and much of the island of Madagascar
- 841: a Viking vessel lands on Greenland, and establishes a small colony.
- 845: the Greenland colony reaches 1000 people.
- 846: Anastasius' son, Julian, is crowned Emperor.
- 847-862: the United Clandoms expands to encompass Denmark, southern Sweden and Norway, Iceland, and coastal Finland.
- 882-886: the City of Kiev declares independence from the Khazars, and quickly establishes a large kingdom from the surrounding towns, with the help of the Roman Empire.
- 891: Rome annexes much of the Caucasus mountains, filling the vacuum of power left behind by the collapsing Khazars.
- 892: the city of Kiev declares it's small kingdom to be the Empire of the Rus, after the largest ethnic group in that area. however, it is more commonly known as Kievan Rus', or Russia.
- 902: The Rus expand north along the Roman border, with the assistance of several Roman legions.
- 905: The UCS sends a fleet to annex the Greenland colony, but it's violently repulsed by the settlers. Greenland becomes a focal point for those Scandinavians dissatisfied by the UCS rule. the population of Greenland quickly climbs to 50,000, with new village appearing almost every day.
- 912: Axum establishes a colony on the Cape of Good Hope, and begins direct trade with Ghana.
- 923: Axum sends troops to help the Imperial Tibetan forces put down several rebellions in their border provinces. in exchange, Tibet give Axumite ships trading privileges in their ports.
- 932: Ghana annexes much of the southwest African coast, and Axum greatly accelerates the settlement of South Africa.
- 953: The Edict of Ravenna is issued by the Byzantine Emperor, allowing local elections of city councils, and allows regions to send an elected advisor to the Emperors newly reformed Senate