Seljuk Empire

The Great Seljuk Empire[11][lower-alpha 1] or the Seljuk Empire, was a high medieval Turko-Persian[14] Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qiniq branch of Oghuz Turks.[15] At the time of its greatest extent, the Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area, stretching from western Anatolia and the Levant in the west to the Hindu Kush in the east, and from Central Asia in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south.

Great Seljuk Empire
1037–1194
Seljuk Empire at its greatest extent in 1092,
upon the death of Malik Shah I.
StatusEmpire
Capital
Common languages
Religion
Sunni Islam (Hanafi)
GovernmentDe facto: Independent Sultanate
De jure: Under Caliphate[6]
Caliph 
 1031–1075
Al-Qa'im
 1180–1225
Al-Nasir
Sultan 
 1037–1063
Toghrul I (first)
 1174–1194
Toghrul III (last)[7]
History 
 Tughril formed the state system
1037
1040
1071
1095–1099
1141
 Replaced by the Khwarezmian Empire[8]
1194
Area
1080 est.[9][10]3,900,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Oghuz Yabgu State
Ghaznavids
Buyid dynasty
Byzantine Empire
Kakuyids
Fatimid Caliphate
Kara-Khanid Khanate
Marwanids
Rawadids
Sultanate of Rûm
Anatolian beyliks
Ghurid Dynasty
Khwarezmian Empire
Atabegs of Azerbaijan
Salghurids
Bavandids
Ayyubid dynasty
Burid dynasty
Zengid dynasty
Danishmends
Artuqid dynasty
Shah-Armens
Shaddadids

The Seljuk empire was founded in 1037 by Tughril (990–1063) and his brother Chaghri (989–1060). From their homelands near the Aral Sea, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia, before eventually conquering Baghdad and eastern Anatolia. The Seljuks won the battle of Manzikert in 1071, and then conquered most of the rest of Anatolia, wresting it from the Byzantine Empire. This was one of the impetuses for the First Crusade (1095–1099). The Seljuk empire began to decline in the 1140s, and by 1194 had been supplanted by the Khwarazmian Empire.

Seljuk gave his name to both the empire and the Seljuk dynasty. The Seljuk empire united the fractured political landscape of the eastern Islamic world and played a key role in both the First Crusade and Second Crusade. The Seljuks also played an important part in the creation and expansion of multiple art forms during the period in which they had influence.[16]

Highly Persianized[17] in culture[18] and language,[19] the Seljuks also played an important role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition,[20] even exporting Persian culture to Anatolia.[21][22] The settlement of Turkic tribes in the northwestern peripheral parts of the empire, for the strategic military purpose of fending off invasions from neighboring states, led to the progressive Turkicization of those areas.[23]