'Sanjar' redirects here.
|Malik of Khorasan|
|Sultan of the Great Seljuq Empire|
|Died||8 May 1157(1157-05-08) (aged 70)|
|Issue||Mah-i Mulk Khatun
Mudzaffar Shah I Amir Sitti Khatun Gouhar Neseb Khatun
|House||House of Seljuq|
|Mother||Tajuddin Safariyya Khatun|
Although primary sources state that he was named after his birthplace (Rāvandi, p. 185; Ebn al-Jawzi, XVIII, p. 161) Bosworth notes Sanjar is a Turkic name, denoting "he who pierces", "he who thrusts".
In 1096, he was given the province of Khorasan to govern under his brother Muhammad I.
Governor of Khorasan
A number of rulers revolted against Sanjar and continued the split of the Great Seljuq Empire that had started upon dynastic wars.
However, an anecdote indicates that en route to their stronghold at Alamut, Sanjar woke up one day to find a dagger beside him, pinning a note from Hassan-i Sabbah stating that he (Hassan) would like peace.
Sanjar, shocked by this event, sent envoys to Hassan and they both agreed to stay out of each other's way.
Sultan of the Great Seljuk Empire
On February 26, 1105 Sultan Barkiyaruq died.
He chose his younger son, Muizzeddin Malik-Shah, as heir to the throne.
Malikshah took the name Malik-Shah II after being proclaimed the Sultan of the Seljuk Empire.
However, the true power was in the hands of his uncle, Muhammad Tapar.
In the same year, Muhammad Tapar dethroned his cousin and started to rule the State himself as sultan.
When Muhammad died on April 4, 1118, his son Mahmud II was declared as new sultan.
When Muhammad's son Mahmud II ascended the throne, Emir or Yazd Garshasp II fell into disgrace; slander about him spread to the court that made him lose confidence, and made Mahmud send a military force to Yazd where Garshasp was arrested and jailed in Jibal, while Yazd was granted to the royal cupbearer.
Garshasp, however, escaped and returned to Yazd, where he requested protection from Ahmad Sanjar (Garshasp's wife was the sister of Ahmad).
Garshasp urged Ahmad to invade the domains of Mahmud in Central Iran, and gave him information on how to march to Central Iran, and the ways to combat Mahmud.
Ahmad accepted and advanced with an army to the west in 1119, where he together with "five kings" defeated Mahmud at Saveh.
Nizari forces were also present in Sanjar's army.
After being victorious, Ahmad then restored the domains of Garshasp II.
Ahmad then marched as far as Baghdad, where he agreed with Mahmud that he should marry one of his daughters, and that he should give up strategic territories in northern Persia.
He suffered an astounding defeat, and Garshasp was killed.
Ahmad escaped with only fifteen of his elite horsemen, losing all Seljuq territory east of the Syr Darya (Jaxartes).
Sanjar’s as well as Seljuks' rule collapsed as a consequence of yet another unexpected defeat, this time at the hands of the Seljuks’ own tribe, in 1153.
Sanjar was captured during the battle and held in captivity until 1156.
It brought chaos to the Empire - situation later exploited by the victorious Turkmens, whose hordes would overrun Khorasan unopposed, wreaking colossal damage on the province and prestige of Sanjar.
Sanjar eventually escaped from captivity in the fall of 1156, but soon died in Merv (present-day Turkmenistan), in 1157.
After his death, Turkic rulers, Turkmen tribal forces, and other secondary powers competed for Khorasan, and after a long period of confrontations, the province was finally conquered by Khwarazmians in the early 1200s.
Death and legacy
Sanjar died in 1157 and was buried in Merv.
Sanjar is considered as one of the most prominent Seljuq sultans and was the longest reigning Muslim ruler until the Mongols arrived.
Although of Turkic origin, Sanjar was highly Iranized, and due to his feats, even became a legendary figure like some of the mythological characters in the Shahnameh.
Ahmad Sanjar married Terken Khatun (died 1156) with whom he had two daughters – wives of his nephew Mahmud II.
He had no children with her.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad Sanjar.