Alp Arslan: “What would you do if I were brought before you as a prisoner?”
Romanos: “Perhaps I’d kill you, or exhibit you in the streets of Constantinople.”
Alp Arslan: “My punishment is far heavier. I forgive you, and set you free.”
August 26, 1071- The Byzantine army under Emperor Romanos IV is decisively defeated by the Seljuk turks lead by Sultan Alp Arslan at the Battle of Manzikert. The Emperor is captured, but treated well by the sultan. Though not the disaster is was reported to be, in the long term the battle would prove to seal the fate of the Byzantine Empire, it’s Anatolian heartland taken from it, it would continue to decline for the next two hundred years.
Picture- Alp Arslan humiliating Emperor Romanos IV. From a 15th-century illustrated French translation of Boccaccio's De Casibus Virorum Illustrium.