Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Manzikert was an important trading post of the ancient Kingdom of Armenia. In 1071, Manzikert was the site of one of history's most decisive battles – the Battle of Manzikert – when the Byzantine emperor Romanus IV fought against Sultan Alp Arslan of the Seljuk Turks. Although Alp Arslan tried to come to a peace agreement before the battle and despite the fact that Romanus was depending heavily on unreliable Norman mercenaries, the emperor refused to negotiate. In the ensuing battle, Alp Arslan routed the Byzantines and captured Romanus.
The subsequent peace terms caused the Byzantine Empire to lose Armenia and almost all of Asia Minor, which over the next 300 years became the Turkish homeland and a springboard for the ultimate destruction of the Byzantine Empire itself.
Armenia had been the Empire's primary recruitment ground for several hundred years before the disastrous battle, and the loss of both Armenia and the majority of Eastern Anatolia marked the end of Byzantine military and economic independence. The future emperors were now forced to place almost complete military power in the hands of foreign mecenaries, Chirstian and Muslim alike, almost none of which felt any real loyalty to the Byzantine throne.
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