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Medieval and Byzantine History Medieval and Byzantine History Forum - Period of History between classical antiquity and modern times, roughly the 5th through 16th Centuries


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Old December 26th, 2017, 11:57 PM   #11

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Historians sustain that Andronico [Andronikos Doukas] was the man of a kind of conspiracy coming from an internal fight for the power and that he betrayed the Emperor [Romano IV] ... a nice clue of this is that the new Emperor was a member of Doukas family ... [Michele VII Doukas].

Since it's probably that without this betrayal the Byzantines would have won ... we can say that the ERE begun to fall because of a mere internal fight for the power.

Imagine if the ERE won that battle, capturing the Sultan ...
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Old December 27th, 2017, 12:12 AM   #12
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Politicians putting self interest ahead of the nation... resulted in Anatolia to change away from Greek to Turk identity. It is one of the biggest historical mistakes I can think of.

From Turk side the objective was Fatimid Egypt. Byzantines were a side distraction. But decentralised Turk bands of mercenaries saw an opportunity in Byzantine civil war. They were literally given the keys to several cities to garrison. After the claimants to the throne who hired them died, they simply kept Nicaea and other lands for themselves.

The Byzantines gave their own empire away.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 12:32 AM   #13

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From a psychological perspective, in imperial age [also in the old Roman Empire] it happened that individuals with power, may be imagining that the Empire was eternal [or something like that], preferred to fight for the crown instead of ensuring a future to the Empire. And this usually endangered a lot the survival of the Empire in case there was an enough strong and determined potential invader around.

I would comment saying that the figure of the "statesman" was still well far to come.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 02:12 PM   #14
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It's out of doubt that the defeat at Manzikert in 1071 CE was a signal that something was going wrong [after two centuries of expansion] and that the pressure of the Turks was increasing more and more.

Probably the Basileus had to understand better the context: during the battle the Turks sent a delegation to ask him to stop the hostilities [the Turks wanted to face the Fatimid more than the Eastern Romans]. But there was the Sultan on the battlefield and the ERE forces were superior in number to the Turkish ones [in that moment].

On August 26th the Emperor attacked [sure to win].

It seems that after an initial positive phase, when the Emperor was quite isolated with his forces around the enemy camp, the Turks attacked him. It was enough that the cavalry commanded by Andronico Ducas attacked as well to keep the situation in favor of the Romans, but he [this is what seems to have happened] begun to say that the Emperor was dead, encouraging his forces to go away. The other ranks interpreted this behavior as a withdrawal and the entire Army escaped ...

The Basileus remained alone with the central ranks and he got captured.
Sorry if I replied late. ><
Romanos Diogenes made a mistake in every confronting the Seljuq Turks, as were gaining regional power in the middle-east. And I'm not surprised that the Byzantine administration had any betrayal. You may say its a few remaining Roman traditions that you gotta betray your empire. And another mistake was hiring Frankish and Norman mercenaries to begin with. The Varangians proved to be very useful and dedicated to the effort.

I have read about the Seljuq Persianate wanting to deal with the Fatiminds. Didn't the Seljuqs offered the Romans something in return by beating the Fatiminds?

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Historians sustain that Andronico [Andronikos Doukas] was the man of a kind of conspiracy coming from an internal fight for the power and that he betrayed the Emperor [Romano IV] ... a nice clue of this is that the new Emperor was a member of Doukas family ... [Michele VII Doukas].

Since it's probably that without this betrayal the Byzantines would have won ... we can say that the ERE begun to fall because of a mere internal fight for the power.

Imagine if the ERE won that battle, capturing the Sultan ...
Well if the Byzantines were to win, then that would've been thr purest of pure luck. But I doubt they would capture the sultan (or shah) as they have no use in having him. Just basically giving him and his troops and escort back and not returning to the border again.

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Politicians putting self interest ahead of the nation... resulted in Anatolia to change away from Greek to Turk identity. It is one of the biggest historical mistakes I can think of.

From Turk side the objective was Fatimid Egypt. Byzantines were a side distraction. But decentralised Turk bands of mercenaries saw an opportunity in Byzantine civil war. They were literally given the keys to several cities to garrison. After the claimants to the throne who hired them died, they simply kept Nicaea and other lands for themselves.

The Byzantines gave their own empire away.
I made a thread about the Fatiminds. I mean they are a strong opponent to face. The fatiminds have many experiences in facing multiple factions as they dealt with Berbers, Nubians, Moors, and had minor skermish with the ERE about some disagreements. But I doubt the Turks were about to ever defeat them.

If the ERE were to leave the Seljuqs and ignore the minor raids by having an alliance with the papal states (as the ERE aid them during the battle of garigliano) and HRE and gave some common ground then maybe that side distraction that the turks were giving will think other wise.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 11:46 PM   #15

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The problem was that the defeat at Manzikert opened the rooms of Anatolia to the Seljuq. It didn't take a long time before the "Sultanate of Rum" [and the name contains a clear reference to the land of the Romans] occupied a large part of that peninsula, forcing ERE to withdraw.

I cannot exclude that a different policy by the Eastern Emperor could have been better: to avoid the direct confrontation with the Turks, leaving them go South to face the Fatimind power.

Obviously such a confrontation would have distracted the Fatiminds. I could even think to the Emperor to find a kind of agreement with the Seljuq about modern the coastal region.

With an alliance with the HRE, Rome and Byzantium had a good chance to reach an equilibrium with the Islamic powers, keeping the Mediterranean as a natural border and seeing a well more quick "reconquista". This would have substantially changed the history of Europe. I'm wondering if national states would have come out or if the imperial authority would have survived ...
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Old December 27th, 2017, 11:50 PM   #16

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A part speculations, going back to the OP, the decision to face the Turks was the initial cause of the fall of ERE, the internal divisions were the primary cause of the defeat of Manzikert which was the beginning of the end of the Eastern Roman power in minor Asia.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 04:31 AM   #17
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The problem was that the defeat at Manzikert opened the rooms of Anatolia to the Seljuq. It didn't take a long time before the "Sultanate of Rum" [and the name contains a clear reference to the land of the Romans] occupied a large part of that peninsula, forcing ERE to withdraw.

I cannot exclude that a different policy by the Eastern Emperor could have been better: to avoid the direct confrontation with the Turks, leaving them go South to face the Fatimind power.

Obviously such a confrontation would have distracted the Fatiminds. I could even think to the Emperor to find a kind of agreement with the Seljuq about modern the coastal region.

With an alliance with the HRE, Rome and Byzantium had a good chance to reach an equilibrium with the Islamic powers, keeping the Mediterranean as a natural border and seeing a well more quick "reconquista". This would have substantially changed the history of Europe. I'm wondering if national states would have come out or if the imperial authority would have survived ...
Plus in fact the battle of manzikert and the Seljuq takeover of Anatolia gave birth to the crusades and made way for Europe going to the new world as the turks sealed the silk road to the west.

But it'll also be disastrous for the Seljuqs to even face the Fatiminds in their prime. Like let's say if the Turks managed to take Jerusalem with success. Then you will have a serious war cry coming from Cairo as they will rally up together and to get rid of the turks for good. But in that scenario Jerusalem would've been literally destroyed by both Islamic forces. As the Fatiminds will declare the Seljuqs as Heathens, Heretics, and of course their favorite word...Infidels. As it'll become the worst jihad and holy war to ever inflict on Palestine as a whole but by which the ERE will be breathing a huge sigh of relieve as they will be glad not to intervene. And the emperor would likely use the distraction to focus on the Balkans and southern Italy..and not only focus on southern Italy. Also to deal with the Norman threat. Yet Palestine will never recover from the conflict between the Fatiminds and the Seljuqs since Jerusalem will be in ruins...literally in ruins. As the holy city at that time of scenario will become a lost cause. And Christians living there will move away and might migrate to either to the ERE or move to Alexandria. while the Moslems living there will have no choice but to relocate elsewhere. As the Jews on the other hand will still live in a completely ruined Jerusalem as they will be in ever denial believing the city is still holy. By which it won't. But of course that what-if battle would be interesting of what if they faced.


That's a question that I'm surprised nobody has thought of it. Since let's say if the relationship was succeeded by the HRE and the ERE diplomatically and by political marriage. Then the path way for Europe probably changed if they came together. "I mean it would have been like something similar as the WRE and ERE faced the Sassanids together. As the Byzantines will have to call on the HRE and Papal states to face the Persian menace once more. And view the Seljuq Persianate as the new Persian empire that is trying to invade Europa again and rally together and form a new kind of crusade but an alliance between the ERE and HRE" And it'll be a great opportunity for the HRE as they claimed to be the so-called successor of the WRE and even they know of the history of the Roman-Persian wars as they are educated in it. plus the it'll bring unification throughout the HRE and Rome would've been the seat of power together with deals and agreements from constantinople and vise versa. The course of history would have change and the crusades and crusader states might not actually have happened (well the crusades will probably happen but in a different course).


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Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
A part speculations, going back to the OP, the decision to face the Turks was the initial cause of the fall of ERE, the internal divisions were the primary cause of the defeat of Manzikert which was the beginning of the end of the Eastern Roman power in minor Asia.
just like Caesar being stabbed multiple times by his own fellow romans. The ERE always had that problem with internal strife and political struggle between the emperor and his generals. the only time the ERE didn't dealt with such struggle was with Roman emperor Basil II. That man literally put everyone under control. Sadly the Romans didn't use such rational logic and political discipline by being together in such a cause against the turks. if they came to the HRE for help and convince the pope that the Seljuqs are the new Persian empire then that would've convince them otherwise. But it didn't.

Last edited by Azarius Balios; December 28th, 2017 at 04:44 AM.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 09:13 AM   #18

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When the ERE asked for help ... Crusaders came. I'm wondering if ERE had a card to play, while the Seljuq forces were near the borders of the Empire ...

To persuade the HRE, the Pope and the others, that the Seljuq armies were going to take over the Holy Land prohibiting to Christian pilgrims to get there.

The problem with Franks and Normans was that they weren't marvelous mercenaries, but when they fought for their own Lords ...

In Arab environments they were literally terrorized by the idea to face a charge of "Franji".
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Old December 28th, 2017, 09:31 AM   #19
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When the ERE asked for help ... Crusaders came. I'm wondering if ERE had a card to play, while the Seljuq forces were near the borders of the Empire ...

To persuade the HRE, the Pope and the others, that the Seljuq armies were going to take over the Holy Land prohibiting to Christian pilgrims to get there.

The problem with Franks and Normans was that they weren't marvelous mercenaries, but when they fought for their own Lords ...

In Arab environments they were literally terrorized by the idea to face a charge of "Franji".

Thats is true about the Franks and Normans. They were just untrustworthy.

If the ERE rallied together with the HRE against the Seljuq Persianate before or during the battle of manzikert, then it would be like that they would've saw reunion of east and west together. And not only that the HRE would have taken advantage of it. I mean the HRE must have known of the Roman-Persian wars and placed their differences aside. I mean it'll be pretty fascinating. Especially Germans wanting some action.

But it didn't. The crusades proved to be more like the wild west than a holy war.

Last edited by Azarius Balios; December 28th, 2017 at 09:35 AM.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 09:54 AM   #20

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In 1071 the Fatimids were in a really bad situation, even worse than Byzantium, the whole country was in a civil war and the caliph Al-Mustansir was a powerless puppet. The Fatimid troubles started in 1062 when the first fighting between the Turkish and Sudanese slave soldiers started. That year was recorded as a year of calamity, and the conflict between the two groups only truly started in 1067, and by 1071, the caliph didn't even control Fustat and Cairo, the cities were in the hands of the Turks under Nasir al-Dawla. The caliph was forced to frequently pay large sums of money to pay the Turkish mercenaries. The Turks plundered the caliph's treasury and destroyed parts of the capital after it fell. Nasir's attempts to destroy the garrisons of Upper Egypt and Alexandria (controlled by the Sudanese) spread the war into the provinces. And in 1071 itself, the war once again reached the capital when Nasir was expelled, but with the help of the Bedouin managed to seize the capital back. It would only be in 1073 that Badr al-Jamali would be able to restore some order to the Fatimid state, and even though the fighting finished, the consequences were devastating. Famine and chaos spread throughout Egypt, some parts were ruled by groups like the Lawata Berbers with no supervision from the caliphate, the treasury was empty and the administration shattered.

1071 was almost as bad for the Fatimids as it was for the Byzantines, they were really not a big force in the region in that period. They would later experience a revival, but not in 1071.
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