History of the Byzantine Empire from 330 to 1453 and a short description of the Emperors' rule of that era. For the history of the Terran Empire, see: A short history of the Terran Empire.
This story has discrepancies with the one you all know, that is because this is another timeline. The Western Roman Empire had converted to Catholicism in 225 AD, and the Eastern Empire to Eastern Orthodoxy in 260 AD.
In 1721, under Augustus Magnus, ethnic minorities were allowed to create semi-autonomous nations within Imperial borders. This proved to be a huge mistake, and every subsuquent emperor until the Abolishion of States in 2024 wound up fighting wars to prevent these nations from overpowering the Empire proper. The reason why they didn't do this sooner is, frankly: because the Byzantines love to fight, and will start fighting themselves when not faced with a common enemy. The official reason, which is also true, is that the Byzantines believed that all peoples should be allowed to settle their conflicts militarily, and that no nation should impose its culture onto another through means of force, which is why the early Emperors spent so much time and effort on social intergation between the Byzantine Empire's different ethniticities. (The ones that were willing... While the Imperial government, culture, military and sciences were recognized only half the civilian population thought of themselves as Imperials. 'Underground Nations', with a complete economy and military, were commonplace; though they were attacked upon detection.) Also, the rulers figured, the more time opposing factions spent bashing each other's skulls in, the less effort they'd make to fight the Empire. The Abolition only happened because the wars were getting out of hand, and the cultural division was only widening instead of bringing groups closer. From that moment on, the Terran Empire did start imposing its own culture onto the rest of the world. Long bofore that, under Empress Regnant Sophia, this happened domestically. Her minority reservations became the template for the Terran Free States more than 500 years later.
The founding of the Byzantine Empire
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 330 AD, the Eastern Roman Empire underwent a transformation and became the Byzantine Empire. The Eastern armies had suffered great losses trying to protect their Western allies, so the Eastern Empire lost large chunks of land to neighboring powers, leaving the Eastern Emperor Constantine desperately defending his precious few remaining provinces.
How did the Western Empire fall? To learn, we must go back in time, to the reign of Tiberius the Great a century before. At that time, the Roman Empire controlled more than half the known world and was becoming too large for the Emperor and Senate to manage. Unwilling to give more executive power to local governors, Tiberius decided to split his empire in half, ruling the Western Empire from Rome and leaving the Eastern Empire to his cousin Constantine Scipio, who ruled from Constantinopel; the city his ancestors founded milennia ago.
Over the years, the Western Empire started to decline, its military relying more and more on auxiliaries from conquered territories, and its Roman population becoming ever more lazy and decadent. The Eastern Empire became a military heavyweight, at the cost of trading much of its old culture for a completely militaristic society. While the Western Empire thought itself invincible and saw its non-Roman citizens as inferior, the Eastern Empire worked hard to create a sense of unity between the various groups living within its borders. This made Constantinopel the world's largest center for trade and diplomacy, and managed to create a terrifying multicurtural armed force that became the hammer of the civilized world.
The West's decadence broke up to them in 260, when various Germanic, Nordic and Asian tribes invaded the Empire. Its own armies outmatched, outdated and soon: defeated, the Roman Auxiliary became their last line of defense against the invaders. While the Roman domestic armies retreated deep into the Italian heartlands, the subject tribes felt betrayed and allied with the invaders. The Western Empire turned to its Eastern allies for help, and Constantinopel's terrifying war machine was kicked into overdrive.
The Eastern Army soon secured Italy, and the Western Army started to rebuild and regain its original prowess. But it was too little, too late. The Western Empire was too small to continue existing. After decades of war, the barbarian alliance broke through the coastal defenses and sacked Rome itself, sending a schokwave throughout the West.
The 70 years of conflict had taken its toll on the Eastern Empire as well. With Eastern legions fighting abroad, the Islamic powers took this opputrunity to invade the East. Its resources stretched too thin, huge chunks of the Empire's teritory were lost before the invaders were finally stopped at the rivers Euphrates and Trebizond.
A few months after the fall of Rome, the remaining Western armies collected the Roman civilians and the few remaining loyalist subjects and fled to the Eastern Empire, though the Western Empire lingered on in Italy, northern Algeria and southern France for another 123 years before finally falling apart.
This merging of the Western decadent but brilliant culture and Eastern militaristic nonconformism led to the creation of a new superpower.
The Byzantine Empire was born.
RIP Roman Empire
Born 220 BC
Split up 160 AD
Died 453 AD
List of Byzantine and Terran Emperors
EMPERORS OF THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE
. Constantine the Great 330/368
At the start of Constantine's reign, the Byzantine Empire encompassed no more than western and northern Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Cyprus and Palestine. He faced a massive shortage of food, fuel and resources, which he managed to suppress masterfully. During his reign, he integrated the Western refugees and the Muslims and Jews who fled before the Islamic armies into the Eastern culture, and set about reclaiming lost ground. By the end of his rule, he had reconquered Turkey and Syria, and the northern areas of Egypt and Libya.
. Constantine II 368/412
Constantine II faced a tremendous task: hold off the vengeful Islamic warlords who invaded once again, thinking the new Emperor couldn't be as good a leader as his predecessor. They were wrong. Dead wrong. After decades of war he forced a peace treaty upon the Muslim world, which led to a short period of peace and prosperity.
. Julius III Constantine 412/436
Julius III Constantine faced the same problems as his predecessor: Islamic leaders who wanted to reclaim lost ground. By the end of his reign, the Empire had conquered Tunisia and Iraq, but opressed its native inhabitants instead of integrating them into Byzantine society, leading to invasions from the Arabian Peninsula to free their opressed brethren. Julius III was killed in battle in 436.
. Justinian I 436/450
Nephew and closest blood of Julius III, Justinian I was an ambitious man. After finally integrating Tunisia and Iraq, Justinian launched a long and bloody campaign into Algeria, which won the Byzantines its north coast. Justinian I took a gambit when he lifted the ban on money loans, meaning ordinary people could now get enough money to recieve proper education. Though Justinian gave the throne to his son in 450, he is seen as the man who began the Empire's first cultural revolution.
. Justinian II 450/508
The rule of Justinian II was fairly peaceful, with only the occasional warlord to fend off. Justinian II is the man who opened up free trade routes to Europe and India, making the Byzantine economy skyrocket. Poverty declined and health increased. This, along with the now schooled population of Justinian I's reforms, led to decades of bliss and technological advance.
. Maurice III Justinian 508/565
Under Maurice III, time stood still. He was an old-fashioned conqueror who ruled over his lands with pure military might. He launched conquests into Algeria and Morocco, hell-bent on controlling the entire North African coast. Though this succeeded, the African powers weren't going to sit by and watch this happen. War after war was fought betwen Byzantium and the African Muslim states, with varying degrees of success on both sides. Though the Empire held on to the North Coast, civil wars between ethnic minorities, Byzantine factions and Maurice's armies ended with Maurice's death, and the rise of the Macedonian dynasty.
. Basil the Elder 565/612
Basil the Elder inherited the problems Maurice Justinian caused. The Byzantine Empire was divided and weak, so Basil had to rebuilt its unity and integrity almost from the ground up, which he did with great devotion. Basil reunited a divided empire, accomplishing something thought impossible within a single lifetime. Under Basil the Elder, Imperial culture began to flourish, leading to a sense of comeradrie for most, but caused a schism with hardline Muslim communities.
. Basil the Younger 612/630
Basil the Younger was already in his fifites when he took the throne. Wanting to be remembered, he launched a campaign to reconquer Rome. Byzantium captured a large part of Italy and launched several destabilizing expeditions into Europe, decreasing the Old Continent's threat to Imperial rule over Italy and causing the European nations to experience a full stagnation that it wouldn't drag itself out of for almost three centuries. Basil the Younger died childless, so his first cousin Leo took over as Byzantine Emperor.
. Leo I 630/652
Leo I feared Russia's increasing influence over the Far East, and in an attempt to stop its relentless march to the Pacific declares war on Russia. Leo's conquest gained Byzantium the territories of Lower Caucasia, and Imperial armies pushed all the way to Kursk. Emperor Leo was killed in battle, so the Army retreated from Russia.
. Leo II 652/688
Leo II took after his father in trying to put a stop to Russia's dominance over Asia. With a reinvigorated army he invaded, capturing Minsk, Moscow and eventually, Petersburg. In the peace treaty, Upper Caucasia was ceded to Byzantium, while Russia could continue its advance east but would stop heading south. In the latter half of Leo II's rule he modernized Caucasia and started a regional exchange to bring the Byzantine and Russian cultures and population closer together,eventually assimilating the Caucasians completely. Leo left behind a wealthy and almighty empire, both feared and respected by all.
. Leo III the Terrible 688/762
Commits genocide against fullblood Muslims, loses Iraq to Iran but conqers part of Saudi-Arabia;
. Alexander I 762/800
Conquers Spanish and French south coasts
. Alexander II 800/844
Conquers Southeastern Europe
. Alexander III 844/880
Iraq retaken. Roman agro-urban society makes way for what you would know as Renaissance society, which also saw the technology increase accordingly..
. Alexander IV Valerius 880/902
Social equality, abolishes patrician families but holds on to slavery, causes civil war.
. Nico Valerius 902/956
Conquers territories east of the Caspian Sea
. Leo IV Valerius 956/1000
Wars in Spain and Portugal, further economic boost
. Caius I 1000/1054
States science as equal to religion, causes civil war.
. Caius II 1054/1101 Ravages Fance, makes a division between Greco-Romans and integrated Europeans and Asians, and the ones who held on to their ancestors' ways who became opressed.
. Alexios I Komnenos 1101/1148
States religious freedom but doesn't revoke social schism, leads to civil war.
. Isaac Komnenos 1148/1184
Declares gender equality, forms Pretectorates
. Alexios II Komnenos 1184/1194
War against Russia
. Theodora Komnenos 1194/1210
Sends expeditions to South America, opens trade routes and brings back slaves. Launches wars of destruction into sub-Saharan Africa.
. Sophia Komnenos 1210/1252
Forms Vassal States, turns Direct Empire into Hegemony, recognizes Atheism, wars in Arabia, Iran, Saharan Africa, Russia, China. Ethnic purification. Survivors put into reservations. Age of Sail begins. (Took the throne aged 15; died heirless.)
. Michael Pelagios 1252/1270
Fully conquers Spain, Portugal, France
. Constantine Pelagios 1270/1312
The Industrial Revolution begins
Carolean Justinian dynasty
. Carolus I Justinian 1312/1367
Conquers Saharan Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Iran, England, India, steam ships and rifles developed
. Carolus II Justinian 1367/1415
Conquers Western and Eastern Russia, Southeast Asia, Finland and parts of Japan. The Steel Revolution begins, mass production is developed. The Howitzer is developed.
. Carolus III Justinian 1415/1453
Conquers most of China, beginnings of an electrical power grid.
EMPERORS OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE (No summaries here)
.Carolus III Justinian 1453/1486
. Carolus Gustav Adolphus 1486/1516
. Gustav I Adolphus 1516/1541
. Gustav II Adolphus 1541/1581
. Christina Adolphus Magnus 1581/1643
. Gustav III Magnus 1643/1661
. Carolus IV Magnus 1661/1719
. Augustus Magnus 1719/1754
. Claudius Magnus 1754/1816
. Cassius Tiberius Magnus 1816/1876
Tiberian Justinian dynasty
. Tiberius I the Conqueror 1876/1919
. Tiberius II Justinian 1919/1936
. Claudius Tiberius Justinian 1936/1964
. Paulus Tiberius Justinian 1964/1999
. James Redfield 1999/2040
. Martin Redfield 2040/2077
. Carl Redfield 2077/2102
. John Redfield 2102/2154
. Mike Redfield (Tiberius III Justinian): 2154/2499 (2499 is the Eternal Year)