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The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate or Il Khanate ( , ), was a Mongol khanate established in Persiamarker in the 13th century, considered a part of the Mongol Empire. The Ilkhanate rulers, beginning with Ghazan, embraced Islam, the religion professed by most of the people living in its territories which included present-day Iranmarker, most of Iraqmarker, Afghanistanmarker, Turkmenistanmarker, Armeniamarker, Azerbaijanmarker, Georgiamarker, Turkeymarker, and western Pakistanmarker. The Ilkhanate was based, originally, on Genghis Khan's campaigns in the Khwarezmid Empire in 1219-1224, and founded by Genghis's grandson, Hulagu Khan.

Hulagu

After the Battle of Köse Dağ in 1243, the Mongols occupied Anatolia, and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm became a vassal of what would later become the Ilkhanate Mongols.

The founder of the Ilkhanate dynasty was Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan and brother of both Möngke Khan and Kublai Khan. Taking over from Baiju in 1255 or 1256, he had been charged with subduing the Muslim kingdoms to the west "as far as the borders of Egypt." This occupation led the Turkmens to move west into Anatoliamarker to escape from the Mongolian tribes. He established his dynasty over the southwestern part of the Mongol Empire that stretched from Transoxiana to Syriamarker.

Great khan Möngke's death forced Hulagu to return from the Persian heartland for the preparation of Khuriltai. His expedition towards Egypt, however, was halted in Palestine in 1260 by a major defeat at the Battle of Ain Jalut at the hands of the Mamluks of Egypt.

Early Ilkhanate

The term il-Khan means "subordinate khan" and refers to their initial deference to Möngke Khan and his successor Great Khans of the entire empire. The Kublaids in the east retained suzerainty over the Ilkhans (obedient khans) until the end of its regime. Hulagu's descendants ruled Persiamarker for the next eighty years, beginning as Shamanists, then Buddhists and ultimately converting to Islam. However, the Ilkhans remained opposed to the Mamluks (who had defeated both Mongol invaders and crusaders), but were never able to gain significant ground against them, eventually being forced to give up their plans to conquer Syriamarker, and their stranglehold over their vassals the Sultanate of Rum and the Armenian kingdom in Cilicia. This was due to the hostility of the khanates to the north and east – the Chagatai Khanate in Moghulistan and the Golden Horde of Berke threatened the Ilkhanate in the Caucasus and Transoxiana, preventing expansion westward. Even under Hulagu's reign, the Ilkhanate was engaged in open warfare in the Caucasus with the Mongols in the Russian steppes.


Franco-Mongol alliance

Many attempts towards the formation of a Franco-Mongol alliance were made between the courts of Western Europe and the Mongols (primarily the Ilkhanate) in the 13th and 14th centuries, starting from around the time of the Seventh Crusade. United in their opposition to the Muslims (mainly the Mamluks), the Ilkhanate and the Europeans were still never able to satisfactorily combine their forces against their common enemy.

Conversion to Islam

In the period after Hulagu, the Ilkhans increasingly adopted Tibetan Buddhism. Christian powers were encouraged by what appeared to be a favoring of Nestorian Christianity but this probably went no deeper than their traditional evenhandedness. Thus the Ilkhans were markedly out of step with the Muslim majority they ruled. Ghazan, shortly before he overthrew Baydu, converted to Islam and his official favoring of Islam coincided with a marked attempt to bring the regime closer to the non-Mongol majority. Christian and Jewish subjects lost their equal status with Muslims and again had to pay the poll tax. Buddhists had the starker choice of conversion or expulsion.

In foreign relations, the conversion to Islam had little to no effect and Ghazan continued to fight the Mamluks for control of Syria. But the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandarmarker, which was the Mongols' only major victory over the Mamluks disproved his control over Syria, which lasted but a few months. For the most part, Ghazan's policies continued under his brother Öljeitü despite suggestions that he might begin to favor the Shi'a brand of Islam after he came under the influence of Shi'a theologians Al-Hilli and Maitham Al Bahrani. Öljeitü succeeded in conquering Gilanmarker on the Caspian coast and his magnificent tomb in Soltaniyehmarker remains the best known monument of Ilkhanid rule in Persia.

Disintegration

After Abu Sa'id's death in 1335, the khanate began to disintegrate rapidly, and split up into several rival successor states, most prominently the Jalayirids. Khasar's descendant Togha Temür who was the last of the obscure Ilkhan pretenders was assassinated by Sarbadars in 1353. Timur later carved a state from the Jalayirids, ostensibly to restore the old khanate.The historian Rashid al-Din wrote a universal history for the khans around 1315 which provides much material for their history.

Legacy

The Ilkhanate State helped to pave the way for the later Safavid dynastic state, and ultimately the modern country of Iran. Hulagu's conquests had also opened Iran to both European influence from the west and Chinese influence from the east. This, combined with patronage from his successors, would develop Iran's distinctive excellence in architecture. Under the Il Khans, Iranian historians also moved from writing in Arabic, to writing in Persian.

Ilkhanid Dynasty rulers



Post-Ilkhanate rulers

After the Ilkhanate, the regional states established during the disintegration of the Ilkhanate raised their own candidates as claimants.

Claimants from eastern Persia (Khurasan):

  • Togha Temür (c. 1338-1353) (recognized by the Kartids 1338-1349; by the Jalayirids 1338-1339, 1340-1344; by the Sarbadars 1338-1341, 1344, 1353)
  • Luqman (1353-1388) (son of Togha Temür)
Map showing the political situation in southwest Asia in 1345, ten years after the death of Abu Sa'id.
The Jalayirids, Chobanids, Muzaffarids, Injuids, Sarbadars and Kartids took the Ilkhanate's place as the major powers in Iran.


See also



Notes

  1. Christopher P.Atwood - Ibid
  2. Michael Prawdin - Mongol Empire and its legacy, p.302
  3. "Despite numerous envoys and the obvious logic of an alliance against mutual enemies, the papacy and the Crusaders never achieved the often-proposed alliance against Islam". Atwood, Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire, p. 583, "Western Europe and the Mongol Empire"
  4. Medieval Persia 1040-1797, David Morgan p64
  5. Medieval Persia 1040-1797, David Morgan p72
  6. Ali Al Oraibi, Rationalism in the school of Bahrain: a historical perspective, in Shīʻite Heritage: Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions By Lynda Clarke, Global Academic Publishing 2001 p336
  7. Francis Robinson, The Mughal Emperors And The Islamic Dynasties of India,Iran and Central Asia, Pages 19 and 36


References

  • Atwood, Christopher P. (2004). The Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. Facts on File, Inc. ISBN 0-8160-4671-9.
  • C.E. Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties, New York, 1996.
  • R. Amitai-Preiss: Mongols and Mamluks: The Mamluk-Ilkhanid War 1260-1281. Cambridge, 1995


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