chapter  5
36 Pages

The nature and impact of the Turkish invasions: Anatolia and the Middle East, 1029–71

The fall of Byzantine Anatolia to the Turks must surely count as one of the most dramatic events in the history of the Middle East. The empire, which had survived incessant wars with the Sasanians and thenwith the Arabs, succumbed to the Turks in the decade 1071-81, leaving Byzantium with nothing of Asia Minor other than a foothold along its coasts. Nor was this the result of the Selju¯q sultan pouring the resources of his new Middle Eastern possessions, of Iran, Iraq and Syria, into a new endeavour to destroy the last major Christian power in the region. Rather, the conquest and settlement of Anatolia was undertaken almost entirely by the Türkmen tribesmen, with only very limited involvement by the Selju¯qs’ new ghula¯ms.