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Ahmad Sanjar (1085 – May 8, 1157) was the sultan of the Great Seljuq Empire from 1118 to 1153. He was initially the sultan of Khorasan until he gained the rest of the territory upon the death of Muhammad I. He was a son of Malik Shah I and participated in wars of succession against his three brothers and an uncle, namely Mahmud I, Barkiyaruq, Malik Shah II and Muhammad I. In 1096, he was given the province of Khorasan to govern under his brother Muhammad I. Over the next several years Ahmed Sanjar became the ruler of most of Persia with his capital ####at Neishabour. A number of rulers revolted against him and continued the split of the Great Seljuk Empire that the dynastic wars had started. In 1102, he repulsed an invasion from Kashgaria, killing Jibrail Arslan Khan near Termez. Sanjar undertook a campaign to eliminate the Assassins of Alamut, and successfully drove them from a number of their strongholds. However, an anecdote indicates that en route to their stronghold at Alamut, Sanjar woke up one day to find a dagger beside him, pinning a note from Hassan Sabbah stating that he (Hassan) would like peace. Sanjar, shocked by this event, sent envoys to Hassan and they both agreed to stay out of each other's way. In 1141, Sanjar marched to confront the Kara Khitan threat and engaged them near Samarkand at the Battle of Qatwan. He suffered an astounding defeat — his first — and escaped with only fifteen of his elite horsemen, losing all Seljuk territory east of the Syr Darya (Jaxartes). Oghuz Turks from Khuttal and Tukharistan captured Ahmed Sanjar in 1153 and held him until 1156. He died the following year and was buried at Merv, where his tomb was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of the Khwarezmian Empire.
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