Nová pravdepodobná príčina kumánskeho vpádu na byzantský Balkán roku 1095

Title in English New probable cause for Cuman attack on Byzantine Balkans in 1095


Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Byzantinoslovaca (V)
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field History
Keywords diplomacy; Byzantium; Kievan Rus; nomads; Cumans; warfare; international relations; Greek fire
Description Cuman incursion deep into Byzantine Balkans in 1095 represents a less-known historical event. This lack of knowledge is partially due to later events of the first crusade that naturally attracted more interest of the then writing chroniclers and historians and also of modern scholars. Uncertainties about its datation and exact chronology are still present. In this article we strive to demonstrate that there is more than meets the eye concerning the causes for this attack as well. It's possible to identify the traditional cause for Cuman attack in Byzantine and Rus' historical sources of the late 11th and first half of the 12th century. We argue that this is only too easy and that one should delve deeper in order to uncover more. Our less traditional and more speculative approach strives to put this attack ad its causes within the frame of internal and external power politics conducted between Byzantium, Kievan Rus', and Cumans, (personified by Alexios Komnenos, Oleg Sviatoslavich and Tugorkan) materialized in a struggle over strategic region of Tmutorakan' (which in turn was the main area where natural oil, a main component of the so-called Greek fire, could be obtained) that culminated just before 1095.
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