Seljuq Empire at its greatest extent in 1092, upon the death of Sultan Malik Shah I

The Seljuk Empire (Persian: آل سلجوق‎, translit. Āl-e Saljuq, lit. 'House of Saljuq') or Great Seljuq Empire was a medieval Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qiniq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to western Anatolia and the Levant, and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. From their homelands near the Aral Sea, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia. The Seljuk empire was founded by Tughril Beg (1016–1063) in 1037. However, even as early as 1097, the empire was fractured within, and became an easy target of the Crusades. Not long after the Second Crusade, the Empire effectively collapsed when the last sultan, Ahmad Sanjar, died in 1157. Revolts and invasion tore the surviving empire apart.

Seljuk Empire in Through Darkest Europe[]

The Seljuk Sultanate stretched across Asia and into Eastern Europe. Their territory included the former Byzantine Empire, which they conquered centuries ago. Turks were the dominant ethnic group. Individual provinces on the western boundary with Europe included Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia whose residents were predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians as were the Armenians.[1] Istanbul was the capital.

In the 13th century AH (19th century AD), the Sultanate democratized, with power shifting towards an elected parliament and cabinet of ministers, headed by a wazir.[2]

At least one Seljuk Turk had walked on the Moon.[3]

See also[]


  1. Through Darkest Europe, pg. 285, HC.
  2. Ibid., loc. 297, e-book, p. 25, HC.
  3. Ibid., p. 22.