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The Anglicised name used for this article derives from the Arabic 'Banu Marin or the Berber Ayt Mrin, which is the source of the Spanish name.

The Marinid dynasty (aka Marinid or Benemerine dynasty) was a Berber dynasty formed in 1244. They were largely concentrated in present-day Moroccomarker and Spainmarker. They overtook the Berber Almohad dynasty in controlling most of the Maghreb from the mid-1300s to the 15th century, and also supported the Kingdom of Granada, in Al-Andalusmarker, in the 13th and 14th centuries. The last Marinid fortress in the Iberian Peninsulamarker fell to Castile in 1344, and they were in turn replaced by the Hafsid dynasty in 1465.

The Marinid (aka Beni Marin, Arabic: مرينيون marîniyûn or بنو مرين banû marîn; Spanish Mariní/Mariníes) were of Zenata Berber heritage.


The Marinids originally came from Ifriqiya, through the southeast of present-day Moroccomarker, from which they were expelled in 1224 by another tribe, the Hilali. As early as 1145 the Marinids engaged in battles with the Almohad, which defeated them until 1169.

In 1169, the Marinids began their pursuit of taking Moroccomarker from the Almohads, the ruling dynasty at the time. Following their expulsion from the south, they moved northwards under command of Abu Yahya ibn Abd al-Haqq and took Fesmarker in 1248, making it their capital. This marked the beginning of the Marinid dynasty.

The Marinid leadership installed in Fesmarker declared war on the Almohads with the aid of Christian mercenaries. Abu Yusuf Yaqub (1259-1286) captured Marrakechmarker in 1269, and then took control of most of the Maghreb towards the end of 1268, including present-day Morocco, Algeriamarker and part of Tunisiamarker. After the Nasrids cession of Algecirasmarker to the Marinidas, Abu Yusuf went to Andaluciamarker to support them in their struggle against the Kingdom of Castile.

Having obtained this control, the Marinid dynasty tried to extend its control to the commercial traffic of the Strait of Gibraltarmarker. To this end, they declared jihad on the Christians and occupied the cities of Rotamarker, Algiersmarker and Gibraltarmarker successively, surrounding Tarifamarker for the first time in 1294.

Internal power struggles among the Merinids followed, which didn't however prevent Abu Said Utman II (1310-1331) from substantial construction work in Fez. Several madrassas for the education of public servants were founded, in order to support the centralisation of administration and to reduce the influence of the not always reliable Marabuts.

The Marinids also strongly influenced the policy of the Kingdom of Granada, from which they enlarged their army in 1275. In the mid 1300s, Castile made several incursions into Morocco and in 1267 a full-scale invasion of Morocco, but the Marinids successfully defended Morocco and drove out the Castilians.

Under Abu Hasan (1331-1348) another attempt to reunite the Maghreb was made. In 1337 the empire of the Abdalwadids in (what is now called) Algeriamarker was conquered, followed in 1347 by the empire of the Hafsids in Ifriqiya (Tunisia). However in 1340 the Marinids suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of a Portuguese-Castilian coalition at the Battle of Rio Salado, and finally had to withdraw from Andalusia. Abu l-Hasan was deposed by his son Abu Inan Faris (1348-1358), who tried to reconquer Algeria and Tunisia. Despite several successes, the dynasty began to decline after the murder of Abu Inan Faris, strangled by his own vizier in 1358.

Unruly Bedouin and Berber tribes increasingly spread anarchy in Morocco, which accelerated the fall of the empire. The support of the Marabuts also declined, after the Merinids reduced their financial support in the 15th century due to a financial crisis. The empire became fractured into multiple small kingdoms and city-states, such as the Kingdom of Fez, which partitioned from the Marinid dynasty in 1374, and opposed the Kingdom of Marrakech. The Kingdom of Fez covered a vast area in today's eastern Algeria to the gates of Tlemsenmarker, Spanish Plaza de soberanía and northern Morocco.

Merinid rulers after 1358 came under the control of the Wattasids which exercised the real power in the empire as viziers. They rotated Merinid sultans, often still children, in quick succession to ensure a strong viziership. The Wattasids were however equally unable to consolidated the empire, so that in 1415 Portugalmarker occupied the town of Ceutamarker and by 1513 had occupied all important harbours on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. After Abdalhaqq II (1421-1465) tried in vain to break the power of the Wattasids, they finally toppled the dynasty of the Merinids.The actual Head of the dynasty is Mark Tabili that it comes down from the Sultan Abu Tabil

Chronology of events

  • 1215: Banu Marin (Marinids) attack the Almohads when the young 16 year old Almohad caliph Yusuf II Al-Mustansir took power in 1213. The battle took place on the coast of Rifmarker. Under the reign of Yusuf II Al-Mustansir a great tower to protect the royal palace in Seville was erected.
  • 1217: Abd al-Haqq I dies during a victorious combat against Almohads. His son Uthman ibn Abd al-Haqq (Uthman I) succeeds to the throne. Marinids take possession of Rif and seemed to want to remain there. The Almohades take the initiative of vain counter-attacks.
  • 1240: Uthman I is assassinated by one of his Christian slaves. His brother Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Haqq (Muhammad I) succeeds him.
  • 1244: Muhammad I is killed by an officer of his own Christian mercenaries' militia. Abu Yahya ibn Abd al-Haqq, the third son of Abd Al-Haqq, succeeds him.
  • 1249: Severe repression of an anti-marinids in Fesmarker.
  • 1258: Abu Yahya ibn Abd al-Haqq dies of disease. After a period of abandonment of the ancient city of Chellahmarker, a necropolis is built there and Abu Yahya ibn Abd al-Haqq is buried at Chellah. His uncle Abu Yusuf Yaqub ibn Abd Al-Haqq, fourth son of Abd Al-Haqq succeeds to the throne.
  • 1260: Raid of the Castilians over Salémarker.
  • 1269: Seizure of Marrakeshmarker and the end of the Almohad domination in Western Maghreb. The Marinids prefer build a new city Fes Jdid that will replace Marrakesh as a capital city 1276.
  • 1274: The marinids seizure of Sijilmassamarker.
  • 1276: Founding of Fes Jdid (New Fes), a new city beside Fesmarker which is considered rather as a new district of Fes in opposition to Fes el Balimarker (Old Fes).
  • 1286: Abu Yusuf Yaqub ibn Abd Al-Haqq dies of disease in Algecirasmarker (nowadays in Spainmarker) after a fourth expedition to the Iberian Peninsulamarker. His son Abu Yaqub Yusuf an-Nasr replaces him.
  • 1286: Abu Yaqub Yusuf an-Nasr fights against the revolts which occurred in around Draa Rivermarker and the province of Marrakesh.
  • 1296: Construction of Sidi Boumediene mosque , or Sidi Belhasan in Tlemcenmarker (nowadays Algeriamarker).
  • 1299: Beginning of Tlemcen's siege by the Marinids which will last nine years.
  • 1288: Abu Yaqub Yusuf an-Nasr receives envoys of king de Granada in Fes to which it was returned the town of Cadizmarker (nowadays Spainmarker).
  • 1291: Construction of the mosque of Tazamarker, the first preserved Marinid building.
  • 1306: conquest & destroy Taroudantmarker
  • 1307: Abu Yaqub Yusuf an-Nasr is assassinated by a eunuch for an obscure business of harem. His son Abu Thabit Amir succeeds him to the throne.
  • 1308: Abu Thabit dies of disease in Tetouanmarker, a city which he had just founded. He dies of a disease after one year in power. His brother, Abu al-Rabi Sulayman succeeds him.
  • 1309: Abu al-Rabi Sulayman enters Ceutamarker.
  • 1310: Abu al-Rabi dies carried of disease after having repressed a revolt of army official in Taza. Among them Gonzalve, chief of the Christian militia. His brother Abu Said Uthman succeeds him to the throne.
  • 1323: Construction of the Attarin's madrasa in Fes.
  • 1329: Victory against the Castilians in Algecirasmarker, establish a foothold in the south of the Iberian peninsula with the hope of reversing the Reconquista.
  • 1331: Abu Said Uthman dies. His son Abu al-Hasan ibn Uthman succeeds him .
  • 1337: First occupation of Tlemcenmarker.
  • 1340: A combined Portuguese-Castilian army defeats the Marinids at the battle of Rio Salado close to Tarifamarker, the southernmost town of the Iberian peninsula. At that point the Marinids move back to Africa.
  • 1344: The Castilians take over Algecirasmarker. Marinids ejected from Iberia.
  • 1347: Abu al-Hasan ibn Uthman destroys the Hafsid dynasty of Tunismarker and restores his authority on all Maghreb but this success was of short duration.
  • 1348: Abu al-Hasan dies, his son Abu Inan Faris succeeded him as Maririd ruler.
  • 1348: The Black Death and the rebellions of Tlemcenmarker and Tunismarker mark the beginning of the decline of Marinids which will not manage to drive back the Portuguese and the Castilians, thus allowing them, by the means also of their successors Wattasids settling on the coast.
  • 1350: Construction of Bou Inania's medersa in Meknesmarker.
  • 1351: Second seizure of Tlemcen.
  • 1357: Defeat of Abu Inan Faris in front of Tlemcen. Construction of another Bou Inania's medersa in Fes.
  • 1358: Abu Inan is assassinated by his vizir. Confusions started. Each vizier tries to install his weakest candidate on the throne.
  • 1358: Abu Zian as-Said Muhammad ibn Faris was named a Marinid Sultan by the vizirs, just after the assassination of Abu Inan. His reign will last a few months only. Abu Yahya abu Bakr ibn Faris comes to power. He also reigned only a few months.
  • 1359: Abu Salim Ibrahim is nominated a Sultan by the vizirs. He is one of sons of Abu al-Hasan ibn Uthman. He is supported by king of Castille Pedro the Cruel.
  • 1359: Resurgence of the Zianids of Tlemcen.
  • 1361: Abu Salim Ibrahim is replaced by Abu Umar Tachfin. This one was supported by the Christian militia and was named successor of Abu Salim Ibrahim by the vizirs. He reigned only a few months.
  • 1361: The period called the "reign of the vizirs" is over.
  • 1362: Muhammad ibn Yaqub takes power. He is a small son of Abu al-Hasan ibn Uthman who had taken refuge in Castille.
  • 1366: Muhammad ibn Yaqub is assassinated by his vizir. He is replaced by Abu Faris Abd al-Aziz ibn Ali, one of the sons of Abu al-Hasan ibn Uthman who until this time, had been held locked up in the palace of Fes.
  • 1370: Third seizure of Tlemcen.
  • 1372: Abu Faris Abd al-Aziz ibn Ali dies of disease leaving the throne to his very young son Muhammad as-Said. This led to a new period marked by instability. The vizirs try on several occasions to impose a puppet sovereign.
  • 1373: Muhammad as-Said who is presented like an heir to his father Abu Faris Abd al-Aziz ibn Ali at the 5 years old cannot reign as he dies in 1373.
  • 1374: Abu al-Abbas Ahmad, supported by the Nasrid princes of Granada takes power.
  • 1374: Partition of the empire into two Kingdoms; the Kingdom of Fes and the Kingdom of Marrakech.
  • 1384: Abu al-Abbas is removed temporarily by the Nasrids after 10 years of reign. Nasrids replace him with Abu Faris Musa ibn Faris, a disabled person and son of Abu Inan Faris which ensured a kind of interim during the reign of Abu al-Abbas Ahmad from 1384 to 1386.
  • 1384: Abu Zayd Abd ar-Rahman reigns over the Kingdom of Marrakech from 1384 to 1387 while the Marinid throne is still based in Fes.
  • 1386: Al-Wathiq ensures the second part of the interim in the reign of Abu al-Abbas from 1386 to 1387.
  • 1387: Abu Al-Abbas begins to give vizirs more power. Morocco knows six years of peace again although Abu Al-Abbas benefits from this period to reconquer Tlemcenmarker and Algiersmarker.
  • 1393: Abu Al-Abbas dies. Abu Faris Abd al-Aziz ibn Ahmad is designated as the new Sultan. The troubles which followed the sudden death of Abu Al-Abbas in Tazamarker made it possible to the Christian sovereigns to carry the war in Morocco.
  • 1396: Abu Amir Abdallah succeeds to the throne.
  • 1398: Abu Amir dies. His brother Abu Said Uthman ibn Ahmad takes power.
  • 1399: Benefitting from the anarchy within the Marinid kingdom, the king Henry III of Castile unloads in Morocco, seizes Tetouanmarker, massacres half of the population and reduced it to slavery.
  • 1415: King John I of Portugal seizes Ceutamarker. This conquest marks the beginning of the overseas European expansion.
  • 1420: Abu Said Uthman dies. He is replaced by his son Abu Muhammad Abd al-Haqq at the age of 1 year.
  • 1437: Failure of a Portuguese at an expedition to Tangiermarker. Many prisoners are being held and the infant Fernando, the Saint Prince is kept as a hostage. A treaty intervened where the Portuguese obtained to be able to re-embark themselves in condition of returning Ceutamarker back. Fernando is kept as a hostage to guarantee the execution of this pact. Influenced by Pope Eugene IV, Edward of Portugal sacrifices his brother for the national trade interests.
  • 1458: The king Afonso V of Portugal prepares an army for a crusade against the Ottomans after the call of Pope Pius II. He finally preferred to turn over his force against a small port located between Tangiermarker and Ceutamarker.
  • 1459: Abu Muhammad Abd Al-Haqq revolts against his own Wattasid viziers. Only two brothers survived. They will become the first Watassids sultans in 1472.
  • 1462: Ferdinand IV of Castille takes over Gibraltarmarker.
  • 1465: Abu Muhammad Abd Al-Haqq has his throat cut in Fes when a popular revolt breaks out against his having appointed a Jewish vizier, Aaron ben Batash. The Portuguese king Afonso V finally manages to take Tangier while benefitting from the troubles in Fes.
  • 1472: Abu Abdallah sheikh Muhammad ibn Yahya, one of the two Wattasid viziers survivors of 1459 massacre will install himself in Fesmarker where he would found the Wattasid dynasty.

Chronology of Marinid rulers

Chronology of Marinid vizir

  • 1344: Askar Ibn Tahabrit
Wattasid dynasty
  • 1420-1448 : Abu Zakariya Yahya
  • 1448-1458 : Ali ibn Yusuf
  • 1458-1459 : Yahya ibn Abi Zakariya Yahya


Minaret of Mansourah
Catholic diocese in Fez and Marrakech, and Málagamarker (1274-1286).

  • 1356 Jews in Gibraltarmarker first mentioned
  • Mellah de Fès (1438)


Muslim poet Salih ben Sharif al-Rundi (1204-1285)

Explorer Ibn Battuta (1304-1368 or 1377)

External links

Line notes

  1. E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam, M. Th Houtsma
  2. C. Michael Hogan, Chellah, The Megalithic Portal, ed. A. Burnham
  3. Battle of Rio Salado


  • JULIEN, Charles-André, Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord, des origines à 1830, édition originale 1931, réédition Payot, Paris, 1994
  • Marinid Dynasty at britannica

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