Would the Eastern Roman empire have lived longer if it shifted to N Africa early on

greatstreetwarrior

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
3,871
What if after defeat in successive battles against Arabs in Syria, the Byzantines decided that instead of defending Anatolia it was better to move to North Africa and shift capital to Carthage. Defend Egypt and focus on an empire based in North Africa. That would be easier to defend, easier to get support from European powers and not get isolated in Turkey for centuries to eventually lose. At max they could have lost Egypt but would have held on westwards from Libya onwards and with local support of Berbers. Would this have been a better strategy for survival.
 
Aug 2014
1,832
Huntington Beach CA
What if after defeat in successive battles against Arabs in Syria, the Byzantines decided that instead of defending Anatolia it was better to move to North Africa and shift capital to Carthage. Defend Egypt and focus on an empire based in North Africa. That would be easier to defend, easier to get support from European powers and not get isolated in Turkey for centuries to eventually lose. At max they could have lost Egypt but would have held on westwards from Libya onwards and with local support of Berbers. Would this have been a better strategy for survival.
Byzantium was too commercially valuable to shift away from at that time. And Carthage realistically was indefensible against an enemy that knew how to move through desert in a way that Roman legions could not. At least Constantinople had, in the Bosporus, a moat which was not breached until 700 years after the initial Muslim conquest. Carthage had no such defences. Once Egypt was conquered, Carthage was probably doomed to be Muslim.