Iran under Seljuk Rulers (1037-1200) 17/10/2018




1037 : Seljuk Turks invade Persia under Toghrol Beik
1055 : Toghrol Beik ends the Buyid rule, and makes himself temporal master of the caliph
1058-1111 : The life of Abu Hamed Ghazali, the Persian philosopher and mystic
1048-1123 : The life of Omar Khayyam, great mathematician, poet and astronomer
1092 : Nezam-ol-Molk and Maleh Shah Seljuk are assassinated by the Ismailies
1090-1257 : Ismailite movement in Iran
1095-1270 : Crusades
1130 : The world's first travel book is written about travel to the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain
1140-1209 : The life of Nezami, the famouse Persian lyric poet
1157-1221 : Kharzamshahi dynasty
1184-1291 : The life of Saadi, great Persian lyric poet
1189-1199 : The rule of Richard the Lion Hearted
1191 : Zen Buddhism is introduced to Japan


The Seljuks were a clan of the Oghuz Turks, who traced their ancestry to a chieftain named Seljuk. Seljuk's two grandsons, Chaghri Beik and Toghrol Beik, enlisted Persian support to win realms from the Buyid and Ghaznavid rulers. After "petitioning" the Abbasid caliph for permission, Toghrol Beik was also able to occupy Baghdad. At his death in 1063, Toghrol Beik headed an empire that included Iran and Mesopotamia and held the title King of the East. In 1071, a Seljuk army led by Alp Arslan defeated the Byzantines. The way was open for Turk tribesmen to settle in Asia Minor. Under Alp Arslan and his successor, Malek Shah, the Seljuk Empire included all of Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine. The Seljuks were great architectural patrons and in addition to constructing numerous mosques, madresehs, orphanages, caravanserais, and bridges, they were ticularly known for their tomb-towers. Their buildings are notable for their decorative masonry, elaborately ornamented portals, and the use of Kufic script as an architectural decorative device. The Seljuks also attained a high standard in decorative arts, especially in metalwork, wood carving, and pottery. Be cause the Turkish Seljuks had no Islamic tradition or strong literary heritage of their own, they adopted the cultural language of their Persian instructors in Islam. Literary Persian thus spread throughout Iran, and Arabic was reduced from the status of official language to the language of religious scholarship. Under Malek Shah, Iran enjoyed a cultural and scientific renaissance, largely attributed to his brilliant Iranian vizier, Nezam al-Molk. The Seljuk Empire was greatly threatened by the Ismailites, who finally murdered Nezam al-Molk and Malek Shah. The state was also undermined by the Seljuk practice of dividing provinces among a deceased ruler's sons, thus creating numerous independent and unstable principalities. A war that was instigated in 1230 by Sul-tan Ala al-Din Key-Qobad I of the Kharazm-Shahs dynasty led to the elimination of Seljuk power. The last Iranian Seljuk king was killed on the battlefield in 1194, and by 1200 Seljuk power was at an end everywhere except in Anatolia. The Kharazm-Shahs created an imposing but very fragile empire, which was a victim of Mongol invasion.

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