Battle of Petroe
The Battle of Petroe known as the Battle of Hades, was fought on 20 August 1057 between two rival Byzantine armies: the loyalist forces of the Byzantine emperor Michael VI Stratiotikos under the proedros Theodore, the supporters of the rebel general Isaac Komnenos. Disgruntled by the neglect of army finances and the Emperor's unwillingness to consider their grievances and other leading commanders, including Nikephoros Bryennios and Nikephoros Botaneiates, began plotting against Michael VI, on 8 June 1057, Komnenos was proclaimed emperor at his estates in Cappadocia. After his supporters rallied regiments from Anatolia to his cause, his army marched west towards Constantinople, encountered the loyalist army, composed of regiments from Europe, near the city of Nicaea. After confronting each other for several days, the two armies engaged at the plain of Hades. Although the right wing of the rebel army was beaten, Komnenos himself held firm in the centre. Victory was won by his left wing, led by Katakalon Kekaumenos, which routed the imperial right and entered their camp, destroyed their tents, causing the imperial army to break and run, leaving the way open to Constantinople.
With the rebel army approaching the capital, Michael VI offered Komnenos the position of Caesar and heir-apparent, but he was convinced to abdicate the throne. On the next day, 1 September 1057, Isaac Komnenos was crowned emperor in Constantinople, his reign was marked by his unsuccessful attempts to reform the administration and strengthen the empire, but the opposition he aroused led to his own abdication in November 1059. When Empress Theodora, the last member of the Macedonian dynasty, died in 1056, the court circle around the Empress, dominated by her household eunuchs under Leo Paraspondylos, selected Michael VI Bringas as her successor. A career bureaucrat, Michael was a pliant ruler dominated by the eunuchs. Given his advanced years and lack of children, his reign was perceived as weak and unlikely to last from the start, was plagued by rebellions. Michael VI engaged in massive promotions of individuals, but restricted this to the civilian bureaucracy, neglected the military; this was not a trivial matter: the debasement of the Byzantine currency under Constantine IX Monomachos had affected military pay—not coincidentally presided over by none other than Michael Bringas, military logothete—and while civil officials were compensated by being raised to higher dignities, the army officers were not.
This exacerbated the simmering dislike of the military aristocracy for what, in the words of the Byzantinist Anthony Kaldellis, they considered as the "regime of eunuchs and civilian politicians" that had dominated the empire during the last decades of the Macedonian dynasty. During Easter 1057, a delegation of leading generals under Isaac Komnenos, Katakalon Kekaumenos, Michael Bourtzes, Constantine Doukas and John Doukas, appeared before the Emperor to request similar promotions. According to the eyewitness Michael Psellos, the Emperor began abusing them at once; the effect of the Emperor's attitude on the army leadership was profound, turned them against Michael. A second delegation, this time to Strabospondylos, was received in similar manner, a plot was formed against the Emperor, with Isaac Komnenos as its leader; the conspirators contacted the veteran general Nikephoros Bryennios, who had unsuccessfully tried to usurp the throne from Theodora, but had been recalled by Michael VI as commander of the Macedonian army, he agreed to support them.
Soon after, Bryennios left with his troops to campaign against the Turks. Once in the Anatolic Theme, he quarrelled with the patrikios John Opsaras. Bryennios not only imprisoned Opsaras, but appropriated the army chest that Opsaras carried with him, began to pay the soldiers as he saw fit; this act did not go unnoticed by another local commander, the patrikios Lykanthes, who regarded it as an attempt at rebellion. Lykanthes marched against Bryennios, arrested him and handed him over to Opsaras, who had Bryennios blinded. Fearing that their plot was about to be discovered, the eastern generals felt forced to act; the conspirators resident in the Anatolic Theme, Romanos Skleros, Michael Bourtzes, Nikephoros Botaneiates and the sons of Basil Argyros, hastened to find Isaac Komnenos at his estates near Kastamon in Paphlagonia, on 8 June 1057, at a place called Gounaria, proclaimed him emperor. It is unclear, thus the near-contemporary historian John Skylitzes reports that Kekaumenos had to forge imperial letters to mobilize the regiments of the Armeniac Theme, ostensibly to march against the Seljuk chieftain Samouch.
Of these regiments, three were composed of mercenaries—two Frankish and one Russian—and two were native Byzantine—those of Koloneia and Chaldia. Gathering these forces on the plain of Nikopolis, Kekaumenos marched west to join Komnenos. At the same time, the western regiments, the eastern ones of the Anatolic Theme and of Charsianon, remained loyal to Michael VI; the Emperor placed this force under the command of Theodora's eunuch favourite, the proedros Theodore, the domestikos ton scholon of the east, the mag
Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I Komnenos, Latinized Alexius I Comnenus, was Byzantine emperor from 1081 to 1118. Although he was not the founder of the Komnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Komnenos family came to full power. Inheriting a collapsing empire and faced with constant warfare during his reign against both the Seljuq Turks in Asia Minor and the Normans in the western Balkans, Alexios was able to curb the Byzantine decline and begin the military and territorial recovery known as the Komnenian restoration; the basis for this recovery were various reforms initiated by Alexios. His appeals to Western Europe for help against the Turks were the catalyst that contributed to the convoking of the Crusades. Alexios was the son of the Domestic of the Schools John Komnenos and Anna Dalassene, the nephew of Isaac I Komnenos. Alexios' father declined the throne on the abdication of Isaac, thus succeeded by four emperors of other families between 1059 and 1081. Under one of these emperors, Romanos IV Diogenes, Alexios served with distinction against the Seljuq Turks.
Under Michael VII Doukas Parapinakes and Nikephoros III Botaneiates, he was employed, along with his elder brother Isaac, against rebels in Asia Minor, in Epirus. In 1074, western mercenaries led by Roussel de Bailleul rebelled in Asia Minor, but Alexios subdued them by 1076. In 1078, he was appointed commander of the field army in the West by Nikephoros III. In this capacity, Alexios defeated the rebellions of Nikephoros Bryennios the Elder and Nikephoros Basilakes, the first at the Battle of Kalavrye and the latter in a surprise night attack on his camp. Alexios was ordered to march against his brother-in-law Nikephoros Melissenos in Asia Minor but refused to fight his kinsman; this did not, lead to a demotion, as Alexios was needed to counter the expected invasion of the Normans of Southern Italy, led by Robert Guiscard. While Byzantine troops were assembling for the expedition, the Doukas faction at court approached Alexios and convinced him to join a conspiracy against Nikephoros III; the mother of Alexios, Anna Dalassene, was to play a prominent role in this coup d'état of 1081, along with the current empress, Maria of Alania.
First married to Michael VII Doukas and secondly to Nikephoros III Botaneiates, she was preoccupied with the future of her son by Michael VII, Constantine Doukas. Nikephoros III intended to leave the throne to one of his close relatives, this resulted in Maria's ambivalence and alliance with the Komnenoi, though the real driving force behind this political alliance was Anna Dalassene; the empress was closely connected to the Komnenoi through Maria's cousin Irene's marriage to Isaac Komnenos, so the Komnenoi brothers were able to see her under the pretense of a friendly family visit. Furthermore, to aid the conspiracy Maria had adopted Alexios as her son, though she was only five years older than he. Maria was persuaded to do so on the advice of her own "Alans" and her eunuchs, instigated by Isaac Komnenos. Given Anna's tight hold on her family, Alexios must have been adopted with her implicit approval; as a result and Constantine, Maria's son, were now adoptive brothers, both Isaac and Alexios took an oath that they would safeguard his rights as emperor.
By secretly giving inside information to the Komnenoi, Maria was an invaluable ally. As stated in the Alexiad and Alexios left Constantinople in mid-February 1081 to raise an army against Botaneiates. However, when the time came and surreptitiously mobilized the remainder of the family and took refuge in the Hagia Sophia. From there she negotiated with the emperor for the safety of family members left in the capital, while protesting her sons' innocence of hostile actions. Under the falsehood of making a vesperal visit to worship at the church, she deliberately excluded the grandson of Botaneiates and his loyal tutor, met with Alexios and Isaac, fled for the forum of Constantine; the tutor discovered they were missing and found them on the palace grounds, but Anna was able to convince him that they would return to the palace shortly. To gain entrance to both the outer and inner sanctuary of the church, the women pretended to the gatekeepers that they were pilgrims from Cappadocia who had spent all their funds and wanted to worship before starting their return trip.
However, before they were to gain entry into the sanctuary and royal guards caught up with them to summon them back to the palace. Anna protested that the family was in fear for their lives, her sons were loyal subjects, had learned of a plot by enemies of the Komnenoi to have them both blinded and had, fled the capital so they may continue to be of loyal service to the emperor, she refused to go with them and demanded that they allow her to pray to the Mother of God for protection. This request was granted and Anna manifested her true theatrical and manipulative capabilities: She was allowed to enter; as if she were weighed down with old age and worn out by grief, she walked and when she approached the actual entrance to the sanctuary made two genuflections. Nikephoros III Botaneiates was forced into a public vow that he would grant protection to the family. Straboromanos tried to give Anna his cross, but for her it was not sufficiently
Phokas (Byzantine family)
Phokas or Phocas, feminine form Phokaina, was the name of a Byzantine aristocratic clan from Cappadocia, which in the 9th and 10th centuries provided a series of high-ranking generals and an emperor, Nikephoros II Phokas. Its members and their clients monopolized the high command positions of the Byzantine army for much of the 10th century and led the successful Byzantine offensive against the Arabs in the East; as one of the leading families of the Anatolian military aristocracy, the Phokades were involved in a series of rebellions that laid claim to power and challenged the emperors at Constantinople. Their power was broken by Basil II, the family declined in importance after the 11th century. According to Michael Attaleiates, the family descended from the ancient Roman gens Fabia, while Ali ibn al-Athir ascribed them an Arab origin from Tarsos. Whatever their origins, the Phokades appear to have settled in Cappadocia, where their estates were concentrated and, attested as their power base and the center of their activities.
Various authors have speculated on an Armenian or Georgian origin to account for the frequent presence of the name "Bardas" among the family members, but none of these hypotheses can be conclusively proven. The first attested member of the family was a soldier of humble origin, appointed tourmarches in 872, his son, Nikephoros Phokas the Elder, became a distinguished general, scoring several victories against the Arabs in southern Italy, reaching the position of Domestic of the Schools. His son, Leo Phokas the Elder, was Domestic of the Schools, but was defeated by the Bulgarian tsar Symeon, unsuccessfully opposed the rise of Romanos Lekapenos to the throne in 919, being captured and blinded, his brother, Bardas Phokas the Elder active as a general, fell in disgrace for a time, but by the time of Lekapenos's fall in 944, he was a patrikios and a high-ranking general. After the fall of the Lekapenoi clan, Constantine VII appointed Bardas as Domestic of the Schools, while his sons Nikephoros and Constantine were placed as strategoi of the themes of Anatolikon and Seleukeia respectively.
These appointments heralded a period of over twenty years when the Phokades and their clients monopolized the Byzantine army's leadership. During this period, the Phokas clan was allied with the Maleinoi, a rich and powerful family from Charsianon, through the marriage of Bardas to a Maleinos lady. Other families that were aligned with and related to them through marriage were the Adralestoi, Kourkouai, Parsakoutenoi and Botaneiatai. Bardas himself in his mid-sixties when named commander-in-chief, proved a mediocre general, suffering a string of defeats at the hands of the Hamdanid emir Sayf al-Dawla. One of them, in 953 left his son Constantine captive in the Hamdanid's hands. In 955, Bardas was replaced by his son Nikephoros. With the aid of Leo, who had established himself through victories of his own, his nephew John Tzimiskes, Nikephoros achieved a series of successes, recovering Crete and Cyprus and defeating Sayf al-Dawla's forces. With the sudden death of Romanos II in 963, the popular and powerful Nikephoros seized the throne, becoming senior emperor and guardian over the young sons of Romanos, Basil II, Constantine VIII.
His father Bardas was named Caesar, his brother Leo became kouropalates and logothetes tou dromou. As emperor, Nikephoros continued his campaigns in the East, conquering Cilicia and northwestern Syria. Nikephoros's regime, however became unpopular, both due to his focus on military affairs to the detriment of the economy and for his religious policies. In December 969, he was murdered by a group of disaffected generals led by his nephew and one-time protégé John Tzimiskes, with the connivance of Empress Theophano; the Phokades were exiled by the new regime. Bardas Phokas the Younger, the younger son of the kouropalates Leo and former doux of Chaldia and rose up in revolt in 970, but was defeated and exiled to Chios, while in 971 Leo and his eldest son the patrikios Nikephoros were blinded and their property confiscated. One member of the family had a different fate: Leo's daughter Sophia Phokaina had married Constantine Skleros, the brother of Bardas Skleros. Constantine was Tzimiskes's brother-in-law from his first marriage and a close ally of the new emperor.
Their daughter, was married in 972 to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto II. In 978, Bardas was recalled by Basil II to lead the imperial forces against the rebellion of Bardas Skleros. Named magistros and Domestic of the East, he managed to defeat Skleros. Bardas himself rebelled in 987, with the support of many of the major aristocratic families, in an uprising that lasted until his death in 989 at the Battle of Abydos. Skleros, who had returned from his Arab exile and had been captured by Bardas Phokas, tried to assume the leadership of the revolt, allying himself with Bardas's sons Leo and Nikephoros, but soon submitted to the emperor. Leo was surrendered to the emperor by the city's inhabitants. After facing down the rebellions of the large aristocratic families, Basil II undertook a series of measures to curb their power and influence; the Phokades in particular were kept away from military posts and suffered the confiscation of their extensive estates. Basil's edict of 996, directed against the illegal accumulation of vast estates by the Anatolian magnates names the Phokades and the allied Maleinoi as targets of the emperor's legislation.
The Phokades, how
The Oghuz, Oguz or Ghuzz Turks were a western Turkic people who spoke the Oghuz languages from the Common branch of Turkic language family. In the 8th century, they formed a tribal confederation conventionally named the Oghuz Yabgu State in central Asia; the name Oghuz is a Common Turkic word for "tribe". Byzantine sources call the Oghuz the Uzes. By the 10th century, Islamic sources were calling them Muslim Turkmens, as opposed to shamanist or Buddhist. By the 12th century this term had passed into Byzantine usage and the Oghuzes were overwhelmingly Muslim; the Oghuz confederation migrated westward from the Jeti-su area after a conflict with the Karluk branch of Uigurs. The founders of the Ottoman Empire were descendants of the Oghuzes. Today, a percentage of the residents of Turkey and Turkmenistan are descendants of Oghuz Turks and their language belongs to the Oghuz group of the Turkic languages family. In the 9th century, the Oghuzes from the Aral steppes drove Bechens from the Emba and Ural River region toward the west.
In the 10th century, they inhabited the steppe of the rivers Sari-su, Emba to the north of Lake Balkhash of modern-day Kazakhstan. A clan of this nation, the Seljuks, embraced Islam and in the 11th century entered Persia, where they founded the Great Seljuk Empire. In the 11th century, a Tengriist Oghuz clan—referred to as Uzes or Torks in the Russian chronicles—overthrew Pecheneg supremacy in the Russian steppe. Harried by another Turkic people, the Kipchaks, these Oghuz penetrated as far as the lower Danube, crossed it and invaded the Balkans, where they were struck down by an outbreak of plague, causing the survivors either to flee or to join the Byzantine imperial forces as mercenaries; the Oghuz seem to have been related to the Pechenegs, some of whom were clean-shaven and others of whom had small'goatee' beards. According to the book Attila and the Nomad Hordes, "Like the Kimaks they set up many carved wooden funerary statues surrounded by simple stone balbal monoliths." The authors of the book go on to note that "Those Uzes or Torks who settled along the Russian frontier were Slavicized, though they played a leading role as cavalry in 1100- and early 1200-era Russian armies, where they were known as Black Hats....
Oghuz warriors served in all Islamic armies of the Middle East from the 1000s onwards, in Byzantium from the 800's, in Spain and Morocco." In centuries, they adapted and applied their own traditions and institutions to the ends of the Islamic world and emerged as empire-builders with a constructive sense of statecraft. Linguistically, the Oghuz are listed together with the old Kimaks of the middle Yenisei of the Ob, the old Kipchaks who emigrated to southern Russia, the modern Kirghiz in one particular Turkic group, distinguished from the rest by the mutation of the initial y sound to j. "The term'Oghuz' was supplanted among the Turks themselves by Türkmen,'Turcoman', from the mid 900's on, a process, completed by the beginning of the 1200s.""The Ottoman dynasty, who took over Anatolia after the fall of the Seljuks, toward the end of the 13th century, led an army, predominantly Oghuz." The original homeland of the Oghuz was to the east of the Altai Mountains of Central Asia, the domain of Turkic peoples since prehistory.
During the 2nd century BC, according to ancient Chinese sources, a steppe tribal confederation known as the Xiongnu and their allies, the Wusun defeated the neighboring Yuezhi and drove them out of western China and into Central Asia. Various scholarly theories link the Xiongnu to Turkic peoples and/or the Huns; the first usage of the word "Oghuz" appears to have been the title of Oğuz Kağan, given in 220 BC to the Xiongnu king Modu Shanyu, who founded the Xiongnu Empire. According to a controversial theory with few scholarly adherents, one transliteration of Yuezhi, as Hu-chieh, may refer to the Turkic Uyghurs. However, the Yuezhi are believed to have spoken an Indo-European language or languages. Sima Qian recorded the name Wūjiē 烏揭 or Hūjiē 呼揭, of a people hostile to the Xiongnu and living west of them, in the area of the Irtysh River, near Lake Zaysan. Golden suggests that these might be Chinese renditions of * Ogur ~ * Oguz. Byzantian emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos mentioned the Uzi and Mazari as neighbours of the Pechenegs.
A number of subsequent tribal confederations bore the name Oghuz affixed to a numeral indicating the number of united tribes included. These include references to the Tokuz-Oghuz; the tribes of the Sekiz-Oghuz and the Tokuz-Oghuz occupied different areas in the vicinity of the Altai Mountains. However, the Transoxanian Oghuz Turks who founded the Oghuz Yabgu State were not the same tribal confederation as the Toquz Oghuz from whom emerged the founders of Uyghur Khaganate. During the establishment of the Göktürk Khaganate—a region extending from east of the Caspian Sea to the east of the Aral Sea and neighbouring the Karakum Desert in the south, similar to modern Kazakhstan—the Oghuz, in the above sense, remained in northeastern areas of the Altai, along the Tula River and near the Barlyk River. By the time of the Orkhon inscriptions "Oghuz" was being applied generically to all inhabitants of the Göktürk Khaganate. Within the khaganate, the Oghuz community expanded, incorporating other tribes.
Ibn al-Athir, an Arab historian, claimed that the Oghuz Turks were settled in Transoxiana, between the Caspian and Ar
Maria of Alania
Maria of Alania was Byzantine empress by marriages to emperors Michael VII Doukas and Nikephoros III Botaneiates. Her status as empress was considered a significant success for a newly unified Kingdom of Georgia, which would achieve regional influence comparable to that of Byzantium only during the reign of Martha's nephew, King David IV, who refused to carry a Byzantine title. Maria was the only non-Byzantine empress of the eleventh century. A daughter of the Georgian monarch Bagrat IV, Martha, at the age of 5 years, was sent to Constantinople to further her education at the Byzantine court under the patronage of Empress Theodora in 1056; the latter, died in the year and Martha returned home to Georgia. In 1065 she married the future emperor Michael, a son of Constantine X Doukas, became an empress when Michael was enthroned in 1071. Maria's first marriage was marred by Michael's military failures in Anatolia against the Seljuk Turks, as well as currency devaluation, which caused growing dissatisfaction and culminated in a 1078 coup that ousted Michael and enthroned Nikephoros III Botaneiates.
Michael was forced to become a monk at the Stoudios Monastery and Maria went to a Petrion monastery with her son Constantine, but she did not become a Nun hinting that she had some future plans at the imperial court. The new emperor Nikephoros' wife died shortly before his accession to the throne and he announced his intention to remarry, which triggered a fierce competition among all the unmarried girls of Constantinople, between Maria, her former mother-in-law Eudokia Makrembolitissa, Eudokia's daughter Zoe; the new emperor was first inclined to marry Eudokia but Maria received a strong support of her Doukas in-laws, who convinced Nikephoros to select her because of her beauty and the benefits of having a foreign-born wife with no domestic relatives who could interfere in Nikephoros' rule. In addition, by this move Nikephoros would pacify the loyalists of the ousted Doukas; because Maria's first husband Michael was still alive as he was a monk, her marriage to the new emperor was considered adulterous by the Orthodox Church, one of Maria's prominent supporters John Doukas had to demote a priest who refused to perform the marriage and replace him with another one who agreed to marry the couple in 1078.
As part of the marriage deal, Maria was promised that her son Constantine would be named an heir to the empire but Nikephoros reneged on this promise at a point. Despite this, during his reign Maria was treated generously and received enormous lands and property, with Nikephoros going as far as to give her brother, George II of Georgia, a title of a Caesar to acknowledge his close ties to the imperial family. According to princess Anna Komnene, daughter of emperor Alexios Komnenos, under care of Maria, despite all the influence the empress wielded at the court, she remained dissatisfied with Nikephoros' refusal to name her son Constantine as an heir: " would have ensured his own safety to the end... the empress, would have had more confidence in him. The old man did not realize the unfairness and inexpediency of his plans, unaware that he was bringing evil on his own head"; the empress became an important part of a plot organized by the general Alexios Komnenos, rumored to be her lover. Alexios forced Nikephoros to abdicate the throne and was himself crowned emperor in 1081.
Alexios had Constantine proclaimed heir to the throne and betrothed his daughter, Anna Komnene, to Constantine. This situation changed drastically when Alexios had a son, the future emperor John II Komnenos, by the Empress consort Irene Doukaina in 1087: Anna’s engagement with Constantine was dissolved, the latter was deprived of his status of heir-apparent and Maria forced to retire to a monastery. After her dethronement and a period at a monastery, Maria lived in the Mangana palace, where she organized "an alternative court" as mother of the co-emperor and mother-in-law designate of the emperor's eldest daughter. Despite being a nun and wearing a veil, this transition made little difference to Maria's lifestyle and she continued her usual charitable activities, including donations to the Georgian monastery of Iviron on Mount Athos, the building of a convent named Kappatha at Jerusalem with her mother Borena. Maria's commanded great wealth and owned the Mangana palace, as well as the Hebdomon Monastery, the burial place of Basil II.
She was patron of numerous literary figures, including Theophylact of Ohrid, future Archbishop of Bulgaria, a Georgian neo-Platonist John Petrici. Years of Maria's influence at the court, manifested itself in the fact that Constantine received a status of a co-emperor, a higher title than that of Emperor's older brother Isaac, Maria received guarantees of personal safety. Maria was charged with the care of young imperial princess Anna Komnene, fond of her and shared all her secrets with the former empress. Anna Komnene describes Maria's beauty in her medieval biographical text Alexiad, she writes about Maria the following: After Maria's son Constantine died in 1096, she moved herself to a monastery, purportedly in a Georgian-influenced area like North Eastern Anatolia. She remained revered in her native Georgia, resulting in an increase in future marriages between the Georgian and Byzantine royalty, strengthening of ties between the two countries. Maria was an influence for Komnenian women who were impressed by her past political involvement and charitable work.
Lynda Garland, Byzantine Empresses: Women and Power in Byzantium AD 527–1204, first edition, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-14688-7, pages 180–186 Lynda Garland, Byzantine Women
Suleiman ibn Qutulmish
Kutalmışoglu Suleiman founded an independent Seljuq Turkish state in Anatolia and ruled as Seljuq Sultan of Rûm from 1077 until his death in 1086. Suleiman was the son of Qutalmish, who had struggled unsuccessfully against his cousin Alp Arslan for the throne of Great Seljuq Empire; when Kutalmish died in 1064, Suleiman fled with his three brothers into the Taurus Mountains and there sought refuge with Turkmen tribes living beyond the borders of the empire. Alp Arslan responded by launching a series of punitive expeditions against them. Of the four brothers, Suleiman alone survived the raids and was able to consolidate his leadership of the Turkmen. In 1078, the Byzantine emperor Michael VII sought the help of Suleiman against Nicephorus Botaneiates, the commander of the Anatolic Theme, who had challenged the emperor for the throne. Suleiman intercepted Botaneiates' small force between Cotyaeum and Nicaea, whereupon the usurper persuaded Suleiman to join his rebellion by offering him incentives superior to those of the emperor.
Nicephorus' bid for power was successful, in return for their support Suleiman's Turkmen were allowed to settle on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, near Constantinople itself. Two years Suleiman lent his support to another pretender, Nicephorus Melissenus, it was the latter Nicephorus who opened the gates of Nicaea to the Turkmen, allowing Suleiman to establish a permanent base. All Bithynia was soon under Suleiman's control, a circumstance which allowed him to restrict communication between Constantinople and the former Byzantine subjects in Anatolia. In 1084, Suleiman left Nicaea. Suleiman expanded his realm, in 1085 he proceeded to massacre its inhabitants. Moreover, the treasures of the church of St. Cassianus were stolen and the church was converted into a mosque, he was killed near Antioch in 1086 by the Seljuq ruler of Syria. Suleiman's son, Kilij Arslan I, was captured, Malik Shah transferred him to Isfahan as a hostage, it is uncertain whether Tutush killed Suleiman out of loyalty to Malik-Shah I or for personal gain.
Upon the death of Malik-Shah I, Kilij Arslan I re-established the Sultanate of Rûm
The Byzantine army or Eastern Roman army was the primary military body of the Byzantine armed forces, serving alongside the Byzantine navy. A direct continuation of the Roman army, the Eastern Roman army maintained a similar level of discipline, strategic prowess and organization, it was among the most effective armies of western Eurasia for much of the Middle Ages. Over time the cavalry arm became more prominent in the Byzantine army as the legion system disappeared in the early 7th century. Reforms reflected some Germanic and Asian influences – rival forces became sources of mercenary units e.g.. Since much of the Byzantine military focused on the strategy and skill of generals utilizing militia troops, heavy infantry were recruited from Frankish and Varangian mercenaries. From the seventh to the 12th centuries, the Byzantine army was among the most powerful and effective military forces in the world – neither Middle Ages Europe nor the fracturing Caliphate could match the strategies and the efficiency of the Byzantine army.
Restricted to a defensive role in the 7th to mid-9th centuries, the Byzantines developed the theme-system to counter the more powerful Caliphate. From the mid-9th century, they went on the offensive, culminating in the great conquests of the 10th century under a series of soldier-emperors such as Nikephoros II Phokas, John Tzimiskes and Basil II; the army they led was less reliant on the militia of the themes. With one of the most powerful economies in the world at the time, the Empire had the resources to put to the field a powerful host when needed, in order to reclaim its long-lost territories. After the collapse of the theme-system in the 11th century, the Byzantines grew reliant on professional Tagmata troops, including ever-increasing numbers of foreign mercenaries; the Komnenian emperors made great efforts to re-establish a native army, instituting the pronoia system of land grants in exchange for military service. Mercenaries remained a staple feature of late Byzantine armies since the loss of Asia Minor reduced the Empire's recruiting-ground, while the abuse of the pronoia grants led to a progressive feudalism in the Empire.
The Komnenian successes were undone by the subsequent Angeloi dynasty, leading to the dissolution of the Empire at the hands of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The Emperors of Nicaea managed to form a small but effective force using the same structure of light and armed troops, both natives and foreigners, it proved effective in defending what remained of Byzantine Anatolia and reclaiming much of the Balkans and Constantinople itself in 1261. Another period of neglect of the military followed in the reign of Andronikos II Palaiologos, which allowed Anatolia to fall prey to an emerging power, the Ottoman emirate. Successive civil wars in the 14th century further sapped the Empire's strength and destroyed any remaining chance of recovery, while the weakening of central authority and the devolution of power to provincial leaders meant that the Byzantine army was now composed of a collection of militias, personal entourages and mercenary detachments. Just as what we today label the Byzantine Empire was in reality and to contemporaries a continuation of the Roman Empire, so the Byzantine army was an outgrowth of the Late Roman structure, which survived until the mid-7th century.
The official language of the army for centuries continued to be Latin but this would give way to Greek as in the rest of the Empire, though Latin military terminology would still be used throughout its history. In the period after the Muslim conquests, which saw the loss of Syria and Egypt, the remainders of the provincial armies were withdrawn and settled in Asia Minor, initiating the thematic system. Despite this unprecedented disaster, the internal structures of the army remained much the same, there is a remarkable continuity in tactics and doctrine between the 6th and 11th centuries; the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 and the subsequent Seljuk invasions, together with the arrival of the Crusades and the incursions of the Normans, would weaken the Byzantine state and its military, which had to rely on foreign mercenaries. The Eastern Empire dates from the creation of the Tetrarchy by the Emperor Diocletian in 293, his plans for succession did not outlive his lifetime, but his reorganization of the army did by centuries.
Rather than maintain the traditional infantry-heavy legions, Diocletian reformed it into limitanei and comitatenses units. There was an expansion of the importance of the cavalry, though the infantry still remained the major component of the Roman armies, in contrast to common belief. In preparation for Justinian's African campaign of 533-534 AD, the army assembled amounted to 10,000 foot soldiers and 5,000 mounted archers and federate lancers; the limitanei and ripenses were to occupy the limes, the Roman border fortifications. The field units, by contrast, were to stay well behind the border and move where they were needed, whether for offensive or defensive roles, as well as forming an army against usurpers; the field units were held to high standards and took precedence over Limitanei in pay and provisions. Cavalry formed about one-third of the units, but as a result of smaller units, about one-quarter of the Roman armies consisted of cavalry. About half the cavalry consisted of heavy cavalry.
They were armed with spear or lance and sword and armored