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- pp. 68, 81-2;
- T H E I R A N I A N W O R L D ( A . D . I O O O - 1 2 1 7 )
- M A L I K - S H A H S R E I G N 7
- J. Laurent, "Des Grecs aux Croises; Etude sur lHistoire dEdesse entre 1071 et 1098 ", By%antion, pp. 387 ff.; Honigmann
- T H E I R A N I A N W O R L D ( A . D . I O O O
- pp. 46-56; Cahen, " Djahir (Banu) Encyc. of Islam. 2 Ibn al-Athir, vol. x, pp. 75-72
- M A L I K - S H A H S R E I G N
- pp. 74-5; Ibn al-Jauzi, vol. V I I I , pp. 317-19. 2
Husaini, loe. cit.; Ibn al-Athir, vol. x, p. i n ; Jüzjáni, Tabaqat-i Ndsirl (Raverty tr.,
vol. i, pp. 103-4, 107); Mirzá Muhammad Qazwini, " Mas'ud-i Sa'd-i Salman ", J.R.A.S
pp. 711-15; Kafesoglu, Sultan Meliksah, pp. 29-30.
Sourdel, Inventaire des Monnaies Musulmanes Anciennes du Muse'e de Caboul, pp. xiii-xiv.
(Anon.), Tdríkb-i Sistán, p. 383; Kafesoglu, op. cit. pp. 117-19.
M A L I K - S H A H ' S R E I G N
ments for their forces; this importance was recognized by the sultan's
eventually placing the whole of the Arran-Azarbaijan area under his
cousin Qutb al-Din Isma'il b. Yaquti, w h o was given the title Malik.
When Malik-Shah came to the throne, he considered that he needed
to strengthen the somewhat nominal dependence of Fadl (Fadlun) III
b. Fadl II, the Shaddadid ruler of Ganja and D v i n w h o had succeeded
his father in 466/1073. Accordingly, the sultan sent an expedition to
Arran; Ganja was occupied and Fadl deposed, receiving in exchange
Astarabad in Gurgan. Sav-Tegin, already familiar with the area from
his campaigns there in Alp-Arslan's time, was installed in Ganja as
governor (?468/io75-6; the chronology of these events is uncertain).
But aggressive activity by the king of Georgia, Bagrat I V ' s son Giorgi
II (1072-89), led to the temporary recapture of Kars by the Christians.
The sultan came personally to Georgia in 471/1078-9, and shortly
afterwards he entrusted operations there to the Turkmen amir Ahmad,
who regained Kars in 473/1080 and, after returning to his base in
Arran, sent two more Turkmen begs, Y a ' q u b and 'Isa Bori, against
Georgia. They penetrated as far as Lazistan and the Chorukh valley
on the Black Sea coast and they also threatened Trebizond; according to
Anna Comnena, this city was in fact taken, but was recaptured soon
afterwards by a Byzantine general.
A revolt by the restored Shaddadid Fadl III, probably after the death
of Sav-Tegin in 478/1085, necessitated Malik-Shah's appearance in the
Caucasus in 478/1086. After receiving the homage and tribute of the
Shirvan-Shah Fariburz b. Sallar, the sultan reached the Black Sea
coast, where the slave commander Bozan was detailed to take Ganja.
Fadl was finally deposed and the Shaddadid line in Ganja extinguished,
although the collateral line in Ani, under Amir Abu'1-Fadl Manuchihr,
one of Malik-Shah's faithful vassals (?464-r. 512/? 1072-r. 1118), con
tinued to flourish in the 6th/12th century. The Shirvan-Shah seems to
have exercised some influence over Arran, but much of the Araxes
basin was doubtless parcelled out into military fiefs and absorbed into
the existing pattern of Turkmen occupation in Azarbaijan; the region
as a whole was under the control of Qutb al-Din Isma'il.
T H E I R A N I A N W O R L D ( A . D . I O O O - 1 2 1 7 )
The sons of Qutlumush had arrived in Anatolia at the beginning of
Malik-Shah's reign and had put themselves at the head of certain of
the Turkmen bands which were gradually isolating and compelling the
surrender of the remaining Byzantine strongholds in Anatolia. The
later historiography of the Rum Saljuqs posits that Malik-Shah
officially invested these sons with the governorships of Anatolia,
intending the region to be an appanage of the Saljuq empire as Khura
san, Kirman, and Damascus had been under Tutush. In fact, relations
here were never very cordial. Assumption of the title Sultan by
Qutlumush's sons (this occurred after c. 473/1080-1) seems to have
been a unilateral act and cannot have pleased Malik-Shah, whose own
title of Supreme Sultan implied an overlordship of the Saljuq family.
Indeed, in 467/1075 two of Qutlumush's sons—Alp-Ilig and Daulab,
in the view of Cahen—were fighting in Palestine for the Fatimids
against Malik-Shah's lieutenant Atsiz b. Uvak.
In Anatolia itself, the other sons Sulaiman and Mansur were taking
advantage of the succession disputes which racked Byzantium until
the last and most successful claimant, Alexis Comenus (1081-1118),
emerged triumphant. The various contenders—Michael Dukas, Nice-
phorus Botaniates, Nicephorus Melissenos, and Alexis himself—all
sought help from the Turks, with the result that by 474/1081 Sulaiman's
forces had reached the shores of the Sea of Marmara and had taken
Nicea (Iznik). Malik-Shah regarded his cousins in Anatolia as semi-
rebels, and he cannot have viewed their successes with enthusiasm;
his attitude towards Byzantium was no doubt the same as his fathers:
that the two empires of the Greeks and the Saljuqs should exist side by
side (see p. 62 above). Barhebraeus speaks of a punitive expedition
under Amir Bursuq, sent by Malik-Shah c. 470/1077-8; though it
succeeded in bringing about Mansur's death, Sulaiman had to be left
with most of the western and southern parts of Anatolia.
docia, Pontus, and the east there were several other Turkmen begs,
some related to the Saljuqs, others independent of them. Certain of
the legends and traditions which surround the beginnings of the
Turkmen Danishmand Beg ascribe to him a part in the victory of
Malazgird, and they ascribe a similar role to Artuq, Mengiijek, and
Saltuq, other Turkmen amirs w h o later became famous.
Cf. Cahen, By^antion (1948), pp. 35-6.
Barhebraeus, Cbronography; p. 227.
This tradition is found in the works of the 8th/14th-century historian of the Rum
Saljuqs, Aqsarayi, and it is also mentioned by the later Ottoman historians.
M A L I K - S H A H ' S R E I G N
B C H
Danishmand Beg does not become a historically authenticated figure
till the time of the First Crusade, in Berk-Yaruq's reign, but it is quite
possible that the foundations of the important Danishmanid princi
pality were being laid in the regions of Sivas, Kayseri, Amasya, and
Tokat during the latter part of Malik-Shah's reign.
However, events in the Anatolian interior were of less immediate
importance to the Great Saljuqs than were those taking place on the
south-eastern fringes of Anatolia, in al-Jazireh and in Syria. South of
the Taurus and the Anatolian plateau we are outside the Irano-Turkish
world on which the Saljuqs' political power and culture were based,
and only a brief outline of the extension of Saljuq influence as against
that of the Fatimids in Syria and Arabia need be given here. The tasks
of Saljuq arms and diplomacy in the shifting and complex politics of
this region to the south of Anatolia were, first, to ensure that cities like
Antioch, Aleppo, and Edessa were in friendly Sunni Muslim hands;
and second, to bring into the Sunni-Saljuq sphere of influence the local
Arab amirates (e.g. those of the Mirdasids, the Banu Munqidh of
Shaizar, and the Banu 'Ammar of Tripoli) as well as the tribal groups,
such as those of Kilab and Numair, many of which were Start and
possibly pro-Fatimid in sentiment. Roving Turkmen bands injected a
fresh element of unrest into the region; and in the years after Malaz-
gird an ephemeral but significant Greco-Armenian principality grew up
along the Taurus under the leadership of Philaretos, a former general
of Romanus Diogenes, who extended his power from Hisn Mansur,
Abulustan, and Mar'ash, over the cities of Malatya, Samosata, Edessa,
Malik-Shah's reign saw the destruction of the Marwanids, the long-
established Kurdish dynasty in Diyarbakr, although there are no
indications that this action came from deliberate Saljuq policy; it was
some decades since Fatimid influence had been a danger in this area.
After the death of Nasr al-Daula Ibn Marwan in 453/1061, the power
and splendour of the dynasty waned perceptibly under his sons, and its
end came when the private ambitions of the Banu Jahir finally worked
upon Malik-Shah and Nizam al-Mulk.
Accompanied by a Saljuq army
Cahen, By^antion (1948), pp. 35 ff.; I. Melikoff, Lageste de Melik Danismend, etude critique
du Danismendname (Paris, i960), vol. 1, pp. 71 ff.; idem, "DanishmendidsEncyc. of Islam
J. Laurent, "Des Grecs aux Croises; Etude sur l'Histoire d'Edesse entre 1071 et 1098 ",
By%antion, pp. 387 ff.; Honigmann, Die Ostgren^e des By^antinischen Reicbes, pp. 142-6;
Cahen, By^antion (1948), pp. 39-41.
See p. 24 above.
T H E I R A N I A N W O R L D ( A . D . I O O O - I 2 1 7 )
and by the ghulam generals Qasim al-Daula Aq-Sonqur and Gauhar-
A'ln, and later helped by Artuq Beg, Fakhr al-Daula Ibn Jahir conducted
a long and strenuous campaign in 477-8/1084 against the Marwanids in
Amid, Mayyafariqin, and Jazirat ibn 'Umar, afterwards annexing
Diyarbakr to the Saljuq empire and appropriating for his personal use
the Marwanids' treasury.
The disappearance of the Marwanids was a palpable threat to another
local power, the 'Uqailids. By 477/1084 the dominions of the very
capable Sharaf al-Daula Muslim b. Quraish stretched from Mosul
through Diyar Rabi'a and Diyar Mudar to Manbij and Aleppo, and he
had reached an entente with the Armenian general Philaretos, A t the
beginning of his reign Malik-Shah had sent his brother Tutush to hold
Syria as an appanage, and from his base of Damascus, Tutush and later
Artuq Beg conquered all the territories in southern Syria and Palestine
formerly held by Atsi'z b. Uvak. The prize of Aleppo brought Tutush
into rivalry with its ruler, Sharaf al-Daula Muslim, and in 477/1084
a complex pattern of warfare broke out in the region of Aleppo and
Antioch, involving Tutush, Sharaf al-Daula Muslim, Philaretos,
Sulaiman b. Qutlumush, and an army from Isfahan under the personal
command of Malik-Shah and his generals Bozan and Bursuq. In the
fighting the 'Uqailid was killed (478/1085), while Sulaiman either died
in battle or else committed suicide (479/1086). The sultan's Syrian
campaign was crowned with triumph as one after another Mosul,
Harran, Aleppo, and Antioch submitted, and he was at last able to
let his horse stand on the shores of the Mediterranean. When Tutush
and Artuq had withdrawn to Damascus and Jerusalem respectively,
Malik-Shah installed ghulam governors in Antioch (Yaghi-Basan),
Aleppo (Aq-Sonqur), and Edessa (Bozan).
Saljuq influence during his reign was even carried into the Arabian
peninsula. In 469/1076-7 Artuq marched through al-Ahsa' in eastern
Arabia as far as Qatlf and Bahrain Island, attacking the local Qarmatian
sectaries en route. After the sultan's second visit to Baghdad, in 484/1091,
he conceived the idea of making it the centre of his empire (see below,
p. 101), and it was probably in connexion with this that he deputed
M A L I K - S H A H ' S R E I G N
Gauhar-A'in and Chabaq to bring the Hijaz and the Yemen under his
power. Through his diplomacy the khutba at Mecca was returned to
the 'Abbasids in 468/1075-6, which meant in effect that he had out
bid the Fatimids for the support of the venal Sharif of Mecca—
although according to Ibn al-Jauzi, there was also a project for the
sharif to marry one of the sultan's sisters. In the last year of Malik-
Shah's life, Gauhar-A'in sent a force of Turkmen under Tirsek and
Chabaq, and the Yemen and Aden were temporarily occupied.
The exclusion of the 'Abbasid caliphs from secular affairs in Iraq
was maintained during Malik-Shah's reign, and on his first visit to
Baghdad, in 479-80/1086-7, he had received the formal grant of this
secular authority from al-Muqtadi. Within Baghdad the sultan's
appointed in his father's reign. N o t only did he have the task of
keeping public order in the city and of mediating among the hostile
factions of Shfis, Hanbalis, 'ayyars, and so on, but Gauhar-A'in also
had a general responsibility for the security of Iraq; thus when in 483/
1090 a force of 'Amiri Bedouins from the Qarmatians of al-Ahsa'
sacked Basra, he had to come from Baghdad and restore order.
Financial and civil affairs in the capital and in Iraq in general—including
supervision of those iqta's allotted to the caliph, together with the
transmission to him of their revenues—were the responsibility of a
civilian 'amid or governor. In the latter part of Malik-Shah's reign,
when relations between sultan and caliph became very strained, the
amid clearly had the power of making life unpleasant in many ways for
the caliph. One 'amid, Abu'l-Fath b. A b i Laith, even interfered with the
caliph's own court and retinue, until in 475/1082-3 al-Muqtadi com
plained to the sultan and Nizam al-Mulk.
For most of Malik-Shah's reign Nizam al-Mulk was left to mould
Saljuq policy towards the caliphate, and this meant that he was thrown
into close contact with the caliph's viziers; down to 507/1113-14, with
only a few breaks, the vizierate for the 'Abbasids continued to be held
by the Banu Jahir, namely Fakhr al-Daula and his sons 'Amid al-Daula
and Za'Im al-Ru'asa'. Saljuq pressure on the caliphate increased during
this period, as the firm hand of Gauhar-A'in in Baghdad showed. A t
the opening of the reign Nizam al-Mulk had reversed his previously
conciliatory attitude, and the climax of this new harshness came in
Bundarl, pp. 70-1; Ibn al-jauzl, vol. vm, p. 298; Ibn aJ-Athir, vol. x, p. 137.
al"Kanril, vol. x, pp. 103-4, 121-3.
Ibid. p. 81.
T H E I R A N I A N W O R L D ( A . D . I O O O - 1 2 1 7 )
I O O
4 7 1 / 1 0 7 9 , when he secured Fakhr al-Daula's dismissal on the pretext
that he was behind Hanbali attacks on the Nizamiyya madrasa. He
even tried, without success, to impose on the caliph his own son
Mu'ayyid al-Mulk as vizier. The family's fortunes were restored
through the tact of 'Amid al-Daula Ibn Jahir, w h o came personally to
Nizam al-Mulk's camp to intercede for his father's restoration, and
who in the following years grew so close to Nizam al-Mulk that he
was given successively two of the vizier's daughters in marriage.
the next few years the Banu Jahir oscillated between support for the
interests of the sultan and for those of the caliph. In 4 7 4 / 1 0 8 1 - 2 Fakhr
al-Daula and Nizam al-Mulk arranged the betrothal of one of Malik-
Shah's daughters to the caliph, but the condition was imposed on al-
Muqtadi that he should take no concubine and no other wife but this
Saljuq princess. Hence by 4 7 6 / 1 0 8 3 - 4 al-Muqtadi had lost all patience,
and he installed as vizier a firm supporter of his own interests, A b u
Shuja' al-Riidhrawari; Nizam al-Mulk was furious that his ally 'Amid
al-Daula should be dismissed, and according to Sibt b. al-Jauzi he
even contemplated abolition of the caliphate.
Harmony was restored for a time when Malik-Shah, victorious after
his Syrian campaign, visited Baghdad for the first time. Nizam al-Mulk
took the opportunity of impressing the caliph with the military might
of the sultanate by parading before him the Saljuq amirs—they
numbered over forty—while he detailed their iqta's and the number of
their retainers. The sultan's euphoria at this time was such that he
increased the caliph's own iqta's, and at the same time abolished
throughout Iraq illegal taxes, transport dues on goods, and the transit
payment levied on pilgrims.
The marriage alliance with the caliphate
was celebrated in 480/1087 with enormous pomp, in the presence of
Nizam al-Mulk, A b u Sa'd the Mustaufi, Terken Khatun, and the
caliph's vizier A b u Shuja'. Very soon a son was born, the short-lived
Nizam al-Mulk's reception at Baghdad turned him
into a warm partisan of the caliphate, but the marriage did not bring
the expected harmony between sultan and caliph. A s early as 481/1088
the Turks w h o had accompanied the Saljuq princess were expelled
M A L I K - S H A H ' S R E I G N
from the caliph's harem because of their rowdiness. By the next year
the princess was complaining to her father of al-Muqtadfs neglect of
her, so Malik-Shah demanded the return of his daughter and his grand
son Ja'far; she died shortly after reaching Isfahan, but her son, the so-
called "Little Commander of the Faithful", became the sultan's
During Malik-Shah's second visit to Baghdad relations with al-
Muqtadi were at their nadir, and the sultan ignored him. He resolved,
however, to make Baghdad his winter capital, and in the winter of
484-5/1091-2 extensive building operations were begun in the city,
comprising a great mosque, markets, and caravanserais, while the im
portant ministers such as Nizam al-Mulk and Taj al-Mulk were ordered
to build houses there for themselves. The sultan came to Baghdad again
at the end of 485/1092. Nizam al-Mulk had just been assassinated and
the sultan, freed from all restraint, decided to expel the caliph from his
ancient capital, delivering this ultimatum to him. " Y o u must relinquish
Baghdad to me, and depart to any land you choose." It seems that the
sultan had the idea of setting up his grandson Ja'far as caliph, even
though his tender age of five years made him ineligible according to
Islamic law. A s events turned out, al-Muqtadi was saved when Malik-
Shah died from a fever, fifty-three days after the passing of Nizam
During the last two or three years of Malik-Shah's reign, certain
disquieting events occurred which showed that his impressive empire
was not unassailable. In 483/1090, for example, Basra was savagely
sacked by Qarmatians.
More serious was the emergence of several
centres of Isma'iH activities within the empire, notably in Syria, al-
Jazireh, and Persia. Propagandists having connexions with the Nizari
faction in Fatimid Egypt began work in such parts of Iran as Kirman,
Tukharistan, Kuhistan, Qumis, the Caspian provinces, and Fars (see
above, p. 90). Those regions where there were already pockets of
Shi'ism or of older Iranian beliefs seem to have been particularly
susceptible. The Isma'ilis were even active in the capital city of Isfahan,
under the da'i
A b d al-Malik b. 'Attash and his son Ahmad, who in
Berk-Yaruq's reign was to seize the nearby fortress of Shahdiz. Another
da'I, Hasan-i Sabbah, worked in Ray during Malik-Shah's time, and in
vol. ix, pp. 44, 46-7; Ibn al-Athir, vol. x , pp. 109, 116.
Bundari, p. 70; Zahir al-DIn NIshapuri, p. 35; Ravandl, p. 140; Ibn al-Jauzi, vol. ix,
pp. 60-2; Ibn al-Athir, v o l . x, pp. 133-5; Barhebraeus, pp. 231-2.
Ibn al-Athlr, vol. x, pp. 121-3.
I O I
T H E I R A N I A N W O R L D ( A . D . I O O O - I 2 1 7 )
I 0 2
483/1090 he seized the fortress of Alamüt in the Alburz mountains
near Qazvin. In the last year of his life Malik-Sháh, conscious of this
threat to the line of communications through northern Persia, sent the
amirs Arslan-Tash and Qizil-Sarigh against the Isma'ilis of Alamüt
and Kühistán, respectively, but operations were broken off at his
A t Sihna, a place in Fárs on the Isfahan-Baghdad road, Nizam al-
Mulk had met death at the hands of a Dailami youth, ostensibly a
Several sources state that shortly before
this killing, the sultan had dismissed him and several of his proteges in
the administration, putting in their places Táj al-Mulk and his friends;
it is also possible that Nizam al-Mulk, now at an advanced age, laid
down office of his own accord. Y e t one of the earliest sources, A n u -
shírván b. Khálid, says nothing of Nizam al-Mulk's departure from
office. Contemporaries generally attributed his death to the machina
tions of Malik-Shah and Táj al-Mulk, and the view is expressed by the
later historian Rashid al-Dln (d. 718/1318) that the vizier's enemies at
court concocted the murder in association with the Assassins; in view
of Rashid al-Din's access to the Isma'IlI records at Alamüt, the story is
worthy of consideration. The last weeks of Malik-Shah's own life were
spent in drawing up his extravagant plans for the deposition of al-
Muqtadi. After 485/1092 the caliphs would never again have to fear so
powerful a member of the Great Saljuq dynasty.
V I I I . T H E F I R S T S I G N S O F D E C L I N E : B E R K - Y A R U Q A N D
M U H A M M A D B . M A L I K - S H A H
The twelve years that followed Malik-Sháh's death were ones of
internal confusion and warfare, ended only by Berk-Yaruq's death in
498/beginning of 1105. Despite this, the external frontiers of the empire
held firm thanks to Malik-Shah and his vizier, whose policy had been
to buttress the north-western frontiers through the concentration of
Cf. ibid. pp. 2 1 5 - 1 7 ; Juvaini, Tarzkh-i Jahán-Gusha^ vol. n , pp. 666 if.; Kafesoglu, op.
cit. pp. 128-35; Hodgson, The Order of Assassins, pp. 47-51, 72-8, 85-7.
Bundárí, pp. 62-3; Ravandi, p. 135; Ibn al-Jauzi, vol. ix, pp. 66-7; Husaini, Akhbar a/-
daula, pp. 66-7; Ibn al-Athir, vol. pp. 1 3 7 - 9 ; Ibn Khallikán, Wafaydt al-a'ydn,
vol. 1, pp. 4 1 4 - 1 5 ; Subki, Tabaqát a/-Shdfi
iyya al-kubrd, vol. 111, pp. 142-4; Kafesoglu,
op. cit. pp. 203-7.
Cf. Houtsma, " T h e Death o f the Nizam al-Mulk and its ConsequencesJournal of
Indian History, pp. 147-60; Bowen, Encyc. of Islam (1st ed.); and K . Rippe,
Sturz Nizám-ul-Mulks", Kdprülü Armaganí, pp. 423-35.
B E R K - Y A R U Q A N D M U H A M M A D
Turkmen in Azarbaijan and Arran, and to hold the Qarakhanids
firmly in check on the north-eastern borders. Sanjar's governorship in
eastern Khurasan and Tukharistan from 490/1097 onwards discouraged
possible moves by the Ghaznavids at this time, though they might
well have seen in this period of Saljuq confusion a heaven-sent chance
to recover their terra irredenta. Only in the extreme west was there
potential disquiet with the appearance in 1097 of the First Crusade:
within three years the Franks had entrenched themselves on the Levant
coast, had advanced as far as western Diyarbakr, and had taken such
key cities as Jerusalem, Antioch, and Edessa. Y e t the Islamic world
had seen aggressive infidels on its borders before. Moreover the Saljuq
sultans were never directly threatened by the Crusaders, and they
regarded the troubles of Tutush and his family in Syria as his own
affair. When the news of the First Crusaders' successes in Syria first
reached Baghdad, Berk-Yaruq wrote letters to the various amirs
urging them to g o and fight the unbelievers (Rabf II 491 /March 1098),
but this exhortation seems to have exhausted his concern.
few indications that thoughts of the Frankish threat seriously worried
at any time the contestants w h o fought over the heartland of the
empire, Iran and Iraq.
When Malik-Shah died, Taj al-Mulk and Terken Khatun acted
vigorously. Their policy in building up a party amongst Nizam al-
Mulk's enemies in the army and bureaucracy, together with the fact
that they happened to be in Baghdad at the crucial time, enabled them
to place the four-year-old prince Mahmud on the throne as sultan, the
caliph being reluctantly forced to grant him the honorific Ndsir al-
of Isfahan was now the next aim, for despite large accession subsidies
the army was again restive for pay. Mahmud was placed on the throne
in Isfahan and the royal treasuries thrown open. Meanwhile the rival
party of the Nizamiyya, which contained the great vizier's relatives
and partisans, led by the ghulam Er-Ghush, had managed to seize the
armaments stored up by the vizier at Isfahan and had taken with them
to Ray the twelve-year-old Abu'l-Muzaffar Berk-Yaruq (Turkish for
"strong brightness"). A t Ray the ra'ts, or chief notable, crowned him
sultan. Anushirvan b. Khalid states that only obscure, people and
opportunists supported Berk-Yaruq and that the majority favoured
Mahmud; but this merely reflects Khalid's partisanship for Berk-Yaruq's
Ibn al-Jau2i, aI-Munta%am
vol. i x , p . 105.
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