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Social and urban dynamics in Baghdad during the Saldjūq period (mid. Vth/XIth mid. VIth/XIIth c.)

Abstract : Between the mid. 5th/11th and the mid. 6th/X12th century, the domination of the Saljuq sultans over the ʿAbbāsid caliphate caused important social changes in Baghdad. Based mainly on Arabic chronicles and biographical dictionaries and making use of prosopography, this paper focuses on these social changes and on the consequences they had on the development of the city. In the first part it examines the impact of the madrasa-endowment policy, often considered as a characteristic of the period, on the three main madhāhib present in Baghdad, as well as the impact of the numerous ribāt foundations on Baghdadi Sufis. During the Saljūq period, the main judicial, administrative and political positions in Baghdad were held by a limited number of families. The study presents the most influential of them: newcomers such as the Dāmaghānī or families of local origin such as the Zaynabī. Both the Saljūq and ʿAbbāsid ruling elites were great patrons of building activity in Baghdad. They founded madrasa and ribāṭ endowments, but also private constructions, religious and public works. The second part of the paper focuses on the vigor of urban construction in Baghdad at that time, when different groups of patrons (Saljūq orʿAbbāsid officials and Baghdadi civilian elites, including women sponsors) were responsible for the urban development of different parts of the city. In fact, far from being in the ruined state sometimes described by historians on travelers' accounts, mainly based on the view of Ibn Jubayr, Baghdad appears as a dynamic city, still an important cosmopolite metropolis in the region.
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Contributor : Vanessa van Renterghem <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 17, 2012 - 4:17:31 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:22:19 AM
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Vanessa van Renterghem. Social and urban dynamics in Baghdad during the Saldjūq period (mid. Vth/XIth mid. VIth/XIIth c.). Baghdad (madinat al-Salam) in the Islamic Civilization/İslam Medeniyetinde Bağdat (medînetü's-selâm), Nov 2008, Istanbul, Turkey. pp.171-192. ⟨halshs-00732282⟩

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