In the tenth century Alp Tegin would find himself serving as a slave soldier for one empire. He would rise through the ranks, and get to the heights of political power. When his fortunes turned, he would embark on a campaign to create his own empire.
In 750 the Umayyad caliphal dynasty was overthrown by a popular revolution that had its origins in the eastern regions of the Muslim world, primarily in Khurasan.
The emir Ahmad ibn Ismail was assassinated in the year 914. This is the story of why he was killed and the power struggle that took place in the aftermath of his death.
Some of the most useful sources on medieval warfare are the ones written by the warriors themselves.
The story of the Buyids in Iran and Iraq is an extraordinary tale of the rise from obscurity of three ambitious brothers to dominate the core regions of the Muslim world.
In the fourth part of this series that looks at northern Iran in the Middle Ages, the decline of the Alid dynasty opens the door for Daylami mercenary leaders to seize power.
In part three of this series that looks at medieval northern Iran the focus turns to the emergence of the Alid dynasty and their struggle to gain and hold power in the ninth and tenth centuries.
The Daylamis provided a strong immovable wall of skilled and disciplined infantrymen that formed the main battle line of the army.
This is the first of a series of articles on the history of Northern Iran and its people during the 10th and 11th centuries.
During her life and career Khayzuran rose from the status of slave to becoming the caliph, al-Mahdi’s (r. 775-785), favorite concubine, and then his legal wife and a queen in her own right who wielded an immense amount of political power and whose wealth was second only to that of her husband’s in the entire caliphate.
After generations of oppression, an army of slaves rose up to challenge the Abbasid Caliphate.
During the course of a century, medieval military commanders from Eastern Europe to India would make use of wagons as their key element in winning on the battlefield.
They were scouts, raiders, skirmishers, heavy cavalry, and shock cavalry all in one; and could operate as infantry as well if the need arose.
In the medieval world it was rare for a woman to hold power. It seems incredible to read the story of Raziya of Delhi, not only because she was chosen to lead a realm, but the way she fought to keep it.
As Yaqub ibn Layth gained power and followers, his ambitions grew, ultimately leading to a confrontation with the Abbasid Caliphate.
During the ninth century a simple craftsmen would take up arms, hoping to put an end to the warfare and violence plaguing his corner of the world. In the first part of the story of Saffarid Dynasty, Adam Ali tells the story of coppersmith who would form an empire and challenge the rulers of Baghdad.
When Usama ibn Munqidh came to Cairo in 1144, he was hoping to restart a promising career as a military officer. Instead, he would find himself in the middle of a series of plots, intrigues, betrayals, murders, and street battles that would tear apart the capital of Egypt.