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Seljuqs

 

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Seljuks & Architecture

 
 
Brief Overview of Seljuks

The Seljuks were another Central Asian nomadic group. They were the first Turkic dynasty to control Central Asia as far as the eastern Mediterranean. The Seljuks moved West in 1040 AD. Tughrul Beg established the Great Seljuk polity which included Iraq and Syria. He captured Baghdad in 1055 AD.

The Seljuks were Sunni Muslims. They adopted traditional Iranian bureaucratic institutions of government and special schools of learning, the madrasa. The Seljuks were important patrons of art and architecture and were responsible for producing great metalwork, ceramics and literature.

The last Seljuk sultan died in battle in 1194 when the Great Seljuks were defeated by the Mongols. A breakaway group, the Seljuks of Rum, settled in Anatolia. Like the Great Seljuks, they eventually succumbed to the expansion of the Mongols during the 12th and 13th centuries.

Seljuks (Selcuks)

Another great Turkish State was the Seljuk State (1040-1157) founded by Selçuk Bey who was a member of the Kınık tribe of the Oghuz Turks. The borders of the state spanned from the Marmara Sea to Lake Balkhash in Central Asia and from the Caucasus, the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea to the borders of India and Yemen. The Seljuks entered into a struggle of hegemony with the two Turkish States, the Karakhanids and the Ghaznavids, and succeeded in establishing Turkish unity. Tuğrul Bey, the Sultan of the Seljuks, entered Baghdad, the Abbasid Caliphate capital and ended the domination of the Buwayhids, a Persi Shiite dynasty, in 1055. Therefore, the Caliph bestowed upon Tuğrul Bey the title of "Ruler of the World". During the reign of Sultan Alparslan, the successor and son of Tuğrul Bey, the territories of the country expanded significantly. Sultan Alparslan defeated the Byzantine army which was led by Romanus Diogenes at Manzikert (Malazgirt) in 1071. This victory literally opened up the gates of Anatolia to the Turks. During the reign of Sultan Malik Shah, the Seljuk State experienced its most successful period. The Nizamiye Madrasahs which laid the foundations for the architecture of western universities were constructed in this period.

After Sultan Malik Shah died, the country was divided into small states. The Syrian Seljuks (1092-1117), Iraq and Khorasan Seljuks (1092-1194), Kirman Seljuks (1092-1187) and the Anatolian Seljuks (1092-1194) were among the small states. Moreover, the Khorezm Shah State (1097-1231) was established by Mohammed Khorezm Shah, the son of Anushtegin, the palace servant of Sultan Malik Shah, on the territories of the Great Seljuk State where Lake Aral intersected the Ceyhun River in the southern region.

The most important state established on the lands of the Great Seljuk State was definitely the Anatolian Seljuk State. The center of the state founded by Suleiman ibn Qutulmish was Nicaea (İznik). During the reign of his son, Kılıç Arslan I, the First Crusade began. İznik was seized by the Crusaders and given to the Byzantines, and therefore the Anatolian Seljuk capital was moved to Konya. His son Sultan Mesud I repelled the Byzantine army headed for Konya and defeated the Crusaders near the Ceyhan River. Sultan Kılıç Arslan II, the successor of Mesud I defeated the Byzantine army under the leadership of the Emperor Manuel Comnenus I, at Myriokephalon near Denizli. Following this victory, the influence of the Byzantine Empire over Anatolia was completely lost. The most brilliant period of Turkish history was experienced during the reign of Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I. However, the death of the Sultan by poisoning created chaos in the country. The rebellion of the Babais was followed by the Mongol invasion and Anatolia was occupied and destroyed by the Mongols following the Kösedağ War between the Seljuks and Mongols in 1243. Along with the weakening of Mongol rule towards the end of the 13th century, Turkoman groups who settled on the frontiers during the Seljuk period, founded many beyliks (principalities) of varying size in Anatolia. The Karaman, Germiyan, Eşref, Hamid, Alaiye, Menteşe, Candar, Pervane, Sahib Ata, Karesi, Saruhan, Aydın, İnanç and Osmanoğulları were among the Turkoman beyliks founded in Anatolia during this period. In this period, which is called the Beyliks Period, all of Anatolia came under Turkish rule and a new period of welfare began in the country which had been previously exposed to a great extent to Mongol destruction.

Mirror with princely hunter on horseback, early to mid-13th century. Anatolia or northern Mesopotamia. Steel with gold inlay. Topkapι Saray Museum, Istanbul.

In Egypt, the army commander İzzeddin Aybeg was declared the Sultan, after the death of Es-Salih Necmeddin, the last Ayyubid ruler and thus the Turkish Kölemen (Mameluke) State (1250-1382) was founded. The Mameluke State has an important place in Turkish history, because during the reign of Sultan Aybeg, the Mansure Victory occurred which made the Seventh Crusade ineffective. During the reign of Seyfeddin Kotuz, the Mongol- Armenian-Crusaders alliance which tried to invade Egypt suffered a crushing defeat and the Mongols were not able to capture Syria. The Mameluke Sultans were bestowed the title of "Hadımü'l- Harameyn" (the Servant of Mecca and Medina), because of their distinguished service to Islam, and acquired justified fame in the Islamic World. The Mameluke State was defeated by the Ottoman State.

The Great Seljuqs (Selcuks)

The original Seljuqs, who swarmed out of Central Asia in the first half of the 11th century.

  • Toghril Beg.......................................1037-1063
  • Alp Arslan........................................1063-1072
  • Malik Shah I......................................1072-1092
  • Mahmud I..........................................1092-1095
  • Berk Yaruq........................................1095-1104
  • Malik Shah II.....................................1104-1105
  • Mohammed..........................................1105-1118
  • Abul Harith Sanjar................................1118-1158
  • Fragmented into local spheres of influence, most eventually taken by the Mongols.


The Rum Seljuqs

A large state taking up most of the interior of modern Turkey. The name stems from the Turkish attempt to pronounce the word "Roman", meaning the old Byzantine territories. From 1243 the Rum Seljuqs were Persian Mongol vassals.

  • Suleiman I......................................1077/8-1086
  • To the Great Seljuqs..............................1086-1092
  • Qilich Arslan I.................................1092/3-1106/7
  • Malik Shah I....................................1106/7-1116/7
  • Masud...........................................1116/7-1156/7
  • Qilich Arslan II................................1156/7-1192
  • Kai Khusrau I.....................................1192-1195/6 d. 1210
  • Suleiman II.....................................1195/6-1204
  • Qilich Arslan III......................................1204
  • Kai Khusrau I (restored)..........................1204-1210
  • Kai Kaus..........................................1210-1219/20
  • Kai Qubadh.....................................1219/20-1236/7
  • Kai Khusrau II..................................1236/7-1245
  • To the Persian Il-Khans...........................1243-c. 1308
  • Mu`in al-Din Süleyman, overall regent for the Il-Khans in Anatolia 1256-1277
    • Kai Kaus II..................................1245-1257/8 with...
    • Qilich Arslan IV...........................1248/9-1264/5 and...
    • Kai Qubadh................................1249/50-1257/8
    • Kai Khusrau III............................1264/5-1282/3
    • Masud II...................................1282/3-1284/5
    • Kai Qubadh III.............................1284/5-1284/5
    • Masud II (restored)........................1284/5-1292/3
    • Kai Qubadh III (restored)..................1292/3-1293/4
    • Masud II (re-restored).....................1293/4-1300/1
    • Kai Qubadh III (re-restored)...............1300/1-1302/3
    • Masud II (re-re-restored)..................1302/3-1305
    • Kai Qubadh III (re-re-restored)..............1305-1307/8
    • Masud III.........................................1307/8
  • Complete fragmentation of authority, cotemporous with similar failure of Ilkhanate control, complete by 1336. Thereafter, Anatolia as a whole is enveloped by growing Ottoman hegemony.
  

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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