- Turkish dynasty of steppe (q.v.) nomads founded by Seljuk. His grandson Tughrul Beg conquered Baghdad (q.v.) in 1055, bringing the Islamic caliphate (q.v.) under his possession. Superior mobility allowed Seljuk horsemen to penetrate the border defenses of Asia Minor (q.v.) and sack Melitene (q.v.) in 1058. In 1067 they pillaged Caesarea (q.v.). But it was the victory of Tughrul Beg's son and successor, sultan Alp Arslan (q.v.), at the battle of Mantzikert (q.v.) in 1071 that opened up Asia Minor to Seljuk expansion. The sultanate of Rum (q.v.) was quickly established with its capital at Nicaea (q.v.), until 1097, when they were forced to surrender the city to Alexios I and the army of the First Crusade (qq.v.). Their new capital was established at Ikonion (q.v.), from where (after the defeat of Manuel I in 1176 at the battle of Myriokephalon [qq.v.]), they extended their control over most ofAsia Minor. Their decline began with their defeat by the Mongols (q.v.) in 1243 and continued until the early 14th century when the emirate of Osman (qq.v.) began its phenomenal expansion in Asia Minor.
Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser .
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