Siege of Nicaea
The Siege of Nicaea took place from May 14 to June 19, 1097, during the First Crusade. The city belonged to the Seljuk Turks. After the siege followed the Battle of Dorylaeum, the siege of Antioch all in modern Turkey. Nicaea, located on the eastern shore of Lake Askania, had been captured from the Byzantine Empire by the Seljuk Turks in 1081, formed the capital of the Sultanate of Rum. In 1096, the People's Crusade, the first stage of the First Crusade, had plundered the land surrounding the city, before being destroyed by the Turks; as a result, Sultan Kilij Arslan I felt that the second wave of crusaders were not a threat. He left his family and his treasury behind in Nicaea and went east to fight the Danishmends for control of the Melitene; the crusaders began to leave Constantinople at the end of April 1097. Godfrey of Bouillon was the first to arrive at Nicaea, with Bohemond of Taranto, Bohemond's nephew Tancred, Raymond IV of Toulouse, Robert II of Flanders following him, along with Peter the Hermit and some of the survivors of the People's Crusade, a small Byzantine force under Manuel Boutoumites.
They arrived on May 6 short on food, but Bohemond arranged for food to be brought by land and by sea. They put the city to siege beginning on May 14, assigning their forces to different sections of the walls, which were well-defended with 200 towers. Bohemond camped on the north side of the city, Godfrey on the south, Raymond and Adhemar of Le Puy on the eastern gate. On May 16, the Turkish defenders sallied out to attack the crusaders, but the Turks were defeated in a skirmish with the loss of 200 men; the Turks sent messages to Kilij Arslan begging him to return, when he realized the strength of the crusaders he turned back. An advance party was defeated by troops under Raymond and Robert of Flanders on May 20, on May 21, the crusader army defeated Kilij in a pitched battle which lasted long into the night. Losses were heavy on both sides but in the end the Sultan retreated, despite the pleas of the Nicaean Turks; the rest of the crusaders arrived throughout the rest of May, with Robert Curthose and Stephen of Blois arriving at the beginning of June.
Meanwhile and Adhemar built a large siege engine, rolled up to the Gonatas Tower in order to engage the defenders on the walls while miners mined the tower from below. The tower was damaged but no further progress was made. Byzantine emperor Alexios I chose not to accompany the crusaders, but marched out behind them and made his camp at nearby Pelecanum. From there, he sent boats, rolled over the land, to help the crusaders blockade Lake Ascanius, which had up to this point been used by the Turks to supply Nicaea with food; the boats arrived under the command of Manuel Boutoumites. The general Tatikios was sent, with 2,000 foot soldiers. Alexios had instructed Boutoumites to secretly negotiate the surrender of the city without the crusaders' knowledge. Tatikios was instructed to join with the crusaders and make a direct assault on the walls, while Boutoumites would pretend to do the same to make it look as if the Byzantines had captured the city in battle; this was done, on June 19 the Turks surrendered to Boutoumites.
When the crusaders discovered what Alexios had done, they were quite angry, as they had hoped to plunder the city for money and supplies. Boutoumites, was named dux of Nicaea and forbade the crusaders from entering in groups larger than 10 men at a time. Boutoumites expelled the Turkish generals, whom he considered just as untrustworthy. Kilij Arslan's family went to Constantinople and were released without ransom. Alexios gave the crusaders money and other gifts, but the crusaders were not pleased with this, believing they could have had more if they had captured Nicaea themselves. Boutoumites would not permit them to leave until they had all sworn an oath of vassalage to Alexios, if they had not yet done so in Constantinople; as he had in Constantinople, Tancred at first refused, but he gave in. The crusaders left Nicaea on June 26, in two contingents: Bohemond, Robert of Flanders, Tatikios in the vanguard, Godfrey, Baldwin of Boulogne and Hugh of Vermandois in the rear. Tatikios was instructed to ensure the return of captured cities to the empire.
Their spirits were high, Stephen wrote to his wife Adela that they expected to be in Jerusalem in five weeks. On July 1, they defeated Kilij at the Battle of Dorylaeum, by October they reached Antioch. Anna Comnena, Alexiad Fulcher of Chartres, Historia Hierosolymitana Gesta Francorum Raymond of Aguilers, Historia francorum qui ceperunt Jerusalem Mayer, Hans Eberhard; the Crusades. London: Oxford University Press, 1972. ISBN 0198730152 Nicolle, David; the First Crusade 1096-1099: Conquest of the Holy Land, Osprey Publishing, 2003. Pryor, John H. Logistics of Warfare in the Age of the Crusades, Ashgate Publishing Ltd. 2006. ISBN 0754651975 Riley-Smith, Jonathan Simon Christopher; the First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. ISBN 0812280261 Runciman, The First Crusaders, 1095-1131. Cambridge University Press, 1951. Setton, Kenneth, ed. A History of the Crusades. Madison, 1969-1989. Treadgold, Warren. A History of the Byzantine State and Society. Stanford, 1997.
Tughril Beg spelled Toghrul I, Toghril, Tugrul or Toghrïl Beg. Tughril united the Turkic warriors of the Great Eurasian Steppes into a confederacy of tribes, who traced their ancestry to a single ancestor named Seljuq, led them in conquest of eastern Iran, he would establish the Seljuq Sultanate after conquering Persia and retaking the Abbasid capital of Baghdad from the Buyid dynasty in 1055. Tughril relegated the Abbasid Caliphs to state figureheads and took command of the caliphate's armies in military offensives against the Byzantine Empire and the Fatimid Caliphate in an effort to expand his empire's borders and unite the Islamic world. Tughril was the son of Mikail ibn Seljuq. Tughril ascended to power ca. 1016. In the 1020s, Tughril and his other relatives were serving the Kara-Khanids of Bukhara. In 1026, the Kara-Khanids were driven out of Bukhara by the Ghaznavid Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni; this defeat made Arslan Isra'il flee to a place near Sarakhs, where he asked Mahmud for permission to settle in the area in return for military aid.
Mahmud, had Arslan Isra'il put in prison, where the latter soon died. Meanwhile and Chaghri remained loyal to their Kara-Khanid overlords. Although in 1029 they had some disputes with the Kara-Khanids, they continued to support them, still continued to participate in the Kara-Khanid wars against the Ghaznavids. After the Kara-Khanid ruler Ali-Tegin's death, the Seljuqs changed their allegiance to the ruler of Khwarazm, but were in 1035 repelled by the Oghuz ruler Shah Malik; the Seljuqs went to the same place which Arslan Isra'il had gone to, asked the son of Mahmud, Mas'ud I, for asylum. Mas'ud, considered the nomadic Turks a dangerous threat and sent an army under commander-in-chief Begtoghdi; the army was shortly defeated by the Seljuqs, who forced Mas'ud to cede Nasa and Dihistan in return for Seljuq recognition of Ghaznavid authority and protection of the region from other Turkic tribes. In 1037, the Seljuqs managed to force the Ghaznavids to cede them Sarakhs and Marw; the Seljuqs slowly began subdue the cities of Khorasan, when they captured Nishapur, Tughril proclaimed himself as the Sultan of Khorasan.
Mas'ud, after having returned to Khorasan, expelled the Seljuqs from Herat and Nishapur. He soon marched towards Merv to remove the Seljuq threat from Khorasan, his army included 12 to 60 war elephants. A battle shortly took place near Merv, known as the Battle of Dandanaqan, where the army of Mas'ud was defeated by a much smaller army under Tughril, his brother Chaghri Beg, the Kakuyid prince Faramurz. Mas'ud thus permanently lost control of all of western Khorasan; this victory marked the foundation of the Seljuk Empire, now expanding towards West. Tughril installed Chagri as the governor of Khorasan and prevented a Ghaznavid reconquest moved on to the conquest of the Iranian plateau in 1040-1044. In 1042/3, he conquered Ray and Qazvin, was at the same his suzerainty was acknowledged by the Justanid ruler of Dailam; the Sallarid ruler of Shamiran shortly acknowledged the suzerianty of Tughril. By 1054 his forces were contending in Anatolia with the Byzantines and in 1055 he was commissioned by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Qa'im to recapture Baghdad from the Buyids.
A revolt by Turcoman forces under his foster brother İbrahim Yinal, Buyid forces and an uprising against the Seljuqs led to the loss of the city to the Fatimids Caliph in 1058. Two years Tughril crushed the rebellion strangling İbrahim with his bowstring and entered Baghdad, he married the daughter of the Abbasid Caliph near the city of Tabriz. He died childless in the city of Rey in modern Iran and was succeeded by his nephew Suleiman, contested by Alp Arslan, both of them sons of his brother Chaghri, his cousin Kutalmish who had both been a vital part of his campaigns and a supporter of Inal's rebellion put forth a claim. Alp Arslan defeated Kutalmish for the throne and succeeded on April 27, 1064. Bosworth, C. E.. "The early Ghaznavids". In Frye, R. N; the Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 4: From the Arab Invasion to the Saljuqs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 162–198. ISBN 0-521-20093-8. Bosworth, C. E.. "The Political and Dynastic History of the Iranian World". In Frye, R. N; the Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 5: The Saljuq and Mongol periods.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 1–202. ISBN 0-521-06936-X. Bosworth, C. E.. "Iran under the Buyids". In Frye, R. N; the Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 4: From the Arab Invasion to the Saljuqs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 250–305. ISBN 0-521-20093-8. Madelung, W.. "The Minor Dynasties of Northern Iran". In Frye, R. N; the Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 4: From the Arab Invasion to the Saljuqs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 198–249. ISBN 978-0-521-20093-6. Minorsky, V.. "Tabriz". The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill. Van Donzel, E. J. ed.. Islamic Desk Reference. E. J. Brill. More info
Rey or Ray known as Rhages and as Arsacia, is the capital of Rey County in Tehran Province of Iran, the oldest existing city in the province. Ray today has been absorbed into the Greater Tehran metropolitan area. Ray is connected via the Tehran Metro to the rest of Tehran and has many industries and factories in operation. Limited excavations of what was not bulldozed began in 1997 in collaboration with the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, the Department of Archaeological Sciences of the University of Bradford and the Department of Archaeology of the University of Tehran. According to the Iranian Chamber Society, the correct spelling of the city in both English and Persian is Ray, though variations in spelling exist; the city university uses the spelling Ray, as does the Encyclopædia Iranica published by Columbia University. A settlement began here c 6,000 BCE as part of the Central Plateau Culture; the settlement was used as a capital by the Arsacids called Rhaga. In Classical Greco-Roman geography it was called Rhagae.
It is mentioned several times in the Apocrypha. Its name dates back to the pre-Median period; some historians attribute its building to ancient mythological monarchs, some others believe that Ray was the seat of a dynasty of Zoroastrian leader. During the Seleucid period, Alexander the Great's general Seleucus I Nicator renamed the city as Europos, honouring his home city in Macedonia. Rey is shown on the 4th century Peutinger Map. Ray is richer than many other ancient cities in the number of its historical monuments, among which one might refer to the 3000-year-old Gebri castle, the 5000-year-old Cheshmeh Ali hill, the 1000-year-old Bibi Shahr Banoo tomb and Shah Abbasi caravanserai, it has been home to pillars of science like Rhazes. Rey was one of the capital cities of the Seljuq Empire in the 11th century. In the 13th century after the Mongol conquest the town was damaged and it lost its importance in the presence of nearby Tehran. There is a shrine there, dedicated to commemorate Princess Shahr Banu, eldest daughter of the last ruler of the Sassanid Empire.
She gave birth to Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin, the fourth holy Imam of the Shia faith. This was through her marriage to the grandson of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. A nearby mountain is named after her. However, some sources attribute the shrine to the goddess of water and fertility, claiming it was renamed in Islamic times to protect it from any possible harm after the conversion of Iranians to Islam. In the middle of the 19th century, Ray was described as a place of ruins, the only settlement being around the shrine of Abdol Azim. Being the only important pilgrimage site in vicinity to the royal court in the new capital Tehran brought more people to visit the shrine and a major restoration was sponsored by the court, thus Ray was the first place in Iran to be connected to the capital by a railroad in 1888. Shah-Abdol-Azim shrine; the shrine contains the tomb of ‘Abdul ‘Adhīm ibn ‘Abdillāh al-Hasanī, a fifth generation descendant of Hasan ibn ‘Alī and a companion of Muhammad al-Taqī. He was entombed here after his death in the 9th century.
Adjacent to the shrine, within the complex, are the mausolea of Imamzadeh Imamzadeh Tahir, son of the fourth Shī‘ah Imam Imām Sajjad and Imamzadeh Hamzeh, brother of the eighth Twelver Imām - Imām Reza). Cheshmeh-Ali, hill with a spring. In 1933-6 Cheshmeh Ali hill was excavated by archaeologists from the Boston Fine Arts Museum and the University Museum at the University of Pennsylvania headed by Erich Schmidt, which resulted in the discovery of 7,000-year-old artifacts; some of the discovered objects are displayed at museums in Iran and Philadelphia. The hill is now leveled out due to real estate expansion in the 1980s and 1990s; some recent research has been done. Since Ray was used as a recreation center due to its beautiful attractions under the reign of the Qajar dynasty, Fath Ali Shah used to explore the city. In 1831 his portrait and that of some Qajar princes were engraved on a rock at Cheshmeh Ali hill and its surrounding was decorated with tablets covered by poetry. Tuğrul Tower, constructed under the Seljuqs at the order of Tuğrul Beg in 1140, once he transferred the capital city from Nishapur to Ray.
The tower is 20 meters high and the surface of its exterior is divided into 24 sections, which besides manifesting beauty and durability, symbolizes the figures of constellation as well as a 24-hour length of time. Shah Abbasi Caravanserai. One of the ancient residential and commercial complexes, used as a lodging by traders and located on the shrine street, close to the Bazaar, it comprises four verandas and is surrounded by stones all around, which used to serve as a market place where goods and commercial products were presented and sold by traders. Ray Bazaar. Located to the north of Shah-Abdol-Azim's shrine, it comprises two sections and a crossroad is formed at their intersection, it has long been a center for the sale of spices, traditional herbs, commercial goods which were imported by traders via the Silk Road. The structure of the bazaar is constructed from plaster, raw mud brick and mud, it dates back to the Safavid era and is 500 years old. Anyanaj Tower, an octagonal tower known as Naqareh Khaneh stands on the slopes of Tabarak mountain.
A cellar is linked to the tower from underneath through a vestibule erected outside. The tower, constructed by stone and plaster and decorated by brickwork and zigzag vaults, dates back to the Saljuk er
Battle of Hyelion and Leimocheir
The Battle of Hyelion and Leimocheir saw the complete destruction by the Byzantines of a large Seljuq Turk army. The Seljuq army had been raiding Byzantine territory in the Maeander Valley in Anatolia, had sacked a number of cities; the Byzantine force ambushed the Turks at a river crossing. Following Emperor Manuel Komnenos's defeat at the Battle of Myriokephalon the Byzantines failed to implement all the conditions the destruction of border fortresses, demanded by the Seljuq sultan Kilij Arslan II as a prerequisite for a cessation of hostilities. A substantial Seljuq cavalry army, including Turcoman nomad auxiliaries, was dispatched into Byzantine territory, in the Meander Valley in western Anatolia, on a retaliatory raid. A Byzantine army under the general John Komnenos Vatatzes, the emperor's nephew, set out from Constantinople with instructions to intercept the Seljuq raiders. Vatatzes was given two other generals as his subordinates, Constantine Doukas and Michael Aspietes, was able to pick up reinforcements as his army moved through Byzantine territory.
The date of the battle is unknown, it has been ascribed to the year 1177 on the basis of its position within the narrative of Niketas Choniates. The Turks, who had orders to ravage the Meander Valley as far as the sea-shore, sacked the Byzantine settlements of Tralles, Antioch and Pantacheir; as a result of these successes, they were loaded with plunder, rather poetically, water from the sea, an oar and shore sand. These burdens would have lessened their tactical mobility; the Seljuq army was returning towards Turkish territory when it approached a "choke point" in its journey where the great eastern highway crossed the Meander River by way of a bridge, near the villages, or forts, of Hyelion and Leimocheir. The Byzantines were divided into two corps, separated by the river, they caught the Seljuq army in an ambush when it had crossed over the river, destroying it as a fighting force. The Byzantine light troops played a prominent role in the battle. Many of the Seljuq soldiers were drowned; the Seljuq commander, known as "Atapakos" in Greek sources—evidently a bearer of the title of Atabeg—tried to help his forces cross the river by rallying the most armed of his cavalry and attacking the Byzantines.
This attack having failed, he tried to save himself by swimming across the river with his horse. When he reached the opposite shore, however, he was killed by an Alan soldier of the Byzantine force. Following the death of their commander the Seljuq troops fled in disorder, with a great number of them being drowned in the river. On the Byzantine side, the general Michael Aspietes fell; the battle was a significant Byzantine victory and it underlined how limited the immediate effects of the Byzantine defeat at Myriokephalon were on the empire's hold over its Anatolian possessions. The Byzantine victory was followed up by punitive expeditions against the Turcoman nomads settled around the upper Meander Valley; the Byzantine strategy at this battle, ambushing a raiding army on its return journey when it would be slowed by plunder and captives, is what is prescribed in much earlier Byzantine military treatises, such as the Tactica of Leo VI. This points to a retention by Byzantine commanders of knowledge of the successful military strategies of the past.
The emperor Manuel died in 1180. Without the strong presence of Manuel, the military advantage in Anatolia reverted to the Seljuqs. Sultan Kilij Arslan invaded the empire in 1182, when Byzantium was distracted by the coup d'état of Alexios's cousin Andronikos Komnenos, following the Siege of Cotyaeum captured the towns of Sozopolis and Cotyaeum. Komnenian army
Ani is a ruined medieval Armenian city now situated in Turkey's province of Kars, next to the closed border with Armenia. Between 961 and 1045, it was the capital of the Bagratid Armenian kingdom that covered much of present-day Armenia and eastern Turkey. Called the "City of 1001 Churches", Ani stood on various trade routes and its many religious buildings and fortifications were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced structures in the world. At its height, Ani was one of the biggest cities in the world, its population was on the order of 100,000. Long ago renowned for its splendor and magnificence, Ani was sacked by the Mongols in 1236 and devastated in a 1319 earthquake, after which it was reduced to a village and abandoned and forgotten by the seventeenth century. Ani is a recognized cultural and national heritage symbol for Armenians. According to Razmik Panossian, Ani is one of the most visible and ‘tangible’ symbols of past Armenian greatness and hence a source of pride.
The city took its name from the Armenian fortress-city and pagan center of Ani-Kamakh located in the region of Daranaghi in Upper Armenia. Ani was previously known as Khnamk, although historians are uncertain as to why it was called so. Johann Heinrich Hübschmann, a German philologist and linguist who studied the Armenian language, suggested that the word may have come from the Armenian word "khnamel", an infinitive which means "to take care of". Ani was the diminutive name of ancient Armenian goddess Anahit, seen as the mother-protector of Armenia; the city is located on a triangular site, visually dramatic and defensive, protected on its eastern side by the ravine of the Akhurian River and on its western side by the Bostanlar or Tzaghkotzadzor valley. The Akhurian is a branch of the Araks River and forms part of the closed border between Turkey and Armenia; the site is at an elevation of around 4,390 feet. Armenian chroniclers such as Yeghishe and Ghazar Parpetsi first mentioned Ani in the 5th century.
They described it as a strong fortress built on a hilltop and a possession of the Armenian Kamsarakan dynasty. By the early 9th century, the former territories of the Kamsarakans in Arsharunik and Shirak had been incorporated into the territories of the Armenian Bagratuni dynasty, their leader, Ashot Msaker was given the title of ishkhan of Armenia by the Caliphate in 804. The Bagratunis had their first capital at Bagaran, some 40 km south of Ani, before moving it to Shirakavan, some 25 km northeast of Ani, transferring it to Kars in the year 929. In 961, king Ashot III transferred the capital from Kars to Ani. Ani expanded during the reign of King Smbat II. In 992 the Armenian Catholicosate moved its seat to Ani. In the 10th century the population was 50,000–100,000. By the start of the eleventh century the population of Ani was well over 100,000, its renown was such that it was known as the "city of forty gates" and the "city of a thousand and one churches." Ani became the site of the royal mausoleum of Bagratuni kings.
Ani attained the peak of its power during the long reign of King Gagik I. After his death his two sons quarreled over the succession; the eldest son, Hovhannes-Smbat, gained control of Ani while his younger brother, Ashot IV, controlled other parts of the Bagratuni kingdom. Hovhannes-Smbat, fearing that the Byzantine Empire would attack his now-weakened kingdom, made the Byzantine Emperor Basil II his heir; when Hovhannes-Smbat died in 1041, Emperor Michael IV the Paphlagonian, claimed sovereignty over Ani. The new king of Ani, Gagik II, opposed this and several Byzantine armies sent to capture Ani were repulsed. However, in 1046 Ani surrendered to the Byzantines, after Gagik was invited to Constantinople and detained there, at the instigation of pro-Byzantine elements among its population. A Byzantine governor was installed in the city. Ani did not lie along any important trade routes, but because of its size and wealth it became an important trading hub, its primary trading partners were the Byzantine Empire, the Persian Empire, the Arabs, as well as smaller nations in southern Russia and Central Asia.
In 1064, a large Seljuk army under Alp Arslan attacked Ani. An account of the sack and massacres in Ani is given by the Arab historian Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, who quotes an eyewitness saying: Putting the Persian sword to work, they spared no one... One could see there the calamity of every age of human kind. For children were ravished from the embraces of their mothers and mercilessly hurled against rocks, while the mothers drenched them with tears and blood... The city became a road; the army entered the city, massacred its inhabitants and burned it, leaving it in ruins and taking prisoner all those who remained alive... The dead bodies were so many, and the number of prisoners was not less than 50,000 souls. I was determined to see the destruction with my own eyes. I tried to find a street. In 1072, the Seljuks sold Ani to a Muslim Kurdish dynasty; the Shaddadids pursued a conciliatory policy towards the city’s overwhelmingly Armenian and Christian population and married several members o
The theme of Iberia was an administrative and military unit – theme – within the Byzantine Empire carved by the Byzantine Emperors out of several Georgian lands in the 11th century. It was formed as a result of Emperor Basil II’s annexation of a portion of the Bagrationi Dynasty domains and aggrandized at the expense of several Armenian kingdoms acquired by the Byzantines in a piecemeal fashion in the course of the 11th century; the population of the theme—at its largest extent—was multiethnic with a possible Georgian majority, including a sizable Armenian community of Chalcedonic rite to which Byzantines sometimes expanded, as a denominational name, the ethnonym "Iberian", a Graeco-Roman designation of Georgians. The theme ceased to exist in 1074 as a result of the Seljuk invasions; the theme was created by the emperor Basil II from the lands inherited from the Georgian prince David III of Tao. These areas – parts of the Armeno-Georgian marchlands centered on Thither Tao, including Theodosioupolis, Hark’, Apahunik’, Khaldoyarich, Ch’ormayari – had been granted to David for his crucial assistance to Basil against the rebel commander Bardas Sclerus in 979.
However, David's rebuff of Basil in Bardas Phocas’ revolt of 987 evoked Constantinople’s distrust of the Caucasian rulers. After the failure of the revolt, David was forced to make Basil II the legatee of his extensive possessions. Basil gathered his inheritance upon David’s death in 1000, forcing the successor Georgian Bagratid ruler Bagrat III to recognize the new rearrangement. Bagrat’s son, George I, inherited a longstanding claim to David’s succession. While Basil was preoccupied with his Bulgarian campaigns, George gained momentum to invade Tao and Phasiane in 1014. Defeated in the ensuing Byzantine-Georgian wars, George had to relinquish further lands – Kola and Javakheti – to the Byzantine crown in 1022; these provinces were organized by Basil II into the theme of Iberia with the capital at Theodosiopolis. Henceforth, the theme of Iberia was administered jointly with Ducate of Chaldia; as a result, the political center of the Georgian state moved north, as did a significant part of the Georgian nobility, while the empire gained a critical foothold for further expansion into the territories of Armenia and Georgia.
The exact chronology of the theme of Iberia and of its governors is not clear. The few Greek seals from the theme or from the ambiguous "Interior Iberia" can be dated precisely. Although many scholars maintain that the theme was created after the annexation of David of Tao's princedom, it is difficult to ascertain whether Byzantine rule extended into Tao permanently in 1000 or only after Georgia's defeat in 1022, it is impossible to identify any commander in Iberia before the appointment, in 1025/6, of the eunuch Niketas of Pisidia as the doux or katepano of Iberia. Some scholars believe, that the first doux of Iberia was either Romanos Dalassenos or his brother Theophylactos appointed between 1022 and 1027 in the aftermath of Basil's Georgian campaigns. After 1045 Iberia included the former Kingdom of Ani. Since 1071 Gregory Pakourianos was a governor of the Theme of Iberia; the Iberian governor was aided by tax officials, by co administrators who shared in the exercise of the military and civil duties.
Among these officials were the domesticos of the East, the administrators of the districts of which the theme was composed, the occasional extraordinary legates sent there by the emperor. Apart from the regular Byzantine garrisons, an indigenous army of peasant soldiers guarded the area and received in turn an allotment of tax-free government land; this changed, when Constantine IX dismantled the army of the theme of Iberia 5,000 men, converting its obligations from military service to the payment of tax. Constantine dispatched Nikolaos Serblias to conduct an inventory and to exact taxes that had never been demanded previously. Constantine's reforms caused great discontent in the theme and exposed it to hostile attack aided by the removal of regular troops from the region, first to crush the Macedonian revolt of Leo Tornicius, himself the former catapan of Iberia, to halt the Pecheneg advance. In 1048-9, the Seljuk Turks under Ibrahim Yinal made their first incursion in this region and clashed with a combined Byzantine-Armenian and Georgian army of 50,000 at the Battle of Kapetrou on September 10, 1048.
During this expedition, tens of thousands of Christians are said to have been massacred and several areas were reduced to piles of ashes. In 1051/52, Eustathius Boilas, a Byzantine magnate who moved from Cappadocia to the theme of Iberia, found the land "foul and unmanageable... inhabited by snakes and wild beasts."About 1053 Constantine IX disbanded what the historian John Skylitzes calls the "Iberian Army", which consisted of 50,000 men and it was turned as a contemporary Drungary of the Watch. Two other knowledgeable contemporaries, the former officials Michael Attaleiates and Kekaumenos, agree with Skylitzes that by demobilizing these soldiers Constantine did catastrophic harm to the Empire's eastern defenses. Kekaumenos says that Constantine's demobilization covered "Iberia and Mesopotamia", Attaliates refers to the demobilized district as "the Iberian land", evidently the same as "the land of the Iberians"; the region of the demobilized "Iberian Army" evidently included everything north of the ducates of Antioch and Edessa and east of the old Anatolian themes.
The other themes were called "Iberian" because after the conquest of Iberia in 1000 the general command over them was transferred from the Duke of Mesopotamia to the Duke of
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.