- Ghaznavid Empire
Infobox Former Country
conventional_long_name = Ghaznavid Empire
common_name = Ghaznavid Empire
continent = Asia
country = Iran
era = Medieval
government_type = Monarchy
year_start = 963
year_end = 1187
p1 = Samanid dynasty
s1 = Ghurids
image_map_caption = Ghaznavid Empire at its greatest extent
Ghazni(until 1151) Lahore(from 1151)
year_leader1 = 963-977
year_leader2 = 1160-1187
title_leader = King
The Ghaznavid Empire was a KhorāṣānianC.E. Bosworth, "Ghaznavids", in
Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition; Brill, Leiden; 2006/2007] Sunni Muslimstate,C.E. Bosworth: The Ghaznavids. Edinburgh, 1963] [C.E. Bosworth, "Ghaznavids", in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition 2006, ( [http://www.iranica.com/articles/v10f6/v10f608.html LINK] )] founded by a dynasty of Turkic " mamluk" origin, which existed from 975to 1187. It was centered in Ghazni, a city in present Afghanistan, and ruled much of Persia, Transoxania, and the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. Due to the political and cultural influence of their predecessors - that of the Persian Ṣāmānī dynasty - the originally Turkic Ghaznavids had become thoroughly Persianized.M.A. Amir-Moezzi, "Shahrbanu", Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition, ( [http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/ot_grp7/ot_shahrbanu_20050131.html LINK] ): "... here one might bear in mind that non-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 ..."] C.E. Bosworth, "Ghaznavids", in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition; Brill, Leiden; 2006/2007] [http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v13f3/v13f3001b.html Encyclopaedia Iranica, Iran: Islamic Period - Ghaznavids, E. Yarshater] ] [B. Spuler, "The Disintegration of the Caliphate in the East", in the Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. IA: "The Central islamic Lands from Pre-Islamic Times to the First World War, ed. by P.M. Holt, Ann K.S. Lambton, and Bernard Lewis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970). pg 147: "One of the effects of the renaissance of the Persian spirit evoked by this work was that the Ghaznavids were also Persianized and thereby became a Persian dynasty.] [Anatoly M Khazanov, André Wink, "Nomads in the Sedentary World", Routledge, 2001. pg 12: "The Persianized Ghaznavids and some later dynasties, just like their mamluk-type elite troops, were of Turkic origin"] [David Christian, "A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia", Blackwell Publishing, 1998. pg 370: "Though Turkic in origin and, apparently in speech, Alp Tegin, Sebuk Tegin and Mahmud were all thoroughly Persianized"] [Robert L. Canfield, Turko-Persia in historical perspective, Cambridge University Press, 1991. pg 8: "The Ghaznavids (989-1149) were essentially Persianized Turks who in manner of the pre-Islamic Persians encouraged the development of high culture"] .
The dynasty was founded by Sebuktigin upon his succession to rule of territories centered around the city of Ghazni from his father-in-law,
Alp Tigin, a break-away ex-general of the Ṣāmānī sultans.Encyclopedia Britannica, "Ghaznavid Dynasty", Online Edition 2007 ( [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9036676/Ghaznavid-Dynasty LINK] )] Sebuktigin's son, Shah Mahmoud, expanded the empire in the region that stretched from the Oxus riverto the Indus Valleyand the Indian Ocean; and in the west it reached Rayyand Hamadan. Under the reign of Mas'ud I it experienced major territorial losses. It lost its western territories to the Seljuqs in the Battle of Dandanaqanresulting in a restriction of its holdings to Afghanistan, Balochistan and the Punjab. In 1151, Sultan Bahram Shah lost Ghazni to Ala'uddin Hussain of Ghor and the capital was moved to Lahoreuntil its subsequent capture by the Ghuridsin 1186.
Rise to power
Two military families arose from the Turkic Slave-Guards of the
Samanids— the Simjurids and Ghaznavids — who ultimately proved disastrous to the Samanids. The Simjuridsreceived an appanage in the Kohistan region of eastern Khorasan. Alp Tigin founded the Ghaznavid fortunes when he established himself at Ghazna (modern Ghazni, Afghanistan) in 962. He and Abu al-Hasan Simjuri, as Samanidgenerals, competed with each other for the governorship of Khorasanand control of the Samanid empire by placing on the throne emirs they could dominate when Abdul Malik I of Samaniddied in 961. But when the SamanidEmir Abdul Malik I died in 961 CE it created a succession crisis between Abdul Malik's brothers. A court party instigated by men of the scribal class—civilian ministers as contrasted with Turkic generals—rejected Alp Tigin's candidate for the Samanid throne. Mansur I was installed, and Alp Tigin prudently retired to his fief of Ghazna. The Simjurids enjoyed control of Khorasan south of the Oxusbut were hard-pressed by a third great Iranian dynasty, the Buwayhids, and were unable to survive the collapse of the Samanids and the rise of the Ghaznavids.
The struggles of the Turkic slave generals for mastery of the throne with the help of shifting allegiance from the court's ministerial leaders both demonstrated and accelerated the Samanid decline. Samanid weakness attracted into
Transoxaniathe QarluqTurks, who had recently converted to Islam. They occupied Bukhara in 992 to establish in Transoxania the Qarakhanid, or Ilek Khanid, dynasty. Alp Tigin had been succeeded at Ghazna by Sebüktigin (died 997). Sebüktigin's son Mahmud made an agreement with the Qarakhanids whereby the Oxus was recognized as their mutual boundary.
Saboktekin made himself lord of nearly all the present territory of
Afghanistanand of the Punjab by conquest of Samanidand Shahilands. In 997, Mahmud, the son of Sebük Tigin, succeeded his father upon his death, and with him Ghazni and the Ghaznavid dynasty have become perpetually associated. He completed the conquest of Samanid, Shahilands, the IsmailiKingdom of Multan, Sindhas well as some Buwayhid territory. Under him all accounts was the golden age and the height of the Ghaznevid Empire. Mahmud carried out seventeen expeditions through northern Indiaestablishing his control and setting up tributary states. His raids also resulted in the looting of a great deal of plunder. From the borders of Kurdistanto Samarkand, from the Caspian Seato the Yamuna, he established his authority.
The wealth brought back from the Indian expeditions to Ghazni was enormous, and contemporary historians (e.g.
Abolfazl Beyhaghi, Ferdowsi) give glowing descriptions of the magnificence of the capital, as well as of the conquerors munificent support of literature. Mahmud died in ( 1030). Even though there was some revival of importance under Ibrahim (1059-1099), the empire never reached anything like the same splendor and power. It was soon overshadowed by the Seljuqsof Iran.
Mahmud's son Mas'ud was unable to preserve the empire and following a disastrous defeat at the
Battle of Dandanaqanin ( 1040) lost all the Ghaznavid lands in Iranand Central Asiato the Seljuks and plunged the realm into a "Time of troubles".Encyclopedia Iranica, "Ghaznavids", Edmund Bosworth, Online Edition 2007, ( [http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v10f6/v10f608.html LINK] )] Mas'ud's son Ibrahim who re-established a truncated empire on a firmer basis by arriving at a peace agreement with the Seljuks and a restoration of cultural and political linkages. Under Ibrahim and his successors saw a period of sustained tranquility for the empire. Shorn of its western land it was increasingly sustained by riches accrued from raids across Northern India where it faced stiff resistance from Rajputrulers such as the Paramaraof Malwaand the Gahadvalaof Kannauj. Signs of weakness in the state became apparent when Masud III died in 1115with internal strife between his sons ending with the ascension of Sultan Bahram Shah as a Seljuk Vassal. Sultan Bahram Shah, was the last Ghaznavid King ruling Ghazni, the first and main Ghaznavid capital. Ala'uddin Hussain, a GhoridKing, conquered the city of Ghazni in 1151, for the revenge of his brother's death. He razed all the city, and burned it for 7 days, after which he got famous as "Jahānsoz" ("World Burner"). Ghazni was restored to the Ghaznavids by the intervention of the Seljuks who came to Behrams aid. Ghaznavid struggles with the Ghurids continued in the subsequent years as they nibbled away at Ghaznavid territory and Ghazni and Zabulistanwas lost a group of OghuzTurks before captured by the Gurids. Ghaznavid power in northern Indiacontinued until the conquest of Lahorefrom Khusrau Malik in 1186.
The Ghaznavid empire grew to cover much of present-day
Iran, Afghanistan, and northwest Indiaand Pakistan, and the Ghaznavids are generally credited with launching Islam into Hindu-dominated India. In addition to the wealth accumulated through raiding Indian cities, and exacting tribute from Indian Rajas the Ghaznavids also benefited from their position as an intermediary along the trade routes between Chinaand the Mediterranean. They were however unable to hold power for long and by 1040 the Seljuks had taken over their Persian domains and a century later the Ghuridstook over their remaining sub-continental lands.
Although the Ghaznavids were of Turkic origin and their military leaders were generally of the same stock, as a result of the original involvement of Sebuktigin and Mahmud in Samanid affairs and in the Samanid cultural environment, the dynasty became thoroughly Persianized, so that in practice one cannot consider their rule over Iran one of foreign domination. In terms of cultural championship and the support of Persian poets, they were far more Persian than the ethnically Iranian
Buyidsrivals, whose support of Arabic letters in preference to Persian is well known.Encyclopedia Iranica, "Iran", EHSAN YARSHATER, Online Edition 2008, ( [http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/unicode/v13f3/v13f3001b.html] )]
The Ghaznavid Dynasty
Sebük Tigin, ("Abu Mansur") (977-997)
*Mahmud ("Yamin ud-Dawlah ") (998-1030)
*Mohammed ("Jalal ud-Dawlah") (1030-1031)
*Mas'ud I ("Shihab ud-Dawlah") (1031–1041)
*Mohammed "("Jalal ud-Dawlah (second time)" (1041)
*Maw'dud ("Shihab ud-Dawlah") (1041-1050)
*Mas'ud II (1050)
*Ali ("Baha ud-Dawlah") (1050)
*Abd ul-Rashid ("Izz ud-Dawlah") (1053)
*Toğrül (Tughril) ("Qiwam ud-Dawlah") (1053)
*Farrukhzad ("Jamal ud-Dawlah") (1053-1059)
*Ibrahim ("Zahir ud-Dalah") (1059-1099)
*Mas'ud III ("Ala ud-Dawlah") (1099-1115)
*Shirzad ("Kemal ud-Dawlah") (1115)
*Arslan Shah ("Sultan ud-Dawlah") (1115-1118)
*Bahram Shah ("Yamin ud-Dawlah ") (1118-1152)
*Khusrau Shah ("Mu'izz ud-Dawlah") (1152-1160)
*Khusrau Malik ("Taj ud-Dawlah") (1160-1187)
Mahmud of Ghazni
History of Afghanistan
History of Iran
History of India
History of Pakistan
Islamic Empires in India
*Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1963) "The Ghaznavids: Their Empire in Afghanistan and Eastern Iran 994–1040" Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, [http://worldcat.org/oclc/3601436 OCLC 3601436]
*Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1977) "The Later Ghaznavids: Splendour and Decay, The Dynasty in Afghanistan and Northern India 1040–1186" Columbia University Press, New York, ISBN 0-231-04428-3
*M. Ismail Marcinkowski (2003) "Persian Historiography and Geography: Bertold Spuler on Major Works Produced in Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia, India and Early Ottoman Turkey" Pustaka Nasional, Singapore, ISBN 9971-77-488-7
* [http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0831222.html Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth Edition) - Mahmud of Ghazna]
* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9050135/Mahmud Encylopaedia Britannica (Online Edition) - Mahmud]
* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9036676/Ghaznavid-Dynasty Encyclopaedia Britannica (Online Edition) - Ghaznavid Dynasty]
* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-14003/Central-Asian-arts Encyclopaedia Britannica (Online Edition) - Ghaznavids and Ghurids]
* [http://orbat.com/site/cimh/kings_master/kings/mahmud_ghaznavi/Mahmud%20Ghaznavi.html Mahmud Ghaznavi's 17 invasions of India]
*Elliot, Sir H. M., Edited by Dowson, John.
The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; published by London Trubner Company 1867–1877. (Online Copy: [http://persian.packhum.org/persian/index.jsp?serv=pf&file=80201010&ct=0 The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period; by Sir H. M. Elliot; Edited by John Dowson; London Trubner Company 1867–1877] - Online version posted by: The Packard Humanities Institute; Persian Texts in Translation)
* [http://www.smh.com.au/news/web/afghan-secrets-revealed-on-google-earth/2008/07/18/1216163136557.html Afghan secrets revealed on Google Earth]
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