The Political Revival of the Abbasid Caliphate: Al-Muqtafī and the Seljuqs

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D. G. Tor



The reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Muqtafī (r. 1136–1160) was one of great historical significance. Despite his having been chosen and elevated to the caliphate by the Seljuq sultans during the nadir of Abbasid power, after they had murdered one caliph and deposed another, it was al-Muqtafī who finally succeeded in reestablishing Abbasid political rule over Iraq. This article traces the course of al-Muqtafī’s relations with the Seljuq sultans, analyzes how and why he succeeded in reviving Abbasid political rule, and considers the import of the events that transpired during his reign.

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