The Great Seljuqs: A History, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Great Seljuqs

A History, 1st Edition

By Osman Aziz Basan


212 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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This book provides a broad history of the Seljuq Turks from their origins and early conquests in the 10th century, through the rise of empire, until its dissolution at the end of the 12th. Where the history of the Seljuqs is usually studied in the context of medieval Persian, Arabic or Islamic history, this book considers the topic from the perspective of Turkish history.

Examining the corpus of academic work on the period and how Turkish historiography has interpreted and understood the Seljuqs, the author demonstrates how the Great Seljuq Empire can be considered not only in a historical context, but as the instigator of Turko-Islamic civilization. Rejecting traditional Turkish scholarship, which places Iranian culture and Islam as the civilising elements in the Great Seljuq Empire, the author shows how the nature of nomadic pastoral empires have come under fresh scrutiny, reassessing Seljuq history and the framework within which it has been treated.

This book provides a unique insight into the adoption to an urban environment of Turkic expectations that were forged on the Eurasian steppes, showing how the outcome put its stamp on the second millennium throughout the Middle East and Balkans. It will be an important addition to the literature on Medieval Islamic, Turkish and Middle Eastern history.


"[The] nine chapters present not only a detailed description of the political history of the Great Seljuqs, but also a valuable discussion of Turkish historiography on the matter." - R. W. Zens, Le Moyne College, CHOICE, April 2011

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Overview 3. Origins 4. Conquest (985/993-1063) 5. Empire (1063-92) 6. Interregnum (1092-1105) 7. Dissolution (1105-94) 8. Evaluation 9. Conclusion. Appendix 1: Maps. Appendix 2: The Oguz. Appendix 3: Seljuq Rulers

About the Author

Aziz Basan completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, and is now an independent scholar.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the History of Iran and Turkey

This series publishes important studies dealing with the history of Iran and Turkey in the period 1000-1700 AD. This period is significant because it heralds the advent of large numbers of nomadic Turks from Central Asia into the Islamic world. Their influence was felt particularly strongly in Iran and Turkey, territories which they permanently transformed.
The series presents translations of medieval Arabic and Persian texts which chronicle the history of the medieval Turks and Persians, and also publishes scholarly monographs which handle themes of medieval Turkish and Iranian history such as historiography, nomadisation and folk Islam.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Middle East / General
HISTORY / Medieval
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies