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5. The Military

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Chapter Summary

The political history of the reign of al-Muqtadir was dominated by the affairs of the military, and above all by the need to pay the soldiers on a regular basis. Although many sources for this period put great emphasis on the influence and activities of civil administrators, it is clear that the military increasingly controlled the political life of the caliphate. This chapter is largely concerned with the regular Abbasid army. It provides a general description of the forces available and of the role of ghilmān and the 'regiments' of the Ḥujarīs and Maṣāffīs. The chapter discusses the careers of individual commanders, Muʾnis al-Muẓaffar, Naṣr al-Qushūrī, the long-serving ḥājib, and successive aṣḥāb al-shurṭa and uses their biographies as a way of illustrating the use and limitations of military power.

Keywords:Ḥujarīs; ḥājib; aṣḥāb al-shurṭa; Abbasid army; Maṣāffīs; military; Muʾnis al-Muẓaffar



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