Tughrul Beg

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The Tomb The Toghrul Tower in Rey

Tughrul-Beg , also Toghril (* around 990; † September 4, 1063 in Tajrish near Rey ) was the first Sultan of the Seljuks . He was the grandson of Saldschūq bin Duqāq, the namesake and tribal prince of the then leading family of the Oghus Turks . He was the leader of the Seljuks in the victory in the battle of dandanaqan (1040) and he finished in 1055, the patronage of the Shiite Buyids over the Sunni Abbasids - caliphate in Baghdad . This event is of world historical importance because political Shi'aism was held up in large parts of the Islamic world. The caliph recognized Tughrul as "King of the East and West" and gave him the title of Rukn ad-Dīn ("Support of Faith") .


The name Tughrul is Turkish and refers to a bird of prey from the hawk-like or hawk-like family . The name of Tughrul's brother Tschaghri has a similar meaning . Beg is a Turkish ruler title. The spellings can be found in contemporary Persian or Arabic worksطغرل بیک and طغرل بك( Ṭuġrul Bek or Ṭuġrul Beg ). The New Turkish spelling is Tuğrul Bey . Name variants that one encounters in secondary literature are Tugril, Toghrïl, Toghril, Togril, Tugrul Beg, Tuğrul Beğ or Toğrul Beğ; Also in English : Toğrül, Toghrül or Tuğril Beg. Arabic surnames are Abu Talib Muhammad bin Mikail.


Before the rise of the Seljuks to a great power, Seljuks son Arslan and his grandsons Tughrul and Tschaghri served as mercenaries of the Karakhanids of Bukhara under Ali Tigin in their fight against the Ghaznavids . As the influence of Mahmud of Ghazni grew Tughrul fled to Choresmien to Harun, Ghaznavid Governor of Khwarezm , but only a short time later (1028/1029) along with his brother Tschaghri the cities of Merv and Nishapur to subject and one year later the control of all of Khorasan to gain .

In 1040 he and his brother defeated Mahmud's son Masud I of Ghazni in the decisive battle of Dandanqan and drove the Ghaznavids from Persia in the following four years .

Rey became its capital in 1049, followed by Isfahan in 1051 . As the successor to the Ghaznavids, Tughrul demanded that the Abbasid caliph al-Qa'im in Baghdad be recognized as the ruler of the Islamic countries. The Caliphate was controlled by the Shiite Buyids at the time. In addition, with the Fatimids in North Africa, a serious competitor for the spiritual guidance of Muslims had established itself. So it came about that al-Qa'im saw Tughrul as a possible savior of the Sunni caliphate from the Shiite opponents. After a long correspondence, Tughrul was summoned to Baghdad in 1055, where he deposed and captured the last ruler of the Buyids, al-Malik ar-Rahim . Tughrul has now been named "King of the East and the West" (maliku 'l-maschriq wa-'l-maghrib) by the caliph and was also given the title of Rukn ad-Din ("Support of Faith"). He pledged to conquer the breakaway territories in Syria and North Africa for the caliphate. To strengthen this alliance, he gave his niece to the caliph to be his wife.

In the period that followed, the Seljuq Empire was divided . Tughrul ruled from Isfahan in the west, while Chaghri ruled from Merw in the east. This split could only be reversed after the end of Tughrul's reign.

With the rise of Tughrul from a tribal leader to sultan, the Seljuk Empire changed. Tughrul became a monarch based on the classic Iranian model, who surrounded himself with Arab and Iranian officials and viziers and thus ousted the Turkmen from the state apparatus. This led to unrest, so that his half-brother Ibrahim Inal rebelled against Tughrul with the help of the Buyids and Fatimids. Other nephews and a cousin of Tughrul named Qutalmish Beg joined the uprising. Tughrul emerged victorious from this conflict and had his nephews strangled , as the blood of the ruling family was taboo .

During the absence of Tughrul, Baghdad fell briefly into the hands of the caliph of Cairo al-Mustansir in January 1059 after an uprising , but was recaptured by Tughrul less than two years later.

Despite his old age, Tughrul wanted to marry a daughter of the caliph. But this refused or delayed the project with the hope that Tughrul would die. Eventually Tughrul married the caliph's daughter in 1062. But less than a year later, on September 4, 1063, he died near Rey. He named his nephew Sulaiman as his successor, but the subsequent power struggle led to another nephew named Alp Arslan who became the new sultan.


Individual evidence

  1. to: CE Bosworth : ČAḠRĪ BEG DĀWŪD . In: Ehsan Yarshater (ed.): Encyclopædia Iranica . Volume 4 (6), Paragraph a037, as of December 15, 1990, accessed on June 9, 2011 (English, including references)
    Saljuqs, the leading family of the Oghuz Turks, who with his brother Ṭoḡrel (Ṭoḡrïl) Beg ( qv) founded the Great Saljuq dynasty in Persia in the 5th / 11th century.
  2. Klaus Kreiser, Christoph Neumann: Little History of Turkey , 2009, pp. 36–38
  3. Klaus Kreiser, Christoph Neumann: Little History of Turkey , 2009, p. 37
predecessor Office successor
Dynasty founder Sultan of the Great Seljuks
Alp Arslan