Zayyanid dynasty

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Zayyanid dynasty
Country Kingdom of Tlemcen
Titles Emir of Tlemcen
Founded 1235
Founder Yaghmurasen Ibn Zyan
Final ruler Hassan ibn Abdallah II
Current head Extinct
Deposition 1556

The Zayyanids (Arabic: زيانيون‎, Ziyānyūn) or Abd al-Wadids (Arabic: بنو عبد الواد‎, Bānu ʿabd āl-Wād) are a Berber Zenata[1] dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Tlemcen, an area of northwestern Algeria, centered around Tlemcen, whose territory stretched from Tlemcen to the Chelif bend and Algiers, and reached at its zenith the Moulouya river to the west, Sijilmasa to the south and the Soummam river to the east.[2][3] Their rule lasted from 1235 to 1556.[4]

History[edit]

Main article: Kingdom of Tlemcen

On the collapse of the Almohad rule around 1236,[5] the kingdom of Tlemcen became independent under the rule of the Zayyanids, and Yaghmurasen Ibn Zyan.[5][6] Ibn Zyan was able to maintain control over the rival Berber groups, and when faced with the outside threat of the Marinids, he formed an alliance with the Sultan of Granada and the King of Castile, Alfonso X.[5]

After ibn Zyan's death, the Marinid sultan, Abu Yaqub Yusuf besieged Tlemcen for 8 years and finally captured it from (1337–48), by Abu al-Hasan 'Ali After a period of self-rule it was captured again by the Marinids from 1352–59, by Abu Inan Faris.[5] The Marinids reoccupied it periodically, particularly in 1360 and 1370.[7] In both cases, the Marinids found that they were unable to hold the region against local resistance.[8] but these episodes appear to have marked the beginning of the end of the Zayyanids.

In the 15th century, expansion eastward was attempted, but proved disastrous, as consequences of these incursions they were so weakened that over the following two centuries, the Zayyanid kingdom was intermittently a vassal of Hafsid Ifriqiya, Marinid Morocco, or Aragon.[8] When the Spanish took the city of Oran from the kingdom in 1509, continuous pressure from the Berbers prompted the Spanish to attempt a counterattack against the city of Tlemcen (1543), which was deemed by the Papacy to be a crusade. The Spanish failed to take the city in the first attack, although the strategic vulnerability of Tlemcen caused the kingdom's weight to shift toward the safer and more heavily fortified corsair base at Algiers.

In 1554, the kingdom of Tlemcen became a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire, which later deposed the Zayyanids and annexed the country to the Regency of Algiers.

The failure of this kingdom from ever being a formidable foe can be linked to a number of reasons. First, they had no geographical or cultural unity. They also constantly faced internal issues, and they did not have fixed frontiers, and finally most important was the fact that they depended on Arab nomads for their military.[5]

List of rulers[edit]

First Marinid conquest 1337–1348 (Marinid ruler was Abu al-Hasan Ali)

Second Marinid conquest 1352–1359 (Marinid ruler was Abu Inan)

Civil War 1427–1429

Saadi conquest 1543–1544

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chapan Metz, Helen. "Zayanids". Algeria: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. Retrieved 11/06/2010. 
  2. ^ The Abdelwadids (1236–1554), on qantara-med.org
  3. ^ L'Algérie au passé lointain – De Carthage à la Régence d'Alger, p175
  4. ^ Phillip Chiviges Naylor, North Africa: a history from antiquity to the present, (University of Texas Press, 2009), 98.
  5. ^ a b c d e "'Abd al-Wadid". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-Ak - Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 2010. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8. 
  6. ^ Delfina S. Ruano (2006), Hafsids, in Josef W Meri (ed.), Medieval Islamic Civilization: an Encyclopedia. Routledge., p. 309.
  7. ^ http://www.qantara-med.org/qantara4/public/show_document.php?do_id=603&lang=en
  8. ^ a b I. Hrbek (1997), The disintegration of political unity in the Maghrib, in Joseph Ki-Zerbo & Djibril T Niane (eds.) (1997), General History of Africa, vol. IV: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century (abridged ed.) UNESCO, James Curry Ltd., and Univ. Calif. Press., pp. 34–43.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]