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Sight seeing of Iran

Tomb Of Hafez, Shiraz

Amir Chakhmaq Square, Yazd

Iran under Saljuq Rule (1037-1220)

The Saljuqs were a clan of the Oghuz Turks, who traced their ancestry to a chieftain named Saljuq. Saljuq’s two grandsons, Čaḡri Beg and Toḡrel Beg, enlisted Persian support to win realms from the Buyid and Ghaznavid rulers. After “petitioning” the Abbasid caliph for permission Toḡrel Beg was also able to occupy Baghdad. At his death in 1063, Toḡrel Beg headed an empire that included Iran and Mesopotamia and held the title King of the East. In 1071, a Saljuq army led by Alp Arsalan defeated the Byzantines.

The way was open for Turkman tribesmen to settle in Asia Minor. Under Alp Arsalan and his successor, Malek Shah, the Saljuq Empire included all of Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine. The Saljuqs were great architectural patrons and in addition to constructing numerous mosques, Madrasas (Seminary /theological college), orphanages, caravanserais, and bridges, they were particularly 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 Saljuqs also attained a high standard in decorative arts, especially in metalwork, wood carving, and pottery. Because the Turkish Saljuqs 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 the whole of 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 Saljuq Empire was greatly threatened by the Ismailis, who finally murdered Nezam-al-Molk and Malek Shah. The state was also undermined by the Saljuq 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 Sultan Ala-al-Din Kay Kobad (Qobad) I of the Kharazm-Shah dynasty led to the elimination of Saljuq power. The last Iranian Saljuq king was killed on the battlefield in 1194, and by 1200 Saljuq power was at an end everywhere except in Anatolia. The Kharazm-Shah created an imposing but very fragile empire, which was a victim, of Mongol invasion.

 Refrence(s):

- Beheshti, Oksana (2003). Travel guide to Isfahan, Kashan and more. Iran. Tehran. Rozaneh publication. P. 21-33

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