Zurab PAPASKIRI


Zurab Papaskiri, D.Sc. (Hist.), Professor, Sukhumi State University (Tbilisi, Georgia).


A QUESTION MARK IN THE HISTORY OF GEORGIAN-SELJUK RELATIONS ON THE EVE OF THE BATTLE OF MANZIKERT

ABSTRACT

The author offers his own explanation of an extremely enigmatic piece of information found in an anonymous Georgian chronicle of the 11th century (Matiane Kartlisa or The Chronicles of Kartli): on the eve of the Battle of Manzikert, which occupies a special place in the history of the global confrontation between the Seljuk Turks and Byzantium, Sultan Alp Arslan transferred the fortress of Gagi to Bagrat IV in exchange for the release of Emir Fadlon of Ganja. Professor Papaskiri suggests that the great sultan and the king of Georgia allied on the eve of the Battle of Manzikert, which took place on 19 August, 1071.

Keywords: Matiane Kartlisa, Seljuk-Byzantine relations, Alp Arslan, Bagrat IV, the Battle of Manzikert.

Introduction

The Seljuk Turks, the Seljuk world, and the Seljuk civilization form an important stage in medieval history. In the first half of the 11th century, the Oghuz Seljuks, after moving out of their Central Asian homeland, pressed far into the west and, by the mid-11th century, became the main political force in the Middle and Near East. From that time on, or to be more exact in the 1040s-1050s, when the Seljuk Sultanate emerged on the political scene as one of the powers to be reckoned with, the fates of many countries and peoples of this region became closely connected with the Seljuks. Georgia was no exception in this respect; the Seljuk warlords became aware of its existence in the 1030s, that is, as soon as the Seljuks reached the.


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