Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu bolum 21 English subtitles
Alparslan Episode 21 English subtitles
The Oghuz, the Türkmen, and their Social Organisation Oghuz who converted to Islam became known as Türkmen as early as the tenth century.41 Muslim writers, however, frequently continued to apply the term Oghuz (or Ghuzz) to describe even Muslim Türkmen, usually with distinctly pejorative connotations. On the other hand, some groups described as Türkmen by the sources were evidently still pagan. Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
42 Although historically there were town-dwelling Oghuz/ Türkmen, both terms usually denote that an individual or group is a nomad. In this book, we generally use ‘Türkmen’ to refer to the Seljuks’ nomadic subjects, except when quoting from primary sources that use Ghuzz, or when that term is so well-entrenched that to use Türkmen would be anachronistic (for example, the great Ghuzz revolt against Sanjar in 1152–7). Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
The term Turk is used by the Muslim sources both to refer to the Ghuzz/Türkmen, and to other Turkic- speaking groups who were not
Oghuz, such as the Qarluqs (perhaps the single most important component in the Qarakhanid state), Pechenegs, and Qipchaqs. A detailed contemporary description of the Turks’ language, poetry, and customs has come down to us in the form of the Diwan Lughat al- Turk, a Turkish– Arabic dictionary composed by the émigré Qarakhanid prince Mahmud al- Kashghari in Seljuk Baghdad, completed around 1077.
Despite Kashghari’s detailed ethnographic information, much remains mysterious about the social organization of these Turks. He divides the Oghuz into twenty- four (or, according to another version, twenty-two) tribes – but their names virtually never feature in early accounts of eleventh-century Seljuk history.
Instead, contemporary authors like Bayhaqi depict the nomads as coalescing around aristocratic Turkish leaders, after whom they were known – the Yınaliyan are the followers of Ibrahim Yınal, the Saljuqiyya or Saljuqiyan the adherents of the descendants of Seljuk and so on. Thus, Saljuqiyya has no implication of shared blood, and some nomadic groups were also known after geographical regions, not people (the ‘Iraqiyya, the Balkan- Kuhiyan). Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitlesAlparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
Certainly, the tribe was a much less significant social organism among the Turks than it was among the Arabs, and Kashghari’s Oghuz tribes seem to represent an attempt to legitimize the Turks’ role in the Islamic world by giving them the same status as Arabs.43 It is not until the second quarter of the twelfth century that any of Kashghari’s tribes start to appear in our sources; the reasons for their growing significance in this period are not yet clear and require further research. After the Mongol invasions in the thirteenth century, interest in tribal origins seems to have intensified among the Turkic peoples of the Middle East and was projected onto earlier periods by writers of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
After Seljuk’s death, his elder son Arslan Isra’il became the most prominent member of the family. We find him intervening in Transoxianan politics in support of a Qarakhanid prince, ‘Ali Tegin, who attempted around 411/1020–1 to establish himself as ruler in Bukhara.44 ‘Ali Tegin faced opposition from both his brother Ilek Khan and the latter’s supporter Mahmud,
Ghaznavid sultan (r. 388/998–421/1030), who crossed the Oxus to remove the pretender. On the steppe outside Bukhara, Mahmud first encountered Arslan’s nomadic followers encamped; he ‘saw the strength of the Seljuks, and the force and large numbers they possessed’.45 This is one of the earliest references to the Seljuks [al- saljuqiyya] in a sense which clearly refers to rather more than just the immediate family of Seljuk and his descendants.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
Mahmud’s response was to arrest and imprison Arslan Isra’il, doubtless hoping that without their leader, the supporters of the Seljuks would disperse – a reasonable assumption, given the fissiparous nature of political formations on the steppe. Indeed, Mahmud allowed them to cross the Oxus and tried to disperse them in Khurasan, effectively making them Ghaznavid subjects. Some were exiled to remote Mount Balkan in the west of modern Turkmenistan. Mahmud’s actions had profound consequences both for the Seljuk family and for his own territories. Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
First, some nomads still maintained loyalty to their imprisoned leader, especially the groups that had been exiled to Mount Balkan (the ‘Balkan-K uhiyan’ – see Figure 1.1). Resentful of the Ghaznavid mistreatment of Arslan Isra’il and seeking to escape from Mahmud’s control, some nomads, principally the Balkan-K Abhiyan, started to migrate westwards, through the Ghaznavid territories and beyond,Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
the west of Iran, ‘Iraq-i ‘Ajam. Owing to their association with this region, the migrants were now dubbed ‘Iraqiyya, although they penetrated as far as Azerbaijan and eastern Anatolia, which, with their vast pasturelands, represented an ideal location for their flocks.46 The numbers of the ‘Iraqiyya were small: the first group of migrants to the west consisted of 2,000 men.47 Many more, however, remained in Khurasan, where some were recruited into the Ghaznavid army.48 The second consequence of the imprisonment of Arslan Isra’il was the outbreak of a struggle between the other descendants of Seljuk for leadership.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
The details of this are obscure, but it seems the Qarakhanid ‘Ali Tegin still envisaged himself as the Seljuks’ ultimate suzerain. By around 421/1030 the sons of Arslan’s younger brother Mika’il, Tughrıl, and Chaghrı, had emerged as leaders of the resistance to ‘Ali Tegin,49 but their ascendancy was far from universally accepted. Arslan Isra’il’s own son Qutlumush and his descendants would challenge the heirs of the Mika’ilids, and the discrepancies in the treatment of these events in different versions of the Maliknama suggest that its compilers struggled to find a convincing narrative of the rise of Tughrıl and Chaghrı that would dispel doubts about their entitlement to the leadership.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
50 Later sources also play down the role of a third Seljuk, Musa Yabghu, who certainly occupied an equal position to Tughrıl and Chaghrı, and possibly even a senior one.51 Bayhaqi, for instance, our main contemporary source, talks of three leaders, not just two – Tughrıl, Chaghrı, and Yabghu.52Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
The Seljuks in Khurasan and the Ghaznavid Collapse, 1034–40 Around 425/1034, Tughrıl and Chaghrı suffered a major defeat at the hands of ‘Ali Tegin and his allies, forcing them to flee Transoxiana: ‘Their possessions and their children were taken, many of their women and offspring were imprisoned, and necessity made them cross to Khurasan’.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
53 First, they took refuge in Khwarazm, which in any event was one of their traditional pastures, but they were also encouraged by the ambitious Ghaznavid governor, Harun, who hoped to use them to support his efforts to conquer Khurasan from his suzerain.54 When Harun was murdered by Ghaznavid agents in April 426/1035,55 the Seljuks were again forced to flee, heading south across the barren wastes of the Kara Kum desert. Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
Initially, they made for the great oasis city of Merv, but perhaps it was too well defended, for they then diverted westwards to take refuge in the town of Nasa, lying in the northern foothills of the Kopet Dagh mountains.56 They had arrived on the edges of Khurasan, the province which was one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ of the Ghaznavid sultan Mas‘ud (421/1030–432/1041).57 ‘Khurasan is lost!’ (Khurāsān shud), the Ghaznavid governor of Khurasan, Abu ’l- Fadl Suri, is said to have declared as soon as he heard of the Seljuks’ arrival.58Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
This was an exaggeration: having been chased out of both Transoxiana and Khwarazm the Seljuks scarcely seem to have been invincible and, in fact, they preferred negotiation to force. A letter preserved by Bayhaqi allegedly signed by Tughrıl, Chaghrı, and Musa Yabghu explains their travails, and asks Suri to intercede with the sultan on their behalf: If [the sultan] sees fit, he will accept us as his servants, so that one of us will pay homage to him at his exalted court and the others will undertake whatever service the sultan commands, and we will rest in his great shadow.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
He should grant us the province of Nasa and Faraway which is on the edge of the desert so that we can put down our possessions and rest. We will not allow any evildoer from Mount Balkan, Dihistan, the borders of Khwarazm and the banks of the Oxus to appear, and we will fight the ‘Iraqi and Khwarazmian Türkmen. If – God forbid – the sultan does not agree, we do not know what will happen, for we have nowhere else to go.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
On receipt of this letter, the Ghaznavid vizier commented ‘up to this point this has been an affair [of dealing with] shepherds . . . now they have become amirs who seize provinces’,60 but Gardizi confirms that the Türkmen’s main aim was to secure pasture. Indeed, as late as 429/1038, when several of the leading cities of Khurasan had accepted Seljuk suzerainty, their leaders were still claiming that their ambitions were limited to pastureland.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
61 This may not have been wholly disingenuous. Securing pasture for his followers is one of the main tasks of a nomadic chief, for without pastures the Türkmen’s livestock would die, imperiling their own survival. Türkmen in such a position would naturally gravitate towards a new leader: ultimately, then, the question of securing pasture was also one of ensuring the continuing leadership of the Seljuk family.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
62 Even the promise to fight other Türkmen may have been sincere: after all, such Türkmen would present a threat to the Seljuks’ control of these new pastures, and some – such as those who remained loyal to the line of Arslan Isra’il – represented a challenge to the Mika’ilids’ leadership. There is little evidence that at this date either Tughrıl or Chaghrı, or any of their other relatives had any designs to establish their own polity.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
63 Mas‘ud proved unable to settle on a coherent policy. Initially, mindful of the trouble caused by the ‘Iraqiyya whom his father Mahmud had let through, the sultan rejected the Seljuks’ demands and prepared to campaign in person against them.64 Given that Khurasan was suffering from a series of bad harvests and famine,65 the arrival of the Seljuks may have seemed like an intolerable additional burden, and a threat to the tax base of the province.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
However, the expedition was a disaster, and Mas‘ud’s army met a humiliating defeat in a Türkmen ambush at Nasa in Sha‘ban 426/June 1035.66 Following this debacle, Mas‘ud gave in to the Seljuk demands, granting Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
them diplomas of recognition for rule over the three main towns lying in the northwest foothills of the Kopet Dagh, with the ancient Iranian title of dihqān. Chaghrı received the steppe city of Dihistan (see Figure 1.2), Tughrıl was granted Nasa, while Farawa went to Musa Yabghu (another indication that, in fact, the Seljuk leadership was a triumvirate at this date – and Bayhaqi was in a position to know as he actually drew up the diplomas).67 There was nothing especially startling about such a move.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
to Farawa and Nasa,70 but it was too dilatory to deter the Türkmen, whose raids continued.71 With almost no warning, all of Khurasan except Balkh fell to the Seljuks in 428–9/1037–8.72 The sudden Ghaznavid collapse is bewildering, not least because it is so ill-attested. The conquest of the great city of Merv, for instance, is not even distinctly recorded; the last Ghaznavid garrison is mentioned in 428/1037, but later the same year sources allude to Chaghrı’s presence there.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
73 Nishapur, too, may have fallen as early as 428/1037, judging by the earliest extant Seljuk coin struck there bearing that date, although literary sources put the conquest firmly in the following year.74 Nonetheless, we can identify some of the main factors that contributed to the Ghaznavid collapse. Formidable though the Ghaznavid military was, it faced insuperable logistical and tactical difficulties. Their heavy armor and their use of elephants – a tactic learned from India intended to terrify their foes – slowed them down and it made it impossible to operate in the desert Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
or steppe where resources were scarce. In individual battles, the Ghaznavids tended to get the upper hand, but the Seljuks usually evaporated into the steppe before a direct confrontation could take place.75 When in 431/1040 Mas‘ud finally managed to capture Tughrıl’s base at Nasa, it did him pre- curious little good for the Türkmen had merely melted away to the traditional stronghold of Mount Balkan, far into the steppe where the Ghaznavids were incapable of following them.
76 Even tracking down the lightly armed and highly mobile enemy was an enormous struggle, for the Seljuks did not aim to garrison towns. The prevailing famine in Khurasan meant that the Ghaznavid army struggled to find supplies, ‘but the Seljuks did not care about that for they are content with little’.Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
77 The Seljuks’ maneuverability also meant that Ghaznavid forces were massively overstretched by having to defend the whole vast region stretching from Jurjan by the Caspian to the Oxus. As a result, even important cities were left with wholly inadequate garrisons, or with no garrison at all. Some major centers lacked walls.78 Such cities were thus easy prey for the Seljuks.
In the absence of Ghaznavid’s authority, it was left to urban notables to decide how to react. Some towns, such as Award, seem to have defected to the Seljuks on the initiative of these local elites,79 and Nishapuri may well record something of the truth when he cites a letter sent by Tughrıl and Chaghrı to the caliph al-Q aim in which they claimed that ‘the notables and famous people of Khurasan requested us to protect them.80 Years of over-taxation, religious oppression, and Mas‘ud’s own personal venality and incompetence meant that Ghaznavid governance was regarded with suspicion and sometimes outright hostility by many groups in Khurasan.
81 At the same time, urban society in Khurasan was fragmented by factionalism.82 A decision made by the elite – or one group of it – to accept Seljuk authority
Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles
might be opposed by other social groups. In Merv, Herat, and Nishapur, the Seljuks faced popular rebellions which seem to have been instigated by the lower social classes, and it was these, rather than Ghaznavid forces, which on occasion temporarily evicted the Seljuks.83 Ghaznavid armies continued to operate in Khurasan for two years after the Seljuk takeover of most of the region in 428–9/1037–8.
For the reasons outlined above, although sometimes successful in restoring Ghaznavid authority in areas, they were unable to secure the province. The final Ghaznavid collapse was precipitated by one of the few pitched battles in the contest for Khurasan, at the small town of Dandanqan near Merv on 8 Ramadan 431/23 May 1040.84 An army led by Mas‘ud was heading from Nishapur to Merv to seek out the Seljuks, but the Ghaznavid force was exhausted from the long desert road and the shortage of supplies and fighting broke out between the sultan’s personal guard and the ordinary soldiers over water.
Chaghrı, meanwhile, who had been shadowing the army’s march across the desert, pounced just as these Ghaznavid forces were setting about each other. The defeat was total, and Mas‘ud fled southwards to save what he could of his empire. He was killed soon afterward, toppled in a court coupon his way to India to try to recruit forces with which to fight the Seljuks.
85 In an oft-quoted passage, Mirkhwand claimed that the Seljuks had made Khurasan ‘ruinous, like the disheveled tresses of the fair ones or the eyes of the loved ones, and it became devastated by the pasturing of [the Türkmen’s] flocks’.86 Gardizi tells us how Ghaznavid officials in Khurasan ‘were continually sending letters [to Mas‘ud] with the information that the violence and evildoing of the Türkmen had gone beyond all measure’.
87 Without denying the damage caused by the Türkmen and their livestock, they cannot have been solely to blame. The deployment of large Ghaznavid armies across the province for several years must have placed a massive burden on Khurasan’s already stretched resources.88 As Ghaznavid authority ebbed away, urban militias (‘ayyārs) proliferated, terrorizing the population,89 while rivalries between cities also led to strife, with the people of Tus and Abiward ganging
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Alparslan Buyuk Seljuklu Episode 21 English subtitles