Why did the Byzantines fail to reconquer the interior of Anatolia in the 12th century?

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,852
Blachernai
#11
What exactly did the Anatolian Turks gain from providing auxiliaries for the Byzantines?
Money, respect, not having their neghbours induced to attack them at Constantinople's behest, and no Byzantine raiding parties disrupting their flocks.


When did they have naval support for this? Do you know the years?
The first reported case of the Muslims wintering in Asia is 663, immediately after the departure to the west of emperor Constans II. Where this took place is unknown, but I was hasty in saying that they all had naval support as this one likely did not (see in particular W. Kaegi, ‘Early Muslim Raids into Anatolia and Reactions under Constans II’ in Emmanouel Grypeou, Mark N. Swanson, David Thomas, eds. The Encounter of Eastern Christianity with Early Islam. Leiden: Brill, 2006. pp. 73-93, esp. 83-86). In 667 the Arabs wintered at Kyzikos as part of the blockade of Constantinople, where they had naval support. They are also reportedly there in 670/1. In 669 they attempted to winter at Amorion but Roman forces approached in a blizzard, climbed the walls, and killed them.

Also, out of curiosity--do you think that most or all of Europe would have turned Muslim (as a result of falling to the Muslims) had the early Muslim invaders (Umayyads and/or Abbasids--but especially the former, given their actual interest in doing this) somehow managed to successfully conquer the Byzantine Empire?
Impossible to say, since the Near East becoming majority Muslim probably took place only after 1200 or later, and that was the result of a different set of circumstances. My hunch says no, though, I doubt that the Umayyads would have pressed on into the Balkans. Europe was simply too distant and too poor.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,936
SoCal
#12
The main value that I see in interior Anatolia is for logistics and communications purposes. It provides a shorter front line to defend and also allows for easier communications between, say, Trebizond and Antioch. Still, maybe this wasn't as much of an issue in the pre-industrial days as it would become later on.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,936
SoCal
#13
Money, respect, not having their neghbours induced to attack them at Constantinople's behest, and no Byzantine raiding parties disrupting their flocks.

The first reported case of the Muslims wintering in Asia is 663, immediately after the departure to the west of emperor Constans II. Where this took place is unknown, but I was hasty in saying that they all had naval support as this one likely did not (see in particular W. Kaegi, ‘Early Muslim Raids into Anatolia and Reactions under Constans II’ in Emmanouel Grypeou, Mark N. Swanson, David Thomas, eds. The Encounter of Eastern Christianity with Early Islam. Leiden: Brill, 2006. pp. 73-93, esp. 83-86). In 667 the Arabs wintered at Kyzikos as part of the blockade of Constantinople, where they had naval support. They are also reportedly there in 670/1. In 669 they attempted to winter at Amorion but Roman forces approached in a blizzard, climbed the walls, and killed them.

Impossible to say, since the Near East becoming majority Muslim probably took place only after 1200 or later, and that was the result of a different set of circumstances. My hunch says no, though, I doubt that the Umayyads would have pressed on into the Balkans. Europe was simply too distant and too poor.
Thanks for all of this information! :)

Anyway, the Near East was Christian-majority even before the start of the Crusades, correct?

Also, why did the Ottomans press on into the Balkans and up to Vienna a millennium later?
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,852
Blachernai
#14
The main value that I see in interior Anatolia is for logistics and communications purposes. It provides a shorter front line to defend and also allows for easier communications between, say, Trebizond and Antioch. Still, maybe this wasn't as much of an issue in the pre-industrial days as it would become later on.
The road from Nikomedeia to Antioch would still be the best way to get there, but I think there are a few other issues as to why it was not all that high up on Constantinople's agenda. Overland travel to Trebizond isn't great - it's surrounded by some rather formidable and densly forested mountains. Sailing was the way to go, especially since it's not antiquity any more and the ships are a bit more sturdy than what Xenophon and his friends sailed from Trebizond in. The problem with the overland route to Antioch was not just the Turks, but the Cilician Armenians, whose friendliness to Byzantium varied. The most secure route was by road to Attaleia, by ship to (Byzantine) Cyprus, and then it's just a short trip over to Antioch.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,936
SoCal
#15
A road trip from Trebizond to Attaleia would have covered most of the trip from Trebizond to Antioch. In such a scenario, one might wonder whether it's best to finish the trip by road as well. It's like taking a road trip from California to Houston, Texas and then taking a boat ride to New Orleans. When one goes that far by road, one might wonder whether it's best to finish one's journey by road as well.
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,439
appalacian Mtns
#16
Looking at the first map, I fail too understand why they didn't take Rome. They were very close. One would think that would be the objective they'd have too have. I admit too knowing very little about the eastern Roman empire. I do know that much earlier than the times you are discussing interior Anatolia was held by Celts centered around Ankara.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,936
SoCal
#17
Looking at the first map, I fail flip understand why they didn't take Rome. They were very close. One would think that would be the objective they'd have too have. I admit too knowing very little about the eastern Roman empire. I do know that much earlier than the times you are discussing interior Anatolia was held by Celts centered around Ankara.
They didn't take Rome because the Catholic Church was operating there and they had a schism with them starting from 1054.
 
Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
#19
Looking at the first map, I fail flip understand why they didn't take Rome. They were very close. One would think that would be the objective they'd have too have. I admit too knowing very little about the eastern Roman empire. I do know that much earlier than the times you are discussing interior Anatolia was held by Celts centered around Ankara.
Any attempt by the Byzantines to (re)conquer Rome would almost certainly draw in a large coalition of Western and Central European powers to defend the Papacy. Even when a Catholic, German emperor tried to crush the Papacy (Frederick II) a large anti-Imperial coalition was formed to overthrow him, so imagine what the response would be to Orthodox Easterners trying to do the same.
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,439
appalacian Mtns
#20
Any attempt by the Byzantines to (re)conquer Rome would almost certainly draw in a large coalition of Western and Central European powers to defend the Papacy. Even when a Catholic, German emperor tried to crush the Papacy (Frederick II) a large anti-Imperial coalition was formed to overthrow him, so imagine what the response would be to Orthodox Easterners trying to do the same.
That makes sense .
 
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