Selected Chronology, 945 a.d. - 1118 a.d., taken from Marshall
G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, vol. 2, pp. 18-21.
In Egypt and Syria.
- Ikhshidids (935-969), independent dynasty founded by the Turk
Muhammad b. Tugh (935-946) nominally acknowledging the 'Abbasid caliphs;
they control also Syria and the Hijaz.
- Hamadanids (Shi'i Arab tribesmen) of Mosul (929-991) and Aleppo
(944-1003); Sayf al-dawlah (944-967) of Aleppo takes that city and Hims
from Ikhshidids, fights Byzantines; his successors carry on war with
Byzantines and Aleppo; court patronage of the poet al-Mutanabbi (d. 965),
of the literary historian al-Isfahani (d. 967) and the Faylasuf al-Farabi
- Fatimids (969-1171), established in Tunis in 909 (overthrowing the
Aghlabids) by a purported 'Alid descendant of Isma'il b. Ja'far al-Sadiq;
already in the earliest years had organized missionary efforts carried
out by da'is (propagandists, missionaries); in the decades following 909,
Fatimids extend their power over the Maghrib and on the sea; in 969,
capture of Egypt; foundation of Cairo and of al-Azhar mosque, which
shortly thereafter becomes Shi'i center of learning and with Dar
al-Hikmah, of missionary efforts; Fatimid military power built on slave
troops and Berber mercenaries.
- 996-1021: reign of al-Hakim, rise of Druzes in Syria.
- 1036-1094: reign of al-Mustansir, weakening of Isma'ili impetus
- 1039: death of the astornomer Ibn-al-Haytham, who worked in
- 1043: Syria slips away from Fatimid control
- 1046-49: visit to egypt of the Shi'i writer Nasir-e Khusraw
- 1050: Arab Banu Hilal and Sulaym tribes sent west across N. Africa
from Upper Egypt; they raid and devastate, ruining parts of the Maghrib.
- 1062: central political control weakens
- c. 1060-91: Normans conquer Sicily, take Palermo in 1071.
- c. 1070: Seljuks in Syria
- 1090: Hasan-e Sabbah takes Alamut stronghold in Iran; beginning of
- 1094: central Fatimid political control weakens further, court
intrigues and factions almost continuous
- 1101-30: reign of al-Amir, last strong Fatimid caliph
In Spain and the Magrib
In the Iranian Lands
- 912-961: reign of 'Abd-al-Rahman III, absolutist ruler, declared
himself caliph in 929; exercised strong central control in Spain and
warred in the Maghrib against Fatimids and Berber forces.
- 969-1027: ('Umayyad) caliphate of Cordova; city is a center of
- 1010: central power weakens, beginning of century of petty kingdoms
[taifas]; first half of eleventh century: Christian powers in northern
Spain ally together, begin pushing south.
- 1062: Marrakash founded by rising puritan literalist Berber
- 1064: death of Ibn-Hazm, poet, vizir, theologian
- 1085: Toledo falls to Christian Reconquista forces
- 1090-1147: Murabits rule in Spain, push back Christians
- 1099: death of the Cid, soldier of fortune
- 1130: death of Muhammad b. Tumart, proclaimed Mahdi, preacher to
Berbers who become al-Muwahhids (Almohads).
- 1138: death of Ibn-Bajjah, Faylasuf.
- The Samanids (874-999): Sunni 'Transoxanian Iranian' dynasty
- 913-942: Nasr II, sympathetic to Shi'i and Isma'ili learning;
maximum extent of Samanid rule centered on Khurasan and Transoxania but
including W. to Rayy and Kirman; capital Bukhara; Samarqand important
center; Samanids patrons of learning and Persian literary renaissance
(al-Razi, d. 925; Ibn Sina, d. 1037; Rudaqi, fl. 930s; Firdawsi, d.
1020); dynasty maintained centralized bureaucracy supported by landed
nobles (dihqans) and paid Turkish slave troops; also important were ghazi
warriors for the faith on the frontier to N. and E.
- 940s: Loss of W. holdings to Shi'i Buyids
- 942: Weakening of central Samanid family and court control; palace
intrigues; revolution begins
- c. 950s: Converison of Turks E. of Syr (Jaxartes) river including
Kara-khanids, purported ruling house of Karluks
- 962: Alptigin, Turkish military chief under the Samanids, and
possibly a Karluk, siezes Ghaznah; his slave commander and son-in-law
Subuktigin founds Ghaznavid dynasty (976-1186)
- 990s: Kara-khanids and Ghaznavids take over and divide Samanid
domains between them, the Kara-khanids holding the lands E. of the Oxus
river except for Khwarazm, the Ghaznavids the other lands; Turkish groups
now in firm political and military control of these lands.
- The Buyids
- Imami (Twelver) Shi'i mountaineers from Daylam, the three founding
brothers rising to power in the 930s; took over W. Iran, and in 945
Baghdad, S. Iraq, and for a short while 'Uman; war with Hamdanids to
N.W., Samanids to E.; Baghdad begins to lose its singular prominence;
Shiraz begins to rise in importance, also Cordova, Cairo
- 983: Buyid unity begins to fall apart, local provincial autonomy
begins to appear; Ikhwan al-Safa flourishes, also the poet al-Ma'arri
- 1030: Mahmud of Ghaznah takes Rayy; Ghaznavids strong in W. Iranian
- 1031-1075: Reign of Caliph al-Qa'im; he champions a revival of
Sunnism and (in Iraz) a limited perosnal power
- The Ghaznavids
- 976-997: Sabuktigin extends his power from Peshawar in N.W.
India through Khurasan
- 999-1030: Mahmud of Ghaznah, enthusiastic Sunni, conducted campaigns
in N.W. India, founded permanently effective Muslim power and expansion
there; called ghazi (warrior for the faith); acknowledged suzerainty of
the caliph; took over Khwarazm, Rayy, Isfahan, Jibal; benefited from
enormous wealth of booty gained in Indian expeditions, maintained
splendid court (Firdawsi, c. 1010); but maintained also large army and
- 1040: Seljuks defeat Ghaznavids; their power in Khurasan and W.
Iranian lands collapses; they are ehnceforth confined to Ghaznah area and
N.W. India where they continue in power and to expand in N. India
- 1118: Ghaznavids become tributary to Seljuks
- 990s: Seljuk Turkish family become Muslims; located along lower
Syr (Jaxartes) river; leaders of Oghuz Turkmen nomads. Beginning
eleventh century: Seljuks and followers enter Transoxania and Khwarazm,
warring with and against factions of Kara-khanids
- 1030s: Seljuks and followers in Khurasan then into W. Iran, war
against Ghaznavids, raid towns; campaigns are destructive, so also the
Turkmen pastoralism to settled agriculture
- 1040: decisively defeat Ghaznavids; Turkmen especially little
amenable to bureaucratic system depending on settled agriculture; Seljuk
leaders begin to recognize necessity of imperial control, yet parcel out
governing regions to members of family
- 1040s: Turkmen push into Azerbaijan and the Jazirah; successes
attract more Turkmen from Khurasan and Transoxania; Toghril-beg
(1038-1063), exercising Seljuk authority in W. Iran, tries to control or
divert to hinterlands these Turkmen
- 1055: Toghril and Seljuks into Baghdad
- 1063-1092: Alp-Arslan rules for 10 years, followed by his son
Malikshah; vizir Nizamulmulk; Turkmen sent westward into Syria and
Anatolia; attempt at centralizing administration and protection of
agriculture and towns; roads and mosques built
- 1065-1067: Nizamiyyah madrasah built at Baghdad
- 1071: Crushing of Byzantines at battle of Malazgirt (Manzikert)
assures Anatolia's being open to Turkmen, who within a decade penetrate
to Aegean Sea, are involved with Byzantine claimants to the throne
- 1070s: Seljuks war with Fatimids and local rulers in Syria
- 1091: Seljuks settle their capital at Baghdad
- 1094: Byzantine emperor appeals to pope for help
- 1099: Jerusalem taken by Crusaders; Baghdad and Seljuks do nothing;
beginning twelfth century, local Turkmen dynasties begin to arise
- 1111: Death of al-Ghazali
- 1118: With death of Muhammad, Seljuk domains now permanently break
up into independent principalities, noteworthy being Seljuks in Rum
(Anatolia - traditional dates 1077-1307), in Khurasan (Sanjar nominal
sultan of all - 1097-1157); Iraq and Syria under local provincial rulers
including Seljuk claimants