Sultanate of Rum (Saljūqiyān-i Rūm )

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Seljuk Sultanate of Rum in 1190
Seljuk Sultanate of Rum in 1190

Sultanate of Rum (Saljūqiyān-i Rūm )


The Sultanate of Rum or Seljuk Sultanate of Rum (Persian: سلجوقیان روم, Saljūqiyān-i Rūm, Modern Turkish: Anadolu Selçuklu Devleti or Rum Sultanlığı) was a medieval Turkoman-Sunni Muslim state in Anatolia. It existed from 1077 to 1307, with capitals first at İznik and then at Konya. Since the Sultanate Court was very mobile, cities such as Kayseri and Sivas sometimes also worked as capital cities. At its peak, the Sultanate stretched over Central Anatolia, from the coast line of Antalya and Alanya on the Mediterranean coast to the area of Sinop on the Black Sea. In the east, the Sultanate absorbed other Turkish states and reached Lake Van. Its most western frontier was near Denizli and the gates of the Aegean Basin.
The term "Rûm" comes from the Arabic word for the Roman Empire. The Seljuks called the countries of their Sultanate Rum, because they had long been founded on territory for "Roman", Byzantine, by Muslim armies. The state is occasionally called the Sultanate of Konya (or Sultanate of Iconium) in older Western sources and became known as Turkey by its contemporaries.
The Sultanate flourished, especially during the late 12th and early 13th century, when it took off from the Byzantine key ports on the Mediterranean and Black Sea coast. In Anatolia, the Seljuqs promoted trade through a program of the caravanserai, which facilitated the flow of goods from Iran and Central Asia to the ports. Particularly strong trade relations with the Genoese developed during this time. The increased wealth enabled the Sultanate to absorb other Turkish states established in Eastern Anatolia after the Battle of Manzikert: the Danish Mendel, the Mengücek, the Saltukids and the Artuqids. Seljuq-Sultane successfully carried the main burden of the crusades, but in 1243 succumbed to the advancing Mongols. The Seljuqs became vassals of the Mongols, after the battle of Kose Dag, and despite the efforts of clever administrators to preserve the integrity of the state, the power of the Sultanate decayed in the second half of the 13th century and was complete from the first decade Disappeared from the 14th century.

Expansion of the Sultanate in c.1100-1240.
Expansion of the Sultanate

In its final decades, the territory of the Sultanate of Rûm saw the emergence of a number of small principalities or beyliks, among which that of the Osmanoğlu, known later as the Ottomans, rose to dominance.

In the 1070s, after the Battle of Manzikert, Seljuq commandant Suleyman bin Kutalmish, a distant cousin of Malik Shah and a former candidate for the throne of the Great Seljuq Empire, came to power in western Anatolia. In 1075 he conquered the Byzantine cities of Nicaea (İznik) and Nicomedia (İzmit). Two years later he declared himself Sultan of an independent Seljuq state and founded his capital in Iznik.
Suleyman was slain in Antioch in 1086 by Tutush I, the Seldschuq ruler of Syria, and Suleyman's son, Kilij Arslan I, was imprisoned. When Malik Shah died in 1092, Kilij Arslan was released and immediately established himself in his father's territories. He was eventually defeated by soldiers of the First Crusade and returned to South-Central Anatolia, where he established his state with capital in Konya. In 1107 he ventured eastwards and conquered Mosul, but died in the same year against Malik Shah's son Mehmed Tapar.
Meanwhile, another Rûm Seljuq, Melikshah (not to be confused with the great Seljuq Sultan of the same name) conquered Konya. In 1116 Kilij Arslan son, Mesud I, took the city with the help of the Danish Mends. After Mesud's death in 1156, the Sultanate controlled almost all of Central Anatolia. Mesuds son Kilij Arslan II conquered the remaining areas around Sivas and Malatya from the last of the Danish Mendel. At the Battle of Myriokephalon in 1176, Kilij Arslan also defeated a Byzantine army under the leadership of Manuel I Comnenus, an important blow to the Byzantine power in the region. Despite a temporary occupation of Konya in 1190 by German forces of the Third Crusade, the Sultanate quickly recovered and consolidated its power.

saljuqi.Malik-Shah I miniature.
saljuqi.Malik-Shah I miniature

After the death of the last Sultan of Great Seljuq, Tuğrul III, in 1194, the Seljuqs of Rum became the only ruling representatives of the dynasty. Kaykhusraw I seized Konya from the crusaders in 1205. Under his reign and those of his two successors, Kaykaus I and Kayqubad I, Seljuq reached power in Anatolia. Kaykhusrav's most important achievement was the capture of the port of Attalia (Antalya) on the Mediterranean coast in 1207. His son Kaykaus conquered Sinop and made the empire of Trebizond his vassal in 1214. He also subjugated the Croatian Armenia but was forced in 1218 To surrender The city of Aleppo acquired by al-Kamil. Kayqubad continued to acquire countries along the Mediterranean coast from 1221 to 1225. In the twenties, he sent an expedition force across the Black Sea to the Crimea. In the East, he defeated the Mengüceks and began to press on the Artuqids.

Kaykhusraw II (1237-1246) began his domination by capturing the region around Diyarbekir, but in 1239 he had a rebellion led by a popular preacher named Baba Ishak. After three years, when he had finally crushed the insurrection, the state of the Crimea was lost, and the state and army of the Sultan had weakened. Under these circumstances he had to face a far more dangerous threat to the growing Mongols. Mongol forces took Erzurum in 1242 and in 1243 the Sultan of Bayju was crushed in the battle of Köse Dag (a mountain between the cities of Sivas and Erzincan), and the Seljuq Turks were forced to swear allegiance to the Mongols and became their vassals . The Sultan himself had escaped to Antalya after the battle of 1243, where he died in 1246; his death began a three-pronged and then a double rule, which lasted until 1260.
The Seljuq empire was divided among the three sons of Kaykhusraw. The oldest, Kaykaus II (1246-1260), took the rule in the area west of the river Kızılırmak. His younger brothers Kilij Arslan IV (1248-1265) and Kayqubad II (1249-1257) were to determine the areas east of the river under Mongolian administration. In October 1256, Bayju defeated Kaykaus II at Aksaray and all Anatolia were officially subjugated to Möngke Khan. In 1260 Kaykaus II fled from Konya to Crimea, where he died in 1279. Kilij Arslan IV was executed in 1265, and Kaykhusraw III (1265-1284) became the nominal ruler of all Anatolia, with the tangible power of either the Mongols or the Sultan's influential rulers.
The sinking sultanate of Rûm, vassal of the Mongols and the emerging Beyliks, c. 1300.
The Seljuq state had begun to divide itself into small emirates (Beyliks), which were increasingly controlled by Mongols and Seljuq. In 1277, responded to a call from Anatolia, the Mameluk Sultan Baybars attacked Anatolia and defeated the Mongols, temporarily replacing them as an administrator of the Seljuq empire. But as the natives who had called him to Anatolia were not to defend the country, he had to return to his home in Egypt, and the Mongol administration was officially and strictly resumed.

Statue of Kayqubad(Saljūqiyān-i Rūm ) I in Alanya
Statue of Kayqubad(Saljūqiyān-i Rūm ) I in Alanya

At the end of his reign, Kaykhusraw III was able to conquer a direct sovereignty over Konya. Some of the Beyliks (including the Ottomans in their beginnings) and Seljuq governors of Anatolia continued to recognize, though nominally, the supremacy of the Sultan in Konya, delivering the Khutba in the name of the sultans in Konya in recognition of their sovereignty, and called the Sultans Fahreddin, the pride of Islam. When Kaykhusraw III was executed in 1284, the Seljuq dynasty suffered a further blow from internal fighting, which lasted until 1303, when the son of Kaykaus II Mesud II established himself as Sultan in Kayseri. He was murdered in 1307 and his son Mesud III soon after. A distant relative of the Seljuq Dynasty temporarily installed himself as Emir of Konya, but he was defeated and conquered his lands by the Karamanids in 1328. The monetary influence of the sultanate lasted somewhat longer and the coins of Seljuq mint, which are generally regarded as reliable value, continue to be reused throughout the 14th century, also by the Ottomans.

Culture and society
The Seljuk Dynasty of Rum, the successor of the Great Seljuqs, founded their political, religious and cultural heritage from the Perso-Islamic tradition to the naming of their sons with Persian names. Despite the Turkish origins, Rum Seljuks protected Persian art, architecture and literature, while using Persian as the administrative language. In addition, the Byzantine influence in the Sultanate was also significant because the Greek aristocracy was a part of the Seljuk aristocracy and the local Greek population was numerous in the region.
In their construction of caravanserai, medses and mosques, Rum Seljuks translated the Iranian Seljuk architecture from bricks and plaster into stone use. Particularly noteworthy are the caravanserais (or hans), used as stops, trading posts and defense for caravans, of which about one hundred structures were built during the Anatolian Seljuqs. Together with Persian influences, which had an undeniable effect, the Seljuk architecture was inspired by Christian and Muslim Armenians. Anatolian architecture, for example, is one of the most striking and impressive buildings in the history of Islamic architecture. Later this anatolian architecture was to be transferred to the Sultanate of India.

Ghale Roodkhan Castle Fooman-Gilan Province
Ghale Roodkhan Castle Fooman-Gilan Province

The largest caravanserai is the 1229 built Sultan Han on the road between the cities of Konya and Aksaray, in the municipality of Sultanhanı depending on the latter city, with 3,900 square meters. There are two caravanserries bearing the name "Sultan Han", the other between Kayseri and Sivas. In addition, apart from Sultanhanı, five other cities in Turkey owe their names to Caravanserais built there. These are Alacahan in Kangal, Durağan, Hekimhan and Kadınhanı, as well as the municipality of Akhan within Denizli metropolitan area.
The caravanseras of Hekimhan are unique because, under the usual Arabic inscription with information about the building, they had two more inscriptions in Armenian and Syrian as they were built by the Sultan Kayqubad I (Hekim) Christian by their origin, and have converted to Islam . There are other special cases such as the settlement in Kalehisar (adjacent to an ancient Hittite area) near Alaca, founded by the Seljuq commander Hüsameddin Temurlu, who found refuge in the region after the defeat at the Battle of Köse Dağ Had a church, consisting of a castle, a medrese, a residential zone and a caravanserai, which were later abandoned around the 16th century.All but the undiscovered caravanserai were explored in the sixties by the art historian Oktay Aslanapa, and the finds and a series of documents do not confirm the existence of a living settlement on the site, as a 1435 Ottoman Firman, who directs the Headmaster of the Medrese In the school, but in the caravanserai.
The Seljuk Palaces and their armies were occupied with ghulams, young people from non-Muslim communities, especially Greeks from former Byzantine territories, although such practice violated Muslim law. The Ghulam practice might have offered a model for the latter devshirme during the times of the Ottoman Empire.


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