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The Origin Of The Vizierate And Its True Character

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Chapter Summary

The vizierate is so typical an institution of the Muslim state that the very term vizier has come to be internationally accepted in the sense of an oriental prime minister with unrestricted powers. Nevertheless, we are still far from a correct historical conception of the origin and the true character of this important office. The Persian origin of the vizierate is far from an established fact. This chapter makes an attempt to understand the origin and character of the Abbasid vizierate from a close study of its beginnings, and traces the development of both the term and the office step by step until they acquire the meaning we now commonly attach to them. The vizierate originated in the days when the relatives of the Prophet, the Abbasids, were, previous to their rise to power, busy organizing secret propaganda in many parts of the Muslim empire.

Keywords: Abbasid vizierate; Muslim state; Persian origin

10.1163/ej.9789004179318.i-394.35
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