I hope this question isn't too big and broad. In my post-apocalyptic series set in the years 2050-2200 in New Zealand after a nuclear war. (this question pertains to pre-war history) This version of history diverts from our timeline as Rome doesn't just fade away entirely and a form of the Roman Empire exists and forms into a modern country alongside the British Empire/Britain. I still want Britain to colonize Australia/New Zealand/USA in this timeline.

I'm just not sure what changes to history that would be required to bring this about.

This is mostly going to be background details and not a heavy part of the story except for a faction of Romans existing in Western Australia after the nuclear war.

Some thoughts I have:

  • It would probably be easier for it to be the Eastern Roman Empire to allow room for Britain to become an Empire.
  • or the Roman Empire doesn't try to take Europe and Northern Africa and consolidates itself.
  • Could the Eastern Roman Empire focus on Persia for expansion as well as trade with China to build power?
  • Would this mean the Ottoman Empire probably wouldn't exist? Not sure what effects this would have on WWI and WWII.
  • The British probably wouldn't expand into India if there was a powerful Roman Empire nearby. (perhaps my Roman Empire could instead?)
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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, this question needs clarification. It's not clear in which time period this is set, you seem mixing roman age with middle age or even modern era. Each region has different values according to the time period (oil for romans was less valuable than crop) $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jun 25 '18 at 5:19
  • $\begingroup$ My story is set in modern times and into the 22nd Century. It diverts from when Rome fell in that Rome began to grow to become a powerful modern nation. I'm just wondering what things in history will need to change for that to happen. $\endgroup$ – Althaen Jun 25 '18 at 5:40
  • $\begingroup$ Put that in the question, then, not in the comment. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jun 25 '18 at 5:42
  • $\begingroup$ I have I was just explaining to you as well. I thought it was obvious when it is set since I mention nuclear war and Empires developing into modern nations. $\endgroup$ – Althaen Jun 25 '18 at 5:48
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    $\begingroup$ What do you need from the Romans in 2020? A two-millenia old empire probably doesn't look anything like it's beginnings. Slaves? Latin? Military terms? Senate ?Caesar? And what about the British? What needs to be the feature that endures? The Holy Roman Empire was nothing like Rome 100CE was, exept the name, e.g. $\endgroup$ – bukwyrm Jun 25 '18 at 5:48

Some would say that the Roman Empire and the British Empire actually did co-exist.

I forget exactly, but I think it was from Stanley Bing's book, Rome Inc., the idea that the Roman Catholic Church was simply a rebranding of the power base (corporation) which had previously been called the Roman Empire. We can never tell for sure, since the organizations involved were also responsible for most of the recorded history from that time, but if that were true, both empires did co-exist and compete.

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    $\begingroup$ IMHO that is a really, really goofy idea. The Roman Catholic church may have usually had its headquarters in the same city that was the functional capital of the Roman State for about 1,000 years from about 750 BC to about 250 AD. But Constantinople or New Rome was the senior capital or the only capital of the Genuine Original Roman Empire for about 1,153 years on and off from AD 330 to 1453. And there were other important Roman capitals of the Roman Empire. Continued. $\endgroup$ – M. A. Golding Jun 25 '18 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ Continued The Roman Empire was not the empire that existed to benefit people living in the city of Rome. It was the empire founded by the Roman people to benefit everyone by abolishing independent nations and thus bringing peace to the world. When evil rebel anti popes were claiming political power against the commands of Jesus Christ Rome was a provincial city out in the sticks, far removed from the center of power in the Roman Empire. $\endgroup$ – M. A. Golding Jun 25 '18 at 22:08

The Spanish colonial empire had profound similarities to the Roman empire, down to the level of large latifundia and misiones based on un-free labor, connected by a network of royal roads. The Catholic Church had an organizing role in the Spanish empire, in addition to its religious and inspirational roles.

In order to bring this Spanish-American version of the Roman Empire into the modern world, you need to prevent Napoleon from placing his brother on the Spanish throne. (This created the political opening for the British to convince many Spanish colonies to declare independence.) Here are a few ways to do this:

  • The Bourbons don't win the War of the Spanish Succession.
  • The French Revolution either does not happen, or is delayed, or takes a different course.
  • Napoleon does not take over France.
  • The Spanish are better able to resist invasion by Napoleon.

Bonus points if you can figure out a sufficient cultural change that the Spanish empire's navy becomes a peer to the British navy during the early nineteenth century. This might involve Spain adopting steam engines and railroads at the same time as the English and the Americans. It would allow Spain to dominate the Western Mediterranean, and gain control of Algeria and Italy. If this happens early enough that Napoleon's Corsica is Spanish (instead of French), this could prevent Napoleon from decapitating the empire.

  • $\begingroup$ Could England have taken France at some point and maybe with the Vikings involved somehow? $\endgroup$ – Althaen Jun 25 '18 at 6:21
  • $\begingroup$ England did take France. What if Henry V had lived to raise his son to be king of France, and avoided the Wars of the Roses… $\endgroup$ – Jasper Jun 25 '18 at 6:32
  • $\begingroup$ I'll have to do more research. Thanks for the ideas. $\endgroup$ – Althaen Jun 25 '18 at 6:37

It seems unlikely...

With the exception of Henry Taylor's suggestion (which is intriguing to say the least)

The Roman empire collapse due to many contributing reasons, and the British empire rose to power due to many contributing reasons, The Fall of Rome, which was sacked by many different groups, including the Angles, Saxons and Franks, was a important event, without it, the Angles and Saxons couldn't have settled and grown in the British isles, and the Franks couldn't have settled and grown in France, without the Franks spreading and splitting (creating many little kingdoms and nations such as the Normans) then the Norman invasion of Britain would likely never have happened, without it, there would be no Britain, no Britain no British Empire.

So realistically the Western Roman Empire really had to have fallen for the British Empire to have even existed, but the Eastern Roman empire could have survived the Fall of the Rome, and it did, ruled from Constantinople (founded as Byzantium) this became the Byzantine Empire (although still frequently referred to as the Roman Empire), this empire really wasn't the same as the classic Roman empire you probably want, as they were Orthodox Christianity and spoke Greek not Latin. I'll chuck the wiki page in rather than recount all the factors of this


But if the Byzantine Empire is good enough for your story then you need to stop the Ottoman Turks from conquering them, but they only managed this due to being weakened by a series of crusades between 1057 and 1204 performed by several nations including importantly England... part of the British Empires important early power comes from doing irreparable damage to the Eastern Roman Empire...

This is why i thinks its unlikely, and as an aside, Empires tax goods and services even if they are just passing through, the British Empire wouldn't have accepted paying extra to the Roman Empire. they already had enough issues with other countries hence the amount of Wars they started (I'm British myself, don't argue that we didn't start them, yes some were started by others but we started a lot of them) they wouldn't tolerate yet another competitor to their power

But as i said above Henry Taylor's answer is a real theory, a crazy one, but bizarrely its a crazy and at the same time plausible one, so i guess it depends on how you feel about it

Just as an alternate suggestion

In the Fallout computer games, the world has suffered extreme nuclear fallout for a long time, and there are a few different factions trying to restore order and even more trying to take power. one of the factions that (from there own warped perspective) that are trying to restore order is Ceasar's Legion, the entire faction grew out of a historian, Edward Sallow, who was captured by the Blackfoot Tribe, while he was being held for ransom, he ended up explaining the roman empire to the tribe, along with other information like gun maintenance and small unit tactics, they made him their leader and he took the name Caesar, and organised the tribe into a legion (hence the name)

So my question is do you need the Roman Empire to survive at all, or can someone pick up some history books and realize that when it came to Pre-Firearm fighting... the Romans really were very advanced. if your post apocalypse tribes either had no access to firearms or it has been so long there are no bullets left, then it is actually believable that an organised group would probably make roman weapons and use roman tactics, and it wouldn't take that big of a leap for them to take the name and adopt the culture of their greatly successful icons

  • $\begingroup$ Well my main inspiration for this is actually Fallout games as this is for a game I am making. I first thought about Caesars Legion from New Vegas but I dunno I felt like copying it directly would be cheating haha. I had wanted them to be a mix of the Brotherhood and the Enclave with Romanesque power armour, ready to conquer the wasteland. I guess I could have a military group take after the Romans. $\endgroup$ – Althaen Jun 25 '18 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ or maybe it's a secret army of the Vatican? :P $\endgroup$ – Althaen Jun 25 '18 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Althaen, Roman-esque factions appear in many games, and TV, the important factor is what drives them that changes across the games. Caesar's Legion is a faction that's leader got way too full of himself, and abandoned his beliefs as part of the "follow's of the Apocalypse" its very possible that a Roman inspired culture could have genuinely noble intentions,, no slavery, they are out to save the world normally not by killing everything, but their military follows Roman Traditions. copying the concept isn't cheating, the detail is. so long as the detail is different enough, then you're fine $\endgroup$ – Blade Wraith Jun 25 '18 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ @ Blade Wraith. Once upon a time there was a realm that claimed to be both Roman and British, the realm of the Romano-Britons in post Roman Britain that began about 407. And the overlords of all the former provinces of Britain might have claimed to be Roman Emperors, successors of Constantine III. So I can imagine the Roman-British empire becoming more British over time and conquering many overseas colonies while the eastern Roman Empire reconquers part of the west and stays more Roman. $\endgroup$ – M. A. Golding Jun 25 '18 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ one of the major defining moments in British history was the Norman conquest, A powerful Romano-Briton would have defeated William the Conqueror and then whatever happened after that would have been unpredictable as the Anglo-Saxon Britons did not explore outside of Britain (as far as i can tell) after settling there. it was the Norman influence that led to the conquest of the British isles as a whole and then pushing them further. a weak Romano-Briton would still have lost to the Normans and likely led to a similar history we have today $\endgroup$ – Blade Wraith Jun 27 '18 at 8:17

If Rome had really broken it's teeth on the Northern Germanic tribes during the Cimbrian Campaign, 113-101 BC, rather than getting a moderate slapping and backing off, their continued conquests would have been halted before any invasion of the Albion. They'd either have had to pull back and consolidate their existing holdings or push their northern frontier to permanently remove the threat on that border, I think they'd have done both. Pulled back for a decade or so, secured their existing realm learned from their defeat trained in new tactics and then gone after the Germanic Tribes with a vengeance. If they won such a campaign what you get then is a Roman Empire that is a little more measured in it's territorial pursuits and goes after land it can walk to and looks more to the continent than the sea. Albion grows slowly on the edge of the empire, it exploits it's free access to the Atlantic in a way the Romans don't, they look inward not outward, Albion spreads out into the world and trades along the edges of the Americas and up and down the African coast. Remember the geology and climate haven't changed so the British Isles are still the place to be when advances in technology come along, good abundant wood, plenty of metal ores, coal and fireclay. The industrial revolution is still going to start in Britain, or whatever they're calling themselves, for the same reasons geological advantage and the pressure to compete with a larger neighbour, only moreso.


IMHO it would be fairly easy, if you limit it to the Eastern Empire. Indeed, you could say that it actually happened, if you view the Ottoman Empire as a continuation of the Eastern Roman Empire.

If you want a more "Roman" Empire, perhaps the only change needed is to ensure that Muhammad gets in the way of an arrow on one of his early caravan raids. Thus there is no Islam, the Eastern Empire and the Persians continue their centuries-old stalemate but are able to successfully resist the Mongols and other Asian invaders...


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