A dynasty of Turkish origin that ruled much of Anatolia (Rum; ca. 1081-1308).

The Saljuqs of Rum were descended from the Great Saljuqs who ruled Iraq, Iran and Central Asia. Qotlomoš b. Arslān Esrāʿil b. Saljuq, a cousin of Ṭoḡrel Beg (d. 1063) and Čaḡri Beg (d. 1060), had unsuccessfully challenged Alp Arslān (r. 1063-72) for the Great Saljuq sultanate on the death of Ṭoḡril Beg. His son Solaymān (or Solaymānšāh) b. Qotlomoš is traditionally considered the founder of the Saljuq sultanate in Anatolia. Relations between the two branches of the Saljuq family were to remain distant, and at times hostile, although later authors tended to gloss over this difficult relationship (Peacock, 2004, pp. 101-7). The history of the Saljuqs of Rum can be considered as falling into three main phases: the first, lasting until the late 12th century, is the ill-documented formative period of the sultanate, when it rose to be the leading Muslim state in Anatolia; the second, stretching from the late 12th century to 1237, was the sultanate’s heyday, when it became one of the richest and most powerful states in the Middle East; and the final phase, lasting until the early 14th century, saw Anatolia reduced to a province of the Il-khanids of Iran while the Saljuq sultans remained in office as figureheads under Mongol rule.

The origins of the sultanate. For at least four decades before the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 (Hillenbrand, 2007, pp. 3-25) when the Byzantine Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes (r. 1068-71) was defeated and captured by Alp Arslān, Turks had ranged over eastern Anatolia with more or less impunity, in search of plunder and pasture. After Manzikert, Byzantium was plungedinto fierce civil wars, the protagonists of which were sometimes forced to call on the Turks for aid. Although Byzantine officials remained in post, even in eastern Anatolia, for some years to come, Turks ranged freely over most of the plateau, as far west as the Sea of Marmara. They were led by a number of different tribal leaders, some of whom were to establish eponymous dynasties in Anatolia, such as Dānešmand (d. 1104) and Salṭoq (late 11th cent.). The role of the Saljuq family in this confusing and poorly documented period is unclear. The first reliable evidence for the activities of Solaymān b. Qotlomoš, traditionally regarded as the founder of the Sultanate of Rum, indicates that because of the prestige of his Saljuq lineage he was called on in 1074 by some Turkmen of Syria to lead them, though in allegiance to the Fatimids rather than the Great Saljuq Malekšāh (Sebṭ b. al-Jawzi, pp. 174-75). Although captured by Malekšāh’s forces, Solaymān somehow managed to escape to Anatolia, basing himself at Nicaea (İznik) in the far west. Evidence as to how the latter city came into his hands is contradictory (Turan, 1971, pp. 53-56). Although 1081 is the date conventionally given for Nicaea becoming the Saljuq capital, Solaymān was present in the city by 1078 when he supported Nicephoros Botaneiates (r. 1078-81) in his successful attempt at seizing the Byzantine throne (Foss, pp. 35-49, 204). Turkish expansion in the west was halted by the rise of a new Byzantine emperor, Alexius Comnenus (r. 1081-1118), who made a treaty with Solaymān setting the border between Byzantium and the Turks at the river Drakon (now Kırkgeçit) which was intended to keep Bithynia and the Bosphoros free of Turks (Anna Comnena, III.11, VI.9). Solaymān’s next major appearance in the historical record was in 1084 when he captured eastern Cilicia and attacked Antioch. He was described as “ṣāḥeb Qunya wa-Aqṣarā wa-aʿmālehā men belād al-Rum” (the ruler of Konya and the region of Aksaray in the land of Rum, Ebn al-AṯirX, p. 138; cf. Sebṭ b. al-Jawzi, pp. 229, 234-35; Anna Comnena, VI.10, who confirms that Cappadocia was subject to the Saljuqs). Solaymān was killed on this expedition.

The early sultanate. The aftermath of Solaymān’s death is obscure. He had left in Nicaea his relative Abu’l-Qāsem, who was eventually unable to withstand the combined pressure of Byzantium and the Great Saljuqs, and lost much territory. Malekšāh had not renounced an interest in Anatolia, seeking an alliance against his Saljuq kinsmen with the Byzantine Emperor Alexius, as well as sending missions under the commanders Borsoq and Buzān against Abu’l-Qāsem. However, Solaymān’s son Qelej Arslān I (r. 1092-1109), who been captured by the Great Saljuqs at Antioch and held in captivity in Isfahan, returned to Anatolia on Malekšāh’s death and seized Nicaea in 1092. Qelej Arslān’s position was enhanced by marriage to the daughter of Çaka, a Turkish amir who controlled Smyrna (İzmir) and surroundings. However, Saljuq power was threatened both by a general recovery in Byzantium under Alexius Comnenus and by the arrival of the First Crusade. The seizure of Nicaea by the Byzantines with Crusader help in 1097 was followed by the crushing defeat of Qelej Arslān by the Crusaders at Dorylaeum (Eskişehir) later in the same year. Subsequently Qelej Arslān focused his military activity on eastern Anatolia and the Jazira. He had already succeeded in temporarily wresting Melitene (Malatya) from Daneshmandid control, and occupied Ḥarrān in 1106. His success was crowned by the seizure of Mosul from its Great Saljuq governor Çavli in the following year, so that the ḵoṭbawas read in the name of Qelej Arslān rather than that of Moḥammad Ṭapar (r. 1105-18). This was a clear demonstration of the continuing rivalry between the two branches of the Saljuq family. However, Qelej Arslān was defeated by Çavli in 1107 and drowned crossing the river Ḵābur (Ebn al-Aṯir, X, pp. 415, 426-30).

The death of Qelej Arslān I ended the ambitions of the Saluqs of Rum in the east for the moment as they were reduced to being but one among many Turkish principalities in Anatolia. North-central Anatolia was Daneshmandid territory, Erzurum was controlled by the Saltoqids, Aḵlāṭ on Lake Van came under the Turkish dynasty of the Šāh-e Arman, while the borderlands of Anatolia and Mesopotamia were subject to the Artoqids. Cilicia on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Anatolia was the site of a new Armenian state, while most ofthe Black Sea and the rest of the Mediterranean coasts were again under Byzantine control. After the fall of Nicaea, the Saljuqs of Rum were never to regain their territories in western Anatolia, which remained under Byzantine control until the rise of the Ottomans in the early 14th century. The early 12th century also witnessed the foundation of the Mangujakid (Mengücekid) principality in Arzenjān.

Qelej Arslān I had appointed his son Šāhānšāh (r. 1109-16) governor of Mosul. Šāhānšāh managed to escape when the city was retaken by the Great Saljuqs, and by 1109 he established himself at Konya where he imprisoned his brother Masʿud (r. 1116-56), though according to Syriac sources Moḥammad Ṭapar himself had sent Šāhānšāh who was proclaimed sultan in Malatya (Turan, 1971, p. 149). However, the Saljuqs of Rum were overshadowed by the Daneshmandids who became the leading Turkish power in Anatolia in the first half of the 12th century. Internal disputes further weakened the Saljuqs of Rum, and it was only with Daneshmandid aid that Šāhānšāh’s brother Masʿud was to seize power from him in 1116. Masʿud’s long reign of 39 years eventually witnessed the beginnings of a revival in the fortunes of the Saljuqs of Rum. Initially, he was vassal to Amir Ḡāzi b. Dānešmand (r. 1104-34), and married his daughter, but after the death of Moḥammad b. Amir Gāzi (r. 1134-42) Masʿud was able to exploit the Daneshmandid succession disputes to assert his own position. Several Daneshmandid princes were obliged to form alliances with Masʿud: ʿAyn-al-Dawla of Malatya became his vassal, while Masʿud married his daughters to Yaḡıbasān, the ruler of Amasya and Sivas, and to Ḏu’l-Nun of Kayseri. The failure of a Byzantine army under Emperor Manuel Comnenus (r. 1143-80) to capture Konya in 1146, and a crushing defeat inflicted on the Second Crusade at Dorylaeum in 1147 further strengthened Masʿud’s position. He resumed his father’s policy of expansion in the south east with the capture of Marʿaš in 1149, followed by ʿAyntāb and other towns under Crusader control the following year, although his final campaign, against Armenian Cilicia in 1154, did not succeed in annexingterritory.

The reign of ʿEzz-al-Din Qelej Arslān II (r. 1155-92) secured and extended the gains made under Masʿud. The new ruler faced severe challenges on his accession because his younger brother Šāhanšāh, ruler of Ankara and Çankiri, never accepted his authority and sought the aid of his uncles Ḏu’l-Nun and Yaḡıbasān. These were defeated, but the Zangid ruler of Aleppo, Nur-al-Din (r. 1147-74), took advantage of the disturbances in Anatolia to seize ʿAyntāb and neighboring cities. An alliance with the Crusaders in Syria allowed Qelej Arslān II to regain ʿAyntāb, but in 1159 Nur al-Din aligned himself with Byzantium and remained a threat. Faced with Šāhanšāh’s coalition of Zangids, Byzantines, Daneshmandids and Crusaders, Qelej Arslān II was obliged to go to Constantinople in person in 1161 to sue for peace (Magdalino, pp. 76-78). However, the death of Yaḡıbasān in 1164 permitted Qelej Arslān II to seize extensive territories in northern Anatolia, prompting Nur-al-Din to advance as far north as Sivas in support of the Daneshmandids in 1172. Nur-al-Din’s death in 1174 left the way clear for Qelej Arslān to capture Sivas, Niksar and Tokat, forcing Ḏu’l-Nun and Šāhanšāh to take refuge with the Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comnenus, whose attempt to restore their territories to them through a campaign in northern Anatolia ended in failure. Manuel’s increasing frustration with the depredations of the Turkmen tribesmen in border regions and alarm at growing Saljuq power in Anatolia, especially after the death of Nur-al-Din, led him to initiate an ambitious expedition to strike at the heart of their Saljuq sultanate, and capture Konya itself. The Battle of Myriocephalum that ensued in September 1176 was seen by contemporaries as equal to Manzikert in its consequences, even if this was something of an exaggeration (Magdalino, pp. 95-100; Lilie, pp. 257-75). Byzantium suffered a cataclysmic defeat, although Manuel was offered generous terms by Qelej Arslān II and was obliged to surrender only some frontier fortresses. However, Byzantine dreams of recovering lost territory in Anatolia were extinguished. The victory allowed the Saljuqs of Rum to turn their attention to the east, finally putting an end to their Daneshmandid rivals with the capture of Malatya in 1178, although their ambitions in the Jazira were thwarted by Saladin (Ṣalāḥ-al-Din, r. 1169-93) who had taken over the Zangid lands. The reign of Qelej Arslān II ended, however, in defeat and infighting: Even before his death, the sultan had divided his realm among eleven relatives, mainly his sons, remaining himself in Konya which he handed over to his son Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow I (r. 1192-97 and 1205-11). These relatives had almost complete autonomy in their appanages, although they were restricted to using the title malekrather than solṭān, which Qelej Arslān II reserved for himself. The maleks swiftly fell to fighting among themselves. When the Third Crusade passed through Anatolia in 1190, a fractured Saljuq state appears to have allowed Turkmen tribesmen to harry the Crusaders with impunity, in spite of the sultan’s written assurances of safe passage (Cahen, 1960, pp. 21-31). The Crusader sack and five-day occupation of Konya was a profoundly humiliating conclusion to a reign that had otherwise established the Saljuqs as the foremost power in Anatolia.

This first century of the Saljuq sultanate in Anatolia is the most obscure part of Saljuq history. Our understanding is inhibited by our lack of any local Muslim sources, so that we are mostly dependent on Christian sources in Syriac, Armenian, Latin, and above all Greek, as well as the occasional references in works by authors from the central Islamic lands, for whom Anatolia was an obscure frontier region. This poverty of information probably suggests that no local Muslim chronicles were written, for the historian Ebn-e Bibi (d. after 1285) remarked that it was impossible to find information about Anatolia before the reign of Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow (Ebn-e Bibi, 1956, p. 11). Nor do we have the names of any Persian or Arabic poets who sought the patronage of the Saljuq court in Anatolia until the late 12th century (in striking contrast to the Great Saljuqs in Iran, who had attracted panegyrists since Ṭoḡrel Beg first captured Nishapur in 1038). The most notable development during this period was the emergence of a clearer distinction between the sultans and the Turkmen tribesmen, as also happened in Iran. Initially, Solaymān played the role of a tribal chief, although Anna Comnena (III.11; V.5; VI.10, 12) credits him, as well as Abu’l-Qāsem and Qelej Arslān I, with the title of sultan. The Anatolian Saljuq use of the title was probably not more widely recognized in the Muslim world in this period, even if it was known in Byzantium.

Over the course of the 12th century the Saljuqs of Rum found it increasingly convenient to distance themselves from the activities of the Turkmen tribesmen who sought pastures on the frontier with Byzantium in western Anatolia, and over whose activities they anyway had little control (Vryonis, 1971, pp. 258-85; Hendy, pp. 114-17). However, it is unlikely that the Saljuqs of Rum yet had the complex bureaucratic apparatus that existed in the Great Saljuq empire. At least until the reign of Qelej Arslān II, the Saljuqs of Rum were probably fairly unsophisticated, both administratively and culturally. This impression is reinforced by the material evidence, or lack thereof, until the mid-12th century. New mosques were rarely built, but rather churches were probably converted to serve the purpose (Redford, 1991, p. 57). The earliest Saljuq coins from the reigns of Qelej Arslān I and Masʿud are copper and indebted to Byzantine models, and only in the second half of the reign of Qelej Arslān II was silver coinage (sing. derham) issued (Erkiletlioğlu and Güler, pp. 39-52). As these coins indicate, the early sultanate’s closest cultural links were probably with the Byzantine rather than the Iranian world. Greeks were employed in senior positions in the sultanate, and members of the Byzantine nobility, and even the imperial family, took refuge at the Saljuq court whenever political circumstances were adverse. Likewise, numerous Turks were employed in Byzantine service (Brand, pp. 1-25; Balivet, pp. 23-54).

In the reign of Qelej Arslān II, Saljuq Anatolia became culturally much more strongly linked to the rest of the Muslim world, and to Iran, though Greeks maintained an important role in the Saljuq court even in the 13th century. In the ʿAlāʾ-al-Din mosque in Konya, the extant wooden mehrāb, dated by its inscription to 550/1155, gives the first clear evidence of Saljuq construction activity in Anatolia, though the mosque itself was not completed till the 13th century. Qelej Arslān II is credited with a variety of architectural projects. The earliest caravansary in Anatolia dates from his reign, and he commissioned the construction of the mausoleum (Pers. sing. gonbad“dome”) of the Saljuq family next to the ʿAlāʾ-al-Din mosque in Konya. He is also said to have founded the city of Aksaray (Aqsarā), which was designed to accommodate merchants as well as Azerbaijani fighters against the Byzantines (Ar. sing. ḡāzi; Turan, 1951, p. 86). The Persian language also began to take root as a vehicle for literature. Qelej Arslān II himself was the dedicatee of a Persian manual on dream interpretation, the Kāmel al-Taʿbirby Ḥobayš Teflisi (d. ca. 1203). But the maleks did the most to promote literature in Persian. Šehāb-al-Din Yaḥyā Sohravardi (1152/3-91) dedicated his Partow-nāma to the ruler of Niksar and Koyluhisar, Naṣr-al-Din Barkyāroq b. Qelej Arslān, who himself was the author of a Persian version of the mathnawi (maṯnawi) Ḥurzād o Parezād(Ebn-e Bibi, 1956, pp. 22-23), while in Ankara Moḥi-al-Din patronized a circle of local Persian poets, such as Badiʿ-e Anguriya and Maḥmud-e Anguriya (Ateş, pp. 103-4, 106-9). Rokn-al-Din Solaymān, the malek of Tokat, was also known as a connoisseur of literature, and the Persian poet Ẓahir-al-Din Fāryābi (b. about 1156 or 1160; d. 1201) addressed an ode (qaṣida) to him (Ebn-e Bibi, 1956, pp. 60-62). The growing importance of Iranian culture is underlined by the heroic names derived from the Šāh-nāmathat started to be adopted by the Saljuqs of Rum from the late 12th century onwards, such as Kayḵosrow, Kayqobād and Kaykāvus.

The zenith of sultanate. In 1197, after a brief and undistinguished reign, Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow I was deposed from the throne of Konya by his brother Rokn-al-Din Solaymān II (r. 1197-1204). He expanded the Saljuq domains in the northeast by defeating the Saltoqid dynasty in Erzurum and installing his brother Moḡiṯ-al-Din Ṭoḡrel, who was the malek of Albustayn (Elbistān). Armenian Cilicia may also have been vassal to him, but Solaymān II’s ambitions in the east were constrained by his defeat at the Battle of Basiani, east of Erzurum, by the Georgians in 1202. Furthermore, although he either obtained the allegiance of most Saljuq maleks or deposed them, his brother Moḥi-al-Din in Ankara remained a formidable threat. The conquest of Ankara in 1204 was Solaymān II’s last achievement; he died the same year without having realized his dream ofavenging his defeat by the Georgians (Savvides, 2003).

Solaymān II was succeeded his son ʿEzz-al-Din Qelej Arslān III, a child who was soon overthrown by Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow I who had spent most of the intervening nine years since his deposition in exile in Constantinople. He followed the example of Qelej Arslān II in appointing his sons as maleks: the elder son ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I (r. 1211-20) received Malatya, the middle one ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I (r. 1220-37) was given Tokat, and Jalāl-al-Din Kayfaridun was appointed over Koyluhisar, Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow I exerted a much stronger control over his sons than his father ever had. Erzurum, however, remained effectively independent under Ṭoḡrel. Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow I’s greatest achievement was the conquest of Antalya on the Mediterranean in 1207, securing for the Saljuqs their first major port. The first evidence of the development of more sophisticated court life comes from Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow I’s second reign. Ẓahir-al-Din b. Yaḡıbasān wasthe first to be appointed at the Saljuq court as parvāna, an office which had originated as personal messenger to the sultan. The offices of food taster (čāšna-ger) and chamberlain (ḥājeb) are also first attested from this period (Cahen, 1988, pp. 182-84).

Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow I died fighting the Byzantines at Philadelphia (Alaşehir) in 1211, and as so often, the succession was fraught with difficulty. The leading officials of the sultanate decided to raise his elder son ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I to the throne. The younger son bitterly opposed his brother’s accession. But his allies deserted him, and the prince took refuge in Ankara where he was besieged for a full year before he surrendered and was incarcerated in a remote castle near Malatya. This distraction gave the predominantly Christian population of Antalya, with help from Cyprus, were able to rebel, though ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I regained control of the port between 1215 and 1216. The sultan proclaimed his victory in a fatḥ-nāma that was sent to fellow rulers in the Islamic lands and inscribed on the walls of defeated city (Redford and Leiser, p. 98). Another fatḥ-nama was sent to the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad when ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I captured Sinope (Sinop) on the Black Sea coast (Ebn-e Bibi, 1956, pp. 154-60) in 1214. The sultan also commemorated his victory by adopting the title solṭān al-baḥrayn(lit. “sultan of the two seas”). Although Samsun had fallen to Rokn-al-Din Solaymān II in the late 12th century, its importance seems to have been overshadowed by Sinop until Mongol times. But Sinope allowed the Saljuqs to sow the seeds of a policy designed to control trans-Anatolian trade routes linking the Russian steppe with the Middle East, even though the attempts of ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I to expand the Saljuq domains in northern Syria and the Jazira were thwarted by the Ayyubid dynasty of Damascus, who maintained control directly or indirectly of a broad swathe of land stretching from Syria to Aklāṭ on the northern shore of Lake Van.

Medieval and modern sources agree that the reign of ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I’s brother ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I marks the apogee of the sultanate of the Saljuqs of Rum. Wider formal recognition came at the start of the reign of ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I when the Abbasid caliph Nāṣer (r. 1180-1225) sent Šehāb-al-Din Abu Ḥafṣ ʿOmar Sohravardi (1145-1234) to Konya to bestow upon the new sultan a caliphalletter of appointment (manšur) granting him Anatolia. Almost all of MuslimAnatolia was subject to Saljuq rule; Christian states survived on the peripheries in the form of the Byzantine Empire of Nicaea in the west, the Empire of Trebizond on the eastern Black Sea coast and the Cilician Kingdom of Armenia, but they did not present an existential threat to the Saljuqs. The last of the competing Turkish principalities in Anatolia came to an end, whenin 1228 the Mangujakids of Arzenjān declared their allegiance to ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I, although a branch of the family still continued to cling on to remote Divriği.

The start of ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I’s reign was marked by massive military investment. The walls of Konya and Sivas were rebuilt, and then Kalonoros, a strategic fortress on the Mediterranean, east of Antalya, was conquered from its Armenian lord and renamed in the sultan’s honor ʿAlāʾiya (Alanya), probably around 1221 (Lloyd and Rice, pp. 3-7). The importance of this conquest for ʿAlāʾ-al-Din’s ambitions is attested by the construction of impressive fortifications and a shipyard that survive to this day. A series of campaigns in this period aimed to consolidate his position on the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Attacks were launched on Cilicia, seizing a number of important fortresses, while an expedition from Sinope briefly seized the major Crimean emporium of Sudak; both campaigns were probably conducted about 1222 (Peacock, 2006, pp. 138-48). Although an attempt to conquer Trebizond (Trabzon) ended in failure, the Saljuqs of Rum had by now become one of the leading powers of the Middle East.

The first omens of trouble, however, could be already observed in the reign of ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I. The very strength of his position was in part secured by the collapse of Georgia when the Khawarazmshah ruler Jalāl-al-Din Mengübirti (r. 1220-31) occupied Tiflis in 1226. Jalāl-al-Din posed some threat to Saljuq influence in eastern Anatolia, and indeed Rokn-al-Din Jahānšāh, the Saljuq ruler of Erzurum, allied himself with the Khawarazmshahs against ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I. Much more serious, however, was the risk that Jalāl-al-Din’s very presence might attract the interest of the Mongols, his bitter enemies (Ebn-e Bibi, 1956, pp. 377-80). ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I formed an unlikely alliance with the Ayyubids, traditionally the Saljuqs’ rivals in the Jazira; their joint force deposed Jahānšāh in Erzurum, and defeated the Khawarazmshahs at the battle of Yasičimen near Arzenjān in 1231. But ʿAlāʾ-al-Din’s alliance with the Ayyubids collapsed as the latter decided to attempt the conquest of Anatolia. The Ayyubid advance was stopped at Harput, and ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I was able to push into the Diār Możar, occupying Edessa and Ḥarrān briefly. This was the first Saljuq presence in the region since the reign of Qelej Arslān I more than a century earlier. However, the Ayyubids soon recaptured the Diār Możar (Humphreys, pp. 216-28), and in the meantime the Mongol danger had not subsided. In 1232, a Mongol raiding party led by Bāyju (fl. 1228-59) sacked Arzenjān and penetrated as far as Sivas. ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I formally submitted to the great khan Ögedei (r. 1229-41), though direct Mongol rule would not be imposed for some decades.

ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I was long remembered as the greatest Saljuq sultan, an idealized ruler, although many of the achievements of his reign were the completion of processes that had been initiated by his predecessors. Politically, he continued the process of bringing Muslim Anatolia under Saljuq rule that had been advanced by his brother ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I in particular. The growing importance of trade in the early 13th century is underlined by a number of letters exchanged between ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I and King Hugh I of Cyprus (r. 1205-18) dealing with important commercial matters such as the treatment of shipwrecks in each other’s territories (Turan, 1958, pp. 139-43). ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I contributed further to economic development, by providing political stability as well as actively promoting commerce. Although we have no firm statistics on the volume or nature of goods traded, ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I is known to have to have built 18 caravansaries, which is a third of the extant caravansary structures from the 13th century; this number clearly indicates the Saljuqs’ interest in commerce (Erdmann and Erdmann, II, pp. 60-7-0; Peacock, 2007, pp. 69-70). Goods traded included fur from Russia and slaves from the northern Black Sea steppe, and for both there was considerable demand in the Islamic lands as well as in Anatolia itself. Corn, pearls, precious stones, gold, and silver were among the exports of Anatolia as is indicated by a treaty between ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I and Venice (Martin, p. 328).

The reign of ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I saw the growth of the taste for Persianate culture that had been gradually developing in Anatolia since the late 12th century. The sultan himself is saidto have been fond of reading Persian classics such as, the Kimiā-ye saʿādatof Ghazāli (1058-1111) and the Siāsat-nāmaof Neẓām-al-Molk (Ebn-e Bibi, 1956, p. 228). The number of poets and scholars from neighboring lands seeking the patronage of the Saljuq court gradually increased over the early 13th century. Rāvandi (d. after 1209?) had dedicated his Persian work of history and adab the Rāḥat al-ṣodur, to Kayḵosrow I around 1210, while Borhān-al-Din Ānavi dedicated the Anis al-qolub, his massive Persian versified version of Qeṣaṣ al-anbiāʾto ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I. No less a figure than Ebn al-ʿArabi (1165-1240) was attracted to Anatolia, and corresponded with ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I. The first Mongol incursions into Central Asia and Iran, which coincided with the beginning of the reign of ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I, precipitated an influx of Muslim refugees into Anatolia. The intellectuals were attracted by the wealth of the Saljuq court. The Khorasanian Qāneʿi Ṭusi composed a massive epic on the Saljuq dynasty, modeled on the Šāh-nāmaby Ferdowsi (940-1019 or 1025), which is lost today (Köprülü, pp. 15-17). A Persian mirror for princes was composed for ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I (Fouchécour). Other well-known figures who took refuge in Anatolia were the Sufi Najm-al-Din Rāzi (d. 1256/7), who dedicated his Meršād al-ʿebādto the sultan, and Rumi’s father Bahāʾ-al-Din Walad (1150-1231) who brought his family to Konya around 1220, at the beginning of the reign of ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I.

The construction of the mosque at Konya, resumed by ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I after a long interlude, was completed by ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I. The rivalry between the brothers is perhaps reflected in Kayqobād’s decision to remove the corpse of Kaykāvus from the dynastic burial ground at Konya to Sivas (Redford, 1991, pp. 70-71). The desire of the Saljuqs of Rum to anchor themselves firmly in the cultural traditions of the Perso-Islamic world is reflected in the inscriptions on the rebuilt walls of Konya, which show verses from the Qur’an, hadith, and lines from the Šāh-nāma (Ebn-e Bibi, 1956, pp. 254-55; cf. Redford, 1993, pp. 154-55). The wealth of the sultanate allowed for greater investment in luxuries. In addition to a new residence at Konya, ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I built his famous palaces of Qobādābād by Lake Beyşehir and Keyqobādiya near Kayseri, while ʿAlā’iya, surrounded by hunting pavilions, became a favorite winter resort for the sultan (Redford, 2000, pp. 67-77).

The sophistication of the Saljuq court and the growing wealth of Anatolia belied the fact that serious political problems were not resolved, and were to haunt the sultanate in later years. Most significant was the growing power of the military elite. Its members (sing. amir) had already shown their influence by choosing ʿEzz-al-Din KaykāvusI over ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I as a successor to Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow I in 1211, and in 1219 they were reluctantly obliged to accept that there was no suitable alternative to Kayqobād I. Despite the lavish presents distributed on his accession, Kayqobād I did not endear himself to the amirs. They were required to pay for the repair of the walls of Konya and Sivas out of their own pockets, although this had also been the practice of his predecessor, and went nearly bankrupt with the construction activity at ʿAlāʾiya (Crane, pp. 10-11). The sultan was obliged to execute a number of amirs who had been plotting to murder him in 1223. But the extent of the Saljuq lands and the difficulty of communications ensured that the amirs could not be dispensed with. The tendency of ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I to move his court between the Mediterranean coast, Konya, and Kayseri, may have been devised as one means of keeping an eye on his unwieldy territories. Another method was to continue the practice of putting the sons of the Saljuq dynasty in charge of provincial cities so that each malekwas accompanied by a tutor (Pers. atābak). Yet some amirs were allowed to entrench themselves in certain regions for long periods of time. Ḥosām-al-Din Čupān, who had commanded the Crimean expedition, controlled large areas of territory around Sinope and Qasṭamuni (Kastamonu), while Mobārez-al-Din Artoqoš governed the region around Antalya for 20 years. The most powerful amir was undoubtedly Saʿd-al-Din Köpek b. Moḥammad (d. 1240), who had served ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I from the beginning of his reign. After the sultan’s death it was he who seems to have orchestrated the decision by the amirs and the administrative elite to set aside the sultan’s favored successor, his son ʿEzz-al-Din Qelej Arslān, and instead raise the 16 year old Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow II (r. 1237-46) to the sultanate.

The sultanate under Mongol hegemony. Near-contemporary Muslim historians regarded the reign of Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow II as a disaster. He continued his father’s expansionism in the Jazira, and the surrender of Mayyāfāreqin by its Ayyubid ruler Moẓaffar Šehāb-al-Din Ḡāzi (r. 1220-44) was perhaps the new sultan’s sole success. Yet Saljuq forces proved incapable of dealing with the Mongol raids that persisted in eastern Anatolia despite the Saljuqs’ submission to Ögödei. Moreover, the holy man Bābā Rasul inspired a massive revolt among the Turkmen tribesmen in south eastern Anatolia and around Amasya in 1240 (Ocak, 1989, pp. 1-80). The unrest distracted Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow II from the pressing need to secure his north-eastern frontier even though this strategic objective had motivated his marriage to the Georgian princess Tamar, which had been celebrated in splendor at the start of his reign. Above all, however, Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow II was remembered for his humiliating defeat at the Battle of Köse Daḡ in 1243 at the hands of the Mongol general Bayju. The Mongol victory is taken to mark the incorporation of the Saljuq sultanate of Rum into the Mongol empire. While the sultan fled to Konya, then Antalya, leaving Sivas and Kayseri to be razed by Bayju’s forces, the sultan’s vizier Mohaḏḏab-al-Din ʿAli negotiated the terms of submission with Bayju. Subsequently a Saljuq embassy was sent to the new great khan Bātu (d. 1255; see Golden Horde), led by Šams-al-Din Eṣfahāni, who the sultan’s deputy (nāʾeb) and the commander-in-chief (malek al-omarāʾ) of his army. Bātu granted Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow II a decree (yarliḡ; see jārči) recognizing him as a subject ruler in return for a substantial annual tribute. The great khan rewarded Eṣfahāni richly for his efforts, appointing him as the his deputy in Anatolia (Ebn-e Bibi, 1956, pp. 452-53). After the death of Mohaḏḏab-al-Din, Eṣfahāni was also appointed as the vizier of Kayḵosrow II and thus consolidated his grasp over Anatolia. Henceforth the Saljuq sultans were to play a secondary political role, pawns of the officials appointed by competing Mongol factions.

In the eyes of foreign observers, however, the Saljuqs were still immensely powerful and rich. Simon of Saint-Quentin (fl. 1240-1250), whose account is one of the earliest sources to call Anatolia “Turquie,” wrote admiringly of Saljuq wealth and remarked that the Christian rulers of Cilicia, Trebizond, and Nicaea owed the Saljuq sultan allegiance (pp. 66-72). Anatolia remained linked to the broader Mediterranean and Black Sea economies, and Italian merchants were allowed to trade there (Cahen, 1951, pp. 98-99). At first Mongol rule did not seem to have a particularly profound effect on Anatolia, since the existing Saljuq administrative arrangements remained in place. The requirement that the sultanate accommodate Mongol troops when necessary was yet to be exercised. However, with the death of Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow II the depth of the changes became apparent.

The three sons of Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow II were all children at the time of his death in 1246. Šams-al-Din Eṣfahāni succeeded in placing his favored candidate, the eldest, eleven-year-old ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus II (d. 1256) on the throne, while appointing his allies to key positions at the court. But Eṣfahāni’s efforts wereundermined by the decision of the new great khan Güyük (Guyuk Khan, r. 1246-48) to grant a yarliḡto Rokn-al-Din Qelej Arslān IV (d. 1265) confirming him as sultan in 1248. Güyük was probably trying to use this appointment to undermine his rival Batu who had claimed sovereignty over Anatolia. When the supporters of Qelej Arslān IV had succeeded in murdering Eṣfahāni, their hand was weakened by the death of Güyük, rendering the yarliḡworthless. Eṣfahāni was succeeded by his former ally Jalāl-al-Din Qaraṭāy (d. 1254). He attempted to stabilize the situation by sharing the sultanate between the three half-brothers, while dealing with the constant stream of Mongol envoys demanding tribute from Anatolia. The Mongols’ incessant financial demands and the tendency of internal Mongol disputes to determine politics in Anatolia are hallmarks of the history of the Saljuq sultanate of Rum in the second half of the 13th century. The death of Jalāl-al-Din Qaraṭāy in 1254 left a power vacuum which was filled by renewed competition between the rival supporters of Rokn-al-Din Qelej Arslān IV and ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus II. The youngest sultan ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād II was already out of the picture as he had been sent to the Mongol capital Qaraqorum to affirm the allegiance of his family to the Mongols, and was murdered during this mission. By 1256, the party of ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus II had emerged victorious, though to little effect as internal Mongol politics were again to alter the political landscape in Anatolia.

Hülegü (Hulāgu 1215-1265) had placed a physical wedge between the great khan Bātu and Anatolia when he established the Il-khanate in Iran and the southern Caucasus. After Bātu’s death in 1255, his Jochid successors ceased any further attempt at intervention in Anatolia. Henceforth the fate of Anatolia was to be determined by developments in the Il-khanate. In the wake of Hülegü’s occupation of Caucasia, its Mongol governor Bāyju, to support his army, possibly 150,000 men strong. Bāyju was dispatched to conquer Anatolia. ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus II attempted to resist Bāyju, but suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Aksaray in 1256. The sultan was forced to flee, taking refuge in Nicaean territory. More significant in the long term were the consequences of the presence of substantial Mongol armies in Anatolia which required large pastures to support their cavalry-based forces. The Mongol armies pushed the Turkmen tribes to the peripheries of Anatolia, where, in the late 13th century, the first Turkmen principalities (Turkish sing. beylik) emerged to dominate Anatolia in the 14th century (Hopwood, pp. 132-34; Turan, 1971, pp. 505-13). Since many Mongol soldiers were ethnic Turks, their presence led to a further Turkicization of Anatolia.

Bāyju restored Rokn-al-Din Qelej Arslān IV to the sultanate, and departed east to participate in Hülegü’s campaign against Baghdad that would destroy the Abbasid caliphate in 1258 never returned to Anatolia. While Qelej Arslān IV undertook the long journey to Iran to receive Hülegü’s official confirmation of his sultanate, his half-brother ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus II retook Konya with Byzantine support. Eventually Hülegü decided to partition Anatolia between the two Saljuqs, and Rokn-al-Din Qelej Arslān IV received roughly the old Daneshmandid territories in the north. However, Moʿin-al-Din Solaymān, parvānaand then vizier to Qelej Arslān IV, was determined to reunite the Saljuq realm under his own authority, and managed to convince Hülegü that Kaykāvus II was plotting with the Mamluks of Egypt, the arch-enemies of the Il-khanids. ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus II was forced to flee, first to Byzantium, then to the Crimea, and the installation of Rokn-al-Din Qelej Arslān IV as sole sultanin Konya in 1262 signaled the end of any ambitions for an independent sultanate of the Saljuqs of Rum. The parvāna then set about securing his position through redistributing Saljuq crown lands among his own followers; Qelej Arslān IV’s protests resulted in his murder and replacement by his underage son Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow III (r. 1265-84) in 1265.

The period was marked by the conflict between the vizier Faḵr-al-Din ʿAli and Moʿin-al-Din Solaymān, who was the supreme representative of the Il-khanids at the Seljuk court, and therefore held wide-ranging powers. Although the role of the military governors of Rum who were appointed simultaneously by the Il-khanate is unclear, they were certainly responsible for pursuing the war against the Mamluk sultanate of Syria and Egypt. The Saljuq court was required to contribute troops to these campaigns, and yet the Mamluk armies also included substantial numbers of Anatolian troops, such as the supporters of ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus II who had taken refuge with the Mamluk sultan Baybars I (r. 1260-77). At the same time, Mamluk interest in Anatolia was encouraged by the need to secure the slave soldiers from the northern Black Sea steppe that formed the basis of the Mamluk military, and which Il-khanid control of the traditional supply routes through Anatolia and the Caucasus was endangering. Moreover, Moʿin-al-Din Solaymān appears to have secretly allied himself with the Mamluks. In 1277, the Mamluk sultan Baybars launched a major invasion of Anatolia, defeating the Il-khanid forces at Albustayn. However, the aid the Mamluks had apparently been promised by the treacherousMoʿin-al-Din Solaymān never materialized, and Baybars was forced to withdraw in the face of an army lead by the Il-khan Abaqa (r. 1265-82). Meanwhile, a revolt by Moḥammad Beg (r. 1261-78), leader of the Qaramanid (Qaramān oḡullari) Turkmen of south central Anatolia, had taken Konya in the name of ʿAlāʾ-Din Siāvoš, known to some sources as Jemri, who claimed to be a son of the exiled ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus II. His purported lineage is indicative of the continuing potency of the Saljuq name as a focus for loyalties in Anatolia, despite Mongol domination. Abaqa had Moʿin-al-Din Solaymān executed and sent an expedition to retake Konya, while his chief minister Šams-al-Din Jovayni (d. 1284) was dispatched to restore civil administration and gather taxes. Although both Jemri and Moḥammad Beg were killed, in the long run theQaramanids remained a powerful threat to Mongol control of the southern periphery of Anatolia where they founded their own principality(Amitai-Preiss, pp. 157-78; Yıldız, pp. 381-414).

The final quarter of the 13th century saw Anatolia being drawn ever closer into the affairs of the Il-khanid court in Tabriz. The Il-khans often passed Anatolia in person, for Alātaḡ north of Lake Van was a favored encampment, where several of the Il-khans were crowned. At the same time, contending Mongol generals used Anatolia as a powerbase. Nonetheless, the Mongols continued to maintain the Saljuq sultanate of Rum. With the arrival of Masʿud II b. ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus II at the court of the Il-khan Aḥmad Tegüder (r. 1282-84), the Mongols revived their traditional policy of splitting the sultanate, and in 1282 he became coregent alongside his cousin Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow III, who as a result supported a challenge to the Il-khan by Tegüder’s brother Qonqortay (d. 1284). The latter’s death was swiftly followed by that of Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow III, whose two young sons briefly succeeded him. But in 1286, Masʿud II was able to secure the agreement of the new Il-khan Arḡun (r. 1284-91) that he should be sole sultan.

Arḡun sent his brother Gayḵātu (r. 1291-95) as military governor to Anatolia, where the civil administration was divided between the amir Mojir-al-Din b. Moʿtazz, also serving as nāʾeb-al-salṭanato Masʿud II, and the vizier Fakr-al-Din Qazvini. Mojir-al-Din controlled the former Daneshmandid lands of northern Anatolia, while Fakr-al-Din Qazvini was in charge of the south, where he faced constant Turkmen uprisings. The mismanagement of the civilian officials led to their swift dismissal, and Gayḵātu is said to have behaved with justice and benevolence. When he succeeded Arḡun in 1291, he promoted his associates from Anatolia. However, during the outbreak of Turkmen rebellions which forced him to return to the province later the same year, Gayḵātu distinguished himself only by the extreme violence used. His departure for Iran saw only further Qaramanid success, while Saljuq and Mongol forces quelled an anti-Mongol revolt let by a brother of Masʿud II.

Under Gaykātu and Bāydu and during the earlier part of the reign of Ḡāzān (r. 1295-1304), the Il-khanid administration in Anatolia remained in chaos, and the province became a base for rebels such as Amir Taḡāčār and Baltu. Masʿud II was imprisoned in Hamadān because of his support for Baltu’s revolt, and in 1297 his nephew ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād III b. Farāmarz was appointed as sultan. But a decisive change was initiated when Ḡāzān defeated the revolt led by the general Sülemiš in Anatolia. His successful assertion of Il-khanid central authority in the wayward province is marked by the appearance of standardized coinages throughout Anatolia. ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād III was married to an Il-khanid princess, but after a short-lived revolt he was exiled to Isfahan where he died. The second reign of Masʿud II (r. 1302-8) is almost entirely obscure; the last coin struck in the name of a Saljuq sultan was issued in the year of his accession. Thereafter, as elsewhere in the Il-khanate, the Mongols decided they had no further need of retaining local dynasties as a source of legitimacy. The Saljuqs of Rum disappear from the pages of history in almost total silence.

The political history of Anatolia in the second half of the 13th century, with its incessant revolts, warfare, plots and helpless child sultans, seems to be a story of complete political failure on the part of the Saljuqs of Rum, especially in comparison with the successes of the reigns of ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus I and ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I. The fragmentation of Anatolia, demonstrated by the continued lingering existence of the Daneshmandid territories as a political unit, increased in the 14th century with the proliferation of principalities so that the Saljuq sultanate cannot be simply considered a predecessor to the Ottomans who brought all of Anatolia under their rule. However, many of the greatest cultural achievements associated with the Saljuqs in fact date from the period of Mongol domination.

The vast majority of extant buildings from the Saljuq period date to the second half of the 13th century. The patrons were no longer, however, the Saljuq sultans, but rather amirs and members of the Mongol elite. Patronage was not restricted to figures in the local administration. Šams-al-Din Jovayni evidently had interests in Anatolia even before his appointment to restore order there, for between 1271 and 1272 he built a madrasain Sivas. Officials in the local puppet Saljuq administrations were the greatest patrons, such as the vizier Faḵr-al-Din ʿAli and the parvānaMoʿin-al-Din Solaymān. Mongol rule also resulted in a wider spread of architectural patronage beyond the areas of Konya, Kayseri, and the Mediterranean coast that had been favored for royal construction activity under ʿAlāʾ-al-Din Kayqobād I. Senior officials derived their income from the often very extensive land-grants (eqṭāʿ ) which often became hereditary, and which became the focus of their patronage. Faḵr-al-Din ʿAli and his descendants built extensively in Akşehir, in mid-western Anatolia, while Moʿin-al-Din Solaymān built extensively in Sinope and the former Daneshmandid territories under his control. Konya remained a focus for patronage, and Jalāl-al-Din Qaraṭāy, Faḵr-al-Din ʿAli and Mo‘in-al-Din Solaymān were all responsible for buildings there.

Konya’s importance derived less from its associations with the Saljuq dynasty than from its role as a religious center, especially with the presence of the Persian poet and sufi Jalāl-al-Din Rumi (1207-73). Rumi had close relations with senior figures in the Saljuq state (Lewis, pp. 123-28, 275-84), including ʿEzz-al-Din Kaykāvus II with whom he corresponded regularly. Rumi was also able to bridge the factional politics of the age, and Rokn-al-Din Qelej Arslān IV and Moʿin-al-Din Solaymān were among his devotees (Aflāki, chap. 3, pars. 49, 60, 75, 82, 83, 96). Rumi’s extensive correspondence with Moʿin-al-Din Solaymān has survived, and the official also supported other sufis such as Fakr-al-Din ʿErāqi (d. 1289; cf. Aflāki, chap. 3, par. 332). Relations between Rumi and the political elite were not restricted to purely spiritual matters, for on occasion Rumi used his contacts to secure government positions for his circle. Yet the Persian poetry of Rumi and his son Solṭān Walad (1226-1312) can hardly be said to be purely a product of Saljuq patronage.

The above-mentioned poet Qāneʿi Ṭusi remained active at the court in Konya until at least 1273 (Aflāki, chap. 3, para. 583), and composed, in addition to his lost epic about the Saljuqs, a versified Persian version of Kalila va Demnafor Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Kayḵosrow II. However, the earliest historical works from Anatolia, which were written in Persian and have been preserved, are more directly associated with the Mongols. Ebn-e Bibi, a scribe (monši) at the Saljuq court, dedicated his elaborate Al-Awāmer al-ʿalāʾiya, which was written around 1277, to ʿAṭaʾ-Malek Jovayni (1226-83), the Il-khanid governor of Baghdad and a brother of the above mentioned Šams-al-Din Jovayni. The short prose Saljuq-nāma, whose unknown author was probably a citizen of Konya, may have been composed for Ḵᵛāja Naṣer-al-Din Mostawfi, an advisor to Gayḵātu (Melville, pp. 150-53).

The links with Iran left their imprint in Anatolia’s administration as well. In the Mongol period attempts were made to align administrative practices more closely with those of Iran. The qubčur tax was introduced as an individual poll-tax in 1252. Some lands were assigned as crown domains (Pers. inju> Turk. enčü, cf. amlāk-e ḵāleṣa, ḵāṣṣa), and daruḡačiswere appointed to oversee the revenue collection. But few of these institutions outlasted Mongol rule. As elsewhere in the Il-khanate, revenue seems to have fallen dramatically in Mongol times, though the available figures should be treated with some caution (Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi, I, p. 94, tr. II, p. 95: from an annual 1,500 toman during the Saljuq period to 330 tomans in the early 14th century; for the 14th century change from dinar to toman as money of account, see DINAR). Of greater consequence was Faḵr-al-Din ʿAli’s introduction of Persian in the place of Arabic as the language of administrative records (Aqsarāi, p. 64), for which it continued to be used in some instances into Ottoman times. The mālikāna-divānisystem of revenue collection, better known from the Ottoman Empire, is attested from the beginning of theMongol period in Anatolia, although it may have had earlier antecedents locally as it is not attested in Iran (Beldiceanu-Steinherr, 1976, pp. 247-48). Another new development in urban life in the late 13th century was the rise to prominence of associations of young men (sing. fotowwa), brought together by spiritual ties and shared occupations (for aḵias a brotherhood’s leader, see Cahen, 1953, pp. 84-91; cf. ʿayyār). But it is unclear whether and how this urban phenomenon is related to Mongol rule. However, the aḵis certainly used, and composed, Persian fotowwat-nāmas (Köprülü, pp. 54-56) and were influenced by Iranian traditions of javānmardi.

The broad historical significance of the Saljuq sultanate lies in two principal facts. Firstly, it was in Saljuq times that the process of the Turkicization and Islamization of Anatolia started, although it was by no means completed then. To what extent the Saljuq rulers or their officials can be credited with this is, however, more debatable. Muslims from the central Islamic lands were sometimes shocked by the liberal attiude of the Saljuqs towards their Christian subjects who probably outnumbered Muslims in this period (Addas, pp. 234-35; Balivet, p. 84), and there is little evidence for state encouragement for conversion. Indeed, Christians were often encouraged to settle in Saljuq Anatolia, and often preferred Saljuq to Byzantine rule (Turan, 1953, pp. 74-92; Vryonis, 1971, pp. 179-84, 223-44, 444-63). Intermarriage and immigration may have been the main forces for Islamization. Likewise, Turkmen settlement was not directed by the Saljuq state, but by the availability of pastures, and often concentrated on the Saljuq borders with Byzantium (Vryonis, 1975, pp. 44-57). Secondly, the Saljuqs brought Anatolia into the Iranian cultural world. There had been Muslims in Anatolia before, above all in Cilicia, the Byzantine borders with Syria, and as far north as Erzurum. These emirates had tended to be orientated towards Syria, or even Armenia, but under the Saljuqs Iranian influences became prominent, especially from the late 12th century onwards. The Saljuqs were not the only Anatolian dynasty to support Iranian culture, and the Mangujakids, for example, were patrons of Nezami of Ganja (Neẓāmi Ganjavi, 1141-1209). But the Saljuqs’ preeminent position in the early 13th century allowed them to support a much wider range of cultural activities, especially because of refugees from the Mongols. Nonetheless, it must be admitted that the Persian literature of Anatolia, with the exception of the works of Rumi and his circle, never attained popularity in the wider Persian-speaking world. Works of poetry or history composed for the Saljuq court had a very limited circulation: Qāneʿi Ṭusi’s Kalila va Demnasurvives in only one manuscript, and we know of several lost works with the title Saljuq-nāma(Köprülü, pp. 15-19). The principal primary sources in Persian are the works of Ebn-e Bibi and Maḥmud b. Moḥammad Aqsarāʾi (14th century), as well as the anonymous Saljuq-nāma. These texts are preserved in either unique or very few manuscripts, and evidently were not read outside of Anatolia, with the exception of a later abridgement (moḵtaṣar) of Ebn-e Bibi’s chronicle. So, although the Saljuqs can be credited with the spread of Persian in Anatolia, which subsequently became a major vehicle for literature in Ottoman times, even the incorporationof the Saljuq sultanate into the Il-khanate did not change the fundamental realities of Anatolia’s position as a geographically and to a certain extent culturally peripheral frontier region of the Muslim world. However, even in the later 14th century, the vanished sultanate remained a focus for loyalty in Anatolia, illustrating the prestige of the Saljuq dynasty even after its power had disappeared (Melville, p. 151; Peacock, 2004, pp. 105-6).

Bibliography: A comprehensive survey of the Muslim sources is included in M. F. Köprülü’s 1943 article on Turkish Saljuq historiography (see Studies below). The 1988 French ed. of Cl. Cahen’s Pre-Ottoman Turkey, 1968 (see Studies below), provides further detail on the Christian sources (pp. 350-56) and older research (pp. 359-63).


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(Andrew Peacock)

Originally Published: January 1, 2000

Last Updated: May 25, 2010