The New Student's Reference Work/Seljuks
Seljuks (sĕl-jūks′), a division of the Ghuzz confederacy of Turkish tribes. Togrul Beg, grandson of Seljuk, founder of the dynasty, crippled the empire of Ghazni (1040), conquered Persia and, ten years later, Baghdad. Togrul's nephew and successor, Alp-Arslan, wrested Syria and Palestine from the caliph of Egypt, and in 1071 captured Diogenes, the Byzantine emperor. Diogenes' ransom was the best part of Asia Minor. The empire at the close of this reign (1092) began to break up into smaller kingdoms. Even before this, strong chieftains like Saladin had been really independent. In the 13th century the orders of dervishes arose, and the Mongols began to gain the power which they wielded over this part of Asia till the rise of the Ottoman princes, who, like the Seljuks, were Turks and had been driven westward by the Mongols. Out of their supremacy grew the Turkish empire (q. v.).