John the Baptist 27 AD "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2) 27 AD "Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?" (Matthew 3:7) 27 AD "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees." (Matthew 3:10) 27 AD "His winnowing fork is in His hand." (Matthew 3:12) 27 AD "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17) 27 AD "The kingdom of God is at hand." (Mark 1:15) 27 AD “Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?” (Luke 3:7) 27 AD “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees. " (Luke 3:9) 27 AD "His winnowing fork is in His hand…." (Luke 3:17) Jesus the Christ 28 AD "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 10:7) 28 AD "You shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes." (Matthew 10:23) 28 AD "....the age about to come." (Matthew 12:32) 28 AD “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” (Luke 10:9) 28 AD “The kingdom of God has come near.” (Luke 10:11) 30 AD "The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds." (Matthew 16:27) 30 AD "There are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." (Matthew 16:28; cf. Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27) 30 AD "'When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?' '....He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.' '....Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.' ....When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them." (Matthew 21:40-41,43,45) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place." (Matthew 24:34) 30 AD "From now on, you [Caiaphas, the chief priests, the scribes, the elders, the whole Sanhedrin] shall be seeing the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69) 30 AD "What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. ....They [the chief priests, scribes and elders] understood that He spoke the parable against them." (Mark 12:9,12) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Mark 13:30) 30 AD “What, therefore, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others." …The scribes and the chief priests …understood that He spoke this parable against them.” (Luke 20:15-16,19) 30 AD “These are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:22) 30 AD "This generation will not pass away until all things take place.” (Luke 21:32) 30 AD "Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us,' and to the hills, 'Cover us.'” (Luke 23:28-30; Compare Revelation 6:14-17) 30 AD "I will come to you. …In that Day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.' …'Lord, what then has happened that You are about to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?'" (John 14:18,20,22) 30 AD "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?" (John 21:22) The Disciples 30 AD "We were hoping that He was the One who is about to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:21) Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles 52 AD “…we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord… …We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds… …You, brethren, are not in darkness, that the Day should overtake you like a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15,17; 5:4) 52 AD “May your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23) 52 AD “It is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.” (2 Thessaloniams 1:6-7) 56 AD “The time has been shortened.” (1 Corinthians 7:29) 56 AD “The form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31) 56 AD “Now these things …were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) 56 AD “We shall not all fall sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) 56 AD "Maranatha!" [The Lord comes!] (1 Corinthians 16:22) 56 AD “Godliness …holds promise for the present life and that which is about to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8) 56 AD “I charge you …that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Timothy 6:14) 56 AD “…storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for that which is about to come, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:19) 57 AD “He has fixed a day in which He is about to judge the world in righteousness…” (Acts 17:31) 58 AD “Not for [Abraham's] sake only was it written, that [faith] was reckoned to him [as righteousness], but for our sake also, to whom it is about to be reckoned.” (Romans 4:23-24) 58 AD “If you are living according to the flesh, you are about to die.” (Romans 8:13) 58 AD “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18) 58 AD "It is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand." (Romans 13:11-12) 58 AD “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20) 60 AD “There is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” (Acts 24:15) 60 AD “As he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment about to come…" (Acts 24:25) 61 AD "...not only in this age, but also in the one about to come.” (Ephesians 1:21) 61 AD “In the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self… …Avoid these men. For of these are those who enter into households and captivate weak women… …These also oppose the truth… …But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all…” (2 Timothy 3:1-2,5-6,8-9) 61 AD “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is about to judge the living and the dead…” (2 Timothy 4:1) 62 AD “The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5) 62 AD "The gospel …was proclaimed in all creation under heaven." (Colossians 1:23; Compare Matthew 24:14; Romans 10:18; 16:26; Colossians 1:5-6; 2 Timothy 4:17; Revelation 14:6-7; cf. I Clement 5,7) 62 AD “…things which are a shadow of what is about to come.” (Colossians 2:16-17) 63 AD “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2) 63 AD “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who are about to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14) 63 AD “He did not subject to angels the world about to come.” (Hebrews 2:5) 63 AD “…and have tasted …the powers of the age about to come.” (Hebrews 6:5) 63 AD "For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near a curse, and it's end is for burning.” (Hebrews 6:7-8) 63 AD “When He said, 'A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13) 63 AD “The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way of the [heavenly] Holy Places has not yet been revealed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.” (Hebrews 9:8-10; Compare Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 2:21-22; 3:17; 4:13) 63 AD “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things about to come…” (Hebrews 9:11) 63 AD “Now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin.” (Hebrews 9:26) 63 AD “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things about to come…” (Hebrews 10:1) 63 AD “…as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25) 63 AD “…the fury of a fire which is about to consume the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:27) 63 AD “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:37) 63 AD “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the one that is about to come.” (Hebrews 13:14) Peter the Apostle to the Circumcision 30 AD “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 'And it shall be in the last days…'” (Acts 2:16-17) 62 AD “…salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5) 62 AD “He …has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.” (1 Peter 1:20) 62 AD “In the last days mockers will come. …For this they willingly are ignorant of…” (1 Peter 3:3,5) 62 AD “They shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Peter 4:5) 62 AD “The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7) 62 AD "For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God.” (1 Peter 4:17) 62 AD “…as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is about to be revealed.” (1 Peter 5:1) 62 AD “We have the prophetic word …which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the Day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19) 62 AD “Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:3) 62 AD “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” (2 Peter 3:10-12) James 62 AD "Speak and so act, as those who are about to be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:12) 62 AD “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. …It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!” (James 5:1,3) 62 AD “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.” (James. 5:7) 62 AD “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James. 5:8) Jude the brother of James 62 AD “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation. …About these also Enoch …prophesied, saying, 'Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly…'” (Jude 1:4,14-15) 62 AD “But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, 'In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.' These are the ones who cause divisions…” (Jude 1:17-19) John the Apostle whom Jesus loved 62 AD “The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” (1 John 2:8) 62 AD “The world is passing away, and its desires.” (1 John 2:17) 62 AD “It is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18) 62 AD “Even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18; Compare Matthew 24:23-34) 62 AD “This is that of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (1 John 4:3; Compare 2 Thessaloniams 2:7) 63 AD “…to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place.” (Revelation 1:1) 63 AD “The time is near.” (Revelation 1:3) 63 AD “Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.” (Revelation 2:25) 63 AD “I also will keep you from the hour of testing which is about to come upon the whole world.” (Revelation 3:10) 63 AD “I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 3:11) 63 AD “And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is about to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.” (Revelation 12:5) 63 AD "And in her [the Great City Babylon] was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth." (Revelation 18:24; Compare Matthew 23:35-36; Luke 11:50-51) 63 AD “…to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place.” (Revelation 22:6) 63 AD "Behold, I am coming quickly. " (Revelation 22:7) 63 AD "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near." (Revelation 22:10; Compare Daniel 8:26) 63 AD "Behold, I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 22:12) 63 AD "Yes, I am coming quickly." (Revelation 22:20)

1071AD Battle of Manzikert - Seljuk Turks begin destruction of Byzantine (1st Christian) Empire

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Battle of Manzikert

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Battle of Manzikert
Part of the Byzantine-Seljuk wars
thumb.

In this 15th-century French miniature depicting the Battle of Manzikert, the combatants are clad in contemporary Western European armour.

DateAugust 26, 1071
LocationManzikert, Armenia (modern Malazgirt, Turkey)
ResultDecisive Seljuk victory
Combatants
Byzantine Empire Great Seljuk Sultanate
Commanders
Romanus IV #,
Nikephoros Bryennios,
Theodore Alyates,
Andronikos Doukas
Alp Arslan
Strength
~ 20,000 [2]
(40,000 initial)

Perhaps some 70,000[1][2]

~ 20,000 [3] - 70,000[3]
Casualties
~ 8,000 [4]Unknown

The Battle of Manzikert, or Malazgirt was fought between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuq forces led by Alp Arslan on August 26, 1071 near Manzikert, Armenia (modern Malazgirt, Turkey) in the Basprakania [4] theme (province) of the Empire. It resulted in the defeat of the Byzantine Empire and the capture of Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes. The Battle of Manzikert played an important role in breaking the Byzantine resistance and preparing the way for the Turkish settlement in Anatolia.[5]

Contents

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[edit] Background

Although the Byzantine Empire had remained a strong and powerful entity in the Middle Ages,[6] the Kingdom began to decline under the reign of the militarily incompetent Constantine IX and again under Constantine X - a brief two year rule of reform under Isaac I Komnenus only delaying the decay of the Byzantine military.[7] It was under Constantine IX's reign that the Byzantines first came into contact with the Seljuk Turks, the latter attempting to anex Ani in Armenia. Rather than deal with the problem by force of arms, Constantine IX signed a truce. The truce did not last; in 1063 the Great Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan came to power and thus the invasion of Armenia, halted in 1045, began again.

During the 1060s, the Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan allowed his Turkish allies (Turks and Turkmens), as well as the Kurds, to migrate towards Armenia and Asia Minor. In 1064, they conquered the Armenian capital at Ani.[6] Constantine X (successor to Isaac Komnenus) did much discredit to his predecessor - in 1067 Armenia was taken by the Turks, followed by Caesarea.[8] In 1068, Romanos IV took power and after a few speedy military reforms led an expedition against the Seljuks, allowing him to capture the city of Hierapolis Bambyce in Syria. A Turkic attack against Iconium was thwarted when a Byzantine counter from Syria ended in victory.[9] In 1070, Romanus led a second expedition towards Malazgirt (then known as Manzikert) in the eastern end of Anatolia (in today's Muş Province), where a Byzantine fortress had been captured by the Seljuks, and offered a treaty with Alp Arslan; Romanos would give back Hierapolis if Arslan gave up the siege of Edessa (Urfa). Romanos threatened war if Alp Arslan did not comply, and prepared his troops anyway, expecting the sultan to decline his offer, which he did.

[edit] Preparations

Accompanying Romanos was Andronikos Doukas, the co-regent and a direct rival. The army consisted of about 5,000 Byzantine troops from the western provinces and probably about the same number from the eastern provinces; 500 Frankish and Norman mercenaries under Roussel de Bailleul; some Turkish, Bulgarian, and Pecheneg mercenaries; infantry under the duke of Antioch; a contingent of Armenian troops; and some (but not all) of the Varangian Guard, to total around 60-70,000 troops.[10] The quality of the Byzantine Thematic (provincial) troops had declined in the years prior to the succession of Romanus as the central government diverted resources to the recruitment of mercenaries who were considered less likely to become involved in coups or factional fighting within the Empire. Even when mercenaries were used, they were disbanded after to save money.

The march across Asia Minor was long and difficult, and Romanos did not endear himself to his troops by bringing a luxurious baggage train along with him; the Byzantine population also suffered some plundering by Romanos' Frankish mercenaries, whom he was forced to dismiss. The expedition first rested at Sebasteia on the Halys, and reached Theodosiopolis in June 1071. There, some of his generals suggested continuing the march into Seljuk territory and catching Arslan before he was ready. Some of the other generals, including Nikephoros Bryennios, suggested they wait there and fortify their position. Eventually it was decided to continue the march.

Thinking that Alp Arslan was either further away or not coming at all, Romanos marched towards Lake Van expecting to retake Manzikert rather quickly, as well as the nearby fortress of Khliat if possible. However, Arslan was actually in Armenia, with 30,000 cavalry from Aleppo, Mosul, and his other allies. Arslan's spies knew exactly where Romanus was, while Romanos was completely unaware of his opponent's movements.

Romanos ordered his general Joseph Tarchaneiotes to take some of the Byzantine troops and Varangians and accompany the Pechenegs and Franks to Khliat, while Romanos and the rest of the army marched to Manzikert. This split the forces in half, each taking about 30,000 men.[10] It is unknown what happened to the army sent off with Joseph Tarchaneiotes - according to Islamic sources, Alp Arslan smashed his army; however Byzantine sources remain quiet of any such encounter,[10] whilst Attaleiates suggests that Tarchaneiotes fled at the sight of the Seljuk Sultan - an unlikely event considering the reputation of the Byzantine general. Either way, Romanus' army was reduced to less than half his planned 60-70,000.[10]

[edit] The battle

Byzantine territory (purple), Byzantine attacks (red) and Seljuk attacks (green).
Byzantine territory (purple), Byzantine attacks (red) and Seljuk attacks (green).

Romanus was unaware of the loss of Tarchaneiotes and continued to Manzikert, even thpugh he was, which he easily captured on August 23. The Seljuks responded with heavy incursions by bowmen The next day some foraging parties under Bryennios discovered the Seljuk force and were forced to retreat back to Manzikert. The Armenian general Basilaces was sent out with some cavalry, as Romanos did not believe this was Arslan's full army; the cavalry was destroyed and Basilaces taken prisoner. Romanos drew up his troops into formation and sent the left wing out under Bryennios, who was almost surrounded by the quickly approaching Turks and was forced to retreat once more. The Turks hid among the nearby hills for the night, making it nearly impossible for Romanus to send a counterattack.

On August 25, some of Romanos' Turkish mercenaries came into contact with their Seljuk relatives and deserted. Romanos then rejected a Seljuk peace embassy[11] as he wanted to settle the Turkish problem with a decisive military victory and understood that raising another army would be both difficult and expensive. The Emperor attempted to recall Tarchaneiotes, who was no longer in the area. There were no engagements that day, but on August 26 the Byzantine army gathered itself into a proper battle formation and began to march on the Turkish positions, with the left wing under Bryennios, the right wing under Theodore Alyates, and the centre under the emperor. Andronikos Doukas led the reserve forces in the rear - a foolish mistake, considering the loyalties of the Dukas. The Seljuks were organized into a crescent formation about four kilometres away,[11] with Arslan observing events from a safe distance. Seljuk archers attacked the Byzantines as they drew closer; the centre of their crescent continually moved backwards while the wings moved to surround the Byzantine troops.

The Byzantines held off the arrow attacks and captured Arslan's camp by the end of the afternoon. However, the right and left wings, where the arrows did most of their damage, almost broke up when individual units tried to force the Seljuks into a pitched battle; the Seljuk cavalry simply fled when challenged, the classic hit and run tactics of steppe warriors. With the Seljuks avoiding battle,[9] Romanos was forced to order a withdrawal by the time night fell.[9] However, the right wing misunderstood the order, and Doukas, as an enemy of Romanos, deliberately ignored the emperor and marched back to the camp outside Manzikert, rather than covering the emperor's retreat. Now that the Byzantines were thoroughly confused, the Seljuks seized the opportunity and attacked.[9] The Byzantine right wing was routed; the left under Bryennios held out a little longer but was soon routed as well.[12] The remnants of the Byzantine centre, including the Emperor and the Varangian Guard, were encircled by the Seljuks. Romanus was injured, and taken prisoner by the Seljuks. The survivors were the many who fled the field and were pursued throughout the night; by dawn, the professional core of the Byzantine army had been destroyed but many of the Peasant troops and levies who had been under the command of Andronikus fled.[12]

[edit] Captivity of Romanus Diogenes

When the Emperor Romanos IV was conducted into the presence of Alp Arslan, he refused to believe that the bloodied and tattered man covered in dirt was the mighty Emperor of the Romans. After discovering the identity of the Emperor, he treated him with considerable kindness, and again offered the terms of peace which he had offered previous to the battle - all of course, after the Seljuk Sultan had forced his neck to the ground, placed his boot upon it and made Romanus kiss the ground before him.[12] He was also loaded with presents and Alp Arslan had him respectfully escorted by a military guard to his own forces. But prior to that, when he first was brought to the Sultan, this famous conversation is reported to have taken place:

Alp Arslan: "What would you do if I were brought before you as a prisoner?"
Romanus: "Perhaps I'd kill you, or exhibit you in the streets of Constantinople."
Alp Arslan: "My punishment is far heavier. I forgive you, and set you free."

Romanus remained a captive of the Sultan for a week. During this time, the Sultan allowed Romanus to eat at his table whilst concessions were agreed upon; Antioch, Edessa, Hieropolis and Manzikert were to be surrendered.[13] A payment of 10 million golden pieces as a ransom was deemed as too high by Romanus so the Sultan reduced its short-term expense by instead asking for 1.5 million as an initial payment followed by an annual sum of 360,000 pieces of gold.[13] Finally, Romanus would marry one of his daughters to the Sultan. The Sultan then gave Romanus and escort of two emirs and a hundred Mamelukes to Constantinople. Shortly after his return to his subjects, Romanos found his rule in serious trouble. Despite attempts to raise loyal troops, he was defeated three times in battle against the Doukas family and was deposed, blinded and exiled to the island of Proti; soon after, he died as a result of an infection caused by an injury during his brutal blinding. Romanus' last events in the Anatolian heartland that he worked so hard to defend was a public humiliation on a donkey with a rotten face.[13]

[edit] Aftermath

Despite being a complete tactical disaster and a long-term strategic catastrophe for Byzantium, Manzikert was by no means the massacre that earlier historians presumed. Modern scholars estimate that Byzantine losses were relatively low, considering that many units survived the battle intact and were fighting elsewhere within a few months. Certainly, all the commanders in the Byzantine side (Doukas, Tarchaneiotes, Bryennios, de Bailleul, and, above all, the Emperor) survived and took part in later events.

Doukas had escaped with no casualties, and quickly marched back to Constantinople where he led the coup against Romanos. Bryennios also lost few men in the rout of his wing. The Seljuks did not pursue the fleeing Byzantines, nor did they recapture Manzikert itself at this point. The Byzantine army regrouped and marched to Dokeia, where they were joined by Romanos when he was released a week later. The most serious loss materially seems to have been the emperor's extravagant baggage train.

The disaster the battle caused for the Empire was, in simplest terms, the loss of its Anatolian heartland. John Julius Norwich says in his trilogy on the Byzantine Empire that the defeat was "its death blow, though centuries remained before the remnant fell. The themes in Anatolia were literally the heart of the empire, and within decades after Manzikert, they were gone." Or, as Anna Komnene puts it a few decades after the actual battle,

...the fortunes of the Roman Empire had sunk to their lowest ebb. For the armies of the East were dispersed in all directions, because the Turks had over-spread, and gained command of, countries between the Euxine Sea [Black Sea] and the Hellespont, and the Aegean Sea and Syrian Seas [Mediterranean Sea], and the various bays, especially those which wash Pamphylia, Cilicia, and empty themselves into the Egyptian Sea [Mediterranean Sea].[5]

Years and decades later, Manzikert came to be seen as a disaster for the Empire; later sources therefore greatly exaggerate the numbers of troops and the number of casualties. Byzantine historians would often look back and lament the "disaster" of that day, pinpointing it as the moment the decline of the Empire began. It was not an immediate disaster, but the defeat showed the Seljuks that the Byzantines were not invincible — they were not the unconquerable, millennium-old Roman Empire (as both the Byzantines and Seljuks still called it). The usurpation of Andronikos Doukas also politically destabilized the empire and it was difficult to organize resistance to the Turkish migrations that followed the battle. Within a decade almost all of Asia Minor was overrun. Finally, while intrigue and deposing of Emperors had taken place before, the fate of Romanos was particularly horrific, and the destabilization caused by it also rippled through the centuries.

What followed the battle was a chain of events - of which the battle was the first link - that undermined the Empire in the years to come. They included intrigues for the throne, the horrific fate of Romanos and Roussel de Bailleul attempting to carve himself an independent kingdom in Galatia with his 3,000 Frankish, Norman and German mercenaries. He defeated the Emperor's uncle John Doukas who had come to suppress him, advancing toward the capital to destroy Chrysopolis (Üsküdar) on the Asian coast of the Bosphorus. The Empire finally turned to the spreading Seljuks to crush de Bailleul (which they did, then delivering him over). These events all interacted to create a vacuum that the Turks filled. Their choice in establishing their capital in Nikaea (İznik) in 1077 could possibly be explained by a desire to see if the Empire's struggles could present new opportunities.

In hindsight, both Byzantine and contemporary historians are unanimous in dating the decline of Byzantine fortunes to this battle. It is interpreted as one of the root causes for the later Crusades, in that the First Crusade of 1095 was originally a western response to the Byzantine emperor's call for military assistance after the loss of Anatolia. From another perspective, the West saw Manzikert as a signal that Byzantium was no longer capable of being the protector of Eastern Christianity or Christian pilgrims to the Holy Places in the Middle East.

Delbruck considers that the importance of the battle has been exaggerated; but it is clear from the evidence that as a result of it, the Empire was unable to put an effective army into the field for many years to come.

The Battle of Myriokephalon, also known as the Myriocephalum, was 'also' compared to the Battle of Manikert, as a 'pivotal' point in the "decline' of the Byzantine Empire.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Konstam, Angus (2004). The Crusades. London: Mercury Books, p. 40.
  2. ^ Norwich, John Julius (1997). A Short History of Byzantium. New York: Vintage Books, p. 238.
  3. ^ David Eggenberger, An Encyclopedia of Battles, Dover Publications, 1985.
  4. ^ Hewsen, Robert H. (2001). Armenia: a historical atlas. The University of Chicago Press, p. 126. ISBN 0-226-33228-4.
  5. ^ Peter Malcolm Holt, Ann Katharine Swynford Lambton, Bernard Lewis The Cambridge History of Islam, 1977, p.231,232 [1]
  6. ^ a b Konstam, Angus (2004). The Crusades. London: Mercury Books, p. 40.
  7. ^ Norwich, John Julius (1997). A Short History of Byzantium. New York: Vintage Books, p. 236.
  8. ^ Norwich, John Julius (1997). A Short History of Byzantium. New York: Vintage Books, p. 237. - "The fate of Caesarea was well known"
  9. ^ a b c d Grant, R.G. (2005). Battle a Visual Journey Through 5000 Years of Combat. London: Dorling Kindersley, p. 77.
  10. ^ a b c d Norwich, John Julius (1997). A Short History of Byzantium. New York: Vintage Books, p. 298.
  11. ^ a b Norwich, John Julius (1997). A Short History of Byzantium. New York: Vintage Books, p. 239.
  12. ^ a b c Norwich, John Julius (1997). A Short History of Byzantium. New York: Vintage Books, p. 240.
  13. ^ a b c Norwich, John Julius (1997). A Short History of Byzantium. New York: Vintage Books, p. 241.

[edit] References

  • Haldon, John. The Byzantine Wars: Battles and Campaigns of the Byzantine Era, 2001. ISBN 0-7524-1795-9.
  • Treadgold, Warren. A History of the Byzantine State and Society, Stanford University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-8047-2421-0.
  • Runciman, Sir Steven. A History of the Crusades (Volume One), Harper & Row, 1951.
  • Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: The Apogee, Viking, 1991. ISBN 0-670-80252-2.
  • Carey, Brian Todd; Allfree, Joshua B.; Cairns, John. Warfare in the Medieval World, Pen & Sword Books ltd, 2006. ISBN 1-84415-339-8
  • Konstam, Angus. Historical Atlas of The Crusades

[edit] External links