Would a Byzantine Empire led by the Komnenoi have stood a much better chance against the Ottomans?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,197
SoCal
#1
Would a Byzantine Empire that would have been continued to be led by the Komnenoi (Komnenos family) have stood a much better chance against the Ottomans than the Paleologian-led Byzantine Empire did in real life? Basically, here's the scenario--Emperor Manuel has a surviving adult son at the time of his death in 1180 rather than a son who isn't even a teenager. This new Byzantine Emperor (you can call him alt-Alexios II to distinguish him from the real Alexios II) ends up being just as competent as his father Manuel, his grandfather John II, and his great-grandfather Alexios I were. Alt-Alexois II's successors also end up being as competent as he and his immediate ancestors were. In this scenario, the 1204 Sack of Constantinople is completely avoided and the Byzantine Empire maintains at least most of its territorial integrity in the century after 1180:



You can decide if the Byzantines permanently lose Cyprus and/or Bulgaria, but the Byzantines get to keep at least most of their other territories until at least the late 1200s or even early 1300s. Anyway, once the Mongol invasions cause a lot of new Turks to flee settle Asia and settle in central Anatolia, the Byzantine Empire (still led by the Komnenoi in this scenario) gets to deal with the very same threat that the Paleologian-led Byzantine Empire had to deal with in real life. Hence my question--is a Byzantine Empire that is led by the Komnenoi and that avoids decades of warfare with the Latins after 1204 (due to no Sack of Constantinople in this scenario) going to have a much higher chance of defeating the Ottomans or whomever replaces them in this scenario or at the very least keeping the Ottomans (or whomever replaces them) at bay in comparison to the Paleologian-led Byzantine Empire in real life?

Any thoughts on this?
 
Oct 2011
348
Croatia
#2
It would have. Not because Komnenoi had been much better than Paleologi, but because this implies there would have been no disastrous Angeloi dynasty. This, as you pointed out, means no Sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, and thus no massive losses of territory in Balkans and Asia Minor in the course of attempted recovery of Constantinople.
 
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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,418
Republika Srpska
#3
Would the Ottomans even appear in this scenario? Their original center was at Sogut which was still a part of Byzantium under the Komnenoi.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,197
SoCal
#4
It would have. Not because Komnenoi had been much better than Paleologi, but because this implies there would have been no disastrous Angeloi dynasty. This, as you pointed out, means no Sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, and thus no massive losses of territory in Balkans and Asia Minor in the course of attempted recovery of Constantinople.
Would this have been enough for the Byzantines to survive up to the present-day?
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,895
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#7
Maybe not. That said, though, couldn't they simply settle further east in this scenario?
Nobody knows where the Ottoman family came from or where their early followers came from. The standard Ottoman story was that Suleyman Shah, a chief of the Kayi tribe of Oghuz Turks, fled west with his people from the Mongol Horrors, and his son Ertugrul led them into Asia Minor, where he obtained a fief at Sogut from the Sultan of Rum and died about 1280. His son Osman I is generally considered the founder of the Ottoman state.

However, it is possible that the Ottomans and their early followers were actually Turks already living in Asia Minor in the 13th century and/or "Byzantines" who converted to Islam. In fact Sultan Mehmed II (reigned 1451-1481) claimed that Suleyman Shah was the son of John Tzelpes Komnenos whose younger brother Andronikos I usurped the throne in 1183, and who himself deserted to the Turks in 1139.

The Ottomans didn't begin writing histories about Osman I and his ancestors until decades after 1400, more than a century after Osman I died. So many historians are highly skeptical about all the stories about Orhan ( ruled c. 1326-1362) and his father Osman I (r. c. 1280-c.1326) and even more so about their ancestors. So when you ask whether "they", presumably the people of Ertugrul, could have settled farther east, I wonder when that would have happened and which direction they might have come from, etc. etc., because basically nothing is known about them and their origins.
 
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