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Social consequences of reconquest

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Aldarion, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. Aldarion

    Aldarion Sage

    OK, I am doing background on history of my setting, and now am writing background on Fomorian invasions - which, in my world, replace barbarian invasions. Now, important parts are these (based on combination of Irish legends about Fomorians and history of Western Roman Empire and barbarian invasions):

    So what occured to me is that above is rather similar to Muslim conquest of Iberia and later Spanish Reconquista. But there are some questions:
    1) Military organization. I was originally going for Byzantine thematic system, since we do not have foreign elites taking over domestic population. But is that realistic? Seeing how there would have been local warlords which either cooperated with Fomorians or else managed to resist them (e.g. mountains), would this lead to development of feudalism or would the Empire be able to coopt them from the start? Or maybe there would be some mixture of thematic system and proper feudalism, seeing how central government never really disappeared though it was reduced in size? So maybe central army + thematic provincial armies + magnates retinues? What about possible religious military orders (I imagine "demonic-looking beings from under water would rather help their appearance)?
    2) Social and cultural impact. Would Fomorian invasions lead to development of kinda-sorta chivalric ideals or warrior ethos? I do not imagine these would be concerned with honour as such, considering the context, but there might be some code developing anyway. Or maybe - considering how dangerous they were - invasions would lead to emphasis on avoidance of direct military confrontation, and focus on diplomacy? Or maybe even both?
    3) Political impact. What is the likelyhood of the Empire splitting into two or three different states and having to be forcibly reunited later? And when would that happen?
    4) Anything I am missing here?
  2. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    I'll try to give some input.

    1. I don't think that you can have feudalism and a powerful central government at the same time. The basis of feudalism is to my knowledge the collapse of central authority and so feudalism and a centrally controlled military force like the Byzantine military systems are in my opinion incompatible. Therefor I think that you need to essentially pick one as the main type and let the other be, at best, a supplement to that main system.

    Like you can have a royal army in a feudal system, but its just a regional army with a fancy name. And you can have private forces in a thematic system, but the private forces are essentially extras.

    2. Chivalry, to my knowledge, was partially based on the fact that you suddenly didn't just have fighting between nations/tribes but suddenly also within these groupings but also that castles prevents final resolution to the feuds. Hence chivalry partially developed as a way to mitigate the effects of internal feuds that could not easily be resolved by bloodshed by giving some common rules of conduct for the participants. Add to that also the "Peace of God" movement and you've got a basis for a semi-independent warrior elite that forms a code of conduct of its own to prevent itself from tearing itself apart by internal fighting.

    3. Very, very small and the chance of a later reunification is even smaller.
  3. Aldarion

    Aldarion Sage

    So since central authority never really collapsed - similar to Asturias - Barcelona - Vasconia in Spain after Muslim conquest - thematic or maybe pronoia system would make more sense than feudalism.

    BTW, there can be royal army in feudal system - look at Hungarian Black Army. As for private forces in thematic system, what would be their role and would they mean danger of too much decentralization?

    The Development of the Komnenian Army
    The power of the Dynatoi of the Byzantine Empire : AskHistorians

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