Malik Shah, the son and successor of Alp Arslan, had to encounter his uncle Kavurd, founder of the Seljukian empire of Kerman (see below), who claimed to succeed Alp Arslan in accordance with the Turkish laws, and led his troops towards Hamadan.
When, ex ruler of Tabriz, and one of Jenghiz Khan's lieutenants, the Seljukian Empire was at the point of dissolution, most of its feudatory vassals helped rather than hindered its downfall in the hope of retaining their fiefs as independent sovereigns.
The atabegs formed a number of dynasties, which displaced the descendants of the Seljukian amirs in their various principalities.
The Seljukian Turks, first the mercenaries and then the masters of the caliph, had given new life to the decadent caliphate of Bagdad.
The Seljukian dynasty of Syria came to an end after three generations, and its later history is interwoven with that of the crusaders.
This excited the jealousy of Toghrul Beg, who summoned him to give up Hamadan and the fortresses of Jebel; but Ibrahim refused, and the progress of the Seljukian arms was for some time checked by internal discord - an everrecurring event in their history.
Not only was Syria thus weakened by being detached from the body of the Seljukian empire; it was divided by dissensions within, and assailed by the Fatimite caliph of Egypt from without.
At his accession Orkhan was practically on the same footing with these, and avoided weakening himself in the struggle for the Seljukian inheritance, preferring at first to consolidate his forces at Brusa.
The Seljukian sultans had only achieved a military occupation of the country which they had conquered.
There were Seljukian garrisons in towns like Nicaea and Antioch, ready to offer an obstinate resistance to the crusaders; and here and there in the country there were Seljukian armies, either cantoned or nomadic. But the inhabitants of the towns were often hostile to the garrisons, and over wide tracts of country there were no forces at all.