Belisarius Group

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
*sigh*

Tolwyn prevented the military from taking over the government in False Colors -- but he only did this because, had the military coup occured, he would have been unable to go on with his project...
 

Penguin

Spaceman
Greywolf: Visogoths is spelt Visigoths. An answer to your question about Byzantium would be very long and tedious. However: the Huns were arguably the most powerful tribe in the fifth century AD. However their control over other peoples rested heavily on the fact that everyone feared the Huns. After a defeat at the hands of the Roman general Aetius and Attila's death a couple of years later, this fear evaporated. It very quickly became a bad idea to be Hun at that point...
The Visigoths helped destabilize the eastern empire by winning a crushing victory at the Battle of Adrianople in 378 AD. However they shortly migrated further westwards and so contributed practically nothing to the collapse of Byzantium.
The collapse of Byzantium in its last days can be attributed to it's sheer lack of power. The incompetence of certain emperors brought about crushing defeats. The cumulative effects of Crusades, Bulgar, Serbian and Ottoman Turkish wars eventually sapped what little strength the empire had left. It finally fell in 1453, a relic of a bygone age.

Bandit LOAF: I don't approve of military coups but in Belisarius' case I'm willing to make an exception.

LeHah: I'll accept I was a bit harsh and I apologize.



[Edited by Penguin on 06-12-2001 at 19:27]
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Think nothing of it, Penguin. Just relish in the fact you found something I wasn't fully aware of. :)

Slide...
 

Greywolf

Rear Admiral
Thanks for the information Penguin. My Dark Ages History is a bit on the rusty side. I only wish that my school had a class in Medieval History.
 

Dralthi5

Spaceman
No, damn you, you can't!!

I'm sleepy, I'll go lay down now.

Seriously, FC does have a pretty involved story that may be hard to follow.

[Edited by Dralthi5 on 06-12-2001 at 22:49]
 

mpanty

Keen Commander
Originally posted by Dralthi5

Seriously, FC does have a pretty involved story that may be hard to follow.
Especially for the non-WC expert...
I trust no one here falls into that category? :)
 

Penguin

Spaceman
I'll clarify my position on Belisarius and Justinian. When Justinian was emperor of the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire there were 2 major threats. They were the Persians and Avars. The Persians were in Iraq and Iran. The Avars were in Romania. When Justinian became emperor the empire was relatively prosperous.

Justinian made use of this lull to attempt a reconquest of the western provinces. Basically there is nothing wrong with this. However after initial success things went wrong. The reconquests in Italy and Africa were continuously contested. The Persians and Avars seized the opportunity to invade.

Why would a coup attempt by Belisarius be good? Well as I mentioned before Justinian wasn't a general - he was a politician. Determined to ensure that no general would ever become powerful enough to challenge him, he did the following things, which undermined the empire's war effort.

1) He often supplied the commanders with an inadequate amount of supplies, soldiers and even payment of the soldiers' wages. This actually led to mutinies.
2) He constantly divided the commands. Hence there were several generals operating in the same theater and they could never cooperate.
3) Justinian specifically shuttled Belisarius between different theaters thus preventing him from getting anything done. This also applied to other commanders.
4) By fighting insisting on fighting so many wars & embarking in an overly ambitious civic building program, the emperor strained the empire's resources. The fact that he held everything together is a tribute to his own administrative ability and luck.

The real fundamental reason I see for a coup attempt is that the emperor's policies were progressively weakening the empire. By attacking peoples who were not a direct threat Justinian neglected the serious threats. The policies I outlined above made a lasting victory difficult to achieve anywhere. The fact that Justinian ended up winning the wars can be attributed to good luck, the competence of various commanders, particularly Belisarius and Narses and the nature of his enemies. Now I'm not saying that Belisarius would make a better emperor than Justinian. There is probably good evidence that he wouldn't. However, if he did get in control, he would find ways to rapidly end the wars. And that would definitely benefit the empire. The real fault with Justinian is that he failed to adequately supply the campaigns. Thus he failed to achieve what he set out to do - that is reconquering the western provinces. And he allowed the campaigns to drag on when realistically they could have been brought to a successful conclusion sooner than they were. The last thing is that there was no need to reconquer the western provinces.

[Edited by Penguin on 06-13-2001 at 00:10]
 

Penguin

Spaceman
Greywolf: Don't worry about it. Medieval history isn't particularly important these days.

Bandit LOAF: Correct as always.

Quarto: I didn't get quite that angry. Honest! :)
 

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
Sorry about the thread necro here.
(I was brushing up on my medieval era history and happened to remember this topic was discussed)

Regarding Justinian, wasn't much of his incompetence attributed to Theodora who was supposedly paranoid about General Belisarius's popularity & military successes? I think the name for the conspiracy group is pretty fitting though. After all how many civilians and soldiers died in the Battle of Earth. I would have been livid if I was in that situation. The top priority of any government is supposed to be the safety of its citizens. Demilitarizing the army so quickly after the truce was suicide. I'm honestly surprised there wasn't a coup immediately after the Battle of Earth.

Penguin
I'd say your mostly right on your summary of Justinian, the worst mistake by far was leaving the Eastern flank of the Empire unguarded while the army was fighting the Vandals & Goths. Justinian was forced to pay thousands of pounds of gold annually from a depleted treasury just to hold peace. However the Persians still took advantage of the situation and sacked Antioch which was the 3rd most important city of the Roman empire & thoroughly ravaged Syria (arguably one of the Empire's most important & wealthy provinces). I think that was a disaster that really began the economic downturn that sapped the empires economy.

But you omit a a few key events that may have caused the Italian war to drag on so long .
The Bubonic Plague or Plague of Justinian struck the roman world soon after the initial victory of the Italian campaign. The Gothic counterattack may have been a response to take advantage of the devastation that the plague caused to the empire. It was estimate that 1/3rd of the population of cities died from the plague and even the emperor got badly sick. The loss of manpower & productivity from that plague was likely the main factor that caused the empire to be unable to respond to new & existing threats especially as the empires resources were already well overextended. It would have taken centuries for the population of the Empire to recover from that disaster. No-one can even begin to imagine the horror that plague must have unleashed.

Also the period of the 530s-550s saw not the introduction of not just the worst plague in human history but also a period of intense global cooling which caused crop failures and famines across the world and frequent earthquakes which ruined cities along the Eastern Mediterranean coast. For that matter Antioch had been leveled by a quake before it was sacked by the Persians and its port silted over making its recovery impossible. Basically that period was ugly time to live in as it seemed like even Nature itself was at war with civilization. It would have taken a long period of peace for both societies & economies to recover from those disasters.
That said the Empire did survive Justinian's incompetence - a later Emperor by the name of Maurice stabilized the Balkans and Italy and made peace with Persia (ending the huge annual gold payments that kept the Empire bankrupt). Essentially if Maurice was not assassinated Justinian's legacy would have survived.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Wow, "thread necro" is putting it mildly :). Seeing the names in this thread without initially noticing the age of the thread was a remarkable experience - all those wonderful WC fans of the past, all long gone. Penguin, mpanty, Dralthi5, TC, Earthworm, Graywolf... wow.

Now you've gone and made me sad. This community is so, so much smaller these days... :(
 

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
Wow, "thread necro" is putting it mildly :). Seeing the names in this thread without initially noticing the age of the thread was a remarkable experience - all those wonderful WC fans of the past, all long gone. Penguin, mpanty, Dralthi5, TC, Earthworm, Graywolf... wow.

Now you've gone and made me sad. This community is so, so much smaller these days... :(
Haha yeah I haven't checked into these forums for years myself so I'm happy to see they're still going but without any new Wing Commander games for several years it gets hard maintaining community support.
<sigh> the modding community can only do so much.

Anyway for people interested in a bit of history here's an interesting article about the climate abnormalities of the 6th century and the disasters that were associated with it. If one thing its a reminder that civilization is only ever 9 meals from anarchy.
http://www.academia.edu/5644885/The_Justinian_plague_and_global_cooling_in_the_sixth_century_AD
This may be the root of the problem which caused Belisarius' campaign to be undone in Italy. And that extended war was certainly disastrous for Italy. Many of the original barbarian conquerors of Italy actually maintained a pro-Roman stance (e.g. Theodoric) which meant that much of the economy and infrastructure of Italy was preserved and still running well into the 6th century. Unforunately that delicate balance of pro-Roman barbarian leaders failed to be sustainable which ignited tensions between the barbarian rulers of Italy and Constantinople.
The Gothic war at the time of Justinian actually goes down as one of the most brutal wars in late antiquity with entire cities depopulation and massacred and infrastructure in ruins. Italy did not really recover after this war for many centuries.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Wow, "thread necro" is putting it mildly :). Seeing the names in this thread without initially noticing the age of the thread was a remarkable experience - all those wonderful WC fans of the past, all long gone. Penguin, mpanty, Dralthi5, TC, Earthworm, Graywolf... wow.

Now you've gone and made me sad. This community is so, so much smaller these days... :(
Bah, I met mpanty in real life, he's not that great :p (Kidding, of course, I miss him too as well. Though as I unterstood it he really isn't interested in Space sims anymore.)

It's true that the Forums seem to have gotten quieter (in my case that's mostly because every WC question I ever had and every WC topic I wanted to discuss has been answered and has been discussed right here in these forums). On the other hand, I think it's amazong that there still remain news that capture my attention on the main page and I am utterly amazed at all the cool fan projects that are underway (and I am sure I know only of a small percentage).
 
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