In 1105 he expanded his demesne at the expanse of several insignifiant sheiks and emirs, pushing North as far as the citadels of Aleppo, Edessa and Bira, submitting towns and gathering plunder. In the 43rd year of his age, few were challenging his title of King of Jerusalem. This made him the most prominent Christian ruler of the East, since Byzantium, weakened by him and his father, had finally fallen to the Arabs as Georgia had one generation before, and the Russian principalties were divided.
The following years were quite uneventful, but saw a dramatic increase in power of both the Egyptian Kingdom, now encompassing most of Arabia, and of the Seljuks, who now ruled allmost all of Asia Minor. It soon became clear to Romanos, despite his age and ever aggravating wounds, that only by striking first could he hope to survive the next muslim attack. Border incidents escalated, until, in 1116, the Pope asked him to deliver Antiochea from the Seljuk.
Romanos had little hope to defeat the cruel kings of Persia, who could, at a whim, summon thrice the troops he had himself. Or maybe did he have little desire to free the Orthodox people subjugated by the Turks, for he considered these schismatic christians little over the tree-worshiping pagans of the North, although he did openly admit noble muslims at his table, and sometimes entrusted them with important missions. But he was of a mind that, by submitting Egypt and Arabia, he could form in the East an impregnable kingdom and maintain a position of strength in the region that could be used later, at the utmost advantage of Christ.
Over the course of 1116 Romanos had seen both his mother and second daughter die from a mysterious illness. Beloslava had been instrumental in his father's conversion, and Theophano had married a great warrior of a crusader. He mourned their loss for several monts, and thus delayed any attack on Egypt. Such delay, however, proved a very good thing since it presented him with the opportunity of submitting several rebellious sheiks on the fringes of Egypt, putting his army in a much better strategic position for the campaign to come, and to bring back in the fold the quarrelsome grandmaster of the Hospitaliers. It could therefore be said that the death of these two very influential catholic women was essentially a gift from God.