>>590276 I'd say Manzikert was a symptom of the Empire's problems more than the cause. He fielded an army composed of mercenaries who weren't dedicated to the empire, and he returned from his captivity to a civil war and was blinded. Seems like the situation was pretty bad for the empire in general.
>>590276 Manzikert didn't doom the empire. Not only was there a recovery, but Anatolia was the richest province and source of almost all manpower for almost two decades afterwards. What doomed it was a more general policy started by the Komnenans of conceding privileges and titles to foreigners as a counterbalance to the ambitions of Byzantine aristocrats. The Turks were one example, but so were the Italian merchants, Sicilian Normans, Cilician Armenians, Serbs and Bulgars, and of course the Frankish Crusaders.
While 1071 and 1204 were not great years for the empire, either one being the cause of its doom is a Crusade-centric meme, and I mean in the very literal sense.
It wasn't Manzikert that caused the loss of Anatolia. It was the civil war that started after Manzikert. Local strongmen gathered troops from their region, placed towns under Turkish mercenaries to maintain order, and marched off to push their bids for power, never to return.
What doomed the Byzantium was the transformation that it underwent under the Komnenoi. The Komnenoi turned the Empire into a feudal state ruled by a hereditary military caste where personal relationships meant more than any laws of formal obligations. This system worked only as long as the Empire was ruled by someone strong and with a strong legitimacy. It went to shit as soon as a weak ruler arrived on the scene.
The Fourth Crusade happened when Byzantium was already falling apart with several provinces already independent. The fact that a rag-tag band of poor knights managed to capture Constantinople is rather telling about the real strength of the Empire.
>>590276 They were very much on the road to recovery.
>>590308 The turks on their side fought to the death.
>>596076 >personal relationships meant more than any laws of formal obligations. This system worked only as long as the Empire was ruled by someone strong and with a strong legitimacy This was virtually always the case.
>>596454 Makes sense, actually. The franks were damn well respected for their charge, and hiring them gave you mobile force of lancers that would shit on anything that stood in front of them.
They were thought to be reliable when fighting non-franks.
>>590276 It was on the road to recovery arguably, it may have been impossible to reclaim the central plateau of Anatolia quickly but the Empire was making strong strides elsewhere. 1204 single handedly decapitated it and by the time it resurfaced in the late 13th century it was a shadow of its former self.
>>598054 >This was virtually always the case. I think the difference was that originally, when a weak emperor ruled, the state had a civil war but maintained its territorial and bureaucratic integrity. When there was a civil war under and after the Komnenans, it tended to see provincial governors break away and declare independence until subjugated by a more competent emperor.
Thus the Turkish mercenaries and governors of Anatolia broke off and formed a series of small beyliks that were consolidated by a Seljuk prince into the Sultanate of Rum. the Serbs formed their principality and eventually a kingdom, and the Armenians crowned a king in the east, but at the same time Greek governors in Anatolia also started declaring independence rather than stay loyal to the empire.
The death of George Maniakes at the height of his rebellion when he was in his prime and on the eve of winning is what doomed the Empire. Had he won the military party would've regained control over the Empire and the corrupt civil bureaucracy would've been justly crushed and purged.
Manzikert is a result of the military party having minimal support from the government and being backstabbed at the first opportune moment.
>>590276 I'll hold true to the belief that as soon as the empire's military was in the hands of the dynatoi and the thematic system went down the toilet after 963 that the empire was doomed. There was too much reliance on mercenaries and professional soldiery that the empire lost it's reilience in favour of a single admittedly more impressive military. The loss of the army at Manzikert highlighted this but the entire eleventh century was fragile. Just read Attaleiates descriptions of the people of Asua Minor in the 1060s. They'd been crippled by the governments demands.
When the Turks settled, there was no resistance to be organised and no-one to lead it.
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