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Faravahar background
History of Greater Iran
Until the rise of modern nation-states

The Ildegizids,[1] Eldiguzids[2][3] (Turkish: İldenizli Atabeyliği, Azerbaijani: Eldəgəzlər, Persian: ایلدگزیان‎‎) or Ildenizids, also known as Atabegs of Azerbaijan[4][5](Persian: اتابکان آذربایجان‎‎ Atabakan-e Āzarbayjan,Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Atabəylər Dövləti) were an Iranian dynasty[6] of Kipchak[3] origin which controlled most of northwestern Persia[2]/eastern Transcaucasia, including[2] Arran,[2][3][5] most of Azerbaijan,[2][3][5] and Djibal.[2][3][5] At their extent, the territory under their control, roughly corresponds to most of north-western and upper-central modern Iran, most of the regions of modern Azerbaijan and smaller portions in modern Armenia (southern part), Turkey (northeastern part) and Iraq (eastern part). Down to the death in war 1194 of Toghril b. Arslan, last of the Great Seljuq rulers of Iraq and Persia, the Ildenizids ruled as theoretical subordinates of the Sultans, acknowledging this dependence on their coins almost down to the end of the Seljuqs.[2] Thereafter, they were in effect an independent dynasty, until the westward expansion of the Mongols and the Khwarazm-Shahs weakened and then brought the line to its close.[2]

relating to the period of Eldiguzids. Museum of Art of Azerbaijan, Baku

  • Encyclopedia Iranica, "Atabakan-e Adarbayjan", Saljuq rulers of Azerbaijan, 12th–13th, Luther, K.
  • . trans. and annoated by K. Allin Luther, e.d. by C.E. Bosworth (London, Curzon Press, 2001).The history of Seljuq Turks from the Jami 'Al-Tawarikh: An Ilkhanid Adapation of the Saljuq Nama of Zahir al-din Nishapuri
  • Clifford Edmund Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual, Columbia University, 1996. pp 199-200

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i C.E. Bosworth, "Ildenizids or Eldiguzids", Encyclopaedia of Islam, Edited by P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs et al., Encyclopædia of Islam, 2nd Edition., 12 vols. with indexes, etc., Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960–2005. Vol 3. pp 1110-111. Excerpt 1: "Ildenizids or Eldiguzids, a line of Atabegs of Turkish slave commanders who governed most of northwestern Persia, including Arran, most of Azarbaijan, and Djibal, during the second half of the 6th/12th century and the early decades of the 7th/13th century". Excerpt 2: "The Turkish Ildenizids shared to the full in the Perso-Islamic civilization"
  3. ^ a b c d e f g
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d e
  6. ^ Britannica. Article: Eldegüzid dynasty:
    Eldegüzid dynasty, also spelled Ildigüzid, Ildegüzid, Ildegizid, or Ildenizid, (1137–1225), Iranian atabeg dynasty of Turkish origin that ruled in Azerbaijan and Arrān (areas now in Iran and Azerbaijan).
  7. ^ a b c Hodgson, Marshall G.S. The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization, University of Chicago Press, 1974, ISBN 0-226-47693-6, p. 260
  8. ^ See also David IV of Georgia
  9. ^ Antoine Constant. L'Azerbaïdjan, Karthala Editions, 2002, ISBN 2-84586-144-3, p. 96
  10. ^ Houtsma, M. T. E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, BRILL, 1987, ISBN 90-04-08265-4, p. 1053
  11. ^ a b c Peter J. Chelkowski, "Mirror of the Invisible World", New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975. pp 2;"During the last quarter of the twelfth century, when Nizami began his Khamseh, Seljuq supremacy was on the decline and political unrest and social ferments were increasing. However, Persian culture characteristically flourished when political power was diffused rather than centralized, and so Persian remained the primary language, Persian civil servants were in great demand, Persian merchants were successful, and princedoms continued to vie for the service of Persian poets. This was especially true in Ganjeh, the Caucasian outpost town where Nizami lived."


See also

  1. Shams al-Din Ildeniz or Eldigüz (ca.1135 or 1136-1174 or 1175)
  2. Mohammed Jahan Pahlavan (1174 or 1175–1186)
  3. Qizil Arslan (1186–1191)
  4. Abu Bakr (1191–1210)
  5. Uzbek (1210–1225)

List of Eldiguzids (Atabegs of Azerbaijan)

Much like the Seljuqs, under the Eldiguzids, Persian culture[2][11] and literature[11] flourished and Persian was the primary language.[11] See also Nozhat al-Majales for many of the poets of the area.

Persian Culture

This process was speeded up during the reign of Atabeg Uzbek (1210–1225), who was enthroned after Abu Bakr’s death. In that period, Hassan Djalal the Mihranid (1215–1262) began his separative activities, a fact which shook the fundamentals of the weakened State, with the result that it was invaded by the troops of Georgian Queen Tamara. The troops occupied several Azerbaijani towns but they had to return to Georgia. The Atabeg State fell in 1225 when it was included into the Khwarezmian Empire. Finally the area of it passed to Mongol Empire in 1231.


The same year Qizil Arslan, who had become the individual ruler of the Great Seljuq Empire was, assassinated. The power was divided among his three sons: Abu Bakr, Qutluq Inandj and Amir Amiran. Abu Bakr governed Azerbaijan and Arran, and his brothers were the rulers of Khorasan and several neighboring regions. Soon, these three successors began to fight for the throne. And Abu Bakr was the one to win this war. But the State’s defense capability was stricken. Khorezmshahs' and Georgians’ non-stopping forays aggravated the situation in the country and speeded up its decay.

After Muhammed Djahan Pehlevan’s death his brother Qizil Arslan (1186–1191) ascended the throne. He continued his successful struggle against the Seljuq rulers. At the same time the central power began to get weaker as mamluks who had strengthened their power in their allotments did not want to obey the Sultan. Even Shirvanshakh Akhsitan who used to be Atabegs’ liegeman decided to benefit from the weakening of the Atabek’s power and invaded his territories in 1186. But he was defeated. His troops had to flee in pursuit of Atabeg’s army. They reached Baku. At the same time Qizil Arslan occupied all the land of Shirvan lying between Shamakha and Derbent. In 1191 Toghrul III, the last Seljuq ruler was overthrown by Qizil Arslan. Then, by Khalif’s leave, he proclaimed himself a Sultan.

Qizil Arslan

Jahan Pahlavan suppressed all rebellious emirs and appointed faithful mamluks to key positions. He apportioned each of them any region or town as iqta.The twelve years of his rule are considered the most peaceful period of the state’s existence. Under his reign the central power was strengthened and no foreign enemy invaded the territory belonging to the Atabegs. Friendly relations with Khwārazm-Shāhs, the rulers of Central Asia, were founded. All those facts had positive influence on the development of science, handicraft, trade and arts.

After the death of Shams al-Din Ildeniz, in 1175, the Seljuq Sultan Arslan Shah tried to escape from the yoke of the Grand Atabeg of Azerbaijan but failed, and was poisoned to death by Shams ad-Din's son, the new Grand Atabeg Mohammed Jahan Pahlavan (1174–1186).[9] Pahlavan transferred his capital from Nakhchivan to Hamadan in western Iran, and made his younger brother, Qizil Arslan Othman, the ruler of Azerbaijan. In 1174, Qizil Arslan captured Tabriz, which subsequently became his capital.[10]

Momine Khatun Mausoleum was commissioned by Ildegizid Atabeg Jahan Pahlawan in honor of his first wife, Mu'mine Khatun

Muhammad Jahan Pehlevan

Georgia, whose army was strengthened by 40,000 Azerbaijan and they could reach such faraway cities as Nakhchivan and Beylakan. As a rule, Georgians used to be paid their tribute and then they left. In 1173, Atabeg Ildeniz began his big campaign against Georgia but he was defeated. Atabeg’s troops retreated and Ildeniz died in 1174 in Nakhchivan.

Shams ad-Din Ildeniz became the ruler of the remainder of the north Iran and South Caucasus of the Seljuq empire. He was taking every measure to consolidate the power of his own appointed, but powerless sultan. The word Azam (meaning "great") was added to his title and he was also known as "Atabek-e Azam". All of the state’s subsequent rulers used to hold this title. During his reign, Ildeniz could subdue a spacious territory between the Caucasus and Persian Gulf. The territory belonging to him stretched from the gate of Tiflis up to Mekran. He had possessed Azerbaijan (Iran), Arran, Shirvan, Djibal, Hamedan, Gilan, Mazandaran, Isfahan and Rei. The Atabegs of Mosul, Kerman and Fars as well as the feudalists of Shirvan, Khuzestan, Hilat, Arzan-ar-Rhum and Maraga became his liegemen.

Shams ad-Din Ildeniz (Eldigüz)


  • Shams ad-Din Ildeniz (Eldigüz) 1
  • Muhammad Jahan Pehlevan 2
  • Qizil Arslan 3
  • Uzbek 4
  • Persian Culture 5
  • List of Eldiguzids (Atabegs of Azerbaijan) 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

In 1136, Sultan Mas'ud appointed Shams ad-Din Ildeniz (ca. 1135/36 – 1175) to be an atabeg of Arslan-shah,[5] the juvenile successor of the throne and transferred Azerbaijan to his possession as iqta. Eldegiz chose Barda as his residence, and attracted the local emirs to his camp. From 1161, the Seljuq princes at Hamadan fell under the control of the Atabeg of Azerbaijan.[7]

The historical significance of the Atabeg of Azerbaijan lies in their firm control over north-western Persia during the later Seljuq period and also their role in Transcaucasia as champions of Islam against the Bagratid Georgian kings[3]


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