Ikhshidid dynasty

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Akşitler
الإخشيديون (al-Ikhshīdīyūn)
Vassal of the Abbasid Caliphate
935–969
Ikhshidid Dynasty 965-969
Capital Fustat(Cairo)
Languages Arabic (predominant), Turkic (army)
Religion Islam (predominant), Coptic Christians
Government Monarchy
Wali (governor)
 •  935–946 Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid
 •  946–961 Abu'l-Qasim Unujur ibn al-Ikhshid
 •  961–966 Abu'l-Hasan Ali ibn al-Ikhshid
 •  966–968 Abu'l-Misk Kafur
 •  968–969 Abu'l-Fawaris Ahmad ibn Ali ibn al-Ikhshid
History
 •  Established 935
 •  Disestablished 969
Area 2,000,000 km² (772,204 sq mi)
Currency Dinar
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Abbasid caliphate
Abbasid caliphate
Fatimid caliphate
Today part of
History of the Turkic peoples
History of the Turkic peoples
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The Ikhshidid dynasty (Turkish: Akşitler, Arabic: الإخشيديون‎‎) ruled Egypt from 935 to 969. Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid, a Turkic[4][5][6] slave soldier, was appointed governor by the Abbasid Caliph.[7] The dynasty carried the Arabic title "Wāli" reflecting their position as governors on behalf of the Abbasids. The Ikhshidids came to an end when the Fatimid army conquered Fustat in 969.[8]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

The creation of the Ikhshidid state is part of the wider disintegration and decentralisation of the Abbasids after the Anarchy at Samarra, whereupon government became more decentralised. The founder,ibn Tughj possesses some form of military power[9] and is on friendly relations with Mu'nis al-Muzaffar, a powerful military leader. Before he was appointed to Futsat he held the post of the governor of Damascus. He was first appointed the post of Governor of Egypt in 933 but did not enter it during the first stint.[10] In 935 he was appointed a second time to the governorship whilst the country was in war with multiple factions. He launched a campaign to conquer Egypt by land and sea, the naval forces taking Tinnis and able to outflank Ibn Kayghanlah, the main opponent, forcing his retreat and ibn Tughj's subsequent entry to Futsat in August.[11] The Fatimids were a major threat at the time and considerable effort was put into repelling them, culminating in their defeat by Ubayd Allah, ibn Tughj's brother by November 936.[12] There was remarkable stability in the early years with an absence of economic chaos and Bedouin raids, coupled with prohibition of looting with helped pacify Egypt. ibn Tughj sought the honorific title (laqab) of Al-Ikhshīd, which means "King of the Farghanians" from the Abbasids and official designation arrived in July 939.[13]

Consolidation[edit]

Muhammad ibn Ra'iq took over Syria in 939, which threatened Egypt. Enraged, ibn Tughj threatened to recognise the Fatimids, the Abbasids' enemy as the Abbasid caliph did not formally declare for ibn Tughj, the de jure governor. Nonetheless, his simple goals resulted in mainly defensive actions and eventually came to terms with ibn Ra'iq where ibn Tughj would continue to have Egypt and the same for ibn Ra'iq in Syria, partioned along Ramla-Tiberias.[14] In 944 ibn Tughj was awarded the governorships of Egypt, Syria and Hijaz for 30 years to his family, and these posts would past to his son, Abu'l-Qasim.[15] Earlier in 942 he began striking coins in his own name, and the changes of power in Baghdad meant less central authority. In 945 he defeated Sayf al-Dawla, another adversary who took over Damascus,[16] which resulted in a truce until his death in 946. Abu'l-Qasim inherited the conflict with Sayf al-Dawla and fought him at Damascus, and al-Dawla soon occupied Aleppo in 947. There was a simultaneous revolt by Ghabun, governor of Middle Egypt who managed to occupy Futsat before his death in the same year. Nonetheless, Kafur's continuation of the appeasement policy managed to negotiate a settlement between the Ikhshidids and the Hamdanids where Damascus became Egyptian again and the tribute to the Hamdanids stopped, with borders largely in line with status quo ante bellum.[17] This peace practically settled the Ikhshidid borders and left the Fatimids, again as the main threat, with the Byzantines now Hamdanid responsbility. Kafur wielded real authority following ibn Tughj's death in 946 and was highly regarded among contemporaries.[18]

Troubles, decline and conquest by Fatimids[edit]

Nubian incursions occurred in 950 and a more serious invasion in 965 where Aswan was pillaged. This coincided with the famine of 963-968 while Berber, Bedouin and Carmatians all took advantage of the weakened state.[19] In 966 Kafur took over after Abu'l-Hasan's death, which furthered increased uncertainty due to his status as a eunuch. Nonetheless he received the title 'Usadh' meaning master from Baghdad giving some legitimacy. Ibn Killis, Kafur's vizier was arrested following Kafur's death in 968 and following his release traveled to Fatimid Ifriqiya and provided vital information to them.[20] In 934 a Fatimid invasion led by the eunuch Raydan managed to capture Alexandria but was repulsed.[21] Only a later attempt by the Fatimid general Jawhar al-Siqilli managed to conquer Egypt in 969. Ubayd Allah, the brother of ibn Tughj held out in Syria until 970 March where he was defeated and taken prisoner by Ja'far ibn Fallah, signalling the end of the Ikhshidid dynasty as a ruling power.

Walis of Egypt and Syria under the Ikhshidid Dynasty[edit]

935 - 946 Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid (محمد بن طغج الإخشيد)

946 - 961 Abu'l-Qasim Unujur ibn al-Ikhshid (أبو القاسم أنوجور بن الإخشيد)

961 - 966 Abu'l-Hasan Ali ibn al-Ikhshid (أبو الحسن علي بن الإخشيد)

966 - 968 Abu'l-Misk Kafur (أبو المسك كافور)

968 - 969 Abu'l-Fawaris Ahmad ibn Ali ibn al-Ikhshid (أبو الفوارس أحمد بن علي بن الإخشيد)

Military[edit]

Like the Fatimids after them, the Ikhshidids made use of Black slave troops.[22] The practice began with the Tulunids in 870 AD where the Africans are used as infantrymen, which is continued by the Ikhshidids due to financial reasons, as they were cheaper than Turkish military slaves which were used as cavalry.[23]

Coinage[edit]

Only gold coins are common, with coppers being extremely rare. Dinars were mainly struck at Misr (Fustat) and Filastin (al-Ramla), and dirhams were usually struck at Filastin, and less often at Tabariya, Dimashq, and Hims. Other mints for dirhams are quite rare. Dinars from Misr are often well struck, while the Filastin dinars are more crude. Dirhams are usually crudely struck and often are illegible on half of the coin.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2006). Peoples of Western Asia. p. 364. 
  2. ^ Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (2007). Historic Cities of the Islamic World. p. 280. 
  3. ^ Borrero, Mauricio (2009). Russia: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. p. 162. 
  4. ^ Abulafia, David (2011). The Mediterranean in History. p. 170. 
  5. ^ Haag, Michael (2012). The Tragedy of the Templars: The Rise and Fall of the Crusader States. 
  6. ^ Bacharach, Jere L. (2006). Medieval Islamic Civilization: A-K, index. p. 382. 
  7. ^ C.E. Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties, (Columbia University Press, 1996), 62.
  8. ^ The Fatimid Revolution (861-973) and its aftermath in North Africa, Michael Brett, The Cambridge History of Africa, Vol. 2 ed. J. D. Fage, Roland Anthony Oliver, (Cambridge University Press, 2002), 622.
  9. ^ Bacharach, Jere L. (October 1975). "The Career of Muḥammad Ibn Ṭughj Al-Ikhshīd, a Tenth-Century Governor of Egypt". Speculum. 50 (4): 590. doi:10.2307/2855469. 
  10. ^ Bacharach, Jere L. (October 1975). "The Career of Muḥammad Ibn Ṭughj Al-Ikhshīd, a Tenth-Century Governor of Egypt". Speculum. 50 (4): 591. doi:10.2307/2855469. 
  11. ^ Bacharach, Jere L. (October 1975). "The Career of Muḥammad Ibn Ṭughj Al-Ikhshīd, a Tenth-Century Governor of Egypt". Speculum. 50 (4): 593. doi:10.2307/2855469. 
  12. ^ Bacharach, Jere L. (October 1975). "The Career of Muḥammad Ibn Ṭughj Al-Ikhshīd, a Tenth-Century Governor of Egypt". Speculum. 50 (4): 594. doi:10.2307/2855469. 
  13. ^ Bacharach, Jere L. (October 1975). "The Career of Muḥammad Ibn Ṭughj Al-Ikhshīd, a Tenth-Century Governor of Egypt". Speculum. 50 (4): 595. doi:10.2307/2855469. 
  14. ^ Bacharach, Jere L. (October 1975). "The Career of Muḥammad Ibn Ṭughj Al-Ikhshīd, a Tenth-Century Governor of Egypt". Speculum. 50 (4): 599–600. doi:10.2307/2855469. 
  15. ^ Bacharach, Jere L. (October 1975). "The Career of Muḥammad Ibn Ṭughj Al-Ikhshīd, a Tenth-Century Governor of Egypt". Speculum. 50 (4): 597. doi:10.2307/2855469. 
  16. ^ Bacharach, Jere L. (October 1975). "The Career of Muḥammad Ibn Ṭughj Al-Ikhshīd, a Tenth-Century Governor of Egypt". Speculum. 50 (4): 608. doi:10.2307/2855469. 
  17. ^ Petry, Carl F. (10 Jul 2008). The Cambridge History of Egypt, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 115. 
  18. ^ Petry, Carl F. (10 Jul 2008). The Cambridge History of Egypt, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 115. 
  19. ^ Petry, Carl F. (10 Jul 2008). The Cambridge History of Egypt, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 116. 
  20. ^ Petry, Carl F. (10 Jul 2008). The Cambridge History of Egypt, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 117. 
  21. ^ El-Azhari, Taef Kamal (2013). "Gender and history in the Fatimid State: The case of Eunuchs 909-1171": 14. 
  22. ^ Lev, Yaacov (August 1987). "Army, Regime, and Society in Fatimid Egypt, 358-487/968-1094". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 19 (3): 337–365. 
  23. ^ Bacharach, Jere L. (November 1981). "African Military Slaves in the Medieval Middle East: The Cases of Iraq (869-955) and Egypt (868-1171)". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 13 (4): 477–480. 
  24. ^ Album, Stephen. A Checklist of Islamic Coins, Second Edition, January 1998, Santa Rosa, CA

External links[edit]