Battle of Köse Dağ

Battle of Köse Dağ

conflict=Battle of Köse Dağ
partof=the Mongol invasion of Anatolia

date=June 26 1243
place=Köse Dağ in present day Turkey
result=Mongol victory
combatant1=Mongol Empire
combatant2= Sultanate of Rüm,
commander2=Kaykhusraw II
strength1= unknown (perhaps 15,000 to 20,000)
strength2= unknown (far larger than the Mongols)
The Battle of Köse Dağ was fought between the Seljuk Turks of Rum and the Mongols on June 26 1243 at the defile of Köse Dağ, a location between Erzincan and Gümüşhane in northeast Turkey, [Anthony Bryer and Richard Winfield, "The Byzantine Monuments and Topography of the Pontos", vol. 1, (Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1985) 172, 353.] ["Köy Köy Türkiye Yol Atlası" (Istanbul: Mapmedya, 2006), map 61.] and ended in a decisive Mongol victory.

The battle

Under the leadership of the commander Bayju, the Mongols attacked the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum in the winter of 1242-43 and seized the city of Erzurum. Sultan Kaykhusraw II immediately called on his neighbours to contribute troops to resist the invasion. The Empire of Trebizond sent a detachment and the sultan engaged a group of "Frankish" mercenaries. [Claude Cahen, "Pre-Ottoman Turkey: a general survey of the material and spiritual culture and history", trans. J. Jones-Williams, (New York: Taplinger, 1968) 137.] A few Georgian nobles such as Shamadavle of Akhaltsikhe also joined him, but the majority of the Georgians were compelled to fight alongside their Mongol allies.

The decisive battle was fought at Köse Dağ on June 26, 1243. The primary sources do not record the size of the opposing armies but suggest that the Mongols faced a numerically superior force. [Claude Cahen, “Köse Dagh” "Encyclopaedia of Islam", ed. by P. Bearman, et al. (Brill 2007).] The Mongols routed the Seljuks and their allies and took control of the cities of Sivas and Kayseri. The sultan fled to Antalya but was subsequently forced to make peace with Bayju and pay a substantial tribute to the Mongol Empire.


The defeat resulted in a period of turmoil in Anatolia and led directly to the decline and disintegration of the Seljuk state. The Empire of Trebizond became a vassal of Mongol empire.


External links

* [ History of Anatolian Seljuks]

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