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Turkish Myth and Muslim Symbol

The Battle of Manzikert

Carole Hillenbrand

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Turks ruled the Middle East for a millennium and eastern Europe for many centuries and it is an undoubted fact that they moulded the lands under their dominion. It is therefore something of a paradox that the history of Turkey and aspects of the identity and role of the Turks, both as Muslims and as an ethnic group, still remain little known in the west and undervalued in the Arabic and Persian-speaking worlds.

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List of Illustrations
Comment on Transliteration
Part 1: Medieval Muslim interpretations of the battle
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The twelfth -century sources for the battle of Manzikert
Chapter 3: The thirteenth-century sources for the battle of Manzikert
Chapter 4: The fourteenth-century sources for the battle of Manzikert
Chapter 5: Writing the battle
Part 2: The legacy of the battle
Chapter 6: The Islamic legacy of Manzikert - the ongoing Muslim-Christian confrontation
Chapter 7: The heritage of Manzikert: the myth of national identity

About the Author

Carole Hillenbrand is Honorary Professorial Fellow, Professor Emerita at the University of Edinburgh and Professor of Islamic History at the University of St Andrews since 2013. In 2005 she became the first non-Muslim scholar to be awarded the prestigious King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies, reflecting her ‘revolutionary approach to the largely one-sided subject of the Crusades’. She is author of The Crusades (EUP, 1999), The Waning of the Umayyad Caliphate (Albany, 1989), A Muslim Principality in Crusader Times (Brill, 1990), and co-editor (with C. E. Bosworth) of Qajar Iran, (Edinburgh, 1984) and editor of The Sultan's Turret (Brill, 1999).


'This original and thought-provoking book operates on several levels ... a captivating read that is a powerful reminder to Western scholars and students of the achievement of Turkish - rather than Arab or Persian - leaders in the history of the Muslim Near East.'
- Jonathan Phillips, Times Literary Supplement
'This is a passionate book with an agenda to address the importance of the Turkish contribution to the medieval period ... as well as presenting a superb deconstruction of a historical event in the memory and ideology of centuries of writers.'
- Jonathan Phillips, Times Literary Supplement

This is a fascinating and important book. It will interest specialists and non-specialists alike. Hillenbrand’s prose is clear and concise. The colour plates are excellent. The appendices contain the account of the battle of Manzikert by Michael Attaleiates, translations of other medieval Christian accounts of the battle and additional medieval Muslim accounts of Manzikert.

- The Journal of Military History