- Khwarazmian dynasty
← 1077–1231 → Capital Gurganj Language(s) Persian
Oghuz Turkic (army)
Religion Sunni Islam Government Oligarchy Khwarazm-Shah or Sultan - 1077-1096/7 Anushtigin Gharchai - 1220-1231 Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu Historical era Medieval - Established 1077 - Disestablished 1231 Area - 1218 est. 3,600,000 km2 (1,389,968 sq mi)
The Khwarazmian dynasty or Khwarezmian dynasty, also known as Khwarezmids, dynasty of Khwarazm Shahs or Khwarezm-Shah dynasty (and spelling variants, from Persian خوارزمشاهیان Khwārazmshāhiyān, "Kings of Khwarezmia") was a Persianate Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin.
They ruled Greater Iran in the High Middle Ages, in the period of about 1077 to 1231, first as vassals of the Seljuqs, Kara-Khitan, and later as independent rulers, up until the Mongol invasions of the 13th century. The dynasty was founded by Anush Tigin Gharchai, a former Turkish slave of the Seljuq sultans, who was appointed the governor of Khwarezm. His son, Qutb ad-Din Muhammad I, became the first hereditary Shah of Khwarezm.
The date of the founding of the empire is uncertain. Khwarezm was a province of the Ghaznavid Empire from 1017 to 1034. In 1077 the governorship of the province, which since 1042/43 belonged to the Seljuqs, fell into the hands of Anush Tigin Gharchai, a former Turkic slave of the Seljuq sultan. In 1141, the Seljuq Sultan Ahmed Sanjar was defeated by the Kara Khitay at the battle of Qatwan and Anush Tigin's grandson Ala ad-Din Atsiz became a vassal to Yelü Dashi of the Kara Khitan.
Sultan Ahmed Sanjar died in 1156. As the Seljuk state fell into chaos, the Khwarezm-Shahs expanded their territories southward. In 1194, the last Sultan of the Great Seljuq Empire, Toghril III, was defeated and killed by the Khwarezm ruler Ala ad-Din Tekish, who conquered parts of Khorasan and western Iran. In 1200, Tekish died and was succeeded by his son, Ala ad-Din Muhammad, who initiated a conflict with the Ghurids and was defeated by them at Amu Darya(1204). Following the sack of Khwarizm, Muhammad appealed for aid from his suzerain, the Kara Khitai who sent him an army. With this reinforcement, Muhammad won a victory over the Ghorids at Hezarasp(1204) and forced them out of Khwarizm. Muhammad's gratitude towards his suzerain was short-lived. He again initiated a conflict, this time with the aid of the Kara-Khanids, and defeated a Kara-Khitai army at Talas (1210), but allowed Samarkand(1210) to be occupied by the Kara-Khitai. He overthrew the Karakhanids (1212) and Ghurids (1215). Thus Muhammad II incorporated nearly the whole of Transoxania and what is now Afghanistan into his empire, which after further conquests in western Persia (by 1217) stretched from the Syr Darya to the Zagros Mountains, and from the Indus Valley to the Caspian Sea.
War and collapse
In 1218, Genghis Khan sent a trade mission to the state, but at the town of Otrar the governor, suspecting the Khan's ambassadors to be spies, confiscated their goods and executed them. Genghis Khan demanded reparations, which the Shah refused to pay. Genghis retaliated with a force of 200,000 men, launching a multi-pronged invasion. In February 1220 the Mongolian army crossed the Syr Darya, beginning the Mongol invasion of Central Asia. The Mongols stormed Bukhara, Samarkand, and the Khwarezmid capital Gurganj. The Shah fled and died some weeks later on an island in the Caspian Sea.
In Great Captains Unveiled of 1927, B.H. Liddell Hart gave details of the Mongol campaign against Khwarezm, underscoring his own philosophy of "the indirect approach," and highlighting many of the tactics used by Genghis which were to be subsequently included in the German Blitzkrieg tactics, inspired in part by Liddell Hart's writings.
The son of Ala ad-Din Muhammad, Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu became the new Sultan (he rejected the title Shah). He attempted to flee to India, but the Mongols caught up with him before he got there, and he was defeated at the Battle of Indus. He escaped and sought asylum in the Sultanate of Delhi. Iltumish however denied this to him in deference to the relationship with the Abbasid caliphs. Returning to Persia, he gathered an army and re-established a kingdom. He never consolidated his power, however, spending the rest of his days struggling against the Mongols, the Seljuks of Rum, and pretenders to his own throne. He lost his power over Persia in a battle against the Mongols in the Alborz Mountains. Escaping to the Caucasus, he captured Azerbaijan in 1225, setting up his capital at Tabriz. In 1226 he attacked Georgia and sacked Tbilisi. Following on through the Armenian highlands he clashed with the Ayyubids, capturing the town Ahlat along the western shores of the Lake Van, who sought the aid of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm. Sultan Kayqubad I defeated him at Arzinjan on the Upper Euphrates at the Battle of Yassıçemen in 1230. He escaped to Diyarbakir, while the Mongols conquered Azerbaijan in the ensuing confusion. He was murdered in 1231 by Kurdish highwaymen.
Though the Mongols had destroyed the Khwarezmian Empire in 1220, many Khwarezmians survived by working as mercenaries in northern Iraq. Their wages were particularly low, so they attempted to create work unions. Historians disagree on whether the work unions were successful. Sultan Jalal ad-Din's followers remained loyal to him even after his death in 1231, and raided the Seljuk lands of Jazira and Syria for the next several years, calling themselves the Khwarezmiyya. Ayyubid Sultan Salih Ayyub, in Egypt, later hired their services against his uncle Salih Ismail. The Khwarezmiyya, heading south from Iraq towards Egypt, invaded Christian-held Jerusalem along the way, on July 11, 1244. The city's citadel, the Tower of David, surrendered on August 23, the Christian population of the city was decimated and the Jews expelled. This triggered a call from Europe for the Seventh Crusade, but the Crusaders would never again be successful in retaking Jerusalem. After being conquered by the Khwarezmian forces, the city stayed under Muslim control until 1917, when it was taken from the Ottomans by the British.
After taking Jerusalem, the Khwarezmian forces continued south, and on October 17 fought on the side of the Ayyubids at the Battle of Harbiyah, northeast of Gaza, killing the remains of the Christian army there, some 1,200 knights. It was the largest battle involving the crusaders since the Battle of the Horns of Hattin in 1187.
The remains of the Muslim Khwarezmians served in Egypt as Mamluk mercenaries until they were finally beaten by Mansur Ibrahim some years later.
Rulers of Khwarazm
- Abu Ali Mamun (I) ibn Muhammad (995–997 under Samanid suzerainty)
- Abu ʼl-Hasan Ali ibn Mamun (997–1008/9, first under Samanid suzerainty, later virtually independent)
- Abu ʼl-Abbas Mamun (II) ibn Mamun (1008/9–1017)
- Abu ʼl-Harith Muhammad ibn Ali (1017)
- Abu Said Altun-Tash (1017–1032, virtually independent governor of the Ghaznavids)
- Harun ibn Altun-Tash (1032–1034, first lieutenant of the nominal Ghaznawid Khwarazm-Shah, Said ibn Masud, later independent)
- Ismail Khandan ibn Altun-Tash (1034–1041)
- Abu ʼl-Fawaris Shah-Malik ibn Ali (1041–1042)
- Anush-Tigin Gharchai (1077–?, nominal governor (shihna) of the Seljuqs)
- Ekinchi ibn Qochqar (1097, governor of the Seljuqs)
- Qutb ad-Din Abu ʼl-Fath Arslan-Tigin Muhammad (I) ibn Anush-Tigin (1097–1127/28 under Seljuq suzerainty)
- Ala ad-Dunya wa-ʼd-Din Abu ʼl-Muzaffar Qizil-Arslan Atsiz ibn Muhammad (reg. 1127/28–1156 under Seljuq and (from 1141 on) Qara-Khitay suzerainty)
- Taj ad-Dunya wa-ʼd-Din Abu ʼl-Fath Il-Arslan (1156–1172 under Qara-Khitay suzerainty)
- Ala ad-Dunya wa-ʼd-Din Abu ʼl-Muzaffar Tekish ibn Il-Arslan (1172–1200 under Qara-Khitay suzerainty)
- Jalal ad-Dunya wa-ʼd-Din Abu ʼl-Qasim Mahmud Sultan-Shah ibn Il-Arslan (1172–1193, rival ruler in northern Khurasan)
- Ala ad-Dunya wa-ʼd-Din Abu ʼl-Fath Muhammad (II) ibn Tekish (1200–1220)
- Jalal ad-Dunya wa-ʼd-Din Abu ʼl-Muzaffar Mengübirti ibn Muhammad (1220–1231)
- Historic states represented in Turkish presidential seal
- Full list of Persian Kingdoms
- List of Sunni Muslim dynasties
History of Afghanistan Timeline
History of Greater Iran until the rise of modern nation-states Pre-modern
- M. Ismail Marcinkowski, Persian Historiography and Geography: Bertold Spuler on Major Works Produced in Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia, India and Early Ottoman Turkey, with a foreword by Professor Clifford Edmund Bosworth, member of the British Academy, Singapore: Pustaka Nasional, 2003, ISBN 9971-77-488-7.
Notes and references
- ^ Kathryn Babayan, Mystics, monarchs, and messiahs: cultural landscapes of early modern Iran, (Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 2003), 14.
- ^ Bosworth in Camb. Hist. of Iran, Vol. V, pp. 66 & 93; B.G. Gafurov & D. Kaushik, "Central Asia: Pre-Historic to Pre-Modern Times"; Delhi, 2005; ISBN 8175412461
- ^ M.A. Amir-Moezzi, "Shahrbanu", Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition, (LINK): "... here one might bear in mind that non-Persian dynasties such as the Ghaznavids, Saljuqs and Ilkhanids were rapidly to accept the Persian language and have their origins traced back to the ancient kings of Persia rather than to Turkish heroes or Muslim saints ..."
- ^ C. E. Bosworth, "CHORASMIA ii. In Islamic times" in: Encyclopaedia Iranica (reference to Turkish scholar Kafesoğlu), v, p. 140, Online Edition: "The governors were often Turkish slave commanders of the Saljuqs; one of them was Anūštigin Ḡaṛčaʾī, whose son Qoṭb-al-Dīn Moḥammad began in 490/1097 what became in effect a hereditary and largely independent line of ḵǰᵛārazmšāhs." (LINK)
- ^ Rene Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes:A History of Central Asia, Transl. Naomi Walford, (Rutgers University Press, 1991), 159.
- ^ Biran, Michel, The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian history, (Cambridge University Press, 2005), 44.
- ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Khwarezm-Shah-Dynasty", (LINK)
- ^ Biran, Michel, The Empire of the Qara Khitai in Eurasian History, (Cambridge University Press, 2005), 44.
- ^ Rene, Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes:A History of Central Asia, (Rutgers University Press, 1991), 168.
- ^ Rene, Grousset, 168.
- ^ Rene, Grousset, 169.
- ^ Rene, Grousset, 234.
- ^ Rene, Grousset, 237.
- ^ Patrick Porter, Military orientalism: Eastern war through Western eyes, (Columbia University Press, 2009), 137.
- ^ http://persian.packhum.org/persian/pf?file=90001012&ct=107&rqs=68&rqs=491&rqs=893
- ^ Riley-Smith The Crusades, p. 191
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