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3. The Vizier

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Chapter Summary

The characters of the viziers are sometimes pictured as stereotypes which function as mirrors to later generations. We can generate enough information from these texts to allow a reconstruction of their deeds, their networks and successes and to describe the functioning of the vizier's office. The office of the vizier had been introduced by the first Abbasid caliphs. The vizier, especially in first part of al-Muqtadir's reign, took over some of the governmental responsibilities and tasks that previously had belonged to the domain of the caliph. In second part of al-Muqtadir's reign, when he had grown older and had become more involved in politics himself, the women of his household became less visible in the political arena. Thus the successes of al-Muqtadir's viziers were dependent on their ability to build networks of allies and supporters around strategic positions, to help them to defend and enforce their policies.

Keywords:Abbasid caliphs; al-Muqtadir's reign; allies networks; vizier



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