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Ottoman vizier with his Çokadar (companions on foot)

Wesir (also Vesir or Visir , from Persian وزير, DMG vazīr ; Turkish Vezir , French Vizir , English Vizier ) describes a government official who has been known since the Middle Ages . The office of the vizier is called a vizier (Persian wezārat ).

Origin and meaning

The original form of the word vizier is the Persian word wazir , an Arabicized form of the Middle Persian vecir . The title was introduced by the Persian Barmakids , who gained power and authority during the Abbasid rule . The model for this was the court office of Wuzurg-Framadar in the Sassanid Empire .

The vizier was a helper, but also a representative of the caliph , comparable to today's security advisers and ministers . The viziers emerged from the scribes caste formed in the caliphate , which consisted mainly of Persians . The scribes exercised the secular administration and jurisdiction in the name of the caliph and thus formed the complement of the jurisprudence predominantly regulated by Islam . The vizier assumed more and more government offices and thus exercised a powerful court office over time. The powerful vizier family of the Barmakids (see above) was only ousted by Hārūn ar-Raschīd (786-809) in 803 and removed from the most important offices. At the turn of the 9th to 10th century, the vizier from the Mamluks group was already the most powerful man in the caliphate and pushed the caliph into the position of exclusive spiritual head.

Grand Vizier

The Supreme Vizier or Grand Vizier ( Wasir-e Azam and Sadr Azam ) was in several Muslim countries, the Prime Minister and appointed by the ruler became the second man in the state, especially in the realms of Seljuk , Ghaznavid , the Ottoman Empire , with the Safavids and in the Mughal Empire . Other synonyms: Chosen Vizier, First Vizier, First Vizier, Great Vizier.

In the Ottoman Empire the grand viziers as badges of rank five, the viziers were three Ross tails ( tugh carried before); their subordinate Pasha rarely were only two, even three tails Ross to. This custom was abolished by Sultan Mahmud II (1808–1839).

In Turkey , the title was abolished in 1922, just like the Sultanate and later the Caliphate . The official there has since been called Prime Minister .

Today's meaning

In Iran , Egypt and Afghanistan the word means “minister” today and is used that way in everyday life. In addition, the term wasiri and the meaning of “minister” is also used in Swahili , a language that has been heavily influenced by Arabic and Persian.

In Persian, the queen in chess is called farzin . This word is also a synonym for wazir with the meaning of minister .

The vizier in Egyptology

In Egyptology , the title Tjati is translated as a vizier. The office so designated has been attested since the Old Kingdom . It is the first and highest official who was the second man in the state after the Pharaoh . There was only one vizier each in the ancient and middle kingdoms of Egypt . In the New Kingdom there was a vizier for each of the parts of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt . This division of the office into two parts is also attested for the later period . The vizier was the intermediary between Pharaoh and the other officials. He was the highest legal authority in the country and coordinator of the provincial administration , which was headed by Gaufürsten .

In some graves of viziers of the New Kingdom, the so-called " service instructions for the vizier " were found, which reported on the daily tasks and duties of the viziers.

See also


  • Golo Mann (ed.): Propylaea world history. A universal story. Volume 5: Islam, the emergence of Europe (= Propylaea world history. ). Propylaeen-Verlag, Berlin 1963, ISBN 978-3-549-05731-5 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Wesir  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Bozorg Alavi , Manfred Lorenz : Textbook of the Persian language. Verlag Enzyklopädie, Leipzig 1967; 7th, revised edition, Langenscheidt · Verlag Enzyklopädie, Leipzig / Berlin / Munich a. a. 1994. ISBN 3-324-00253-2 , p. 309.
  2. Nicholas Awde: Swahili dictionary & phrasebook: Swahili-English, English-Swahili. Hippocrene Books, New York 2001, ISBN 978-0781809054 , p. 5.
  3. Saeid Rezvani: Modern Persian Poetry: An Analytical Inquiry. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2007, ISBN 3-447-05542-1 , Chapter 3: Mehdi Ahawan Talet. → Section 3.2.5: The content of Ahawan's poetry ; P. 115: Note 251 ( on Google books )