Byzantine army (Komnenian era)
The Byzantine army of the Komnenian era or Komnenian army was the force established by Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos during the late 11th/early 12th century, perfected by his successors John II Komnenos and Manuel I Komnenos during the 12th century. From necessity, following extensive territorial loss and a near disastrous defeat by the Normans of southern Italy at Dyrrachion in 1081, Alexios constructed a new army from the ground up; this new army was different from previous forms of the Byzantine army in the methods used for the recruitment and maintenance of soldiers. The army was characterised by an increased reliance on the military capabilities of the immediate imperial household, the relatives of the ruling dynasty and the provincial Byzantine aristocracy. Another distinctive element of the new army was an expansion of the employment of foreign mercenary troops and their organisation into more permanent units. However, continuity in equipment, unit organisation and strategy from earlier times is evident.
The Komnenian army was instrumental in creating the territorial integrity and stability that allowed the Komnenian restoration of the Byzantine Empire. It was deployed in the Balkans, Hungary, Anatolia, the Holy Land and Egypt. At the beginning of the Komnenian period in 1081, the Byzantine Empire had been reduced to the smallest territorial extent in its history. Surrounded by enemies, financially ruined by a long period of civil war, the empire's prospects had looked grim; the state lay defenceless before internal and external threats, as the Byzantine army had been reduced to a shadow of its former self. During the 11th century, decades of peace and neglect had reduced the old thematic forces, the military and political anarchy following the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 had destroyed the professional Imperial Tagmata, the core of the Byzantine army. At Manzikert, units tracing their lineage for centuries back to the Roman Empire were wiped out, the subsequent loss of Anatolia deprived the Empire of its main recruiting ground.
In the Balkans, at the same time, the Empire was exposed to invasions by the Norman Kingdom of Sicily, the expansionist activities of the principality of Dioclea and by Pecheneg raids across the Danube. The death knell of the traditional Byzantine army was at the Battle of Dyrrachion in 1081, where Alexios I was heavily defeated by the Normans of southern Italy; the nadir of the Byzantine army as a professional fighting force was reached in 1091, when Alexios managed to field only 500 soldiers from the Empire's regular soldiery. These formed the nucleus of the army, with the addition of the armed retainers of Alexios' relatives and the nobles enrolled in the army, plus the substantial aid of a large force of allied Cumans, which won the Battle of Levounion against the Pechenegs. Yet, through a combination of improved finances, skill and years of campaigning, Alexios and Manuel Komnenos managed to restore the power of the Byzantine Empire, constructing a new army in the process; these developments should not, however, at least in their earlier phases, be seen as a planned exercise in military restructuring.
In particular, Alexios I was reduced to reacting to events rather than controlling them. The new force had a core of units which were both disciplined, it contained guards units such as the Varangians, the vestiaritai, the vardariotai and the archontopouloi, foreign mercenary regiments, units of professional soldiers recruited from the provinces. These provincial troops included kataphraktoi cavalry from Macedonia and Thrace, plus various other provincial forces. Alongside troops raised and paid for directly by the state the Komnenian army included the armed followers of members of the wider imperial family, its extensive connections, the provincial aristocracy. In this can be seen the beginnings of the feudalisation of the Byzantine military; the Komnenian period, despite constant warfare, is notable for the lack of military treatise writing, which seems to have petered out during the 11th century. So, unlike in earlier periods, there are no detailed descriptions of Byzantine tactics and military equipment.
Information on military matters in the Komnenian era must be gleaned from passing comments in contemporary historical and biographical literature, court panegyrics and from pictorial evidence. There are no surviving reliable and detailed records to allow the accurate estimation of the overall size of the Byzantine army in this period, he noted that while Alexios I had difficulty raising sufficient troops to repel the Italo-Normans, John I could field armies as large as those of the Kingdom of Hungary and Manuel I assembled an army capable of defeating the large crusading force of Conrad III. Other historians have, made attempts to estimate overall army size. During the reign of Alexios I, the field army may have numbered around 20,000 men. By 1143, the entire Byzantine army has been estimated to have numbered about 50,000 men and continued to remain about this size until the end of Manuel's reign; the total number of mobile professional and mercenary forces that the emperor could assemble was about 25,000 soldiers while the static garrisons and militias spread around the empire made up the remainder.
During this period, the European provinces in the Balkans were able to provide more than 6,000 cavalry in total while the Eastern provinces
Sultanate of Rum
The Sultanate of Rûm (also known as the Rûm sultanate, Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate, Sultanate of Iconium, Anatolian Seljuk State or Turkey Seljuk State was a Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim state established in the parts of Anatolia, conquered from the Byzantine Empire by the Seljuk Empire, established by the Seljuk Turks. The name Rûm was a synonym for Greek, as it remains in modern Turkish, although it derives from the Arabic name for Romans, الرُّومُ ar-Rūm, itself a loan from Greek Ῥωμαῖοι, "Romans"; the Sultanate of Rum seceded from the Great Seljuk Empire under Suleiman ibn Qutulmish in 1077, following the Battle of Manzikert, with capitals first at İznik and at Konya. It reached the height of its power during the late 12th and early 13th century, when it succeeded in taking Byzantine key ports on the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts. In the east, the sultanate reached Lake Van. Trade from Iran and Central Asia across Anatolia was developed by a system of caravanserai. Strong trade ties with the Genoese formed during this period.
The increased wealth allowed the sultanate to absorb other Turkish states, established in eastern Anatolia. The Seljuq sultans bore the brunt of the Crusades and succumbed to the Mongol invasion in 1243. For the remainder of the 13th century, the Seljuqs acted as vassals of the Ilkhanate, their power disintegrated during the second half of the 13th century. The last of the Seljuq vassal sultans of the Ilkhanate, Mesud II, was murdered in 1308; the dissolution of the Seljuq state left behind many small Anatolian beyliks, among them that of the Ottoman dynasty, which conquered the rest and reunited Anatolia to become the Ottoman Empire. In the 1070s, after the battle of Manzikert, the Seljuk commander Suleiman ibn Qutulmish, a distant cousin of Malik-Shah I and a former contender for the throne of the Seljuk Empire, came to power in western Anatolia. In 1075, he captured the Byzantine cities of Nicomedia. Two years he declared himself sultan of an independent Seljuq state and established his capital at İznik.
Suleiman was killed in Antioch in 1086 by Tutush I, the Seljuk ruler of Syria, Suleiman's son Kilij Arslan I was imprisoned. When Malik Shah died in 1092, Kilij Arslan was released and established himself in his father's territories. Kilij Arslan was defeated by soldiers of the First Crusade and driven back into south-central Anatolia, where he set up his state with capital in Konya. In 1107, he ventured east and captured Mosul but died the same year fighting Malik Shah's son, Mehmed Tapar. Meanwhile, another Rum Seljuq, Malik Shah, captured Konya. In 1116 Kilij Arslan's son, Mesud I, took the city with the help of the Danishmends. Upon Mesud's death in 1156, the sultanate controlled nearly all of central Anatolia. Mesud's son, Kilij Arslan II, captured the remaining territories around Sivas and Malatya from the last of the Danishmends. At the Battle of Myriokephalon in 1176, Kilij Arslan II defeated a Byzantine army led by Manuel I Komnenos, dealing a major blow to Byzantine power in the region.
Despite a temporary occupation of Konya in 1190 by the Holy Roman Empire's forces of the Third Crusade, the sultanate was quick to recover and consolidate its power. During the last years of Kilij Arslan II's reign, the sultanate experienced a civil war with Kaykhusraw I fighting to retain control and losing to his brother Suleiman II in 1196. Süleymanshah II rallied his vassal emirs and marched against Georgia, with an army of 150,000-400,000 and encamped in the Basiani valley. Tamar of Georgia marshaled an army throughout her possessions and put it under command of her consort, David Soslan. Georgian troops under David Soslan made a sudden advance into Basiani and assailed the enemy’s camp in 1203 or 1204. In a pitched battle, the Seljuqid forces managed to roll back several attacks of the Georgians but were overwhelmed and defeated. Loss of the sultan's banner to the Georgians resulted in a panic within the Seljuq ranks. Süleymanshah himself was wounded and withdrew to Erzurum. Both the Rum Seljuk and Georgian armies suffered heavy casualties, but coordinated flanking attacks won the battle for the Georgians.
Suleiman II was routed by the Kingdom of Georgia in the Battle of Basian and died in 1204. He was succeeded by his son Kilij Arslan III. Kaykhusraw I seized Konya in 1205 reestablishing his reign. Under his rule and those of his two successors, Kaykaus I and Kayqubad I, Seljuq power in Anatolia reached its apogee. Kaykhusraw's most important achievement was the capture of the harbour of Attalia on the Mediterranean coast in 1207, his son Kaykaus captured Sinop and made the Empire of Trebizond his vassal in 1214. He subjugated Cilician Armenia but in 1218 was forced to surrender the city of Aleppo, acquired from al-Kamil. Kayqubad continued to acquire lands along the Mediterranean coast from 1221 to 1225. In the 1220s, he sent an expeditionary force across the Black Sea to Crimea. In the east he began to put pressure on the Artuqids. Kaykhusraw II began his reign by capturing the region around Diyarbakır, but in 1239 he had to face an uprising led by a popular preacher named Baba Ishak. After three years, when he had quelled the revolt, the Crimean foothold was lost and the state and the sultanate's army had weakened.
It is in these conditions that he had to fac
Kilij Arslan II
Kilij Arslan II or ʿIzz ad-Dīn Qilij Arslān bin Masʿūd was a Seljuk Sultan of Rûm from 1156 until his death in 1192. As Arnold of Lübeck reports in his Chronica Slavorum, he was present at the meeting of Henry the Lion with Kilij-Arslan during the former's pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1172; when they met near Tarsus, the sultan embraced and kissed the German duke, reminding him that they were blood cousins. When the duke asked for details of this relationship, Kilij Arslan informed him that'a noble lady from the land of Germans married a king of Russia who had a daughter by her. In 1159, Kilij Arslan attacked Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenus as he marched past Iconium, as Manuel returned from negotiating with Nur ad-Din Zengi in Syria. In 1161 Manuel's nephew John Contostephanus defeated Kilij Arslan, the sultan travelled to Constantinople in a show of submission. In 1173 Kilij Arslan, now at peace with the Byzantines, allied with Nur ad-Din against Mosul; the peace treaty with the Byzantines lasted until 1175, when Kilij Arslan refused to hand over to Manuel the territory conquered from the Danishmends, although both sides had for some time been building up their fortifications and armies in preparation for a renewed war.
Kilij Arslan tried to negotiate, but Manuel invaded the sultanate in 1176, intending to capture Iconium itself. Kilij Arslan was able to defeat Emperor Manuel I Komnenos's army at the Battle of Myriokephalon, the Sultan forced the emperor to negotiate a fragile peace. In 1179 Kilij Arslan captured and held to ransom Henry I, the renowned count of Champagne, returning overland from a visit to Jerusalem; the ransom was paid by the Byzantine Emperor and Henry was released, but died soon afterwards. In 1180 the sultan took advantage of the instability in the Byzantine Empire after Manuel's death to secure most of the southern coast of Anatolia, sent his vizier Ikhtiyar al-Din to conclude an alliance with Saladin, Nur ad-Din's successor, that same year. In 1182, he succeeded in capturing the city of Cotyaeum from the Byzantines. In 1185 he made peace with Emperor Isaac II Angelus, but the next year he transferred power to his nine sons, who fought each other for control. Despite Kilij Arslan's alliance with Saladin he was unable to stop the armies of the Third Crusade.
During the late 12th century, at the behest of Kilij Arslan II, the Seljuq palace Alâeddin Kosku was built in Konya. Kilij Arslan died after promising Kaykhusraw I the succession. Kaykhusraw I's brothers continued to fight for control of the other parts of the sultanate. Adalian, Rouben Paul. Historical Dictionary of Armenia. Scarecrow Press, Inc. Cahen, Claude. "The Turks in Iran and Anatolia before the Mongol Invasions". In Wolff, Robert Lee. A History of the Crusades. Vol.2. The University of Wisconsin Press. Hamilton, Bernard; the Leper King and His Heirs: Baldwin IV and the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. Cambridge University Press. Magdalino, Paul. "Court and Capital in Byzantium". In Duindam, Jeroen. Royal Courts in Dynastic States and Empires: A Global Perspective. Vol. 1. Brill. Peacock, A. C. S.. The Seljuks of Anatolia: Court and Society in the Medieval Middle East. I. B. Tauris. Redford, Scott. "Thirteenth-Century Rum Seljuq Palaces and Palace Imagery". Ars Orientalis. 23
Büyük Menderes River
The Büyük Menderes River, is a river in southwestern Turkey. It rises in west central Turkey near Dinar before flowing west through the Büyük Menderes graben until reaching the Aegean Sea in the proximity of the ancient Ionian city Miletus; the word "meander" is used to describe a winding pattern, after the river. The river rises in a spring near Dinar and flows to Lake Işıklı. After passing the Adıgüzel Dam and the Cindere Dam, the river flows past Nazilli, Aydın and Söke before it drains into the Aegean Sea; the Maeander was a celebrated river of Caria in Asia Minor. It appears earliest in the Catalog of Trojans of Homer's Iliad along with Mycale; the river has its sources not far from Celaenae in Phrygia, where it gushed forth in a park of Cyrus. According to some its sources were the same as those of the river Marsyas. Others state. William Martin Leake reconciles all these different statements by the remark that both the Maeander and the Marsyas have their origin in the lake on Mount Aulocrene, above Celaenae, but that they issue at different parts of the mountain below the lake.
The Maeander was so celebrated in antiquity for its numerous windings, that its classical name "Maeander" became, still is, proverbial. Its whole course has a southwesterly direction on the south of the range of Mount Messogis. South of Tripolis it receives the waters of the Lycus, whereby it becomes a river of some importance. Near Carura it passes from Phrygia into Caria, where it flows in its tortuous course through the Maeandrian plain, discharges itself in the Gulf of Icaros, between Priene and Myus, opposite to the Ionian city of Miletus, from which its mouth is only 10 stadia distant; the tributaries of the Maeander include the Orgyas, Cludrus and Gaeson, in the north. The Maeander is a deep river, but not broad. In many parts its depth equals its breadth and, so, it is navigable only by small craft, it overflows its banks and, as a result of the quantity of mud it deposits at its mouth, the coast has been pushed about 20 or 30 stadia further into the sea and several small islands off the coast have become united with the mainland.
The associated river god was called Meander, one of the sons of Oceanus and Tethys. There was a legend about a subterranean connection between the Maeander and the Alpheus River in Elis. Küçük Menderes Meander Battle of the Meander Herodotus. History of Herodotus. Translated by George Rawlinson – via Wikisource. Hesiod. Theogony. Translated by Hugh Gerard Evelyn-White – via Wikisource.. Strabo. H. C. Hamilton. "Geography". Tufts University: The Perseus Digital Library. Xenophon. Anabasis. Translated by Henry Graham Dakyns – via Wikisource.. Xenophon, Harvard University Press, Massachusetts. London. 1980. OCLC 10290977. ISBN 0-674-99100-1. Thonemann, P; the Maeander Valley: A historical geography from Antiquity to Byzantium This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray
Manuel I Komnenos
Manuel I Komnenos was a Byzantine Emperor of the 12th century who reigned over a crucial turning point in the history of Byzantium and the Mediterranean. His reign saw the last flowering of the Komnenian restoration, during which the Byzantine Empire had seen a resurgence of its military and economic power, had enjoyed a cultural revival. Eager to restore his empire to its past glories as the superpower of the Mediterranean world, Manuel pursued an energetic and ambitious foreign policy. In the process he made alliances with the resurgent West, he invaded the Norman Kingdom of Sicily, although unsuccessfully, being the last Eastern Roman Emperor to attempt reconquests in the western Mediterranean. The passage of the dangerous Second Crusade was adroitly managed through his empire. Manuel established a Byzantine protectorate over the Crusader states of Outremer. Facing Muslim advances in the Holy Land, he made common cause with the Kingdom of Jerusalem and participated in a combined invasion of Fatimid Egypt.
Manuel reshaped the political maps of the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean, placing the kingdoms of Hungary and Outremer under Byzantine hegemony and campaigning aggressively against his neighbours both in the west and in the east. However, towards the end of his reign Manuel's achievements in the east were compromised by a serious defeat at Myriokephalon, which in large part resulted from his arrogance in attacking a well-defended Seljuk position. Although the Byzantines recovered and Manuel concluded an advantageous peace with Sultan Kilij Arslan II, Myriokephalon proved to be the final, unsuccessful effort by the empire to recover the interior of Anatolia from the Turks. Called ho Megas by the Greeks, Manuel is known to have inspired intense loyalty in those who served him, he appears as the hero of a history written by his secretary, John Kinnamos, in which every virtue is attributed to him. Manuel, influenced by his contact with western Crusaders, enjoyed the reputation of "the most blessed emperor of Constantinople" in parts of the Latin world as well.
Modern historians, have been less enthusiastic about him. Some of them assert that the great power he wielded was not his own personal achievement, but that of the dynasty he represented. Manuel Komnenos was the fourth son of John II Komnenos and Piroska of Hungary, so it seemed unlikely that he would succeed his father, his maternal grandfather was St. Ladislaus. Having distinguished himself in his father's war against the Seljuk Turks, in 1143 Manuel was chosen as his successor by John, in preference to his elder surviving brother Isaac. After John died on 8 April 1143, his son, was acclaimed emperor by the armies, yet his succession was by no means assured: At his father's deathbed in the wilds of Cilicia far from Constantinople, he recognised that it was vital he should return to the capital as soon as possible. He still had to take care of his father's funeral, tradition demanded he organise the foundation of a monastery on the spot where his father died. Swiftly, he dispatched the megas domestikos John Axouch ahead of him, with orders to arrest his most dangerous potential rival, his brother Isaac, living in the Great Palace with instant access to the imperial treasure and regalia.
Axouch arrived in the capital before news of the emperor's death had reached it. He secured the loyalty of the city, when Manuel entered the capital in August 1143, he was crowned by the new Patriarch, Michael Kourkouas. A few days with nothing more to fear as his position as emperor was now secure, Manuel ordered the release of Isaac, he ordered 2 golden pieces to be given to every householder in Constantinople and 200 pounds of gold to be given to the Byzantine Church. The empire that Manuel inherited from his father had undergone great changes since the foundation of Constantinople by Constantine I eight centuries before. In the time of his predecessor Justinian I, parts of the former Western Roman Empire had been recovered including Italy and part of Spain. However, the empire had diminished following this, the most obvious change had occurred in the 7th century: the soldiers of Islam had taken Egypt and much of Syria away from the empire irrevocably, they had swept on westwards into what in the time of Constantine had been the western provinces of the Roman Empire, in North Africa and Spain.
In the centuries since, the emperors had ruled over a realm that consisted of Asia Minor in the east, the Balkans in the west. In the late 11th century the Byzantine Empire entered a period of marked military and political decline, arrested and reversed by the leadership of Manuel's grandfather and father, yet the empire that Manuel inherited was a polity facing formidable challenges. At the end of the 11th century, the Normans of Sicily had removed Italy from the control of the Byzantine Emperor; the Seljuk Turks had done the same with central Anatolia. And in the Levant, a new force had appeared – the Crusader states – which presented the Byzantine Empire with new challenges. Now, more than at any time during the preceding centuries, the task facing the emperor was daunting indeed; the first test of Manuel's reign came in 1144, when he was faced with a demand by Raymond, Prince of Antioch for the cession of Cilician territories. However that year the crusader County of Edessa was engulfed by the tide of a resurgent Isl
Siege of Trebizond (1222–23)
The Siege of Trebizond in 1222–1223 was an unsuccessful siege of Trebizond, the capital of the namesake empire, by the Seljuq Turks under a certain Melik. According to the late 14th-century Synopsis of Saint Eugenius of John Lazaropoulos, the city was close to being captured, but was saved by an unusually severe storm; the Seljuq assaults were repulsed, their army was annihilated on its retreat through the attacks of the Matzoukaites, fierce mountain tribes under Trebizond's rule, Melik was captured. Historians of Trebizond have traditionally seen the failure of this siege as leading to the termination of Trebizond's vassal status to the Sultanate of Iconium, in place since 1214. However, more recent scholarship that considers the context of Seljuk Turkish history suggests that this battle should be seen as one episode in a struggle between Trebizond and Iconium over control of Sinope, the northern coast of Anatolia, access to the Black Sea and its hinterlands that lasted for most of the 13th century.
The details of the siege and the events leading up to it are preserved in four sources: the chronicle of Michael Panaretos, the Encomium of St Eugenius of Trebizond by Constantine Loukites, the chronicle of Ali ibn al-Athir, most extensively, the Synopsis of John Lazaropoulos. A possible fifth one is the Syrian chronicler Ibn Natif, who refers to a conflict dated around 1230 between Sultan Kaykubad and "Laskari" where Kaykubad won the first battle but lost the second. M. Shukurov has tried to identify those conflicts with this one, but Peacock is right in identifying them as a confused report of the 1214 Siege of Sinope. In his edition of Lazaropoulos' work, Jon Olof Rosenqvist notes a number of problems in Lazaropoulos' account, which led Rosenqvist to argue that he used two sources, one he identifies as consisting of hagiographic materials, a second Rosenqvist speculates was an "epic composition in verse" comparable to the Digenis Akritas, he suggests the image of his astrologers who, upon being asked for advice, consult an astrolabe, could have come from this lost epic, as it was "a standing element in medieval Turkish epics such as the fourteenth-century Melikdanismendnameh."
Rosenqvist goes as far as to identify some words and phrases that may have come from the epic verse, although admitting "for purely statistical reasons a certain amount of such verse fragments—perhaps complete verses—should be expected in an given amount of average Greek prose." The most detailed account of the siege and the events leading up to it is that of Lazaropoulos. On the ascension of Emperor Andronikos I Gidos in 1222, the Empire of Trebizond faced a serious rival in the adjacent Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. One of Andronikos' first acts was to negotiate a treaty with Sultan Melik, which stipulated peaceful relations between the two rulers. However, Melik's vassal Etoumes, rais of Sinope, broke that treaty when he plundered a ship bearing archon Alexios Paktiares and the taxes of Trebizond's province of Cherson; the Trapezuntine fleet anchored off Karousa and pillaged the countryside up to the marketplace of Sinope, seizing the ships in the harbor and killing or capturing their crews. Rais Etoumes was pressured to ransom the captives by releasing Paktiares, the ship and its goods, the expedition returned to Trebizond elated by their success.
When word of this attack reached Sultan Melik at Iconium, he decided he could not bear this attack on his chief port on the Black Sea, he mobilized his army at Erzurum. Emperor Andronikos learned of the Sultan's mobilization, prepared for the coming conflict, gathering soldiers "from Soteropolis and Lazica to Oinaion"—which is assumed to define the borders of the Empire during his reign. Both sides were prepared for the coming conflict; the date of the attack on Sinope and the ensuing siege of Trebizond can be determined from three sources: John Lazaropoulos, Michael Panaretos, Ali ibn al-Athir. John Lazaropoulos dates these events to the Byzantine year of the world 6371, in the second year of the reign of Andronikos I Gidos; the chronicle of Michael Panaretos uses the same words to date the defeat of Melik, so we can be assured the siege fell within this time period. But Lazaropoulos does not provide us with exact dates: this is the only one in his writings. Beyond providing the sequence of actions, he provides no information how much time passed between the rapacious acts of Etoumes, the Trapezuntine raid on Sinope, the beginning of the siege itself, making it possible the first two happened earlier—perhaps years—before 1223.
Our third source, Ali ibn al-Athir, mentions that in 1223 a ship of refugees from the Mongols sank off Anatolia, plundered by the Seljuks. The most complete account of this engagement is in John Lazaropoulos' Synopsis, although his text offers many difficulties; as Jan Olof Rosenqvist points out, Lazaropoulos drew on at least two different sources, which results in certain difficulties of interpretation, as well as raising the possibility that certain incidents are described twice. Moreover, Lazaropoulos has been shown to have introduced new details elsewhere that may be his own invention.
Siege of Sinope
The Siege of Sinope in 1214 was a successful siege and capture of Sinope by the Seljuq Turks under their Sultan, Kaykaus I. Sinope was an important port city on the Black Sea coast of modern Turkey, at the time held by the Empire of Trebizond, one of the Byzantine Greek successor states formed after the Fourth Crusade; the siege is described in some detail by the near-contemporary Seljuq chronicler Ibn Bibi. The Trapezuntine emperor Alexios I led an army to break the siege, but he was defeated and captured, the city surrendered on 1 November. According to Ibn Bibi's account, Kaykaus I decided to embark on the conquest after receiving reports from the frontier that Alexios' troops had been violating Seljuq territory. Upon this, he and his beys gathered those, to Sinope and drew up a plan for the conquest, deciding that a long siege would be required. However, a group of scouts captured Alexios. Upon receiving the captured emperor, Kaykaus I asked for the city's surrender in the name of the emperor, but received a negative response.
According to Selçuk-nâme, 1000 troops led by a commander named Behram cut off the city from the sea, burning ships and killing a number of Greeks and Western Europeans in the process. Upon this, the city surrendered. Although the primary sources named the leader of the Trapezuntine forces as Alexios, beginning with Fallmerayer earlier scholars used to place the death of David Komnenos, Alexios' younger brother and co-founder of the Trapezuntine empire, during the siege of Sinope. For example, Alexander Vasiliev wrote in 1936, "the name of Alexius, the first emperor of Trebizond, was of course more familiar... than the name of his brother David, the real ruler of Sinope at that time. But since the name of David never occurs in the sources after 1214, we may positively conclude that it was David, slain at the first Turkish capture of Sinope." Modern research, has shown that he died in exile as a monk in Mount Athos in 1212/3. The Seljuq capture of Sinope had important consequences: apart from a short period of Trapezuntine recovery in 1254–1265, the city henceforth remained in Turkish hands, cutting the small Trapezuntine state off from overland contact with the metropolitan Byzantine lands of the Empire of Nicaea in western Asia Minor.
At the same time, the capture of its ruler forced the Trapezuntines to accept tributary status to the Seljuqs, which lasted until the failure of a Sejuq assault on Trebizond itself in 1222/1223. According to the Byzantinist Warren Treadgold, the loss of Sinope on the one hand "shielded Trebizond from further attacks from Nicaea", but meant that "henceforth Alexios' claim to be Byzantine emperor rang hollow, the Empire of Trebizond ceased to be of more than local importance."The Russian Byzantinist Rustam Shukurov argues that the consequences were more severe for the Byzantine successor states. The loss of that part of northwestern Anatolia, writes Shukurov, "meant in fact that the Byzantine Greeks lost forever the possibility of a strategic initiative in the northern part of the Byzantine front." The sphere of Byzantine control was split into two enclaves, each blockaded by the ujs: a western Anatolian enclave, destroyed and completely assimilated by the 14th century, an eastern enclave consolidated by the Empire of Trebizond that survived much longer, into the 15th century.
Further, the capture of Sinope provided the Seljuks access to new strategic routes of conquest, one aimed at Constantinople and the other at Crimea and the south Russian steppes. Savvides, Alexios G. K.. Ιστορία της Αυτοκρατορίας των Μεγάλων Κομνηνών της Τραπεζούντας. 2η Έκδοση με προσθήκες. Thessaloniki: Kyriakidis Brothers S. A. ISBN 978-960-467-121-2. Treadgold, Warren. A History of the Byzantine State and Society. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804726302. Turan, Osman. Selçuklular Zamanında Türkiye. Istanbul: Ötüken Neşriyat. ISBN 9786051552330