Hammadid dynasty

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Hammadid dynasty

The Hammadid dynasty (green), c. 1100.
Capital Beni Hammad (until 1090)
Béjaïa (after 1090)
Languages Berber, Classical Arabic, Andalusi Romance
Religion Islam
Government Monarchy
 •  1008–1028 Hammad ibn Buluggin
 •  1121–1152 Yahya ibn Abd al-Aziz
 •  Established 1014
 •  Disestablished 1152
Currency Dinar

The Hammadid dynasty was a Sanhaja Berber dynasty that ruled an area roughly corresponding to north-eastern modern Algeria for around a century and a half (1008–1152), until its realm was conquered by the Almohad Caliphate. Soon after coming to power, they rejected the Ismaili doctrine of the Fatimids, and returned to Maliki Sunnism, acknowledging the Abbasids as rightful Caliphs.

Their capital was at first Qalaat Beni Hammad, founded in 1007 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site; when this was endangered by the Banu Hilal tribe, they moved to Béjaïa (1090).


In 1014, Hammad ibn Buluggin, a Berber who had been placed as governor of the central Maghreb, declared himself independent from the Zirid dynasty. The kingdom at the time ruled most of the region from Morocco to Tunisia. Hammad obtained recognition from the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad. The Zirids sent an army, but two years later a peace was signed, although the Zirid recognized the Hammadid legitimacy only in 1018.

Hammad founded a new capital in Qalaat Beni Hammad. With the Banu Hilal menace rising (spurred by the rival Fatimid caliphs of Egypt), they moved it to Béjaïa, which became one of the most prosperous cities in the medieval Mediterranean (1052).


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