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Spoilers for Flint/Weber's Dance of Time series...

Okay, so at the end of the last book, the Byzantine Empire is in a good place. They've made friends with Persia, Axum, and several important Indian realms. Their true rival Persia will be busy in the Indus valley for some time. Byzantine lands were not ravaged in the wars. Their coffers groan with looted Malwa (and Persian, heh) treasure. They have a gunpowder army. Link has introduced a number of interesting ideas and technologies to them.

So ...

Is this the time to retake the western empire? By the nature of things, their gunpowder monopoly will not last forever. If they want to make a play for lost territories, this is the right time. Their armies are experienced but not exhausted. They have a crushing technological advantage over the Goths and Vandals. Even though Belisarius has retired, they have plenty of good generals running around.

I wouldn't recommend they go for the full monty -- overstretch is still a problem, and with the capital way in the East, it would be difficult to administer Gaul and Spain. But if they wanted to snap up Italia and North Africa at least so far west as Tunisia, it'd be way cheaper than in our timeline.

Does it make sense for them to act now? How far West should they go? Or should they consolidate and enjoy the soon-to-reopen Silk Road trade revenues?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Gallifreyan, Blackwood, Yasskier, Au101, Bellatrix Sep 11 '17 at 3:30

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