|Anecdote on Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Diplomacy
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|Author:||Karak Norn Clansman [ Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:16 am ]|
|Post subject:||Anecdote on Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Diplomacy|
Given the partially Byzantine inspiration for Warhammer High Elves' precarious situation of depopulation, mighty fortifications and mustering of forces to protect themselves plus glittering Hoeth of the straits (Constantinople, anyone?), this should be relevant here, for the sworn foes of Ulthuan:
Kenneth Harl of Tulane University gives a lecture here on the western steppe peoples' and the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire during the first half of the Middle Ages.
Early on, he explains why Eastern Roman diplomacy was so complicated. Having survived the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Eastern half drew lessons from the chaos. One lesson learnt was to trust in the extremely well-fortified walls of Constantinople (and lesser, though still very sturdy walls around cities such as Thessaloniki, which became islands of order in the sea of chaos, collapse and depopulation) and to withdraw to within the city walls whenever steppe nomad enemies showed up.
Another lesson was to divide and conquer and never let a strong confederation of tribes arise on the steppe, mastering a daft game of hazard with bribes, gifts, alliances and other subtleties to play off one nomad group against another and never let them coalesce under one overpowering confederacy such as the Huns had achieved under Attila. Keep them fighting among themselves. The Chinese dynasties far to the east attempted to do much the same thing:
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