What happens to Zionism if the Crusader states survive up to the modern era?

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,852
Blachernai
#31
(I guess it was just an error and the Karamanoğulları/Karamanids were in your mind, the Danişmendids were long long gone before the Ottomans, their last branch finished in 1178 when the Selcuk sultan Kılıç Arslan II took Malatya)
You're completely right. I felt I should have looked at my notes on Miller, but they're not typed up and the notebook that has them is under a bunch of other books.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,197
SoCal
#32
Pretty much this. After the passage of the First Crusade and reconquest of the coast, Constantinople never had any reason to see the Turks of Konya as an existential threat. Beyond them were the Danishmendid Turks. Romano-Byzantine diplomacy at this point had been working pretty well for a millennium in keeping the enemies on the frontier divided and partially depending on Rome, and the Turks are no different. They were dangerous opponents in the field, to be sure, but the Komnenian defensive system worked.
What was the Komenenian defensive system? As in, what did it involve?

The proof of this is in the economic situation that we see in western Anatolia when documentary evidence becomes available in the thirteenth century: it's prosperous, developed, and densely settled.
What documents did you take a look at?

This is a far cry from the Kaisareia - Melitene corridor that at the beginning of the tenth century was handed off to an Armenian frontier lord to administer on behalf of the empire, which despite its strategic value was reportedly deserted.
What caused it to be deserted? The dangers in the region? A lack of economic opportunities? Something else?

From Constantinople's perspective, the real danger was the Latin west. Latin success challenged Constantinople's claims of being the head of Christendom, and by the twelfth century Latin Europe was becoming a major intellectual and economic power that had the self-confidence to challenge Byzantium.
But having Latin influence spread isn't anywhere near as threatening as a Latin conquest of Constantinople, is it? Was there ever a serious risk of a Latin conquest of Constantinople before 1204?

I'm wondering if a decent analogy to this in the present-day might be the rise of Chinese influence and soft power. This rise is certainly unpleasant for the West (in part due to China's authoritarian government), but it doesn't appear to be a significant direct threat to the West--yet, at least.

The Islamic world, however, was more divided than ever. I expect it's no coincidence that the polemical treatises written in twelfth-century Byzantium about religion are concerned with the Latins and the Armenians.
What's the story with the Armenians?

The Muslims, however, are a footnote. It's probably no coincidence that the argument was put forth that converts from Islam no longer had to anathematize Allah: the Muslim world was simply one of a range of barbarian polities whose members could still become good Romans.
Just like the pagan, pre-Muslim Arabs?

The caliphate had been broken. The Latins were where the attention was, and I'd argue that it was only the civil wars of the early fourteen-century that permitted the rise of Ottoman power. The Turks of previous centuries cannot be seen in the light of one Turkic polity that became successful later (which, incidentally, was still one of several until a late date; the Ottomans took Constantinople before they liquidated the Danishmendids).
Why were the civil wars of the 14th century much deadlier for the Byzantines than earlier civil wars were, though?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,197
SoCal
#33
I doubt the Ottomans would have even existed, but at some point some neighbouring polity would get involved in a Byzantine power struggle and the empire would collapse.
Why didn't previous Byzantine power struggles cause the empire's collapse, though? I mean, Byzantine power struggles certainly existed long before the 14th century:

List of Byzantine revolts and civil wars - Wikipedia
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,197
SoCal
#34
Also, I figure that I might as well ask another question here--was the collapse of the Byzantine Empire more of a good thing or more of a bad thing for the lands of Rus'? For the record, I'm talking about the territories that are now Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
 
Jan 2016
1,139
Victoria, Canada
#35
The battle left the Byzantines exposed in Anatolia - the frontier that was their eventual downfall. And it proved that they *couldn't* reconquer it.
Manuel's campaign was not an attempt to reconquer the bulk of the interior in the first place, likely only Ikonion and the surrounding region (as had been attempted by Alexios before), and the status quo in Anatolia was maintained largely unchanged for decades after Myriokephalon (and entirely until Manuel's death). The first real shakeup came, understandably, after 1203-4, when Roman Asia fractured into half a dozen independent statelets for half a decade in the absence of any clear central authority, and the Turks took the opportunity to annex the southern coast and some notable cities elsewhere. Even then, though, Theodore Laskaris (Komnenos) managed to establish a stable regime, unify Western Anatolia, and kill the Sultan of Rum in single combat at Antioch on the Meander, despite some setbacks against the Latins, while in the background the administration and system of defence established in the Komnenian period continued to operate smoothly and successfully. Throughout the rest of the Nicaean period a strong entente was maintained with the Seljuq Sultanate, while Roman Anatolia experienced an extended period of exceptional peace, prosperity, and growth -- your average farmer in the environs of Tralles, Sardis, or Herakleia wasn't any less safe or secure in his livelihood from 1220-1259 than 1140-1180.

What caused this situation to deteriorate were a series of world events completely disconnected from Myriokephalon, even in the loosest of senses: the Mongol invasions. In Anatolia these led, over the course of the mid-late 13th century, to the complete disintegration of central Ikonian authority, the extreme, repeated, and decades-long destabilization of the uj frontier zone of south-central Anatolia, and the migration in waves of tens or hundreds of thousands of Turkoman nomads from eastern-central Anatolia to the very edge of the Roman borderlands, as well as the subsequent organization of these Turkomans into great confederacies capable of directing targeted campaigns of plunder and conquest. Even then, as earlier, though, it took half a century for the Nicene-Palaiologian system to truly crack under that intense pressure, as it was continually shored up by active and dynamic responses to both individual threats and broader crises (the expansion and refinement of the tax system, the erection new fortifications and (re-)founding of cities, the incorporation of smallholding soldiers deprived of their lands into the salaried forces, the settlement of both Roman and foreign refugees and migrants as federates and frontier-guards, etc.), particularly before the incompetent policies of Andronikos II really began to bear fruit around the 1290's. The dam ultimately broke in 1301-5, 125 years after Manuel had his army mauled on the plateau and 60 after the first Mongol expeditions into Asia Minor, though scattered cities and parts of Bithynia remained Byzantine into the mid-14th century, and Trebizond of course endured through the mid-15th. Really, the extent and effectiveness of Roman resistance is actually quite exceptional, and certainly commendable -- consider that it took a similar quantity of Turkomans with a similar organization only some 25 years to conquer nearly all of Anatolia back in the 11th century, while the less resourced, more confined Romans of the 13th and 14th fought tooth and nail for the better part of a hundred years.

In any case, as with most enshrined 'turning points' in the Romano-Byzantine decline thesis, the transformation, adaptation, and, eventually, loss of Roman Anatolia over the 12th-14th centuries was the combined result of a great number of distinct events and processes, some immediately connected, some more broadly related, and many linked only in the most tangential or circumstantial of senses, if at all. While the effects of individual losses and defeats should not be too far understated, especially in short succession, they were very rarely, on their own, responsible in a large part for broader crises or catastrophes decades or especially half-centuries or longer down the line, at least to the extent that they're relevant to establishing conceptions of strength, boundaries of possibility, or patterns of decline, and vice-versa for acquisitions and victories. Myriokephalon is to the 14th century collapse of Roman Asia as the Battle of Gaoliang River is to the 12th century collapse of the Northern Song, or the Battle of Waterloo is to World War Two -- we can use the former to inform us of the wider context of the latter, but it's not productive to treat any pair as cause-and-effect events, even in a very loose manner.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,197
SoCal
#36
Manuel's campaign was not an attempt to reconquer the bulk of the interior in the first place, likely only Ikonion and the surrounding region (as had been attempted by Alexios before), and the status quo in Anatolia was maintained largely unchanged for decades after Myriokephalon (and entirely until Manuel's death). The first real shakeup came, understandably, after 1203-4, when Roman Asia fractured into half a dozen independent statelets for half a decade in the absence of any clear central authority, and the Turks took the opportunity to annex the southern coast and some notable cities elsewhere. Even then, though, Theodore Laskaris (Komnenos) managed to establish a stable regime, unify Western Anatolia, and kill the Sultan of Rum in single combat at Antioch on the Meander, despite some setbacks against the Latins, while in the background the administration and system of defence established in the Komnenian period continued to operate smoothly and successfully. Throughout the rest of the Nicaean period a strong entente was maintained with the Seljuq Sultanate, while Roman Anatolia experienced an extended period of exceptional peace, prosperity, and growth -- your average farmer in the environs of Tralles, Sardis, or Herakleia wasn't any less safe or secure in his livelihood from 1220-1259 than 1140-1180.

What caused this situation to deteriorate were a series of world events completely disconnected from Myriokephalon, even in the loosest of senses: the Mongol invasions. In Anatolia these led, over the course of the mid-late 13th century, to the complete disintegration of central Ikonian authority, the extreme, repeated, and decades-long destabilization of the uj frontier zone of south-central Anatolia, and the migration in waves of tens or hundreds of thousands of Turkoman nomads from eastern-central Anatolia to the very edge of the Roman borderlands, as well as the subsequent organization of these Turkomans into great confederacies capable of directing targeted campaigns of plunder and conquest. Even then, as earlier, though, it took half a century for the Nicene-Palaiologian system to truly crack under that intense pressure, as it was continually shored up by active and dynamic responses to both individual threats and broader crises (the expansion and refinement of the tax system, the erection new fortifications and (re-)founding of cities, the incorporation of smallholding soldiers deprived of their lands into the salaried forces, the settlement of both Roman and foreign refugees and migrants as federates and frontier-guards, etc.), particularly before the incompetent policies of Andronikos II really began to bear fruit around the 1290's. The dam ultimately broke in 1301-5, 125 years after Manuel had his army mauled on the plateau and 60 after the first Mongol expeditions into Asia Minor, though scattered cities and parts of Bithynia remained Byzantine into the mid-14th century, and Trebizond of course endured through the mid-15th. Really, the extent and effectiveness of Roman resistance is actually quite exceptional, and certainly commendable -- consider that it took a similar quantity of Turkomans with a similar organization only some 25 years to conquer nearly all of Anatolia back in the 11th century, while the less resourced, more confined Romans of the 13th and 14th fought tooth and nail for the better part of a hundred years.

In any case, as with most enshrined 'turning points' in the Romano-Byzantine decline thesis, the transformation, adaptation, and, eventually, loss of Roman Anatolia over the 12th-14th centuries was the combined result of a great number of distinct events and processes, some immediately connected, some more broadly related, and many linked only in the most tangential or circumstantial of senses, if at all. While the effects of individual losses and defeats should not be too far understated, especially in short succession, they were very rarely, on their own, responsible in a large part for broader crises or catastrophes decades or especially half-centuries or longer down the line, at least to the extent that they're relevant to establishing conceptions of strength, boundaries of possibility, or patterns of decline, and vice-versa for acquisitions and victories. Myriokephalon is to the 14th century collapse of Roman Asia as the Battle of Gaoliang River is to the 12th century collapse of the Northern Song, or the Battle of Waterloo is to World War Two -- we can use the former to inform us of the wider context of the latter, but it's not productive to treat any pair as cause-and-effect events, even in a very loose manner.
Jean, how much better do you think the Byzantines would have responded to the Mongol invasions and their aftermath if the Byzantines didn't have to worry about a decades-long war with the Latins?

Very interesting and insightful post, BTW! I've literally read all of it. :)

BTW, it does seem like the Byzantines and Mongols should have cooperated in eliminating the various Turkic beyliks in west-central Anatolia after the recapture of Constantinople in 1261. That's when the Ottomans should have been nipped in the bud. Also, it's quite interesting that the Byzantine Empire experienced three major shocks to it--of which the last were to prove fatal: 1) The Arab/Muslim conquest of all of the Byzantines' lands in the Levant and North Africa, 2) The Seljuks's conquest of almost all of Anatolia after 1071--which became partially undone starting from the 1090s, and 3) The Ottomans' conquest of the remaining Byzantine territories starting from the very late 1200s or very early 1300s.
 

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