By: Mir M.Hosseini
Seljuks were a Turco-Persian Sunni Muslim dynasty that ruled parts of Central Asia and the Middle East from the 11th to 14th centuries. They set up the Great Seljuk Empire, which at its height stretched from Anatolia through Persia and which was the target of the First Crusade.
The Battle of Manzikert was fought between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuk forces led by Alparslan on Aug, 26, 1071 near Manzikert. The decisive defeat of the Byzantine army and the capture of the Emperor Romanos IV played an important role in undermining Byzantine authority in Anatolia and Armenia. The Turks who invaded the Byzantine Empire in 1068 were defeated in 1070 and driven across the Euphrates. In 1071 Romanos again took the field and advanced with 40,000 men
At Manzikert, Romanos was met by Alparslan. The Turkish Sultan proposed terms of peace, which were rejected by the emperor, and the two forces engaged in the Battle. The Turkish mercenaries among the Byzantine forces immediately defected to the Turkish side; and, seeing this, the Western mercenaries rode off and took no part in the battle. The Byzantines were totally routed.
Emperor Romanos IV was himself taken prisoner and conducted into the presence of Alparslan, who treated him with generosity, and, terms of peace having been agreed to, dismissed him, loaded with presents and respectfully attended by a military guard.
The Battle of Manzikert marked the beginning of a non-stop migration of Turkish people to Anatolia that led to foundation of the Ottoman Empire and subsequently, the fall of the Byzantine Empire.
The Seljuk dynasty had its origins in the Turcoman tribal confederations of Central Asia and marked the beginning of Turkic power in the Middle East. After arriving in Persia, the Seljuks adopted the Persian culture and language, and played an important role in the development of the Turco-Persian tradition which features: Persian culture patronized by Turkic rulers. Today, they are remembered as great patrons of Persian culture, art, literature, and language and are regarded as the cultural ancestors of the Western Turks - the present-day inhabitants of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.