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Transcript of Ghaznavid Dynasty
Founder of The Dynasty
The dynasty was founded by Sebuktigin, upon his succession to rule of Ghazna (modern-day Ghazni Province in Afghanistan) after the death of his father-in-law, Alp Tigin.
After the death of Sebuktigin, his son Ismail claimed the throne for a temporary period but was defeated and captured by Mahmud at the Battle of Ghazni in 998.
Then in 998, Mahmud, another son of Sebuktigin, succeeded the throne at Ghazni and the Ghaznavid dynasty have become perpetually associated with him.
He was born in 971 A.D. He was not only a great warrior, but also a great patron of learning and scholasticism. After taking the throne, Mahmud of Ghazni, expanded the Ghaznavid Empire to the Oxus River (Amu Darya), the Indus Valley, and the Indian Ocean in the east, and to Ray and Hamadan (in modern-day Iran) in the west. He died in 1030.
The victory tower of Masʿūd III, constructed in (1099–1115); in Ghaznī (formerly Ghazna), Afghanistan.
Lashkari Bazaar, the palace, 11th century
Arslan Jadhib Mausoleum, Sang Bast, Iran (997-1028)
The Ghaznavid dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Turkic slave origin ruling much of Persia, Transoxania, and the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent from 977 to 1186AD.
A Map of Ghaznavid's Rule
Turkish elements had an influence on Ghaznavid painting. The bas reliefs found at Ghazni show scenes of court life (courtiers, dancers), hunting scenes (horsemen battling a lion) etc. The hunting scenes are similar to that of a Sassanian theme; however they are distinguished by their refinement of drawing and fluidity of movement.
Ghaznavid art produced some of the most notable examples of calligraphy in Islamic art. The Kufic script was very popular, and achieved its most elegant form during the reign of Ibrahim (1059-99). This script with ornamental border remained the fashion for centuries in various Persian provinces.
Ghaznavid Dynasty (977-1186)
Ghazna (977-1163) Lahore (1163-1186)
Khusrau Malik (last)
Persian (offical and court language)
Most Important Sultan:
Unlike the Samanids, their predecessors the Ghaznavids did not go so far as to proclaim themselves the descendants of the Sassanians (the memory of their Turkish origin was too fresh). Although the dynasty was of Central Asian Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianized in terms of language, culture, literature, and habits, and hence is regarded by some as a "Persian dynasty" rather than Turkic.
They spoke Persian, celebrated pre-Islamic festivals, and promoted neo-Persian letters.
He completed the conquest of the Samanid and Shahi territories, including the Ismaili Kingdom of Multan, Sindh, as well as some Buwayid territory.
Mahmud carried out seventeen expeditions through northern India against the Somnath Temple to establish his control and set up tributary states, and his raids also resulted in the looting of a great deal of plunder.
He established his authority from the borders of Ray to Samarkand, from the Caspian Sea to the Yamuna.
During Mahmud's reign (997–1030), the Ghaznavids settled 4,000 Turkmen families near Farana in Khorasan.
By all accounts, the rule of Mahmud was the golden age and height of the Ghaznavid Empire.
Fragment of a marble panel carved on both sides comes from a parapet that demarcated an outside area in a palace, Afghanistan, Ghazna; c. 1100
Ghaznavid art takes its name from the dynasty founded by the Turkish sultan Sabuktagin, whose rulers governed from Ghazni.
Craftsmen and artists were attracted from the conquered lands, primarily from the lands of the Islamic east, to beautify the capital.
Ghaznavids had most influence of Persia over their architecture.
Ghazni was the meeting ground between Moslem and Indian worlds. Indian monuments certainly left an impression on the conquerors, and there were numerous groups of Indian craftsmen at Ghazni.
In Ghaznavid architecture, decoration was considered to be as important as the structure itself.
Brickwork was used to provide geometric patterns. Marble was used extensively in Ghazni and virtually surpassed stucco. Sources say that it was used for the facings of the mosque "Bride of the Sky".
However, the Ghaznavid's use of sun-dried bricks combined with the severe climatic frosts resulted in the ruin of most of these buildings.
This repeat-patterned cloth is made from a mixture of silk and cotton known as mulham. Mulham cloth may have decorations, mainly inscriptions, which were added by embroidering at the time of manufacture. This cloth bear patterns printed with different stamps on the glazed surface of the cloth. . The animals with floral elements and the squares with pearl borders are similar in style to those on glazed ceramic tiles from Ghazni, in eastern Afghanistan.
Ghaznavid's Ceramic Work
Bowl, Binkat (modern Uzbekistan), 10th century, Samanid or Ghaznavid dynasty
Persian Prose Under Ghaznavids
Persian literature flourished so much during Ghaznavid's time.
Though the span of Ghaznavid period was short, yet, so far as the importance and development of Persian poetry and number of Persian poets are concerned, this was one of the most illustrious and magnificent period of Persian prose literature.
The most eminent poets and scholars of the Ghaznavid period are Unsuri, Farrukhi, Asjadi, Firdausi, Minuchihri, Asadi, mystic poet Abu Sayeed Abil Khair, and Abu Ali Sina, popularly known as AviCenna in Europe.
Especially, during Mahmud Ghazni reign, the eminent poets, scholars and educationist were flocked to the court of Ghazna.
Beside the development of Persian poetry, Persian prose was also developed during the Ghaznavid period.
Abu Ali Sina has a number of books in Persian prose to his credit. He wrote Danish Nama-e-Alai, Qaraja-i-Tabiat, Risalai-Nabz etc.
Abul Fazl Baihaqi compiled a great historical work named Tarikh-e-Baihaqi. This is a great source which supplies information regarding the middle ages.
Abu Rahim Al Bairuni also wrote two books in Persian prose. One is a history of Indian people, their customs and morality and another is on astronomy.
From the above contents it can be remarked that Ghaznavid is no less significant so far as the development of Persian prose is concerned.
Department of Islamic Arts & Architecture
Ma'am Aimen Hussain