The Sultanate of Rum

The sultanate of rum


This article will give you a brief introduction to the Sultanate of Rum. We will cover the Sultanate of Rum’s founding, religion, culture, Rise to Power, and downfall.


Originally the area of Rum was Byzantine land conquered by the Seljuk Turks. Rum initially referred to the people living in the area of Anatolia (Asia Minor also known as the Eastern Roman Empire). The Sultanate of Rum was founded in 1077 CE after succeeding from the Seljuk Turks.

During the 11th century, Kilij Arslan lost a decisive battle with Christian soldiers from the first Crusade and retreated to south-central Anatolia. By doing so, he was able to rebuild and would go on to defeat three other crusading armies. Kilij Arslan would be the first Muslim Commander to face Christian Crusaders.



The official religion of the Sultanate of Rum was Sunni Islam. This is from being connected to the Seljuk Turks, who practiced Sunni Islam. However, the Sultanate had many citizens of other religions who paid the annual Jizya Tax imposed on non-Muslim citizens.

Sultanate Of Rum’s Culture

It had many different languages. It used Arabic on its coinage, old Anatolian Turkish for day-to-day communication, and Persian for official court business. Byzantine Greek was also used in various ways.

People of Persian descent typically comprised most of the royalty and higher court positions. This is likely due to the Sultanate being heavily influenced by Persian culture. The Sultans of Rum were even given Persian names.


Rise to Power

The Sultanate of Rum peaked during the late 12th century and early 13th century. This was both in size and influence. During this time, the Sultanate developed strong trade relations with the Genoese.

Military-wise, the Sultanate fought and held its own against many crusades and invasions. It had a strong military but would eventually fall to the Mongols.

After the Mongol Empire’s grip had weakened, Independent Beyliks began to express their need for Independence. This led to the collapse of the Seljuk and Mongol Empire’s influence in Anatolia.

The sultanate of rum
Alanya, Turkey – August 18, 2021. Castle walls in Alanya, Turkey. Most of the castle was built in the 13th century under the Seljuq Sultanate of Rum following the city’s conquest in 1220

The Sultanate of Rum’s Downfall

These Beyliks were trying to distance themselves from the Seljuks and the Mongols. These independent Beyliks would lead to the downfall and the end of the Sultanate of Rum. The Father of Osman and a member of the Ghazi tribe, Etrugrul, was born.

Etrugruls son Osman would set up the early stages of the Ottoman Empire by leading the Ghazi tribe onward to conquer most of Anatolia.

The Ghazi tribe would successfully expand and eventually grow into the Ottoman Empire as we know it today, including the likes of Mehmet II, who conquered Constantinople in 1453 CE.


Sultanate of Rum Coins

The Sultanate of Rum minted some beautiful coins. Below click the link to see if we have a Sultanate of Rum coin in stock for your collection.

Silver Dirhem minted during the Sultanate of Rum.

Published by Invest in History Co.

We specialize in high-quality gold and silver coins. Focusing on Middle East, Eastern European, and Ancient coins. We carry Roman, Greek, Parthian, Phoenician, Celtic, Byzantine, Russian, Jewish, Islamic, and many other culture's coins.

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