Many Questions Regarding the Principality of Theodoros

Many Questions Regarding the Principality of Theodoros

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I think I've made a pretty decent list of Princes of Theodoros. However I'm still not quite sure about alot of them. Here is my list.

Demetrios 1340 to 1370 (rough)

Basil 1370 (rough) to 1380 (rough)

Stephen 1380 (rough) to 1391

Alexios I 1391 to 1445

John 1445 to 1447

Alexios died young

Olubei 1447 to 1458

Isaac 1458 to 1470 (rough)

Alexander 1470 (rough) to 1475

I want help clarifying the dates if possible but more importantly I want to know when Alexander overthrew his pro-Ottoman brother Isaac.

I also would like to know when Theodoros became independent so was Demetrios the first prince or were they independent from Trebizond before him? If they were, since when?

1) Unfortunately, surviving records are too fragmentary and incomplete for the entire lineage of the Princes of Gothia to be reconstructed with certainty, let alone accurately dated.

2) Alexander replaced Issac in a palace coup just before the principality fell, in 1475. This is recounted by the renowned Byzantine historian Alexander Vasiliev:

In 1475 Isaicus, whose friendly policy towards the Turks probably aroused discontent among his subjects, was overthrown by his own brother Alexander… An Italian vessel took Alexander on board in Moncastro and brought him to Gothia. Evidently Stephen the Great played a very important role in Alexander's undertaking, because the Hungarian ambassadors at his court in their report to their king, Matthew Corvinus, dated June, 1475 state that 'some time before that the Voevode Stephen had sent Alexander, his wife's own brother, to the Principality which is called Mango, i.e. Mankup…

Alexander was very successful in his expedition. On the third day after he had landed in the Crimea, he overthrew and killed his own brother Isaicus and took possession of Mankup, his "paternal heritage."

Vasilʹev, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich. The Goths in the Crimea. Mediaeval academy of America, 1936.

3) Demetrius is the first Prince of Theodoro to be known by name. There is no historical record on when or how the principality became independent from the Empire of Trebizond, nor indeed of when the principality was established. Nonetheless, due to Trebizond's remoteness and relative weakness, Gothia's dependence was never very strong in the first place, being largely confined to an annual tribute. It is possible that the Princes of Gothia merely substituted nominal subservience to Trebizond for Tartar overlordship.

If we look further back in history, prior to Trapezuntine suzerainty, the Gothic Climata were part of the Byzantine Empire. Imperial power was constantly in flux over the centuries, however. It has been argued by Vasiliev that Crimea in fact broke with Constantinople shortly before the crusaders sacked the capital in 1204, as it is omitted both from the imperial treaty with Venice in 1198 as well as from Latin partition of the Byzantine Empire in 1204. Within a couple of decades the former Byzantine possessions in Crimea fell under the control of the newly established Byzantine rump state in Trebizond, though.

What does the term &ldquoprincipalities and powers&rdquo mean?

In some translations, I see the term "principalities and powers." To what does this refer?

This will not be exhaustive, but for example, consider the KJV's translation of Romans 8:38-39:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 KJV)

Compare this with another translation, for example ESV:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 ESV)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NIV1984)

So, it seems that "principalities and powers" in the KJV corresponds to "rulers" in the ESV and "demons" in the NIV1984. Does the term "principalities and powers" refer to evil spiritual beings, or just powerful ones?

Also, consider Colossians 1:16:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. (Colossians 1:16 KJV)

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16 ESV)

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities all things were created by him and for him. (Colossians 1:16 NIV1984)

In these translations of this particular passage, the connotation of "principalities and powers" seems somewhat blurry. Can you please help me to understand?

Many Questions Regarding the Principality of Theodoros - History

Remembering Theodoros Angelopoulos (1935-2012)by Andrew Horton

Theodoros Angelopoulos, the renowned Greek filmmaker died as he had lived, making movies. In an absurd moment that might have come from one of his films, he was accidentally struck by a motorcyclist on January 24th, while preparing a scene of his latest film, The Other Sea. The horrific death of the man universally referred to as Theo was especially disheartening given the current cultural malaise in Greece, a time when many Greeks are echoing Theo’s query in The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991), “How many borders do we have to cross to reach home?”

I was fortunate to be able to be on the set of The Other Sea just a few weeks before his tragic accident. Theo had asked for my comments on his script. I also spoke with Phoebe Economopoulou, Theo’s wife, and producer of many of his films, and got to meet with his three daughters who have been working on the film. Eleni is shooting a documentary about the making of The Other Sea, Anna has been casting, and Katerina is the production designer.I have been on film sets and film shoots around the world, but I felt a very special spirit from The Other Sea crew. Theo was in top form, anxious to make his new film the crowning glory of the trilogy that began with The Weeping Meadow (2003) and The Dust of Time (2008).

Theo achieved world renown by his distinctive individually crafted cinema that was simultaneously intensely Hellenic and universal. In an early study of his work, I stated what I still feel is the reason his films continue to speak to audiences around the world. 1

“His films matter “because they dare to cross a number of borders: between nations, between history and myth, the past and the present, voyaging and stasis, between betrayal and a sense of community, chance and individual fate, realism and surrealism, silence and sound, between what is seen and what is withheld and not seen, and between what is ‘Greek’ and what is not. In short, Theo Angelopoulos can be counted as one of the few filmmakers in cinema’s first hundred years who compel us to redefine what we feel cinema is and can become. But there is more. His films open us to an even larger question that becomes personal to each of us: how do we see the world within ourselves and around us?”

Born in 1935, Theo was raised during the tumult of the German Occupation of World War II and the Greek Civil War (1946-1949). This period included an incident when his father was taken hostage and nearly lost his life. After the war, Theo studied law in Athens and in the late 1950s he moved to Paris to study cinema. Theo returned to Athens in 1964, a year after the murder of Gregory Lambrakis, 2 which had set off a political crisis that would led to the military junta of 1967-1974. Before making his own films, Theo worked as a film critic and wrote about the need for Greek filmmakers to go beyond the commercial cinema that had dominated Greek filmmaking since the end of World War II. His first feature, Reconstruction (1970 ), a black-and-white drama set in the Greek countryside, won first prize in the Thessaloniki Film Festival and a FIPRESCI prize at Berlin.

His great masterpiece, The Travelling Players (1974/75), begun during the final years of the Greek junta, provides a coda to his entire body of work. The film views Greek history and culture from the late 1930s to the early 1950s from a decidedly Marxist perspective never before seen in Greek cinema. Theo always insisted on presenting “the other Greece,” which, in his mind, was, in fact, the real Greece, rather than the sunny postcard Greece of tourism. His films often dealt with the effects of war, emigration, and authoritarian society on families and communities far from Athens. In the course of his life, Theo claimed to have visited every village in mainland Greece to find appropriate sites for his films. His stories often involved scenarios set in snowscapes or in the rain. During the making of Eternity and A Day (1998), which had many scenes set in Thessaloniki, when it rained or the sky was gray, Thessalonikians would quip that Theo must be working on his film.

The Travelling Players, although almost four hours long and filled with avant-garde-cinema techniques, was not a hothouse orchid. In the fervent period of postjunta Greece, it broke all previous attendance records for any Greek film. Many Greeks returned more than once to grope with the film’s powerful visual style and the ideological argument. The film won international awards at Berlin (Forum of New Cinema Award), Cannes Film (FIPRESCI prize), Tokyo (the Kinema Junpo Award for best foreign language director) and Britain (the Sutherland Trophy awarded by the British Film Institute). This would set the pattern for the following films, including two awards at Cannes, the Grand Jury Prize for Ulysses’ Gaze (1995), and the Palme d’Or for Eternity and a Day (1998).

Renowned film scholar David Bordwell summed up Theo’s cinematic legacy quite well when he wrote, “That Angelopoulos can receive such renown today suggests that, for many viewers, the postwar tradition has not exhausted itself, that it can endow our world of snack bars, video clips and ethnic wars with an astringent, contemplative beauty. At a moment when European cinema, both popular and elitist seems to be breathing its last, Angelopoulos’ work is particularly important.” 3

My friend and Cineaste Consulting Editor, Dan Georgakas, has often observed that Angelopoulos was totally immersed in Hellenic culture. Nearly every film is coded with classical references and the films frequently use Byzantine images and historical personalities to probe the roots of contemporary Greek society. In The Travelling Players, a troupe of actors keeps trying to perform Golfo, a populist play with a Romeo and Juliet romance compromised by the traditions of rural Greece. During the film, the play’s performance is always interrupted, Theo’s sly way of stating that the Greek villages of legend never existed. In all his work, Theo offered a stream of historical, metaphorical, and personal commentary on the ongoing controversy regarding the nature of the Greek national character that applies to all cultures. Theo’s vision indeed resonated with audiences far beyond the borders of Greece, but in terms of Greek cinema, his influence was monumental. Georgakas notes that, as was said in the United States when Ernest Hemingway began to publish, half the directors in Greece tried to imitate him and the other half tried not to.

Theo could be a traditionalist as well as an innovator. He thought films were an art form that needed to be experienced in a theater with a live audience. In that respect, for many years he would not allow his films to be put on DVD formats, as he felt they could not be understood on a small screen and were not meant for individual contemplation. On the other hand, Theo insisted that audiences must be willing to do some work to deal with a serious art form and not passively consume celluloid images as if they were kernels of popcorn. Theo offered what I call his “cinema of contemplation,” with shots that last between two and five minutes and sometimes longer, a sharp contrast to the average Hollywood film with its rapid cuts often lasting only seconds. In one scene in The Travelling Players, a train rider virtually leaves the film by looking directly into the camera and speaking at great length about the Turkish atrocities in Asia Minor. At another point, a man listening to military music and right-wing oratory in 1952 walks down the street to emerge into another square with the same music and oratory, but it’s now 1938. In The Weeping Meadow, a town is slowly engulfed by a rising flood tide. There are no jump cuts, just the slow agony of drowning.

Theo was a self-conscious auteur who created films with a distinctive director’s “gaze.” Nonetheless, he had close and harmonious relations with his cinematographers, musical directors, and other creative coworkers, many of whom worked with him again and again. This cordiality was not limited to his closest collaborators or famous persons. Ellen Athena Catsiakas, a young Greek American who worked on Ulysses’ Gaze in a minor capacity, has commented how supportive he was to someone at the onset of her career. Dan Georgakas notes how Theo was always available for a chat and always remained sensitive to the nuances of various national cultures. At a formal talk Theo was delivering to hundreds at the Thessaloniki Film Festival, he spotted Georgakas standing in one of the aisles and stopped his castigation of the commercial film culture of Hollywood to say that there were also American magazines, like Cineaste, that he greatly respected. And I will never forget that, in 1975, when The Travelling Players was filling cinemas, Theo took time to come to speak with my literature and film class at Deree College in Athens that I was teaching then, an act that marked the beginning of our thirty-seven-year friendship.

The Other Sea was intended to address his signature themes of national and personal identity. The script takes on the contemporary Greek crisis including strikes, illegal immigrants from Afghanistan and the Middle East, a rising suicide rate, historic unemployment, and unprecedented personal violence. Reprising and updating the Golfotheme, a new set of “travelling players” attempts to perform Brecht’s Three Penny Opera. While The Other Sea is now fated to never be finished, or, as the Europeans say, “realized,” we have seventeen completed films. 4 Some are more powerful than others to be sure, but all underscore with great intensity and artistic integrity that the nature of our personal and national journeys is far more critical than our projected final destination.

  1. Andrew Horton, The Films of Theo Angelopoulos: A Cinema of Contemplation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997: revised edition, 1999).
  2. Chronicled by Costa Gavras in Z (1969) from a novel of the same title written by Vassilis Vassilikos.
  3. “Modernism, Minimalism, Melancholy: Angelopoulos and Visual Style,” in The Last Modernist: The Films of Theo Angelopoulos, edited by Andrew Horton (NY: Praeger Books, 1997).
  4. Angelopoulos’s Website is

Andrew Horton is a Cineaste Associate and The Jeanne H. Smith Professor of Film and Media Studies at The University of Oklahoma.

An Age of Miracles: The Revival of Rhomanion

1394-1397: George Komnenos returns to Constantinople and is promptly made civilian governor of Optimates (Bithynia), a wealthy, prosperous theme far away from any potential war zone, and is shunted off to Nicaea. Very little is known about his conduct as governor, but it is known that when his sister dies in 1394, he takes full responsibility for the upbringing of his fourteen year old nephew Demetrios Komnenos (his father had died in 1383, after which George helped his sister with a small stipend. Demetrios also takes the last name of his mother, as it is more prestigious than his father’s claim as a descendant of the Emir of Kayseri.) George makes sure he receives the finest military training possible.

In 1396 Hungary and the Empire sign the historic treaty of Dyrrachium, regarding respective spheres of influences in the Balkans. Bulgaria and Serbia are to be buffer states to preserve peace between the two powerhouses of the Balkans and neither is to annex any part of those two states without the other’s permission. The Empire also promises not to contest Hungarian attacks on Vlachia, provided that the Vlachs are allowed freedom of worship with their own churches and clergy, and are allowed to emigrate freely to the Empire if they wish to do so.

Also the Empire drops its own claims and recognizes Hungarian claims to Dalmatia from Istria to Cattaro (Venice controls the territory in question). In exchange it is written in the treaty that “If, by the grace of God, the most illustrious Emperor of the Romans should conquer the city of Venice, that city, along with all associated Italian territories west of Gorz, along with all Venetian possessions unbounded by the Adriatic Sea, will be considered the rightful property of the Roman Empire, and of the Roman Empire alone.

The Ottomans, in the course of their invasion of the Iranian Plateau, finally make contact with the mysterious warlord known as Timur. Born in 1338 in Samarkand as a member of the Suldus tribe, he spent most of his life establishing himself as leader of the Chagatai Khanate. Then in order to consolidate his rule and distract discontented elements, he embarked on a campaign of conquest.

After first humbling the rulers of Moghulistan, he crippled the Blue Horde by sacking its capital of Sarai in 1388, just as the star of Novgorod is beginning its ascent. He then turns his attention south, overwhelming the minor states of Persia that have managed thus far to avoid being annexed by the Jalayirids because of their preoccupation with the Ottomans. Once those were conquered he turned his attentions to the Jalayirids themselves.

In the summer of 1395, an Ottoman army is besieging Mazandaran when Timur’s main force arrives. He will not tolerate a rival in Persia and peremptorily demands that the Turks withdraw. When the Ottomans refuse, he annihilates their army and take Mazandaran. The next year he seizes Gilan and orders raids to commence on Ottoman possessions in Persia.

1398-1400: A crusade is launched against the Marinids, made possible by a truce in the Ninety Years War. Contingents from England, France, Germany, Italy, and even 300 men from Denmark join with the Castilian army at Toledo in 1398. Both Portugal and Aragon launch supporting offensives. The Crusade marches south, annihilating a couple of minor Marinid detachments and rejoices at the news of 4,000 Marinids killed in a failed attack on Aragonese Oran.

At Merida, the French knights in the crusading vanguard spot another small force of Marinids and immediately attack. They finish cutting the Muslims to pieces just in time to see the main Marinid army engulf them and wipe most of the French contingent out. The Marinids then attack the demoralized crusaders and score a crushing victory, moving on to besiege Toledo.

Marinid success however ends there. While the Portuguese offensive is rolled back to the Tagus, the Aragonese fleet, backed by Pisan and Papal galleys, succeeds in capturing Valencia in a surprise attack. And then there is Toledo. From its towers newly installed bombards roar down hellfire on the Marinid besiegers wave after wave of Moorish soldiers hurl themselves futilely at the walls, clambering over the corpses of their fallen comrades. Roger de Flor, a participant and chronicler of the siege, optimistically called the Rock of Toledo “the graveyard of the Moorish people.”

Mining is of no use either. A vicious subterranean battle is fought between the Castilians and Marinids, in which the Castilians decidedly have the better of the exchange. On September 2, 1399, the Castilians detonate the first known gunpowder mine in history, wiping out five Marinid trebuchets and three hundred men. Two weeks later the siege is lifted.

In 1398 Timur takes Fars, the Jalayirid capital. Almost immediately he begins making preparations for the invasion of Mesopotamia. Cavalry raids are conducted almost daily while a Timurid army captures Hormuz. Sultan Mehmed I, called the Conqueror for his conquests in Armenia and eastern Arabia, conducts counter-raids but keeps his main force in Mesopotamia he wishes to fight Timur on ground of his own choosing.

In 1399 Timur obliges him, invading Mesopotamia with over eighty thousand men. At Kirkuk Mehmed is defeated but retires in good order with minor casualties, although the city is lost. He gathers reinforcements, eventually commanding an army sixty five thousand strong by that point Timur is almost at Baghdad.

In order to compensate for his numerical inferiority Mehmed decides to boost his men’s morale by fighting, as close as possible, on the same ground Bayezid I fought on during the Battle of the Gates. Thus Turkish morale is exceedingly high on November 3, when battle is joined.

It is not enough. The ferocious onslaught of the Timurid regiments break the Ottoman center as wave after wave of Mongol and Tartar horsemen hurl volleys into the Turkish flanks, overwhelming the flank guards by sheer weight of numbers. Mehmed throws in the reserves, halting the Timurid advance. Rallying his men with his presence, the Turks begin pushing the Timurids back, until a stray arrow knocks Mehmed from his horse. He is not dead, only unconscious, but the rumor of his death spreads wildly through the army. Panic begins to set in and Timur senses it, throwing in his own reserves. The Ottoman army shatters Baghdad capitulates the next day.

Mehmed wakes up on November 5. Gathering together what he can of his army, he falls back to Basra. Timur, thinking he is no longer a threat, concentrates on capturing northern Mesopotamia Mosul falls in February 1400. He wants the region secure as reports of Mameluke military buildups in northern Syria have him concerned.

When he is at Mosul, he is met by a delegation from Constantinople. After congratulating him on his victory over Mehmed, a treaty is made. Rhomanion will pay Timur 120,000 hyperpyra a year in exchange for not attacking the Empire. Konstantinos does this for two reasons. While George was stuck fighting in Italy, Konstantinos was freed of his influence. Since then he has made sure to remain so. Realizing that the two wars of his reign were ultimately counterproductive, he wants no more. Also he realizes that the money he gives to Timur will likely be spent on killing Mamelukes. However the view of many that Konstantinos is a weak old man is confirmed by these events.

After the treaty is signed, Timur moves with lightning speed into Mameluke Syria. He captures Homs in May, defeats a Mameluke army meant to relieve the city, and seizes Damascus in August. The main army then swings toward the coast, where most of the towns surrender immediately. Tyre foolishly tries to resist and is sacked in October.

On the other end of the Mediterranean, the Marinids fail to retake Valencia despite a four month siege due to their inability to implement an effective naval blockade. While the Marinid fleet is powerful enough to secure the Pillars and keep the Morocco-Granada line open, otherwise it is outmatched by Christian sea power.


Great story so far!! It seems that the Ottoman rise is at its end, unless Timur dies in the middle of sacking Jerusalem

Ther Romans OTOH seem to be getting ready for a new round of internal civil war between rulers. again


Great story so far!! It seems that the Ottoman rise is at its end, unless Timur dies in the middle of sacking Jerusalem

Ther Romans OTOH seem to be getting ready for a new round of internal civil war between rulers. again

Thank you very much. But I wouldn't count Osman's heirs out just yet. They survived OTL Timur after all.

And the continued propensity toward civil wars seems to be the greatest weakness of the Byzantine Empire in my opinion. Neither Manzikert nor Myriocephalon were very damaging by themselves, but they were both followed by periods of weak leadership and civil wars, so there was no one to act as damage control.

The next update will be posted sometime this evening, but it will be shorter than usual as it only covers two and a half years.


"At this time, when the sun was traversing the spring zodiacal sign of Gemini, a sign from the heavens appeared in the western regions as a portent of evils to come."-John Pachymeres, Roman historian, on the eve of the campaign of 1403. (1)

1401-1402: The Timurid advance is temporarily halted by the defeat of a Timurid detachment at Nazareth. In response, Timur marches on Jerusalem, swinging south briefly to flatten a Mameluke force 30,000 strong at Hebron. Terrified at the prospect of Timur gaining access to Egypt, the Mamelukes offer Timur a generous deal. In exchange for withdrawing from all his conquests south of Damascus, the Mamelukes will cede Damascus and territories north of it and pay him a lump sum equivalent to 2 million hyperpyra and an annual tribute thereafter of 240,000 hyperpyra. Such an offer places the Mamelukes in danger of bankruptcy but it buys them time. Considering that Timur turned sixty three a week after the treaty was signed, they might not have to pay tribute for long.

Timur welcomes the deal. Ottoman Armenia has been cut off from Mehmed in Basra since the fall of Mosul, and he wants to annex it before the Romans do. The rest of 1401 is spent doing so.

On August 9, 1401, Konstantinos XI Laskaris dies at the age of fifty five after a three year bout with colon cancer. George Komnenos returns to Constantinople after an absence of seven years for the funeral where he quickly earns the trust and respect of the new emperor, Theodoros III Laskaris, who is twenty three. In January 1402 twenty two year old Demetrios Komnenos, George’s nephew, is married to Theodoros’ eighteen year old sister Zoe.

Theodoros is one of those who thought his father was old and weak and is particularly disgusted by the treaty with Timur. George, who at age fifty eight still desires an opportunity for war and further riches, has to do very little to convince the emperor to repudiate the treaty.

Enraged, Timur immediately invades eastern Anatolia, seizing Theodosiopolis in September. Roman army units skirmish with his forces with Demetrios Komnenos participating in the fight. George and Theodoros’ strategy is to draw Timur into Anatolia, whittling his strength down with skirmishes and supply deprivation and then annihilate him somewhere in the Anatolian interior where he can’t possibly escape. In preparation for the campaign, George convinces Theodoros to appoint Demetrios strategos (general) of the Thracesian tagma, ten thousand strong.

1403: Timur’s army marches for the Halys river valley. In May he takes Sebastea after a twenty six day siege, slaughtering the inhabitants he cannot afford to be slowed down by a large train of prisoners. Marching west, his foragers are repeatedly harassed by Roman cavalry, mostly Turkish and Cuman horse archers. Demetrios Komnenos is very successful at this, using his light cavalry to draw enemy squadrons into ambushes and then hammering them with his kataphraktoi.

Still Timur is merely slowed by this, but that is what Theodoros and George want as it gives them time to assemble the largest army Rhomanion has seen in four hundred years, if not more. East of Cappadocian Caesarea the forward scouts of both armies meet in early July. The Roman host numbers seventy two thousand strong, Timur’s eighty five thousand.

1) In OTL, this is an excerpt from the Roman historian Doukas, on the eve of Timur's invasion of Anatolia in 1402.


I didn't see the Nov. 13 update until earlier today.

Something tells me the coming uber-battle is not going to go well based on the quote you've chosen. And the fact the Romans were actually harrying him fairly successfully too.


I posted a link to your scenario on my blog.



Merry Prankster: If you're interested in this time period, I would really recommend reading Doukas (for some reason my copy doesn't give his first name). For a medieval historian he is really good at writing action scenes and I took the opening quote directly from him.

And thank you for the link. I am truly honored.

luis3007: George and Theodoros' strategy is a gambit. If it works, instead of having a slugging match with Timur's massive empire, they can cut off the head of the snake in Anatolia and watch the body wither away. If it fails though.



Merry Prankster: If you're interested in this time period, I would really recommend reading Doukas (for some reason my copy doesn't give his first name). For a medieval historian he is really good at writing action scenes and I took the opening quote directly from him.

And thank you for the link. I am truly honored.

luis3007: George and Theodoros' strategy is a gambit. If it works, instead of having a slugging match with Timur's massive empire, they can cut off the head of the snake in Anatolia and watch the body wither away. If it fails though.

Shouldn't be too bad even if it goes wrong.

. well, depending on your definition of "too bad", but unless Timur crushes the Romans, they should survive.

Interesting times ahead, if so, but not doom.



dunklerwald: Thank you, and I intend to.

Elfwine: Your post reminds me of that old Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times." And thank you to you too.

Mathalamus: The Ottomans were flattened at Ankara and did eventually recover, but they had to endure over a decade of civil war and sign some fairly humiliating treaties with the Balkan Christians to cover their backs while they got their house in order again. Still, they were going on the offensive again after less than 20 years.

The next update will be posted sometime tomorrow. It is an interlude of sorts, and will be about the nature of the Laskarid army as it stands on the eve of Timur's invasion. A lot of the information was showing up in drafts of later updates and I decided it would be easier to combine it all, expand on it, and make one big update out of it. After that will be the Battle of Cappadocian Caesarea.


Exactly. Very "interesting" times.

As Byzantine alt-history should be. The Empire might have had a half century of boredom in all the eleven hundred years from Constantine I to Constantine XI.


Exactly. Very "interesting" times.

As Byzantine alt-history should be. The Empire might have had a half century of boredom in all the eleven hundred years from Constantine I to Constantine XI.

That would be an interesting project, trying to figure out exactly when those boring years were.

And here is the update. To make up for the last short update, this one is significantly larger than usual. It is written in the style of an article written sometime in the future, hence the use of the past tense.

The Roman Laskarid Army in 1400

The Laskarid army at the time of Timur’s invasion was one of the most formidable forces in the known world. In a hundred and fifty years it never lost a war and more than doubled the size of the empire, to a height unseen since the Macedonian dynasty. Most modern historians follow the lead of Roman historians in attributing the design solely to Theodoros the Great, with the following Laskarid rulers merely expanding the system. However recent scholarship is beginning to challenge this view.

The Laskarid army was an organic growth of the late Komnenid army with Mongol influences. The army ranks were often identical to older army titles, but the forces commanded rarely were equivalent.

The primary organizational unit was the tagma, a division of ten thousand soldiers commanded by a strategos. The Empire in 1400 had nine tagmata, two in Europe and seven in Asia. Every one of these tagma was divided in ten tourma, each one comprised of a thousand soldiers and commanded by a tourmarches. In each tagma the tourmai (plural of tourma) were numbered from one to ten, with the first tourmarches being the most senior and second in command of the tagmata after the strategos.

The Laskarid tagmata (plural of tagma) combined aspects of the old Roman tagmata and thematic armies. Like the thematic armies, Roman soldiers were given lands as payment, the grants varying in size according to the type of soldier. Since the Laskarids had access to large estates confiscated after the Nobles’ rebellion and lands conquered in Greece and Anatolia, having enough land grants was never an issue.

Soldiers were allowed to improve their estates but could not move up pay grades by doing so. If a heavy infantryman improved his estate so that it yielded the same income as a medium cavalryman’s estate, he would be allowed to keep the revenue but would not be promoted to a medium cavalryman with its higher salary.

Grants were hereditary, provided the soldier secured his tourmarches’ approval and the inheritor agreed to accept all the obligations of the estate. However estates could not be divided without the approval of the strategos of the tagma. This was rarely done as a typical soldier could not improve his estate to maintain two soldiers of his troop type. A heavy infantryman might be able to improve his estate to where it could equip two light infantrymen or archers, but due to the emphasis on combined arms tactics and maintaining the balance between troop types, which will be discussed below, this was usually unacceptable.

However soldiers paid solely in land had little incentive not to rebel against the central government. Thus the soldiers were also paid cash salaries as well, equal to the annual income of their estates. For instance, an infantryman assigned an estate that yielded an average annual income of 10 hyperpyra would receive a cash payment of 10 hyperpyra every year. Thus any soldier revolting against the central government would effectively cut their pay in half.
Actually any rebels would lose more than half their salary. Every two years soldiers received a bonus designed to pay for equipment, which had to be purchased at state warehouses. The bonus matched the cost of a full set of arms, armor, and field equipment required of the soldier, which varied according to his military function. However since conscientious care of equipment usually allowed it to last much longer than two years, this represented an actual bonus for soldiers. Troops were also allowed to upgrade their equipment beyond the standard required of their troop type, and those upgrades could be acquired outside the state warehouse system, although the warehouses also provided the more popular upgrades, such as lamellar armor for heavy infantry.

Troops on active duty also received a pay bonus equivalent to one quarter of their annual salary, calculated to the time on active duty. This was done to compensate the soldiers for revenues lost while not attending their lands, although most soldiers above the lowest pay grades had family members or hired workers to replace them in the fields.

Sometimes there were minor equipment variations between tagmata based on the wealth of their host themes. For example, heavy infantry of the Thracesian, Opsician, and Optimates tagma usually had maces or war hammers as secondary weapons and some lamellar armor, compared to the short swords and mail armor used by the heavy infantry stationed in poorer themes where land improvement was less of an option.

Soldiers received their annual pay and biannual equipment bonuses at the first of the two tagma reviews held each year, held at the capital of the theme. Failure to attend either review with any excuse other than physical inability resulted either in the loss of that year’s pay if it was the first review that was missed or the next year’s pay if it was the second. Soldiers had to attend the reviews with all of the required equipment at a certain level of quality failure resulted in pay reductions. Also at the exercises at the beginning of the review, the soldiers had to already be at a certain level of proficiency or risk other pay deductions.

Soldiers also had to attend eight reviews and training sessions with their tourma during the year. Failure to attend was also punished by pay deductions, and the troops were also required to keep their equipment and training up to a certain standard at these events.

Anna I’s popularity with the common soldiery largely rested in her use of the tagma reviews. Every year she attended two, gradually rotating through each tagma. There she would watch the drills and competitions and the best performing soldiers of each troop type would be given cash rewards, personally handed to them by the empress herself or later by her son Nikephoros.

At this time it would be helpful for the reader to discuss the various troop types in the Laskarid army. The focus was on combined arms tactics between the various troop types the main purpose of the reviews was to make sure that the various troop formations could work effectively together. The troop types shall be discussed in order of pay grade, from the lowest to the highest.

The lowest pay grade was that of the toxotai, the foot archer. Typically they were armored in leather or cloth and armed with a composite bow and small sword or ax. Approximately ten to fifteen percent of archers were equipped with crossbows and were overwhelmingly stationed in Europe. Both composite and crossbowmen were usually accompanied in battle by a pavise carrier to protect them while reloading who outside of battle doubled as the handlers of the baggage train. Toxotai were mainly used to defend ground and support heavy infantry advances.

Next were the akritoi, the light infantry. These were skirmishers and flank guards, used to screen the main body. Equipped with a clutch of four javelins and typically a sword and armored in leather, they were trained to skirmish with the foe and then close to melee in support of the heavy infantry if necessary. The akritoi in eastern Anatolia were largely Vlach immigrants, who favored a cleaver as their secondary weapon. Timurid scouts soon learned to fear them as a cleaver armed Vlach could hack the head off a destrier.

The heavy infantry, the skutatoi, were the backbone of the Roman army and the most numerous troop type. Armored in mail and in some cases lamellar, they were equipped with a long spear called a kontos or sometimes a polearm. Due to the large kite shaped shields they carried to protect against Ottoman and Mameluke horse archers, the long spathion of the Macedonian period was abandoned in favor of a new sword type, named the spatha after a sword type from the Justinian period, approximately halfway in size between a spathion and a gladius. Many wealthier skutatoi used maces or war hammers. The heavy infantry were used for many purposes, often to hold ground and provide a support base for cavalry attacks, although George Komnenos used them as an offensive force to great effect in his Bulgarian campaign.

The cheapest cavalry units in the Laskarid army were the light horse archers called Turkopouloi, who were, not surprisingly, almost entirely Turks. Used as scouts and screeners, together with the akritoi they made sure that enemy forces had a difficult time gaining accurate intelligence on Roman troop movements. Swirling around enemy ranks, they pelted the enemy with a continuous barrage of missiles. Often unarmored and armed with a composite bow, unlike the akritoi they were never used in melee unless the situation was desperate.

Next on the scale were the koursores, the medium cavalry. There were actually two types of this unit, light and heavy. Light koursores were armored in leather and the mount in cloth, and armed with a kontos and a sword along with a shield. The heavy version had mail armor for the rider and cloth for the horse, and was equipped with a kontos, a mace, a sword and a shield. The category was evenly split in strength between the two subcategories. The koursores were often used in complement with Turkopouloi who would whittle down the foe and break up his formations, allowing the koursores to charge and shatter the lines, riding them down in the ensuing melee.

Skythikoi were armored versions of the Turks, with both the horse and rider being clad in mail. Usually they were drawn from the Cuman populations of Anatolia, but there were sizeable minorities of Greeks and Armenians in their ranks. Armed with a composite bow, they were trained to loose concentrated missile volleys on their foes and then fight in melee with their maces and swords in support of the elite of the Roman army, the kataphraktoi. Together the two made up the heavy cavalry portion of the Roman army.

The kataphraktoi were the best trained and equipped soldiers in the Laskarid army, with absolute obedience demanded in exchange for their high salaries. Both horse and rider were armored at least in lamellar and mail, with the richer ones often in plate. Equipped with a kontos, two maces, and two swords, they existed for the charge, which they undertake at the gallop in Latin fashion, as opposed to the flying wedge formation of Nikephoros Phokas, performed at a fast trot at best. Rare was the force that could withstand their onslaught. More disciplined than Latin knights, they were always supported by skythikoi.

Each tagma also possessed its own artillery train of ‘great crossbows’, used as field artillery, which were divided amongst the tourmai. The frontier tagmata also possessed counterweight trebuchets for siege artillery, with the Anatolian tagmata possessing twice as many trebuchets. Also each tourma had its own medical personnel, paid in the same fashion as soldiers, with one doctor for every twenty soldiers. There was also a quartermaster corps, responsible for distributing supplies while on campaign, and which included the cooks. During battle, the quartermasters were also to make sure that the soldiers would be supplied food and drink if possible.

Each of the tagma were designed to be self-sufficient armies, capable of operating on the combined arms principle by itself. A tagma at full strength had 500 kataphraktoi, 500 skythikoi, 1000 koursores, 1000 Turkopouloi, 4000 skutatoi, 1000 akritoi, and 2000 toxotai. The tourmai had one tenth of each troop type. As best as possible, tagma organization was based on the decimal system, where multiples of ten served as the full strength size of most units.

After the tourma, the next smallest army unit was the droungos commanded by a droungarios. These were not combined arms forces, but consisted of only one troop type. They were one hundred strong, except for the droungos of the kataphraktoi and heavy horse archers, which were fifty men strong. The droungoi though were all of the same rank and pay grade, with the droungarios of the kataphraktoi second in command of the tourma.

The kontoubernionwere squads of ten men each commanded by a dekarchos. The heavy cavalry droungoi had five kontoubernion the remainder had ten. This was the smallest Laskarid army organizational unit.

There were several army units outside of the tagma system. In Constantinople, Antioch, and Bari, units were stationed called archontates. They were equal in strength to tourmai, but had a higher number of infantry. They were designed to provide a permanent defense to a critical area of the Empire and were full-time professional troops. Bari’s elevation to an archontate is due more to Laskarid pride at its possession rather than its value as a seaport or its strategic location. There is no known incident where these troops were used outside of their home province.

Also barracked in Constantinople were the Athanatoi, the Immortals. This was a personal unit attached to the Emperor, although Konstantinos XI Laskaris did loan it to George Komnenos in his Bulgarian and Italian campaigns. The two thousand troops were full time soldiers, organized in troop types in the same ratio as tagma troops. Its internal organization was also identical to a tourma, but with double the number of smaller military units and officers.

Less important cities in the frontier themes were given permanent, full time garrisons as well called allagion that varied in size from 300 to 50, with most being only a hundred at most. These were entirely infantry formations (the archontates had some cavalry), existing to provide a professional core for a citizen army in case the city is attacked.

The frontier themes also had units called bandon which were commanded by a count. These were formations two hundred strong, who were paid and reviewed in the same manner as tagma troops. However these units were either entirely turkopouloi or half turkopouloi and half mounted akritoi. The akritoi would ride while on the march and fight dismounted. The continued Laskarid preference for Anatolia is shown in their positioning. There were eight stationed on the Anatolian frontier. Europe had three, two for the Bulgarian border and one for the Serbian. However the extreme disparity was also caused by the reluctance of Turkish troops to settle in Europe, which was one of the main reasons for the series of Turkish revolts that broke out in the later years of John IV's reign.

This was the Roman army system in place in 1400. Under competent leadership it was deadly and under a genius it was unstoppable. Its main weakness was that its focus on discipline, training and combined arms tactics meant that under poor leaders, the army often ‘tripped over its own feet’. This system would face its greatest challenge in the person of Timur, whose invasion was the greatest threat to the Empire since the Fourth Crusade. As the Anatolian tagmata assembled in the spring of 1403, only time would tell how it would fare.

I apologize for the poor quality my paint skills aren't exactly the best.

This map is actually from 1390, but the distribution scheme of Laskarid army units has not changed in the past decade.

Red =one tagma, although the troops are settled throughout their assigned theme

Purple =Archontate, there is also one in Bari (off map)

Green =Athanatoi, unique formation attached to the Emperor

Brown =Bandon, each frontier theme has one bandon that is half Turkopouloi and half mounted akritoi. The remainder are pure Turkopouloi.

The Kibyrrhaeots and the various Roman islands are kept outside of the regular tagma-theme system, as they are responsible for the upkeep of the Imperial fleet.

And here is a short bit about some of the peripheral regions on the map.

The Crimea/Ukraine: Most of the territory in question is under the control of the Blue Horde, the western and more powerful half of the Golden Horde, formed during the Mongol conquests. Theoretically the Blue Horde and the eastern White Horde are part of one larger state, but they function as two independent entities. In the past two decades relations between them have deteriorated dramatically, as the Blue Horde seeks to absorb the White Horde and create a Golden Horde that exists on more than paper. This is done to help compensate for losses in the west caused by Lithuania and Hungary.

The Principality of Theodoro is a Greek splinter state, left over from the Fourth Crusade. It does pay an annual tribute to Sarai, the Blue Horde capital, as protection money but is an independent state. For its size it is fairly wealthy, as it is perfectly located to play a major role in the Black Sea grain trade. In the principality itself, Greek merchants dominate the market.

Both the Venetians and Genoese have colonies in the region. Venice controls Soldaia and Kaffa, while Genoa controls Vosporo and Tana (both off map). Both Italian states are required to pay protection money to Sarai in order to keep their colonies. The Genoese colonies are slightly richer, but they are situated closer to Sarai and Genoese relations with the Blue Horde are poorer. Venice meanwhile has an ongoing border dispute with Theodoro, which claims that both Soldaia and Kaffa belong to the Principality.

Vlachia: Vlachia is not a state, but a geographical region named after its predominant ethnic group. It was under the control of the Blue Horde from the 1240s to the 1350s, but Sarai’s authority there was nominal after 1310. Divided into dozens of minor Vlach states, it is Hungary that claims suzerainty over the region. However Buda’s authority is also fairly weak and inconsistent. It is largely secured by periodic raids designed to enforce tribute payments and keep the Vlachs disunited and unorganized, as well as missionary efforts to convert the Vlachs to Catholicism.

The continual unrest in the region after the pullout of the Blue Horde is the reason that so many Vlachs have emigrated to the Roman Empire, being settled in eastern Anatolia as akritoi, a role in which they excel. The reason that Hungary has not attempted to annex the region outright is that concerns in the Holy Roman Empire and Dalmatia are more pressing. Also the Hungarian kings seek to “culturally conquer” the Vlachs through the Catholic missions, which if successful would require significantly less military expenses than an outright invasion and would secure a much more loyal population.


The central building The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens has its premises in seven buildings altogether, situated between Akadimias, Vasilissis Sofias, Panepistimiou, Kriezotou and Zalokosta Streets.

The central building of the Ministry, where the Minister's Office is located, is situated at the intersection of Vasilissis Sofias (former Kifissias Street) and Zalokosta.

This building is also known as the Andreas Sygros Mansion, as it was his main residence during his lifetime. It stands opposite the north side of the Greek Parliament Building, which was the Royal Palace from the period of King Othon, until 1935.

In 1996 the architect Nikolia Ioannidou, Doctor of the History of Architecture, wrote a brief historical documentation, which can be found in the Archives of the Technical Administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Elements of the study include the following:

Description of the Building

1. In general

The central building The central building of the Ministry, as mentioned already, stands at the intersection of Vasilissis Sofias Street (former Kifissias Street) and Zalokosta Street.

The building was declared an Architectural Landmark in need of special governmental protection by the Ministry of Culture, by power of Ministerial Decision 13179/971/19-4-1976 (Official Gazette n. 612/30-4-1976)

The Mansion was legated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the exclusive heiress of the estate of Andreas Sygros, his wife Ifighenia Mavrokordatou - Sygrou, according to her secret will dated 31 /5/ 1921 and published by the Court of First Instance of Athens on 21 /6 / 1921. A copy of the will written by Ifighenia A. Sygrou was kindly conceded to us by the Institute of Agronomic Studies "Andreas Sygros". The secret will of Ifighenia Sygrou was hand-written by her lawyer, Mr. Thrasyvoulos Aghelopoulos, according to her own wish. After the death of Andreas Sygros, given the fact that he himself didn't have any children, his wife mentions in her will the following : "In Athens, today Monday, May 31, 1921, in my Athens house situated in Kifissias Street and present Konstantinou Diadochou Street, in which I reside permanently I, Ifighenia A. Sygrou, legate my residence in Athens, situaded in Kifissias Street and present Konstantinou Diadochou Street, with all its territory and all the buildings in it, to the Greek State, so that it can be used for good and all as part of the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs". " I legate my well-known villa, Anavrita, situated between Kifissias Street and Amaroussiou Street with all its territory and all the buildings in it, the houses of the caretakers and of the workers, to the Geographical Society under the protection of His Majesty the King" Andreas Sygros, according to his hand-written will dated June the 9, 1897, bequeathed his residence to his exclusive heiress, Ifighenia, who was declared proprietor in virtue of the Decision N. 360 13 /2 /1899 of the Court of First Instance of Athens.

Today the Mansion has a surface of 724 square meters, and a relatively recent (1985) connection with the other, more recent building, also of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, situated at 2, Zalokosta Street. If we trace an imaginary line extending it up to Akadimias Street, the site of the building at 5, Vasilissis Sofias Street has a surface of 2,262 square meters, while the whole site, including all three buildings (5 Vasilissis Sofias Street, 2 Zalokosta Street and Akadimias Street), has a surface of 4,316 square meters. The exterior dimensions of the Mansion at ground floor level are 33.5 m. x 21.6 m. (Vasilissis Sofias Street and Zalokosta Street respectively) and includes ground floor, first floor, second floor and a terrace.

According to the late owner and man who commissioned the building, the residence was built between 1872 and 1873, based on a design by the German architect Ernst Ziller. The whole mansion, the layout of which was modified during the building by the owner, Andreas Sygros, was built in two years, considered a very short period in those times. Supervisor of the construction work was Nikolaos Soutsos, engineer of the Army.

Later on we will deal more with the situation of the urban planning of the area. It should be mentioned at this point that the Royal Palace of King Othon, based on a design by architect Friedrich Gaertner, was built between 1836-1842. As we can see in photographs of that period and particularly in an 1868 photograph published by professor Konstantinos Biris, before the building of the Andreas Sygros mansion, the site was occupied by a small building resembling a country house. On this site - which had an area of 5,000 ells and was sold to Andreas Sygros by the widow of Theodoros Ralis for 65,000 drachmas - one can distinguish through the high grass a two-storeyed country house with a triangular roof.

2. Historical Facts

Andreas Sygros arrived at Piraeus on 31/ 12/ 1871, having already rented the house of Dimitrios Soutsos in Athens, to use as a residence.

"The family of Dimitrios Soutsos, to whom the house where I resided belonged, notified me indirectly that they were disposed to sell me the house. Nevertheless, I didn't want it to be my permanent residence. I desired to build a house to my own liking that would satisfy my own needs. Thus, I commissioned a friend to find me a building ground that would meet my criteria"

"It goes without saying that, with no exaggeration whatsoever, 2/3 of the present city of Athens was covered by building sites, all of which were offered to us at prices that seem ridiculously low today"

". I chose the building site where my residence stands, in which I have lived until today. I bought this building site from the widow of Theodoros Rallis for the price of approximately 13 old drachmas per Greek ell. "

"Not wanting to regret my decision, I wrote to a friend of mine asking him to rent a house in Athens, with all the necessary furniture, on my account. He then rented the Soutsos house, which today belongs to the politician Dimitrios Rallis, at Panepistimiou square, and sent me a list of all the kitchenware and furniture in it, so that I could complete it in London if I found that there was something missing. I found that there were many things missing and, consequently, I was taken by Alekos Ioannidis to one of those immense stores, of the few of its kind, selling house furniture, where one could find all kinds of house fittings, even coaches. It is not an exaggeration to say that in an hour I was already supplied with an entire household, perfectly decent, and had arranged for it to be sent to Athens"

"I was very impatient and couldn't wait for my departure for Athens, which I had to postpone in the end, because an epidemic of cholera broke out in Constantinople forcing the Greek government to impose quarantine on all travellers coming from Constantinople"

"I wrote to a friend of mine in Athens mentioning my decision and asked him to take measures so that I wouldn't have to undergo too much hardship during the days of my quarantine. He acted instantly and on the deserted island of Aghios Gheorghios, near Salamina, used for quarantines, he was given two ground floor rooms, which I rented from him. I immediately left for Piraeus, taking with me my cook, my valet and my coachman, as well as four horses and three coaches. It goes without saying that, men and animals, we were all obliged to stay in quarantine. (He arrived on December the 31, 1871)"

". Before leaving Athens, I had agreed with Nikolaos Soutsos, engineer of the Army, who also undertook architectural work, that he would build me a house on the building site - on Kifissias Street, opposite the north side of the Royal Palace - that I had bought from the widow of Th. Ralis (approximately 5,000 ells for the price of 65,000 old drachmas). "

". Judging from the original design, by the architect Ernst Ziller, but modified by me (and that's why it is extremely inartistic), Soutsos calculated the budget of all the expenses of the construction, together with the stables and other outbuildings, to run to 125,000 drachmas. "

In 1873, when the construction of his residence was already completed, Andreas Sygros writes in his memoirs:

"After many adventures and two years of troubles, the building was over, with the expenses reaching 320,000 drachmas approximately. Working with Soutsos I spent 200,000 drachmas and the house was still incomplete, so its completion and interior design were undertaken by Piat, with whom I spent the rest of the amount. Of course, 1/3 of the whole expense was unnecessary. I wasn't in the least displeased with what had happened during the construction work. In fact, I was amused, well aware of the fact that when someone is absent while his house is being built, it is natural to note an exceeding of the estimated expenses"

"To my Greek friends, with whom we were building our houses simultaneously, and who remarked that such a large amount of money was sacrificed only because of my negligence and ignorance while they had spent much less by being present and supervising the works, I used to reply:

". Don't you value your own, personal work? Even though in my construction I spent 100,000 drachmas more than I would have had I supervised it by myself, I would have suffered the loss of the value of my own personal work, which I, at least, regard as being much more important than the amount of 100000 drachmas. "

". That was indeed my way of thinking throughout my whole active life and I never regretted it, that is, I used to let other people profit, even at my expense, so that I could gain much more, working in the field of my own expertise. "

3. Elements of Architecture and Urban Planning

After some research, photographic material was gathered showing the area that interests us here. It also came to light that a large part of the Athenian area in question had belonged since 1929 to the National Defence Fund of the Ministry of War. The National Defence Fund proceeded to the Auctioning of that very part in 1940 and that way it came to be part of the property of the Joint Stock Fund of the Army.

As an example we could mention that at the corner of Vasilissis Sofias Street and Akadimias Street was the Military Pharmaceutical Store, built in 1860 and used later as the main building of the Ministry of War. The new multi-storeyed building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, erected on the same site between 1973 and 1977, is the work of the architect Ioannis Vikelas. The Military Courts Building, a work of the architect Eugene Troumpe, stood at the intersection of Akadimias Street and Kriezotou Street and was demolished in 1969.

At that time, at the intersection of Vasilissis Sofias Street and Akadimias Street, on the East corner, stood the Donai Mansion of Charles Merlin, designed by the architect Anastasios Metaxas, where the French Embassy has its premises today. The Charokopou Mansion (the present Benaki Museum) at the intersection of Koumbari Street and Vasilissis Sofias Street was also designed by Metaxas

Further up Vasilissis Sofias Street, between Sekeri Street and Merlin Street, stood the Mansion which belonged to Irini Stournari-Merlin, probably designed by Dimitris Zezos in 1861. Erected at the intersection of Vas. Sofias Street and Zalokosta Street was the Psicha Mansion, where the Egyptian Embassy has its premises today. At the corner of Vasilissis Sofias and Irodotou Street, the architect Ernst Ziller erected the Othon Stathatos Mansion (1895).

Greek independence, which was achieved at the beginning of the third decade of the 19th century, brought a radical change to the historical destiny of the country, but also irrevocably changed its social and political course towards a bourgeois progressivism.

The architectural design of the bourgeois buildings of the 19th century was based on European classicism, but was promoted and developed under the influence of its unrivalled models, the classical monuments of Greece

Neo-classicism is the style through which the artistic world expressed itself from the end of the 18th century until the first decades of the 19th century and was influenced by the idealistic school of philosophy, the revolutionary spirit and the noble ideals of the society of the time.

In the Greek neo-classicism of the 19th century, researchers distinguish two currents known as "classicism" and "romanticism".

Modern Greek architecture makes its appearance for the first time with the establishment of the monarchy and the reign of King Othon. On the one hand, the permanent presence in Greece of many Bavarian engineers and skilled workmen until 1843 was particularly significant and on the other hand, various other Europeans, especially Germans were invited to work .

Professor Ioannis Travlos pointed out that European architects participated in the archaeological excavations of the Foreign Archaeological Schools in Greece, and that therefore their work is obviously influenced by classical monuments.

The architecture of Ernst Ziller (1837-1923) is one of the most interesting amalgams of Athenian classicism and European romanticism. This combination created highly aesthetic buildings, which merged Greek classicism with elements of the Renaissance.

Ernst Ziller managed to combine the Renaissance with Ancient times, with distinguishable eclectic tendencies, as first implemented by his teacher, Theophil Hansen, first introduced. Ziller constitutes a case apart. He was German, but took up permanent residence in Greece in 1861 and collaborated with Th. Hansen for the building of the Academy of Athens. Ziller took Greek citizenship, and through his participation in many activities (archaeological research, teaching in the Polytechnic, Public Works Administration) he left his mark on the Architecture of his time.

The personal contribution of Ernst Ziller was the combination of Greek forms and decorative elements with the architecture of the Renaissance, in order to reflect the ideological needs of the Greek society of the time. Ernst Ziller succeeded in creating in Greece architectural works comparable to those that were being built in Vienna, as well as in the rest of Europe.

The great distance in style that separated Schinkel's proposal (1834) regarding the Othonic Royal Palace on the Acropolis, from the Dimitriou Mansion (1842, later Grand Bretagne Hotel, entirely rebuilt in 1956) designed by Theophil Hansen remained inconceivable for the Greek thought of the time. Th. Hansen presents additional interest because of the Dimitriou Mansion, where, obviously influenced by Schinkel, he introduced a decor considered very unusual for his time. That was probably the first building with evident Renaissance elements in Athens. The arch-shaped porticoes towards the square, the ending of the roof with the decorative vases, the interior design, all these elements are an indication of the complete predominance of this architectural style in the future through the work of his disciple, Ernst Ziller. Othon, who, according to the Legislation of that period, had the right to authorise construction of new buildings in the square, was delighted with the designs and ordered that the same style to be used in all of the surrounding buildings.

Building Phases During the Construction of the Edifice

Given that we are in no position to know to what extent each architect participated in the erection of the Andreas Sygros Mansion, the research will cover the initial project of Ernst Ziller, as well as that of the other architects who supervised the works and introduced modifications to the original design made by Ernst Ziller, according to the desires of the owner, Andreas Sygros.

1. The Original Design by Architect Ernst Ziller

Andreas Sygros We proceeded to the investigation of the original design of this building according to the Memoirs of Andreas Sygros, in the Street still called Kifissias at that time, and to be exact, as Andreas Sygros himself mentions, opposite the north side of the Royal Palace of King Othon, where today the Greek Parliament has its premises.

We can surmise the original form of the building from the photographs that have been published up to now. The oldest photograph of the Mansion, unfortunately dating only back to 1900, as well as the slightly more recent ones, shows us a two-storeyed building, with another small building on the terrace. An oblong, projected arched portico curved at the level of the entrance, runs across the side of Vasilissis Sofias Street. The arched portico stands on Ionic columns and is used as a balcony on the storey above. The front view is unadorned and structured in slightly projected pilasters with Ionic decorative elements.

In a later topographical map of the area, made by the National Defence Fund in 1938, we can see the ground plan of the building. In the Official Gazette N. 366 / October 29, 1940, there is a publication of Decree N. 603:

"About the sale of the former Ministry of War together with the buildings surrounding it to the Army Fund management". This Decree makes it possible for the Minister of War to sell to the Joint Stock Fund of the Army an area of 7,000 square meters, situated between Vasilissis Sofias, Akadimias, Kriezotou and Zalokosta Streets (in a crooked line). That was where the Ministry of War, the Military Courts and other Services of the Ministry of War were located.

On the topographical map included in the Decree, the ground to be sold, the A. Sygros Mansion at the intersection of Vasilissis Sofias Street and Zalokosta Street, as well as a second building at 3 Zalokosta Street, are all clearly marked.

According to the writings of Andreas Sygros, the building site that he bought from the widow of Theodoros Rallis had an area of approximately 5,000 Greek ells. Taking under consideration the fact that a square "Greek ell" corresponds to 0.4096 square meters, it turns out that he bought a piece of land of 2,048 square meters

Therefore, it is obvious that in this area there were two main buildings. That is what we conclude from his will, as well as from the will of Ifighenia A. Sygrou, where it is clearly stated: "I, Ifighenia A. Sygrou, legate my residence in Athens, situated in Kifissias Street and now Konstantinou Diadochou Street, in which I am residing permanently, with all its territory and all the buildings in it, to the Greek State, so that it can be used for good and all as part of the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs"

2. Modifications to the Original Edifice (1872-1873) made by Andreas Sygros

The original design made by Ernst Ziller underwent many changes introduced either by Andreas Sygros, or - later - by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The original building is maintained as the nucleus of the present edifice.

Extensions have been added on both sides of the building, resulting in a facade consisting of an arrangement of five parts. In the present building there is an added second floor, in a large recess, which belongs, however, to later modifications.

The central openings of the front view towards Vasilissis Sofias Street have the same layout. The original trilateral front view, seen from Vasilissis Sofias Street, as well as the floor plan, consists of five parts. And this is the structural difference with the old edifice.

With the addition of these lateral parts, the volumetric analysis of the front view changed and resulted in this exceptionally inartistic building. Andreas Sygros himself characterises his residence as inartistic after the modifications that he himself introduced to the construction, when the engineer of the Army Nikolaos Soutsos, "who also undertook architectural works", supervised the construction work.

3. The Contribution of the Architect Piat

We have already mentioned that Piat is the engineer who undertook the interior design and the improvement of the Andreas Sygros residence. As we conclude from relevant bibliographical sources, extracts of which are mentioned in the footnotes, Piat worked in Athens during the last quarter of the 19th century, and his activity is some times mistaken for that of the engineer Eugene Troumpe.

Piat was an engineer and introduced himself to Andreas Sygros, through some of his powerful French friends, as a brilliant and wealthy engineer, constructor of railways, and well connected with banking and financial institutions in Belgium. Besides, he is supported by the French Embassy of Athens, which asks him to carry out the construction of the building of the French Archaeological School on the corner of Didotou Street and Sina Street, based on a design by engineer Eugene Troupe. This information in given by Martin Schmidt in his article in the honorary Bulletin de Correspondence Hellenique published by the French Archaeological School of Athens in 1996 to commemorate the 150 years of its presence in Greece. The work for the construction of the French School started before the summer of 1872, while the building was concluded almost simultaneously with the Andreas Sygros residence.

As Andreas Sygros quotes in his Memoirs " all matters concerning the construction of the railway were to be undertaken by Piat for a certain price Piat told me that he only needed my moral support with the Government, to which he was also wholeheartedly praised by the French Embassy"

Piat is also considered to be the constructor of the Skouloudi Mansion in Syntagma square (where the King George Hotel stands today), as well as of the Vouros Mansion (where the present Athens Plaza Hotel stands). Work on the building of these two edifices began simultaneously, in August 1873.

4. Repairs after the Taking-Over of the Building by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As results form the photographic evidence, the building was radically modified after it was taken over by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, possibly during the decade 1930-1940. Unfortunately, in spite of our research in the Archives mentioned in the sources of the present study, we were not able to discover the architects of these modifications.

The most important change observed is the whole effort to give the building a more "classical" appearance. The whole atmosphere of the building, which originally looked like a mansion with its arched portico-terrace, was changed. The unadorned appearance was disturbed by the addition of a porch ending in a pediment on the first floor.

The porch of the central entrance increased in height, took up the whole height of the building and was crowned by a triangular pediment. The decor was given a classical austerity and simplified Doric capitals crowned the columns of the porch on the ground floor, while on the first floor the capitals were Ionic. The parapet in which the roof ended still exists today in a form similar to that seen in the photographs of the time.

The floor plan of the initial project of the mansion, designed by Ernst Ziller, is very similar to the ground floor of the present building, if we eliminate the two lateral parts added later. The floor plan made by Ernst Ziller has the shape of an inscribed Greek cross, an element also seen in the trilateral arrangement of the front side. Today the floor plan still maintains the characteristics of a layout around a central part in the shape of an inscribed cross. In both the Ernst Ziller floor plan and the present floor plan, the central stairs used for communication between the floors are situated at the same point, meaning that they occupy the back arm of the cross.

In the National Art Gallery of Athens there is an Archive of Designs made by Ernst Ziller, and in particular watercolour number 131, named "A. Sygros Mansions". It is, of course, the floor plan and front view of the Andreas Sygros Mansion called "Anavrita", on the estate owned by Andreas Sygros. A comparison of the floor plan and the front view of the main residence of Andreas Sygros with the watercolours designed by Ernst Ziller for "Anavrita" reveals many similarities.

Therefore, we come to suppose that the design of the mansion made by Ernst Ziller for Andreas Sygros was used as a model for both his city residence and his country residence.

The Cause of De la Barre’s Execution

On August 9, 1765, the wooden crucifix on a bridge in Abbeville was vandalized. De la Barre, along with his friends Gaillard d’Etallonde and Moisnel, were the obvious suspects according to the local authorities since a serious of other blasphemies had preceded it, such as defecation on another crucifix, singing dirty songs in public, spitting on religious images, and, of course, refusing to remove their hats in front of the religious procession. This final act, according to Voltaire and other historians of the time, was considered the main reason de la Barre was sentenced to death.

Color-tinted French postcard circa 1906. Monument to Chevalier De la Barre – Paris. ( Public Domain )

Soon after the three friends were prosecuted for the criminal act, two more young men were implicated as suspects: Douville de Maillefeu, the son of a former mayor, and Belleval, the son of a local judge who had argued and clashed a few times with de la Barre. The same judge ran the whole investigation with a blind, passion-filled hate for the young nobleman, without realizing that his son was one of the men who was also accused of the vandalism. However, as usually happens in such cases, these two young men, along with Gaillard d’Etallonde, son of another former Abbeville mayor, managed to flee, even though d’Etallonde, according to much of the testimony, appeared to be the leader of the group and instigator of the crimes.

Many Questions Regarding the Principality of Theodoros - History

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the demonym of Monaco nationals?

Monaco nationals, subjects of His Serene Highness the Sovereign Prince, are called Monegasque, sometimes wrongly called Monacans. back to top

2. What is the Constitution of Monaco?

Monaco’s constitution is a constitutional hereditary monarchy. back to top

3. Who is the Head of State of Monaco?

The Head of State of Monaco is the Sovereign Prince, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. back to top

4. Who is the Head of Government of Monaco?

The Chief of Government is the Minister of State, His Excellency Michel Roger. back to top

5. How shall the Prince and His family be addressed formally?

The Sovereign Prince: His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco

Princess Charlene: Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco

Princess Caroline Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanover

Princess Stephanie: Her Serene Highness Princess Stephanie of Monaco back to top

6. Why is the Head of State of this monarchy not a King?

Monaco is not a kingdom, but a Principality and therefore the monarch is a Prince. back to top

7. Is a visa required to visit Monaco?

Whether or not you need a visa to visit Monaco depends upon the length of your visit as well as your citizenship.
Any person of foreign nationality who wishes to enter Monegasque territory and stay there for a period not exceeding three months must have a valid passport, travel document, or identity document required for entry into French territory.

Short Stays
A short stay is a stay in the Schengen area under 90 days or multiple stays totaling less than 90 days in a period of six months.
For short stays, European regulations determine the list of countries from which citizens are not required to have a visa to enter the Schengen area.
The Schengen area comprises of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen area facilitates travel between countries, treating the area as a single state with no internal border controls. All European Union members, with the exception of Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania, adhere to Schengen Agreement. In addition, Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland as non-EU members adhere to the Schengen Agreement. Ireland and the United Kingdom are also cooperating with the Schengen area.
A visa is waived for:

      1. Citizens of the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela
      2. Holders of a residence or a travel document issued by a country which adheres to the Schengen Agreement: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
      3. Holders of passports from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People&rsquos Republic of China and the Special Administrative Region of Macao of the People&rsquos Republic of China
      4. Holders of a valid residence document in France

      Long Stay
      For information about a long stay (a period of more than 90 days) please refer to the question What is required to reside in Monaco?.
      back to top

      8. My passport will expire a month after my trip to Monaco ends, is that ok?

      Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months upon the conclusion of your trip.
      back to top

      9. How is a work permit obtained to work in Monaco?

      No foreigner can occupy a salaried position in Monaco without a work permit, and any change of employer or job description necessitates a new permit. The employer who wishes to employ or re-employ an employee of foreign nationality must first obtain written permission before the employee can take up his post. Permission can be refused if job seekers with priority in the eyes of Monegasque law have the same qualifications. To register as a job seeker, an identity card with an up-to-date address or a valid residence permit must be presented.

      The order of priority is as follows:
      - Persons of Monegasque nationality
      - Foreigners married to a Monegasque and not legally separated, and foreigners born to a Monegasque parent
      - Foreigners living in Monaco and who have already worked there
      - Foreigners living in the surrounding area and are authorized to work there.

      Employers are required to declare any job vacancies to the Employment Service, who, within four days, will send them candidates for the position. In the absence of a candidate who has priority, the employer can propose an applicant.

      - if resident in the Principality, a valid Monegasque residence permit
      - if resident in France, a French identity card or a valid residence permit that authorizes him to work
      - should he live neither in Monaco, or France, the applicant must conform to the regulations concerning the entry of foreigners. In this case, the employer must draw up contract of employment for a foreign worker. Following approval from the Employment Service, this contract will enable the visa required for entry into the Principality (for those outside the European Union) to be obtained from the consular authorities of the employee&rsquos country of origin.

      In addition…
      1. Foreigners need a letter of appointment, in the form of an undertaking of employment stamped by the Employment Service, in order to obtain a residence permit issued by the Department of Public Safety.
      2. For employees that are unknown in the Principality or who have stopped working for a period of 6 months, the agreement of the Department of Public Safety as well as the Occupational Health Office are necessary to obtain a work permit.
      back to top

      10. What is required to reside in Monaco?

      We kindly inform you that Monaco does not provide Visas and that you have to apply to the nearest French Consulate for a long stay visa to set up residence.
      Here is the link to the Website of the French Consulate in Washington DC, as an example of what documents are required:

      After obtaining this visa, any foreigner over sixteen years of age has to apply for a Monegasque residence permit (&ldquocarte de séjour&rdquo) from the Residents Section of the Directorate of Public Security located at 3, rue Louis Notari in the Principality and must submit the documents listed below:

      · an abstract of their legal record of their nationality, and an abstract of their legal record from the country their coming from
      · A sworn statement stating that they have never been convicted
      · a work document endorsed by the Employment Department of the Principality, or any other professional substantiating document, or a request for authorization to set up a business or a company, or a bank reference proving sufficient means of subsistence
      · One recent photograph
      · A rental contract or a certificate of accommodation (examined by the Ad-Hoc Commission) or a deed of ownership
      · their passport.
      back to top

      11. What are the requirements for getting married in Monaco or getting married to a Monegasque citizen?

      The Marriage Requirements in Monaco

      The following is an unofficial translation of the French text published by the Civil registry Office at the Monaco Town Hall:

      Under the provisions of Article 139 of the Civil Code of Monaco, the
      marriage can be celebrated in Monaco on the express condition that one of
      the future spouse has been a resident in the Principality for over a month
      at least, before the publication of banns. (For more information on this subject, please contact the Embassy: [email protected])
      You can find the list of documents to be provided at the information desk of the Department of Civil Status of the Municipality of Monaco.

      To establish the record of marriage, one must have an appointment at the Department of Civil Status.

      - Certificate of Residence issued by:
      . Public Security for the residents in Monaco: Residents of Section 3, rue Louis Notari, MC 98000 Monaco Tel: (+377) 93 15 30 17
      . Service Nationality for people of Monegasque nationality Tel: (+377) 93 15 28 10
      . City Hall's residence.
      - Birth certificates (with affiliation) or act of notoriety (issued by Justice of Peace)
      These documents must be prepared in full copy and dated less than 3 months from day of marriage.
      Documents drawn up by the foreign authorities will be translated into French by a translator.
      If you're Italian or French you must absolutely produce a birth certificate containing all the entries marginal.

      NOTE: Acts of civil status entered on the records of the Municipality of Monaco do not have to be produced by the intending spouses.

      . In case of widowhood: the death certificate of previous spouse.
      . In cases of divorce:
      . a) For Italian nationals or French: birth certificate containing all the entries marginal (Marriage and Divorce).
      . b) Other Nationality: certificate of finality of the court.

      These documents must be registered with Fiscal Services of Monaco :

      57, rue Grimaldi
      MC 98000 Monaco
      Tel: (+377) 39 15 80 00

      Custom certificate or certificate of no impediment:

      Document that governs the marriage laws in the country of origin issued by the Consul of the countries concerned (with the exception of French and Italian).
      Military Career: Written permission from military authorities.
      Plan Status (all rules governing marital property during marriage and at its
      dissolution) the Monegasque legal system is the separation of property. If a marriage contract is drawn up by a notary certificate of the marriage
      Minors: minors can marry without the consent of a parent given before the Officer of Civil Status or meet the notary before the wedding,
      . If the father or mother is deceased (e) death certificate
      . If there are no relatives or ancestors survivors consent of the family council
      . Illegitimate child not recognized or no father and mother consent of the Board of Trust
      . Children born outside marriage, birth of the child (born outside Monaco)
      . Children born out of wedlock may be legitimated by the marriage of their parents. However, they must previously have been recognized by each of them.

      Photocopy of their identification
      Witnesses, the number of minimum 2 and maximum of 4, will be 18 years old the day of marriage, regardless of gender, nationality or parentage and
      present on the day of the ceremony, an identity.

      . if you are domiciled in Italy, a period of 2 months is required between the publication of banns and the wedding day,
      . records must be filed in Town Hall, a month before the wedding date subject to publication deadline stipulated in the certificate of practice.
      To establish the record of marriage you must make an appointment with the Department of Civil Status.
      back to top

      12. What should be done to create a business in Monaco?

      For information regarding the establishment of a business or of business activity in Monaco, please visit the official Website of the Government of Monaco:!/x13Gb?OpenDocument&Count=10000&InfoChap=%20Business%20area&13Gb
      or contact the Monaco Business Office
      9 rue du Gabian
      + 377 98 98 98 98
      back to top

      13. What should a student do in order to attend a school or university in Monaco?

      After obtaining a French Visa, any foreigner over sixteen years of age has to apply for a Monegasque residence permit (&ldquocarte de séjour&rdquo) from the Residents Section of the Directorate of Public Security located at 3, rue Louis Notari in the Principality and must submit the documents listed below:

      · an abstract of their legal record of their nationality, and an abstract of their legal record from the country they are coming from
      · a sworn statement stating that they have never been convicted
      · a work document endorsed by the Employment Department of the Principality, or any other professional substantiating document, or a request for authorization to set up a business or a company, or a bank reference proving sufficient means of subsistence
      · One recent photograph
      · a rental contract or a certificate of accommodation (examined by the Ad-Hoc Commission) or a deed of ownership
      · their passport.
      Visit:!/x5Fr?OpenDocument&5Fr for a complete list of the Educational Institutions of the Principality.
      back to top

      14. What languages are spoken in Monaco?

      French is the official language of the Principality of Monaco, English and Italian are also widely spoken and understood. Some people, including students, speak the original Monegasque language.
      back to top

      15. What time is it in Monaco right now?

      Monaco is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time, except for a couple of weeks following the changing of the clocks in the U.S. during the Spring and in the Winter in which Monaco is five hours ahead.
      The current time in Monaco is:
      back to top

      16. What currency does Monaco use?

      The official tender of Monaco is the Euro (€).
      back to top

      17. Since Monaco uses the Euro, does that mean Monaco is a member of the European Union?

      No, Monaco is not a member of the European Union however like other states such as San Marino or Vatican City it does use the Euro.
      The place of Monaco in each European Institutions

      18. What is Monte-Carlo?

      Monte-Carlo is the name of a district within Monaco, created in 1866 under Prince Charles III, which contains the internationally famous Casino, as well as other luxury hotels and leisure facilities.
      back to top

      Question 1.
      What were the conditions in Karnataka before integration?
      Why were there rebellions against the British in Karnataka?
      The present Karnataka was scattered among various principalities before integration. Apart from establishing political supremacy during the later part of the 18th century, the British exploited the people involved in agriculture and trade in order to protect their interests. This created insecurity across Karnataka. Even the local kings were insecure. As a result, there were rebellions against the British in most parts of Karnataka.

      Question 2.
      Why is the 18th century considered ‘the century of political problems’ in Indian history? The death of the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1707 weakened the Mughal empire.
      The Mughals lost political control over South India. As a result, several political struggles took place in the Carnatic region. Earlier, the death of Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar in 1704 had created problems of succession and administration in Mysuru. All these developments clouded the politics of Mysore. Hence the 18th century is considered ‘the century of political problems’ in Indian history.

      Question 3.
      How did Hyder Ali come to power?
      Hyder Ali joined the Mysore army as a soldier. He came into prominence during the siege of Devanahalli and military action against the Nawab of Arcot. Soon he weakened the power of the Dalwai (Commander-in-chief). He sidelined the king Krishnaraja Wodeyar and established control over the administration.

      Question 4.
      When was the first Anglo-Mysore war fought? What was the result?
      The British were forced to sign the Treaty of Madras. Why?
      The first Anglo-Mysore war was fought during 1767-1769. The prominence gained by Hyder Ali was not tolerated by the British, the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad. The British joined hands with the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad and attacked Mysore. Hyder Ali was successful in breaking the alliance and creating enmity and distrust among them. Meanwhile political disturbances emerged in Arcot.

      In 1767 Hyder Ali and the Nizam of Hyderabad attacked Arcot. The king of Arcot had an alliance with the British. The war started with this incident. Hyder Ali attacked the British and reached up to Madras forcing the British to come to an agreement. The war came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Madras in 1769. As per the treaty, they were to help each other if they were attacked by a third party.

      Question 5.
      Which colony of the French was under the control of Hyder Ali?
      Mahe, a colony of the French, was under the control of Hyder Ali.

      Question 6.
      What was the cause of the second Anglo-Mysore war?
      Mahe, a French colony, was under the control of Hyder Ali. The capture of Mahe by the British led to the second Anglo-Mysore war.

      Question 7.
      Who led the British army in the second Anglo-Mysore war?
      Eyre Coote led the British army in the second Anglo-Mysore war.

      Question 8.
      Explain the causes and results of the second Anglo-Mysore war.
      The Treaty of Madras signed in 1769 had put the political developments in South India on a temporary hold. When Madhav Rao.attacked Srirangapattana with the help of the Maratha army, Hyder Ali expected the British to support as per the Treaty of Madras. But the British went against the treaty and refused to support him. The British attacked Mahe, a colony of the French under the control of Hyder Ali, and captured it. This became the main cause for the war.
      The second Anglo-Mysore war started in 1780. In the beginning Hyder Ali had the upper hand. He captured Kanchipuram and Arcot and threatened to attack Wandiwash and Vellore. The British army led by Eyre Coote followed Hyder Ali till Pondicherry. The French refused to support Hyder Ali. Hyder Ali was defeated by the British at the battle of Porto Novo.

      Meanwhile, the British were successful in winning over the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad. Hyder Ali died during the course of the war. After his death, Tipu Sultan continued the war. The British tried to take advantage of Hyder Ali’s death by invading Mangalore and Bidanoor. But Tipu Sultan defeated the British and captured Mangalore. The war came to an end in 1784 by the Treaty of Mangalore.

      Question 9.
      By which treaty did the second Anglo-Mysore war come to an end?
      Which was the treaty signed to end the second Anglo-Mysore war?
      The second Anglo-Mysore war came to an end in 1784 by the Treaty of Mangalore.

      Question 10.
      What strategies did Tipu Sultan adopt to fight the British?
      The British were a major obstacle to Tipu Sultan in his policy of expansion. So he made every effort to drive them out. He knew that hurting the business interests of the British would weaken them politically. He tried to organise the enemies of the British into one group. He also tried to break the monopoly of the British over trade with India. He modernised the army and trained the soldiers in the use of modern weapons. In order to accumulate funds for waging battles, he strengthened the economy by entering into agreements and trade pacts.

      Question 11.
      Explain the causes, course and results of the third Anglo-Mysore war.
      The politics of Travancore was the main reason for the third Anglo-Mysore war. The king of Travancore built a fort in Kochi with the help of the British and captured Ayacotta and Kanganoor forts from the Dutch. This was a breach of the Treaty of Mangalore. The British captured Karwar, Coimbatore, Dindigul and other places under the leadership of Meadows.

      Tippu Sultan entered the region of Baramahal and captured Satyamangalam. But he failed in his attempt to capture Tiruchinapalli.The British army under Lord Cornwallis captured Kolar and Hosakote. He also captured Bangalore and destroyed the fort. The Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad joined forces with the British. The combined army marched towards Srirangapatna in 1792. Tippu had no choice but to enter into an agreement with the British. He signed the Treaty of Srirangapatna. With this the third Anglo-Mysore war came to an end.

      Question 12.
      By which treaty did the third Anglo-Mysore war come to an end?
      The third Anglo-Mysore war came to an end in 1792 by the Treaty of Srirangapatna.

      Question 13.
      What were the terms of the Treaty of Srirangapatna of 1792?
      The Treaty of Srirangapatna was signed in 1792 between the British and Tippu Sultan, bringing to an end the third Anglo-Mysore war. Tippu was forced to part with half of his kingdom and pay three crore rupees as war damage fee. He also had to pledge two of his children as guarantee against the payment. The British withdrew the combined army from Srirangapatna.

      Question 14.
      The Treaty of Srirangapatna was inevitable for Tippu. Explain.
      The Treaty of Srirangapatna weakened Tippu Sultan. How? Justify.
      The Treaty of Srirangapatna signed in 1792 at the end of the third Anglo-Mysore war was inevitable for Tippu. During the war Tippu had lost heavily and the combined forces of the British, the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad were close to capturing Srirangapatna. Therefore,Tippu had to accept the unfavourable terms in the treaty. He had to part with half of his kingdom and pay three crore rupees as compensation for the losses incurred by the British. He also had to pledge two of his children as guarantee against the payment. The British were thus successful in inserting unfavourable conditions in the treaty in order to weaken Tippu Sultan.

      Question 15.
      Explain the fourth Anglo-Mysore war.
      Lord Wellesley became the Governor General of India in 1798. Tippu’s attempts to form an alliance with local rulers and his closeness with the French angered Lord Wellesley. Further, Tippu sent an ambassador to France to seek the support of the French. This enraged the British. They tried to impose another treaty (Subsidiary Alliance) on Tippu. But Tippu refused to sign it, leading to the fourth Anglo-Mysore war. The British were able to destroy the strong fort. Tippu died fighting in 1799.

      Question 16.
      What were the results of the fourth Anglo-Mysore war?
      The fourth Anglo-Mysore war came to an end with the death of Tippu Sultan in 1799. Most of Tippu’s territories were shared among the British, the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad. A small territory was handed over to the royal representative of Mysore Wodeyars.

      Question 17.
      The fourth Anglo-Mysore war strengthened the position of the British in Mysore. Discuss. With the death of Tippu Sultan in the fourth Anglo-Mysore war, the supremacy of the
      English was more or less established in the Indian subcontinent. This also led to the beginning of the British rule in Mysore. The fall of Srirangapatna paved the way for the removal and destruction of all the remaining obstacles in the way of British supremacy. The whole of Mysore lay before the British and Tippu’s dominion was partitioned.

      The Marathas and the Nizam took over a few territories of Tippu. Mysore became a princely state of the British and the royal representative of the Wodeyar dynasty was given the throne of Mysore by the British. The new princely state of Mysore that was formed was completely under the British dominion. As a result of the fourth Anglo-Mysore war, the British got complete control over South India.

      Question 18.
      List the important rebellions that took place in Karnataka after the death of Tippu Sultan. Some of the important rebellions that took place in Karnataka after the death of Tippu
      Sultan were: the rebellion of Dondia Wagh, the rebellions of Chennamma and Sangolli Rayanna of Kittur. The rebellion of Amara Sulya and Puttabasappa of Kodagu,the rebellion of Venkatappa of Surapura and the rebellion of Veerappa of Koppal.

      Question 19.
      Describe the rebellion of Dondia Wagh.
      How did Dondia Wagh resist the British power?
      Dondia Wagh was born in a Maratha family of Chennagiri. He started his career as a cavalry soldier in Hyder Ali’s army and grew to the position of military general. After the death of Tippu Sultan, he built his own private army. He captured Bidanoor and Shivamogga forts and made an unsuccessful attempt to capture the Chitradurga fort. Lord Wellesley tried to check him by launching an attack on Shivamogga, Honnali, Harihara and other places which were under the control of Dondia Wagh.

      Dondia lost his base. After the capture of Shikaripura, Dondia ran away to Gutti, which was under the control of the Nizam of Hyderabad. When the Nizam’s army attacked Gutti, Dondia had to run towards the region held by the Marathas. The Maratha army attacked him. Despite losing his horses, camels and arms, he continued fighting.

      Dondia was supported by many of the unhappy Paleyagars and the French at Mahe. The British captured Shirhatti and killed many of his followers. Lord Wellesley requested the help of local rulers to end the adventures of Dondia Wagh. By this time Dondia had recaptured the Shikaripura fort. When he was caught between the Maratha army and the Nizam’s army, the British attacked him and killed him at Konagal.

      Question 20.
      Where is Kittur located?
      Kittur lies between Dharwad and Belgaum.

      Question 21.
      Why did Kittur Chennamma rebel against the British?
      After the death of her son Shivalingarudra Sarja, Kittur Chennamma adopted a boy named Shivalingappa and started ruling as queen regent. The British tried to take over the kingdom of Kittur under the policy of Doctrine of Lapse, which denied the right of adopted children over the throne. Hence Chennamma rose in rebellion against the British.

      Question 22.
      Name the British Collector who tried to take over the Kittur kingdom under the policy of Doctrine of Lapse.
      Thackeray was the Collector and political agent of the British in Dharwad who tried to take over the Kittur kingdom under the policy of Doctrine of Lapse.

      Question 23.
      Describe the rebellion of Queen Chennamma of Kittur against the British.
      After the death of Mallasarja, his on Shivalingarudra Sarja took over the reign of Kittur. But, due to his failing health, queen Chennamma had to take care of the day-to-day administration. After the death of Shivalingarudra Sarja, Chennamma adopted a boy named Shivalingappa and started ruling Kittur as queen regent. Thackeray, the Collector and political agent of the British in Dharwad, attempted to take over the Kittur kingdom under the policy of Doctrine of Lapse.

      In the battle that followed, Thackeray was shot dead and many Britishers were taken as prisoners of war.
      The British attacked Kittur again under the leadership of Colonel Deacon. The Kittur army fought bravely, but the fort fell. Chennamma attempted to flee from the battlefield but was captured and imprisoned at Bailhongal fort. She passed away shortly thereafter.

      Question 24.
      Write a note on Sangolli Rayanna.
      Explain how Rayanna fought the British.
      Sangolli Rayanna was the army chief of the kingdom of Kittur during the time of Rani Chennamma. He fought alongside Rani Chennamma for the independence of Kittur. He was imprisoned by the British, who released him later. But he continued to fight the British. He organised an army of five hundred men and held secret meetings. He aimed at looting the treasury and taluk offices of the British. In order to capture Rayanna, the British used the Des-is who were opposing Chennamma. Rayanna was treacherously captured and brought to Dharwad. He was executed by hanging to death.

      Question 25.
      Who led the rebellion against the British in Kodagu?
      Leaders like Swami Aparampara, Kalyanaswamy and Puttabasappa led the rebellion against the British in Kodagu.

      Question 26.
      Which places were parts of Amara Sulya?
      Sulya, Bellare and Puttur.the major places of Canara region, were parts of Amara Sulya.

      Question 27.
      Describe the rebellion of Amara Sulya.
      Explain the contribution of Puttabasappa of Kodagu to the freedom struggle.
      The British dethroned Chikkaveerarajendra of the Haleri dynasty in 1834. This created instability in Kodagu. Swami Aparampara, Kalyanaswamy and Puttabasappa organised a rebellion against this. Swami Aparampara, who assumed the leadership of the rebellion, was captured in 1834 while Kalyanaswamy was captured in 1837. But the people of Lower Kodagu continued the rebellion under the leadership of Puttabasappa. Capture of the government office in Bellare was the first move in this rebellion.

      He killed an amaldar which helped gain more support for the rebellion. The rebels marched towards Mangalore and looted the treasury and prison at Bantwal. The British sought the army of Thalacherry, Kannur and Bombay to quell the uprising. On learning about this development, Puttabasappa and his associates fled to Sulya. They were captured and hanged to death.

      Question 28.
      Write a note on Surapura.
      Surapura is about fifty kilometres from the present day Yadgir. It was an important place since the rule of the Mughals. It became a vassal state during the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas. A rebellion took place here against the British during the reign of Venkatappa Nayaka.

      Question 29.
      Who was Venkatappa Nayaka? How did the political agent of the British help him? Venkatappa Nayaka came to the throne of Surapura after the death of his father Krishna
      Nayaka. Venkatappa was born in 1834 and came to the throne at an early age. His ascendance to the throne was opposed by Krishna Nayaka’s brother Peddanayaka.This resulted in an internal struggle. The British interfered in the affairs of Surapura and appointed Meadows Taylor as their political agent and gained proxy power over Surapura.Taylor developed Surapura into a princely state. He appointed Peddanayaka as the Dewan. He conducted land survey of the kingdom. The revenue of the state increased due to the measures taken by him. He also took measures to educate Venkatappa Nayaka who came to power in 1853.

      Question 30.
      Describe the rebellion of Surapura.
      Why did Surapura rebel against the British?
      The British government was observing the various developments in Surapura. In 1857 it came to the notice of the government that the representatives of Nana Saheb were present in Surapura. This made the British suspicious of the king Venkatappa Nayaka’s intentions. The British appointed an officer named Campbell to report on the various activities of the king. The officer submitted a report that the king is involved in anti-British activities. The British army captured Surapura in 1858.

      Question 31.
      Describe the rebellion of Koppal.
      Who was Veerappa? Why did he rebel against the British?
      Koppal and the surrounding regions were under the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad, who oppressed the peasants. There was no way for the peasants but to revolt. The revolt was led by Veerappa who was a zamindar. He rebelled against the British and occupied the fort of Koppal and other forts in the vicinity.

      The British, with the support of the Nizam, defeated Veerappa. Veerappa fought valiantly with his small army and died in battle. The British recaptured the fort of Koppal. Even though Veerappa’s rebellion was confined to a small area around Koppal, it represented a popular peasant revolt and inspired many more in the region.

      Question 32.
      Why did the Bedas of Halagali rebel against the British?
      The Bedas of Halagali had always kept weapons with them as part of their customs and also for the purpose of hunting. In 1857, the British banned the use of weapons and asked them to surrender the weapons. Hence they rebelled against the British.

      Question 33.
      Describe the rebellion of the Bedas of Halagali.
      Halagali, a small village in Mudhol taluk of Bagalkot district, was a part of the Mudhol principality. In 1857, the British banned the use of weapons. The Bedas had always kept weapons with them as part of their customs and also for the purpose of hunting.

      They rebelled against the British when they were asked to surrender their weapons. The Bedas of Mantur, Boodni and Alagundi and neighbouring villages joined the Bedas of Halagali in the rebellion. The British army entered Halagali and suppressed the rebellion. All the rebels were hanged to death.

      Question 1.
      The first Anglo-Mysore war came to an end by the treaty of –
      (A) Madras
      (B) Mangalore
      (C) Srirangapatna
      (D) Porto Novo
      (A) Madras

      Question 2.
      The French colony that was under the control of Hyder Ali was –
      (A) Travancore
      (B) Pondicherry
      (C) Thanjavur
      (D) Mahe
      (D) Mahe

      Question 3.
      In the second Anglo-Mysore war, Hyder Ali was defeated by the British at –
      (A) Pulicat
      (B) Porto Novo
      (C) Sholinghur
      (D) Salbai
      (B) Porto Novo

      Question 4.
      The treaty which ended the second Anglo-Mysore war was –
      (A) Treaty of Salbai
      (B) Treaty of Srirangapatna
      (C) Treaty of Mangalore
      (D) Treaty of Madras
      (C) Treaty of Mangalore

      Question 5.
      Which of the following was not a condition in the Treaty of Srirangapatna of 1792?
      (A) A small part of Tippu’s kingdom was to be handed over to the representatives of Mysore Wodeyars.
      (B) Tippu was forced to pay rupees three crores towards war damages.
      (C) Tippu was forced to part with half of his kingdom.
      (D) Tippu had to pledge two of his children as guarantee.
      (A) A small part of Tippu’s kingdom was to be handed over to the representatives of Mysore Wodeyars.

      Question 6.
      The rebellion of Amara Sulya was led by
      (A) Rayanna
      (B) Venkatappa Nayaka
      (C) Veerappa
      (D) Puttabasappa
      (D) Puttabasappa

      Question 7.
      The rebellion of Amara Sulya was organised against the dethronement of the Haleri king
      (A) Swami Apa ram para
      (B) Kalyanaswamy
      (C) Chikkaveerarajendra
      (D) Venkatappa Nayaka
      (C) Chikkaveerarajendra

      Question 8.
      The British political agent who guided Venkatappa Nayaka was
      (A) Thackeray
      (B) Meadows Taylor
      (C) Campbell
      (D) Thomas Munro
      (B) Meadows Taylor

      Question 9.
      The person who led the rebellion at Koppal was
      (A) Veerappa
      (B) Venkatappa
      (C) Krishna Nayaka
      (D) Puttabasappa
      (A) Veerappa

      Question 10.
      The Bedas of Halagali rebelled against the British because
      (A) they were exploited by the British
      (B) the British occupied Halagali
      (C) the British dethroned the king of Halagali
      (D) the British asked them to surrender their weapons.
      (D) the British asked them to surrender their weapons.

      13 Interesting Facts About The German Flag

      The flag of Germany is a horizontal tricolour of Black, Red, and Gold. The first-ever appearance of the Black, Red, and Gold colour dates back to the late 18th century when Prince Heinrich XI was appointed to rule the Principality of Reuss-Greiz. Designed and hoisted in the early 19th century, the German flag was first adopted by the Weimer Republic in 1919. In 1933, the use of the flag stopped due to the Second World War but resurged in the 1950s. To know some more, let us read some interesting facts about the German tricolour.

      1. Why these colours?

      Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy

      There are many theories regarding the colour scheme of the German flag. The most popular theory is that black and gold combination is connected to the colours of the semi-official coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire. After the fall of the Roman Empire, these two colours were closely associated with Austria’s Habsburg Dynasty which was also called “Black and Gold Monarchy.”
      Source:, Image: Wikipedia

      2. Flag of a Historic Movement

      After Napolean’s defeat in 1815, the tricolour was used to symbolize the movement against the conservative order period. However, the movement fell apart within a year, the Frankfurt Parliament declared this flag as the official colours of the German confederation.

      3. Flag of the German Empire

      Flag of the German Empire

      The German Empire started in 1871 and lasted until 1918. During this period, the flag was of black, white, and red horizontal stripes in the ratio of 2:3.
      Source: Wikipedia, Image: Wikimedia

      4. Reintroduced in the Weimar Republic

      After World War I, when the Weimar Republic came into existence in 1918, the flag was first adopted in 1919 and the use of the flag lasted until 1933.

      5. Nazis did not like tricolour

      When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they replaced the flag with the Swastik flag. It was also a Nazi Party flag. It had a black Swastik in the white circle on the red field.
      Source:, Image: Wikimedia

      6. C-Pennant for the German Ships

      Merchant flag of Germany (1946–1949)

      When Allied forces occupied Germany, the German ships were required by the International law to have national ensign. The council designated a provisional pennant flag ending in a swallowtail.
      Source:, Image: Wikipedia

      7. Flags of divided Germany

      After World War II, the tricolour was adopted in West Germany on 9 May 1949. However, the flag of East Germany was almost the same but on 1 October 1959, the national emblem was placed in the centre.
      Source:, Image: Pixabay

      8. Flag of unified Germany

      Germany was unified after the demolition of the Berlin wall in 1989. Unified Germany adopted the tricolour again in the ratio of 1:1:1.

      9. The Government Flag

      The flag of the state authorities in Germany

      The flag of the government is officially known as the state flag of the federal authorities. The government flag is made of the civil flag with the federal shield at the centre. The federal shield is a variant of the coat of arms of Germany.
      Source: Wikipedia, Image: Pixabay

      10. Vertical Flags

      Flag of the Government of Germany (Vertical) Civil flag of Germany (Vertical)

      Since 13 November 1996, the vertical or hanging flags are also prescribed. Many public buildings in Germany use civil and government vertical flags. The proportions of these flags are not specified.
      Source:, Images: Wikimedia

      11. Symbol of this Tricolour

      The flag of Germany symbolizes unity, freedom, and democracy.

      12. Flag of the Unified Team

      The flag of the Unified Team of Germany

      The Unified team of Germany was a united team of athletes from West and East Germany. They competed at 1956, 1960, and 1964 winter and summer Olympics. They used the same tricolour with Olympic rings at the centre.
      Source:, Image: Wikimedia

      13. When it must be flown?

      German Flags on German Federal Parliament

      An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

      I cosign this answer. The answers you do give are more than adequate.

      Long-term will Japan be considered part of the "Greater West" given their Orthodoxy and ties to Rhomania?

      @Curtain Jerker, see below regarding Japan. The answer to the question lumps in better there.

      It's not. That's why he used the "greater west" term that's been coined before to describe advanced non-west European nations. It's a somewhat self-absorbed term to be used by the west, mostly Triunes for begrudging acceptance of a political reality with a sort of 'seperate but equal' mentality that still somewhat treats them as inferior.

      This would include Rhome, though they would certainly say they are more than advanced enough that such a designation as the periphery of Western civilization is idiotic, especially considering they control the birthplace of it, As well as Egypt and Ethiopia, I think also the Russian states too. In this regard Japan certainly would be included in this definition for the same reason as they were included among the great powers of the late 19th century. Although being Christian would make it how much easier pill to swallow for westerners.

      There is still the concept of the ‘west’ that is similar in construct to OTL, a sort-of secular descendant of the concept of Latin Christendom. The assumption that ‘west=best’ that often accompanies it IOTL is much more questionable ITTL (which is one of the goals of the TL).

      The ‘Greater West’ idea can vary from person to person. Some’s ‘Greater West’ may just be the Latin West plus Rhomania, while others might include all of the Eastern Orthodox, while others may also add Ethiopia into the mix. For really broad-minded people, Japan might squeak in because of Orthodoxy, but geographically it doesn’t make any sense to include it in the West, and its culture is still very much ‘eastern’. The Ottomans are similar, but with longer odds. Geographically they make more sense and are more likely to know and make references to ancient classics (Andreas and Osman were making references to Alexander the Great when they met on the Plains of Nineveh), but they are Muslim. The closest OTL analogy I would think of ‘is Turkey part of Europe?’

      I have a hard time finding images I feel can work for TTL. Most of the time OTL images just seem off for some reason, typically the clothing. Anyone wearing a powdered wig is out automatically, and clean-shaven individuals don’t work for Romans. There have been times when I’ve found a nice naval picture that I’d love to use, but I can’t explain why a Roman warship is flying the Union Jack.

      Having said all that, that image works well for Odysseus, albeit around 1640 or so when he’s older. He has dark skin, since he’s half-Ethiopian.


      West of the Sikh Confederacy, in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and the Indus Valley, there are no greater powers, only a shifting kaleidoscope of petty Rajas and Emirs. The closest thing to a hegemon is Ethiopia, via its enclave centered on Thatta and Hyderabad. Periodic columns combined with a river flotilla make forays up the Indus, forcing tribute from local lords, but the submission lasts exactly as long as the Ethiopians are present and no longer. The Ethiopians lack the resources to force a more durable and widespread authority, much to their annoyance. They had hoped that Thatta could be a major trade port but the chaotic political landscape has brought commerce to a shrieking halt.

      Many of the states pay lip service to being vassals of Vijayanagar, but nobody is fooled by the pretensions, including Venkata Raya. It is a cheap source of prestige for everyone involved, but otherwise meaningless. Of a decidedly more tangible nature is the complete collapse of Ottoman power still left in the region after Ibrahim’s defeat at the hands of Venkata Raya.

      In 1634 a charismatic Afghan warlord took Kabul from its Ottoman garrison, a devastating blow to Ottoman authority in the eastern marches of the empire. However the division of spoils proved unsatisfactory to some of the warlord’s underlings, including his two brothers, the ensuing quarrel quickly escalating into gunfire. The Afghan infighting, still unresolved two years later, means that they are unable to capitalize on their capture of Kabul.

      However Ibrahim is not in a position to take advantage. The war with the Romans has left him practically bankrupt, meaning he can’t pay any army he would send, while the Afghans don’t have the wealth to make a ‘the pay is your loot’ policy practical. Furthermore for the sake of the Ottoman economy and exchequer the Shah needs to demobilize many of his men. The Qizilbash and Janissary infantry all supplement their peacetime pay with side jobs, whether as small merchants, artisans, or growing vegetable plots. The Azabs also are prominent components of the economies of their local areas, with farms and businesses that need to be managed. The mass and long-term mobilization of these men for the war has left a hole in the Ottoman economy and so Ibrahim needs them back at their fields and shops. (His father had faced similar problems, but his victorious and conquering armies brought back plunder which compensated for losses in production.)

      With the loss of Kabul, the land route to Ottoman India via the Khyber Pass is cut. The only other land route would be from Kandahar via the Khojak and Bolan Passes, but those deposit the traveler on the lower Indus, far to the south of the Ottoman sliver of the Punjab. There would then be a long march upcountry through unfriendly terrain. Furthermore, a good way to make Venkata Raya care about what’s happening along the Indus would be to send an Ottoman army marching through non-Ottoman Indian territory.

      The governor at Bhakkar, the capital of the Ottoman Punjab, is Alemdar Mustafa Pasha. Taking advantage of his newfound isolation and Ibrahim’s inability to project power, he has turned himself from provincial governor to independent warlord. He maintains authority over the former province through a mix of the Ottoman garrison that sides with him, some Afghan mercenaries, and local levies. Controlling the area between the Indus and Chenab Rivers, he is the most significant of the local lords in western India.

      North of the mountains, events are proceeding much better from Ibrahim’s perspective. Theodoros I Laskaris, King of Khazaria and Siberia, is dead.

      Outside of Russia, Theodoros is mainly remembered for when, as a prince, he seized Vladimir and tried and failed to suborn the Zemsky Sobor, the direct catalyst for the sundering of the Rus. However in his middle-age, when he became King of Khazaria, he proved himself to be an exceptional military commander, although because these exploits took place in Central Asia, people then and now have largely ignored them. Devastating the Uzbeks and Oirats, forcing the cities of the Tarim Basin into vassalage, in just five years he turned Khazaria into the clear titan of the central steppe.

      However on January 2, 1634, he died and his steppe empire collapsed with him. The tribes of the steppe and the cities of the basin promptly threw off their vassalage and his son, Basil Laskaris, has been unable to re-impose Khazar hegemony. One reason is that he does not seem to have the military acumen of his father. A second reason is that Theodoros’ victories, while impressive, had also been expensive both in men and money, and it had been a strain even while Theodoros was alive keeping everyone in check.

      Another reason is that China is once again a major player in the geopolitics of Central Asia. United under the Zeng dynasty, the conquests by the Yuan and the Tieh, as well as the serious damage done by the Later Yuan, have made it absolutely clear to the Chinese that managing the steppe is an absolutely key priority. (Admittedly, earlier Chinese history made that a clear lesson already, but events over the past few centuries have made it especially explicit.)

      Therefore any rebel against Khazar dominion can count on Chinese clandestine support, the Zeng providing both money and military equipment. The Chinese have nothing against the Khazars personally, but the Chinese will not, if they have anything to say about it, tolerate any one power dominating all of the steppe. Khazaria, on the death of Theodoros I, is the power closest to fitting the bill and thus Khazaria must be humbled.

      Chinese forces have pushed as far west as the Jade Gate, establishing a garrison there. The cities of the Tarim Basin have all asserted their independence, with the Chinese supporting them all while simultaneously making sure each stays small. It would not be ideal for Khazar dominion to be replaced by another hegemon.

      North of the Tien Shan events do not proceed as ideally from the Zeng’s perspective, the humbled Dzungar Khanate promptly regaining the ground lost to Theodoros. However the Khans, who often encamp at the ruins of fallen Urumqi, lack the other dominions held by the Khazars, so even so they are much less of a threat than Theodoros was in his prime.

      Basil Laskaris survives these humiliations, although he seeks compensation in other areas. Siberian expansion has been proceeding at a steady pace, although slowed during his father’s reign by his Central Asian focus. He invests more into these efforts, financing exploratory missions as traders and trappers proceed across the vast reaches of the north. They will bear impressive fruit in just a few years, reaching the Pacific Ocean in 1640 and establishing Okhotsk eleven years later.

      In the opposite direction, Basil is immediately supportive of the new Zemsky Sobor, his father’s death being a godsend in this regard. The other principalities have not forgotten the actions of then Prince Theodoros, but do not hold the sins of the father against the son.

      One consequence of the collapse of Khazar power in Central Asia is the first contact between China and the Ottoman Empire since the days of the Tieh. Emissaries from both polities meet at Yarkand in the Tarim Basin, with an Ottoman delegation later traveling overland all the way to the Chinese capital of Luoyang. It is a most fruitful meeting for both parties as they share common interests. Both seek to keep the steppe fragmented and weak.

      Both also consider the Romans to be enemies. The Ottoman rationale is obvious. Meanwhile the Chinese have many grievances with the Romans and seek to weaken their power in eastern waters. The most obvious means of doing so would be to attack and destroy Pyrgos. However the trade there, particularly with the steadily growing flow of Mexican silver, has already grown to be too lucrative for the Zeng to wish to destroy. Well aware of the geopolitics of western Eurasia, the Chinese see supporting the Ottomans as an excellent means of siphoning Roman strength away from East Asia.

      The Ottomans present gifts which the Chinese style as tribute, then presenting counter-gifts of greater value. This is the start of an overland trade between Persia and China using the old Silk Road route, a valuable boost to the Ottoman economy especially in its current strained state. The volume and speed of trade is low due to the transportation difficulties, but unlike the maritime routes dominated by other powers, Persia and China control the narrative to the benefit of both. The staggeringly impressive fortifications of Mosul erected in the last years of the 1630s would not have been possible without the revenue derived from this overland trade.

      The development of the overland trade is a blow to Triune merchants working in the Ottoman Empire, who ferry goods from China via the maritime routes. This doesn’t bother Ibrahim all that much. The performance of the Triune-developed Ottoman navy did not match up to the promises he was given, significantly cooling the Shah’s opinion of the Triple Monarchy. That said, it does not destroy the Triune-Ottoman alliance. Both parties still have need for each other.

      Watch the video: Principality of Theodoro Mangup - the last Byzantine state (August 2022).

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