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Sultanate of Rum


The Seljuk Sultanate Of Rum - Seeds Of The Ottoman Empire

Anadolu Selçuklu Devleti
سلجوقیان روم
Sultanate of Rum
1077–1307 Dosya:Anadolu Beylikleri.png
Dosya:Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg
Dosya:Ilkhanate in 1256–1353.PNG
Dosya:Rubenid Flag.svg

Flag of Rum

Roman Eagle was used as a symbol for the Sultanate of Rum (Roma)

Expansion of the Sultanate in c. 1100–1240.
Capital Nicaea (İznik)
Iconium (Konya)
Language(s) Persian (official & literature)[1][2]
Old Anatolian Turkish[3]
Political structure Sultanate
 - 1077–1086 Suleyman I of Rûm
 - 1303–1308 Mesud II
 - Division from the Great Seljuq Empire 1077
 - Internal struggles 1307
 - 1243 400.000 km2 (154.441 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Dosya:Seljuqs Eagle.svg Great Seljuq Empire
Dosya:Anatolia 1097.svg Danishmends
Dosya:Blank.png Mengujekids
Dosya:Blank.png Saltukids
Dosya:Blank.png Artukids
Anatolian Beyliks Dosya:Anadolu Beylikleri.png
Ottoman Empire Dosya:Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg
Ilkhanate Dosya:Ilkhanate in 1256–1353.PNG
Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia Dosya:Rubenid Flag.svg

Şablon:Campaignbox Crusades Battles Şablon:History of the Turks pre-14th century Şablon:History of Turkey

Anadolu Selçuklu Devleti

The Sultanate of Rum (Turkish: Anadolu Selçuklu Devleti, meaning "Anatolian Seljuk State" or Turkish: Türkiye Selçuklu Devleti meaning "Turkey Seljuk State";[4] Persian: سلجوقیان روم Saljūqiyān-i Rūm), was a medieval Turko-Persian,[5] Sunni Muslim[6] state in Anatolia. It existed from 1077 to 1307, with capitals first at İznik and then at Konya. However, the court of the sultanate was highly mobile, and cities like Kayseri and Sivas also temporarily functioned as capitals. At its height, the sultanate stretched across central Anatolia, from the shoreline of Antalya and Alanya on the Mediterranean coast to the territory of Sinop on the Black Sea. In the east, the sultanate absorbed other Turkish states and reached Lake Van. Its westernmost limit was near Denizli and the gates of the Aegean basin.

The term "Rûm" comes from the Arabic word for the Roman Empire.[7] The Seljuqs called the lands of their sultanate Rum because it had been established on territory long considered "Roman", i.e. Byzantine, by Muslim armies.[8] The state is occasionally called the Sultanate of Konya (or Sultanate of Iconium) in older Western sources.

The sultanate prospered, particularly during the late 12th and early 13th centuries when it took from the Byzantines key ports on the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts. Within Anatolia the Seljuqs fostered trade through a program of caravanserai-building, which facilitated the flow of goods from Iran and Central Asia to the ports. Especially strong trade ties with the Genoese formed during this period. The increased wealth allowed the sultanate to absorb other Turkish states that had been established in eastern Anatolia after the Battle of Manzikert: the Danishmends, the Mengücek, the Saltukids, and the Artuqids. Seljuq sultans successfully bore the brunt of the Crusades but in 1243 succumbed to the advancing Mongols. The Seljuqs became vassals of the Mongols, following the battle of Kose Dag,[9] and despite the efforts of shrewd administrators to preserve the state's integrity, the power of the sultanate disintegrated during the second half of the 13th century and had disappeared completely by the first decade of the 14th.

In its final decades, a number of small principalities, or beyliks, emerged and rose to dominance in the territory of the Sultanate, including that of the House of Osman, which later founded the Ottoman Empire.


Dosya:Seljuk Sultanate of Rum 1190 Locator Map.svg

Seljuk Sultanate of Rum in 1190

In the 1070s, after the battle of Manzikert, the Seljuq commander Suleyman bin Kutalmish, a distant cousin of Malik Shah and a former contender for the throne of the Great Seljuq Empire, came to power in western Anatolia. In 1075, he captured the Byzantine cities of Nicaea (İznik) and Nicomedia (İzmit). Two years later he declared himself sultan of an independent Seljuq state and established his capital at İznik.[10]

Suleyman was killed in Antioch in 1086 by Tutush I, the Seljuq 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 driven back into south-central Anatolia, where he set up his state with capital in Konya. In 1107, he ventured east and captured Mosul but died the same year fighting Malik Shah's son Mehmed Tapar.

Meanwhile, another Rûm Seljuq, Melikshah (not to be confused with the Great Seljuq sultan of the same name), captured Konya. In 1116 Kilij Arslan's son, Mesud I, took the city with the help of the Danishmends. Upon Mesud's death in 1156, the sultanate controlled nearly all of central Anatolia. Mesud's son, Kilij Arslan II, captured the remaining territories around Sivas and Malatya from the last of the Danishmends. At the Battle of Myriokephalon in 1176, Kilij Arslan also defeated a Byzantine army led by Manuel I Comnenus, dealing a major blow to Byzantine power in the region. Despite a temporary occupation of Konya in 1190 by German forces of the Third Crusade, the sultanate was quick to recover and consolidate its power.


The Sultanate of Rûm and surrounding states, c. 1200

After the death of the last sultan of Great Seljuq, Tuğrul III, in 1194, the Seljuqs of Rum became the sole ruling representatives of the dynasty. Kaykhusraw I seized Konya from the Crusaders in 1205. Under his rule and those of his two successors, Kaykaus I and Kayqubad I, Seljuq power in Anatolia reached its apogee. Kaykhusraw's most important achievement was the capture of the harbour of Attalia (Antalya) on the Mediterranean coast in 1207. His son Kaykaus captured Sinop and made the Empire of Trebizond his vassal in 1214. He also subjugated Cilician Armenia but in 1218 was forced to surrender the city of Aleppo, acquired from al-Kamil. Kayqubad continued to acquire lands along the Mediterranean coast from 1221 to 1225. In the 1220s, he sent an expeditionary force across the Black Sea to Crimea.[11] In the east he defeated the Mengüceks and began to put pressure on the Artuqids.


Dosya:Sultan Kayqubad Kaykubad map Seljuks Rum Anatolia.png

The sultanate expanded towards the east during the reign of Kayqubad I.

Kaykhusraw II (1237–1246) began his reign by capturing the region around Diyarbekir, but in 1239 he had to face an uprising led by a popular preacher named Baba Ishak. After three years, when he had finally quelled the revolt, the Crimean foothold was lost and the state and the sultanate's army had weakened. It is in these conditions that he had to face a far more dangerous threat, that of the expanding Mongols. Mongol forces took Erzurum in 1242 and in 1243, the sultan was crushed by Bayju 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.[12] The sultan himself had fled to Antalya after the 1243 battle, where he died in 1246, his death starting a period of tripartite, and then dual, rule that lasted until 1260.

The Seljuq realm was divided among Kaykhusraw's three sons. The eldest, Kaykaus II (1246–1260), assumed the rule in the area west of the river Kızılırmak. His younger brothers, Kilij Arslan IV (1248–1265) and Kayqubad II (1249–1257), were set to rule the regions east of the river under Mongol administration. In October 1256, Bayju defeated Kaykaus II near Aksaray and all of Anatolia became officially subject 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 of Anatolia, with the tangible power exercised either by the Mongols or the sultan's influential regents.

Dosya:Anatolian Beyliks in 1300.png

The declining Sultanate of Rûm, vassal of the Mongols, and the emerging beyliks, c. 1300

The Seljuq state had started to split into small emirates (beyliks) that increasingly distanced themselves from both Mongol and Seljuq control. In 1277, responding to a call from Anatolia, the Mameluk sultan Baybars raided Anatolia and defeated the Mongols, temporarily replacing them as the administrator of the Seljuq realm. But since the native forces who had called him to Anatolia did not manifest themselves for the defense of the land, he had to return to his home base in Egypt, and the Mongol administration was re-assumed, officially and severely. Also, the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia captured the Mediterranean coast from Selinos to Seleucia, as well as the cities of Marash and Behisni, from the Seljuq in the 1240s.

Dosya:Hanabad Caravanserai Cardak.jpg

Hanabad caravanserai in Çardak (1230)

Near the end of his reign, Kaykhusraw III could claim direct sovereignty only over lands around Konya. Some of the Beyliks (including the Ottomans in their very beginnings) and Seljuq governors of Anatolia continued to recognize, albeit 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 the sultans continued to call themselves Fahreddin, the Pride of Islam. When Kaykhusraw III was executed in 1284, the Seljuq dynasty suffered another blow from internal struggles 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 afterwards. A distant relative to the Seljuq dynasty momentarily installed himself as emir of Konya, but he was defeated and his lands conquered by the Karamanids in 1328. The sultanate's monetary sphere of influence lasted slightly longer and coins of Seljuq mint, generally considered to be of reliable value, continued to be used throughout the 14th century, once again, including by the Ottomans.

Culture and society[]

The Seljuk dynasty of Rum, as successors to the Great Seljuqs, based their political, religious and cultural heritage on the Perso-Islamic tradition,[13] even to the point of naming their sons with Persian names.[14] Though of Turkic origin, Rum Seljuks patronized Persian art, architecture, and literature[15] and used Persian as a language of administration.[16] Moreover, Byzantine influence in the Sultanate was also significant, since Greek aristocracy remained part of the Seljuk nobility, and the local Greek population was numerous in the region.[17][18]

Dosya:Kızıl Kule.jpg

Kızıl Kule (Red Tower) built between 1221–1226 by Kayqubad I in Alanya.

In their construction of caravanserais, medreses and mosques, the Rum Seljuks translated the Iranian Seljuk architecture of bricks and plaster into the use of stone.[19] Among these, the caravanserais (or hans), used as stops, trading posts and defense for caravans, and of which about a hundred structures were built during the Anatolian Seljuqs period, are particularly remarkable. Along with Persian influences, which had an indisputable effect,[20] Seljuk architecture was inspired by Christian and Muslim Armenians.[21] As such, Anatolian architecture represents some of the most distinctive and impressive constructions in the entire history of Islamic architecture. Later, this Anatolian architecture would be transmitted to Sultanate India.[22]

Dosya:Ince Minareli Medrese 01.jpg

Ince Minareli, a 13th-century medrese (school) located in Konya, Turkey

The largest caravanserai is the Sultan Han (built in 1229) on the road between the cities of Konya and Aksaray, in the township of Sultanhanı depending the latter city, enclosing Şablon:Convert/m2. There are two caravanserais that carry the name "Sultan Han", the other one being between Kayseri and Sivas. Furthermore, apart from Sultanhanı, five other towns across Turkey owe their names to caravanserais built there. These are Alacahan in Kangal, Durağan, Hekimhan and Kadınhanı, as well as the township of Akhan within the Denizli metropolitan area. The caravanserai of Hekimhan is unique in having, underneath the usual inscription in Arabic with information relating to the edifice, two further inscriptions in Armenian and Syriac, since it was constructed by the sultan Kayqubad I's doctor (hekim) who is thought to have been a Christian by his origins, and to have converted to Islam. There are other particular cases like the settlement in the Kalehisar site (contiguous to an ancient Hittite site) near Alaca, founded by the Seljuq commander Hüsameddin Temurlu, who had taken refuge in the region after the defeat in the Battle of Köse Dağ and had founded a township comprising a castle, a medrese, a habitation zone and a caravanserai, which were later abandoned apparently around the 16th century. All but the caravanserai, which remains undiscovered, was explored in the 1960s by the art historian Oktay Aslanapa, and the finds as well as a number of documents attest to the existence of a vivid settlement in the site, such as a 1463 Ottoman firman which instructs the headmaster of the medrese to lodge not in the school but in the caravanserai.

Dosya:Gok Medresesi1.jpg

Gök Medrese (Celestial Madrasa) of Sivas, periodic capital of the Sultanate of Rum

The Seljuk palaces, as well as their armies, were staffed with ghulam, enslaved youths taken from non-Muslim communities, mainly Greeks from former Byzantine territories. The Ghulam practice may have offered a model for the later Devshirme during the time of the Ottoman Empire.[23]


Dosya:Kaykhusraw II dirham.jpg

Dirham of Kaykhusraw II, minted at Sivas 1240–1241 AD

As regards the names of the sultans, there are variants in form and spelling depending on the preferences displayed by one source or the other, either for fidelity in transliterating the Persian-influenced variant of the Arabic script which the sultans used, or for a rendering corresponding to the modern Turkish phonology and orthography. Some sultans had two names that they chose to use alternatively in reference to their legacy. While the two palaces built by Alaeddin Keykubad I carry the names Kubadabad Palace and Keykubadiye Palace, he named his mosque in Konya as Alaeddin Mosque and the port city of Alanya he had captured as "Alaiye". Similarly, the medrese built by Kaykhusraw I in Kayseri, within the complex (külliye) dedicated to his sister Gevher Nesibe, was named Gıyasiye Medrese, and the one built by Izzeddin Keykavus I in Sivas as Izzediye Medrese.

Sultan Reign Notes
1. Kutalmish 1060–1064 Contended with Alp Arslan for succession to Great Seljuq throne.
2. Suleiman ibn Qutulmish 1075-1077 de facto rules Turkmen around İznik and İzmit; 1077–1086 recognised Rum Sultan by Malik I Founder of Anatolian Seljuq Sultanate with capital in İznik
3. Kilij Arslan I 1092–1107 First sultan in Konya
4. Malik Shah 1107–1116
5. Masud I 1116–1156
6. 'Izz al-Din Kilij Arslan II 1156–1192
7. Giyath al-Din Kaykhusraw I 1192–1196 First reign
8. Rukn al-Din Suleiman II 1196–1204
9. Kilij Arslan III 1204–1205
Giyath al-Din Kaykhusraw I 1205–1211 Second reign
10. 'Izz al-Din Kayka'us I 1211–1220
11. 'Ala al-Din Kayqubad I 1220–1237
12. Giyath al-Din Kaykhusraw II 1237–1246 After his death, sultanate split until 1260 when Kilij Arslan IV remained the sole ruler
13. 'Izz al-Din Kayka'us II 1246–1260
14. Rukn al-Din Kilij Arslan IV 1248–1265
15. 'Ala al-Din Kayqubad II 1249–1257
16. Giyath al-Din Kaykhusraw III 1265–1284
17. Giyath al-Din Masud II 1284–1296 First reign
18. 'Ala al-Din Kayqubad III 1298–1302
Giyath al-Din Masud II 1303–1308 Second reign

See also[]

  • Alaeddin Mosque (Konya, Turkey)
  • Anatolian beyliks
  • Anatolian Seljuks family tree
  • Babai Revolt
  • Byzantine–Seljuq Wars
  • Ince Minaret Medrese
  • Karatay Medrese
  • Rûm Province, Ottoman Empire
  • Seljuq architecture
  • Seljuq dynasty
  • Timeline of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm
  • Timeline of Turkish history
  • Timeline of the Turks (500–1300)


  1. Grousset, Rene, The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia, (Rutgers University Press, 2002), 157; "...the Seljuk court at Konya adopted Persian as its official language.".
  2. Bernard Lewis, Istanbul and the Civilization of the Ottoman Empire, (University of Oklahoma Press, 1963), 29; "The literature of Seljuk Anatolia was almost entirely in Persian...".
  3. Encyclopedia Britannica: "Modern Turkish is the descendant of Ottoman Turkish and its predecessor, so-called Old Anatolian Turkish, which was introduced into Anatolia by the Seljuq Turks in the late 11th century ad." [1]
  5. Bernard Lewis, Istanbul and the Civilization of the Ottoman Empire, 29; "Even when the land of Rum became politically independent, it remained a colonial extension of Turco-Persian culture which had its centers in Iran and Central Asia","The literature of Seljuk Anatolia was almost entirely in Persian...".
  6. "Institutionalisation of Science in the Medreses of pre-Ottoman and Ottoman Turkey", Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Turkish Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, ed. Gürol Irzik, Güven Güzeldere, (Springer, 2005), 266.
  7. Christianity in Persia and the Status of Non-muslims in Iran By A. Christian Van Gorder, P.215
  8. Alexander Kazhdan, "Rūm" The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (Oxford University Press, 1991), vol. 3, p. 1816.
  9. John Joseph Saunders, The History of the Mongol Conquests, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971), 79.
  10. Sicker, Martin, The Islamic world in ascendancy: from the Arab conquests to the siege of Vienna , (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000), 63-64.
  11. A.C.S. Peacock, "The Saliūq Campaign against the Crimea and the Expansionist Policy of the Early Reign of'Alā' al-Dīn Kayqubād", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 16 (2006), pp. 133-149.
  12. John Joseph Saunders, The History of the Mongol Conquests, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971), 79.
  13. Saljuqs: Saljuqs of Anatolia, Robert Hillenbrand, The Dictionary of Art, Vol.27, Ed. Jane Turner, (Macmillan Publishers Limited, 1996), 632.
  14. Rudi Paul Lindner, Explorations in Ottoman Prehistory, (University of Michigan Press, 2003), 3.
  15. A Rome of One's Own: Reflections on Cultural Geography and Identity in the Lands of Rum, Cemal Kafadar,Muqarnas, Volume 24 History and Ideology: Architectural Heritage of the "Lands of Rum", Ed. Gülru Necipoğlu, (Brill, 2007), 21.
  16. {{{başlık}}}. ISBN 9781438110257.
  17. {{{başlık}}}. ISBN 9781409410980.
  18. A sultan in Constantinople:the feasts of Ghiyath al-Din Kay-Khusraw I, Dimitri Korobeinikov, Eat, drink, and be merry (Luke 12:19) - food and wine in Byzantium, ed. Leslie Brubaker and Kallirroe Linardou,(Ashgate Publishing, 2007), 96:[2]
  19. West Asia:1000-1500, Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, Atlas of World Art, Ed. John Onians, (Laurence King Publishing, 2004), 130.
  20. Architecture(Muhammadan), H. Saladin, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol.1, Ed. James Hastings and John Alexander, (Charles Scribner's son, 1908), 753.
  21. Armenia during the Seljuk and Mongol Periods, Robert Bedrosian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times: The Dynastic Periods from Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, Vol. I, Ed. Richard Hovannisian, (St. Martin's Press, 1999), 250.
  22. Lost in Translation: Architecture, Taxonomy, and the "Eastern Turks", Finbarr Barry Flood, Muqarnas: History and Ideology: Architectural Heritage of the "Lands of Rum, 96.
  23. {{{başlık}}}. ISBN 9780874368857.


External links[]

Şablon:Turkic topics Şablon:Turkey topics Şablon:History of Turkey timeline Şablon:Seljuk dynasty Şablon:Seljuk Sultanate of Rum and Turkish Beyliks

Şablon:Medieval states in Anatolia

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