1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Seljūks

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SELJŪKS, Seljūḳs, or Seljuqs, 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 the Christian era. The history of the Seljūks forms the first part of the history of the Turkish empire. Proceeding from the deserts of Turkestan, the Seljūks reached the Hellespont; but this barrier was crossed and a European power founded by the Ottomans (Osmanli). The Seljūks inherited the traditions and at the same time the power of the Arabian caliphate, of which, when they made their appearance, only the shadow remained in the person of the Abbāsid caliph of Bagdad. It is their merit from a Mahommedan point of view to have re-established the power of orthodox Islam and delivered the Moslem world from the subversive influence of the ultra-Shīite 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 Seljūk rule exceedingly rare.

The first Seljūk rulers were Toghrul Beg, Chaḳir Beg and Ibrahīm Niyāl, the son of Mikail, the son of Seljūk, the son of Tuḳāḳ, or Tuqāq (also styled Timūryāliḳ, “iron bow”). They belonged to the Turkish tribe of the Ghuzz (Οὖζοι 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 Nuh (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 Ghaznavids Sabuktagīn (Sebuktegin) and Maḥmūd (997–1030); but the Seljūks, a royal family among them, had various relations with the reigning princes of Transoxiana and Khwārizm, which cannot be narrated here.[1] But, friends or foes, the Ghuzz became a serious danger to the adjoining Mahommedan 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 Pīgu Arslān Israil, they crossed the Oxus and spread over the eastern provinces of Persia, everywhere plundering and destroying. The imprisonment of this chieftain by Masūd, the son and successor of Maḥmūd, 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 Masūd was totally defeated and driven back to Ghazni (Ghazna). 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 Seljūks), and acknowledged Toghrul Beg as chief of the whole family. After this victory the three princes Toghrul Beg, Chaḳir Beg and Ibrahīm Niyāl separated in different directions and conquered the Mahommedan provinces, east of the Tigris; the last named, after conquering Hamadān and the province of Jebel (Irak i Ajami), penetrated as early as 1048, with fresh Ghuzz troops, into Armenia and reached Manzikert, Erzerūm and Trebizond. This excited the jealousy of Toghrul Beg, who summoned him to give up Hamadān and the fortresses of Jebel; but Ibrahīm refused, and the progress of the Seljūkian arms was for some time checked by internal discord—an ever recurring event in their history. Ibrahīm was, however, compelled to submit.

At this time the power of Qaim, the Abbāsid caliph of Bagdād (see Caliphate, section C, § 26), was reduced to a mere shadow, as the Shīite dynasty of the Būyids and afterwards his more formidable Fātimite rivals had left him almost wholly destitute of authority. The real ruler at Bagdād was a Turk named Basāsīrī, lieutenant of the last Būyid, Malik-ar-Raḥīm. 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 (1055) the Seljūk entered the city and after a tumult seized the person of Malik-ar-Raḥīm. Basāsīrī had the good fortune to be out of his reach; after acknowledging the right of the Fātimites, he gathered fresh troops and incited Ibrahīm Niyāl to rebel again, and he succeeded so far that he re-entered Bagdād at the close of 1058. The next year, however, Toghrul Beg got rid of both his antagonists, Ibrahīm being taken prisoner and strangled with the bowstring, while Basāsīrī fell in battle. Toghrul Beg now re-entered Bagdād, re-established the caliph, and was betrothed to his daughter, but died before the consummation of the nuptials (September 1063). Alp Arslān, 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 amir, Atsiz, wrested Palestine and Syria from the hands of the Fātimites. He made successful expeditions against the Greeks, especially that of 1071, in which the Greek emperor Romanus Diogenes was taken prisoner and forced to ransom himself for a large sum (see Roman Empire, Later). The foundation of the Seljūk empire of Rūm (q.v.) was the immediate result of this great victory. Alp Arslān afterwards undertook an expedition against Turkestan, and met with his death at the hands of a captured chief, Barzami Yussuf (Yussuf Kothnal), whom he had intended to shoot with his own hand.

Malik Shāh, the son and successor of Alp Arslān, had to encounter his uncle Kāvurd, founder of the Seljūkian empire of Kermān (see below), who claimed to succeed Alp Arslān in accordance with the Turkish laws, and led his troops towards Hamadān. However, he lost the battle that ensued, and the bowstring put an end to his life (1073). Malik Shāh 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 Arslān, was indebted for his greatest fame to wise and salutary measures of their vizier, Nizām ul-Mulk. This extraordinary man, associated by tradition with Omar Khayyām (q.v.), the well-known mathematician and free-thinking poet, and with Hassan (ibn) Sabbāh, afterwards the founder of the sect of the Assassins (q.v.), was a renowned author and statesman of the first rank, and immortalized his name by the foundation of several universities (the Nizāmiyah at Bagdād), 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 Shāh and known as the Jelalian, was introduced. Not quite forty days before the death of his master this great man was murdered by the Assassins. He had fallen into disfavour because of his unwillingness to join in the intrigues of the princess Turkān Khātūn, who wished to secure the succession to the throne for her infant son Mahmūd at the expense of the elder sons of Malik Shāh.

Constitution and Government of the Seljūk Empire.—It has been already observed that the Seljūks considered themselves the defenders of the orthodox faith and of the Abbasid 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 Seljūk 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 khān 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 Shāh 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 amirs not belonging to the royal family, who bore ordinarily the title of atabeg or atabek (properly “father bey”), e.g. the atabegs of Fars, of Azerbaïjan, of Syria, &c. The title was first given to Nizām ul-Mulk and expressed the relation in which he stood to the prince,—as lala, “tutor.” The affairs of state were managed by the divān under the presidency of the vizier; but in the empire of Rūm its authority was inferior to that of the pervāneh, whom we may name “lord chancellor.” In Rūm the feudal system was extended to Christian princes, who were acknowledged by the sultan on condition of paying tribute and sewing 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 Būyids.

Notwithstanding the intrigues of Turkān Khātūn, Malik Shāh was succeeded by his elder son Barkiyāroq (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.[2] Like his brother Mahommed (1104–1118), who successfully rebelled against him, his most dangerous enemies were the Isma‛īlites, who had succeeded in taking the fortress of Alamut (north of Kazvīn) and become a formidable political power by the organization of bands of fedais, who were always ready, even at the sacrifice of their own lives, to murder any one whom they were commanded to slay.

Mahommed had been successful by the aid of his brother Sinjar, who from the year 1097 held the province of Khorāsan with the capital Merv. After the death of Mahommed, Sinjar became the real head of the family, though Irak acknowledged Maḥmūd, the son of Mahommed. Thus there originated a separate dynasty of Irak with its capital at Hamadān (Ecbatana); but Sinjar during his long reign often interfered in the affairs of the new dynasty, and every occupant of the throne had to acknowledge his supremacy. In 1117 he led an expedition against Ghazni and bestowed the throne upon Bahrām Shāh, who was also obliged to mention Sinjar’s name first in the official prayer at the Ghaznavid capital—a prerogative that neither Alp Arslān nor Malik Shāh had attained. In 1134 Bahrām Shāh 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 Ghorids (Hosain Jihānsūz, or “world-burner”). Other expeditions were undertaken by him against Khwārizm and Turkestan; the government of the former had been given by Barkiyāroq to Mahommed b. Anushtagīn, who was succeeded 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 gurkhan (great khān) of the then rapidly rising empire of the Karakitai, at whose hands the Seljūk 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 Seljūk 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 (1153–1155), though treating him with all outward marks of respect. In the meantime they plundered and destroyed the flourishing cities of Merv and Nishāpūr; 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 Karakitai and afterwards to the shāh Khwārizm. The successors of Mahommed in Irak were:—Maḥmūd (d. 1131); Toghrul, son of Mahommed, proclaimed by Sinjar (d. 1134); Masūd (d. 1152); Malik Shāh and Mahommed (d. 1159), sons of Maḥmūd; Suleimān Shāh, their brother (d. 1161); Arslān, son of Toghrul (d. 1175); and Toghrul, son of Arslān, killed in 1194 by Inānej, son of his atabeg, Mahommed, who was in confederation with the Khwārizm shāh of the epoch, Takash. This chief inherited his possessions; Toghrul was the last representative of the Seljūks of Irak.

The province of Kermān was one of the first conquests of the Seljūks, and became the hereditary fief of Kāvurd, the son of Chaḳir Beg. Mention has been made of his war with Malik Shāh and of his ensuing death (1073). Nevertheless his descendants were left in possession of their ancestor’s dominions; and till 1170 Kermān, to which belonged also the opposite coast of Omān, enjoyed a well-ordered government, except for a short interruption caused by the deposition of Irān Shāh, who had embraced the tenets of the Isma‛īlites, and was put to death (1101) in accordance with a fatwa of the ulema. But after the death of Toghrul Shāh (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 Dinār (1185), marched into Kermān after harassing Sinjar’s dominions. Afterwards the shāhs of Khwārizm took this province.[3]

The Seljūkian 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, mentioned above, who perished, after a reign of continuous fighting, in battle against Barkiyāroq near Rai (Rhagae) in 1095. Of his two sons, the elder, Ridwān, established himself at Aleppo (d. 1113); the younger, Duqaq, took possession of Damascus, and 'died in 1103. The sons of the former, Alp Arslān and Sultān Shāh, reigned a short time nominally, though the real power was exercised by Lūlū till 1117.

After the great victory of Alp Arslān in which the Greek emperor was taken prisoner (1071), Asia Minor lay open to the inroads of the Turks. Hence it was easy for Suleimān, the son of Kutulmish,[4] the son of Arslān Pigu (Israil), to penetrate as far as the Hellespont, the more so as after the captivity of Romanus two rivals, Nicephorus Bryennius in Asia and Nicephorus Botaneiates in Europe, disputed the throne with one another. The former appealed to Suleimān 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 Seljūks as long as the important city of Antioch belonged to the Greeks, so that we may date the real foundation of this Seljūk empire from the taking of that city by the treason of its commander Philaretus in 1084, who afterwards became a vassal of the Seljūks. The conquest involved Suleiman in war with the neighbouring Mahommedan princes, and he met his death soon afterwards (1086), near Shaizar, in a battle against Tutush. Owing to these family discords the decision of Malik Shāh was necessary to settle the affairs of Asia Minor and Syria; he kept the sons of Suleimān in captivity, and committed the war against the unbelieving Greeks to his generals Bursuḳ (Προσουχ) and Buzān (Πουζανος). Barkiyāroq, however, on his accession (1092), allowed Kilij Arslān, the son of Suleimān, to return to the dominions of his father. Acknowledged by the Turkish amirs of Asia Minor, he took up his residence in Nicaea, 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 the 23rd of June 1097. As the crusaders marched by way of Dorylaeum and Iconium towards Antioch, the Greeks subdued the Turkish amirs residing at Smyrna, Ephesus, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Lampes and Polybotus;[5] and Kilij Arslān, with his Turks, retired to the north-eastern parts of Asia Minor, to act with the Turkish amirs of Sivās (Sebaste), known under the name of the Danishmand.

The history of the dynasty of the Danishmand is still very obscure, notwithstanding the efforts of Mordtmann, Schlumberger, Karabaçek, 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 possession of Sivās, Tokāt, Niksār, Ablastān, Malatia, probably after the death of Suleimān, though they may have established themselves in one or more of these cities much earlier, perhaps in 1071, after the defeat of Romanus Diogenes. During the first crusade the reigning prince was Kumushtegin (Ahmed Ghāzi), who defeated the Franks and took prisoner the prince of Antioch, Bohemund, afterwards ransomed. e died probably in 1106, and was succeeded by his son Mahommed (d. 1143), after whom reigned Jaghi Basān; 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. Kastamuni.

Afterwards there arose a natural rivalry between the Seljfiks and the Danishmand, which ended with the extinction of the latter about 1175. Kilij Arslān took possession of Mosul in 1107, and declared himself independent of the Seljūks of Irak; but in the same year he was drowned in the Khaboras through the treachery of his own amirs, and the dynasty seemed again destined to decay, as his sons were in the power of his enemies. The sultan Mahommed, however, set at liberty his eldest son Malik Shāh, who reigned for some time, until he was treacherously murdered (it is not quite certain by whom), being succeeded by his brother Masūd, who established himself at Konia (Iconium), from that time the residence of the Seljūks of Rūm. During his reign—he died in 1155—the Greek emperors undertook various expeditions in Asia Minor and Armenia; but the Seljūk was cunning enough to profess himself their ally and to direct them against his own enemies. Nevertheless the Seljūkian dominion was petty and unimportant and did not rise to significance till his son and successor, Kilij Arslān II., had subdued the Danishmands and appropriated their possessions, though he thereby risked the wrath of the powerful atabeg of Syria, Nureddin, and afterwards that of 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, Ḳutb ed-dīn, 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). Konia itself was taken and the sultan forced to provide guides and provisions for the crusaders. Kilij Arslān 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, Rukneddin Suleimān, 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 Erzerūm, which had been ruled during a considerable time by a separate dynasty, and was now given in fief to his brother, Mughīt ud-dīn Toghrul Shāh. But, marching thence against the Georgians, Suleiman's troops suffered a terrible defeat. After this Suleiman set out to subdue his brother Masūd Shāh, at Angora, who was finally taken prisoner and treacherously murdered. This crime is regarded by Oriental 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 Mahommedan clergy, who accused him of atheism. His son, Kilij Arslān 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 circumstance 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, Kaikāūs, made peace with Lascaris and extended his frontiers to the Black Sea by the conquest of Sinope (1214). On this occasion he was fortunate enough to take prisoner the Comnenian prince (Alexius) who ruled the independent empire of Trebizond, and he compelled him to purchase his liberty by acknowledging the supremacy of the Seljūks, by paying tribute, and by serving in the armies of the sultan. Elated by this great success and by his victories over the Armenians, Kaikāūs 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, Alā ud-dīn Kaikobād I., the most powerful and illustrious prince of this branch of the Seljūks, renowned not only for his successful wars but also for his magnificent structures at Konia, Alaja, Sivās 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 Kaikobād, 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). Kaikobād 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 Seljūks 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 Selūk empire in the future: in conjunction with his ally, the Ayyubite prince Ashraf, he defeated the Khwārizm shāh Jalāl ud-dīn near Erzingān (1230). This victory removed the only barrier that checked the progress of the Mongols. During this war Kaikobād put an end to the collateral dynasty of the Seljūks of Erzerūm and annexed its possessions. He also gained the city of Khelāt with dependencies that in former times had belonged to the Shah-i-Armen, but shortly before had been taken by Jalāl ud-dīn; this aggression was the cause of the war just mentioned. The acquisition of Khelāt led, however, to a new war, as Kaikobād's ally, the Ayyubite prince, envied him this conquest. Sixteen Mahommedan princes, mostly Ayyubite, of Syria and Mesopotamia, under the leadership of Malik al-Kāmil, prince of Egypt, marched with considerable forces into Asia Minor against him. Happily for Kaikobād, 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 Kaikobād, who took Kharput, and for some time even held Ḥarrān, Ar-Roha and Rakka (1232). The latter conquests were, however, soon lost, and Kaikobād himself died in 1234 of poison administered to him by his son and successor, Ghiyāss ed-dīn Kaikhosrau II. This unworthy son inherited 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.[6] 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 Konia the founder of the order of the Mevlevis or Mawlawis, Jelāl ed-dīn Rūmī (see Rūmī), and that the dervish fraternities spread throughout the whole country and became powerful bodies, often discontented with the liberal principles of the sultans, who granted privileges to the Christian merchants and held frequent intercourse with them. Notwithstanding 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 Kuzadāg (between Erzingān and Sivās), in 1243, which forced him to purchase peace by the promise of a heavy tribute. The independence of the Seljūks was now for ever lost. The Mongols retired for some years; but, Kaikhosrau II. dying in 1245, the joint government of his three sons gave occasion to fresh inroads, till one of them died and Hulagu divided the empire between the other two, Izz ed-dīn (Kaikaus II.) ruling the districts west of the Halys, and Rukneddin (Kilij Arslan IV.) the eastern provinces (1259). But Izz ed-dīn, 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 imprisoned, but afterwards released by the Tatars of the Crimea, who took him with them to Sarai, where he died. Rukneddin was only a nominal ruler, the real power being in the hands of his minister, Muīn ed-dīn Suleimān, who in 1267 procured an order of the Mongol Khān Abaka for his execution. The minister raised his infant son, Ghiyāss ed-dīn Kaikhosrau III., to the throne, and governed the country for ten years longer, till he was entangled in a conspiracy of several amirs, who proposed to expel the Mongols with the aid of the Mameluke sultan of Egypt, Bibars (Beibars or Beybars). The latter marched into Asia Minor and defeated the Mongols in the bloody battle of Ablastān, the modern Albistan (1277); but, when he advanced farther to Caesarea, Muīn ed-dīn Suleimān retired, hesitating to join him at the very moment of action. Bibars, therefore, in his turn fell back, leaving Suleiman to the vengeance of the khān, who soon discovered his treason and ordered a barbarous execution. Kaikhosrau III. continued to reign in name till 1284, though the country was in reality governed by a Mongol viceroy. Masūd, the son of Izz ed-dīn, who on the death of his father had fled from the Crimea to the Mongol khān and had received from him the government of Sivās, Erzingān and Erzerūm during the lifetime of Kaikhosrau III., ascended the Seljūk throne on the death of Kaikhosrau. But his authority was scarcely respected in his own residence, for several Turkish amirs assumed independence and could only be subdued by Mongol aid, when they retired to the mountains, to reappear as soon as the Mongols were gone. Masūd fell, probably about 1295, a victim to the vengeance of one of the amirs, whose father he had ordered to be put to death. After him Kaikobād, son of his brother Farāmarz, entered Konia 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 Seljūks; 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 Seljūks is still de Guignes, Histoire générale 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-ī-Guzideh, French translation by Defrémery in the Journal asiatique, 1848, i. 417 sqq., ii. 259 sqq., 334 sqq.; Seid Locmani ex libro Turcico qui Oghuzname inscribitur excerpta (ed. J. H. W. Lagus, Helsingfors, 1854) (on the Seljūks of Asia Minor exclusively, but of little value). Information respecting certain periods is given incidentally in the works of von Hammer and d'Ohsson (see bibliography to Turkey: History), and in Stanley Lane Poole's Mahommedan Dynasties (1894).  (M. T. H.) 


  1. Comp. Sachau, “Zur Geschichte und Chronologie von Khwārizm,” in Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Acad., lxxiv. 304 seq.
  2. See Defrémery, Journ. asiatique (1853), i. 425 seq., ii. 217 seq.
  3. An outline of the history of this branch of the Seljūks is given in Z.D.M.G. (1885), pp. 362-401.
  4. This prince rebelled against Alp Arslān in 1064, and was found dead after a battle.
  5. The Turkmans who dwelt in these western parts of Asia Minor, which were never regained by the Seljūks, were called Utch (Outsiders).
  6. See the details in Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum Historiale, bk. xxx. chaps. 143, 144.