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The Restored Roman Empire by mdc01957 The Restored Roman Empire by mdc01957
Here's a little map-profile that revisits a classic Alternate History concept: what if the Byzantine Empire ([link]) survived? This is also a revisiting of sorts to my earlier days in alternate history writing/mapmaking back in the forums. Coincidentally, this particular map is heavily based on Isaac's Empire ([link]) and I Am Skantarios ([link]), and would like to thank the makers of those works for both their surprisingly good work and for inspiration in making this. This particular map by the creator of that Skantarios fic ([link]) helped being this idea to life.

And as always, a disclaimer: this is not meant to be a political/religious/cultural piece of propaganda or whatnot. This is a work of fiction. All rights belong to their respective owners.

In any case, I hope you enjoy it!


Imperium Romanum. Basileia Rhōmaiōn. Whatever form or name the Eastern Roman Empire has taken over the generations, it has stood the test of time as one of the world’s most enduring domains. But it was not always so. Whether the threat came from the Sassanids, Islamic armies or from conniving nobles, the Empire seemed constantly beset by enemies within and beyond its borders. The rise of the Komnenoi Emperors in particular came at the right time, bringing security and prosperity to a realm whose existence seemed poised for extinction. Yet not even they could fully stop the invasions and infighting that ate into its collective memory.

Another major turning point in the Empire’s history later on served to guarantee both its survival and reputation for centuries to come. In 1450, an ambitious, patriotic general by the name of Theodoros ascended the throne after an accident killed off the Palailogos line, marking the dawn of the Laskarid Dynasty. But it was his legendary (and infamous) heir who would come to define that era. Gifted, skilled but notoriously cruel against his foes, the man known to time as Skantarios launched a great campaign of conquest, conversion and retribution, all for the restoration of Rome. By the time his generals and successors finally finished that crusade in the late 16th Century, it had effectively reshaped Old World. Indeed, such was the power and grandeur brought about by those acts that not even the great Republican Turmoil of 1771 and the Laskarids’ bloody downfall in 1800 fully destroyed the Empire, setting the stage for the Second Restoration in 1830 under the Komnenos-Arpad line.

At present, the Roman Empire is still considered to be one of the leading powers of Europe; even if past its peak, it nonetheless possesses a stable sphere of overseas territories, protectorates and allies. While the Emperor/Empress still nominally wields absolute power and is head of the Imperial Orthodox Churches, in practice, the Empire is a constitutional monarchy with power exercised through the Senate and a complicated network of bureaucrats. Its people and rulers still emphasize their unbroken lineage to the Rome of Caesar, Constantine and Justinian, although they had long since embraced their Hellenistic heritage to the point of abandoning any pretenses to Latin. Yet even in light of that, the Romans consider themselves a cosmopolitan crossroad of cultures and faiths, all overlaid with a predominantly Greek veneer that tends to assimilate that diversity. This hasn’t stopped a handful of ethnic minorities, notably the Turks from pushing for ever greater autonomy if not outright independence, though the presence of something at least approximating classical democracy has so far prevented the situation from spiraling back into the dark days of unrest and infighting.

The legacy of Imperial expansionism meanwhile remains felt across Europe and the Middle East. Roman culture and citizens have ingrained themselves in a number of former territories such as Kurdistan, Armenia and the hybrid Romano-Kiev realms; the “Varangian Guard” is still highly regarded in the Imperial Legions. Even the Republican pretenders based in Italy, calling themselves the true people of Rome, and the motley refuge of renegade nobles known as Gallia bear some traces of Greek culture and Orthodox thought. This sense of endurance also extends to the darker sides of those times however. Skantarios’ crusades had left deep scars in Islam, especially with the infamous sacking of Mecca by Roman forces; to this day, Muslims treat his name as a curse. The Reformed Catholic Church based in Pisa and its successor groups likewise have a love-hate relationship to their Imperial counterparts, although Roman efforts to reconcile the different faiths are bearing some fruit.

All this helps in explaining the Empire’s relationships with its neighbors. In the wake of the first Laskarids, the Romans have found close friends among the Hungarians, considering each other as brothers-in-arms despite cultural differences; the Empire to this day has a considerable Magyar minority and maintains special Hussar regiments. Their Russian comrades in Novgorod have also been instrumental in guaranteeing mutual, economic support, even with the occasional squabbles over cultural influence in Romano-Kiev. The rest of the Europe has not been as kind. In addition to the Republicans and other renegades, France, Germany, Iberia and the staunchly Catholic North Italy still bear deep grievances against the “Byzantine Greeks,” as they derisively call the Romans. Persia too finds common cause with these Continentals, forging their own small pact of Muslim nations to counter Constantinople. A mix of careful diplomacy and the involvement of more neutral European powers have so far prevented the situation from escalating to a point where it could lead to war. Perhaps the Empire may last a few more generations yet, if all goes well in this bright new century…
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EmperorAlexander Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is it possible you would consider making a sequel to this like whether the empire has survived till the present day in it's current state.
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014
One day. ^^
jefffletcher Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014
Awesome! One question though: what's the technology level like? Is it more or less advanced than our 1900? Any railways, steam ships, Gatling guns, electricity, modern medicine?
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
It's still roughly the equivalent to our world's Industrial Revolution. Though the persistence of the Roman Empire would likely mean that technology has in some respects advanced.
jefffletcher Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
Cool, thanks for clarifying. I also noticed that this map has both a Roman Empire, AND a Roman Republic. Awesome! I mean, why limit yourself to only one alternate history modern Roman Empire, when you can have TWO?
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014

Though the Roman Empire here is more Greek than Roman. ;)
GGY128 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013

An unkown piece of the bizantne history that could be crucial in the reborn of the roman empire was the almost marriage between the holy roman emperor Otto III and Zoe at 996.  she was the last member of her dynasty

With that marriage but countries will merge because byzantine empire had no successor zoe was the last of her dynasty (with her sister Theodora) but sadly Otto III died before we could meet his fiancÚ 

mdc01957 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
Really now? I didn't know that. ^^
GGY128 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013
bizantine empire had another few interesting facts like the almost crusade

when constantinopla fell, the pope  want to free the city but due economial problems in western europa he didnt find any supporters

the best roman alternative history event by far is majorian caesar events

During his four-year reign Majorian reconquered most of Hispania and southern Gaul, meanwhile reducing the Visigoths, Burgundians and Suevi to federate status.

with him probably the last true chance of rome to restore its former glory died, 20 years later the empire fell

I will left the link so you can check how awesome that emperator was

mdc01957 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
Thanks for the link!
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