List of rulers of Aleppo

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Aleppo Citadel was the center of the Aleppan monarchs in the Middle Ages Aleppo Citadel 04.jpg
Aleppo Citadel was the center of the Aleppan monarchs in the Middle Ages
Aleppo Citadel Throne Hall, Built by the Mamluk Sultan of Aleppo Sayf al-Din Jakam Aleppo Citadel 18 - Throne Hall.jpg
Aleppo Citadel Throne Hall, Built by the Mamluk Sultan of Aleppo Sayf al-Din Jakam

The rulers of Aleppo ruled as kings, emirs and sultans of the city and its surrounding region since the later half of the 3rd millennium BC, [1] starting with the kings of Armi, [2] followed by the Amorite dynasty of Yamhad. [3] Muslim rule of the city ended with the Ayyubid dynasty which was ousted by the Mongol conquest in 1260.

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The rulers of Yamhad used the titles of king and Great King, while the Hittite dynasty monarchs used the titles of king and viceroy.

The Emirate of Halab was established in 945 by the Hamdanid dynasty and lasted until 1086, when it became a sultanate under the Seljuq dynasty. The sultanate was sometimes ruled together with Damascus under the same sultan.

The Artuqids rulers used the titles of Malik and emir, as did the Zengid rulers which added the title atabeg. The Ayyubid monarchs used the titles of sultan and malik.

The dates for Yamhad and the Hittite Dynasties are proximate and calculated by the Middle chronology.

Yamhad Dynasty

Yamhad was the name of the Amorite kingdom centered at Ḥalab (modern day Aleppo), [4] its dynasty ruled for more than two centuries, Aleppo became a major power and dominated Northern Syria with the monarch holding the title of Great King. [5] [6]

PortraitNameKing FromKing UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)Title
Sumu-Epuh c. 1810 BCc. 1780 BCKing of Yamhad (Halab)
Yarim-Lim I c. 1780 BCc. 1764 BC Son of Sumu-EpuhGreat King of Yamhad (Halab)
Hammurabi I c. 1764 BCc. 1750 BC Son of Yarim-Lim IGreat King of Yamhad (Halab)
Abba-El I seal.jpg Abba-El I c. 1750 BCc. 1720 BC Son of Hammurabi IGreat King of Yamhad (Halab)
Yarim-Lim II royal seal.jpg Yarim-Lim II c. 1720 BCc. 1700 BC Son of Abba-El IGreat King of Yamhad (Halab)
Niqmi-Epuh Seal.jpg Niqmi-Epuh c. 1700 BCc. 1675 BC Son of Yarim-Lim IIGreat King of Yamhad (Halab)
Irkabtum c. 1675 BC Middle 17th century BC Son of Niqmi-EpuhGreat King of Yamhad (Halab)
Hammurabi II Middle 17th century BCMiddle 17th century BCGreat King of Yamhad (Halab)
Yarim-Lim III Middle 17th century BCc. 1625 BC Probably Son of Niqmi-EpuhGreat King of Yamhad (Halab)
Hammurabi III c. 1625 BCc. 1600 BC Son of Yarim-Lim IIIKing of Yamhad (Halab)

Aleppo was conquered by Mursili I King of the Hittites, who captured Hammurabi III, the dynasty regained Halab after the assassination of Mursili but the "Yamhad" name fell out of use. [7]

PortraitNameKing FromKing UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)Title
Sarra-El Early 16th century BCMiddle 16th century BC Probably Son of Yarim-Lim IIIKing of Halab
Abba-El II seal.jpg Abba-El II Middle 16th century BCMiddle 16th century BC Son of Sarra-ElKing of Halab
Ilim-Ilimma I Middle 16th century BCc. 1525 BC Son of Abba-El IIKing of Halab

Hittite Dynasty

Parshatatar of Mitanni conquered Aleppo, and the city became part of that kingdom until conquered by Suppiluliuma I of the Hittites in the 14th century BC. Suppiluliuma installed his son Telipinus as king of Aleppo. Not all the kings of this dynasty are known. The Hittite dynasty remained in power until the Late Bronze Age collapse. [8] [9] [10]

PortraitNameKing FromKing UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)Title
Telepinus Later Half of the 14th century BC Son of the Hittite king Suppiluliuma IKing of Halab
Talmi sharuma.png Talmi-Sarruma c. 1300 BC Son of TelepinusKing of Halab
Halpazitis c. 1220 BCKing of Halab

After the end of the Hittites, Arameans tribes began to settle in the region, [11] Aleppo became part of the Syro-Hittite state of Palistin, [12] then its successor Bit Agusi centered at Arpad, [13] Afterwards, it was sequentially part of Assyria, [14] Chaldea, [15] Achaemenid Persia, [16] Macedonia, [17] Seleúkeia, [18] Armenia, [19] Roman, [20] Byzantine, [21] and Sasanid Persian, [22] empires, the Rashidun, [23] Umayyad, [24] and the Abbasid Caliphate. [25]

Hamdanid Dynasty

The Hamdanids were an Arab dynasty, established in 945 by Sayf al-Dawla, third of the dynasty. [26] They ruled most of Syria, displacing the Ikhshids, with Aleppo as their capital, [27] under the titular authority of the Abbasid Caliph. [28]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)Title
Sayf al-Dawla at his court.png Sayf al-Dawla Ali ibn Abu'l-Hayja 'Abdallah (Ali I)945967Emir of Halab
Sa'd al-Dawla Sharif ibn Ali (Sharif I)967969 Son of Sayf al-DawlaEmir of Halab

Non-dynastic

Qarghuyah, the chamberlain of Sayf al-Dawla, ousted Sa'd al-Dawla and assumed control over the city. Sa'd al-Dawla was able to regain Aleppo in 977. [28] [29]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)Title
Qarghuyah 969975Emir of Halab
Bakjur 975977Emir of Halab

Hamdanid Dynasty restored

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)Title
Sa'd al-Dawla Sharif ibn Ali (Sharif I)977991 Son of Sayf al-DawlaEmir of Halab
Sa'id al-Dawla Sa'id ibn Sharif (Sa'id)9911002 Son of Sa'd al-DawlaEmir of Halab
Abu'l-Hasan Ali (Ali II)10021004 Son of Sa'id al-DawlaEmir of Halab
Abu'l-Ma'ali Sharif (Sharif II)10041004 Son of Sa'id al-DawlaEmir of Halab

Lu'lu' Dynasty

Lu'lu' al-Kabir was a slave and then chamberlain of Sa'd al-Dawla. He married his daughter to Sa'id al-Dawla, and after the latter's death, he assumed direct power over Aleppo. At first, he served as guardians to Sa'id al-Dawla's sons Abu'l-Hasan Ali and Abu'l-Ma'ali Sharif. In 1004, he had them exiled to Egypt and assumed full control of the city.. [30]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)Title
Lu'lu' al-Kabir Abu Muhammad Lu'lu' al-Sayfi (Lu'lu')10041009 Sa'id al-Dawla Father in LawEmir of Halab
Murtada al-Dawla Abu Nasr Mansur (Mansur)10091016 Son of Lu'lu'Emir of Halab

Non-dynastic

In 1016, a rebellion broke out in the city and Fath al-Qal'i, custodian of the Citadel of Aleppo, opened the doors for the rebels causing Mansur to flee. Fath accepted the authority of the Fatimid Caliph and, after a brief rule, ceded Aleppo to the caliph in return for the treasury and the rule of Tyre. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)Title
Mubarak al-Dawla Abu Nasr Fath al-Qal'i (Fateh)10161016Emir of Halab

Fatimid Caliphate

Al-Hakim appointed Aziz al-Dawla as the first Fatimid governor of Aleppo, but in 1020, Aziz declared his independence, and ruled for two years before being assassinated by a Fatimid agent. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)Title
Aziz al-Dawla Abu Shuja' FatikOctober 10166 July 1022Emir of Halab
Wafiyy al-Dawla Abu'l Najm BadrJuly 1022October 1022 Ghulam (slave soldier) of Aziz al-DawlaEmir of Halab
Safiyy al-Dawla Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Ja'far ibn Fallah 10 October 102210 April 1023Emir of Halab
Sanad al-Dawla Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Thu'ban10 April 10232 July 1024Emir of Halab
Sadid al-Mulk Thu'ban ibn Muhammad ibn Thu'ban27 July 102418 January 1025Brother of Sanad al-DawlaEmir of Halab

Mirdasid Dynasty

The Mirdasids conquered Aleppo in 1024 and kept their autonomy through political maneuvers, allying themselves with the Byzantines at times and the Fatimid at others. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Asad al-Dawla Salih ibn Mirdas (Salih)10241029Emir of Halab
Mu'izz al-Dawla Thimal10291030 Son of Asad al-Dawla SalihFirst ReignEmir of Halab
Shibl al-Dawla Nasr (Nasr I)10291038 Eldest son of Asad al-Dawla SalihSecond ReignEmir of Halab
Mu'izz al-Dawla Thimal10381038 Son of Asad al-Dawla SalihSecond ReignEmir of Halab

After the death of Salih, his sons Nasr and Thimal ruled together. In 1030, Nasr deposed Thimal and ruled solely until killed by Anushtakin al-Dizbari, the Fatimid governor of Damascus. Thimal regained Aleppo briefly in 1038 when the Fatimid army retook the city, returning it to Fatimid rule. [31]

Non-dynastic

In December 1041 Anushtakin al-Dizbari fell out of favor with Cairo and declared his independence in Aleppo. He died of illness in 1042 and Thimal returned to power. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Sharaf al-Ma'ali Anushtakin al-Dizbari10381042Emir of Halab

Mirdasid Dynasty

Thimal regained Aleppo and accepted the authority of the Fatimid Caliph. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Mu'izz al-Dawla Thimal10421057 Son of Asad al-Dawla SalihThird ReignEmir of Halab

Non-dynastic

In 1057, fearing family intrigues, Thimal handed over Aleppo to the Fatimids in return for Acre, Byblos and Beirut, thus returning Aleppo to direct Fatimid control. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Makin al-Dawla Al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ibn Mulhim al-Uqayli10571060Emir of Halab

Mirdasid dynasty

In 1060, Thimal's nephew, Rashid al-Dawla Mahmud, the son of Shibl al-Dawla Nasr, briefly regained Aleppo, losing after a few months to the Fatimids. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Rashid al-Dawla Mahmud (Mahmud I)10601060 Son of Shibl al-Dawla NasrFirst ReignEmir of Halab

About three weeks later on 30 August 1060 Asad al-Dawla 'Atiyya son of Salih the founder of the dynasty occupied Aleppo for a day and a half then fled as Mu'izz al-Dawla Mahmud advanced on the city after defeating the Fatimid army. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Asad al-Dawla 'Atiyya10601060 Son of Asad al-Dawla SalihFirst ReignEmir of Halab
Rashid al-Dawla Mahmud (Mahmud I)10601061 Son of Shibl al-Dawla NasrSecond ReignEmir of Halab
Mu'izz al-Dawla Thimal10611062 Son of Asad al-Dawla SalihFourth ReignEmir of Halab
Asad al-Dawla 'Atiyya10621065 Son of Asad al-Dawla SalihSecond ReignEmir of Halab
Mu'izz al-Dawla Mahmud (Mahmud I)10651075 Son of Shibl al-Dawla NasrThird ReignEmir of Halab
Jalal al-Dawla Nasr (Nasr II)10751076 Son of Rashid al-Dawla MahmudEmir of Halab
Sabiq ibn Mahmud (Sabiq)10761080 Son of Rashid al-Dawla MahmudEmir of Halab

Uqaylid Dynasty

The pressure of Tutush I led the people of Aleppo along with the Mirdasid Emir to offer the city keys to Sharaf al-Dawla Muslim the ruler of Mosul, the Mirdasid family members were compensated by various towns in Syria. [32]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)Title
Sharaf al-Dawla Muslim ibn Quraysh (Muslim)10801085Emir of Halab

Sharaf al-Dawla was killed in June 1085 and was succeeded by his brother Ibrahim ibn Quraysh in Mosul, while Halab was Managed by the Sharif Hassan ibn Hibat Allah Al-Hutayti.

Seljuq Dynasty

Hassan ibn Hibat Allah Al-Hutayti promised to surrender the city to Tutush but then refused and wrote to Sultan Malik-Shah I offering to surrender the city to him, Tutush attacked and occupied the city except for the citadel in May 1086, he stayed until October and left for Damascus due to the advance of Malik-Shah armies, the Sultan himself arrived in December 1086. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameSultan FromSultan UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Taj al-Dawla Tutush10861086First ReignSultan of Halab
Buyuk Selcuklu Sultani Meliksah.jpg Mu'izz al-Dunia wa al-Din Malik-Shah10861092 Brother of TutushSultan of Halab

After the death of Malik-Shah I, his governor Aq Sunqur al-Hajib enjoyed much autonomy. He pledged allegiance to Malik-Shah's son Mahmud I, and then to Tutush only to switch back to Mahmud's brother Barkiyaruq. In 1094, Tutush defeated and beheaded Aq Sunqur thus assuming full control over Aleppo. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameSultan FromSultan UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Nasir al-Din Mahmud (Mahmud II)10921093 Son of Malik-ShahSultan of Halab
Taj al-Dawla Tutush10931093 Brother of Malik-ShahSecond ReignSultan of Halab
BarkiyaruqPainting.jpg Rukn al-Din Barkiyaruq10931094 Son of Malik-ShahSultan of Halab
Taj al-Dawla Tutush10941095 Brother of Malik-ShahThird ReignSultan of Halab
Fakhr al-Mulk Radwan10951113 Son of TutushSultan of Halab
Shams al-Mulk Alp Arslan11131114 Son of RadwanUnder the regency of Lu'lu' al-Yaya Sultan of Halab
Sultan Shah 11141117 Son of RadwanUnder the regency of Lu'lu' al-Yaya Sultan of Halab

Artuqid Dynasty

Sultan Shah was only six when he came to the throne, the threats of the Crusader Count Joscelin led Sultan Shah Guardian Ibn al-Khashshab to offer the city to Ilghazi of Mardin who came to Aleppo thus starting the Artuqid dynasty in Aleppo. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Battle-of-Ager-Sanguinis.jpg Najm al-Din Ilghazi11171120 Son in Law of RadwanFirst ReignEmir of Halab
Shams al-Dawla Suleiman I11201120 Son of IlghaziUsurperEmir of Halab
Najm al-Din Ilghazi11201122 Son in Law of RadwanSecond ReignEmir of Halab
Badr al-Dawla Suleiman II11221123 Nephew of IlghaziFirst ReignEmir of Halab
Elazig2.JPG Nour al-Dawla Balak11231124 Nephew of IlghaziEmir of Halab
Husam al-Din Timurtash11241125 Son of IlghaziEmir of Halab

Timurtash was occupied with taking over the cities of his recently deceased brother Suleiman I (who usurped the emir of Aleppo briefly in 1120), the crusaders attacked Aleppo but Timurtash refused to come back, this led the people of Aleppo to seek the help of Aqsunqur al-Bursuqi the Seljuq atabeg of Mosul, Aqsunqur broke the crusader siege adding Aleppo to the domains of Seljuq sultan Mahmud II. [31]

In 1127 The city rebelled against the Seljuq governor Khatlagh Abah and restored Suleiman II.

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Badr al-Dawla Suleiman II11271128 Nephew of IlghaziSecond ReignEmir of Halab

Zengid Dynasty

Imad ad-Din Zengi, the new atabeg of Mosul, sent his army to end the troubles. He ruled in the name of Seljuq Sultan Mahmud II whose death had led to civil war. Zengi didn't declare his independence and stood by Ghiyath ad-Din Mas'ud. the Seljuq Sultan of Iraq, ruling in his name. However, the sultan decided to eliminate Zengi and called upon him to show in his presence. Zengi was warned and declined to show thus establishing his independence. [31]

PortraitEpithetNameAtabeg FromAtabeg UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Imad al-Din Zengi I11351137 Son in Law of RadwanEffective Reign 1128-1146Atabeg of Halab

Zengi reconciled with the sultan and recognized his authority, but in practice he was independent in all but name. [31]

When Nur ad-Din inherited Aleppo after father's murder, he took the title of King (Malik) and used the title of Emir. [33] Formally, the Zengids were subordinate to the Seljuq Sultans of Iraq, firstly Mas'ud then Malik-Shah III followed by Muhammad II. Nur al-Din retained the title of atabeg although he was completely independent as the Seljuq empire disintegrated after 1156, [34] and the sultans had to fight in Iraq to keep whats left of their authority. Muhammad II was the last Sultan to hold any real authority, and he attacked Baghdad aided by Nur al-Din's brother Qutb ad-Din Mawdud. Muhammad II death in 1159 and the fact that his successor Suleiman-Shah was a captive of Mawdud ended any real authority of the Seljuq Sultans, [35] Nur al-Din Held the Khutbah in the name of the Abbasid Caliph, [36] an enemy of the Seljuqs thus cutting any links with them.

PortraitEpithetNameEmir FromEmir UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Nur ad-Din Zangi2.jpg Nur al-Din Mahmud (Mahmud III)11461174 Son of Zengi IAlso Emir of DamascusEmir of Halab
Al-Salih Ismail11741181 Son of Nur al-Din MahmudKing of Halab
Izz al-Din Mas'ud11811182 Grandson of Zengi IEmir of Halab
Imad al-Din Zengi II11821183 Brother of 'Izz al-Din Mas'udEmir of Halab

Ayyubid Dynasty

The death of Nur al-Din caused chaos as al-Salih Ismail al-Malik, his son and successor was only eleven. The Zengid governors fought for power, each one of them trying to be the atabeg of al-Salih. One of them, Gümüshtegin, became the guardian of the young king and tried to eliminate the others causing the governor of Damascus to ask Saladin, the Zengid governor of Egypt, for help. Saladin, formally a subordinate to Al-Salih but practically independent, marched on Syria entering Damascus in November 1174. He besieged Aleppo, causing Al-Salih's cousin Ghazi II the Emir of Mosul to send his army which Saladin defeated at the battle of Tell al-Sultan, Saladin was proclaimed King of Egypt and Syria, the Caliph al-Mustadi conferred the Title of Sultan upon him. [37]

Saladin met al-Salih and concluded a peace with the 13-year old king in 1176 leaving him to rule Aleppo independently for life while he (Saladin) ruled the rest of Syria. [31]

After the death of al-Salih, Saladin expelled al-Salih's relative Zengi II and entered Aleppo on 20 June 1183 thus ending the Zengid Dynasty.

PortraitEpithetNameSultan FromSultan UntilRelationship with Predecessor(s)NotesTitle
Dirham Saladin.jpg Al-Nasir Salah al-Din Yusuf I11831193 Married Mahmud III Widow Sultan of Halab
Ayyubid Az Zahir 1204 Aleppo.jpg Al-Zahir Ghazi11931216 Son of Salah al-DinSultan of Halab
Al-Aziz Muhammad12161236 Son of Al-Zahir GhaziSultan of Halab
AL-Nasir Yusuf II12361260 Son of Al-AzizRegency of Dayfa Khatun, Also Sultan of DamascusSultan of Halab

On 24 January 1260 the Mongol Khan Hulagu Khan entered Aleppo after a month of Siege thus ending the Ayyubid Dynasty.

Mamluks

The Mamluk Sultan Qutuz defeated the Mongols at Ain Jalut on 3 September 1260, [38] the whole of Syria became part of the Mamluk Sultanate, Aleppo was the capital of its own province ruled by a Na'ib (Naib), some of these governors revolted and declared their independence in Aleppo like Shams al-Din Aqosh al-Borli who installed al-Hakim I as Abbasid Caliph in order to legitimize his reign while the Sultan Baibars I installed al-Mustansir II, [39] other governors revolted with the aim of ruling the whole sultanate such as Yalbogha al-Nasiri who had Sultan Barquq dethroned in 1389. [40]

PortraitEpithetNameSultan FromSultan UntilNotesTitle
Shams al-Din Aqosh12611261Expelled by 'Ala' al-Din al-Bunduqdari General of Baibars ISultan of Halab

Aqosh eventually reconciled with the sultan, in 1404 Sayf al-Din Jakam revolted and declared himself Sultan. [41]

PortraitEpithetNameSultan FromSultan UntilNotesTitle
Sayf al-Din Jakam14041406First Reign : Built the Throne Hall of Aleppo Citadel, [42] Eventually ExpelledSultan of Halab

Jakam Reoccupied the City and was pardoned and reappointed by the sultan, in May 1406 he was replaced by another Na'ib leading him to revolt again.

PortraitEpithetNameSultan FromSultan UntilNotesTitle
Sayf al-Din Jakam14071407Second Reign, BeheadedSultan of Halab

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Al-Rahba, also known as Qal'at al-Rahba, which translates as the "Citadel of al-Rahba", is a medieval Arab fortress on the west bank of the Euphrates River, adjacent to the city of Mayadin in Syria. Situated atop a mound with an elevation of 244 meters (801 ft), al-Rahba oversees the Syrian Desert steppe. It has been described as "a fortress within a fortress"; it consists of an inner keep measuring 60 by 30 meters, protected by an enclosure measuring 270 by 95 meters. Al-Rahba is largely in ruins today as a result of wind erosion.

Numayrid dynasty

The Numayrids were an Arab dynasty based in Diyar Mudar. They were emirs (princes) of their namesake tribe, the Banu Numayr. The senior branch of the dynasty, founded by Waththab ibn Sabiq in 990, ruled the Euphrates cities of Harran, Saruj and Raqqa more or less continuously until the late 11th century. In the early part of Waththab's reign, the Numayrids also controlled Edessa until the Byzantines conquered it in the early 1030s. In 1062, the Numayrids lost Raqqa to their distant kinsmen and erstwhile allies, the Mirdasids, while by 1081, their capital Harran and nearby Saruj were conquered by the Turkish Seljuks and their Arab Uqaylid allies. Numayrid emirs continued to hold isolated fortresses in Upper Mesopotamia, such as Qal'at an-Najm and Sinn Ibn Utayr near Samosata until the early 12th century, but nothing is heard of them after 1120.

Banu Munqidh Syrian Arab family

The Banu Munqidh, also referred to as the Munqidhites, were an Arab family that ruled an emirate in the Orontes Valley in northern Syria from the mid-11th century until the family's demise in an earthquake in 1157. The emirate was initially based in Kafartab before the Banu Munqidh took over the fortress of Shayzar in 1081 and made it their headquarters for the remainder of their rule. The capture of Shayzar was the culmination of a long, drawn out process beginning with the Banu Munqidh's nominal assignment to the land by the Mirdasid emir of Aleppo in 1025, and accelerating with the weakened grip of Byzantine rule in northern Syria in the 1070s.

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