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Ismail, Osman Sid Ahmed (1963) The reign of Mu'tasim (218-227/833-42). PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This study is divided into five Chapters with an introduction and a note on the end of the reign. The first of these Chapters points out some of the changes which took place in the army and administration under Ma'mun and discusses his policies of succession, of the Inquisition (Mihna) and of the renewal of war against Byzantium. The second is devoted to the early life of Mu'tasim, his role in Abbasid politics till his accession and the problems which he had to face afterwards. Chapter III deals with the recruitment of the so-called "Turkish" slaves, their origins and numbers, the role they played under Mu'tasim and the circumstances which favoured their rise to high positions. Chapter IV discusses the reasons for the move from Bagdad, the founding of Samarra and the settling of the various groups there. The last Chapter is a survey of the major events of the reign bringing out their similarities and differences and their significance in that period. No separate survey of the sources was made as these have been the subject of a number of studies (cf. Bibliography: Barthold, Duri, Gibb, Lewis, Rosenthal and Wellhausen). It is to be pointed out that the lack of information on the court and the administration, so noticeable in this period (e.g. Tabari says very little about Mu'tasim and includes no list of governors for his reign) might not only have been due to the fact that in the newly founded Samarra neither the court nor the city was the centre of the cultural activities of Iraq, but also to a general lack of interest in what happened to the Caliphs who were then isolated with their troops in the garrison capital.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:13

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