14_01_2016Okay I lied, but this is definitely the last! Only the Seljuks were so super happy about having all this Byzantine land that they wanted to call themselves the Seljuks of Rome, but due to pronunciation issues it turned into the Seljuks of Rum instead, and this must be celebrated. I also figure this is the reason they got overrun by Mongols in the end; too busy doing Jack Sparrow impressions to fight properly.

The Battle of Malapert


Last name-doodle I promise, but I thought I’d leave you with the Battle of Malazgirt, which took place in 1071 near Lake Van.  The Seljuks defeated the troops of Diogenes – well, Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes of the Byzantine Empire to be precise. It was very not good news for the Byzantines,  as it was around the border and basically opened up the whole of Anatolia (Asia Minor) to becoming Turkish. Also, the Seljuk leader – let’s call him Aslan, close enough – captured Romanus IV at the battle. Ancient Geneva Conventions were clearly a lot nicer than today’s though:  Aslan’s treatment of his celebrity prisoner was to marry his son to the guy’s daughter, give him some presents and send him home with an escort to keep him all safe on the way. Sweet!



The other thing that is stopping me from becoming an Ottoman Expert is the names. First of all there is the Irritation of “Otto”. I shall concede the founding dude’s moniker was not unlike Ottoman if you are the kind that equates “lotto” with “loss”, but why not just call it the Osman Empire? You’d be less inclined to confuse it with footstools.

You could even keep the original “Osmanli”, which is adorable and distracting enough in its own right. Something about adding little “li”s to thing just makes me squee inside, whenever I see it – which is a lot, since it just means “son of”; so make that distraction number two.

Third in line is the names of pretty much everything else, especially in the beginning, which is where I’m at. Just glancing at a map even, you have Karesi from Game of Thrones, Saruhan from Lord of the Rings, Karaman from basically any fantasy novel ever; the sweeping romance of Isfendiyar and Trebizond offsetting Dulkadir – ‘Doe-A-Dear’ sung with a frog in the throat. And then you have the great and glorious Seljuk Empire -which I assure you is amazing,  sophisticated and vast and altogether extremely impressive – but something about the name puts me in mind of a man trying to swallow a chicken whole. And this image will *not* go out of my head. I am trying to *learn*something here, brain!




Ottoman Empires


I’ve been reading a bit about the Ottoman Empire lately and it’s somewhat slow going, mainly because I keep imagining an empire run by ottomans and how would they fight and what would they use for furniture and would they have factions between the pretty Victorian ones and the more utilitarian storage-y ones and what do Ottomans eat?

I am pretty sure it would look nothing like this.