Malik Shah (Rûm)

Malik Shah (Old Anatolian Turkish: مَلِك شاه, Persian: ملک شاه‎), also known as Şâhinşah[1] (Persian: شاهنشاه‎, lit.'king of kings') was the sultan of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm between the years 1110 and 1116.

Malik Shah
Seljuq sultans of Rum
PredecessorKilij Arslan I
SuccessorMesud I
HouseHouse of Seljuq


Prior to Malik Shah's accession, the throne had remained vacant for three years following the death of Kilij Arslan I in 1107. Malik Shah was held prisoner in Isfahan until 1110 when he returned to Anatolia to assume the throne. Shortly before his death he was defeated by the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komnenos at the Battle of Philomelion. Malik Shah then signed a treaty with the emperor, allegedly agreeing to let the Byzantines take back all their land in Anatolia, but the treaty was nullified after Malik Shah was deposed, blinded and eventually murdered by his brother Mesud, who succeeded him as sultan. The loss of prestige suffered by Malik Shah due to his defeat by the Byzantines probably precipitated his fall.[2][3]

Malik Shah was described by Anna Komnena as a fool who often ignored the strategies of his more experienced generals, to the point where he mocked and criticized his generals.

Malik Shah, the Seljuk Sultan of Rûm must not to be confused with his better known namesake and distant cousin, Malik-Shah I of the Great Seljuq Empire.


  1. ^ Muharrem Kesik, "Melikşah", TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi, (15.10.2020).
  2. ^ Komnene, pp. 488-491
  3. ^ Birkenmeier, p.79 footnote


  • Birkenmeier, John W. (2002). The Development of the Komnenian Army: 1081–1180. Brill. ISBN 90-04-11710-5.
  • Komnene (Comnena), Anna; Sewter, Edgar Robert Ashton (1969). The Alexiad of Anna Comnena translated by Edgar Robert Ashton Sewter. Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-044215-4.
Preceded by Sultan of Rûm
Succeeded by