The Age of Alexius v2.2
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"The Lord does not give victory to the pomp of nobility, nor to the brilliance in arms, but out of pity He aids the pure in heart who are fortified by divine strength in time of need. Therefore the Lord, perhaps pleased with our supplication, slowly restored our vigour and weakened the Turks. Alas, how many of our laggards and stragglers did they kill that day! From the first hour to the sixth great difficulties encompassed us. But then, little by little, after we were spurred on and strengthened by the arrival of our allies and friends, divine grace was miraculously present. Suddenly, we saw the backs of the Turks as they turned in flight."
- - Fulcher of Chartres
After the disaster of Manzikert 1071 (small town north of lake Van, western Armenia) during which the whole Roman army fell to pieces (due to large Mercenary contingents, religious persecutions done to non-Orthodox peoples like Armenians and Jews-who were in the Roman army and rivalry of dynastic generals who wanted the throne) whilst the Seljuks mastered the day and won lands that even the first Caliph, Omar, could not conquer. So Alexius now found the frontier of Islam to be only a few miles away from the capital at Nikea. The reason why the Turks had such an easy run into anatolia was due to the absence of a local militia-that had been destroyed by the bureaucracy of the post Macedonian1 era. The only way to get sufficient military power to repel the Turks now was to appeal to a friendly Christian power-Frankia.
This was just what the Franks wanted, a free hand to take what they wanted, even if they had to make token submission to the Roman Emperor, it meant little to them once outside Nea Roma.
- 1. The Macedonian era began with Basil I (866 AD) who was descended from Armenians who had been deported to Thracia by Emperor Maurice during around 590AD and ended with the death of Basil II 'Bulgaroktonos' (Bulgar Slayer) in 1025 AD. They heralded in a new military era that was swiftly ended by the lousy Angeli dynasty that followed them.
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