Byzantine Empire Defeated by Seljuk Turk Army at Battle of Manzikert Hot

Byzantine Empire Defeated by Seljuk Turk Army at Battle of Manzikert

Alp Arslan Humiliates Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes
Source: Wikipedia

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Battle of Manzikert: Alp Arslan leads an army of Seljuk Turks against the Byzantine Empire near Lake Van.

Numbering perhaps as many as 100,000 men, the Turks take the fortresses of Akhlat and Manzikert before Byzantine Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes can respond.

Although Diogenes is able to recapture Akhlat, his siege of Manzikert fails when a Turkish relief force arrives and Andronicus Ducas, an enemy of Romanus IV Diogenes, refuses to obey orders to fight.

Diogenes himself is captured and released, but he will be blinded and exiled after his return to Constantinople. This is worse treatment than he received at the hands of Alp Arslan, who let him dine at the same table and moderated his demands when asked to.

The exile and death of Diogenes will be just one of many examples of the terrible political fallout from the Byzantine defeat at Mazikert. Partly because of the defeat and partly because of the civil wars following the murder of Diogenes, Asia Minor will be left open to Turkish invasion.

It will be three decades before Emperor Alexios I Komnenos can restore order to the Byzantine Empire — but by that point it will be too late to reverse the demographic and cultural changes that have occurred.

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