The year 1095 saw a call to arms across all of Christian Europe in preparation for the First Crusade. By this point, the Byzantine Empire had been in steady decline for some time and had lost much of its traditional heartland in Anatolia to the Seljuk Empire. The Byzantines were unable to re-establish themselves after the Seljuk Turks repelled repeated attempts to regain territory in the region. In the west, the Byzantine Empire had also suffered territorial losses to the Normans who began to establish themselves in Italy. The ascension of Alexios I to the throne in 1081 began the period known as the Komnenian restoration during which the empire enjoyed one last period of economic growth, military strengthening and territorial expansion. The First Crusade was an important catalyst for this because it provided a temporary degree of unity between the Byzantine Empire and its rival Christian states in the West.
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