Seljuq dynasty

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"Seljuk Turks" redirects here. For the territory over which they ruled, see Seljuq Empire.
Not to be confused with Seleucid Empire. ‹See Tfd›
House of Seljuq
Seljuqs Eagle.svg
Country Great Seljuq Empire
Sultanate of Rum
Titles
Founded 10th century - Seljuq
Dissolution

Damascus:
1104 - Baqtash was dethroned by Toghtekin

Great Seljuq:
1194 - Toghrul III was killed in battle with the Tekish

Rum:
1307 - Mesud II died
Faravahar background
History of Greater Iran
Until the rise of modern nation-states
Pre-modern

The House of Seljuq (Persian: سلجوقيانSaljūqiyān; Turkish: Selçuklular) was a Turkish[1][2][3] Sunni Muslim dynasty that gradually adopted Persian culture and contributed to the Turko-Persian tradition[4][5] in the medieval West and Central Asia. The Seljuqs established both the Seljuq Empire and Sultanate of Rum, which at their total height stretched from Anatolia through Persia, and were targets of the First Crusade.

Early history[edit]

The Seljuqs originated from the Qynyk branch of the Oghuz Turks[6][7][8][9] who in the 9th century lived on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian and Aral seas in their Yabghu Khaganate of the Oghuz confederacy,[10] in the Kazakh Steppe of Turkestan.[11] During the 10th century, due to various events, the Oghuz had come into close contact with Muslim cities.[12]

When Seljuq, the leader of the Seljuq clan, had a falling out with Yabghu, the supreme chieftain of the Oghuz, he split his clan off from the bulk of the Tokuz-Oghuz and set up camp on the west bank of the lower Syr Darya (Jaxartes). Around 985, Seljuq converted to Islam.[12] In the 11th century the Seljuqs migrated from their ancestral homelands into mainland Persia, in the province of Khurasan, where they encountered the Ghaznavid empire. The Seljuqs defeated the Ghaznavids at the battle of Nasa plains in 1035. Toghril, Chaghri, and Yabghu received the insignias of governor, grants of land, and were given the title of dehqan.[13] At the battle of Dandanaqan they defeated a Ghaznavid army, and after a successful siege of Isfahan by Tughrul in 1050-51,[14] they established an empire later called the Great Seljuk Empire. The Seljuqs mixed with the local population and adopted the Persian culture and language in the following decades.[15][16][17][18][19]

Later period[edit]

After arriving in Persia, the Seljuqs adopted the Persian culture and used the Persian language as the official language of the government,[15][16][20][21][22][23][24][25][26] and played an important role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition which features "Persian culture patronized by Turkic rulers."[27] Today, they are remembered as great patrons of Persian culture, art, literature, and language[15][16][17] and are regarded as the partial ancestors of the Western Turks – the present-day inhabitants of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.

Seljuq leaders[edit]

Rulers of the Seljuq Dynasty[edit]

The "Great Seljuqs" were heads of the family; in theory their authority extended over all the other Seljuq lines, although in practice this often was not the case. Turkish custom called for the senior member of the family to be the Great Seljuq, although usually the position was associated with the ruler of western Persia.

Titular Name(s) Personal Name Reign
Bey
بیگ
Tughril
طغرل
1016-1063
Sultan
سلطان
Alp Arslan
الپ ارسلان
1063-1072
Sultan
سلطان
Jalāl al-Dawlah
جلال الدولہ
Malik Shah I
ملک شاہ اول
1072-1092
Sultan
سلطان
Nasir al-Duniya wa al-Din
ناصر الدنیا والدین
Mahmud bin Malik Shah
محمود بن ملک شاہ
1092-1094
Sultan
سلطان
Abul Muzaffar Rukn al-Duniya wa al-Din
أبو المظفر رکن الدنیا والدین
Barkiyaruq bin Malik Shah
برکیاروق بن ملک شاه
1094–1105
Sultan
سلطان
Muizz al-Din
معز الدین
Malik Shah II
ملک شاہ الثانی
1105
Sultan
سلطان
Ghiyath al-Duniya wa al-Din
غیاث الدنیا والدین
Muhammad Tapar
محمد تپار
1105-1118
Sultan
سلطان
Muizz al-Din
معز الدین
*Ahmad Sanjar
احمد سنجر
1118–1153
Khwarazmian dynasty replaces the Seljuq dynasty.From 1157, the Oghuz took control of much of Khurasan, with the remainder in the hands of former Seljuq emirs.
  • Muhammad's son Mahmud II succeeded him in western Persia, but Ahmad Sanjar, who was the governor of Khurasan at the time being the senior member of the family, became the Great Seljuq Sultan.


Seljuq sultans of Hamadan[edit]

The Great Seljuq Empire in 1092, upon the death of Malik Shah I[28]

The rulers of western Persia, who maintained a very loose grip on the Abbasids of Baghdad. Several Turkic emirs gained a strong level of influence in the region, such as the Eldiduzids.

In 1194, Tugrul III was killed in battle with the Khwarezm Shah, who annexed Hamadan.

Seljuq rulers of Kerman[edit]

Kerman was a province in southern Persia. Between 1053 and 1154, the territory also included Umman.

Muhammad abandoned Kerman, which fell into the hands of the Oghuz chief Malik Dinar. Kerman was eventually annexed by the Khwarezmid Empire in 1196.

Seljuq rulers in Syria[edit]

To the Artuqids

Sultans/Emirs of Damascus:

Damascus seized by the Burid Toghtekin

Seljuq sultans of Rum (Anatolia)[edit]

Main article: Sultanate of Rûm

The Seljuq line, already having been deprived of any significant power, effectively ends in the early 14th century

The Kharāghān twin towers, built in Iran in 1053 to house the remains of Seljuq princes
The Seljuq Sultanate of Rûm in 1190, before the Third Crusade

Gallery[edit]

Family tree[edit]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Duqaq Timuryaligh
(b. ? -d. ?)
Commander-in-chief of Oghuz army
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Seljuq-Beg
(b. ? -d. ?)
Commander-in-chief of Oghuz army
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yunus
 
Arslan Yabgu
(b. ? -d. 1032)
Chief of Seljuq Dynasty
 
Mikail
(b. ? -d. ?)
 
Musa Yabghu
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1.Toghrul I
(r. 1037-1063)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
Chaghri-Beg
(r. 1040-1060)
Governor of Khorasan
 
Ibrahim Inal
 
Er-Dash
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Qawurd-Beg
(r. 1048-1073)
Governor of Kirman
 
Suleiman
Prince
 
Bahram-Shah
Prince
 
Alp Sungur
Prince
Governor of Azerbaijan
 
2.Alp Arslan
(r. 1063-1072)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
Ilyas
Prince
 
Khadija
Princess
married Abbasid caliph Al-Qa'im.
 
Uthman
Prince
 
Jawhar Khatun
Princess
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tutush
(r. 1078-1095)
Governor of Damascus
 
Toghrul
Prince
 
Bori-Bars
Prince
 
Arslan-Shah
(r. 1066-1083)
Governor of Khorasan
 
3.Malik-Shah I
(r. 1072-1092)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
Toghan-Shah
(r. 1083-1092)
Governor of Khorasan
 
Aisha
Princess
married Kara-Khanid khan Nasr Shams al-Mulk.
 
Arslan-Argun
(r. 1092-1097)
Governor of Khorasan
 
Mah-i Mulk
Princess
married Abbasid caliph Al-Muqtadi.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5.Barkiyaruq
(r. 1094-1105)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
Dawud
Prince
 
Ahmad
Prince
 
4.Mahmud I
(r. 1092-1094)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
7.Tapar
(r. 1105-1118)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
9.Sanjar
(r. 1118-1153)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
Gawhar Khatun
Princess
married Ghaznavid sultan Mas'ud III.
 
Sitara
Princess
married Kakuyid atabeg Garshasp II.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6.Malik-Shah II
(r. 1105)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
 
 
 
 
8.Mahmud II
(r. 1118-1131)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
15.Suleiman-Shah
(r. 1159-1160)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
12.Masud
(r. 1135-1152)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
11.Toghrul II
(r. 1132-1135)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
Mu'mine Khatun
wife of Toghrul II
until 1135
wife of Ildeniz
from 1136
 
Ildeniz
(r. 1160-1175)
de facto ruler
Atabeg of Arslan-Shah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
14.Muhammad II
(r. 1153-1159)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
10.Dawud
(r. 1131-1132)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
13.Malik-Shah III
(r. 1152-1153)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
16.Arslan-Shah
(r. 1160-1176)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
Muhammad
(r. 1175-1186)
de facto ruler
Atabeg of Toghrul III
 
18.Qizil Arslan
(r. 1191)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
17.Toghrul III
(r. 1176-1191, 1192-1194)
Sultan of Great Seljuq
 

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Turkish dynasty also spelled Seljuk ruling military family of the Oğuz (Ghuzz) Turkic tribes that invaded southwestern Asia in the 11th century and eventually founded an empire....".Encyclopedia Brittanica
  2. ^ "The Turkish groups of the greatest import in the history of Europe and W Asia were, however, the Seljuks and the Osmanli or Ottoman Turks, both members of the Oghuz confederations.".Encyclopedia Columbia
  3. ^ Saljuqs, Andrew Peacock, Encyclopaedia Iranica, (May 25, 2010)."A dynasty of Turkish origin that ruled much of Anatolia".Encyclopedia Iranica
  4. ^ 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."
  5. ^ Nishapuri, Zahir al-Din Nishapuri (2001), "The History of the Seljuq Turks from the Jami’ al-Tawarikh: An Ilkhanid Adaptation of the Saljuq-nama of Zahir al-Din Nishapuri," Partial tr. K.A. Luther, ed. C.E. Bosworth, Richmond, UK. K.A. Luther: "... the Turks were illiteratre and uncultivated when they arrived in Khurasan and had to depend on Iranian scribes, poets, jurists and theologians to man the institution of the Empire"(pg 9)
  6. ^ Concise Britannica Online Seljuq Dynasty article
  7. ^ Merriam-Webster Online – Definition of Seljuk
  8. ^ The History of the Seljuq Turks: From the Jami Al-Tawarikh (LINK)
  9. ^ History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey – Stanford Shaw (LINK)
  10. ^ Wink, Andre, Al Hind the Making of the Indo Islamic World, Brill Academic Publishers, Jan 1, 1996, ISBN 90-04-09249-8 pg.9
  11. ^ Islam: An Illustrated History, p. 51
  12. ^ a b Michael Adas, Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History, (Temple University Press, 2001), 99.
  13. ^ C.E. Bosworth, The Ghaznavids: 994-1040, (Edinburgh University Press, 1963), 242.
  14. ^ Tony Jaques, Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: F-O, (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007), 476.
  15. ^ a b c O.Özgündenli, "Persian Manuscripts in Ottoman and Modern Turkish Libraries", Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition, (LINK)
  16. ^ a b c Encyclopædia Britannica, "Seljuq", Online Edition, (LINK): "... Because the Turkish Seljuqs had no Islamic tradition or strong literary heritage of their own, they adopted the cultural language of their Persian instructors in Islam. Literary Persian thus spread to the whole of Iran, and the Arabic language disappeared in that country except in works of religious scholarship ..."
  17. ^ a b M. Ravandi, "The Seljuq court at Konya and the Persianisation of Anatolian Cities", in Mesogeios (Mediterranean Studies), vol. 25–6 (2005), pp. 157–69
  18. ^ M.A. Amir-Moezzi, "Shahrbanu", Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition, (LINK): "... here one might bear in mind that Turco-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 ..."
  19. ^ 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) ..."
  20. ^ Bosworth, C.E.; Hillenbrand, R.; Rogers, J.M.; Blois, F.C. de; Bosworth, C.E.; Darley-Doran, R.E., Saldjukids, Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. Brill Online: "Culturally, the constituting of the Seljuq Empire marked a further step in the dethronement of Arabic from being the sole lingua franca of educated and polite society in the Middle East. Coming as they did through a Transoxania which was still substantially Iranian and into Persia proper, the Seljuqs with no high-level Turkish cultural or literary heritage of their own – took over that of Persia, so that the Persian language became the administration and culture in their land of Persia and Anatolia. The Persian culture of the Rum Seljuqs was particularly splendid, and it was only gradually that Turkish emerged there as a parallel language in the field of government and adab; the Persian imprint in Ottoman civilization was to remain strong until the 19th century.
  21. ^ John Perry, THE HISTORICAL ROLE OF TURKISH IN RELATION TO PERSIAN OF IRAN in Iran & the Caucasus, Vol. 5, (2001), pp. 193-200. excerpt: " 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."
  22. ^ Ram Rahul. "March of Central Asia", Indus Publishing, pg 124: "The Seljuk conquest of Persia marked the triumph of the Sunni over Shii but without a decline in Persian culture. The Seljuks eventually adopted the Persian culture.
  23. ^ Ehsan Yarshater, "Iran" in Encyclopedia Iranica: "The ascent of the Saljuqids also put an end to a period which Minorsky has called "the Persian intermezzo" (see Minorsky, 1932, p. 21), when Iranian dynasties, consisting mainly of the Saffarids, the Samanids, the Ziyarids, the Buyids, the Kakuyids, and the Bavandids of Tabarestan and Gilan, ruled most of Iran. By all accounts, weary of the miseries and devastations of never-ending conflicts and wars, Persians seemed to have sighed with relief and to have welcomed the stability of the Saljuqid rule, all the more so since the Saljuqids mitigated the effect of their foreignness, quickly adopting the Persian culture and court customs and procedures and leaving the civil administration in the hand of Persian personnel, headed by such capable and learned viziers as ‘Amid-al-Molk Kondori and Nezam-al-Molk."
  24. ^ C.E. Bosworth, "Turkish expansion towards the west", in UNESCO HISTORY OF HUMANITY, Volume IV: From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century, UNESCO Publishing / Routledge,2000. 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). 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."
  25. ^ 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".
  26. ^ Mehmed Fuad Koprulu, Early Mystics in Turkish Literature, Translated by Gary Leiser and Robert Dankoff, Routledge, 2006, pg 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-jazīra 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-Dīn Kai-Qubād 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 Turks 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-Dīn Kai-Qubād 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 Turkistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Khwārazm 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 Ghiyāth al-Dīn Kai-Khusraw I assumed titles taken from ancient Persian mythology, like Kai-Khusraw, Kai-Kā'ūs, and Kai-Qubād; and that 'Ala' al-Dīn Kai-Qubād I had some passages from the Shāhnāme 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."
  27. ^ 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, pg 79. Exact statement: "In Short, the Turko-Persian tradition featured Persian culture patronized by Turcophone rulers."
  28. ^ Black, Jeremy (2005). The Atlas of World History. American Edition, New York: Covent Garden Books. pp. 65, 228. ISBN 9780756618612.  This map varies from other maps which are slightly different in scope, especially along the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

Further reading[edit]

  • Grousset, Rene (1988). The Empire of the Steppes: a History of Central Asia. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. p. 147. ISBN 0813506271. 
  • Peacock, A.C.S, Early Seljuq History : A New Interpretation; New York, NY ; Routledge; 2010
  • Previte-Orton, C. W. (1971). The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.