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Alamūt (Persian language "Eagle taught" or "Eagle's Nest") was once a mountain fortress located in the central Alborz Mountainsmarker south of the Caspian Seamarker close to Gazor Khan near Qazvin Provincemarker, about 100 km from present-day Tehranmarker in Iranmarker. Only ruins remain of this fortress today.

Origins

Alamut lies on the peak known as Alah Amut. Among suggested etymologies are "Eagle's Nest" (according to Sar Guzasht-i Sayyidna) and "Eagle's Teaching" (according to "Kamil fit-Tarikh" of Ibn Athir) .

According to Hamdollah Mostowfi, the first fortress was built in 840 at an elevation of 2100m. It was built in a way that had only one passable artificial entrance that wound its way around the cliff face (the one natural approach, a steep gravel slope, was too dangerous to use); thus making conquering the fortress extremely difficult. The fort had an unusual system of water supply. The top was extremely narrow and long — perhaps 400 meters long, and no more than 30 meters wide in any place and usually less.

In 1090 the fortress was infiltrated and occupied by the powerful Hashshashins, a faction of Nizāri Ismā‘ilī Shī‘a Islam known to the West as "the Assassins", and was then fabled for its gardens and libraries. The ruins of 23 other fortresses remain in the vicinity.

The fortress was destroyed on December 15, 1256 by Hulagu Khan as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia. The fortress itself was impregnable, but Ruknud-Dīn Khurshāh surrendered it without a real fight, in the vain hope that Hulagu would be merciful.

In 2004, an earthquake further damaged the already crumbling walls of the fort.

Commanders (1090-1256)



In popular culture



See also



References

  1. The Hundredth Anniversary of Vladimir Bartol, the Author of Alamut, Government Communications Office, Republic of Slovenia, 2003. Accessed 24 March 2007.


External links




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