With Italy and the Balkans at peace Manuel turns his attention to Anatolia. He marches to Antioch to punish those who’d wronged him. He then campaigns against the Turks with surprisingly positive results.
Pic: The Tomb of Kilij Arslan II in the courtyard of Alâeddin Mosque, Konya
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The Komnenos Dynasty seemed to try and balance keeping the Turks bottled up on the plateau while simultaneously bringing Outremer and the balkan states into vassalage. I would presume that the long term plan (if we can ascribe such thinking to 12th century politics) was to use the combined strength of Byzantium and the vassals to eventually drive the Turks out. Also; Luttwak has argued that the Byzantine approach to Imperialism was more about reducing border peoples to vassalage rather then outright conquest. I believe approaching Manuel from this angle might help us understand a lot of his policy decisions.
Great episode and thank you so much! Just wondering, do you think Manuil could have taken Iconium if he focused his energy on capturing it and its environs?