History Files

European Kingdoms

Eastern Mediterranean


Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire
Ducas / Doukas Dynasty (AD 1059-1081)

In AD 395, the Roman empire finally split permanently, creating formal Eastern Roman and Western Roman empires, acknowledging what had existed in practise for many years.

Eastern Roman Emperor Basil II in iconography

(Information by Peter Kessler, and from External Link: History of the Byzantine Empire (Live Science).)

1059 - 1067

Constantine X (XI) Ducas

First successor to the Comnenian prelude.


Armenia is conquered by the Seljuq Turks invading Asia Minor.

1067 - 1071

Romanus IV Diogenes



Having already extended his new empire into western Iran and Mesopotamia, the Seljuq leader Alp Arslan now defeats an immense Eastern Roman army which includes a unit of six hundred Alani, and captures Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes. This victory opens the gates to a large-scale Turkic influx into western Anatolia.

In eastern and central Anatolia, settlements and small domains are set up by the Mangūjakids around Divriği (Tephrike), Erzincan (Keltzine), and Kemah (Camcha) until 1252. The Saltuqids rule Erzurum (Theodosiopolis) until 1201. The Dānishmendids control Sivas, Kayseri (Caesarea Cappadociae), and Amasya (Amaseia) until 1177. Western Anatolia is the focus of Qutalmïsh and his son, Sulaymān, a distant cousin of soon-to-be 'Great Seljuq', Sultan Malik-Shāh (from 1072). His territory becomes the splinter sultanate of Rum. Initially this remains subservient to the Persian Seljuqs but is always straining against the leash under its leader. Palestine is also conquered.


Constantine (XII)

Claimed title.

1071 - 1078

Michael VII Ducas


A further six thousand Alani in 1074 fight for the Eastern Romans against the Normans in Italy. This cooperation lasts only a short because the Alani are badly paid.


Sulaymān of Rum captures Nicaea (İznik) and Nicomedia (İzmit), threatening Constantinople itself around 1075. This prompts the new emperor, Michael VII Ducas, to appeal to Pope Gregory VII for aid against the invaders. Sulaymān's activities also attracted the concern of the Great Seljuq Malik-Shāh, who attempts unsuccessfully to dislodge his kinsman on several occasions.

1078 - 1081

Nicephorus III Botaniates

Revolt of Nicephorus Bryennius.


Having made Nicaea his capital and renaming it İznik, Sulaymān now assumes the title 'sultan' of Rum in defiance of Great Seljuq Malik-Shāh, an event that is generally accepted as marking the beginning of independent Seljuq rule in Anatolia. He spends the next few years expanding his holdings to the east and south.


A Ducas descendant in 1204 sets up a rival claim from his base in Thessalonica but, in the short term the dynasty is replaced in power by the Comneni.

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