Last updated
History of the Turkic peoples Hunting Party with the Sultan Jean Baptiste Vanmour 18th century.JPG
History of the Turkic peoples
History of the Turkic peoples
Pre-14th century
Turkic Khaganate 552–744
  Western Turkic
  Eastern Turkic
Khazar Khaganate 618–1048
Xueyantuo 628–646
Great Bulgaria 632–668
  Danube Bulgaria
  Volga Bulgaria
Kangar union 659–750
Turk Shahi 665–850
Türgesh Khaganate 699–766
Uyghur Khaganate 744–840
Karluk Yabgu State 756–940
Kara-Khanid Khanate 840–1212
  Western Kara-Khanid
  Eastern Kara-Khanid
Ganzhou Uyghur Kingdom 848–1036
Qocho 856–1335
Pecheneg Khanates
Kimek confederation
Oghuz Yabgu State
Ghaznavid Empire 963–1186
Seljuk Empire 1037–1194
  Sultanate of Rum
Kerait khanate 11th century–13th century
Khwarazmian Empire 1077–1231
Naiman Khanate –1204
Qarlughid Kingdom 1224–1266
Delhi Sultanate 1206–1526
  Mamluk dynasty
  Khalji dynasty
  Tughlaq dynasty
Golden Horde | [1] [2] [3] 1240s–1502
Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo) 1250–1517
  Bahri dynasty
Faravahar background Faravahar at Behistun.jpg
Faravahar background
History of Greater Iran

The Ildegizids, [4] Eldiguzids [5] [6] (Azerbaijani : Eldəgəzlər or Eldənizlər, Turkish : İldenizli Atabeyliği, Persian : ایلدگزیان) or Ildenizids, also known as Atabegs of Azerbaijan [7] [8] (Persian : اتابکان آذربایجانAtabakan-e Āzarbayjan, were a dynasty [9] of Kipchak [6] origin which controlled most of northwestern Persia [5] /eastern Transcaucasia, including [5] Arran, [5] [6] [8] most of Azerbaijan, [5] [6] [8] and Djibal. [5] [6] [8] At their extent, the territory under their control, roughly corresponds to most of north-western and upper-central modern Iran, most of the regions of modern Azerbaijan and smaller portions in modern Armenia (southern part), Turkey (northeastern part) and Iraq (eastern part). Down to the death in war 1194 of Toghril b. Arslan, last of the Great Seljuq rulers of Iraq and Persia, the Ildenizids ruled as theoretical subordinates of the Sultans, acknowledging this dependence on their coins almost down to the end of the Seljuqs. [5] Thereafter, they were in effect an independent dynasty, until the westward expansion of the Mongols and the Khwarazm-Shahs weakened and then brought the line to its close. [5]

Azerbaijani language Turkic language

Azerbaijani or Azeri, sometimes also Azeri Turkic or Azeri Turkish, is a term referring to two Turkic lects that are spoken primarily by the Azerbaijanis, who live mainly in Transcaucasia and Iran. Caucasian Azerbaijani and Iranian Azerbaijani have significant differences in phonology, lexicon, morphology, syntax, and loanwords. ISO 639-3 groups the two lects as a "macrolanguage".

Turkish language Turkic language (possibly Altaic)

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around ten to fifteen million native speakers in Southeast Europe and sixty to sixty-five million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Atabeg (literally means "fatherly lord" in Turkic) was the title conferred upon the Turkic officers who served as guardians of minor Seljuq rulers. [10] In the political circumstances of the time, Atabegs were not only tutors and vice-regents of their princes, but also de facto rulers. [10] At the height of Eldiguzid power, their territory stretched from Isfahan in the south to the borders of Kingdom of Georgia and Shirvan in the north. However, closer to the end of their reign amidst continuous conflicts with the Kingdom of Georgia, the Eldiguzid territory shrank to include only Azerbaijan and eastern Transcaucasia. [6]

Atabeg, Atabek, or Atabey is a hereditary title of nobility of a Turkic origin, indicating a governor of a nation or province who was subordinate to a monarch and charged with raising the crown prince. The first instance of the title's use was with early Seljuk Turks who bestowed it on the Persian vizier Nizam al-Mulk It was later used in the Kingdom of Georgia, first within the Armeno-Georgian family of Mkhargrdzeli as a military title and then within the house of Jaqeli as princes of Samtskhe.

Seljuq dynasty was an Oghuz Turk Sunni Muslim dynasty that gradually became a Persianate society

The Seljuq dynasty, or Seljuqs, was an Oghuz Turk Sunni Muslim dynasty that gradually became a Persianate society and contributed to the Turco-Persian tradition in the medieval West and Central Asia. The Seljuqs established both the Seljuk Empire and the Sultanate of Rum, which at their heights stretched from Iran to Anatolia, and were targets of the First Crusade.

Isfahan City in Iran

Isfahan is a city in Iran. It is located 406 kilometres south of Tehran, and is the capital of Isfahan Province.

The historical significance of the Atabeg of Azerbaijan lies in their firm control over north-western Persia during the later Seljuq period and also their role in Transcaucasia as champions of Islam against the Bagratids of Georgia. [6]

Bagrationi dynasty dynasty

The Bagrationi dynasty is a royal dynasty which reigned in Georgia from the Middle Ages until the early 19th century, being among the oldest extant Christian ruling dynasties in the world. In modern usage, the name of the dynasty is sometimes Hellenized and referred to as the Georgian Bagratids, also known in English as the Bagrations.

Shams ad-Din Eldiguz

In 1136, Sultan Ghiyath ad-Din Mas'ud (c.1134–1152) appointed Shams ad-Din Eldiguz (c.1135/36–1175) to be an atabeg of Arslan-Shah, [8] the juvenile successor of the throne and transferred Azerbaijan to his possession as iqta. Eldegiz chose Barda as his residence, and attracted the local emirs to his camp.

Ghiyath ad-Din Mas'ud was the Seljuq Sultan of Iraq and western Persia in 1133–1152.


Shams al-Din Ildeniz, Eldigüz or Shamseddin Eldeniz was an atabeg of the Seljuq empire and founder of the dynasty of Eldiguzids, which held sway over Caucasian Albania, Iranian Azerbaijan, and most of northwestern Persia from the second half of the 12th century to the early decades of the 13th.

Barda, Azerbaijan City & Municipality in Barda, Azerbaijan

Barda is the capital city of the Barda Rayon in Azerbaijan, located south of Yevlax and on the left bank of the Tartar river. It was the capital of Caucasian Albania perhaps since the end of the fourth century, Barda became the chief city of the Islamic province of Arran, the classical Caucasian Albania, remaining so until the tenth century.

He made himself virtually independent ruler of Azerbaijan by 1146. His marriage with the widow of Sultan Toghrul II (1132–1133; Masud's brother and predecessor) afforded him to intervene in the dynastic strife which erupted upon Mas'ud's death in 1152. He succeeded, in 1160, in deposing Suleiman-Shah and installing his stepson Arslan-Shah (c.1160–1175) as a Sultan. Conferred with the rank of Atabeg, Eldiguz now became a chief protector of the Sultan's authority. [10]

Ghiyath ad-Dunya wa ad-Din ibn Muhammad, better known by his regnal name of Suleiman-Shah, was sultan of the Seljuq Empire from 1159 to 1160.

The word Azam (meaning "great") was added to his title and he was also known as "Atabek-e Azam". All of the state's subsequent rulers used to hold this title. During his reign, Eldiguz could subdue a spacious territory between the Caucasus and Persian Gulf. The territory belonging to him stretched from the gate of Tbilisi up to Makran. He had possessed Iranian Azerbaijan, Arran, Shirvan, Jibal, Hamadan, Gilan, Mazandaran, Isfahan and Rey. The Atabegs of Mosul, Kerman and Fars as well as the feudals of Shirvan, Khuzestan, Ahlat, Arzan-ar-Rum and Maragha became his liegemen.

Campaigns against Georgia

Kingdom of Georgia, whose army was additionally strengthened by the Kipchak mercenaries, [11] became the strongest rival of the Shams al-Din Eldiguz. In 1138, Georgian king Demetrius I, attacked the earthquake-ridden city of Ganja.[ clarification needed ] While leaving the city, his troops carried off the well-known gate of Ganja as their trophy, which up to this date remains on display at the Gelati monastery. From 1161 onwards Georgians began to make plundering raids on Ani, Dvin, Ganja, Nakhchivan and other regions controlled by Atabegs.

Eldiguz formed a coalition with other Seljuqids in the beginning of the 1160s to fight against the Georgians, and in 1163. the allies inflicted a defeat on king George III of Georgia. The Seljuqid rulers were jubilant, and they prepared for a new campaign. However, this time they were forestalled by George III, who marched into Arran at the beginning of 1166, occupied a region extending to faraway cities as Nakhchivan and Beylagan, devastated the land and returned with prisoners and booty. There seemed to be no end to the war between George III and atabeg Eldiguz. But the belligerents were exhausted to such an extent that Eldiguz proposed an armistice. George had no alternative but to make concessions. Eldiguz restored Ani to its former rulers, the Shaddadids, who became his vassals.

In 1173, Atabeg Eldiguz began another campaign against Georgia but he was defeated. Atabeg's troops retreated and Eldiguz died in 1174 in Nakhchivan.

Muhammad Jahan Pahlavan

Momine Khatun Mausoleum was commissioned by Eldiguzid Atabeg Jahan Pahlawan in honor of his first wife, Mu'mine Khatun Momine Hatoon Mausoleum.jpg
Momine Khatun Mausoleum was commissioned by Eldiguzid Atabeg Jahan Pahlawan in honor of his first wife, Mu'mine Khatun

After the death of Shams al-Din Eldiguz, in 1175, the Seljuq Sultan Arslan Shah tried to escape from the yoke of the Grand Atabeg of Azerbaijan but failed, and was poisoned to death by Shams ad-Din's son, the new Grand Atabeg Muhammad Jahan Pahlavan (c.1174–1186). [12] Pahlavan transferred his capital from Nakhchivan to Hamadan in western Iran, and made his younger brother, Qizil Arslan Uthman, the ruler of Azerbaijan. In 1174, Qizil Arslan captured Tabriz, which subsequently became his capital. [13]

Jahan Pahlavan suppressed all rebellious emirs and appointed faithful mamluks to key positions. He apportioned each of them any region or town as Iqta.The twelve years of his rule are considered the most peaceful period of the state's existence. Under his reign the central power was strengthened and no foreign enemy invaded the territory belonging to the Atabegs. Friendly relations with Khwarazm Shahs, the rulers of Central Asia, were founded. All those facts had positive influence on the development of science, handicraft, trade and arts.

Qizil Arslan

relating to the period of Eldiguzids. Museum of Art of Azerbaijan, Baku Medieval azerbaijani helmet 4.JPG
relating to the period of Eldiguzids. Museum of Art of Azerbaijan, Baku

After Muhammad Jahan Pahlavan's death his brother Qizil Arslan (c.1186–1191) ascended the throne. He continued his successful struggle against the Seljuq rulers. At the same time the central power began to get weaker as mamluks who had strengthened their power in their allotments did not want to obey the Sultan. Even Shirvanshah Akhsitan I who used to be Atabegs’ liegeman attempted to intervene the interior affairs of the Eldiguzids and opposed Qizil Arslans aspiration to the throne. In the response to this, Qizil Arslan invaded Shirvan in 1191, reached to Derbent and subordinated the whole Shirvan to his authority. In 1191 Toghrul III, the last Seljuq ruler was overthrown by Qizil Arslan. Then, by Khalif’s leave, he proclaimed himself a Sultan.

The same year Qizil Arslan, who had become the sole ruler of the Great Seljuq Empire, was assassinated. The power was divided among his three sons: Abu Bakr, Qutluq Inandj and Amir Mihran. Abu Bakr governed Azerbaijan and Arran, and his brothers were the rulers of Khorasan and several neighboring regions. Soon, these three successors began to fight for the throne. Victorious in power struggle, Abu Bakr "Jahan-pahlavan" (c.1195-1210) had his elder brother Qutluq Inandj assassinated and forced the younger brother, Amir Mihran, to take refuge at the court of the latter's brother-in-law, Shirvanshah Akhsitan I (c.1160-1196). The Shirvanshah together with Amir Mihran headed for Tbilisi, the capital of Kingdom of Georgia, and appealed for help to Queen Tamar of Georgia, an official protector of Shirvan. Received with great honors at the Georgian court, they were given desired support, and the Georgian army led by Consort David Soslan marched to Shirvan.

The Eldiguzid atabeg Abu Bakr attempted to stem the Georgian advance, but suffered a defeat at the hands of David Soslan at the Battle of Shamkor [14] and lost his capital to a Georgian protégé in 1195. Although Abu Bakr was able to resume his reign a year later, the Eldiguzids were only barely able to contain further Georgian forays. [15] [16] The State's defense capability was stricken. Khorezmshahs' and Georgians’ non-stopping forays aggravated the situation in the country and speeded up its decay.

In 1209, the Georgian army laid waste to Ardabil – according to the Georgian and Armenian annals – as a revenge for the local Muslim ruler's attack on Ani and his massacre of the city's Christian population. [17] In a great final burst, the Georgian army led an army through Nakhchivan and Julfa, to Marand, Tabriz, and Qazvin in northwest Iran, pillaging several settlements on their way. [17]


This process was speeded up during the reign of Atabeg Muzaffar al-Din Uzbek (c.1210–1225), who was enthroned after Abu Bakr's death. In that period, Hasan-Jalalyan (founder of cadet branch of Mihranids) (c.1215–1262) began his separatist activities, a fact which shook the fundamentals of the weakened State. The Atabeg State fell in 1225 when it was conquered by the resurgent Khwarazmian Empire. The Nizari Ismaili Imam Jalaluddin Hasan personally led his army to assist Uzbek against a rebel.

Persian Culture

Much like the Seljuqs, under the Eldiguzids, Persian culture [5] [18] and literature [18] flourished and Persian was the primary language. [18] See also Nozhat al-Majales for many of the poets of the area.

List of Eldiguzids (Atabegs of Azerbaijan)

  1. Shams al-Din Ildeniz or Eldigüz (ca.1135 or 1136-1174 or 1175)
  2. Muhammad Jahan Pahlawan (1174 or 1175–1186)
  3. Qizil Arslan (1186–1191)
  4. Nusrat al-Din Abu Bakr (1191–1210)
  5. Muzaffar al-Din Uzbek (1210–1225)

See also

Related Research Articles

Battle of Shamkor was fought on June 1, 1195 near the city of Shamkor, Arran. the battle was a major victory won by the Georgian army, commanded by David Soslan, over the army of the Eldiguzid ruler of Nusrat al-Din Abu Bakr.

Shaddadids dynasty

The Shaddadids were a Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin who ruled in various parts of Armenia and Arran from 951 to 1174 AD. They were established in Dvin. Through their long tenure in Armenia, they often intermarried with the Bagratuni royal family of Armenia.

Seljuk Empire Medieval empire

The Seljuk Empire or the Great Seljuq Empire was a high medieval Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qiniq branch of Oghuz Turks. At its greatest extent, the Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area stretching from western Anatolia and the Levant to the Hindu Kush in the east, and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf in the south.

Ïnanch Sonqur was the amir of Ray from 1160 at the latest until his death. During his eight years in power he played a major role in the events that occurred in northern Iran.

Shirvanshah Title of the rulers of Shirvan

Shirvanshah, also spelled as Shīrwān Shāh or Sharwān Shāh, was the title of the rulers of Shirvan, located in modern Azerbaijan, from the mid-9th century to the early 16th century. The title remained in a single family, the Yazidids, an originally Arab but speedily Persianized dynasty, although the later Shirvanshahs are also known as the Kasranids or Kaqanids. The Shirvanshah established a native state in Shirvan.

Akhsitan I

Akhsitan I was the 21st Shirvanshah king best known for moving the capital of Shirvan from Shamakha to Baku in what is today the country of Azerbaijan.

Toghrul III was the last sultan of the Great Seljuq Empire.

Georgian–Seljuk wars, also known as Georgian Crusade is a long series of battles and military clashes that took place from c. 1048 until 1213, between the Kingdom of Georgia and the different Seljuqid states that occupied most of Transcaucasia. The conflict is preceded by deadly raids in the Caucasus by the Turks in the 11th century, known in Georgian historiography as the Great Turkish Invasion.

Salghurids Wikimedia list article

The Salghurids of Fars, were a dynasty of Turkmen origin that ruled Fars, first as vassals of the Seljuqs then for the Khwarazm Shahs in the 13th century. The Salghurids were established by Sunqur in 1148, who had profited from the rebellions during the reign of Seljuq sultan Mas'ud b. Muhammad. Later the Salghurids were able to solidify their position in southern Persia to the point of campaigning against Kurds and involving themselves in the succession of the Kirman Seljuqs, holding Seljuq sultan Malik-Shah III's son Mahmud as a possible claimant to the Seljuq throne. They captured Isfahan in 1203-4, and later occupied Bahrain taken from the Uyunid dynasty in 1235.

Kvaja Kamal al-Din Abu Amr Abhari, better simply known as Kamal al-Din Abhari, was a Persian vizier of the two Seljuk sultans in western Iran, Arslan-Shah and his son and successor Tughril III. Kamal al-Din's nisba indicates origins from Abhar, a town in the northern part of Persian Iraq.

Qizil Arslan ruler (atabeg) of the Eldiguzids (r. 1186-1191)

Muzaffar al-Din Qizil Arslan Uthman, better known as Qizil Arslan, was the ruler (atabeg) of the Eldiguzids from 1186 to 1191. He was the brother and successor of Muhammad Jahan Pahlavan, and was later succeeded by his nephew Nusrat al-Din Abu Bakr.

Nusrat al-Din Muhammad ibn Ildeniz, better known as Muhammad Jahan Pahlavan, was the ruler (atabeg) of the Eldiguzids from 1175 to 1186. He was the son and successor of Eldiguz, and was later succeeded by his brother Qizil Arslan.

Nusrat al-Din Abu Bakr

Nusrat al-Din Abu Bakr, was the ruler (atabeg) of the Eldiguzids from 1191 to 1210. He used the titles of Jahan-pahlavan, al-Malik al-Mu'azzam, and Shahanshah al-A'zam.

Shams al-Din Eldiguz's invasion of Georgia took place from 1163 to 1170. It was initiated by the atabegs of Azerbaijan, as an immediate response to the Georgian demand of heavy tribute (Kharaj) from the emirs of Ganja and Baylaqan and massacre of the non-Christian population in Dvin.

Georgian Shirvan

Georgian Shirvan refers to a period between 1124 and 1239 when Shirvan came under the Georgian political dominance and since then the Shirvanshahs became the protectorate of the Kingdom of Georgia, as the result of David IV of Georgia's gradual expansions against the Seljuk Turks. Until the Mongol invasion and subjugation of Georgia by resurgent Mongol Empire in 1239, Georgian kings officially bore the title of Shirvanshahs, and sporadically assumed this title down to sixteenth century.

Muzaffar al-Din Uzbek, also known as Özbeg ibn Muhammad Pahlawan, was the fifth and last ruler (atabeg) of the Eldiguzids from 1210 to 1225, during the later Seljuk and Khwarezmian periods. He was married to Malika Khatun, widow of Toghrul III, the last sultan of the Seljuk Empire.


  1. Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2006). Peoples of Western Asia. p. 364.
  2. Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (2007). Historic Cities of the Islamic World. p. 280.
  3. Borrero, Mauricio (2009). Russia: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. p. 162.
  4. Lewis, Bernard (1994). Sir Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb (ed.). Encyclopedia of Islam. 10. Brill. p. 554.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 C.E. Bosworth, "Ildenizids or Eldiguzids", Encyclopaedia of Islam, Edited by P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs et al., Encyclopædia of Islam, 2nd Edition., 12 vols. with indexes, etc., Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960–2005. Vol 3. pp 1110-111. Excerpt 1: "Ildenizids or Eldiguzids, a line of Atabegs of Turkish slave commanders who governed most of northwestern Persia, including Arran, most of Azarbaijan, and Djibal, during the second half of the 6th/12th century and the early decades of the 7th/13th century". Excerpt 2: "The Turkish Ildenizids shared to the full in the Perso-Islamic civilization"
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1996). The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual. Columbia University Press. pp. 199–200. ISBN   0-231-10714-5. pp 199-200(Eldiguizds or Ildegizds): "The Elgiguzids or Ildegizds were a Turkish Atabeg dynasty who controlled most of Azerbaijan(apart from the region of Maragha held by another Atabeg line, the Ahamadilis), Arran and northern Jibal during the second half the twelfth century when the Great Seljuq Sultane of Western Persia and Iraq was in full decay and unable to prevent the growth of virtually independent powers in the province", pp 199-200: "Eldiguz (Arabic-Persian sources write 'y.l.d.k.z) was originally a Qipchaq military slave", pp199-200: "The historical significance of these Atabegs thus lies in their firm control over most of north-western Persia during the later Seljuq periodand also their role in Transcaucasia as champions of Islamagainst the resurgent Bagtarid Kings". pp 199: "In their last phase, the Eldiguzids were once more local rulers in Azerbaijan and eastern Transcaucasia, hard pressed by the aggressive Georgians, and they did not survive the troubled decades of the thirteenth century".
  7. Hodgson, Marshall G.S. (1977). The expansion of Islam in the middle periods Volume 1. University of Chicago Press. p. 262. ISBN   0-226-34684-6.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Luther, K.A. (December 15, 1987). "Atabakan-e Ādarbayjan". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  9. Britannica. Article: Eldegüzid dynasty:
    Eldegüzid dynasty, also spelled Ildigüzid, Ildegüzid, Ildegizid, or Ildenizid, (1137–1225), Iranian atabeg dynasty of Turkish origin that ruled in Azerbaijan and Arrān (areas now in Iran and Azerbaijan).
  10. 1 2 3 Hodgson, Marshall G.S. The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization, University of Chicago Press, 1974, ISBN   0-226-47693-6, p. 260
  11. See also David IV of Georgia
  12. Antoine Constant. L'Azerbaïdjan, Karthala Editions, 2002, ISBN   2-84586-144-3, p. 96
  13. Houtsma, M. T. E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, BRILL, 1987, ISBN   90-04-08265-4, p. 1053
  14. Suny 1994 , p. 39.
  15. Luther, Kenneth Allin. "Atābākan-e Adārbāyĵān", in: Encyclopædia Iranica (Online edition). Retrieved on 2006-06-26.
  16. Lordkipanidze & Hewitt 1987 , p. 148.
  17. 1 2 Lordkipanidze & Hewitt 1987 , p. 154.
  18. 1 2 3 Peter J. Chelkowski, "Mirror of the Invisible World", New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975. pp 2;"During the last quarter of the twelfth century, when Nizami began his Khamseh, Seljuq supremacy was on the decline and political unrest and social ferments were increasing. However, Persian culture characteristically flourished when political power was diffused rather than centralized, and so Persian remained the primary language, Persian civil servants were in great demand, Persian merchants were successful, and princedoms continued to vie for the service of Persian poets. This was especially true in Ganjeh, the Caucasian outpost town where Nizami lived."