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Nāʾīn

(596 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund | updated by, ¨ | Ruggles, D. Fairchild
Nāʾīn (Nāyin) is a small town (lat. N 32°52′ long. E 53°05′, elev. 1,408 metres) on the southwestern edge of the Great Desert of central Iran, on the road connecting Yazd with Isfahan and Qum. The town, known for its large citadel and its congregational mosque, seems to have had a pre-Islamic history, but nothing is known of it. The mediaeval Islamic geographers place it in the sardsīr (cooler upland regions) and describe it as located administratively within Fārs but as dependent on either Yazd or Isfahan. According to Mustawfī (69, trans. 77), its citadel, wh…
Date: 2021-07-19

Gardīzī

(960 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund
Abū Saʿīd b. ʿAbd al-Ḥayy b. al-Ḍaḥḥāk b. Maḥmūd Gardīzī (fl. first half of the fifth/eleventh century) is important as an historian of the eastern Islamic world, in particular, for the first four centuries or so of Islam. His life and career are very obscure, with neither his birth nor death dates known. His family presumably came from Gardīz and the region of Zamīndāwar in eastern Afghanistan. He probably held some function at the Ghaznavid court or in the bureaucracy; the title of his book, the Zayn al-akhbār (“Ornament of histories”) seems to be an allusion to the laqab (honorific) of th…
Date: 2021-07-19

Akhlāṭ

(504 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund
Akhlāṭ, or Khilāṭ (Greek Khleat, Armenian Khlatʿ)—modern-day Hilat in the Turkish Republic—is a town in eastern Anatolia situated on the northwestern shore of Lake Van (38o 45'N., 42o 28'E.). Its history probably goes back to pre-Christian times and the Khald people of the Urartian kingdom. One of the caliph ʿUmar’s (r. 12–23/634–44) commanders, ʿIyāḍ b. Ghanm (d. 20/641), made a peace treaty with the people of Akhlāṭ in 20/641. Over the next four centuries, it fell administratively within the province of Armenia/Armīniya and was ruled at …
Date: 2021-07-19

Alptekin

(671 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund
Alptekin (Alptegīn, d. 352/963) was a Turkish ghulām, or military slave commander, of the Sāmānids of Transoxania, who founded a centre of Turkish power in eastern Afghanistan that subsequently developed into the Ghaznavid state. (Alptigin (Turk.) literally means “hero prince”; however, by the fourth/tenth century, the second element, tigin, had undergone a downward social shift and was commonly found in the names of slaves.) Nothing is known of Alptekin’s origins, but it appears that he had been purchased as a slave from Inner Asia and entered the Sāmānid army as a ghulām of Amīr Aḥm…
Date: 2021-07-19

Balāsāghūn

(570 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund
Balāsāghūn, a town of mediaeval Central Asia (also spelt Balāsāqūn; known by the Turks as Quz Ordu or Quz Ulus (encampment or territory of the Ghuzz)), was the chief centre in early Islamic times of “the land of the seven rivers” (Turkish, Yeti Su; Russian, Semirechye). (See Barthold, Zwölf Vorlesungen, 81.) It was probably founded by Sogdian merchants whose trade routes took them into the steppes. Early Islamic sources on the Turks locate it here in the Çu river valley, but only the geographer al-Maqdisī (ed. de Goeje (Leiden 1906), 275) give…
Date: 2021-07-19

Bahrām Shāh

(686 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund
Bahrām Shāh b. Masʿūd (III) b. Ibrāhīm, Abū l-Muẓaffar Yamīn al-Dawla wa-Amīr al-Milla (d. c.552/1157), was a Ghaznawid sultan who reigned in eastern Afghanistan and northwestern India 511–45/1117–50 and c. 547–52/1152–7. Sultan Masʿūd III (d. 508/1115) left numerous sons, and on his death there was a struggle for power amongst rival contenders. The designated heir, his second son Shīrzād, reigned only one year and was then overthrown and killed in 509/1116 by his brother Malik Arslān, or Arslān Shāh (r. 509–11/1116–8), Masʿū…
Date: 2021-07-19

ʿAmīd

(497 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund
ʿAmīd , literally “mainstay, support,” was a title of high civilian dignitaries, such as secretaries, treasurers, and wazīrs. It appears in fourth/tenth century ʿAbbāsid administrative contexts, when, according to the historian ʿArīb b. Saʿīd al-Qurṭubī (d. c. 370/980), al-Ḥusayn b. al-Qāsim (in office 319–20/931–2), the wazīr of al-Muqtadir (d. 320/932), appears with the laqab or honorific of ʿAmīd al-Dawla (cited in Dominique Sourdel, Le vizirat ʿabbāside (Damascus 1959–60), 2:464). In the early fifth/eleventh century, Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan al-Rūdhbārī, a wazīr of the Fā…
Date: 2021-07-19

Abū l-Sāj

(831 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund
Abū l-Sāj Dīwdād b. Dīwdast (d. 266/879) was a commander under ʿAbbāsid caliphs and progenitor of a short-lived line of Sājid governors in Azerbaijan (r. 276–317/889–929). He was born at an unknown date in the early-third/ninth century and died in Rabīʿ II 266/December 879. His Iranian names and those of his father indicate the probable origin of the family in Sogdia, or possibly, as Ibn Ḥawqal states, in the adjacent region of Ushrūsana ( K. ṣūrat al-arḍ, ed. J. H. Kramers (Leiden 1938–9), 2:506; trans. Kramers and Wiet, 2:484; cf. Barthol'd, 169, and Minorsky, 111). G…
Date: 2021-07-19

ʿAbdallāh b. Ṭāhir

(847 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund
ʿAbdallāh b. Ṭāhir (c. 182–230/798–845) was a son of the ʿAbbāsid general Ṭāhir Dhū l-Yamīnayn, governor of Khurāsān and the eastern lands of the caliphate for the seventeen years 213–30/828–45, the most illustrious of the Ṭāhirid line of governors there, and the outstanding patron of Arabic culture and literature of his time in the Iranian lands. The Ṭāhirid family were originally of Iranian mawlā stock and had risen in the service of the first ʿAbbāsid caliphs. ʿAbdallāh early distinguished himself at the side of his father in military campaigns during th…
Date: 2021-07-19

Argots

(824 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund
Argots and jargons are attested in Western Europe from later mediaeval times onwards. Both terms stem from the French linguistic region. Within the Arab Islamic world, they are known from the time of al-Jāḥiẓ (third/ninth century) onwards but are best attested in the following century in the shape of the qaṣīda sāsāniyya of Abū Dulaf al-Khazrajī (fl. middle decades of the fourth/tenth century), a lengthy poem written for the Būyid wazīr, the Ṣāḥib Ibn ʿAbbād, placed in the mouths of a group of wandering tricksters and beggars, the Banū Sāsān. A good part of the po…
Date: 2021-07-19