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Relations between the Fatimids and the Byzantines

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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Relations between the Fatimids and the Byzantines
    Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 14:27

Ahmed the fighter "Alp arslan too he was one of greatest commander in all history"

  I dont rate Alp Arslan up near the top with Alexander the Great or Julius Caeser etc, his achievements were great but I think there were many better commanders in history IMO.

 Manzikert is a battle he'll always be remembered for, the thing is though had Romanus' army not betrayed him so shamefully, you cant see how the Turks would have won such a victory.

 Manzikert should never have happened, but in the end the worst part of this is, Byzantium brought this mess onto itself, basically giving the Turks a golden opportunity to extend into imperial territory. The behaviour of certain soliders in the Byzantine army was disgraceful.

 Ive said it a thousand times and it still rings true IMO, Byzantium was its own worst enemy.

 



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  Quote Jazz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 15:01
Not just that - in the civil wars that ensued, many East-Roman factions allied themselves with the Seljuks and invited them into Anatolia - that is one of the main reasons for the Turkish occupation of the area.  It did take them a while.  They didn't just wallop over the area unopposed in a quick swoosh, it did take them approximately about 10 years and it was about (I think) 1081 before they had captured Nicaea.
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 15:38

 The turkish migrations didnt begin into Anatolia in earnest for 2 whole years after Manzikert, had the treaty Romanus signed with Alp Arslan been respected by Romanus' successor then the Turks would not have migrated into Anatolia certainly not in such numbers. Much of the damage caused at Manzikert could then have been recovered.

 Again the Byzantines pointlessly provoked and gave every reason for thew Turks to continue their migrations westward. Utter foolishness and totally unnecessary.

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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 20:00
Yes the ineptitude of the Byzantine government after Manzikert is mind boggling. I cannot accept Gibbon's stereotype of the Byzantines, but when I think of those ivory-tower, snooty, pampered, selfish, treacherous traitors who suicided their Emperor, army and Empire so they could briefly inherit a decrepit empire they did not have the intelligence or courage to manage- just makes my blood boil. I'd love to stick the lot of those factionalists out on the plataeu above Lake Van and watch the weak little brats be chased down by Arslan's horsemen.
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2005 at 21:03

 Well said Con. 

 The very mention of Gibbon is enough to make my blood boil nevermind the traitors of Manzikert.  

 A great civilisation like Byzantium brought to its knee's by this sickening act of treachery. What could of been a new golden age for Byzantium was turned into a protracted painful decline and desperate fight for survival.

 I dont know what became of Ducas but I hope it wasnt painless.

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  Quote Ahmed The Fighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 02:32
 I did not put him in caesar's rank but as you said his achievements were great, this batlle ghanged the demographic of all Anatolia which was a roman place to turkish place but I am not sure about the Byzantine could recover their lose in Mnzikert.
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 03:53
Romanus was not what I would call great, but I admire his commitment, bravery and determination in attempting to save his nation. More than those ivory tower intellectuals in Constantinople, he understood the gravity of the situation in the East and did his best to recover Byzantium from years of mismanagement. Most scholars think that Manzikert itself was not a terminal defeat as Romanus was able to secure very lenient terms with the Turks after which would have seen Anatolia retained by the Byzantines. The reason Anatolia was lost was because the government in Constantinople did not uphold that treaty and gave the Turks every reason to pour into Anatolia.
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 08:52

 Exactly, thats why I think much of the damage caused at Manzikert could of been recovered, the population was there to replace the men lost, itd of been better as theyd of been natives instead of mercenaries.

 This may of been a blessing in disguise showing how totally unreliable and unsustainable the mercenary armies were and that the future lay again in native armies fighting for their land instead of gold. With the lose of Anatolia though this became impossible as the system collapsed.

 Unfortunately for later Emperors they had little choice, but to recruit expensive mercenaries. Which achieved short term success but long term troubles.

 Manzikert need not of been such a catastrophe, I can only imagine the state of the empire had the Comnemi come to the throne on not a declining and dying empire but a stable and strong one. One can only imagine what they could of achieved had things not been so grim.

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  Quote Ahmed The Fighter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2005 at 09:03

 Why they were letting the tutk to settle Anatolia?I think because in that time Byzantine empire could not defeat Turk in decisive batlle like Manzikert and drive them out of Anatolia,in my opinion Byzantine empire come to an end, after Manzikert  it entered in desolution era and lost it's mother land not colonies and it's strong enemy approach day by day from it's capital.

In this era they lost all achievments of Basill who revivaled his empire like  Justinian but without Belsarious.

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  Quote Jazz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2005 at 03:06
Originally posted by Constantine XI

Romanus was not what I would call great, but I admire his commitment, bravery and determination in attempting to save his nation. More than those ivory tower intellectuals in Constantinople, he understood the gravity of the situation in the East and did his best to recover Byzantium from years of mismanagement. Most scholars think that Manzikert itself was not a terminal defeat as Romanus was able to secure very lenient terms with the Turks after which would have seen Anatolia retained by the Byzantines. The reason Anatolia was lost was because the government in Constantinople did not uphold that treaty and gave the Turks every reason to pour into Anatolia.


Well the Turks were not as centralized as the East-Romans were.  It is not surprising that Alp Arslan had difficulty keeping the Turcoman raiders at bay...But when Romanus was deposed, and Alp Arslan assassinated within a year after Manzikert, their deal broke apart.  Additionally the fact that different Roman factions were using Turkish troops in the next 10 years kept Anatolia open to them.....
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2005 at 08:15

 Romanus' successor, Michael VII refused to accept the obligations stated in the treaty signed by Romanus. This was the main cause for the full turkish expansion into Anatolia, he gave the turks every excuse to do so.

 Therefore had Romanus been allowed to keep his throne, this would not have happened and Manzikert would still of remained a disaster for the army, but not one that would prove so disasterous for the empire as a whole.

 As we know men can be replaced, new armies can be raised, the frontiers can be secured. Instead for some utterly idiotic reason, Michael VII felt provoking an enemy into his territory which was totally undefended and vital to his empire was a reasonable course of action .

 Not only that but his reign as a whole was so catastrophic that the turkish hold tightened on Anatolia immeasurably and the Balkans collapsed barely 50 or so years after it had been secured.

 Off the top of my head, his reign was the worst since the time of Phocas. Correct me if ive overlooked somebody.

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  Quote Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2005 at 21:16
Originally posted by Ahmed The Fighter

 Why they were letting the tutk to settle Anatolia?I think because in that time Byzantine empire could not defeat Turk in decisive batlle like Manzikert and drive them out of Anatolia,in my opinion Byzantine empire come to an end, after Manzikert  it entered in desolution era and lost it's mother land not colonies and it's strong enemy approach day by day from it's capital.

In this era they lost all achievments of Basill who revivaled his empire like  Justinian but without Belsarious.



There was a period of recovery for the Byzantine Empire under the Comneni. The empire's territory and population was smaller, but they were again able to raise huge armies and project their power. Their reputation as a power to be reckoned with was restored. It was well within the Byzantine Empire's power to conquer the Sultanate of Rum, but Manuel Comnenus let one defeat completely deter him.

While every emperor could have used a loyal and extremely skilled general like Belisarius, Basil did well enough without one because he himself was an exceptional general.
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2005 at 20:00
Originally posted by Heraclius

 Romanus' successor, Michael VII refused to accept the obligations stated in the treaty signed by Romanus. This was the main cause for the full turkish expansion into Anatolia, he gave the turks every excuse to do so.

 Therefore had Romanus been allowed to keep his throne, this would not have happened and Manzikert would still of remained a disaster for the army, but not one that would prove so disasterous for the empire as a whole.

 As we know men can be replaced, new armies can be raised, the frontiers can be secured. Instead for some utterly idiotic reason, Michael VII felt provoking an enemy into his territory which was totally undefended and vital to his empire was a reasonable course of action .

 Not only that but his reign as a whole was so catastrophic that the turkish hold tightened on Anatolia immeasurably and the Balkans collapsed barely 50 or so years after it had been secured.

 Off the top of my head, his reign was the worst since the time of Phocas. Correct me if ive overlooked somebody.

 

The worst general since the time of Phocas? Careful there, that's a pretty harsh charge. I don't view Michael VII as someone who was malevolent, cruel etc, but simply someone who was a product of his tutoring. He was, like Psellus who educated him, a Platonic ivory-tower scholar. The Empire needed a man who was both a capable general and an efficient administrator to draw on the often untapped resources the Empire possessed. Michael just came along at a very bad time. I think if you put Alexander, Constantine VI, Michael VI or Phillipicus Bardanes in Michael's place then things may have been even worse. Let's not forget the situation which Michael was thrust into was a result of the long years of maladministration of Constantines IX and X.

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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Aug-2005 at 21:06

 I dont think Michael was cruel or anything, but during his reign things happened that badly damaged the empire, the impact of the loss of Anatolia cannot be overstated. Incompetance or lack of interest in the empires wellbeing is as bad as mass cruelty.

 There's no excuse for provoking an enemy to invade some of your empires most important territory when its was utterly unnecessary. It doesnt take a genius to work out that by not following the obligations of the treaty the Turks would act and would expand.

 That kind of mismanagement cannot be excused when as we can all see it had such catastrophic effects on the empires future. 

 The damage caused by the loss of Anatolia was never recovered, even after 3 successive emperors (the comnemi) some of the most brilliant the empire would ever see, who were all strong in terms of the military and administration and brought stability back into the empire couldnt repair the damage caused. The damage of Manzikert was multiplied when Anatolia was lost forever.

 I wouldnt for a second compare the cruelty and terror that was Phocas to Michael, but the damage caused by Michaels disinterest or whatever it was, had much more serious long term effects than that of Phocas which were thankfully largely recovered in time. I also fully accept that alot of damage to the core of Byzantium was caused by several emperors between the reigns of Basil II and that of Michaels, but he still made a decision that is totally baffling, to ignore the treaty with Alp Arslan.

 What was the bigger contributing factor the enfeeblement of Byzantium, the reign of Phocas? or the loss of Anatolia? It has to be Anatolia for me and so for that reason alone I think Michael was as disasterous an Emperor as almost any in Roman/Byzantine history, because that solitary moment was a major factor in Byzantiums continuing decline.

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