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Seljuk (Arabic: السلاجقة, Turkish: Selçuk; also Seldjuk, Seldjuq, Seljuq) (d. c. 1038) was the eponymous hero of the Seljuks. He was the son of a certain Duqaq surnamed Timuryaligh -of the iron bow- and either the chief or an eminent member from the Kınık tribe of the Oghuz Turks. In about 985 the Seljuk clan split off from the bulk of the Tokuz-Oghuz, a confederacy of nine clans long settled between the Aralmarker and Caspianmarker Seas, and set up camp on the right bank of the lower Syr Daryamarker(Jaxartesmarker), in the direction of Jend, near Kzyl Ordamarker in present day south-central Kazakhstanmarker where they were converted to Islam.

The biblical names of his four sons -Mîkâîl, Isrâîl (Arslan), Mûsâ, and Yûnus (Jonah)- suggest previous acquaintance with either Khazar Judaism or Nestorian Christianity. According to some sources, Seljuk began his career as an officer in the Khazar army.

Under Mikail's sons Toghrul and Chaghri the Seljuks migrated into Khurasan. Ghaznavid attempts to stop Seljuks raiding the local Muslim populace led to the Battle of Dandanaqanmarker on 23 May 1040. Victorious Seljuks became masters of Khurasan, expanding their power into Transoxiana and across Iranmarker. By 1055 Toghrul had expanded his control all the way to Baghdadmarker, setting himself up as the champion of the Abbasid caliph, who honored him with the title sultan. Earlier rulers may have used this title but the Seljuks seem to have been the first to inscribe it on their coins.

See also



  • Brook, Kevin Alan. The Jews of Khazaria. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2006.
  • Dunlop, D.M. "The Khazars." The Dark Ages: Jews in Christian Europe, 711-1096. 1966.
  • Findley, Carter Vaughn. The Turks in World History, pp. 68, 2005, Oxford University Press
  • Grousset, Rene . The Empire of the Steppes Rutgers University Press, 1970.
  • Rice, Tamara Talbot. The Seljuks in Asia Minormarker. Thames and Hudson, London, 1961.

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