During the eleventh century, Christian pilgrims began to encounter persecution abroad, and when the Seljuk Turks, new and fanatical converts to Islam, came sweeping nd plundering into the Near Est, the situation became especially tense. The Seljuks seized Jerusalem from their fellow Muslims and then swept north into Asia Minor. Forces of the Eastern Empire desperately tried to bar the invader, but at the battle of Manzikert (1071) the Turks captured the eastern emperor and scattered his army. Within a few years Asia Minor, the chief source of Byzantine revenue and troops, was lost, and the Emperor was writing to western princes and to the Pope seeking mercenaries to aid in the rescue of the lost territories. This eventually led to the First Crusade to regain the Holy Land.
[tags]Battle-of-Manzikert, BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, history[/tags]