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The Middle and Late Abbasid Era Chapter 7 (1 of 4)

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1 The Middle and Late Abbasid Era Chapter 7 (1 of 4)

2 A Pain in the Abbasid Abbasid caliphs spent lavishly (remember the marble palaces), ruining empires finances and upsetting the masses There was constant political divisions and turmoil, often over the succession of caliphs

3 Abd al-Rahman al-Mahdi al-Mahdi 3 rd Abbasid caliph 775-785 al-Mahdi 3 rd Abbasid caliph 775-785 Lived lavish lifestyle Failed in attempt at peace with Shi’ites Had many sons but never picked a successor, leading to major problems

4 Harun al-Rashid (786-809) Son of al-Mahdi His death set of civil war over succession Over next 10 years, 4 caliphs were murdered Lived in extreme luxury, hurting empire’s finances Harun was one of al-Mahdi’s sons, emerged as caliph Most famous Abbasid caliph

5 Caliphs Hire Slave Armies for Protection 1 Potential caliphs hire big armies of Turkic nomads for protection 2 Abbasids can’t afford to pay the slave armies 3 Slaves are leading cause of social unrest amongst the people, start revolts 4 Slaves become so strong they kill the caliph in 846 and replace him with slave as caliph

6 50 Years Later…Abbasids Finally Control Slaves by end of 800s To pay for it, Abbasids raised taxes Cost a fortune to do this Paid local chiefs to control slaves

7 Chief Corruption While some helped, most chiefs took advantage of people Little money coming in, needed irrigation projects not built People fled to avoid the corrupt chiefs and heavy taxes

8 Peasant Had Enough! Die from disease, famine flood, violence Many flee to surrounding kingdoms Others revolted, often Shia sects

9 Women’s Status

10 The Harem and the Veil

11 Women were secluded and kept at home Harem – many women that men had at home Concubines – slave women kept by men (part of harem) Slaves often better educated, caliphs spent more time with them than with wives Concubines could gain freedom if bore healthy son Abbasid elite in cities had huge # of slaves – got through conquest over non-Muslims The Harem

12 At 1 st only applied to city elites, but spread to towns and the countryside Interestingly, concubines usually didn’t Veils show how women (wives) losing status Thought was women had insatiable lust, so needed to be veiled and secluded at home Also thought that men could not resist lures of women, so veil needed Women had to wear veils in public The Veil

13 By end of Abbasid Era, rights women had in early Islam gone Rich women not allowed a career Poor women could farm or weave clothes Married young (9 years old), expected to be homemakers Women could plot to enhance son’s political career

14 Due to internal problems, caliphs can’t prevent loss of land – parts of empire break away and nomadic groups begin to gain control

15 Oh Buyid, Abbasids in Trouble Buyid – Rebel group in Abbasid empire, able to conquer Baghdad in 945 and gain control Allowed Abbasid caliphs to remain, but they were figureheads (no power), real Buyid rulers called sultans

16 Seljuk Turks Gain Control of Abbasid Empire

17 Buyids couldn’t prevent Abbasid empire from continuing to fall apart Seljuk Turks conquered Buyids and took control of Abbasid empire in 1055 Seljuk Turks – nomads from central Asia who invaded via Persia

18 The Seljuk Turks Rule Abbasid Empire Seljuk Turks were Sunni, and got rid of Shi’ite, who rose to power under Buyid control For a time, the Seljuk Turks stabilized the Abbasid empire (stopped threat from Shia Egypt) Beat Byzantines, who attacked b/c thought Abbasid empire weak b/c of infighting, got Asia Minor (would become Ottoman Empire)

19 Umayyads (661) Abbasid (750) Buyid (945) Seljuk Turks (1055) Note: Buyid and Seljuk Turks ruled over what was still considered Abbasid Empire


21 Shortly after the Seljuk Turks come to power, Christian crusaders attack There were 8 Crusades (Christians attack to gain control of holy land) the first in 1096 For the next 200 years, European Christians control the region In 1099, Christians gain control of the holy city of Jerusalem, slaughtering Muslims and Jews

22 Saladin In 1190, Saladin united Muslims and began driving out Christian Crusaders In 1291, the last Christians kingdom in the region (Acre) is defeated

23 Crusades Impact Europeans much more than they did Muslims

24 Middle Eastern Goods in Demand Damascene swords Rugs and Textiles adorned wealthy Europeans homes Games like chess began to be played in Europe

25 Europeans Impacted in Art and Science Regained lost ancient learning (preserved by Arabs) Europeans learned Arab math and science advances Europeans used Arabic numbers + decimal system Richard the Lionhearted preferred Arab doctors Some Arab and Persian words begin to be used in Europe

26 Europeans got all of this not only through the Crusades, but the years of trade that followed Muslim culture not affected much by the Crusades The trade was one-sided – Muslims were not very interested in European goods and culture Click here for brief video on impact of the Crusades

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