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[SoI] The Great Seljuk Empire

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Stories & Tales' started by trexeric, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. trexeric

    trexeric (or backwards 'cirexert')

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    Hello, everybody! Unfortunately, my computer exploded (not really... but you get the picture), so I must stop Them of the Mediterranean 2. So, I have started a new story! Don't expect me to update daily or anything, and also don't expect historicity, so yeah, here it goes:

    The Great Seljuk Empire



    The history of the Great Seljuk Empire as recorded by Ebecen the Wise, a Muslim historian in Constantinople after the empire's fall. This was part of a series of works, and was the last known work of his. He was also known for his works, "The Sassanid Empire", "The Umayyad Caliphate", and "The Abbasid Caliphate". He traveled Persia directly after the empire's fall in order to collect information.

    Chapter 1: The Foundation

    The Seljuk Turks originated as nomads in the Central Asian steppes. When Muslim conquerors of the Umayyad and Abbasids invaded, they were forced into the slave trade. However, they also picked up on the Arab's Muslim ways and teachings. Soon, powerful sultans arose in the hills of Greater Iran, leading raids on the Caliphates. When the Shia Buyids revolted from the Abbasid Caliphate, the east and west split. The Samanids under Ismail Samani became independent, and the Samanid Empire ruled for many years. The Ghaznavids had split off from the Samanids after many years of internal strife. The Seljuk Turks, remembering the years of hardship, revolted against the Abbasid Caliphate, and founded the city of Rayy. South of Rayy, the Buyids had captured the city of Qom. The Seljuk Sultan at the time, Tughril, found it an insult that a Shia state would capture a city so close to the capital of a Sunni state, Tughril entered war with the Buyids, and made peace with the Abbasids. The Abbasids had long controlled Kurdistan, which was now receiving a large amount of Seljuk immigrants. Unable to handle constant revolts by the ethnic Turks, the caliphate allowed the land to join the rising Seljuk Empire. However, the benevolent caliph who allowed those lands to fall died that year, and his son, Harun al-Rashid, declared war upon the Seljuks as they had taken Kurdistan. Meanwhile, Qom and its large population of Seljuk slaves began to revolt. Seeing a noble cause to capture the city, Tughril entered Qom on horseback and found little resistance. After the loss of Qom, other Buyid provinces revolted against their weak leaders to support the stronger Turks. The Samanids in the east, weakened by the split of the Ghaznavids, allowed their southwestern lands to secede to the Seljuks. However, the city of Marv refused to succumb. A small Ghaznavid province, the northernmost and westernmost of their provinces, seceded as well, sparking a war between the Ghaznavids and the Seljuk Turks. And the Great Seljuk Empire was formed.


     
  2. constantinople

    constantinople not Istanbul

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    Subbed.
     
  3. Daedwartin

    Daedwartin Chieftain

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    Oi! No one starts a new story and gets away with me not subbing.
     
  4. ace99

    ace99 Chieftain

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    It's said that the mythical founder of the Great Seljuk Empire had a dream before he became a great conqueror. He dreamed that he urinated fire on the world. He believed that would symbolize he was destined to rule the world.

    "I see that God has caused the sun of Empire to rise in the House of the Turks." wrote Mahmud of Kashgar.
     
  5. trexeric

    trexeric (or backwards 'cirexert')

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    That's peculiar.
     
  6. ace99

    ace99 Chieftain

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    Not so much, prophetic dreams are a common trope for Turkic imperial founders. Osman, is said to have had a similarly dream which represented the rise of the Ottoman Empire:

    Spoiler :


    Osman saw himself and his host reposing near each other. From the bosom of Edebali rose the full moon (emblem of Mal Hatoon), and inclining towards the bosom of Osman it sank upon it, and was lost to sight. After that a goodly tree sprang forth, which grew in beauty and in strength, ever greater and greater. Still did the embracing verdure of its boughs and branches cast an ampler and an ampler shade, until they canopied the extreme horizon of the three parts of the world. Under the tree stood four mountains, which he knew to be Caucasus, Atlas, Taurus, and Haemus. These mountains were the four columns that seemed to support the dome of the foliage of the sacred tree with which the earth was now centered. From the roots of the tree gushed forth four rivers, the Tigris, the Euphrates, the Danube, and the Nile. Tall ships and barks innumerable were on the waters. The fields were heavy with harvest. The mountain sides were clothed with forests. Thence in exulting and fertilizing abundance sprang fountains and rivulets that gurgled through thickets of the cypress and the rose. In the valleys glittered stately cities, with domes and cupolas, with pyramids and obelisks, with minarets and towers. The Crescent shone on their summits: from their galleries sounded the Muezzin’s call to prayer. That sound was mingled with the sweet voices of a thousand nightingales, and with the prattling of countless parrots of every hue. Every kind of singing bird was there. The winged multitude warbled and flitted around beneath the fresh living roof of the interlacing branches of the all-overarching tree; and every leaf of that tree was in shape like unto a scimitar. Suddenly there arose a mighty wind, and turned the points of the sword-leaves towards the various cities of the world, but especially towards Constantinople. That city, placed at the junction of two seas and two continents, seemed like a diamond set between two sapphires and two emeralds, to form the most precious stone in a ring of universal empire. Osman thought that he was in the act of placing that visional ring on his finger, when he awoke.[3]


    Which has nothing to do with anything. It was just an elaborate way to subscribe. :p
     
  7. A.Caesar

    A.Caesar Chieftain

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  8. christos200

    christos200 Never tell me the odds

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    Subbed.
     
  9. trexeric

    trexeric (or backwards 'cirexert')

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    Since I'm getting a good turnout, here's another chapter:

    Chapter 2:The Battle of Yazd

    The Battle of Yazd stands as a primal moment in early Seljuk history for the pure reason of that it was the first battle the cavalry of the various Seljuk tribes fought united. It began in Rayy, in 1040 AD. This was the year that Sultan Tughril fell ill with pneumonia. Expecting their beloved sultan to die, his cousin Kutalmish, who had previously governed Hamadan, stepped into power. However, his brother Chaghri had put a claim on the throne. Greedy Kutalmish poisoned Chaghri, but overlooked his two sons, Suleiman and Alp Arslan. Suleiman, the elder, seized the throne and caused multiple riots in the streets. Suleiman had his brother banished, and blamed him for the death of his father. The sultan, however, agreed to give Arslan a hearing if he would capture the Buyid city of Yazd in the name of the Seljuks. Young Arslan agreed, and in his travels gained many followers, as he was the favored son. Alp Arslan reached the southern edge of the Great Seljuk Empire and looked backward. He didn't have nearly enough troops to capture Yazd. Not wanting Arslan to have all the glory, Kutalmish led his men to the field as well. The combined forces of the two armies was enough to flank the Buyid archers and ultimately destroy the defenses of the city. However, the Buyid swordsmen, who had come out onto the field to face the tribal cavalry, still stood. Kutalmish led his men in front, followed by Alp Arslan's men. The majority of Kutalmish's men died alongside Kutalmish, who was cut on the thigh and on the head. He bled to death. However, Alp Arslan's men captured Yazd, and celebrated with their general. Now the city of Yazd was their's, Arslan and Kutalmish's men joined forces to defeat the remaining Buyids in the province of Yazd. And the city was theirs, and Alp Arslan would be accepted back into the Great Seljuk Empire. Or so he thought.

     
  10. trexeric

    trexeric (or backwards 'cirexert')

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    So no one wants to respond? Rudeness.

    Chapter 3: Battle of Ahvaz

    Alp Arslan returned to Rayy a hero after the Battle of Yazd. But Suleiman was unwilling to lift his banishment. According to the royal scribes of the era, the sultan ordered his brother to bring him the cleaned heads of two thousand Buyids. Alp Arslan could tell that the Seljuk sultan was becoming corrupt, but he kept it to himself. So Arslan, as royal prince, took control of a group of loose structured tribal cavalry headed by the almost rogue General Ahmad. Ahmad fled Greater Iran, and was known in the time afterwards as a great merchant in Anatolia. Arslan's fresh fighting force disliked the prospect of attacking the walled Buyid capital of Shiraz, so they chose to march on the recently Buyid invaded southern Mesopotamian city of Ahvaz. The fast horsemen had speed on their side, and luckily caught the archers defending the city off-guard. Volleys of arrows descended on both sides, and the Seljuk casualties were innumerable. And so were the casualties of the Buyids. It is estimated the Buyid casualties numbered about twenty five hundred men, as compared to the Seljuk casualties around fifteen hundred. When the city was firmly in Alp Arslan's grasp, he sat upon the throne of the governor of Ahvaz. His advisers entered the room with a total of a thousand Buyid heads, brought from the defenders of Ahvaz, as the rest were grotesque and unable to be cleaned. So Arslan ordered all of the mosques in the city locked, whether Shia or Sunni. The locks were placed when all Muslims were in the mosques. Christians and other religious minorities were sent on a mandatory pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Most never returned to Seljuk lands. Alp Arslan entered the Shia mosques and killed a thousand Shia Muslims, who were ethnic Buyids. The prince ordered the rest of the Shia mosques burnt in order to cleanse Ahvaz not of the Shia Muslims, but of the ethnic Buyids. Afterwards, the Sunni Muslims, who were ethnic Abbasids or Seljuks, were released from the mosque and repopulated the city. Alp Arslan returned to Rayy with the two thousand heads to find Suleiman dead of an unknown sickness. Alp Arslan ascended to the throne in 1045 at the age of 24. Suleiman was buried under the palace in Rayy alongside the two thousand Buyid heads. He was 39 when he died.

     
  11. constantinople

    constantinople not Istanbul

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    CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
    Acquire 2001 Buyid heads.
     
  12. trexeric

    trexeric (or backwards 'cirexert')

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    Since I'm outta school today, here's a short update:

    Chapter 4: Early Campaigns Against the Abbasids

    The Abna Spearmen of the Abbasids was feared among the horse riding Seljuks. A camp of these spearmen had long had claim to just north of Esfahan, and Sultan Alp Arslan wished to rid the empire of them. After Ahvaz was conquered, the gateway to Mesopotamia was opened, and this camp stood in the way of a full force attack. Fearing they would strike from behind, the sultan ordered an attack on the camp. Mercenary axemen attacked first, and were utterly destroyed. Seljuk swordsmen, who were the majority of the Seljuk's infantry, died in a second attack. Buyid horse archers, who defected to the Seljuks, died in a third attack. Finally, tribal cavalry experienced from the Battle of Yazd rode to the camp and once again claimed victory. This battle is nameless, but it is usually considered the earliest military campaign against to Abbasid Caliphate.

     
  13. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    It is a real shame this geography is not adapted to CIV mechanics, which is food, food and food. Looking at the desertic regions, I see cities can't barely go over 4-5 pops, which ensues with great game unbalance.
     
  14. trexeric

    trexeric (or backwards 'cirexert')

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    An Easter special!

    Chapter 5: The Battle of Shiraz and the Fall of the Buyid Dynasty

    After reigning for six years, Sultan Alp Arslan ordered a march on the Buyid capital, Shiraz. Tribal cavalry from Yazd rode quickly to the city. However, they were ambushed by Buyid spearmen, who happened to be traveling to Yazd. The two armies faced head on, and both suffered great casualties. However, in the end, the Seljuks once again triumphed. Meanwhile, a minor coup in Darrershahr, a small yet prominent town in Seljuk Kurdistan, killed the Kurdish governor. The head of the coup, a farmer by the name of Abu Muslim Khorasani, claimed the Kurd had 'treacherous intentions', and gave the position of governor to one of Alp Arslan's cousins. The sultan saw value in this man, and quickly appointed him High General of the Seljuk Forces.



    Early in 1052, the tribal cavalry who had rode from Yazd was attacked from behind by Buyid Daylami armies. In a single, swift maneuver, the Daylamis killed the wounded Seljuks, and took many as slaves. Unfortunately, these slaves were sent to the orient, and were never seen again by Seljuk eyes. Luckily, the sultan saw a counterattack from the northeast coming, and ordered reinforcements from Ahvaz, leaving the city undefended. When they arrived at the Buyid capital, many tribal cavalry scattered to greet the coming Abu Muslim Khorasani, to defeat the remaining Daylami, or to aid in surrounding the city. Meanwhile, Alp Arslan's court urged the sultan to take a hajj, a Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah. Happy to leave Rayy in the hands of his advisers, Alp Arslan set off in splendor. He would not return from this legendary hajj for two years.



    In 1054, 33-year-old Alp Arslan returned from the hajj. Instead of heading straight for Rayy, he traveled into Buyid lands to see the invasion progress. He was disgusted to find commanders and generals not doing anything to the city, and Seljuk camps surrounding Shiraz harmlessly. Angered, the sultan ordered an immediate attack on the city, with no delay whatsoever. No general was prepared except for Abu Muslim Khorasani, who was given high honors by the sultan. Although he would have been more than willing, Alp Arslan ordered him to not attack with his forces until the other generals have attacked with their forces. So, the attack began unsuccessfully, with tribal cavalry in the northeast being early spotted and slaughtered by Buyid archers. However, the tides turned as a determined attack from the southeast caught many archers by surprise, and they were quickly slaughtered. Now, the Seljuks were double the size and strength of the Buyids in the city, but the walls needed to be destroyed. So, quick raids from the north killed off the remaining archers, and Abu Muslim Khorasani's troops opened the gates. The Battle of Shiraz was over, and the Buyid emir was killed creatively by Alp Arslan*. However the Buyid Emirate was destroyed, the Buyid culture lived on as Alp did not order another mass execution.



    *Different accounts have different tales of the death of the unnamed Buyid emir. Most historians agree with Milmit Turlik's account, which tells of the emir being stoned as he was forced to drink the blood of Buyid archers while standing atop flaming hot coals, which happened to be one of the less violent and gross examples.
     
  15. trexeric

    trexeric (or backwards 'cirexert')

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    Honestly, NO responses? Some people... Well, since you are all mean, I give you a boring chapter.

    Chapter 6: The Agricultural Reforms of Alp Arslan

    After Shiraz was captured and the Buyids destroyed, Alp Arslan prepared for his next invasion, which would make him stuff of legend, not just his current nicknames of "Slayer of Buyids", "Sultan of War", "Al"*, and "Allah's Chosen One", but a new name. A name that meant bringer of suffering, bringer of war, bringer of chaos. Meanwhile, his empire lied at his feet, wishing to be helped. Upon the night of March 16, 1058, the sultan had a dream. ** Within the dream, he stood upon a grand hill. The hill was covered in cotton, and ahead of him was a plain of other precious plants, such as silk. Not being sure what to do, Alp began to pick the cotton and put it into the pockets of his robe. Soon afterward, a traveling circus was heard not far away. Not wanting to be left alone in the field, Alp made his way to the caravan of circus performers. One man, a man with three eyes, noticed him. The man with three eyes walked up to the sultan and asked for a handful of cotton, in return for thirteen gold coins. The sultan accepted, and gave the freak the cotton in return for the coins. At that moment, however, darkness came and threatened the land. Arslan looked up, and knives fell from the sky. Arslan awoke in a cold sweat, and wrote upon a piece of parchment the 'Laws of Farmers'. Within this law stated that the rural populous shall have more freedom than the urban populous, but they shall sell their crops to the people rather than being self-reliant. The population of the Great Seljuk Empire, for the first time, doubted their sultan. The 'Council of Elders', a small group consisting of primarily noblemen and traditionalists, began the revolt against the sultan's rule. This was called the Revolt of 1059, and was the largest revolt against Alp Arslan. However, the revolt was largely ineffective.



    *His friends called him Al
    **This dream is recorded by many sources, and all tell similar accounts. However, Ebecen recites Alp Arslan's own account of the dream, or at least sums it up.
     
  16. A.Caesar

    A.Caesar Chieftain

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    :lol: keep your pants on, good update
     
  17. constantinople

    constantinople not Istanbul

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    Heheh, sorry about that. How boring could it possibly be?

    OH COME ON!!!

    Good story anyway! Tell Al I know how he feels.
     
  18. trexeric

    trexeric (or backwards 'cirexert')

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    I'm sure Al will appreciate your compassion.
     
  19. trexeric

    trexeric (or backwards 'cirexert')

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    Everyone, I would like to announce that
    This is my 1000th post!!!
    :band::band::woohoo::trophy::whew::viking::mwaha: :band::beer::salute::dance::sheep::band:

    Now, on with the chapter! You know what, It's my 1000th post, let's make it TWO chapters! :D

    Chapter 7: Battle of Al-Basrah

    As the Revolt of 1059 came to a close, the tribal cavalry which had taken the city of Shiraz mobilized under the leadership of Alp Arslan and Abu Muslim Khorasani. By spring, 1060, the army arrived at the Seljuk city of Ahvaz. The governor of Ahvaz, a Turk*, was killed mysteriously. Not wishing to draw attention to him ore his army, Alp Arslan appointed a poet as governor, for the Turk had been a poet as well. The poet was a slave of his**, and this was the first time in Iranian history a slave was appointed governor. The army continued on into Mesopotamia, what Arslan dreamed would be his new empire's base of operations. At the very south of the cradle of civilization was the Abbasid city of Al-Basrah. Al-Basrah was a major trading capital of the caliphate, at the meeting point between the Tigris and the Euphrates and the Persian Gulf. If Arslan were to take Mesopotamia, he would have to take Al-Basrah first. So Alp Arslan brought his men across the river, and ordered the army of Abu Muslim Khorasani to attack. Abu planned a sneak attack against the Abbasid archers, with a series of cavalry hiding in the brush near the river, waiting for the battle flute to play. The rest of Abu's cavalry attacked head on, and when the Abbasids began to get the upper hand, Abu blew into the battle flute, and the cavalry ran out of the brush and slaughtered the surprised Abbasid archers. In 1061, upon the 40th birthday of Alp Arslan, Al-Basrah fell.



    *This Turk is believed to be Milmit Turlik, poet and historian in the Seljuk-Buyid wars. This theory is supported by Milmit Turlik's last poem, which describes his quick rise to power in Ahvaz after the capture of Shiraz. The poem also describes the cuisine of the Seljuks, and is used very much by modern chefs to create Seljuk-style meals
    **The slave poet is believed to be Hulusi, one of the most recognized Seljuk poets. Hulusi's early poems describe Alp Arslan's personal life, and after his rise to power in Ahvaz describe the Seljuk-Abbasid Wars until his death.

    Chapter 8: The Battle of Wasit

    The year after the capture of Al-Basrah, Alp Arslan led his men north deeper into the Abbasid Caliphate. They came upon the city of Wasit early in 1063, along with an army of captured Abbasid slave workers. Arslan looked upon the city with greed, for it was a grand city, unlike any he had seen. Turkish and Arabic architecture clashed to form a supreme 'Muslim' feel. But the city, unlike Al-Basrah, was surrounded by walls. Grand, thick walls. The sultan, lacking siege weapons, had to think cleverly to get around the obstacle. Alp led the first attack, but was soon forced to withdraw due to Abbasid archers on the walls shooting them and killing one of the generals*, who was of Arabic descent. In retreat, the sultan saw what was needed for victory over the city. The northwestern gate, which had a line of merchants streaming into it and out of it. He sent in two men** to act as merchants and enter the city. Once in the city, they were to murder the gatekeepers of the southern gate, and open the gate, so that the army may enter. The plan succeeded at first, and the gate opened. The Seljuks streamed into the city and slaughtered all the militia and archers. The merchants were captured and robbed, most likely ending up in the slave trade. Wasit was captured by Alp Arslan's hand and his wit, and the strength of his men. The future looked bright for the ambitious sultan.



    *The general's name, though unmentioned in historical recounts of the event, is thought to be General Farraj of Makkah, an Arabic general who joined and befriended Alp Arslan on his hajj, and followed him back to Rayy to become a general of the Seljuk forces.
    **The two men, named in Hulusi's epic The Fall of Wasit, are believed to be Akil the Knowledgeable, a prominent strategist in Alp Arslan's court, and Ubeydullah the Pious, a Sunni warrior-priest from Anatolia.
     
  20. Dumanios

    Dumanios MLG

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    Nice story so far.
     

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