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Glimpse of European History Thread #149

Posted by RB Kollannur on November 27, 2021

A Princess married off to a foreign land, the beginning of a long term relation between two regions, not existing at the time.

A former Queen who ran away with a noble.

A King who sent his daughter to the farthest corner of his realm.

Judith was born around 844 to King Charles of West Francia and Ermentrudis of Orleans. In 843, after three years of civil war, the Carolingian Empire had been divided into three by the sons of Emperor Hludowic. Charles, the youngest, had received the western part. 1/10


While Charles struggled with rebellions, he got an offer for an alliance from across the Channel. King Æthelwulf of Wessex was returning from a visit to Rome and married Judith in 856. She was crowned Queen of Wessex, unlike her husband's earlier wives. 2/10


King Æthelwulf was of advanced age. His eldest son, Æthelstan, who was under King of Kent, Sussex, Essex and Surrey, appears to have died earlier, but he had many more sons – Æthelbald, Æthelberht, Æthelred and young Ælfred who had accompanied his father to Rome. 3/10


Æthelbald was in charge of Wessex when his father had gone to Rome. But with the arrival of a new Queen he appears to have gotten worried about his inheritance. He rebelled against his father, a rebellion which led to an informal division of the Kingdom. 4/10


But the division was shortlived, since King Æthelwulf died in 858. The young widow, Judith, quickly found a new husband though; the new King of Wessex – King Æthelbald. But he died in 860. Aged 17 and twice widowed, Judith returned to West Francia. 5/10


Before long the Princess found a new husband, a young warrior named Baudouin. But the King wasn't happy. They ran away first to the Vikings in Frisia, north of West Francia and later to Rome to plead their case. Eventually, father and daughter reconciled. 6/10


King Charles sent his new son-in-law to his northern frontier, creating a March (and later County) for him. It was a region constantly in danger of Viking raids. But Baudouin was up to the task and held on to Flanders, and created a stable province. 7/10

Judith died in 870 but Flanders would continue to flourish. Her son, Baudouin, would marry Wessex King Ælfred's daughter Ælfthyrth and the close association of Flanders and England, which Ælfred's descendants would go on to rule, would continue for many generations. 8/10


Judith's descendants would not only rule in Flanders, but also nearby Boulogne, Hainaut and briefly in Constantinople. Though its initial eastern boundary was set at River Scheldt, it expanded eastwards into what later became the Holy Roman Empire. 9/10


The tug of war between France and the Holy Roman Empire for Flanders would continue, while Flanders tried to be independent. But in 1493, Flanders was lost to France after the Habsburgs inherited it and defeated France to keep it. 10/10


Originally tweeted by Ranjith Kollannur (@Arby_K) on November 26, 2021.

Judith, Queen of Wessex, Margravine / Countess of Flanders – The beginning of Flanders region, initially part of West Francia (France) but later Holy Roman Empire (Core part of which became Germany), before it became one of the major regions of Belgium. The relation between England and Flanders was also initiated during this period, with Judith’s son (and later Count of Flanders) marrying the daughter of her stepson Ælfred, King of Wessex.

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Glimpse of European History Thread #148

Posted by RB Kollannur on November 23, 2021

A centuries old Principality.

A period of enlightenment.

But an unyielding autocrat takes power and a revolution gets triggered, bringing to end the old Principality.

César-Constantin-François de Hoensbroeck was born in 1724 to Ulric Antoine de Hoensbroeck and Petronella Salome von Nesselrode. Hoensbroeck were a noble family from Limburg, but César de Hoensbroeck spend most of his life in Liège. 1/10


He studied at Heidelberg and, after a brief stint at Aachen cathedral, was ordained as a priest in 1752 at Liège. Liège was, at the time, run by the Bavarian Prince, Johann Theodor von Wittelsbach, who was also the Prince-Bishop of Liège. 2/10


Prince-Bishopric of Liège was an ecclesiastical Principality of the Holy Roman Empire, one of the many scattered across the Empire. There was also a larger Diocese of Liège, over which the Prince-Bishop had only the ecclesiastical responsibilities of a Bishop. 3/10

Liège had become a Principality in the 980s when German King Otto re-formed the Holy Roman Empire. Its Bishop Notger became the first Prince-Bishop of Liège and his successors as Bishop were imperial Princes of the Empire. 4/10


The Prince-Bishopric gained the Counties of Loon and Horne over the centuries. In the meantime, the House of Valois-Burgundy, and later the House of Habsburg, consolidated the provinces in the region to form Seventeen Provinces. Liège had managed to stay out of it. 5/10


In 1772, François Charles de Velbrück became the new Prince-Bishop. He had extensive experience as a diplomat and in clergy. He undertook many reforms in Liège, updating the laws and improving access to education. 6/10


Velbrück died in 1784 and it was Hoensbroeck who became the new Prince-Bishop. Hoensbroeck reversed many of his predecessor's reforms, making him unpopular. As the discontent rose, an event in 1789 France had an impact on Liège. 7/10


A month after Bastille was stormed, revolution reached Liège. Hoensbroeck's officers were captured or removed and a Republic was proclaimed. A year later, César de Hoensbroeck fled from Liège and took refuge in the Empire. 8/10


The Republic was short lived though, after Habsburg forces captured Liège in 1791 and brought back Hoensbroeck. Hoensbroeck, however, died the next year and was succeeded as Prince-Bishop by his nephew, François de Méan. 9/10


However, popular opinion remained against the Prince-Bishop. In 1795, France annexed Liège ending the existence of the Prince-Bishopric. After the collapse of the French Empire, most of its area would end up in Netherlands, and later in Belgium after 1830. 10/10


Originally tweeted by Ranjith Kollannur (@Arby_K) on November 23, 2021.

César-Constantin-François de Hoensbroeck, Prince of Liège (1784-1789, 1791-1792), Bishop of Liège (1784-1792) – Liège was an imperial holdout of sorts since it was practically the only province in the Low Countries that did not see Habsburg rule. But its fall eased its absorption into Netherlands and later Belgium after the Congress of Vienna.

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Glimpse of European History Thread #147

Posted by RB Kollannur on November 19, 2021

Rivers can be centres of civilizations.

But they can also be the battleground for civilizations.

A land named after a river, fights for its independence.

Bogdan was born sometime in the 14th century. He appears to have been of Vlach origin and from the Hungarian province of Maramureş near the Eastern Carpathian mountains. The Carpathian mountains served as a boundary for the Kingdom of Hungary. 1/10


Not far east of the Carpathians was the Mongol Empire, but by the middle of the 14th century they had been divided and their control waning. The Mongols had invaded Hungary in the 1280s, but they were pushed back at the time. 2/10

The Sicilian House of Capet-Anjou had acquired the Hungarian throne after the extinction of the House of Árpád that had ruled Hungary from its beginning. They sought to secure the eastern borders from further Mongol invasions. 3/10


Sometime towards the middle of the 14th century, Dragoş led many from Maramureş over the Carpathians and settled near River Moldova. This new settlement, later known as Moldavia, became a marcher province of the Kingdom of Hungary. 4/10


The Hungarian King, Lajos, strengthened the royalty and kept the nobility inline. Bogdan may have been the voivode of Maramureş in early 1340s, but the two seem to have gotten into conflict soon after Lajos became King in 1342. 5/10


Bogdan then went east crossing the Carpathians, displacing the Hungarian voivode of Moldavia, and broke away from Hungary. By 1365, King Lajos had taken away Bogdan's provinces in Maramureş, for his rebellion, and given it to the displaced voivode. 6/10


Around the same time, Lithuania had defeated the Golden Horde capturing the Rus' Principality of Kyiv. This reduced the Mongol threat to Moldavia allowing Bogdan to consolidate his rule over it. 7/10


King Lajos, in the meantime, was occupied in the Balkans and in Italy. He would also later inherit Poland from his maternal uncle, King Kazimierz, the last Polish King from the House of Piast that founded Poland. 8/10


Moldavia continued beyond Bogdan, with varying levels of connections to Poland, Lithuania, Hungary and Byzantium. After the fall of Constantinople, it came under the Ottoman sphere of influence. 9/10


Russia gained eastern Moldavia after the Russo-Turkish War that ended in 1812. This region is currently part of Moldova. The remaining part united with Wallachia in 1859 to form Romania. Treaty of Trianon added Transylvania to Romania in 1920, along with part of Maramureş. 10/10

Originally tweeted by Ranjith Kollannur (@Arby_K) on November 19, 2021.

Bogdan, Prince of Moldavia (1359-1367) – Beginning of Moldavia as an independent entity. Western Moldavia joined with Wallachia in 1859 to form Romania, to which Transylvania was added on later, while Eastern Moldavia is now the main part of Moldova.

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Glimpse of European History Thread #146

Posted by RB Kollannur on November 16, 2021

A governor rebels and sets up a Principality.

The beginning of centuries of resistance against foreign rule, which ends with the creation of a nation.

Basarab may have been born around 1270 to Thocomerius. Not much is known about his early life, except that he was a Vlach. Wallachia was a region that had linkages with the Bulgars, the Hungarians and the Mongols. 1/10


Vlachs lived in an area surrounded by the Danube River on three sides and the Southern Carpathians in the north. Many of them were Orthodox like the Bulgars that dominated the region. 2/10


Sometime in late 13th century, Radu Negru, voivode of Făgăraş in Hungary is said to have crossed the Southern Carpathians from Transylvania to settle in Câmpulung founding Wallachia. But this also brought a stronger role for Catholic Hungary in the region. 3/10


Basarab is referred to as the voivode of Wallachia by Charles Robert, King of Hungary, in 1324. Charles Robert had a contentious hold on his Kingdom, since he was a Sicilian Prince with French origins, though related to the House of Árpád that ruled Hungary till 1301. 4/10


While Charles Robert tried to rein in the Hungarian oligarchs, Basarab was able to push for independence. Basarab also allied with the Bulgars, marrying his daughter to Ivan Alexander, whose uncle, Mihail Šišman, became the Bulgarian Tsar in 1323. 5/10


But the alliance met with a disastrous defeat at Velbužd in 1330 against the emerging power in the Balkans, Serbia. Tsar Mihail died in the battle and Basarab was wounded. The defeat gave King Charles an opportunity to retake control of Wallachia. 6/10


But it was Basarab who came on top at Posada against Hungary in 1330. The victory ensured the independence of Wallachia. The next year, Basarab supported his son-in-law in becoming the Tsar of the Bulgarian Empire. 7/10


In 1344, Basarab made his son, Nicola Alexandru, his co-ruler. Nicola succeeded his father on his death in 1352, but took a more friendly tone towards Hungary. The House of Basarab would rule Wallachia for over two centuries. 8/10


After 1417, Wallachia would come under the influence of the Ottoman Empire, when the then Prince Mircea had to acknowledge Ottoman suzerainty and pay tribute. However, his son Vlad Dracul and grandson Vlad Drăculea would both resist Ottoman rule. 9/10


In 1881, Wallachia became an independent nation, joining with neighbouring Moldavia to form Romania. After the Great War ended in 1918, Romania was enlarged with the addition of Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia (named after Basarab), but retained only Transylvania. 10/10

Originally tweeted by Ranjith Kollannur (@Arby_K) on November 16, 2021.

Basarab, Prince of Wallachia (1324-1352) – Beginning of Wallachia, one of the core parts of Romania, as an independent entity.

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Glimpse of European History Thread #145

Posted by RB Kollannur on November 12, 2021

A rebel Prince who declared himself Emperor.

An island caught in the crossfire.

But the "Emperor" trips up in a storm and the island becomes an expensive war booty.

Isaakios was born around 1155. While his mother’s name or his father’s identity are unclear, what is certain is that his maternal grandfather was Isaakios Komnenos, son of Byzantine Emperor Joannes and his wife, Piroska (Eirene) of Hungary. 1/10


In 1143, on his deathbed Emperor Joannes nominated as heir his younger son, Manuel, although Isaakios was older. The relation between the brothers, Manuel and Isaakios, appear to have been contentious after the younger one became Emperor. 2/10


In 1174, Emperor Manuel send his grand nephew, Isaakios, to govern Cilicia. But this got him into conflict with the Principality of Armenia, who captured and imprisoned him. With the Emperor's death in 1180, his connection with Constantinople and chance for freedom weakened. 3/10

But his future brightened when Andronikos Komnenos effectively usurped Emperor Manuel's son, Alexios, from the throne. Theodora, the mistress of Andronikos and aunt of Isaakios, secured his release. However, Isaakios did not return to Constantinople. 4/10


Instead he went to Cyprus with a forged letter claiming to be the island's new Governor and took control of the island. In 1184, he declared himself to be the new Emperor. Andronikos, in the mean time, had his hands full in Constantinople. 5/10


In 1185, Andronikos had been killed and Isaakios Angelos was the new Emperor. Angelos dispatched a fleet to retrieve Cyprus, but they were captured by Margaritone of Brindisi. Isaakios managed to hold on to Cyprus, for the time being. 6/10


This changed in 1191 when soldiers from the west shipwrecked onto the island during a storm on the way to Levant. They were soon followed by Queen Joan of Sicily and Princess Berenguela of Navarre, sister and fiancé of King Richard of England. 7/10


Seeing his close ones in peril, King Richard soon followed. Before long Isaakios was captured and Cyprus was under new management. Isaakios was given as prisoner to the Knights Hospitallers, while the Knights Templar bought Cyprus. 8/10


The Knights Templar could not pay up for Cyprus and so, returned the island to Richard. The King then gave it another try. This time former King of Jerusalem came forward. Guy de Lusignan became the Lord of Cyprus in 1192 and after his death, his brother was crowned King. 9/10


Isaakios was freed around 1194. When Emperor Isaakios Angelos was deposed by his elder brother, Alexios, Isaakios launched a bid to seize the throne with the help of the Sultanate of Rûm, but the plan was a non starter because Isaakios died soon, likely poisoned. 10/10


Originally tweeted by Ranjith Kollannur (@Arby_K) on November 12, 2021.

Isaakios, Lord of Cyprus (1184-1191) – Cyprus had been under some form of Roman rule since 58 BC, when Isaakios acquired the island. This led to a divergent future for the island since it came under Latin influence for the next four centuries before Ottoman conquest in 1571, over a century after the Byzantine Empire had fallen to the Ottomans.

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Glimpse of European History Thread #144

Posted by RB Kollannur on November 9, 2021

A young noble in trouble after a kidnapping gone wrong.

An unexpected King, who lost his Kingdom.

The lord of an island and the beginning of a 300 year long Kingdom.

Guy de Lusignan was born around 1150 to Hugues de Lusignan, Lord of Lusignan and Bourgogne de Rancon as the sixth of their seven sons. By 1168, Guy's eldest brother, Hugues, had died and the elder Hugues captured in battle in the Levant at Harim in 1164. 1/10


Lusignan was part of the vast Duchy of Aquitaine then ruled by Duchess Eleonore and her husband, King Henri of England. Geoffrey, another elder brother of Guy, attempted to acquire more land but was dealt with, harshly, by King Henri. 2/10


Geoffrey and Guy retaliated by ambushing Duchess Eleonore while traveling in Aquitaine. Though the Duchess escaped, her lieutenant, Earl Patrick of Salisbury was killed. The Lusignan brothers were seen in Levant not long after that. 3/10


The Levant had been occupied by Crusader states since the turn of the century. But the lead state, Kingdom of Jerusalem, was struggling. King Baudouin was doing well defending his Kingdom, but leprosy was taking its toll on him and he had no immediate heirs. 4/10


The King had two sisters, elder Sibylle and younger Isabelle. By 1177, the 17 year old Sibylle was already a widow and needed to look for a new suitor. There were no shortage of suitors, especially from the other Crusader provinces, but the attached politics was murky. 5/10


Guy de Lusignan's elder brother, Aimery, rumoured to be the lover of King Baudouin's mother, Agnes de Courtenay, seems to have retained influence in the court. In the middle of all the political battles in the background, it was Guy de Lusignan who married Princess Sibylle. 6/10


In a move that divided everyone in the Crusader states, the two married in 1180. Guy was made Regent of the Kingdom but failed when Kerak was besieged by Salah al-Din ibn Ayyub in 1183. King Baudouin had to rescue the struggling forces, despite his failing health. 7/10


King Baudouin died in 1185 and was quickly followed by his successor, Sibylle's son from her first marriage, the next year. Sibylle became Queen regnant and made Guy King. But his leadership eventually led to the defeat at Hattin and the loss of Jerusalem in 1187. 8/10


Captured at Hattin, King Guy was released by Salah al-Din in 1188. An attempt to go to Crusader held Tyre was prevented by Corrado di Monferrato. Queen Sibylle's death in 1190 and her sister's marriage to Corrado di Monferrato complicated Guy's claim to the Kingdom. 9/10


Guy and Corrado recovered Acre, which became the new capital of the Kingdom, in 1191 with the help of newly arrived Crusaders. But Isabelle was now the new Queen. Guy ended up with the island of Cyprus instead and was succeeded by his brother, Aimery, on his death in 1194. 10/10

Originally tweeted by Ranjith Kollannur (@Arby_K) on November 9, 2021.

Guy de Lusignan, Lord of Cyprus (1192-1194) – The Crusader states were at a crossroad when Guy married Sibylle. Kingdom of Jerusalem had been facing strong opposition from the Zengids and later, Saladin, who usurped the Zengids. But they had managed to hold on. However its future was uncertain because of Baudouin’s illness. Attempts to bring princes from Europe (Like Fulk of Anjou, couple of generations earlier) did not meet with success and the fractured periphery vying for power didn’t help. Guy de Lusignan was a neutral candidate to placate the politics of the Crusader states, but he could not rise to level of his predecessors in defending Jerusalem. His conflict with his sister-in-law’s husband, Corrado di Monferrato, also did not help matters.

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Glimpse of European History Thread #143

Posted by RB Kollannur on November 7, 2021

A nation under siege by invaders, foreign and local.

A veteran knight comes back from retirement to lead the nation.

A pivotal moment in the history of an island.

William Marshal was born around 1147 to John FitzGilbert, Master Marshal of the English King’s household, and Sibyl de Salisbury, daughter of the Earl of Salisbury. It was a tumultous time in England with the Anarchy in full flow. 1/10


Initially loyal to King Etienne, John FitzGilbert switched to Empress Matilda's side during the civil war. In 1152, after FitzGilbert's castle at Newbury was besieged by the King, young William, then his father's fourth and youngest son, was given away as a hostage. 2/10


John FitzGilbert continued to fight the King though. Fortunately for William, the King decided not to execute the hostage. Meanwhile, the civil war got settled with Empress Matilda's son, Henri d'Anjou, nominated as King Etienne's heir. 3/10


Later, Marshal went to Normandy and trained to be a knight with his mother's relative. By 1168, he had gained the reputation of a knight and became part of his uncle's retinue. Later the year, he accompanied his uncle to protect Queen Eleonore of England, when tragedy stuck. 4/10


The rebellious Lusignans ambushed the Queen on the way to Poitiers. Though the Queen managed to escape, they killed Marshal's uncle and captured Marshal. Marshal was later ransomed by the Queen. Fortunately for Marshal, the incident brought him closer to the royal family. 5/10


Marshal was attached to retinue of Young King Henri, the son of King Henri crowned as Junior King in 1170. The two got along really well, hitting the knight tournament circuit. Marshal was closely associated with the young King when he rebelled against his father as well. 6/10


Though the young King's rebellions failed (He died in 1183), Marshal managed to stay in good grace with the King. In 1189, when the King had to deal with another rebellious son, Marshal was there to protect his escape and unhorse a chasing Prince Richard. 7/10


Marshal retained an important role in the court even when Prince Richard became King Richard, and his role continued under Richard's successor, King John. Marshal backed John's claim to the throne over John's nephew. For his support, King John made Marshal Earl of Pembroke. 8/10


But by 1205, Marshal was well out of favour. His lands in Ireland (Received thanks to his Pembroke connection) were razed by King's agents. But the King needed him when the Barons, backed by France, rebelled in 1215. When he died 1216, Marshal supported 9 year old Henry III. 9/10


Marshal's backing proved crucial in changing the tide of war. When French Crown Prince Louis and the rebellious Barons attacked England, it was 70 year old Marshal who led the English to victory at Lincoln. A further defeat at sea and the invaders retreated back to France. 10/10


Originally tweeted by Ranjith Kollannur (@Arby_K) on November 5, 2021.

William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke (1199-1219) – Marshal’s leadership and the defence of the young English King played a vital role in preventing the French conquest of England in 1217.

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Glimpse of European History Thread #142

Posted by RB Kollannur on November 3, 2021

A Prince who seized his nephew's throne, but lost an Empire.

A King whose death almost saved his Kingdom.

John d’Anjou was born in 1166 as the youngest child of Henri d’Anjou, King of England, and Eleonore d’Aquitaine, Duchess of Aquitaine. As his parents’ fourth son to reach adulthood, a regnal role was unlikely in the offing for Prince John. 1/10


King Henri also ruled over Normandy, Anjou and Maine. When his third son, Geoffrey, married Constance de Bretagne, Duchess of Brittany, it brought a large part of France under Angevin control. But Prince John was unlikely to inherit any of his parents' domains. 2/10


In 1177, John was given the Lordship of Ireland, after the English managed to acquire part of the island. But soon his fortunes changed after his eldest brother's rebellions and death in 1183. In 1186, his brother, Geoffrey, died leaving behind a posthumous son, Arthur. 3/10


In 1189, King Henri died and John's remaining elder brother, Richard, became King. The new King named Prince Arthur his heir, but went off to Levant for a Crusade soon, with the French King. John was able to gain authority in England, during his brother's lengthy absence. 4/10


King Richard's return reversed John's fortunes. He fled for Normandy, but eventually reconciled with his brother. John was named heir instead of Arthur, but when King Richard died in 1199, the French provinces sided with young Duke of Brittany. 5/10


The next few years saw King John and Duke Arthur alternatively siding with the French King, who in the end managed to acquire Normandy, Anjou and Maine. Arthur was put in prison by King John, where he subsequently "disappeared". 6/10


In 1203, Arthur's three year old half sister, Alix de Thouars, became the Duchess of Brittany, while all that remained of the vast Angevin Empire in France was a weakened Duchy of Aquitaine. The reversal of fortunes had a heavy impact in England. 7/10


Already burdened by the cost of his brother's Crusading escapades, King John had to be creative on raising revenue. After a tiff with Pope over appointment of Archbishop of Canterbury, he managed to raise revenue from churches. But by 1213, he had to reconcile with Church. 8/10


A French conquest of England lurked in the shadows. King John, allying with the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, took on France, but they failed spectacularly at Bouvines in 1214. The defeat also led to a civil war in England, with the Barons rebelling against the King. 9/10


Faced with difficult options, King John signed Magna Carta, which gave more power to the Barons. But the King soon reneged on it, though the position of the Barons strengthened further with French support. The King's death in 1216, however, led the Barons to switch sides. 10/10


Originally tweeted by Ranjith Kollannur (@Arby_K) on November 2, 2021.

John d’Anjou, King of England (1199-1216), Duke of Aquitaine (1204-1216), Duke of Normandy (1199-1204), Count of Maine (1199-1204), Lord of Ireland (1177-1216) – The collapse of the Angevin Empire that held a prominent space in France virtually ended the interconnection of England and France since Norman conquest in 1066. Though Magna Carta was reneged, it still forms an initial form of written Constitution in the world. King John’s death at a critical juncture during the rebellion of the Barons allied with the French crown led many of the Barons switch to the royal side. Though the French crown prince invaded England without the support of these Barons, it was easier for the English to defend against it, preventing a French conquest of England.

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Glimpse of European History Thread #141

Posted by RB Kollannur on October 29, 2021

A divided Empire, reunited.

But a more permanent division is on the cards, after the heir to the throne is executed.

Flavius Iulius Crispus was born around 303 to Flavius Valerius Constantinus and Minervina. His grandfather, Constantius, was Caesar of West, working out of Augusta Treverorum (Trier). In 305, Constantius was promoted to Augustus of West after Diocletian & Maximian abdicated. 1/10


Constantius died in 306, making Flavius Valerius Severus, who had become the Caesar of West in 305, the new Augustus. But the troops of Constantius proclaimed his son, Constantine, as Augustus. With a civil war in the offing, Constantine was named the new Caesar of the West. 2/10

But that made things worse. Maxentius, son of Maximian who had abdicated in 305, declared himself Emperor in Rome. Severus rode out of his capital in Mediolanum (Milan) but was defeated, captured and later killed by Maxentius, aided by his father, Maximian. 3/10


Constantine allied with Maximian, marrying his daughter, Fausta, in 307. But the alliance was a mute one. The Western Empire was in a state of civil war for the next few years, until 312 when, at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, Maxentius died drowning in River Tiber. 4/10


The Eastern Empire took till 313 to resolves its differences, when Valerius Licinianus Licinius confirmed his rule after defeating his rival at Tzirallum. Earlier in the year, Licinius and Constantine had allowed for Christians within the Empire with an Edict at Mediolanum. 5/10


The alliance of the Western and the Eastern Emperors was strengthened with the marriage of Constantia, Constantine's sister, to Licinius. In 317, Crispus was named Caesar of the West along with his two year old cousin, Licinius, as Caesar in the East. 6/10

Crispus ruled from Augusta Treverorum in Gallica Belgica, like his father and grandfather before him. He became Consul in 318, along with the senior Licinius, and was succeeded by his father and the younger Licinius in 319. But things soon turned sour between the Emperors. 7/10


With experience in military gained by victories against the Franks and the Alemanni, Crispus led the battle against imperial navy of the East at Hellespont. After his son destroyed his enemy, Constantine made quick work in dispatching the remainder of his opponent's forces. 8/10


Empire now reunited, Constantine called for a Council at Nicaea to standardize Christianity. He also started building a new capital, one fit enough to rival Rome, in East. With the elder and experienced Crispus overlooking his brothers, the future of the Empire was bright. 9/10

This changed in 326 when Crispus was executed on his father's orders. The kin slaying continued under Constantine's sons and his dynasty died out in 363 with Julian. The Empire soon got divided into two with the Eastern half centred around the new capital Constantine built. 10/10

Originally tweeted by Ranjith Kollannur (@Arby_K) on October 29, 2021.

Flavius Iulius Crispus, Caesar (317-326), Consul of Rome (318,321,324) – Though no actual reason has been known for his execution, the death of Crispus meant when Constantine died in 337, his sons Constantine (Aged 21), Constantius (Aged 19) and Constans (Aged 17) succeeded him, with their cousins as their deputies. It didn’t take long for the fighting to start. Though the Empire was reunited under Constantius in 350, by 354 the only other male remaining in the dynasty was his cousin Julian, who succeeded Constantius in 361. After Julian’s death in 363, it didn’t take long for the Empire to get divided into two with Constantinople as the Eastern capital and Mediolanum (and later Ravenna) as the Western capital. Had Crispus lived on, he may have been able to keep his brothers in check, given his age and experience and prevented the division.

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Glimpse of European History Thread #140

Posted by RB Kollannur on October 26, 2021

A broken Empire, finally breaks away from its past.

A showdown of civilizations.

A time when even religions were at crossroads.

Hērakleios was born around 575 to Hērakleios and Epiphania. It is likely Hērakleios had Armenian ancestry, though the Kingdom of Armenia had been divided up by the Roman Empire and Sasanian Persian Empire over a century earlier. 1/10


The Roman Empire had seen a period of expansion and decline before Hērakleios was born and was in deep financial stress. Mauricius, who became Augustus in 582 and married his predecessor's daughter, was able to reverse some of the Empire's earlier military defeats. 2/10

In 602, Mauricius faced a rebellion led by Phocas. Phocas got the upper hand and though Mauricius and his sons fled the Roman capital, they were captured and later executed. The senior Hērakleios had in the meantime become the Exarch of Africa. 3/10


Phocas turned out to be unpopular. He also had to deal with a new war against the Sasanians. Mauricius had helped Shah Khosrow gain a firm hold on the Sasanian throne and his family's execution was a convenient excuse to push Persian boundary westwards. 4/10


In 608, Hērakleios rebelled against Phocas. In 610, the younger Hērakleios arrived at Constantinople by sea against Phocas on Senate request. Phocas was overthrown and Hērakleios named in his place. He still had to contend with Persia, a bankrupt Empire & a tribute to Avars. 5/10

Sasanians had the initial advantage. By 621, they had conquered the Levant and Egypt and made deep inroads into Anatolia. The religious differences of the versions of Christianity followed in Levant and Egypt with that of Constantinople played a role in the conquests. 6/10


But Constantinople's defences held. Hērakleios reorganized his remaining army and launched a counter offensive. By 622, he had reconquered Anatolia and soon he was taking the battle to Persia. In 627, he defeated his rivals at Nineveh, after which the Sasanians imploded. 7/10

A civil war erupted in Persia and the Shah was killed by his son, who replaced him. The new Shah made peace with Hērakleios. In 629, Hērakleios took the title Basileus, Greek for King, and soon Greek was the language of the Empire, instead of Latin. 8/10


With peace attained, Hērakleios introduced monotheletism to heal the divided views among Christian religions within his Empire. But it only meant that he had one more religion to deal with. Peace was short though, since a new force had risen from the Arabian desert. 9/10


Hērakleios was unable to overcome the differences within his Empire as he saw Levant and Egypt fall yet again to a foreign army. But he left behind a more stable Empire than the one he got, and was succeeded by his sons in 641. 10/10

Originally tweeted by Ranjith Kollannur (@Arby_K) on October 26, 2021.

Hērakleios, Byzantine Emperor (610-629) – Hērakleios shifted the Eastern Empire from Latin to Greek, which remained its main language till the fall of the Empire in 1453 with Latin fading in use. With Latin remaining prominent in the fallen western half of the Empire, this marked a further split between the two halves of the Roman Empire. He also had to deal with different factions of Christianity in his Empire, but his attempt to unite the factions failed and helped in the conquest of Levant and Egypt by the Arabs.

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