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The eighteenth ‘Abbāsid caliph, al-Muqtadir, was still a boy when he ascended the throne. Contemporary reports assert that the caliph's young age and consequent weakness resulted in a take-over by the women of his court. More specifically, chroniclers blamed the caliph's harem for the decline of...
This article looks at how a contemporary ‘Abbāsid chronicler, al-Sūlī, discussed the question of a caliph's young age. Al-Muqtadir was the youngest ever caliph at the time he was appointed in 295/908. Indeed, his youth was seen by historians as a sign of the impending ruin which was to befall...
During the late and post-‘Abbāsid periods, dynasties in Islamic lands witnessed numerous under-age rulers. Given the personalised nature of pre-modern rule, the succession of a child to the throne posed a potential threat both to the polity's stability and to the dynasty's survival. The Ayyūbid...
While royal minorities are often portrayed as times of instability and to be avoided at all costs by those in power, a look at the experience of the early Mamlūk Sultanate shows another aspect to the role of child rulers. In a period where rules of succession were subject to competing forces –...
Succession to the Mamlūk sultanate is one of those thorny issues that keep bothering historians. Within an environment that did not generally favour heredity of military/political status, a frequent tendency towards dynasticism remains difficult to explain, the Qalāwūnids (678–784/1279–1382)...
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