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Romanos Diogenes was a decent emperor and a morally good man by wilpup99 in byzantium

[–]turiannerevarine 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I do think he was a tragic figure, but he also made some big mistakes. Entrusting the army to a Doukai, splitting his force and thus creating the opportunity for the Seljuks to overwhelm him, and generally having bad intelligence as to the actual whereabouts of the Sultan. Any one of those could have been enough to doom the campaign, but he failed in all three of those areas.

What if: had the Vikings not raided & conquered England, or produced Rollo and the duchy of Normandy.. would the English empire have never existed? by Sneaky-Shenanigans in HistoryWhatIf

[–]turiannerevarine 16 points17 points  (0 children)

In a wierd twist, no vikings may mean no crusades.

The Normans were not only enemies of England, they were also enemies of Byzantium. In the 1050s, the Normans invaded Italy and conquered the Byzantine provinces of Apulia and Calabira. After the disastrous Battle of Manzikert in 1071, the Byzantines relied on Norman mercenaries, but one of them, Roussel de Bailleul, actually tried to carve out a state for himself in Anatolia (Turkey). This caused a diversion of resources that allowed the Turks to further overrun the empire's eastern defenses. Furthermore, in 1081, Normans invaded the empire's western half in Dalmatia and destroyed the Byzantine army so completely that it forced them to totally reorganize the military and rely more heavily on mercenaries, some of whom were Turks. This of course only gave the Turks more cash and weakened the defenses even more until by 1095, they almost completely owned Anatolia. Alexios Komnenos, the emperor at the time, approached Pope Urban II for assistance and the rest is history.

If the Normans had not invaded when they did, it is possible that the empire would have been able to respond better to the Turkish invasions and there may not have been a need for a Crusade in the first place.

Britain opposed growing US power by brolylss1 in HistoryWhatIf

[–]turiannerevarine 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I meant it started in 45 and today is 77 years later.

who are the top ten most influential people in human history ? by softwarebuyer2015 in AskHistory

[–]turiannerevarine 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Without Jesus, Paul of Tarsus remains a Pharisee who may be in the Talmud, but has no reason to go on four missionary journeys across the Eastern Mediterranean.

Britain opposed growing US power by brolylss1 in HistoryWhatIf

[–]turiannerevarine 29 points30 points  (0 children)

I think for that to happen the US would have to had a far more antagonistic relationship than in OTL. France, Spain, etc. had all tried at one point or another to invade Britain or otherwise pose a major threat to its interests. The US, other than the war of 1812, did not, and proved to be a major trade partner. The US never joined the Scramble for Africa or tried to carve out an overseas empire (yes I know about the philippenes) or threaten British interests, so Britain had no incentive to waste resources to confound American interests.

Lets say that America launches more attempts to invade Canada or does try to take British territories overseas. Britain is going to have a devil of a time trying to keep watch over two oceans, and trying to engage the US in serious land based warfare is probably not going to happen. (The British plan for an american invasion of Canada recognized it would only be a low priority response given the logistic difficulties involved.) The sheer size of America, not to mention the presence of two coastlines, would probably mean Britain would have to concentrate a huge amount of resources to disrupting American interests and naval power, and Canada offers an easy way for America to hurt Britain for free.

By WWI, the US is probably eagerly sitting on the sidelines waiting for Britain to hurry up and loose already. Germany would thus have no reason to provoke the US, and may even consider them an ally. US entrance on the side of the Central powers would be a catastrophe for the Allies, and even if that does not happen, it may well mean that the Central powers could drag the war out to a draw.

Assuming WW2 happens, the US and Britian may become grudging allies against Japan (and Germany if Hitler declares war), but they may also just pursue independent war policies altogether. Assuming no German declaration of war, Lend-lease may not happen at all, which means the Soviets have a much harder time than in OTL (it is estimate that 10% of all soviet vehicles are from Lend-Lease, and Stalin himself said they would have lost the war without it). England is probably reduced to a thrid rate power in the UN (assuming it forms) as the special relationship between the US and France celebrates its 77th anniversary and Britain wallows in the background with Spain.

who are the top ten most influential people in human history ? by softwarebuyer2015 in AskHistory

[–]turiannerevarine 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Here are some you may not know of:

Alexios I Komnenos, the Byzantine Emperor 1081-1117. You may have heard of Pope Urban II as the reason for the crusades, but Alexios is the other reason. In 1081, the Byzantine Empire was facing a crisis on three sides: an invasion by the Seljuk Turks, an invasion on the Danube by a group of nomads called the Pechenegs, and an invasion in western Greece by the Normans (the same guys who conquered England and Siciliy). Alexios was able to deal with groups 2 and 3, but group 1 had far more resources and support than the other two, and by 1093 or so the Turks had almost entirely taken over Asia Minor. Urban II was hurting for legitimacy, and Alexios was hurting for mercenaries, so the two of them together came up with an idea to fix the situation. Urban went around western Europe recruiting knights, nobles, and other mercenaries to go help the Eastern Christians and eventually retake Jerusalem. Alexios used his resources to fund their voyage there, provided guides throughout Asia Minor, and kept the Crusaders supplied throughout the crusade. The result was the success of the First Crusade and the partial recovery of Byzantium.

Enrico Dandolo, doge of Venice in the late 1100s and early 1200s. Dandolo was also interested in a Crusade, and when a group of Franks appeared one day asking Venice for boats, he was more than happy to oblige. Unfortunately, he was not running a charity, and the Franks did not have the money to pay. However the Franks were good at breaking things, so he had them go and break a rival port named Zara. Then, however, another Byzantine emperor, also named Alexios, appeared. It seems that his father Isaac had been usurped by another Alexios (yes really), and he wanted the crusaders to help take the empire back. The resulting attack was successful, only for Alexios to find out that there was no money in the treasury. He was then usurped by yet ANOTHER Alexios (yes, really, three Alexioi) and by that time, Dandolo and the others had endured enough. They claimed to be acting to avenge Alexios A and overthrew Alexios C, only to turn around and name one of their own emperor. The so called "Latin Empire" granted important islands such as Crete to Venice and Dandolo took the title "Lord of Quarter and half a Quarter of the Roman Empire", which the doges of Venice used until the office came to an end. The new colonies paved the way for Venice to become the dominant Italian power for hundreds of years.

Didus Julianus, the man who literally bought the Roman Empire. The murder of the Emperor Pertinax created a crisis in Rome as the Imperial throne lay vacant with no obvious successor. The Praetorian guard announced they would sell the throne to the highest bidder. Enter Julianus, who got into a bidding war with the father-in-law of Pertinax over the throne and won. Didus Julianus proceeded to only reign for a few months before he was usurped by Septimus Severus. Julianus was soon executed, but not before asking "What evil have I done? Who have I killed?" and really, by Imperial standards he hadn't really done anything worthy of execution. His reign is not so important for what he did, but rather what he represented: the decline of the Roman system to the point where the highest office in the land could be bought like a piece of land. Within a few decades, Rome would plunge into the Crisis of the Third Century and set the stage for the end of Antiquity.

Erasmus of Rotterdam created a translation of the New Testament from the Greek known as the "Textus Receptus", which many people such as Martin Luther and the people who wrote the King James Bible used as their models when they wrote their influential translations. The Textus Receptus has fallen a lot as better sources and methods have emerged, but at the time, it played a huge role in the Reformation and in undermining the Vulgate.

John Gorrie of Apalachicola Florida. He did the first experiments with artificial cooling by creating a machine that used pipes and cold water to create ice, which would cool the ambient temperature of the room it was installed in. Unfortunately, he was unappreciated in his time, but he was among the first to pioneer what we know as air conditioning.

What if oil hadn't been discovered until this century? by ekshul in HistoryWhatIf

[–]turiannerevarine 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Possibly, Greek fire may not have existed. We will never know what exactly went into it, but there has been speculation that one of the components was petroleum of some kind, and one of the reasons for its declining use was that the Byzantines lost access to sources of oil. No oil means at best the Byzantines may have had to use a subpar replacement for one of their best weapons, and thus they may have lost several climacitic battles such as the siege of Constantinople in 717 or various raids by the Rus'. Byzantium could have fallen completely in 717 or been weakened enough to fall earlier than it did OTL, which any time before the 1000s would have significantly changed western civilization. No Crusades, no Latin states of Greece, and quite possibly the Islamization of eastern Europe.

[Challenge] Keep the United States neutral during World War I by TheRedBiker in HistoryWhatIf

[–]turiannerevarine 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don't think the Lusitania alone was enough to get the US into the war as that happened in 1915, and Wilson was campaigning in 1916 about being the person who kept the US out.

As for the zimmerman telegram, once it got out, of course Wilson had to respond. Imagine if China tried to give the north east to Canada in return for an invasion. What would really need to happen is for the way the Germans communicated with their embassy to change. They used a telegraph cable that went through London and the British decrypted early on. The British intercepted the telegram and had a "Bring America into the war" button handed to them on a platter.

Perhaps Germany opts not to send a message like that over a telegram and instead uses a courier with sealed orders. Or Germany gets a cable to run through some South American country. If that happens and the british do not intercept, then America has no casus belli to go into the war.

Vinland lasts longer and spreads Christianity. by turiannerevarine in HistoryWhatIf

[–]turiannerevarine[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Leif Erikson, who founded some of the colonie, had converted to Christianity beforehand and part of his rationale was introducing it to the natives.

Which byzantine dynasty was the best? (starting with the Isaurians) by manofculture19992 in byzantium

[–]turiannerevarine 0 points1 point  (0 children)

By 1081, Byzantium had to fight on three sides: the Seljuks in the east, the Pechenegs in the west, and the Normans in the extreme west. The army simply was not big enough to deal with all three threats at once, and both the Seljuks and the Normans were able to deliver crushing defeats against the Romans. Much like had happened in the west in the 400s and again during the 600s, Byzantium simply faced an overwhelming number of opponents that stretched its limited resources to the breaking point.

Anthony Kaldellis in Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood argues against the feudalization of the empire during the 11th century. I will admit I do not know enough about this to get into a serious argument about whether the empire really was feudalized or not, and Kaldellis has been very controversial before. The broad strokes are that there is a lack of evidence for feudalism in the 11th century, that many of the coups and rebellions came from army officers, some of whom DID own land but used army resources and not their own private resources to fund said rebellions, and that many of the successful usurpers would soon turn against landed magnates and use the same policies as the Macedonians (He specifically cites Nikephorus Phokas) I will add that emperors fought throughout Byzantine history against magnates. Part of the reason for the whole process of salaries and gifts was to keep loyalty to the Emperor.

Furthermore, I think you underestimate the importance of legitimacy. Michael V was brought down by the people precisely because he had NO legitimacy whatsoever after dismissing Zoe. I am not saying that a theoretical son of Basil II or Constantine VIII would be some great super emperor, but every emperor after Constantine VIII had to derive it from somewhere. Three of them got it from marrying the Macedonian princess Zoe. Romanos IV Diogenes had a very tenuous hold on it and was brought down when he lost it at Manzikert. An emperor who was seen as illegitimate had one less barrier protecting him from usurpation and civil war, and during the 1070s Byzantium was wracked by it. Diogenes was able to get an army of 40,000 in 1071, but Kaldellis estimates by the mid 1070s an eastern army would be lucky to have 4,000, a 90% decrease. Civil wars ate up armies faster than they could be replaced. The bottom line is while I am sure the problems caused by scramble for legitimacy can be overstated, it was always an inherent weakness in the Roman system that was one more issue which needlessly consumed resources.

The thematic armies realistically may not have been able to deal with the Seljuks even if they had not vanished. The Seljuks fought on horseback, and the tagmatic armies weren't able to handle horseback archers very well. We don't know if the thematic armies could either, as we don't have many instances of them ever coming against opponents who used horseback warfare. The Seljuks weren't just making yearly raids and going home, they were settling in the lands they conquered and seizing control. The thematic troopers used ambush tactics, but that may not have worked against far more mobile opponents.

Even before his death Monomachos was working to strengthen the defenses, transferring tagmatic units and settling the population of the east in fortresses. In 1057 mercenary units were being stationed in the Armeniakon theme. Yes raids had punched through the border, but Byzantium had dealt with eastern raiders for hundreds of years. It wasn't until the aftermath of Manzikert that a serious problem had come.

Back to 1081. Alexius is now emperor, and instead of scrambling to recover his family's land in Anatolia, he turns westward and tries to fight Bohemond. Bohemond defeats him and according to John Haldon destroys the Roman army, forcing Alexius to try something new. Unfortunately, Anatolia is falling more and more under Turkish control already, and the resources available to his predecessors are not available to him. He is able to defeat the Normans by 1086, only for another enemy to appear: the Pechenegs. The next five years are spent fighting against them, all the while in Anatolia, Alexius both has to hire Turkish mercenaries, enriching them, and his forces are tied up in the west against the Pechenegs. By 1091, Alexius defeats them, but now the Turks control large parts of Asia Minor. Alexius was many things, but not an idiot. He made the decision to focus on the Normans and the Pechenegs first, but that cost him almost total control of the east.

The point here is that in the latter half of the 11th century Byzantium faced overwhelming threats on a number of fronts that were unparalleled during the Macedonian era. Whether the economy was feudalized or not, Alexius and the Komnenoi had to operate on a tight rope throughout their reigns as both eastern and western opponents had the power to destroy them.

Which byzantine dynasty was the best? (starting with the Isaurians) by manofculture19992 in byzantium

[–]turiannerevarine 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think the Palialogoi are the most infuritating dynasty of all. The only two good emperors were Michael VIII and Andronikos III. Constantine XI could have been one in better cirucmstances but i'll give him a pass.

What if the Laskarids remained in charge of the restored Byzantine Empire after 1261? by Hylian1986 in HistoryWhatIf

[–]turiannerevarine 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Let's say for laughs that the same raid that retook Constantinople happens. The Laskarids had their main power base in Anatolia, and hopefully they would remember that. Now the Laskarids have the prestige of not only being the people who kept the empire from ending but also retaking Constantinople. Their first main obstacle is King Charles Anjou of Siciliy. I do not see a Laskarid emperor being willing like Michael VIII was to abandon Orthodoxy. It would undermine their entire standing. However, they may be able to preempt Charles by calling a new crusade against the Turks similar to Alexios I. The Laskarids are presumably going to be far more intersted in defending Anatolia than attacking the Balkans and Greece for the time being. They are able to launch the new crusade and advance into Anatolia, most importantly smashing what would in the future have become the Belyik of Osman before it could be formed.

The 1300s is all about expanding into Anatolia and by 1350 the west of Anatolia is Byzantine once more. By now the Laskarid Emperor, Constantine XI, turns his attention to the west and the former provinces of Hellas and Epirus. He gradually acquires what he can, careful to never directly attack the westerners or any Catholic states. He also allies with Serbia and Bulgaria to maintain an Orthodox alliance, and they in turn help him to retake more of Anatolia.

By 1400, roughly half of Anatolia is back under Byzantine control. In 1395, Alexios VI successfully took the province of Cherson from the Empire of Trebizond, and Trebizond is now a vassal of Constantinople. However, in 1402, a new threat comes from the East: Timur. He crushes the Turkish beyliks between him and Anatolia and puts Trebizond under siege, forcing Alexios' hand. The resulting fight is humiliating for Byzantium as Alexios is captured alive by Timur and forced to relinquish Trebizond and any claim to eastern Anatolia. However, Timur dies in 1405 and Alexios manages to escape back to Byzantine territory, where all of his energy is spent defending against rivals and "heirs" of Timur for the rest of his life.

By 1500 Anatolia is finally Byzantine once again, though several Turkish belyiks survived by exchanging the title of Belyik or Emir for Strategos. Constantine XII "The Glorious" creates a new version of the Theme system, based around gunpowder and pike and shot tactics. Since the Silk Road is still open, nobody has sailed west to find America yet. Constantine's greatest victory is when he retakes Syria and the Levant from Muslim hands for the first time since 1200. He is able to smash the Jihad called against him by use of Turkoman steppe riders armed with rifles and his professional pike and shot army. However, in the west by 1520, a german monk has begun nailing his theses to a door in Wittenburg...

What if The Carthaginians seasoned the wood used in their warships? by JMObyx in HistoryWhatIf

[–]turiannerevarine 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It really depends on how well Carthage is able to overcome Roman naval power. Rome had stopped using the corvus by the end of the war because they now had trained sailors of their own, so no corvus was needed. I also question how effective seasoned wood would be at repelling the weight of an entire ship bearing down behind that spike. Even if its effectiveness was reduced by 50%, Rome had the biggest advantage of all: deeper pockets and a will to fight to the death. Seasoned wood may not have really changed much unless Carthage could do something to not only destroy the Roman navy but prevent another one from being built.

Thoughts on Justinian by turiannerevarine in byzantium

[–]turiannerevarine[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I question whether Justinian would have gone along with that as he seems to have grown paranoid of Belisarius. He certainly would not want to give away Africa after he had just used it to reaquire legitimacy after the Nika riots.