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Authors: Geoff Fabron

The Eternal Empire

 

 

 

 

THE ETERNAL EMPIRE

 

An alternate history novel of The Roman Empire in
the 20
th
Century

 

By Geoff Fabron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text
copyright © 2012 Geoffrey Fabron

All
Rights Reserved

 

Dedication

To my wife Lesley for her support, my son Robert for
his ideas and my daughter Victoria for the drawings and amazing cover picture.

Also thanks to Gary Mitchell for his encouragement
to push ahead and publish 15 years after I first wrote it!

 

 

Table
of Contents

The
Eternal Empire - Foreword

MAIN
CHARACTERS

MAPS

Chapter
One

Chapter
Two

Chapter
Three

Chapter
Four

Chapter
Five

Chapter
Six

Chapter
Seven

Chapter
Eight

Chapter
Nine

Chapter
Ten

Chapter
Eleven

Chapter
Twelve

Chapter
Thirteen

Chapter
Fourteen

Chapter
Fifteen

Chapter
Sixteen

Chapter
Seventeen

Chapter
Eighteen

Chapter
Nineteen

GLOSSARY
OF TERMS

 

 

The
Eternal Empire - Foreword

 

Why
the Roman Empire fell has been the subject of academic debate and investigation
for centuries. Gibbons monumental 'History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire' is the most well known work on the subject but there have been many
other books since then which have investigated various aspects of the collapse
of Rome and have attempted to explain the reasons behind it. One of the dominant
themes encountered in these books is that of whether the fall was inevitable.
With hindsight, it is generally possible to point to long term social or
economic trends, or overwhelming external pressures to shoe that Rome was
powerless to prevent its collapse.

But
was it inevitable? In the western world we tend to look upon either the sack of
Rome in 410 by Alaric or when Odoacer deposed the last Western Emperor in 476
as the end of the Roman Empire. However in the East the other half of the
Empire continued to live and prosper. Constantinople remained as the capital of
an Empire that survived for another thousand years - more than twice as long as
the combined Empire had been ruled from Rome. To history it became known as the
Byzantine Empire after the ancient town of Byzantium upon which Constantine the
Great built his new capital. Yet throughout its existence, its Emperors and its
people thought of themselves and referred to themselves as Romans. In them the
Roman Empire continued, with an unbroken chain of Emperors until the last,
Constantine XI died defending the walls of Constantinople against the Ottoman
Turks in 1453.

If
the Empire lasted another thousand years after the city of Rome fell, why not
fifteen hundred or two thousand?

In
the sixth century, the eastern Empire under Justinian the Great attempted to
re-conquer the Western provinces from the Germanic tribes that occupied them..
Africa fell quickly and a few enclaves in Southern Spain were established but
it took a twenty year war to dislodge the Ostro-Goths from Italy and the
peninsular was devastated. At about the same time the eastern Empire was
ravaged by a plague that decimated the population reducing both the manpower
pool for the army and the economic base to support a war of expansion. Justinian's
re-conquest ground to a halt.

This
is the point at which the alternate history in 'The Eternal Empire' diverges
from what really happened. In the history of ‘The Eternal Empire’ the
Ostro-Goths in Italy succumb to the armies of Justinian as quickly as the
Vandals had in Africa. There was no plague in the East to sap the resources of
the Empire, and after Italy, Spain was retaken from the Visi-Goths and
eventually Gaul from the Franks. By the end of the sixth century Roman armies
once again patrolled the Rhine. In due course Britain also rejoins the Empire.

With
the Western provinces united with the East, the long war with Sassanid Persia
at the beginning of the seventh century does not drain the Empire as it did,
and consequently allows a more effective defence against the armies of Islam
that burst out of Arabia so soon after the peace with Persia. Syria and
Palestine are still lost to the Arabs (the Empire still loses the Battle of
Yarmuk) but Egypt is held. The armies of Islam concentrate more on the East and
conquer most of India instead.

Due
to the greater strength of the Empire, the Turkish migrations of the tenth
century that led to the eventual demise of the Byzantine Empire are unable to
penetrate into Anatolia (Asia Minor, modern Turkey) and instead head through
the Caucasus into Southern Russia. The Ottoman Empire establishes itself in
what is today south-east Europe and the Ukraine having its border with the
Empire on the Danube.

The
New World is discovered by Roman Explorers in the sixteenth century but only
North America is colonised as population pressures in Europe are not as acute
as historically occurred. The Aztec, Mayan and Inca Empires suffer the
historical depredations caused by their contact with diseases from Europe but are
allowed time to recover and maintain their own civilisations rather than being
destroyed and subsumed by European culture. In the eighteenth century the Roman
colonies in the New World revolt over taxation and imperial interference,
declaring their independence. The United Provinces are formed with a government
modelled after that of Republican Rome.

In
Europe the German tribes beyond the Rhine develop into a number of States, the
largest of which is Saxony in northern and central Europe, and there are
regular wars between the Germanic States and the Empire. Only in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries do German and Roman fight together to halt
the Turkish advance into Europe.

By
the beginning of the twentieth century, the Rhine and the Danube are still the
borders of the Roman Empire in Europe. Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) is a
Roman province with a Greek speaking population, and Syria and Palestine are
part of the Arabian Caliphate. Egypt has changed hands between the Arabs and
the Empire half a dozen times in the past twelve hundred years and is once
again a Roman province but with a large Moslem Minority. Railways criss-cross
the Empire linking distant provinces like the old Roman roads used to. Motor
vehicles and air planes are relatively recent inventions and although they are
fairly common they are not widespread.

At
the end of 1919, as the novel begins, the Roman Empire is the dominant nation
in Europe.

 

 

MAIN CHARACTERS

 

 

Cornelius Petronius  - 
Diplomat in Imperial Service. Assigned to Minden Embassy to assist with trade
negotiations

Titus Petronius   -  Younger
brother of Cornelius. Junior Tribune in legio II Augusta in Britannia

Tiberius Petronius   - 
Uncle of Cornelius and Titus. Recently appointed Legate of legio I Germanica on
Rhine frontier

Gregory Nicerites   -  Senior
Civil Servant in Constantinople. Served with Cornelius in North Africa

Marcus Metellus   -  Served
with Cornelius on the Rhine. Now a member of the Imperial Assembly for the
Modernist Party

Sextus Capito   -  Served
under Cornelius in Britannia. Now Quastor (senior financial officer) in
Britannia

Manual Dikouros  -  Husband
of Stephanie Dikouros. Commander of the Roman Armies on the Rhine Frontier

Stephanie Dikouros   - 
Wife of Manual and current mistress of the Emperor

Anatolius Petronius  
-  Father of Cornelius and Titus. Successful businessman

Julia Petronius   -  Mother
of Cornelius and Titus

Fulvia Antoninius   -  Daughter
of close friends of Petronius family and long time friend of Cornelius

Issac Taronites  -  Roman
Ambassador to Kingdom of Saxony

Lucullus Drusus   -  Head
of Legion Guard Unit at Ambassy in Minden and in charge of Intelligence
gathering

Frederick Malaric   -  Saxon
Count and head of Trade Affairs in the Kingdom

Katherine Malaric   -  Younger
sister of Frederick

Franz Malaric   -  Younger
brother of Frederick and Katherine. Staff Officer in Saxon Army Headquarters

Paulus Godisger   -  Saxon
Count and overall commander of the Saxon Army

John Phocas -  Leader
of Modernist Party in the Imperial Assembly

Basil Diogenates   -  Recently
appointed Governor of City of Tarraco in Hispania

Felix Gallus -  Provincial
Governor of Province of Hispania

Alexander Ducas   -  Emperor
Alexander IX of the Roman Empire

Leo Ducas   -  Commander
of the Army of Egypt

Manual Strategicus  -  Commander
of the Army of Asia Minor

Gunther Hortar  -  Saxon
Count and head of Foreign Affairs in the Kingdom

Otho VIII  -  King of
Saxony

Romanus Philokates  -  Governor
of Britannia

Demetrius Dalassenis 
-  Replacement Governor of Britannia

Claudius Probus  -  General.
Chief of Imperial General Staff

Isaac Opus  -  Head of
Imperial Treasury

Magnus Lepidus  -  Member
of Modernist Party

Demetrius Exanzenus  - 
Senator. Very rich head of large commercial conglomerate

Leo Laetus  -  Radical
Party leader in Tarraco

Rufius Gallicus  -  Auxiliary
Commander in Tarraco

Virius Primus  -  Junior
Tribune in legio II Augusta

Quintus Flaccus  -  Leader
of Britannia’s rebel Assembly

Lucullus Verus  -  Chief
Minister of Empire

Georges Carbaros  -  Personal
Assistant to Gregory Nicerites

John Bryennius  -  Junior
Tribune in legio II Trajana

Silvanus Anemas  -  Intelligence
Officer (Tribune) at Rhine Army Headquarters

Marcellus Comnenus  -  Deputy
Commander of Roman Army on the Rhine Frontier

Quintus Drusis  -  Commander
of a Fortress on the Trajan Line in Germania

Alexius Cabasila  -  Chief
of Staff of the Roman Army on the Rhine Frontier

Constantine Monomachus 
-  Governor of Pannonia

Munius Burrus  -  Tribune
of Auxiliaries in Britannia

 

MAPS

 

 

 

 

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