1902 Encyclopedia > Seljuks


SELJUKS is the name of several Turkish dynasties, issued from one family, which reigned over large parts of Asia in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries of our era. The history of the Seljuks forms the first part of the his-tory of the Turkish empire. Proceeding from the deserts of Turkestan, the Seljuks reached the Hellespont; but this barrier was crossed and a European power founded by the Ottomans (Osmanli). The Seljuks inherited the traditions and at the same time the power of the previous Arabian empire, of which, when they made their appearance, only the shadow remained in the person of the 'Abbasid caliph of Baghdad. It is their merit from a Mohammedan point of view to have re-established the power of orthodox Islam and delivered the Moslem world from the supremacy of the caliph's Shi'ite competitors, the Fatimites of Egypt, and from the subversive influence of ultra-Shfite tenets, which constituted a serious danger to the duration of Islam itself. Neither had civilization anything to fear from them, since they represented a strong neutral power, which made the intimate union of Persian and Arabian elements possible, almost at the expense of the national Turkish,— literary monuments in that language being during the whole period of the Seljuk rule exceedingly rare.

The first Seljuk rulers were Toghrul Beg, Chakir Beg, and Ibrahim Niyal, the sons of Mikail, the son of Seljuk, the son of Tukak (also styled Timuryalik, " iron bow"). They belonged to the Turkish tribe of the Ghuzz (Ov(oi of Const. Porphyr. and the Byzantine writers), which traced its lineage to Oghuz, the famous eponymic hero not only of this but of all Turkish tribes. There arose, however, at some undefined epoch a strife on the part of this tribe and some others with the rest of the Turks, because, as the latter allege, Ghuzz, the son (or grandson) of Yafeth (Japhet), the son of Null (Noah), had stolen the genuine rain-stone, which Turk, also a son of Yafeth, had inherited from his father. By this party, as appears from this tradition, the Ghuzz were not considered to be genuine Turks, but to be Turkmans (that is, according to a popular etymology, resembling Turks). But the native tradition of the Ghuzz was unquestionably right, as they spoke a pure Turkish dialect. The fact, however, remains that there existed a certain animosity between the Ghuzz and their allies and the rest of the Turks, which increased as the former became converted to Islam (in the course of the 4th century of the Flight). The Ghuzz were settled at that time in Transoxiana, especially at Jand, a well-known city on the banks of the Jaxartes, not far from its mouth. Some of them served in the armies of the Ghazna-vids Sebuktegih and Mahmiid (997-1030); but the Seljuks, a royal family among them, had various relations with the reigning princes of Transoxiana and Kharizm, which can-not be narrated here. But, friends or foes, the Ghuzz became a serious danger to the adjoining Mohammedan provinces from their predatory habits and continual raids, and the more so as they were very numerous. It may suffice to mention that, under the leadership of Israil or Pigu Arslan, they crossed the Oxus and spread over the eastern provinces of Persia, everywhere plundering and de-stroying. The imprisonment of this chieftain by Mas'iid, the son and successor of Mahmiid, was of no avail: it only-furnished his nephews with a ready pretext to cross the Oxus likewise in arms against the Ghaznavids. We pass over their first conflicts and the unsuccessful agreements that were attempted, to mention the decisive battle near Merv (1040), in which Mas ud was totally defeated and driven back to Ghazna (Ghazni). Persia now lay open to the victors, who proclaimed themselves independent at Merv (which became from that time the official capital of the principal branch of the Seljuks), and acknowledged Toghrul Beg as chief of the whole family. After this victory the three princes Toghrul Beg, Chakir Beg, and Ibrahim Niyal separated in different directions and con-quered the Mohammedan provinces east of the Tigris; the last-named, after conquering Hamadan and the province of Jebel, penetrated as early as 1048, with fresh Ghuzz troops, into Armenia and reached Melazkerd, Erzeriim (Erzeroum), and Trebizond. This excited the jealousy of Toghrul Beg, who summoned him to give up Hamadan and the fortresses of Jebel; but Ibrahim refused, and the progress of the Seljukian arms was for some time checked by internal discord,—an ever-recurring event in their history. Ibrahim was, however, compelled to submit.

At this time the power of the 'Abbasid caliph of Baghdad (Al-Kaim bi-amr illah) was reduced to a mere shadow, as the Shi'ite dynasty of the Biiyids and after-wards his more formidable Fatimite rivals had left him almost wholly destitute of authority. The real ruler at Baghdad was a Turk named Basasiri, lieutenant of the last Biiyid, Al-Malik ar-Bahfm. Nothing could, therefore, be more acceptable to the caliph than the protection of the orthodox Toghrul Beg, whose name was read in the official prayer (khotba) as early as 1050. At the end of the same year the Seljuk entered the city and after a tumult seized the person of Malik ar-Bahim. Basasiri had the good fortune to be out of his reach; after acknowledging the right of the Fatimites, he gathered fresh troops and incited Ibrahim Niyal to rebel again, and he succeeded so far that he re-entered Baghdad at the close of 1058. The next year, howTever, Toghrul Beg got rid of both his antagonists, Ibrahim being taken prisoner and strangled with the bowstring, while Basasiri fell in battle. Toghrul Beg now re-entered Baghdad, re-established the caliph, and was betrothed to his daughter, but died before the consummation of the nuptials (September 1063) Alp Arslan, the son of Chakir Beg, succeeded his uncle and extended the rule of his family beyond the former frontiers. He made himself master, e.g., of the important city of Aleppo; and during his reign a Turkish emir, Atsiz, wrested Palestine and Syria from the hands of the Fatim-ites. Nothing, however, added more to his fame than his successful expeditions against the Greeks, especially that of 1071, in which the Greek emperor Bomanus Diogenes was taken prisoner and forced to ransom himself for a large sum. The foundation of the Seljuk empire of Rum (Asia Minor, see below) was the immediate result of this great victory. Alp Arslân afterwards undertook an ex-pedition against Turkestan, and met with his death at the hands of a captured chief, Jusof Barzami, whom he had intended to shoot with his own hand.

Malik Shah, the son and successor of Alp Arslân, had to encounter his uncle Kâwurd, founder of the Seljukian em-pire of Kermân (see below), who claimed to succeed Alp Arslân in accordance with the Turkish laws, and led his troops towards Hamadân. However, he lost the battle that ensued, and the bowstring put an end to his life (1073). Malik Shah regulated also the affairs of Asia Minor and Syria, conceding the latter province as an hereditary fief to his brother Tutush, who established himself at Damascus and killed Atsiz. He, however, like his father Alp Arslân, was indebted for his greatest fame to the wise and salutary measures of their vizier, Nizâm al-Mulk. This extraordinary man, associated by tradition with OMAR KHAYYAM (q.v.), the well-known mathematician and free-thinking poet, and with Hasan b. Sabbâh, afterwards the founder of the Ismaélites or Assassins, was a renowned author and statesman of the first rank, and immortalized his name by the foundation of several universities (the Nizâmiyah at Baghdad), observatories, mosques, hospitals, and other institutions of public utility. At his instigation the calendar was revised and a new era, dating from the reign of Malik Shah and known as the Jelalian, was introduced. Not quite forty days before the death of his master this great man was murdered by the Ismaélites. He had fallen into disfavour shortly before because of his unwillingness to join in the intrigues of the princess Turkân Khâtûn, who wished to secure the succession to the throne for her infant son Mahmud at the expense of the elder sons of Malik Shah.

Constitution and Government of the Seljuk Empire.—It has been already observed that the Seljiiks considered themselves the defenders of the orthodox faith and of the 'Abbâsid caliphate, while they on their side represented the temporal power which received its titles and sanction from the successor of the Prophet. All the members of the Seljûk house had the same obligations in this respect, but they had not the same rights, as one of them occupied relatively to the others a place almost analogous to that of the great khan of the Mongols in later times. This position was inherited from father to son, though the old Turkish idea of the rights of the elder brother often caused rebellions and violent family disputes. After the death of Malik Shah the head of the family was not strong enough to enforce obedience, and consequently the central government broke up into several independent dynasties. Within the limits of these minor dynasties the same rules were observed, and the same may be said of the hereditary fiefs of Turkish emirs not belonging to the royal family, who bore ordinarily the title of atabek (properly "father bey"), e.g., the atabeks of Fars, of Adharbaijàn (Azerbijan), of Syria, &c. The title was first given to Nizam al-Mulk and expressed the relation in which he stood to the prince,—as lata, "tutor." The affairs of state were managed by the divan under the presidency of the vizier ; but in the empire of Rum its authority was inferior to that of the pervdneh, whom we may name "lord chancellor." In Rùm the feudal system was extended to Christian princes, who were acknowledged by the sultan on con-dition of paying tribute and serving in the armies. The court dignitaries and their titles were manifold ; not less manifold were the royal prerogatives, in which the sultans followed the example set by their predecessors, the Buyids.

Notwithstanding the intrigues of Turkân Khâtiin, Malik Shah was succeeded by his elder son Barkiyârok (1092-1104), whose short reign was a series of rebellions and strange adventures such as one may imagine in the story of a youth who is by turns a powerful prince and a miserable fugitive. Like his brother Mohammed (1104-1118), who successfully rebelled against him, his most dangerous enemies were the Ismaélites, who had succeeded in taking the fortress of Alamut (north of Kazvin) and become a formidable political power "by the organization of bands of jídáwís, who were always ready, even at the sacrifice of their own lives, to murder any one whom they were commanded to slay (see ASSASSINS).

Mohammed had been successful by the aid of his brother Sinjar, who from the year 1097 held the province of Khorásan with the capital Merv. After the death of Mohammed Sinjar became the real head of the family, though 'Irak acknowledged Mahmúd, the son of Mo-hammed. Thus there originated a separate dynasty of 'Irak with its capital at Hamadân ; but Sinjar during his long reign often interfered in the affairs of the new dynasty, and every occupant of the throne had to acknow-ledge his supremacy. In 1117 he led an expedition against Ghazna and bestowed the throne upon Behrám Sháh, who was also obliged to mention Sinjar's name first in the official prayer at the Ghaznavid capital,—a prerogative that neither Alp Arslân nor Malik Sháh had attained. In 1134 Behrám Sháh failed in this obligation and brought on himself a fresh invasion by Sinjar in the midst of winter ; a third one took place in 1152, caused by the doings of the Ghurids (Hosain Jihánsúz, or " world-burner "). Other expeditions were undertaken by him against Khárizm and Turkestan ; the government of the former had been given by Barkiyârok to Mohammed b. Anushtegin, who was suc-ceeded in 1128 by his son Atsiz, and against him Sinjar marched in 1138. Though victorious in this war, Sinjar could not hinder Atsiz from afterwards joining the gurkhán (great khan) of the then rapidly rising empire of the Kara-chitai, at whose hands the Seljúk suffered a terrible defeat at Samarkand in 1141. By the invasion of these hordes several Turkish tribes, the Ghuzz and others, were driven beyond the Oxus, where they killed the Seljúk governor of Balkh, though they professed to be loyal to Sinjar. Sinjar resolved to punish this crime; but his troops deserted and he himself was taken prisoner by the Ghuzz, who kept him in strict confinement during two years (1153-55), though treating him with all outward marks of respect. In the meantime they plundered and destroyed the flourishing cities of Merv and Nishápúr ; and when Sinjar, after his escape from captivity, revisited the site of his capital he fell sick of sorrow and grief and died soon afterwards (1157). His empire fell to the Karachitai and afterwards to the sháh of Khárizm. Of the successors of Mohammed in 'Irak we give only the names with the date of the death of each:—Mahmúd (1131); Toghrul, son of Mohammed, proclaimed by Sinjar (1134) ; Masud (1152) ; Malik Sháh and Mohammed (1159), sons of Mahmúd ; Sulaimán Sháh, their brother (1161); Arslân, son of Toghrul (1175); and Toghrul, son of Arslân, killed in 1194 by Inânej, son of his atabek, Mohammed, who was in confederation with the Khárizm sháh of the epoch, Takash. This chief inherited his possessions ; Toghrul was the last representative of the Seljúks of 'Irak.

The province of Kermân was one of the first conquests of the Seljúks, and became the hereditary fief of K^wurd, the son of Chakir Beg. Mention has been made of his war with Malik Sháh and of his ensuing death (1073). Nevertheless his descendants were left in possession of their ancestor's dominions; and till 1170 Kermán, to which belonged also the opposite coast of 'Omán, enjoyed a well-ordered government, except for a short interruption caused by the deposition of Irán Sháh, who had embraced the tenets of the Ismaélites, and was put to death (1101) in accordance with a fatwa of the ulema. But after the death of Toghrul Shah (1170) his three sons disputed with each other for the possession of the throne, and implored foreign assistance, till the country became utterly devastated and fell an easy prey to some bands of Ghuzz, who, under the leadership of Malik Dinar (1185), marched into Kerman after harassing Sinjar's dominions. Afterwards the shahs of Kharizm took this province.

The Seljiikian dynasty of Syria came to an end after three generations, and its later history is interwoven with that of the crusaders. The first prince was Tutush, men-tioned above, who perished, after a reign of continuous fighting, in battle against Barkiyarok near Rai (1095). Of his two sons, the elder, Ridhwan, established himself at Aleppo (died 1113); the younger, Dukak, took possession of Damascus, and died in 1103. The sons of the former, Alp Arslan and Sultan Shah, reigned a short time nomi-nally, though the real power was exercised by Lulu till 1117. We cannot, however, enter here into the very complicated history of these two cities, which changed their masters almost every year till the time of Zengi and Niir ed-din.

After the great victory of Alp Arslan in which the Greek emperor was taken prisoner (1071), Asia Minor lay open to the inroads of the Turks. Hence it was easy for Sulaiman, the son of Kutulmish, the son of Arslan Pigu (Israil), to penetrate as far as the Hellespont, the more so as after the captivity of Bomanus, two rivals, Nicephorus Bryennius in Asia and another Nicephorus named Botoniates in Europe, disputed the throne with one another. The former ap-pealed to Sulaiman for assistance, and was by his aid brought to Constantinople and seated on the imperial throne. But the possession of Asia Minor was insecure to the Seljuks as long as the important city of Antioch belonged to the Greeks, so that we may date the real foundation of this Seljiik empire from the taking of that city by the treason of its commander Bhilaretus in 1084, who afterwards became a vassal of the Seljuks. The conquest involved Sulaiman in war with the neighbouring Mohammedan princes, and he met his death soon after-wards (1086), near Shaizar, in a battle against Tutush. Owing to these family discords the decision of Malik Shah was necessary to settle the affairs of Asia Minor and Syria; he kept the sons of Sulaiman in captjvity, and committed the war against the unbelieving Greeks to his generals Bursuk (ilpocrovx) and Buzan (Ho-ufavos). Barki-yarok, however, on his accession (1092), allowed Kilig Arslan, the son of Sulaiman, to return to the dominions of his father. Acknowledged by the Turkish emirs of Asia Minor, he took up his residence in Nicsea, and defeated the first bands of crusaders under Walter the Penniless and others (1096); but, on the arrival of Godfrey of Bouillon and his companions, he was prudent enough to leave his capital in order to attack them as they were besieging Nicaea. He suffered, however, two defeats in the vicinity, and Nicaea surrendered on 23d June 1097. As the cru-saders marched by way of Dorylaeum and Iconium towards Antioch, the Greeks subdued the Turkish emirs resid-ing at Smyrna, Ephesus, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Lampes, and Polybotus;8 and Kilig Arslan, with his Turks, retired to the north-eastern parts of Asia Minor, to act with the Turkish emirs of Sivas (Sebaste), known under the name of the Danishmand.

3 The Turkmans who dwelt in these western parts of Asia Minor, which were never regained by the Seljuks, were called Utch (Outsiders).

The history of the dynasty of the Danishmand is still very obscure, notwithstanding the efforts of Mordtmann, Schlumberger, Karabaeek, Sallet, and others to fix some chronological details, and it is almost impossible to harmonize the different statements of the Armenian, Syriac, Greek, and Western chronicles with those of the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. The coins are few in number, very difficult to decipher, and often without date. The founder of the dynasty was a certain Tailu, who is said to have been a schoolmaster (danishmand), probably because he understood Arabic and Persian. His descendants, therefore, took the style of " Ibn Danishmand," often without their own name. They took posses-sion of Sivas, Tokat, Nicsar, Ablastan, Malatieh, probably after the death of Sulaiman, though they may have established them-selves in one or more of these cities much earlier, perhaps in 1071, after the defeat of Romanus Diogenes. During the hist crusade the reigning prince was Kumushtegin (Ahmed Ghazi), who defeated the Franks and took prisoner the prince of Antioch, Bohemond, afterwards ransomed. He died probably in 1106, and was succeeded by his son Mohammed (d. 1143), after whom reigned Jaghi Basan ; but it is very probable that other members of the same dynasty reigned at the same time in the cities already named, and in some others, e,g., Kastainuni.

Afterwards there arose a natural rivalry between the Seljuks and the Danishmand, which ended with the ex-tinction of the latter about 1175. Kilig Arslan took possession of Mosul in 1107, and declared himself independ-ent of the Seljuks of 'Irak; but in the same year he was drowned in the Chaboras through the treachery of his own emirs, and the dynasty seemed again destined to decay, as his sons were in the power of his enemies. The sultan Mohammed, however, set at liberty his eldest son Malik Shah, who reigned for some time, until he was treacher-ously murdered (it is not quite certain by whom), being succeeded by his brother Mas'iid, who established himself at Konieh (Iconium), from that time the residence of the Seljuks of Rum. During his reign—he died in 1155— the Greek emperors undertook various expeditions in Asia Minor and Armenia ; but the Seljuk was cunning enough to profess himself their ally and to direct them against his own enemies. Nevertheless the Seljiikian dominion was petty and unimportant and did not rise to significance till his son and successor, Kilig Arslan II., had subdued the Danishmands and appropriated their possessions, though he thereby risked the wrath of the powerful atabek of Syria, Nur ed-din, and afterwards that of the still more powerful Saladin. But as the sultan grew old his numerous sons, who held each the command of a city of the empire, embittered his old age by their mutual rivalry, and the eldest, K°tb ed-din, tyrannized over his father in his own capital, exactly at the time that Frederick I. (Barbarossa) entered his dominions on his way to the Holy Sepulchre (1190). Konieh itself was taken and the sultan forced to provide guides and provisions for the crusaders. Kilig Arslan lived two years longer, finally under the protection of his youngest son, Kaikhosrau, who held the capital after him (till 1199) until his elder brother, Rokn ed-din Sulaiman, after having vanquished his other brothers, ascended the throne and obliged Kaikhosrau to seek refuge at the Greek emperor's court. This valiant prince saved the empire from destruction and conquered Erzerum, which had been ruled during a considerable time by a separate dynasty, and was now given in fief to his brother, Mughit ed-din Toghrul Shah. But, marching thence against the Georgians, Sulaiman's troops suffered a terrible defeat; after this Sulaiman set out to subdue his brother Mas'iid Shah, at Angora, who was finally taken prisoner and treacherously murdered. This crime is regarded by Orien-tal authors as the reason of the premature death of the sultan (in 1204); but it is more probable that he was murdered because he displeased the Mohammedan clergy, who accused him of atheism. His son, Kilig Arslan III., was soon deposed by Kaikhosrau (who returned), assisted by the Greek Maurozomes, whose daughter he had married in exile. He ascended the throne the same year in which the Latin empire was established in Constantinople, a cir-cumstance highly favourable to the Turks, who were the natural allies of the Greeks (Theodore Lascaris) and the enemies of the crusaders and their allies, the Armenians. Kaikhosrau, therefore, took in 1207 from the Italian Aldobrandini the important harbour of Attalia (Adalia); but his conquests in this direction were put an end to by his attack upon Lascaris, for in the battle that ensued he perished in single combat with his royal antagonist (1211).

His son and successor, Kaikaviis, made peace with Lascaris and extended his frontiers to the Black Sea by the con-quest of Sinope (1214). On this occasion he was fortunate enough to take prisoner the Comnenian prince (Alexis) who ruled the independent empire of Trebizond, and he compelled him to purchase his liberty by acknowledging the supremacy of the Seljuks, by paying tribute, and by serving in the armies of the sultan. Elated by this great success and by his victories over the Armenians, Kaikaviis was induced to attempt the capture of the important city of Aleppo, at this time governed by the descendants of Saladin; but the affair miscarried. Soon afterwards the sultan died (1219) and was succeeded by his brother, Ala ed-din Kaikobad, the most powerful and illustrious prince of this branch of the Seljuks, renowned not only for his successful wars but also for his magnificent structures at Konieh, Alaja, Sivas, and elsewhere, which belong to the best specimens of Saracenic architecture. The town of Alaja was the creation of this sultan, as previously there existed on that site only the fortress of Candelor, at that epoch in the possession of an Armenian chief, who was expelled by Kaikobad, and shared the fate of the Armenian and Frankish knights who possessed the fortresses along the coast of the Mediterranean as far as Selefke (Seleucia). Kaikobad extended his rule as far as this city, and desisted from further conquest only on condition that the Armenian princes would enter into the same kind of relation to the Seljuks as had been imposed on the Comnenians of Trebizond. But his greatest military fame was won by a war which, however glorious, was to prove fatal to the Seljiik empire in the future: in conjunction with his ally, the Eyyiibid prince Al-Ashraf, he defeated the Kharizm shah Jelal ed-din near Arzengan (1230). This victory removed the only barrier that checked the progress of the Mongols. During this war Kaikobad put an end to the collateral dynasty of the Seljuks of Erzerum and annexed its pos-sessions. He also gained the city of Khelat with depend-encies that in former times had belonged to the Shah-i-Armen, but shortly before had been taken by Jelal ed-din ; this aggression was the cause of the war just mentioned. The acquisition of Khelat led, however, to a new war, as Kaikobad's ally, the Eyyiibid prince, envied him this conquest. Sixteen Mohammedan princes, mostly Eyyiibids, of Syria and Mesopotamia, under the leadership of Al-Malik al-Kamil, prince of Egypt, marched with considerable forces into Asia Minor against him. Happily for Kaiko-bad, the princes mistrusted the power of the Egyptian, and it proved a difficult task to penetrate through the mountainous well-fortified accesses to the interior of Asia Minor, so that the advantage rested with Kaikobad, who took Kharput, and for some time even held Harran, Ar-Boha, and Rakka (1232). The latter conquests were, however, soon lost, and Kaikobad himself died in 1234 of poison administered to him by his son and successor, Ghiyats ed-din Kaikhosrau II. This unworthy son in-herited from his father an empire embracing almost the whole of Asia Minor, with the exception of the countries governed by Vatatzes (Vataces) and the Christian princes of Trebizond and Lesser Armenia, who, however, were bound to pay tribute and to serve in the armies,—an empire celebrated by contemporary reports for its wealth. But the Turkish soldiers were of little use in a regular battle, and the sultan relied mainly on his Christian troops, so much so that an insurrection of dervishes which occurred at this period could only be put down by their assistance. It was at this epoch also that there flourished at Konieh the greatest mystical poet of Islam, and the founder of the order of the Mawlawis, Jelal ed-din Rumi (d. 1273; see RUMI), and that the dervish fraternities spread throughout the whole country and became power-ful bodies, often discontented with the liberal principles of the sultans, who granted privileges to the Christian merchants and held frequent intercourse with them. Not-withstanding all this, the strength and reputation of the empire were so great that the Mongols hesitated to invade it, although standing at its frontiers. But, as they crossed the border, Kaikhosrau marched against them, and suffered a formidable defeat at Kuzadag (between Arzengan and Sivas) in 1243, which forced him to purchase peace by the promise of a heavy tribute. The independence of the Seljuks was now for ever lost. The Mongols retired for some years; but, Kaikhosrau dying in 1245, the joint government of his three sons gave occasion to fresh in-roads, till one of them died and Hulagu divided the empire between the other two, 'Izz ed-dfn ruling the dis-tricts west of the Halys and Bokn ed-din the eastern provinces (1259). But the former, intriguing with the Mameluke sultans of Egypt to expel his brother and gain his independence, was defeated by a Mongol army and obliged to flee to the imperial court. Here he was im-prisoned, but afterwards released by the Tatars of the Crimea, who took him with them to Sarai, where he died. Rokn ed-din was only a nominal ruler, the real power being in the hands of his pervaneh, Muin ed-din Sulaiman, who in 1267 procured an order of the Mongol Khan Abaka for his execution. The minister raised his infant son, Ghiyats ed-din Kaikhosrau III., to the throne, and governed the country for ten years longer, till he was entangled in a conspiracy of several emirs, who proposed to expel the Mongols with the aid of the Mameluke sultan of Egypt (Beybars or Bibars). The latter marched into Asia Minor and defeated the Mongols in the bloody battle of Ablastan (1277); but, when he advanced farther to Caesarea, the pervaneh retired, hesitating to join him at the very moment of action. Beybars, therefore, in his turn fell back, leaving the pervaneh to the vengeance of the khan, who soon discovered his treason and ordered a barbarous execution. Ghiyats ed-din continued to reign in name till 1284, though the country was in reality governed by a Mongol viceroy. Masud, the son of 'Izz ed-din, who on the death of his father had fled from the Crimea to the Mongol khan and had received from him the government of Sivas, Arzengan, and Erzerum during the lifetime of Ghiyats ed-din, ascended the Seljiik throne on the death of Ghiyats. But his authority was scarcely respected in his own residence, for several Turkish emirs assumed independence and could only be subdued by Mongol aid, when they retired to the mountains, to re-appear as soon as the Mongols were gone. Mas'iid fell, probably about 1295, a victim to the vengeance of one of the emirs, whose father he had ordered to be put to death. After him Kaikobad, son of his brother Faramarz, entered Konieh as sultan in 1298, but his reign is so obscure that nothing can be said of it; some authors assert that he governed only till 1300, others till 1315. With him ended the dynasty of the Seljuks ; but the Turkish empire founded by them continued to exist under the rising dynasty of the Ottomans. (See TURKEY.)

Bibliography.—The best, though insufficient, account of the Seljuks is still De Guignes, Histoire Generale des Huns, bks. x.-xii., from whom Gibbon borrowed his dates. Among translations from original sources (of which the most trustworthy are yet unedited), comp. Mirkhond's Geschichte der Seldschuken (ed. Vullers), Giessen, 1838; Tarikh-i-Guzideh, French translation by Defremery in the Journal Asiatique, 1848, i. 417 sq., ii. 259 sq., 334 sq. ; Seid Locmani ex Libro Turcico qui Oghuzname inscribitur Excerpta (ed. J. H. W. Lagus), Helsingfors, 1854 (on the Seljuks of Asia Minor exclusively, but of little value). Information respecting certain periods is given incidentally in the well-known works of Von Hammer and D'Ohsson. (M. T. H.)

The above article was written by: Prof. M. Th. Houtsma, University of Leyden.

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