Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk English Subtitle Episode 16
Crisis, Collapse, and Consolidation: Seljuk Empire and the Sultanate of Iraq, 1092–1194 | Historical Series
Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk, [Watch Now] Wars between [the rival sultans Berkyaruq and Muhammad] went on and on, corruption spread, possessions were plundered, blood was shed, the land was ruined, the villages were burned, the sultanate was the object of ambitions and was condemned. The [rival] princes [maliks] were overcome whereas previously they had been victorious, and the great amirs (al- umarā’ al- kubarā’) preferred that. They chose it in order that their domination, happiness and freedom might endure (li- yadūma taªakkumuhum, wa- inbisā†uhum wa- idlāluhum).1
Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk [Watch Now]. Ibn al- Athir’s bleak picture of the Seljuk Empire after Malikshah’s death is replicated in much modern scholarship. The period is characterized as one of ‘decline’. And the main culprit for the dissipation of sultanic authority is usually considered to be the rising power of amirs.
Amirs had been major players in Buyid and Samanid politics too. Their emergence as a political force in the Seljuk. The period is not well understood but is clearly connected with the development of state structures. The recruitment of military slaves, and the gradual dilution of the role of the Türkmen. An amir could, in principle, be anyone, slave or free, Türkmen, Iranian or Arab, who had troops at his command, although the term is particularly associated with the mamlūk. Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk
commanders who were generally (but not exclusively) Turkish (see further Chapter 6). Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk [Watch Now], Since the reign of Tughrıl, and especially under Malikshah, amirs had been appointed to represent the coercive force of the sultan in towns and provinces, bearing a wide variety of titles such as shiªna, wālī, muq†a‘ or ‘amīd.5 Over the twelfth century, many amirs became increasingly entrenched in the territories they governed, taking advantage of succession disputes among rival contenders for the sultanate to strengthen their own positions, as Ibn al- Athir describes.
Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk This development was at first particularly marked in the west of the Seljuk domains – Khurasan under Sanjar in the early twelfth century superficially appears to have enjoyed greater stability. Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk [Watch Now]. Some amirs were able to establish their own dynasties which outlasted the Seljuk state,
such as Zangi of Mosul, founder of the Zangid state (Syria and the Jazira, 521/1127–631/1233), the Salghurids of Fars (543/1148– 681/1282), or the Builds of Damascus (497/1104–549/1154). These amirs legitimized their status by claiming the title of ‘atabeg’, indicating that they were guardians of a Seljuk prince, even if in practice this was sometimes fiction and no prince existed.
Although amirs often get bad press, in fact, these strongmen had an interest in making their own patch flourish, and in promoting their own claims to legitimacy through the lavishness of the patronage of their own courts. Such rulers relied on the prosperity of their lands to raise revenues to allow them to project power and resist the encroachments of their neighbors, and some amirs seem to have been genuinely popular with the people of their iq†ā‘s. Indeed, in some ways growing Amiral independence actually seems to have contributed to deepening Seljuk influences. Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk, Watch Now
Thus – to take one of the few examples that have been studied in detail – northern Syria actually seems much more integrated into the empire and ‘Seljuk’ in the early twelfth century. With Seljuk officials, now present not just in the large cities but also smaller centers and the countryside.6 The Seljuk sultan’s court served as the amirs’ model, and they brought its ideals and its practices to their iq†ā‘s. Watch Now
Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk The other characteristic contributing to the designation of the post- Malikshah period as one of decline was the re-appearance of the division of the Seljuk territories into eastern and western halves. Initially, the center of gravity remained in the west, as it had been under Malikshah. Isfahan and Baghdad served as the twin capitals of Malikshah’s sons Berkyaruq (r. 485/1092–498/1105) and Muhammad Tapar (498/1105–511/1118), although from the early twelfth century Hamadhan was beginning to emerge as the third Seljuk capital in the west. Khurasan throughout this period was dominated by Malikshah’s third son Sanjar, first as malik (prince), vassal to the sultans in the west, then from 511/1118 as Great Seljuk Sultan.
The earlier parts of Sanjar’s reign in some respects represented the second zenith of Seljuk rule, marked by successful campaigns across Central Asia and a flourishing intellectual and cultural life at his oasis capital of Merv, but the sultan was unable to assert direct control of the west. Sanjar was obliged to recognize the Sultanate of Iraq under Muhammad Tapar’s descendants as vassals holding the title of sultan.7 From the death of Muhammad, then, we are dealing with two Seljuk sultans concurrently: the senior one, Sanjar (al- sul†ān al- a‘Õam), and the junior Sultan of Iraq (al- sul†ān al- mu‘aÕÕam). [Watch Now]
Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk These grandiloquent titles (‘the greatest sultan’ and ‘the great sultan’, respectively) could not mask the crises that increasingly enveloped both east and west from the 1130s.
Sanjar faced external foes in the form of the Qarakhitay, and internally both rebel vassals and restive nomads. It was this latter that would eventually destroy him through their revolt in 1152–7. Meanwhile, the Sultanate of Iraq was beset by financial problems that sapped the power of the sultans.
Factions of amirs and bureaucrats intrigued incessantly, while the Caliphs of Baghdad started to play an increasingly important role in Seljuk politics, as well as asserting their authority over most of central and southern Iraq. Although under Sanjar Seljuk rule in Khurasan appears more robust than the politically troubled western sultanate, it was the latter that sur- lived for nearly another half-century after the collapse of the 1150s. [Watch Now] Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk
The Sultanate of Iraq, became, however, a very different creature, run in the second half of the twelfth century by what has been described as a ‘dyarchy’8 – a system of dual rule whereby a Seljuk sultan reigned in name, while effective power was exercised by his atabegs, a dynasty of slave origin from Nakhchivan in the Caucasus known as the Ildegüzids. This dyarchy functioned until the last Seljuk sultan, Tughrıl III, tried to free himself from its shackles and assert his own authority as ruler. [Watch Now]
Tughrıl, however, was surrounded by enemies on all sides who had no desire to see a resurgent Seljuk state and was killed in battle, finally bringing an end to the Seljuk line in Iran and Iraq.
It is often hard to see beyond the vicious world of elite infighting which is the prime interest of our sources. There is reason to think, however, that the depressing picture painted by Ibn al- Athir and others does not really do justice to the realities of life under Seljuk rule in the twelfth century. Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk
True, even Sanjar’s nominal authority extended over a reduced area compared with Alp Arslan’s; and at times the fighting caused hardship in individual areas – Baghdad and Isfahan, both key to a sultan’s legitimacy, but also the focus of many of our sources, were probably disproportionately badly affected. Despite, or perhaps because of, the atmosphere of more or less permanent political crisis at the heart of the Sultanate of Iraq, individual towns and cities prospered, a vibrant trade was still carried out on the land and sea routes that linked the Middle East to China, and, especially from the mid-twelfth century, art flourished, developments which will all be discussed in more detail in subsequent chapters.
Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk To understand this apparent contradiction we must bear in mind that centralized authority was not necessarily to the advantage of many subjects, meaning in essence more effective collection of taxation. Moreover, despite the political fragmentation of the empire into eastern and western halves and the establishment of de facto independent atabegates, the Seljuk territories shared an elite political culture and to some degree an artistic culture that was promoted by the regional amiral courts.
Works of art produced in Iran do not really reflect regional variation but are closely connected in style and iconography, and eastern architectural styles are increasingly attested in Syria under the Zangids.9 In a sense, then, precisely the political disunity of the later Seljuk Empire brought it a greater cultural cohesiveness with courts in Shiraz, Maragha, Nakhchivan, Hamadhan, and Mosul (to name but a few) all seeking to emulate the Seljuk legacy.Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk
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Historical Series Alparslan Buyuk Seljuk English Subtitle Episode 16