Battle Of Anatolia

In the east of Europe was the Byzantine Empire, Christians who had long followed a separate Orthodox rite.

Since 1054 the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches had been in schism, and it has been argued that the desire to impose Roman church authority in the east may have been one of the goals of the crusade, although it should be noted that Urban II, who actually launched the First Crusade, never refers to such a goal in his letters on crusading. The Seljuk Turks had taken over almost all of Anatolia after the Byzantine defeat at Manzikert in 1071, with the result that on the eve of the Council of Clermont, the total territory controlled by the Byzantine Empire had fallen by more than half. By the time of Emperor Alexius I Comnenus, the Byzantine Empire was largely confined to Balkan Europe and the northwestern fringe of Anatolia, and faced Norman enemies in the west as well as Turks in the east. In response to the defeat of Manzikert and subsequent Byzantine losses in Anatolia in 1074, Pope Gregory VII had called for the milites Christi ("soldiers of Christ") to go to Byzantium's aid. This call, while largely ignored and even opposed, nevertheless focused a great deal of attention on the east.

The History of Anatolia encompasses the region known as Anatolia (Turkish: Anadolu), known by the Latin name of Asia Minor, considered to be the westernmost extent of Western Asia. Geographically it encompasses what is most of modern Turkey, from the Aegean Sea to the mountains on the Armenian border to east and by the Black Sea and the Taurus mountains from north to south.

The earliest representations of culture in Anatolia can be found in several archaeological sites located in the central and eastern part of the region. Although the origins of some of the earliest peoples are shrouded in mystery, the remnants of Hattian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Hittite culture provides us with many examples of the daily lives of its citizens and their trade. After the fall of the Hittites, the new states of Phrygia and Lydia stood strong on the western coast as Greek civilization began to flourish. Only the threat from a distant Persian kingdom prevented them from advancing past their peak of success.