Talk:Seljuq dynasty

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seljuks and the middle ages[edit]

empowering of seljuks and mongols ae a mere example of the ararchism existed in the middle ages in the middle east, seljuks werent a real dynasty, peoples lives did not change by seljuks and they ddidn t offer anything

Fanciful "Seljuk Empire" map[edit]

It [[1]] is brim-full of errors, inventions, and distortions. When was Cyprus part of the Seljuk empire? When was most of Eastern Armenia? When was the Aegean coast (complete with its islands)? Answer - never! Either this map gets a major reworking or it has to go. Meowy 17:59, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Good call, Meowy! I have two of the three references listed[2]. Both Grousset[3] p156, and Hourani p467, show the Seljuk Empire extending into the Anatolia peninsula, but no where does the Empire touch/reach the Mediterranean. --Kansas Bear (talk) 18:14, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, I showed this to Aramgar, and he agrees. Kafka Liz (talk) 05:03, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I've asked its creator if he/she could correct its errors. The errors are so substantial that if they are not corrected I think the map should probably be removed from the Wikipedia articles that are linked to it. Meowy 15:34, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I am not the original creator of the map but I have just removed Cyprus and Aegean islands from it. The rest of the problems you are talking about (Great Armenia and Anatolian western coast) need more digging into reliable secondary sources--Dipa1965 (talk) 06:16, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Smyrna was certainly under Seljuq control for a while. I'm not sure about the rest of the western coast of Anatolia. ETA - actually, our article on Chios states that that island was briefly under Seljuq control in the 1090s. My sense is that in the decades after Manzikert the Byzantines lost nearly all of Anatolia, only to regain much of it during and after the First Crusade. john k (talk) 16:38, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
You are right that Smyrna was occupied by a Turkish emir and notorious pirate (Chaka of Smyrna, see Alexiad by Anna Comnena) and there was some bitter fighting between him and the Byzantines for the control of Chios and, maybe, other islands. However, I am worrying whether those beyliks could be attributed to the Seljuk Empire. I think they were at least semi-independent. Same (or, perhaps, even more) for the Danishmends. So it depends on the criterions that define a medieval empire. What do you think?--Dipa1965 (talk) 21:37, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
They were certainly semi-independent, but I think attributing all of them to Malik Shah's empire seems reasonable - what would be ideal would be to have separate colors for areas under direct Seljuq control and for semi-independent vassal regions. john k (talk) 23:49, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

As the creator of this locator map, I must say that stating this map is "brim-full of errors, inventions, and distortions" is rather rude. Meowy, please raise your concerns in a WP:CIVIL manner. I see from your talk page, however, that I am not the 1st one to raise objections to your tone and you are presently blocked until November 1.

Regarding the map itself, first and foremost this map is a snapshot in time, specifically of the Seljuk Empire at its height in 1092.

Description and support for the map[edit]

I have checked my references and the map truly matches Hall and Haywood, except that I mistook the colour for Cyprus and perhaps other islands (they are pretty tiny). My apologies, and thanks for fixing it, Dipa1965. As far as I can see, however, Hall and Haywood do show that the Seljuks overran all of Anatolia just before the death of Malil Shah. As noted by John K, the article Chios also states that that Aegean island was overrun by the Turks from 1090-1097.

"This came to an end when the island was briefly held (1090–97) by Çaka Bey, a Turkish emir in the region is Smyrna during the first expansion of the Turks to the Aegean coast. However, the Turks were driven back from the Aegean coast by the First Crusade, and the island reverted to Byzantine rule."

Similarly, the Seljuk campaigns in the Aegean says:

"A fierce opponent, Çaka Bey succeeded in inflicting the first Turkish naval victory against Byzantium and captured a few Aegean Islands, supplemented by the conquest of Smyrna and Abydos. However, Alexios I launched a counter-attack in the aftermath of the First Crusade. "

Note that Nicaea, barely across the Bosphorus, was held by the Turks from 1077 to 1097.

Now, there is a question of what type of control the capital exerted over the various parts of the Empire, but my referenced maps all include these various pieces within the "empire", that is except for the Danishmends.

So apart from my mis-coloring Cyprus, I don't see anything demonstrably wrong. I would be happy to discuss further. MapMaster (talk) 04:19, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm ... it seems MapMaster has both ownership issues and a lack of ownership skills. MapMaster's reasoning for the mistakes he admits to - "mistaking the colour", the islands "are pretty tiny" - is really limp. Making personal attacks on the editor who pointed out those errors just shows a childish nature. Mapmaster seems to be not masterful at all. Showing islands as part of the empire is not a "tiny" mistake to make - it is a very serious error because it implies the Seljuks had a navy at this time, which they patently did not. Nor did the Seljuks "overun all of Anatolia" - mounted raiding parties (not all of them acknowledging Seljuq supremacy) spread throughout much of the Byzantine empire after the defeat at Manzikert, but over a large area of territory they raided they did not establish permanent control to anything like the degree that is needed for that territory to be called part of a "Seljuk Empire". It has already been pointed out that two of the sources cited for Mapmaster's map, Grousset and Hourani, do not show the territory of the empire reaching the mediterranean sea. Neither does the map on pXVI in Claude Cahen's "The formation of Turkey", or the various maps in The Times Atlas of World History. The manner of MapMaster's response indicates that he really has little actual knowledge of this region's history. Some expert editors are needed. Meowy 17:46, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
I've checked the map in "The Times Complete History of the World", 2007, (the successor to "The Times Atlas of World History") and for their Great Seljuk Empire map, showing the 1090 period, nowhere does their territory touch the coastline - neither on the Black Sea, the Aegean, or the Mediterranean. The same for map 6, titled "Map showing the territories of the Great Seljuks, on page 26 of "The Turks, A Journey of 1000 Years", 2005; none of their territory is shown touching the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, or Mediterranean Sea. Because I have been unable to located a published map that bears any comparison to the map drawn by Mapmaster, and all the maps I have been able to locate show very different borders to the territory of the Grea Seljug Empire, I have fact tagged all examples of this map on Wikipedia. Meowy 21:29, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
In the The Atlas of World History by Jeremy Black (2005), the territory does indeed touch the coastline, and is a very, very close match to the one on page 228. I would scan the image, but that would cause copyright problems. I added this reference to replace your fact tags as it verifies the map produced. Jeremy Black is well respected, and not just any editor as you can see. Monsieurdl mon talk 22:25, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
There are 5 sources which disagree with your "Atlas of World History" map - three of them are specialist books about Turkey and are not just general atlases. If you scan the map and post it without attribution, in a few days it will be automatically erased - nobody is going to hang you for breaking copyright laws! Also, maps, like all illustrations, are there to illustrate content in the article - where is the content with sources that says the empire stretched to the Mediterranean? BTW, there is no "Atlas of World History" listed on his webpage [4], so the author is probably just some other Jeremy Black. Meowy 22:32, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Then the webpage is missing his contribution. In the Atlas, he is listed clearly: Professor Jeremy Black, Department of History, University of Exeter, UK. The consultants on the Atlas are very impressive as well, and so it is very hard for me to believe that Professor Black would allow such a large amount of errors to go by.
As for the Mediterranean, it does note that "1095: Recaptured by Fatimids" in Palestine just under Jerusalem. The Great Seljuk Empire does stretch along the Mediterranean from south of Antioch level with the southern coast of Cyprus all the way down to Jerusalem. Wow, what a controversy, eh? Monsieurdl mon talk 22:54, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have been clearer - by Mediterranean, I meant the part of the Mediterranean sea along the present-day southern coast of Turkey. Meowy 00:09, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Then the first step would be for the creator of that map to remove Grousset and Hourani as references, since both Grousset(p156) and Hourani(p467) only show the Seljuk Empire extending into the Anatolia peninsula, and give viable references that support this "map". --Kansas Bear (talk) 23:01, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Grousset and Hourani belong in the references because their maps provided information to build the map in question. No two historical maps are exactly the same unless one is derived from the other. Just like a Wikipedia article, a good historical map will use multiple sources although these sources may present different data or data differently.
Now, regarding Grousset, his map does indeed show that the Turks had conquered all of Anatolia except for the Black Sea coast line. It also shows that the western lands were reconquered by Byzantine at the end of the century, but Grousset certainly supports this map in question.
Regarding Hourani, it is unfortunate that he does not precisely date his map, but merely states that it represents the territory " . . . toward the end of the eleventh century". From my research, I would date the map at 1098 or 1099. Certainly Hourani does not conflict with the Wikipedia map. MapMaster (talk) 23:45, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Hey everyone- read this explanation by Professor Black on page 92 in another one of his books- it may get to the heart of the problem we are facing with this map. Monsieurdl mon talk 23:22, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
The heart of this problem is that maps and atlases don't often give sources or indicate why a line is drawn where it is. Genarally a good map is good because it stands at the evolutionary top of a tall pile of earlier maps. But, all other things being equal, if we have a ratio of 5 to 1 for maps that do not show the territory extending to the Aegean, then the majority wins. And things are probably not equal - three of those 5 are maps are from specialist books, not general atlases. MapMaster should have used the majority position when making his map, not the minority one. Meowy 23:57, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I was thinking of just including a different map so there is no question as to its accuracy. That would be the most viable solution instead of waiting on a new edited one. Monsieurdl mon talk 01:05, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
According to various sources, at the time of Malik Shah's death in 1092 -- at the time of this map -- the Turks had effectively driven the Byzantine armies and governors/government out of Anatolia. That's what this maps shows. Earlier in the thread (see Talk:Seljuq_dynasty#Description and support for the map), I listed quite a bit of evidence that the Turks had reached the coast, including evidence that they had taken a couple of Aegean islands. Isn't this enough?? Thanks, MapMaster (talk) 04:13, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
It is not enough. I'm sorry, but you don't really know much about the history of the Byzantine Empire at this period if you can write "Turks had effectively driven the Byzantine armies and governors/government out of Anatolia". You also seem to be ignoring the fact that two of the three sources you cited as a source for your map show a different border from what your map shows. And three more sources, the ones I cited, also show a different border that the one shown on your map. Why have you decided to take the minority position for your map, rather than the majority one? Meowy 16:54, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Which sources? The whole entire problem is that we cannot guarantee an accurate map from this period because of conflicting sources. I have tried to lend my assistance, but this will take some more work. I have suggested the use of another map until this one can be resolved so that adequate time is given. Monsieurdl mon talk 18:14, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Meowy, I don't think that personal attacks are helping the matter much. Please stop. Thank you.
There is significant evidence that the Byzantines were driven out of Anatolia by 1092, the date of this map.
  • There are now five map references listed here, four of which (including Grousset) agree with the outlines of this map. The fifth, Hourani, is showing outlines of control in Anatolia after the re-conquests of the First Crusade.
  • There is also significant textual support for the loss of Anatolia by the Byzantines. The major cities of Anatolia, including Nicaea, Smyrna, and Ephesus, were all under Turk control by 1092. Several islands were also captured by the Turks, as shown earlier in this thread.
So, again, I don't see anything wrong with this map. Let me ask Meowy whether he or she believes that Smyrna, Ephesus, and Nicaea were under Turkish control in 1092.
Thanks, MapMaster (talk) 05:58, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Mapmaster - please stop behaving in this insulting manner. You claim I am making "personal attacks", yet there is nothing in my above post that could be construed as a personal attack. I'm left with the conclusion that you think anyone who questions the accuracy of your maps is making a personal attack on you. I do not have access to the Grousset and the Hourani sources - but Kansas Bear has stated that their maps do not show the same borders as shown on your map. The maps in the four sources that I have cited - "The Times Complete History of the World", 2007 edition; "The Times Atlas of World History", 1986 edition; "The Turks, A Journey of 1000 Years", Royal Academy of Arts, 2005; "The Formation of Turkey", Claude Cahen, 2001 - do not agree with the borders shown in your map. "The Byzantines" were not "driven out of Anatolia by 1092" and there is no textual support for such a bizarre view. Meowy 15:41, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Meowy, you did take a jab at MapMaster when you said "I'm sorry, but you don't really know much about the history of the Byzantine Empire ...", no matter what comes after. Even something such as this can easily divert the crux of the problem. Our problem is the accuracy of the map, and providing proper sources for the entire map, not just cities. I'm going to create a separate section for the listing of individual sources that prove your map is accurate, and then we can evaluate it and add to it. I think this is a fair way to approach it. Monsieurdl mon talk 19:15, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Sources for the Seljuk Empire in 1092 map[edit]

All sources for the map created by MapMaster can go under this section for analysis. Monsieurdl mon talk 19:23, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

    1. History of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, Volume 1 by Ezel Kural Shaw (1976), p. 7: "The establishment of the Seljuks of Rum posed a threat to Malikşah, who responded by establishing his dominion in northern Syria and reaching the Mediterranean."
    2. Black, Jeremy. The Atlas of World History. Covent Garden Books, American Edition, New York. p. p. 228. , ISBN 9780756618612
    3. Grousset, René (1970) The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia, New Brunswick:Rutgers University Press, 8th paperback edition, 2002, p. 156.
    4. Hall, Simon and John Haywood (1997) The Complete Atlas of World History: The Medieval & Early Modern World, A.D. 600 - 1783, Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference.
    5. Holt, Peter Malcolm; Ann K. S. Lambton; Bernard Lewis (1977) The Cambridge history of Islam, Volume 1, p, 260, ISBN 978-0521291354. Map is on page 260. Also, on page 267: "Apart from the territories of Philaretos and Gabriel, . . . the only part of Anatolia which was not in Turkish hands was the eastern Black Sea region. In Trebizond, which was taken back from the Turks in 1075, a Greek dukedom had been founded."
    6. Shepherd, William (1911) "Europe and the Mediterranean Lands about 1097", Historical Atlas, New York: Henry Holt and Company.
    7. Hourani, Albert (1991) A History of the Arab Peoples, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, p. 467. Unfortunately, this map is not dated any more precisely than " . . . toward the end of the eleventh century".
    8. Brownworth, Lars (2009) Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization, Crown Publishers, ISBN 978-0307407955: ". . . the Muslims captured Ephesus in 1090 and spread out to the Greek islands. Chios, Rhodes, and Lesbos fell in quick succession." p. 233.
    9. Further information can be gleaned from the fact that by 1092, the major cities of western Anatolia -- Nicaea, Smyrna, and Ephesus -- and even several Aegean islands were all in Turkish hands. I can find no source that lists any locations within Anatolia that were under Byzantine control in 1092.
    10. Luscombe, David The new Cambridge medieval history, Volume 2; Volume 4, p. 248: "By 1095 Alexios . . . was in a position to contemplate recovering Anatolia from the Turks. He moved troops across the Bosphorus and, using Nicomedia as a base, created a defensible zone, but it soon became clear he did not have the resources to effect a reconquest of Anatolia. . . Alexios had made the situation still worse at the very beginning of his reign [he took the throne in 1081] by withdrawing the remaining Byzantine garrisons from Anatolia."

I really think the Shepherd map is ideal, albeit from 1911- it shows what my Black map shows. Monsieurdl mon talk 23:13, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, Shepherd's maps are all over Wikipedia and although I didn't use Shepherd to build this map under discussion, Shepherd provides support for it. And thank you for mediating this, Monsieurdi -- it is much appreciated. MapMaster (talk) 23:45, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
No problem at all... getting it right is worth the effort. I just wish I had more sources in my library to help, but they seem to be weak on maps and strong on text in this instance. Monsieurdl mon talk 01:58, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
That Shepherd map is a childish simplification, full of mistakes and generalisations. How could you consider it as a legitimate source for creating a map? Do you consider that a map which claims 50% of central Anatolia is Muslim in 1097 is a legitimate source? (Probably 10% is about right). Do you consider that a map which shows 100% of Armenia and Georgia as Muslim in 1097 is a legitimate source? (A correct figure would be about 1%). From what fantasy-history textbook did Shepherd, 100 years ago, get the information that Caeserae and Melitene were "petty Armenian states"? Melitene, for example, was an Arab emirate until its 930s century capture by the Byzantines. After the collapse of central control from Constantinople after Manzikert, the local Byzantine administration continued to hold it until its capture by the Danishmendid Turks in about 1101. The population throughout those changes was almost entirely Syrian. I guess that Shepherd thought that it was a "petty Armenian state" because the Byzantine-appointed governor was an ethnic Armenian. A bit like MapMaster thinking that all of Anatolia was part of the Seljuk Empire because some individuals who happened to be ethnic Turks briefly ruled settlements like Smyrna. Also a bit like MapMaster assuming that because direct rule from Constantinople was disrupted, every bit of the empire should suddenly be considered as part of some other empire! The Greek-Orthodox Armenian governors of Melitene, Edessa, and Marash had all received and accepted the title of curopalates from the Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus - the territories they controlled were all still within that empire. And why does the territory of those "petty Armenian states" not include places actually held and ruled independently by Armenians, such as Lampron and its district, west of Tarsus and within what the map falsely claims to be Seljuk territory. From what fantasy history textbook did Shepherd get the information that Kars or Ani was part of the "Dominions of the Seljuk Turks"? Ani was under Shaddadid control from about 1072, and the Saddadids were not even Turks! From what fantasy history textbook did he get the idea that Abkhazia was part of the "Dominions of the Seljuk Turks"? Meowy 20:11, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Turko-Persian v2[edit]

I have doubts whether there is actually a published source where this matter is directly addressed, so some sort of interpretation of sourced material seems to be needed here. My position: The Great Seljuq Empire is what's defined as Turko-Persian by the sources, and the Seljuq dynasty itself is basically considered the Turkish part of this Turko-Persian entity. That's why the Seljuq dynasty is casually defined as Turkish dynasty by Encyclopedia Brittanica and that's why they are also synonymously referred to as Seljuq Turks, but never as Seljuq Persians.

Similarly, the term, Persianate, seems to be used exclusively in the context of an entire society (i.e. Persianate society) by the academic community. So I will argue it's technically inaccurate to attach it to a dynasty, which is essentially a family.

My proposition for the first two sentences is as follow:

The House of Seljuq (Persian: سلجوقيان‎ Saljūqīyān; Turkish: Selçuklular) was a Turkish Sunni Muslim dynasty, originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks. They were one of the patrons of the Turko-Persian tradition in the medieval West and Central Asia.

Regards. --Mttll (talk) 03:46, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Several examples from Google Books to illustrate my point:

On the dynasty...

  • "... reached Anatolia (Rūm, hence the surname Rūmī), a region that enjoyed peace and prosperity under the rule of the Turkish Seljuq dynasty." (The 100 Most Influential Writers of All Time)
  • "... under the rule of the Turkish Seljuq dynasty." (Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions)
  • "In the eleventh century, the Turkish Seljuk dynasty conquered Baghdad and won the title of sultan, or ruler, from its caliph (p. 204)." (A Brief History of the Western World)

On the empire...

  • "After the Mongols defeated the Seljuk armies in 1243, the Seljuk Turko-Persian Empire slowly crumbled" (Nations That Evolved From The Five Sons of Shem)
  • "...dates to the rise of the Seljuk dynasty in the Turco-Persian Empire in 1037." (Encyclopedia of the Literature of Empire)

And one from Google Scholar:

  • "The Seljuks were the first Turkish dynasty to rule the Muslim World reviving the dying Caliphate." (Muslim Architecture under Seljuk Patronage (1038-1327))

--Mttll (talk) 04:21, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

I do not believe anyone, muchless myself, has ever stated that the Seljuq dynasty wasn't Turkish. The usage in the sentence, "....originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks.", I believe says it all. Also, as I have explained time and time again, Persianate, has nothing to do with ethnicity or race, this being in response to, "....synonymously referred to as Seljuq Turks, but never as Seljuq Persians.". My intent, which I am sure will be vilified, was to show the dynasty as more than just a one dimensional ethnic group but as a dynasty that patronized Persian government, literature, art and architecture, while the Rum Seljuqs continued this they also "evolved" this form of architecture(which by the way later influenced Indian architecture!!)[5]
Do we really need to call it a "Turkish(ethnicity) dynasty originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks(ethnicity)."? So we tell the reader this was a "Turkish dynasty orginating from a branch of Turks."? Nothing like redundancy.
Instead how about,
1. "The House of Seljuq was a Turko-Persian(culture) Sunni Muslim(religion) dynasty, originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks(ethnicity)."
Or,
2. "The House of Seljuq was an Oghuz Turk(ethnicity) Sunni Muslim(religion) dynasty, that adopted the Turko-Persian culture(culture)."--Defensor Ursa 06:21, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
IF we go with option #2, we could re-write the lede sentence in Sultanate of Rum to;
"The Sultanate of Rum or Sultanate of Seljuk, was a Turko-Persian(culture) Sunni Muslim(religion) state in Anatolia, of Seljuk Turk(ethnicity) origin that existed from 1077 to 1307, with capitals first at İznik and then at Konya.", thus Seljuk Turks would link to option #2 which mentions ethnicity first! --Defensor Ursa 06:36, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Similarly, I don't think anyone questions the association of the Seljuqs with Persian culture. The question here is about the opening sentence. In other words, we need the simplest description of who the Seljuqs were. Let's check some English dictionaries:
Oxford Dictionaries (Link)
Seljuk: a member of any of the Turkish dynasties which ruled Asia Minor in the 11th to 13th centuries, successfully invading the Byzantine Empire and defending the Holy Land against the Crusaders.
Meriam Webster (Link)
Seljuk: of or relating to any of several Turkish dynasties ruling over a great part of western Asia in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries
The Free Dictionary by Farlex (Link)
Seljuk: a member of any of the pre-Ottoman Turkish dynasties ruling over large parts of Asia in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries a.d
Reference.com (Link)
Seljuk: noting or pertaining to any of several Turkish dynasties that ruled over large parts of Asia from the 11th to the 13th centuries.
Another thing is answered within the term, Turko-Persian:
The composite Turko-Persian tradition was a variant of Islamic culture. It was Persianate in that it was centered on a lettered tradition of Iranian origin; it was Turkic insofar as it was for many generations patronized by rulers of Turkic background
So like I said, the state (the Great Seljuq Empire) is what's called Turko-Persian, the society is what's called Persianate while the dynasty itself is called Turkish. That seems to be the whole point of this terminology. --Mttll (talk) 14:18, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
Actually, according to Wikipedia:Lead, "The lead section (also known as the lead, introduction or intro) of a Wikipedia article is the section before the table of contents and the first heading. The lead serves as an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important aspects.". I am assuming you have read the article. :-D
Following that, my idea(s) for the lead sentence reflects what is in the article, actually little is said about their religion but I'm nice. --Defensor Ursa 16:00, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
The opening sentence is just a part of the lead section. The culturally Persian aspect of the Seljuqs can be expressed in the very second sentence. What I'm arguing is that the first sentence should be reserved for the simplest definition of who the Seljuqs were and the answer is, according to any online English dictionary I have seen so far, "a Turkish dynasty". --Mttll (talk) 23:02, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
And I believe the opening sentence should tell the reader exactly what this dynasty was, "The House of Seljuq was an Oghuz Turk(ethnicity) Sunni Muslim(religion) dynasty, that adopted Turko-Persian culture(culture)." --Defensor Ursa 04:04, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
How does this sound?
The House of Seljuq was a Turkish Sunni Muslim dynasty that patronated Turko-Persian cultural tradition in the medieval West and Central Asia. They originated from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks.
I changed "adopt" to "patronate", because the Seljuqs seem to be the biggest contributors to the said tradition. --Mttll (talk) 04:49, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Change patronate to patronized. Are you sure you don't want "Oghuz Turkish" instead of "Turkish"?
"The House of Seljuq was a/an Turkish(Oghuz Turkish?) Sunni Muslim dynasty that patronized Turko-Persian cultural tradition in the medieval West and Central Asia."?
Thoughts? --Defensor Ursa 05:26, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't think Oghuz Turkish is a common expression in English, except in reference to the language Oghuz Turks speak/spoke, so I'd go with Turkish. And thinking twice, the Qynyk branch of Oghuz Turks is immediately mentioned in the Early history/Origins section, so perhaps there is no need to mention them in the lead. In short, it seems we have reached an agreement on the opening sentence. --Mttll (talk) 07:51, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

There is absoltely no doubt that the Seljuqs - meaning the tribe - was Turkic in origin. In fact, Ẓāhir ud-Dīn Nīshāpūrī records in his Saljuqnāma that the very first Seljuqs, including Toghrol and Chaghri, had an exotic appearance in the eyes of the Khorasani Iranians: their Mongolid physical features, the way they dressed, the way they styled their hair, their way of life, etc. Especially Alp Arslan's exotic looks and his very long mustache are pointed out. Unlike the Ghaznavids who - though nominally "Turks" by origin - had become thoroughly Persianized, the Seljuqs remained Turks: they remained nomads, they kept their Turkic way of life and their strong tribal bonds. Yet, that dramatically changed when Alp Arslan appointed Nizām al-Mulk as the Atabeg of the young Malik Shāh: Nizām al-Mulk originated from an aristrocratic Persian family, on his side with strong bonds to Iranian culture and identity. Nizām al-Mulk was an outspoken enemy of the Turkish tribal chiefs and the counter-ballance to Seljuq nomadism. That's why there needs to be a clear distinction not only between the Qynyk Turkish tribe and the non-tribal Iranian majority of the Seljuq empire, but also between the ruling Seljuq elite and the rest of the tribe. Malik Shāh's "persophile" attitude and his "Persianness" were the reason why his uncle attacked him. It was Nizām al-Mulk's political genius that eleminated the powerful Turkish tribal chiefes, inlcuding Qāvord (the eldest of the Seljuq tribal chiefs and Malik Shāh's paternal uncle). The Seljuqs reformed the army, created a powerful army independent of Turkoman tribal chiefs, consisting predominantly of Kurdish and Arab contingents. It was this army that drove the Turks out of Khorasan and forced them to the Western periphery. This deflection of the "uncivilized Oghuz" (in the words of Nizām al-Mulk) is the main reason for the Turkification of Anatolia. It served two purposes: it drove the Turks out of the Persian mainland - the heart of the Seljuq Empire - and, at the same time, it weakened the Christian rivals in the West. The Turks remained an alien group to the ruling elite who had become thoroughly Persianized. Even in Anatolia, Rum Seljuqs - the descendants of Qāvord - had become fully Persianized. To an extent, that they even claimed to be of royal Persian origin (a hillarious claim, since everyone knew that the dynasty was of Turkish origin). For more information and reliable source, please see my draft in the German Wikipedia. --Lysozym (talk) 22:23, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Comment on "Turko-Persian culture" or "Persianate" culture or both? I think the Encyclopaedia of Islam and Encyclopaedia Iranica have great points worth mentioning..

  • "Encyclopaedia of Islam: “Coming as they did through Transoxiana which was still substantially Iranian and into Persia proper, the Saljuqs -- with no high-level Turkish cultural or literary heritage of their own-- took over that of Persia, so that the Persian language became that of administration and culture in their lands of Persia and Anatolia”"(Bosworth, C.E.; Hillenbrand, R.; Rogers, J.M.; Blois, F.C. de; Darley-Doran, R.E. (1995), "Saldjukids", Encyclopaedia of Islam , New Ed., vol. 8:936-978)
  • "Finally, as noted by Yarshater, “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”"(Yarshater, Ehsan (2004), “Iran: Iranian History in the Islamic Period", Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition.)
  • "Turko-Persian" cultural tradition is in my opinion incorrect as there is not a single Turkish verse/manuscript from the Seljuq era..
  • Also the attempted deletion of the word Persianate by Mttll is not correct. I would prefer Persianate culture per the strong sources just quoted above.
  • I would request that since there are all sorts of nationalist types in this article and the related Seljuq of Rum, some feedback from RFC or admins should be oobtained.. Lysozym and Kansas Bear actually use sources while not denying what Mttll is stating, but it is not working the other way around. So perhaps a 3rd party intervention can help. --108.18.145.11 (talk) 10:05, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
I totally agree wil the IP above. As I have previously mentioned, there is no doubt that the Seljuqs were of Central Asian Turkic origin. Yet, the statement that they "patronized Turko-Persian tradition" is not the best wording. They patronized Persian traditions and culture, they adopted the Persian language, and they began to dress and to behave like Persians. Of course, that made them a "Turko-Persian" dynasty, but the "Turko-" in Turko-Persian merely points to their Turkic origins while it was the Persian element that defined their culture. And I want to repeat once more: there needs to be a clear distinction between the ruling house and the Seljuq tribe. The ruling house was not identical with the whole tribe. And they were not universally accepted as the leaders of the tribe. In fact, it was their progressive Persianization that alienated other members of the tribe who remained more or less nomadic Turkic tribesmen. This conflict - between sedentary Persians and nomadic Turks - was the main reason for the Seljuq relovlts against Malik Shah and Sultan Sanjar. It was also the main reason for the deflection of the Turkomans out of Khorasan to Anatolia. --Lysozym (talk) 17:50, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Let's avoid making borderline original research statements please. I mean, you wouldn't have to convince me, you would have to convince all those sources which define the Seljuqs a Turkish dynasty. Anyway, if better wording is needed, what do you think about the following:
The House of Seljuq was a Turkish Sunni Muslim dynasty that gradually adopted Persian culture and contributed to the Turko-Persian tradition in the medieval West and Central Asia.
Mttll (talk) 21:38, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
There is no need to convince you or any other "sources". It's about presenting and reflecting the most reliable sources. Besides that, I do not understand why all of this information has to be stuck into one sentence. Seljuq history and political importance is much more complex than that.
As for the intro, I suggest a word-to-word translation from my German draft which includes all important aspects of the Seljuq dynasty: the years they came to power, their capitals, their origin, their political and religious importance as well as the aspect of Persianization and the patronage of Persian culture, language and literature.
As for your sentence above: linking the Seljuqs to the modern Turkish people is wrong. They were a branch of the Qynyq Oghuz who - by all scholarly standards - are to be considered Turkmens. There is a difference between the modern Turkish population of Anatolia and the Central Asian Turkmen. --Lysozym (talk) 23:34, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, as it so happens the most reliable sources define the Seljuks as a Turkish dynasty as I showed time and time again.
Dictionaries:
Oxford Dictionaries (Link), Seljuk: a member of any of the Turkish dynasties which ruled Asia Minor in the 11th to 13th centuries, successfully invading the Byzantine Empire and defending the Holy Land against the Crusaders.
Meriam Webster (Link),Seljuk: of or relating to any of several Turkish dynasties ruling over a great part of western Asia in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries
The Free Dictionary by Farlex (Link), Seljuk: a member of any of the pre-Ottoman Turkish dynasties ruling over large parts of Asia in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries a.d
Reference.com (Link), Seljuk: noting or pertaining to any of several Turkish dynasties that ruled over large parts of Asia from the 11th to the 13th centuries.
Encyclopedias:
Encyclopedia Brittanica (Link), "Seljuq (Turkish dynasty)"
Encyclopedia of World Biography (Link), "Alp Arslan (1026-1072) was the second Seljuk sultan of Persia and Iraq and a member of the Turkish dynasty which revitalized Moslem rule in the declining days of the Abbasid caliphate."
A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Link), Seljuk or Saljuk archictecture. Taking its name from a Turkish Islamic dynasty which, with its branches, ruled in Iran, Iraq, and Syria from 1038 to 1194 and in Anatolia from 1077 to 1307
And no, Turkmen in this context doesn't refer to Turkmens of Turkmenistan but to:
Oghuz Turks, a large branch of Turkic peoples
Specially, Muslim Nomadic Oghuz Turks (the most common usage of the word "Turkmen", in 10th-18th centuries)
See Turkmen (disambiguation pages)
Lastly, let's not forget the last surviving Seljuk dynasty was the Sultanate of Rum in Anatolia and it was during their reign Turkey became Turkey. --Mttll (talk) 04:36, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
A dictionary - especially a dictionary of the English language - is not a reliable source on the Seljuqs. There are plenty more sources, entire books written about this, by real experts. "Turkish" has a different meaning in academic sources than in popular speech. Comparable to "Iranian", "Roman" and "Arab", "Turkish" is historical context is NOT identical with the modern Turkish population of Turkey which was more or less created by Attatürk less than 100 years ago. The Alans that once moved as far as Spain were Iranian in ethnolinguistic context, but they were NOT identical with modern Iranians. The same goes to the Turks and the "Turkish" aspect.
And you once again fail to distinuish between the Oghuz migration and the Seljuq Sultanate. It was NOT the Seljuqs who Turkicized Anatolia, but the following Turkish beyliqs. The Seljuqs were not even identified as Turks even though it was clear to everyone that they were of Turkish (meaning Turkoman) origin. Turkicization was NOT state-sponsored politics of the Seljuqs neither did they have any interest in Turkicizing anyone. The word "Turk" remained pejorative until the late Tanzimat era. Your conclusion is simply wrong and shows that you read the most simplistic descriptions of that era, but you do not know - and do not understand - the complexity of the actual situation. Either we write a simplistic, non-academic, low-class article using your argumentation and your simplistic and low-class sources, or we use real academic sources and write a really good article. Just taking a look at the most reliable sources, i. e. the Encyclopaedia of Islam (or the Türk İslâm Ansiklopedisi), books published by P. Golden, R. Grousset, C.E. Bosworth, etc shows that you actually do not have the qualification to write such a complex article. Sorry. It's not meant to be offensive. If you want to see a good article on the Seljuqs (in this case the Seljuqs of Rum), read this one. --Lysozym (talk) 11:12, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Let me give you an analogy that actually works: Iranian Alans to modern Persians is like Turkic Avars to modern Turks. While Seljuq Turks to modern Turks is like Sassanid Persians to modern Persians.
  • The Seljuqs, or rather Seljuq Turks, were of course identified as Turks by their contemporaries as well as modern scholars.
  • Anatolia started to be known as Turkey under the Seljuq Sultanate of Rum according to Encyclopedia Brittanica.
  • And thank you for yet another source. So let's just quote how Encyclopedia Iranica sees fit to describe the Seljuqs in its subtitle which would be analogous to an opening sentence in Wikipedia:
dynasty of Turkish origin that ruled much of Anatolia (Rum), ca. 1081-1308.
This shows just how much Wikipedia deviates from any mainstream source on this matter for the sake of a select few Wikipedia editors who self-profess to understand "the complexity of the situation". --Mttll (talk) 13:17, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
"Turchia" was a name adopted in European languages. It was not the endonym of the Seljuq realm. And the Seljuqs themselves avoided the expression "Turk" which was - at that time - synonymous with "barbarian".
As for Iranica: nobody has ever questioned that the Seljuqs were of Turkish origin. Your analgoy, however, is wrong. The modern Turkish population formed during the past 500 years in the Ottoman Empire. The ethnogenesis of the modern Anatolian Turks is overwhlemingly Non-Turkish, i. e. Greek, Armenian, Kurdish. The Turkoman tribes that came to Anatolia during the Seljuq and Ottoman conquests Turkified the population linguistically. The same happened a few centuries earlier in Central Asia, when Persian-speaking dynasties changed the language of the region.
You also still fail to understand that "Turkish" is not necessairily identical with the modern Turkish population. In English, "Turkish" means "Citizen of Turkey", "ethnically Turkish" and "member of Turkic ethno-linguistic group". Claiming that the Seljuqs were "Turkish" is like claiming that the Franks were "German" (instead of "Germanic"). Have you actually read the Iranica article?! Or did you just read the first sentence and believe that you now have the qualification to write an academic article?! --Lysozym (talk) 21:10, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Let's just focus on the matter at hand, shall we?
  • Encyclopedia Brittanica
- Seljuq (Turkish dynasty) (Link)
- SELJUQ TURKS (Seljuq Turks from the article Islamic world) (Link)
- The Seljuqs were a family among the Oghuz Turks, a label applied to the migratory pastoralists of the Syr Darya–Oxus basin. (Link)
  • Columbia Encyclopedia
- Seljuks → Seljuks: see Turks. (Link)
- Turks → Seljuk Empire: At the beginning of the 11th cent. a great wave of Seljuk Turks, led by Tughril Beg, conquered Khwarazm and Iran. They entered Baghdad in 1055; Tughril Beg was proclaimed sultan. (Link)
  • Encyclopedia Iranica
- Saljuqs → SALJUQS iii. SALJUQS OF RUM: dynasty of Turkish origin that ruled much of Anatolia (Rum), ca. 1081-1308. (Link)
The last source is especially very telling, because it says:
The Encyclopædia Iranica is a comprehensive research tool dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.
Because if Iranian or Persian aspect is first and foremost or central to something, I believe we can trust this source to express that. And yet it does no such thing for the Seljuqs. Wikipedia seems alone in that respect for some reason. --Mttll (talk) 03:24, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Mttll, you still fail to understand what this discussion is about. Nobody in here claims that the Seljuqs were not Turkish. However, your understanding of the term "Turkish" is totally different from what scholars mean. To give you an example: in this interview with CNN, Prof. Richard Frye - perhaps the best known living Iranist in the world - is talking of a "Greater Iran" that reaches "from Hungary to China". It needs understanding of Iranian studies and academic to understand what he is actually talking about. While Iranian nationalists may think of some kind of Iranian super-state, anti-Iranian groups will feel insulted by the words of this great scholar. Yet, both groups fail to understand what he is actually talking about.
Your understanding of the word "Turkish" is totally different from what real scholars mean when speaking of the "Turkish Seljuqs". The word "Turkish" in this context is to be understood as "Central Asian Oghuz" and NOT as "Turkish-speaking sedentary population of Anatolia".
Your "analysis" of Iranica is wrong. For example, it dedicates an entire article to "Saljuqid literature" which, as it is explained, is "literary works in Persian produced between 432/1040 and 617/1220.". It continues: "In a territory that extended from Khorasan to Anatolia, the Saljuqs entrusted their internal politics to viziers and secretaries of Iranian stock and adopted Persian as the official language of the administration and of much of the court correspondence. The most important and immediate effect of these decisions was the very widespread diffusion of Persian as a literary language alongside Arabic. The Saljuqs, who had no comparable cultural and literary heritage of their own in Turkish to counter Persian,accepted and cultivated the prestigious literary tradition provided by Persian language and culture. By so doing, they played a significant role in the diffusion of the Persian literary language and of the culture expressed by it, and this in turn led to a reappraisal and partial rejection of the dominance of Arabic as the lingua franca of educated society in the Middle East." There is also another article named Persian manuscripts in Ottoman and modern Turkish libraries which reflects the great influence of Persian culture and literature in Anatolia. --Lysozym (talk) 16:23, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate you having your elaborate interpretation of the sources, but there is no room for original research in Wikipedia. The simple truth of the matter is that Encyclopedia Iranica, like all the other sources on this subject, defines the Seljuqs as a Turkish dynasty first and foremost. And in Encyclopedia Columbia, the Seljuks are discussed under the title, Turks, along with pre-Seljuq Turkic peoples, the Ottomans as well as modern Turkey. (Link) The situation is crystal clear, really. --Mttll (talk) 06:19, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
OK, I give up. It's hard to explain something to someone who does not even understand the point in question. *sigh* --Lysozym (talk) 14:37, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Spelling[edit]

I'm sorry if this has already been debated, but why is this article entitled "Seljuq" when "Seljuk" is much more established? I got 1,060,000 g-hits for "Seljuk" and 272,000 for "Seljuq," but I would be surprised if the division isn't more extreme in the printed word. The Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster both list "Seljuk" and not "Seljuq." All the books I have read on them (which do tend to be older) use "Seljuk" or even "Seljouk." "Seljuk" is more established in English and is the only thing that looks right to me, but if authenticity is an issue shouldn't we spell it seljukh? I don't think they themselves pronounced qaf propperly.

Use of Iran not Persia[edit]

User:Ehsan01 has decided to change Persia to Iran along with linking it to Iran.[6] This is not only POV editing, but anachronistic since the Islamic Republic of Iran did not exist at that time! Did Iran exist in 1037? --Kansas Bear (talk) 18:50, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

The name Iran exists since Sasanian Empire, or even older as an ethnic identity, it's not related to that so-called Islamic Republic, it's the native and old name of Iran/Persia. See Iran (word) and Name of Iran. But we can't use Iran instead of Persia for the Seljuq era. Because all major sources used "Persia" as the official name until 1935 (see two mentioned articles). Using Iran is anachronism (for this article and other similar articles). --Zyma (talk) 22:08, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
After waiting one week and having no response from user:Ehsan01, I will change it back to Persia. --Kansas Bear (talk) 03:06, 19 March 2015 (UTC)