Some described the legendary eleventh-century King Laszlo who fought against the invading Turkic heathen tribes known as the Cumanians or Kuns, and then against the Cumanians again, Petchenegs
and Russians beyond Hungary's frontiers.
The Emperor's Frankish corps, on his right wing, was partly responsible, moreover, for his victory at Lebounion in 1091, when the nomadic Petchenegs
, who had long terrorised the Balkans, were obliterated as a nation.
Birth date unknown, but Romanus was descended from an old family of the military aristocracy in Cappadocia (central Turkey); first came to prominence while fighting the Petchenegs
during the reign of Constantine IX Ducas (1042-1054), establishing a reputation as a loyal and able soldier; proclaimed emperor by the court faction of Michael Psellus and Empress Eudocia, widow of Constantine IX, in response to the disintegrating military situation and the demands of the opposition for effective leadership (January 1, 1068); Romanus hurriedly raised an army, composed largely of mercenaries (Petchenegs
, Uzes, Normans, and so forth), and took the field against the Seljuk Turks under Alp Arslan that winter; he defeated Alp at Sebastia (December?