Seljuk Empire

The Great Seljuk Empire[11][a] (Persian: آل سلجوق‎, romanizedĀl-e Saljuq, lit.'House of Saljuq'), or the Seljuk Empire, was a high medieval Turko-Persian[14] Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qiniq branch of Oghuz Turks.[15] At the time of its greatest extent, the Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area, stretching from western Anatolia and the Levant in the west to the Hindu Kush in the east, and from Central Asia in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south.

Great Seljuk Empire

آلِ سلجوق
Āl-e Saljuq
1037–1194
Seljuk Empire at its greatest extent in 1092, upon the death of Malik Shah I.
Seljuk Empire at its greatest extent in 1092,
upon the death of Malik Shah I.
StatusEmpire
Capital
Common languages
Religion
Sunni Islam (Hanafi)
GovernmentDe facto: Independent Sultanate
De jure: Under Caliphate[6]
Caliph 
• 1031–1075
Al-Qa'im
• 1180–1225
Al-Nasir
Sultan 
• 1037–1063
Toghrul I (first)
• 1174–1194
Toghrul III (last)[7]
History 
• Tughril formed the state system
1037
1040
1071
1095–1099
1141
• Replaced by the Khwarezmian Empire[8]
1194
Area
1080 est.[9][10]3,900,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Oghuz Yabgu State
Ghaznavids
Buyid dynasty
Byzantine Empire
Kakuyids
Fatimid Caliphate
Kara-Khanid Khanate
Marwanids
Rawadids
Sultanate of Rûm
Anatolian beyliks
Ghurid Dynasty
Khwarezmian Empire
Atabegs of Azerbaijan
Salghurids
Bavandids
Ayyubid dynasty
Burid dynasty
Zengid dynasty
Danishmends
Artuqid dynasty
Shah-Armens
Shaddadids

The Seljuk empire was founded in 1037 by Tughril Beg (990–1063) and his brother Chaghri Beg (989–1060). From their homelands near the Aral Sea, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia, before eventually conquering Baghdad and eastern Anatolia. The Seljuks won the battle of Manzikert in 1071, and then conquered most of the rest of Anatolia, wresting it from the Byzantine Empire. This was one of the impetuses for the First Crusade (1095–1099). The Seljuk empire began to decline in the 1140s, and by 1194 had been supplanted by the Khwarazmian Empire.

Seljuk gave his name to both the empire and the Seljuk dynasty. The Seljuks united the fractured political landscape of the eastern Islamic world and played a key role in the first and second crusades. Highly Persianized[16] in culture[17] and language,[18] the Seljuks also played an important role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition,[19] even exporting Persian culture to Anatolia.[20][21] The settlement of Turkic tribes in the northwestern peripheral parts of the empire, for the strategic military purpose of fending off invasions from neighboring states, led to the progressive Turkicization of those areas.[22]

Founder of the dynasty

The apical ancestor of the Seljuks was their bey Seljuk. He was reputed to have served in the Khazar army, under whom, the Seljuks migrated to Khwarezm, near the city of Jend, where they converted to Islam in 985.[23] Khwarezm, administered by the Ma'munids, was under the nominal control of the Samanid Empire.[24] By 999 the Samanids fell to the Kara-Khanids in Transoxania, but the Ghaznavids occupied the lands south of the Oxus.[25] The Seljuks became involved, having supported the last Samanid emir against the Kara-Khanids, in this power struggle in the region before establishing their own independent base.[26]

Expansion of the empire

Tughril and Chaghri

The grandson of Seljuk was Tughril, under whom the Seljuks wrested an empire from the Ghaznavids. Initially the Seljuks were repulsed by Mahmud and retired to Khwarezm, but Tughril and Chaghri led them to capture Merv and Nishapur (1037/38).[27] Later they repeatedly raided and traded territory with his successor, Mas'ud, across Khorasan and Balkh.[28]

In 1040, at the Battle of Dandanaqan, they decisively defeated Mas'ud I of the Ghaznavids, forcing him to abandon most of his western territories to the Seljuks.[29] By 1046, the Caliph al-Qa'im had sent Tughril a diploma recognizing Seljuk rule over Khurasan.[30] In 1048–9, the Seljuk Turks, commanded by Ibrahim Yinal, uterine brother of the sultan Tughril, made their first incursion into the Byzantine frontier region of Iberia and clashed with a combined Byzantine-Georgian army of 50,000 at the Battle of Kapetrou on 10 September 1048. The devastation left behind by the Seljuk raid was so fearful that the Byzantine magnate Eustathios Boilas described, in 1051/52, those lands as "foul and unmanageable... inhabited by snakes, scorpions, and wild beasts." The Arab chronicler Ibn al-Athir reports that Ibrahim brought back 100,000 captives and a vast booty loaded on the backs of ten thousand camels.[31] In 1055, Tughril entered Baghdad and removed the Shia Buyid influence, under a commission from the Abbasid Caliph.[30]

Alp Arslan

Alp Arslan, the son of Chaghri Beg, expanded significantly upon Tughril's holdings by adding Armenia and Georgia in 1064 and invading the Byzantine Empire in 1068, from which he annexed almost all of Anatolia.[32] Arslan's decisive victory at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 effectively neutralized the Byzantine resistance to the Turkish invasion of Anatolia,[33] although the Georgians were able to recover from Alp Arslan's invasion by securing the theme of Iberia. The Byzantine withdrawal from Anatolia brought Georgia in more direct contact with the Seljuks. In 1073 the Seljuk Amirs of Ganja, Dvin and Dmanisi invaded Georgia and were defeated by George II of Georgia, who successfully took the fortress of Kars.[34] A retaliatory strike by the Seljuk Amir Ahmad defeated the Georgians at Kvelistsikhe.[35]

Alp Arslan authorized his Turkmen generals to carve their own principalities out of formerly Byzantine Anatolia, as atabegs loyal to him. Within two years the Turkmens had established control as far as the Aegean Sea under numerous beghliks (modern Turkish beyliks): the Saltukids in Northeastern Anatolia, the Shah-Armens and the Mengujekids in Eastern Anatolia, Artuqids in Southeastern Anatolia, Danishmendis in Central Anatolia, Rum Seljuks (Beghlik of Suleyman, which later moved to Central Anatolia) in Western Anatolia, and the Beylik of Tzachas of Smyrna in İzmir (Smyrna).[citation needed]

Malik Shah I

Under Alp Arslan's successor, Malik Shah, and his two Persian viziers, Nizām al-Mulk and Tāj al-Mulk, the Seljuk state expanded in various directions, to the former Iranian border of the days before the Arab invasion, so that it soon bordered China in the east and the Byzantines in the west. Malikshāh was the one who moved the capital from Ray to Isfahan.[36] It was under his rule and leadership that the Saljūq Empire had reached the height of its successes.[37] The Iqta military system and the Nizāmīyyah University at Baghdad were established by Nizām al-Mulk, and the reign of Malikshāh was reckoned the golden age of "Great Seljuk". The Abbasid Caliph titled him "The Sultan of the East and West" in 1087. The Assassins (Hashshashin) of Hassan-i Sabāh started to become a force during his era, however, and they assassinated many leading figures in his administration; according to many sources these victims included Nizām al-Mulk.[citation needed]

In 1076 Malik Shah I surged into Georgia and reduced many settlements to ruins. From 1079/80 onward, Georgia was pressured into submitting to Malik-Shah to ensure a precious degree of peace at the price of an annual tribute.[citation needed]

Ahmad Sanjar

 
Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar in Merv, Turkmenistan.

Ahmad was the son of Malik Shah I and initially took part in wars of succession against his three brothers and a nephew: Mahmud I, Barkiyaruq, Malik Shah II and Muhammad I Tapar. In 1096, he was tasked to govern the province of Khorasan by his brother Muhammad I.[38] Over the next several years, Ahmad Sanjar became the ruler of most of Iran (Persia), and eventually in 1118, the sole ruler of the Great Seljuk Empire.[39]

In 1141, Ahmad marched to eliminate the threat posed by Kara Khitans and faced them in the vicinity of Samarkand at the Battle of Qatwan. He suffered his first defeat in his long career, and as a result lost all Seljuk territory east of the Syr Darya.[40][41]

Sanjar's as well as the Seljuks' rule collapsed as a consequence of yet another unexpected defeat, this time at the hands of the Seljuks’ own tribe, in 1153.[39] Sanjar was captured during the battle and held in captivity until 1156.[42] It brought chaos to the Empire - a situation later exploited by the victorious Turkmens, whose hordes would overrun Khorasan unopposed, wreaking colossal damage on the province and prestige of Sanjar.[42] Sanjar eventually escaped from captivity in the fall of 1156, but soon died in Merv (present-day Turkmenistan), in 1157. After his death, Turkic rulers, Turkmen tribal forces, and other secondary powers competed for Khorasan, and after a long period of confrontations, the province was finally conquered by Khwarazmians in the early 1200s.[43]

The Tomb of Ahmed Sanjar was destroyed by the Mongols led by Tolui, who sacked the city of Merv in 1221, killing 700,000 people according to contemporary sources during their catastrophic invasion of Khwarazm;[44] however, modern scholarship holds such figures to be exaggerated.[45][46]

Governance

 
Seljuk Dinar (gold), 12th century

Seljuk power was indeed at its zenith under Malikshāh I, and both the Qarakhanids and Ghaznavids had to acknowledge the overlordship of the Seljuks.[47] The Seljuk dominion was established over the ancient Sasanian domains, in Iran and Iraq, and included Anatolia, Syria, as well as parts of Central Asia and modern Afghanistan.[47] Seljuk rule was modelled after the tribal organization common among Turkic and Mongol nomads and resembled a 'family federation' or 'appanage state'.[47] Under this organization, the leading member of the paramount family assigned family members portions of his domains as autonomous appanages.[47]

Various emblems and banners have been recorded as having been used by the Seljuks in different periods. Early Seljuks used their traditional emblems, but gradually adopted local Muslim signs and banners. The official flag of the empire was most probably a black flag, similar to that of the Abbasid Caliphate. The flag was decorated with signs, which were either superimposed over it, or placed above the flag.[48]

Division of empire

When Malikshāh I died in 1092, the empire split as his brother and four sons quarrelled over the apportioning of the empire among themselves. Malikshāh I was succeeded in Anatolia by Kilij Arslan I, who founded the Sultanate of Rum, and in Syria by his brother Tutush I. In Persia he was succeeded by his son Mahmud I, whose reign was contested by his other three brothers Barkiyaruq in Iraq, Muhammad I in Baghdad, and Ahmad Sanjar in Khorasan. When Tutush I died, his sons Radwan and Duqaq inherited Aleppo and Damascus respectively and contested with each other as well, further dividing Syria amongst emirs antagonistic towards each other.[citation needed]

In 1118, the third son Ahmad Sanjar took over the empire. His nephew, the son of Muhammad I, did not recognize his claim to the throne, and Mahmud II proclaimed himself Sultan and established a capital in Baghdad, until 1131 when he was finally officially deposed by Ahmad Sanjar.[citation needed]

Elsewhere in nominal Seljuk territory were the Artuqids in northeastern Syria and northern Mesopotamia; they controlled Jerusalem until 1098. The Dānišmand dynasty founded a state in eastern Anatolia and northern Syria and contested land with the Sultanate of Rum, and Kerbogha exercised independence as the atabeg of Mosul.[citation needed]

First Crusade (1095–1099)

 
Sultan Barkiaruq, the Seljuk ruler during the First Crusade, from the manuscript of Hafiz-i Abru's Majma’ al-Tawarikh, Yale University Art Gallery

During the First Crusade, the fractured states of the Seljuks were generally more concerned with consolidating their own territories and gaining control of their neighbours than with cooperating against the crusaders. The Seljuks easily defeated the People's Crusade arriving in 1096, but they could not stop the progress of the army of the subsequent Princes' Crusade, which took important cities such as Nicaea (İznik), Iconium (Konya), Caesarea Mazaca (Kayseri), and Antioch (Antakya) on its march to Jerusalem (Al-Quds). In 1099 the crusaders finally captured the Holy Land and set up the first Crusader states. The Seljuks had already lost Palestine to the Fatimids, who had recaptured it just before its capture by the crusaders.[citation needed]

After pillaging the County of Edessa, Seljukid commander Ilghazi made peace with the Crusaders. In 1121 he went north towards Georgia and with supposedly up to 250 000 – 350 000 troops, including men led by his son-in-law Sadaqah and Sultan Malik of Ganja, he invaded the Kingdom of Georgia.[49][50] David IV of Georgia gathered 40,000 Georgian warriors, including 5,000 monaspa guards, 15,000 Kipchaks, 300 Alans and 100 French Crusaders to fight against Ilghazi's vast army. At the Battle of Didgori on August 12, 1121, the Seljuks were routed, being run down by pursuing Georgian cavalry for several days afterward. The battle helped the Crusader states, which had been under pressure from Ilghazi's armies. The weakening of the main enemy of the Latin principalities also benefitted the Kingdom of Jerusalem under King Baldwin II.[citation needed]

Second Crusade (1147–1149)

During this time conflict with the Crusader states was also intermittent, and after the First Crusade increasingly independent atabegs would frequently ally with the Crusader states against other atabegs as they vied with each other for territory. At Mosul, Zengi succeeded Kerbogha as atabeg and successfully began the process of consolidating the atabegs of Syria. In 1144 Zengi captured Edessa, as the County of Edessa had allied itself with the Artuqids against him. This event triggered the launch of the Second Crusade. Nur ad-Din, one of Zengi's sons who succeeded him as atabeg of Aleppo, created an alliance in the region to oppose the Second Crusade, which landed in 1147.[citation needed]

Decline

 
Map depicting military actions during the Battle of Qatwan

Ahmad Sanjar fought to contain the revolts by the Kara-Khanids in Transoxiana, Ghurids in Afghanistan and Qarluks in modern Kyrghyzstan, as well as the nomadic invasion of the Kara-Khitais in the east. The advancing Kara-Khitais first defeated the Eastern Kara-Khanids, then followed up by crushing the Western Kara-Khanids, who were vassals of the Seljuks at Khujand. The Kara-Khanids turned to their Seljuk overlords for assistance, to which Sanjar responded by personally leading an army against the Kara-Khitai. However, Sanjar's army was decisively defeated by the host of Yelu Dashi at the Battle of Qatwan on September 9, 1141. While Sanjar managed to escape with his life, many of his close kin including his wife were taken captive in the battle's aftermath. As a result of Sanjar's failure to deal with the encroaching threat from the east, the Seljuk Empire lost all its eastern provinces up to the river Syr Darya, and vassalage of the Western Kara-Khanids was usurped by the Kara-Khitai, otherwise known as the Western Liao in Chinese historiography.[51]

Conquest by Khwarezm and the Ayyubids

 
A waxwork illustrating a Seljuk man and woman in traditional costumes, Yakutiye Madrasah, Erzurum, Turkey.

In 1153, the Ghuzz (Oghuz Turks) rebelled and captured Sanjar. He managed to escape after three years but died a year later. The atabegs, such as the Zengids and Artuqids, were only nominally under the Seljuk Sultan, and generally controlled Syria independently. When Ahmad Sanjar died in 1157, this fractured the empire even further and rendered the atabegs effectively independent.[citation needed]

  1. Khorasani Seljuks in Khorasan and Transoxiana. Capital: Merv
  2. Kermani Seljuks
  3. Sultanate of Rum (or Seljuks of Turkey). Capital: Iznik (Nicaea), later Konya (Iconium)
  4. Atabeghlik of the Salghurids in Fars
  5. Atabeghlik of Eldiguzids (Atabeg of Azerbaijan[52]) in Iraq and Azerbaijan.[53] Capital: Nakhchivan[54] (1136–1175), Hamadan (1176–1186), Tabriz[55] (1187–1225)
  6. Atabeghlik of Bori in Syria. Capital: Damascus
  7. Atabeghlik of Zangi in Al Jazira (Northern Mesopotamia). Capital: Mosul
  8. Turcoman Beghliks: Danishmendis, Artuqids, Saltuqids and Mengujekids in Asia Minor

After the Second Crusade, Nur ad-Din's general Shirkuh, who had established himself in Egypt on Fatimid land, was succeeded by Saladin. In time, Saladin rebelled against Nur ad-Din, and, upon his death, Saladin married his widow and captured most of Syria and created the Ayyubid dynasty.[citation needed]

On other fronts, the Kingdom of Georgia began to become a regional power and extended its borders at the expense of Great Seljuk. The same was true during the revival of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia under Leo II of Armenia in Anatolia. The Abbasid caliph An-Nasir also began to reassert the authority of the caliph and allied himself with the Khwarezmshah Takash.[citation needed]

For a brief period, Togrul III was the Sultan of all Seljuk except for Anatolia. In 1194, however, Togrul was defeated by Takash, the Shah of Khwarezmid Empire, and the Seljuk Empire finally collapsed. Of the former Seljuk Empire, only the Sultanate of Rûm in Anatolia remained.[citation needed]

As the dynasty declined in the middle of the thirteenth century, the Mongols invaded Anatolia in the 1260s and divided it into small emirates called the Anatolian beyliks. Eventually one of these, the Ottoman, would rise to power and conquer the rest.[citation needed]

Legacy

The Seljuks were educated in the service of Muslim courts as slaves or mercenaries. The dynasty brought revival, energy, and reunion to the Islamic civilization hitherto dominated by Arabs and Persians.

The Seljuks founded universities and were also patrons of art and literature. Their reign is characterized by Persian astronomers such as Omar Khayyám, and the Persian philosopher al-Ghazali. Under the Seljuks, New Persian became the language for historical recording, while the center of Arabic language culture shifted from Baghdad to Cairo.[56]

List of sultans of the Seljuk Empire

Seljuk art

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In order to distinguish from the Anatolian branch of the family, the Sultanate of Rum.[12][13]

References

  1. ^ a b Savory, R. M., ed. (1976). Introduction to Islamic Civilisation. Cambridge University Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-521-20777-5.
  2. ^ Black, Edwin (2004). Banking on Baghdad: Inside Iraq's 7,000-year History of War, Profit and Conflict. John Wiley and Sons. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-471-67186-2.
  3. ^ a b c C.E. Bosworth, "Turkish Expansion towards the west" in UNESCO History of Humanity, Volume IV, titled "From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century", UNESCO Publishing / Routledge, p. 391: "While the Arabic language retained its primacy in such spheres as law, theology and science, the culture of the Seljuk court and secular literature within the sultanate became largely Persianized; this is seen in the early adoption of Persian epic names by the Seljuk rulers (Qubād, Kay Khusraw and so on) and in the use of Persian as a literary language (Turkish must have been essentially a vehicle for everyday speech at this time)."
  4. ^ Stokes 2008, p. 615.
  5. ^ Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World, Ed. Keith Brown, Sarah Ogilvie, (Elsevier Ltd., 2009), 1110; "Oghuz Turkic is first represented by Old Anatolian Turkish which was a subordinate written medium until the end of the Seljuk rule."
  6. ^ Holt, Peter M. (1984). "Some Observations on the 'Abbāsid Caliphate of Cairo". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. University of London. 47 (3): 501–507. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00113710.
  7. ^ Grousset, Rene, The Empire of the Steppes, (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1988), 167.
  8. ^ Grousset, Rene (1988). The Empire of the Steppes. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. pp. 159, 161. ISBN 978-0-8135-0627-2. In 1194, Togrul III would succumb to the onslaught of the Khwarizmian Turks, who were destined at last to succeed the Seljuks to the empire of the Middle East.
  9. ^ Turchin, Peter; Adams, Jonathan M.; Hall, Thomas D. (December 2006). "East-West Orientation of Historical Empires". Journal of World-Systems Research. 12 (2): 223. ISSN 1076-156X. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  10. ^ Rein Taagepera (September 1997). "Expansion and Contraction Patterns of Large Polities: Context for Russia". International Studies Quarterly. 41 (3): 496. doi:10.1111/0020-8833.00053. JSTOR 2600793.
  11. ^
    • A. C. S. Peacock, Great Seljuk Empire, (Edinburgh University Press, 2015), 1–378
    • Christian Lange; Songül Mecit, eds., Seljuqs: Politics, Society and Culture (Edinburgh University Press, 2012), 1–328
    • P.M. Holt; Ann K.S. Lambton, Bernard Lewis, The Cambridge History of Islam (Volume IA): The Central Islamic Lands from Pre-Islamic Times to the First World War, (Cambridge University Press, 1977), 151, 231–234.
  12. ^ Mecit 2014, p. 128.
  13. ^ Peacock & Yıldız 2013, p. 6.
  14. ^  • "Aḥmad of Niǧde's al-Walad al-Shafīq and the Seljuk Past", A. C. S. Peacock, Anatolian Studies, Vol. 54, (2004), 97; "With the growth of Seljuk power in Rum, a more highly developed Muslim cultural life, based on the Persianate culture of the Seljuk court, was able to take root in Anatolia."
    • Meisami, Julie Scott, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century, (Edinburgh University Press, 1999), 143; "Nizam al-Mulk also attempted to organise the Saljuq administration according to the Persianate Ghaznavid model k..."
    • Encyclopaedia Iranica, "Šahrbānu", Online Edition: "here one might bear in mind that non-Persian dynasties such as the Ghaznavids, Saljuqs and Ilkhanids were rapidly to adopt the Persian language and have their origins traced back to the ancient kings of Persia rather than to Turkish heroes or Muslim saints ..."
    • Josef W. Meri, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, Routledge, 2005, p. 399
    • Michael Mandelbaum, Central Asia and the World, Council on Foreign Relations (May 1994), p. 79
    • Jonathan Dewald, Europe 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004, p. 24: "Turcoman armies coming from the East had driven the Byzantines out of much of Asia Minor and established the Persianized sultanate of the Seljuks."
    • Grousset, Rene, The Empire of the Steppes, (Rutgers University Press, 1991), 161, 164; "renewed the Seljuk attempt to found a great Turko-Persian empire in eastern Iran.."," "It is to be noted that the Seljuks, those Turkomans who became sultans of Persia, did not Turkify Persia-no doubt because they did not wish to do so. On the contrary, it was they who voluntarily became Persians and who, in the manner of the great old Sassanid kings, strove to protect the Iranian populations from the plundering of Ghuzz bands and save Iranian culture from the Turkoman menace."
    • Wendy M. K. Shaw, Possessors and possessed: museums, archaeology, and the visualization of history in the late Ottoman Empire. University of California Press, 2003, ISBN 0-520-23335-2, ISBN 978-0-520-23335-5; p. 5.
  15. ^  • Jackson, P. (2002). "Review: The History of the Seljuq Turkmens: The History of the Seljuq Turkmens". Journal of Islamic Studies. Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. 13 (1): 75–76. doi:10.1093/jis/13.1.75.
     • Bosworth, C. E. (2001). 0Notes on Some Turkish Names in Abu 'l-Fadl Bayhaqi's Tarikh-i Mas'udi". Oriens, Vol. 36, 2001 (2001), pp. 299–313.
     • Dani, A. H., Masson, V. M. (Eds), Asimova, M. S. (Eds), Litvinsky, B. A. (Eds), Boaworth, C. E. (Eds). (1999). History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers (Pvt. Ltd).
     • Hancock, I. (2006). On Romani origins and identity. The Romani Archives and Documentation Center. The University of Texas at Austin.
     • Asimov, M. S., Bosworth, C. E. (eds.). (1998). History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol. IV: "The Age of Achievement: AD 750 to the End of the Fifteenth Century", Part One: "The Historical, Social and Economic Setting". Multiple History Series. Paris: UNESCO Publishing.
     • Dani, A. H., Masson, V. M. (Eds), Asimova, M. S. (Eds), Litvinsky, B. A. (Eds), Boaworth, C. E. (Eds). (1999). History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers (Pvt. Ltd).
     • Lars Johanson, ‎Éva Ágnes Csató Johanson (2015). The Turkic Languages. p. 25. The name 'Seljuk is a political rather than ethnic name. It derives from Selčiik, born Toqaq Temir Yally, a war-lord (sil-baši), from the Qiniq tribal grouping of the Oghuz. Seljuk, in the rough and tumble of internal Oghuz politics, fled to Jand, c.985, after falling out with his overlord.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  16. ^  • Encyclopaedia Iranica, "Šahrbānu", Online Edition: "here one might bear in mind that non-Persian dynasties such as the Ghaznavids, Saljuqs and Ilkhanids were rapidly to adopt the Persian language and have their origins traced back to the ancient kings of Persia rather than to Turkish heroes or Muslim saints ..."  • Josef W. Meri, "Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia", Routledge, 2005, p. 399  • Michael Mandelbaum, "Central Asia and the World", Council on Foreign Relations (May 1994), p. 79  • Jonathan Dewald, "Europe 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World", Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004, p. 24: "Turcoman armies coming from the East had driven the Byzantines out of much of Asia Minor and established the Persianized sultanate of the Seljuks."
  17. ^ * C.E. Bosworth, "Turkmen Expansion towards the west" in UNESCO History of Humanity, Volume IV, titled "From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century", UNESCO Publishing / Routledge, p. 391: "While the Arabic language retained its primacy in such spheres as law, theology and science, the culture of the Seljuk court and secular literature within the sultanate became largely Persianized; this is seen in the early adoption of Persian epic names by the Seljuk rulers (Qubād, Kay Khusraw and so on) and in the use of Persian as a literary language (Turkmen must have been essentially a vehicle for everyday speech at this time). The process of Persianization accelerated in the thirteenth century with the presence in Konya of two of the most distinguished refugees fleeing before the Mongols, Bahā' al-Dīn Walad and his son Mawlānā Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī, whose Mathnawī, composed in Konya, constitutes one of the crowning glories of classical Persian literature."  • Mehmed Fuad Köprülü, "Early Mystics in Turkish Literature", Translated by Gary Leiser and Robert Dankoff, Routledge, 2006, p. 149: "If we wish to sketch, in broad outline, the civilization created by the Seljuks of Anatolia, we must recognize that the local—i.e., non-Muslim, element was fairly insignificant compared to the Turkish and Arab-Persian elements, and that the Persian element was paramount. The Seljuk rulers, to be sure, who were in contact with not only Muslim Persian civilization, but also with the Arab civilizations in al-jazlra and Syria—indeed, with all Muslim peoples as far as India—also had connections with {various} Byzantine courts. Some of these rulers, like the great 'Ala' al-Dln Kai-Qubad I himself, who married Byzantine princesses and thus strengthened relations with their neighbors to the west, lived for many years in Byzantium and became very familiar with the customs and ceremonial at the Byzantine court. Still, this close contact with the ancient Greco-Roman and Christian traditions only resulted in their adoption of a policy of tolerance toward art, aesthetic life, painting, music, independent thought—in short, toward those things that were frowned upon by the narrow and piously ascetic views {of their subjects}. The contact of the common people with the Greeks and Armenians had basically the same result. [Before coming to Anatolia,] the Turkmens had been in contact with many nations and had long shown their ability to synthesize the artistic elements that they had adopted from these nations. When they settled in Anatolia, they encountered peoples with whom they had not yet been in contact and immediately established relations with them as well. Ala al-Din Kai-Qubad I established ties with the Genoese and, especially, the Venetians at the ports of Sinop and Antalya, which belonged to him, and granted them commercial and legal concessions. Meanwhile, the Mongol invasion, which caused a great number of scholars and artisans to flee from Turkmenistan, Iran, and Khwarazm and settle within the Empire of the Seljuks of Anatolia, resulted in a reinforcing of Persian influence on the Anatolian Turks. Indeed, despite all claims to the contrary, there is no question that Persian influence was paramount among the Seljuks of Anatolia. This is clearly revealed by the fact that the sultans who ascended the throne after Ghiyath al-Din Kai-Khusraw I assumed titles taken from ancient Persian mythology, like Kai-Khusraw, Kai-Ka us, and Kai-Qubad; and that. Ala' al-Din Kai-Qubad I had some passages from the Shahname inscribed on the walls of Konya and Sivas. When we take into consideration domestic life in the Konya courts and the sincerity of the favor and attachment of the rulers to Persian poets and Persian literature, then this fact [i.e., the importance of Persian influence] is undeniable. With regard to the private lives of the rulers, their amusements, and palace ceremonial, the most definite influence was also that of Iran, mixed with the early Turkish traditions, and not that of Byzantium."
    • Stephen P. Blake, Shahjahanabad: The Sovereign City in Mughal India, 1639–1739. Cambridge University Press, 1991. pg 123: "For the Seljuks and Il-Khanids in Iran it was the rulers rather than the conquered who were "Persianized and Islamicized"
  18. ^ * Encyclopaedia Iranica, "Šahrbānu", Online Edition: "here one might bear in mind that non-Persian dynasties such as the Ghaznavids, Saljuqs and Ilkhanids were rapidly to adopt the Persian language and have their origins traced back to the ancient kings of Persia rather than to Turkish heroes or Muslim saints ..."
    • O.Özgündenli, "Persian Manuscripts in Ottoman and Modern Turkish Libraries Archived 2012-01-22 at the Wayback Machine", Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition
    • M. Ravandi, "The Seljuq court at Konya and the Persianisation of Anatolian Cities", in Mesogeios (Mediterranean Studies), vol. 25-6 (2005), pp. 157–69
    • F. Daftary, "Sectarian and National Movements in Iran, Khorasan, and Trasoxania during Umayyad and Early Abbasid Times", in History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol 4, pt. 1; edited by M.S. Asimov and C.E. Bosworth; UNESCO Publishing, Institute of Ismaili Studies: "Not only did the inhabitants of Khurasan not succumb to the language of the nomadic invaders, but they imposed their own tongue on them. The region could even assimilate the Turkic Ghaznavids and Seljuks (eleventh and twelfth centuries), the Timurids (fourteenth–fifteenth centuries), and the Qajars (nineteenth–twentieth centuries) ..."
  19. ^ "The Turko-Persian tradition features Persian culture patronized by Turkic rulers." See Daniel Pipes: "The Event of Our Era: Former Soviet Muslim Republics Change the Middle East" in Michael Mandelbaum, "Central Asia and the World: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkemenistan and the World", Council on Foreign Relations, p. 79. Exact statement: "In Short, the Turko-Persian tradition featured Persian culture patronized by Turcophone rulers."
  20. ^ Grousset, Rene, The Empire of the Steppes, (Rutgers University Press, 1991), 574.
  21. ^ Bingham, Woodbridge, Hilary Conroy and Frank William Iklé, History of Asia, Vol.1, (Allyn and Bacon, 1964), 98.
  22. ^ *An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples (Peter B. Golden. Otto Harrasowitz, 1992). pg 386: "Turkic penetration probably began in the Hunnic era and its aftermath. Steady pressure from Turkic nomads was typical of the Khazar era, although there are no unambiguous references to permanent settlements. These most certainly occurred with the arrival of the Oguz in the 11th century. The Turkicization of much of Azarbayjan, according to Soviet scholars, was completed largely during the Ilxanid period if not by late Seljuk times. Sumer, placing a slightly different emphasis on the data (more correct in my view), posts three periods which Turkicization took place: Seljuk, Mongol and Post-Mongol (Qara Qoyunlu, Aq Qoyunlu and Safavid). In the first two, Oguz Turkic tribes advanced or were driven to the western frontiers (Anatolia) and Northern Azarbaijan (Arran, the Mugan steppe). In the last period, the Turkic elements in Iran (derived from Oguz, with lesser admixture of Uygur, Qipchaq, Qaluq and other Turks brought to Iran during the Chinggisid era, as well as Turkicized Mongols) were joined now by Anatolian Turks migrating back to Iran. This marked the final stage of Turkicization. Although there is some evidence for the presence of Qipchaqs among the Turkic tribes coming to this region, there is little doubt that the critical mass which brought about this linguistic shift was provided by the same Oguz-Turkmen tribes that had come to Anatolia. The Azeris of today are an overwhelmingly sedentary, detribalized people. Anthropologically, they are little distinguished from the Iranian neighbors."
    • John Perry: "We should distinguish two complementary ways in which the advent of the Turks affected the language map of Iran. First, since the Turkish-speaking rulers of most Iranian polities from the Ghaznavids and Seljuks onward were already Iranized and patronized Persian literature in their domains, the expansion of Turk-ruled empires served to expand the territorial domain of written Persian into the conquered areas, notably Anatolia and Central and South Asia. Secondly, the influx of massive Turkish-speaking populations (culminating with the rank and file of the Mongol armies) and their settlement in large areas of Iran (particularly in Azerbaijan and the northwest), progressively turkicized local speakers of Persian, Kurdish and other Iranian languages"
    (John Perry. "The Historical Role of Turkish in Relation to Persian of Iran". Iran & the Caucasus, Vol. 5, (2001), pp. 193–200.)
    • According to C.E. Bosworth:
    "The eastern Caucasus came under Saljuq control in the middle years of the 5th/11th century, and in c. 468/1075-56 Sultan Alp Arslān sent his slave commander ʿEmād-al-dīn Savtigin as governor of Azerbaijan and Arrān, displacing the last Shaddadids. From this period begins the increasing Turkicization of Arrān, under the Saljuqs and then under the line of Eldigüzid or Ildeñizid Atabegs, who had to defend eastern Transcaucasia against the attacks of the resurgent Georgian kings. The influx of Oghuz and other Türkmens was accentuated by the Mongol invasions. Bardaʿa had never revived fully after the Rūs sacking, and is little mentioned in the sources." (C.E. Bsowrth, Arran in Encyclopædia Iranica)
    • According to Fridrik Thordarson:
    "Iranian influence on Caucasian languages. There is general agreement that Iranian languages predominated in Azerbaijan from the 1st millennium b.c. until the advent of the Turks in a.d. the 11th century (see Menges, pp. 41–42; Camb. Hist. Iran IV, pp. 226–228, and VI, pp. 950–952). The process of Turkicization was essentially complete by the beginning of the 16th century, and today Iranian languages are spoken in only a few scattered settlements in the area."
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Sources

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Further reading

External links