Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)

For some reason the end of August/beginning of September is a busy season for major battles in Middle Eastern history, like YarmoukChaldiran, and Marj Dabiq. There’s another one coming in a couple of days and another a few days after that, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. You could argue that of all of these major battles, Manzikert is the most significant. Although it took another 400 years to finally come to fruition, it was the Battle of Manzikert that set in motion the collapse of the Byzantine Empire. Which, if you think about the Byzantines as a continuation of the Roman Empire, means it dealt a mortal blow to a political entity that survived for almost 1500 years (and even longer if you include the Roman Republic before that). That’s pretty significant.

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