Murat Keçiş

Muğla Sıtkı Koçman Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Tarih Bölümü, Muğla/ TÜRKİYE

Keywords: Romanos Diogenes IV., Byzantine, Manzikert.


Eastern Rome, also known as the Byzantine Empire, has survived for centuries thanks to its powerful army that has managed to adapt to the requirements of the age. During the reign of Romanos Diogenes IV (1068-1071), this self-confdent army, which was prepared to eliminate the Great Seljuk State by mobilizing all its means, sufered an unexpectedly heavy defeat against Sultan Alp Arslan in Manzikert (26 August 1071). While the discussions on this defeat, which is regarded as a breaking point in Byzantine military history, mostly focused on the success and gains of the Seljuk army, the strategic errors / mistakes that led to the defeat of the Byzantine army were not sufciently emphasized. Within this approach, the main reason for the defeat was the Emperor rather than the strength of the Seljuk army. It has been ignored that Romanos had too much confdence in the numerical majority-moral superiority of the Byzantine army due to the psychological situation before the war and the traditional imperial thought. In this study, in order to clarify the situation in question, first of all, the development course of the Byzantine army and the process of Romanos Diogenes IV’s becoming emperor was mentioned, and then the decisive role of the mentioned factors in the loss of the Battle of Manzikert was emphasized.