Recommend to your Librarian

The Seljuqs

Politics, Society and Culture

Edited by Christian Lange, Songül Mecit

eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

A unique collaborative exploration of this pivotal yet understudied Muslim dynasty

What were the ideological foundations and ritual expressions of Seljuq power? How did the learned classes and the state feel about each other? How was social space organised? What was the relationship between nomads and settled peoples?

Split into three parts, this collection of essays addresses questions like these about life during the Seljuq period. Part 1 follows the gradual transformation of the Seljuqs into a powerful dynasty and their concepts of political legitimisation. Part 2 examines social history, particularly with regard to the 'ulama' and the urban populations. Part 3 explores how religious thought, jurisprudence, belles-lettres and architecture developed under the Seljuqs.

Key Features

  • Covers a wide geographical spectrum, from Central Asia and Persia to Iraq, Syria and Anatolia
  • Contributors include C.E. Bosworth, Massimo Campanini, Carole Hillenbrand, Robert Hillenbrand, Jurgen Paul, Andrew C.S. Peacock and Scott Redford


Part I. Politics: 1. The Origins of the Seljuqs, C. Edmund Bosworth, University of Manchester
2. Aspects of the Court of the Great Seljuqs, Carole Hillenbrand, University of Edinburgh
3. 'Sovereign and Pious': The Religious Life of the Great Seljuq Sultans, D. G. Tor, University of Notre Dame
4. Kingship and ideology under the Rum Seljuqs, Songul Mecit, University of Edinburgh
5. Seljuq Legitimacy in Islamic History, A. C. S. Peacock, British Institute at Ankara
Part II. Society: 6. Arslan Arghun – Nomadic Revival?, Jurgen Paul, University of Halle
7. Controlling and Developing Baghdad: Caliphs, Sultans and the Balance of Power in the Abbasid Capital (Mid-5th/11th to Late 6th/12th Centuries), Vanessa Van Renterghem, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris
8. The Seljuqs and the Public Sphere in the Period of Sunni Revivalism: The View from Baghdad, Daphna Ephrat, The Open University of Israel
9. Changes in the Office of Hisba under the Seljuqs, Christian Lange, Utrecht University
10. An Emblematic Family of Seljuq Iran: The Khujandis of Isfahan, David Durand-Guedy, University of Halle
Part III. Culture: 11. Shi'i Jurisprudence during the Seljuq Period: Rebellion and Public order in an Illegitimate State, Robert Gleave, University of Exeter
12. In Defence of Sunnism: Al-Ghazali and the Seljuqs, Massimo Campanini, L'universita degli studi di Napoli L'Orientale
13. Arabic and Persian Intertextuality in the Seljuq Period: Hamidi's Maqamat as a Case Study, Vahid Behmardi, Lebanese American University
14. City Building in Seljuq Rum, Scott Redford, Georgetown University
15. The Seljuq Munuments of Turkmenistan, Robert Hillenbrand, University of Edinburgh

About the Author

Christian Lange is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He is author of Justice, Punishment and the Medieval Muslim Imagination (2008) and co-editor (with Maribel Fierro) of Public Violence in Islamic Societies: Power, Discipline and the Construction of the Public Sphere, 7th-19th Centuries (EUP, 2009).

Songül Mecit is a Part-time Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh.


The work constitutes a serious contribution to Seljuq research, for which the symposium organisers, contributors and editors deserve our thanks.

- Insight Turkey