|1070||Battle of Sebastia (Sivas)|
|Outcome:||A victory of the Seljuk Alp Arslan, a prelude to Manzikert||1070|
|War & Enemy:||
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Sebastia, most probably modern Sivas, in Sivas Province, Turkey
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Romanos IV Diogenes)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Manuel Comnenos||Arisiaghi (Er-Sighun)|
|Background story:||In 1068, Romanos IV took the throne of Byzantium and, after a few speedy military reforms, started to campaign against the Seljuk Turks in order to drive them out of Anatolia. The Byzantines were alarmed at the Seljuk threat, especially after the sack of Caesarea in 1067. During the campaigns of 1068 and 1069, however, the Seljuks avoided to encage in battle and Romanos had only moderate success.|
In 1070, Romanos, wishing to buy more time to prepare his army and to deal with the Normans in the west, entrusted his nephew Manuel Komnenos to lead an expedition, in which Hierapolis Bambyce in Syria was captured. Around this time, Romanos proposed a truce with the Seljuk ruler Alp Arslan. During the negotiations, the army of Manuel Komnenos was attacked at Sebastia (modern Sivas) by a Turkish force under Arisiaghi (or Er-Sighun), son of Yusuf Inal and brother-in-law of Alp Arslan. The Byzantines suffered a costly defeat and Komnenos was taken prisoner.
Manuel however convinced Arisiaghi -who wanted to seize power from Arslan- to desert to the Byzantines. When Apl Arslan demanded Arisiaghi’s extradition and was refused, the negotiations broke down. Apl Arslan led his army north of Lake Van to Manzikert , which he besieged and captured. His troops also sacked Chonae in the Thracesian theme.
|Aftermath:||A prelude to the disastrous Byzantine defeat by the Seljuks in Manzikert next year.|