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Abu Ja'far Ashinas (Arabic أبو جعفر أشناس) was a general of the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tasim, possibly of the sacred clan of the First Turkic empire[citation needed], transcribed in Chinese as Ashina 阿史那. While a folk etymology of his name is given in al-Tabari[citation needed], al-Mu'tasim gave him the first rank among his Turkish generals and a text of al-Mas'udi described him as a great noble. The name Ashinas is only known for princes, it is quite certain that he was a late member of the imperial clan of the Turks.[citation needed]

According to al-Tabari,[1] he was purchased by al-Mu'tasim in Baghdad during the reign of al-Ma'mun, along with Itakh al-Khazari and Wasif. He was in charge at Samarra, the Abbasid capital at the time, of the Turkish troops of al-Mu'tasim. When he died in 844 he was governor of Egypt,[1] and the most powerful general serving the Abbasids.


  1. ^ a b Kennedy, Hugh. "The Prophet and the Age of Caliphates." Longman (2004).
  • Golden, Peter. An introduction to the history of the Turkic peoples: Ethnogenesis and state-formation in medieval and early modern Eurasia and the Middle East, Harrassowitz, 1992.
  • E. de la Vaissière, Samarcande et Samarra. Elites d'Asie centrale dans l'empire abbasside, Peeters, 2007 [1]
  • M. Gordon, The breaking of a Thousand Swords. A History of the Turkish Military of Samarra (A.H. 200-275/815-889 C.E.), State University of New York Press, 2001.