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Khwarezmian Empire

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Khwarezmian Empire

For other uses, see Khwarezmian (disambiguation).
Khwarazmian Empire
خوارزمشاهیان
Khwārazmshāhiyān

 

1077–1231/1256
Khwarezmid Empire around 1200
Capital Gurganj
(1077–1212)
Samarkand
(1212–1220)
Ghazna
(1220–1221)
Tabriz
(1225–1231)
Languages Persian[1]
Kipchak Turkic[2]
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 1231/1256
Area
 -  1218 est. 3,600,000 km² (1,389,968 sq mi)
History of Greater Iran
Until the rise of modern nation-states
Pre-modern

The Khwarazmian dynasty (also known as the Khwarezmid dynasty, dynasty of Khwarazm Shahs, and other spelling variants; from Persian خوارزمشاهیان Khwārazmshāhiyān, "Kings of Khwarezmia") was a Persianate[3][4][5] Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin.[6][7]

The dynasty ruled Greater Iran during the High Middle Ages, in the approximate period of 1077 to 1231 AD, first as vassals of the Seljuqs[8] and Kara-Khitan,[9] 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.[10]

History

The date of the founding of the empire remains debatable. During a revolt in 1017, Khwarezmian rebels murdered Abu'l-Abbas Ma'mun and his wife, Hurra-ji, sister of the Ghaznavid sultan Mahmud.[11] In response, Mahmud invaded and occupied the region of Khwarezm, which included Nasa and the ribat of Farawa.[12] As a result, Khwarezm became a province of the Ghaznavid Empire from 1017 to 1034. In 1077 the governorship of the province, which since 1042/1043 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.[13]

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).[14] Following the sack of Khwarizm, Muhammad appealed for aid from his suzerain, the Kara Khitai who sent him an army.[15] 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),[16] but allowed Samarkand (1210) to be occupied by the Kara-Khitai.[17] He overthrew the Karakhanids (1212)[18] and Ghurids (1215). In 1212, Muhammad II shifted capital from Gurganj to Samarkand. Thus Muhammad II incorporated nearly the whole of Transoxania and present-day 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, Gurganj and the Khwarezmid capital Samarkand. 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 Blitzkrieg tactics employed centuries later by Nazi Germany.[19]

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.[20]

Mercenaries

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 as-Salih Ayyub, in Egypt, later hired their services against his uncle as-Salih Ismail. The Khwarezmiyya, heading south from Iraq towards Egypt, invaded Crusader Christian-held Jerusalem along the way, on July 11, 1244. The city's citadel, the Tower of David, surrendered on August 23, the Crusader Christian population of the city was 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 Crusader 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.[21]

The remains of the Muslim Khwarezmians served in Egypt as Mamluk mercenaries until they were finally beaten by al-Mansur Ibrahim some years later.

Khwarizmi war captives assimilated into the Mongols, forming the modern Mongolian clan Sartuul.

Rulers of Khwarezm

Governors of Khwarezm, the Mamunid dynasty

Titular Name Personal Name Reign
Amir
امیر
Abu'l-Ali Ma'mun ibn Muhammad
ابو علی المأمون ابن محمد
995–997 C.E.
Amir
امیر
Abu'l-Hasan Ali ibn Ma'mun
ابو الحسن علی ابن المأمون
997–1008/9 C.E.
Amir
امیر
Abu'l-Abbas Ma'mun ibn Ma'mun
ابو العباس مأمون ابن المأمون
1008/9–1017 C.E.
Amir
امیر
Abu'l-Harith Muhammad ibn Ali
ابو الحارث محمد ابن علی
1017 C.E.
Absorbed into the Ghaznavid Empire by Mahmud ibn Sebuktigin;he made Altun Tash its governor.

Altun-Tashid Governors of Khwarezm

Titular Name Personal Name Reign
Amir
امیر
Abu Sa'id Altun-Tash
ابو سعید التون طاش
1017–1032 C.E.
Amir
امیر
Harun ibn Altun-Tash
ہارون ابن التون طاش
1032–1034 C.E.
Amir
امیر
Ismail Khandan ibn Altun-Tash
اسماعیل خاندان ابن التون طاش
1034–1041 C.E.
Re-conquest by Ghaznavid Empire under Mas'ud ibn Mahmud ibn Sebuktigin who sent his general Shah Malik, the Oghuz Turk

Non-dynastic

Titular Name Personal Name Reign
Amir
امیر
Abul-Fawaris
أبو الفوارس
Shah-Malik ibn Ali
شاہ ملک ابن علی
1041–1042 C.E.
Conquest of Khwarezm by Tughril Beg and Chaghri Beg of the Seljuq Empire.

Anushtiginids

Title Personal Name Reign
Shihna
؟
Anush Tigin Gharchai
أنوش طگین غارچائی
1077–1097 C.E.

Non-dynastic

Title Personal Name Reign
Shihna
؟
Ekinchi ibn Qochqar
ایکینچی بن قوچار
1097 C.E.

Anushtiginids

Titular Name Personal Name Reign
Shah
شاہ
Qutb ad-Din Abul-Fath
قطب الدین ابو الفتح
Arslan Tigin Muhammad ibn Anush Tigin
ارسلان طگین محمد ابن أنوش طگین
1097–1127/28 C.E.
Shah
شاہ
Ala al-Dunya wa al-Din Abul-Muzaffar
علاء الدنیا و الدین، ابو المظفر
Qizil Arslan Atsiz ibn Muhammad
قزل ارسلان أتسز بن محمد
1127 - 1156 C.E.
Shah
شاہ
Taj al-Dunya wa al-Din Abul-Fath
تاج الدنیا و الدین، ابو الفتح
Il-Arslan ibn Qizil Arslan Atsiz

ایل ارسلان بن قزل ارسلان أتسز

1156–1172 C.E.
Shah
شاہ
Ala al-Dunya wa al-Din Abul-Muzaffar
علاء الدنیا و الدین، ابو المظفر
Tekish ibn Il-Arslan

تکش بن ایل ارسلان

1172–1200 C.E.
Shah
شاہ
Jalal al-Dunya wa al-Din Abul-Qasim
جلال الدنیا و الدین، ابو القاسم
Mahmud Sultan Shah ibn Il-Arslan
محمود سلطان شاہ ابن ایل ارسلان
Initially under regency of Turkan Khatun, his mother. He was a younger half-brother and rival of Tekish in Upper Khurasan
1172–1193 C.E.
Shah
شاہ
Ala al-Dunya wa al-Din Abul-Fath
علاء الدنیا و الدین، ابو الفتح
Muhammad ibn Tekish
محمد بن تکش
1200–1220 C.E.
Genghis Khan
چنگیز خان
Genghis Khan invades Khwarezmia forcing Muhammad ibn Tekish to flee along with his son to an island in the Caspian Sea where he would die of pleurisy.
Jalal al-Dunya wa al-Din Abul-Muzaffar
جلال الدنیا و الدین، ابو المظفر
Mingburnu ibn Muhammad
مِنکُبِرنی ابن محمد
1220–1231 C.E.
Establishment of Mongol Ilkhanate

Family tree of Anushtiginid Dynasty

See also

Literature

Notes and references

hu:Hvárezmi sahok listája
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