The Seljuqs Essay

1254 words - 6 pages

The Seljuqs were a ruling military family which withdrew from the confederacy of the Oghuz Turkish tribes about 950 and they entered the territories of the Caliphate under a chief named Seljuq. In the early 11th century Seljuq Beg established the Seljuq dynasty. They invaded south-western Asia and eventually founded an empire that included Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, and most of modern day Iran. In other words, the politically fractured Eastern Islamic world was reunited by them. They also played a key role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition. Their advance marked the beginning of Turkish power in the Middle East. Ide még kell írni bevezetést!
By the eleventh century the ...view middle of the document...

These Turkish invaders of Islam are usually known as Seljuqs after the military family that led them. They soon abandoned their ancestral shamanism and converted to the Sunnite form of Islam probably by Sufi missionaries. Their chief Seljuq was a semi-legendary figure who is said to have lived to the patriarchal age of 107. He was a talented leader, who welded his people into a first-class fighting force and by adroit diplomacy played off one neighbouring prince against another.
Slowly but surely Seljuq and his descendants fought their way through the realms of the Ilek Khans and Samanids. In the 11th century the Seljuqs moved to the province of Khorasan, Persia where they encountered the Ghaznawid Empire. Seljuq’s two grandsons, Chaghri and Tughril took Nishapur in 1037. At the battle of Dandanaqan in 1040 they defeated a Ghaznawid army. From this battle dates the foundation of the Seljuq Empire. The Seljuqs now moved to westwards into the disintegrating realm of the Buwayhids.
In 945 the Buwayhids, a Shi’ite Iranian local dynasty advanced into Iraq, seized Baghdad the capital and gained nominal control over the Caliphs. They pioneered a new type of regime. The Caliphs were left in position as titular heads of state and as the legal source of the sovereignty of the central government over the provinces. In practice, political power had been split up among the various members of the Buwayhid family. There was a serious loss of control by the central government which led to agricultural regression and economic decay. By the eleventh century, the weakness of the Empire was revealed by a series of almost simultaneous attacks by internal and external invaders on all sides.
On December 18, 1055, Tughril Beg at the head of his wild Turkoman tribes stood at the gate of Baghdad. They defeated the Buwayhids and they seized control of Baghdad and the Caliphate. However, the Buwayhid power was only crushed for ever in 1060, after Al-Basasiri’s coup, who was the last Buwayhid general and military governor of Baghdad. Not surprisingly, conditions in Persia and Iraq favoured the intervention of the Seljuqs because it was regarded by many as a liberation from the Shi’ite Buwayhids. From this on, the Seljuq chiefs were named Sultans and rulers of a new Middle Eastern empire. Tughril was called as the king of the East and the West and at his death in 1063 he was a head of an empire that included western Iran and Mesopotamia. He was succeeded by his nephew Alp-Arslan, the Courageous Lion.
Alp-Arslan was the son of Chaghri Beg, the ruler of Khorasan, and the nephew of Tughril, the governor of western Iran, the base of Seljuq expansion. In 1061 his father died. When, in 1063, his uncle died, Alp-Arslan became...

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