Home Region:  Mesopotamia (Southwest Asia)

Abbasid Caliphate I

D G SC WF HS CC PT EQ 2020  iq_abbasid_cal_1 / IqAbbs1

Preceding:
661 CE 750 CE Umayyad Caliphate (sy_umayyad_cal)    [continuity]
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
819 CE 999 CE Samanid Empire (uz_samanid_emp)    [continuity]
822 CE 1037 CE Yemen Ziyad Dynasty (ye_ziyad_dyn)    [None]
1171 CE 1250 CE Ayyubid Sultanate (eg_ayyubid_sultanate)    [continuity]
909 CE 1171 CE Fatimid Caliphate (tn_fatimid_cal)    [elite migration]
932 CE 1062 CE Buyid Confederation (ir_buyid_confederation)    [elite migration]
Add one more here.

In 750 CE, following a revolt, Abbasid rulers took power from the Umayyad Dynasty under Abu al-’Abbas al-Saffah. To secure his rule, Abu al-’Abbass al-Saffah sought to destroy the male line descending from Fatima and Ali, [1] and had about 300 members of the Umayyad family killed. [2] The last 80 Umayyads were tricked into attending a banquet with their hosts in Damascus and massacred there. [3] (One twenty-year-old prince, Abd al-Rahman, famously managed to escape this fate: he dodged assassins all the way to Spain, where he founded an Umayyad Emirate). The First Abbasid Caliphate Period ended in 946 CE when the Daylamite Buyids from northwestern Iran reduced the caliph to a nominal figurehead. Ironically, given the bloody manner in which the dynasty began, the final Abbasid caliph was rolled up in his own carpet and trampled to death by Mongol horsemen in 1258 CE. [4] The zenith of the Abbasid period is considered to be the reign of Harun al Rashid (763-809 CE), whose rule is described in The Thousand and One Nights. [5]
Population and political organization
The capital of the Abbasid Caliphate eventually settled at Baghdad, but in the earlier years the central administration was run from Kufa (750-762 CE), Al-Raqqah (796-809 CE), Merv (810-819 CE), [6] and Samarra (836-870 CE). [7] [8] The Abbasid caliph, spiritual leader of the Sunni Muslim world and commander-in-chief of its army, left the day-to-day administration to his vizier and heads of the diwans in the complex bureaucracy.
The departments were divided into three main areas of responsibility: the chancery (diwan-al-rasa’il); tax collection (diwan al-kharif); and army administration (diwan al-jaysh). [9] Professional officials and soldiers were paid both in cash and in kind. [10] The task of organizing the ’collection and payment of revenues’ fell to the Abbasid military. [11] However, while it was a professional institution, it lacked a rigid hierarchy or a well-defined officer class. [11] Below the caliph himself, the top military rulers were the provincial governors in Iraq, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria, Western Iran and Khuzistan. In Iraq and Egypt, local government was divided into a hierarchy of districts, with subdivisions (kura, tassuj and rustaq) used for assessing taxation, which was passed to the governor. [12] Within the Abbasid Caliphate there were also relatively independent vassals, who were required to pay tribute to the central government at Baghdad. [12] The law code was based largely on sharia law and the ijma’ (legal opinions of religious scholars). [13]
The Abbasid state provided centres of medical care, built ornate public markets, often with drinking fountains, and furnished welfare for the poor. [14] As paper technology diffused from China, libraries became a common fixture in the cities of the caliphate. In Baghdad, the Khizanat al-Hikma, or ’treasury of wisdom’, became a refuge for scholars, providing access to a large collection as well as free lodgings and board. [15] Each important city included an official called the saheb al-sorta, who was responsible for maintaining public order, and the amir al-suq, in charge of regulating the bazaar. [16]
The territory possessed by the caliphate was lost in dramatic fashion, shrinking from 11.1 million square kilometres in 750 CE, to 4.6 million around 850 CE, to just 1 million square kilometres half a century later as Egypt, Afghanistan and Central Asia were all lost. [17] Nevertheless, in 900 CE the core region of Abbasid control in the Middle East still had a substantial population of about 10 million people. [18] Over 300,000 (or maybe 900,000) of these lived in Baghdad, [17] which by this date had probably outgrown Byzantine Constantinople.

[1]: (Zayzafoon 2005, 139) Lamia Ben Youssef Zayzafoon. 2005. The Production of the Muslim Woman: Negotiating Text, History, and Ideology. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

[2]: (Uttridge and Spilling, eds. 2014, 186) S. Uttridge and M. Spilling, eds. 2014. The Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare. London: Amber Books.

[3]: (Schwartzwald 2015, 24) Jack L. Schwartzwald. 2016. The Collapse and Recovery of Europe, AD 476-1648. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.

[4]: (Kennedy 2001, 164) Hugh N. Kennedy. 2001. The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State. London: Routledge.

[5]: (Esposito, ed. 2003, 699) John L. Esposito, ed. 2003. The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[6]: (Starr 2013, xxxii) S. Frederick Starr. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[7]: (Lapidus 2002, 53-54) Ira M. Lapidus. 2002. A History of Islamic Societies. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[8]: (Lapidus 2012, 106) Ira M. Lapidus. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[9]: (Kennedy 2001, 60-66) Hugh N. Kennedy. 2001. The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State. London: Routledge.

[10]: (Lapidus 2012, 250) Ira M. Lapidus. 2012. Islamic Societies to the Nineteenth Century: A Global History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[11]: (Kennedy 2001, 21) Hugh N. Kennedy. 2001. The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State. London: Routledge.

[12]: (Lapidus 2002, 61) Ira M. Lapidus. 2002. A History of Islamic Societies. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[13]: (Zubaida 2005, 74-84) Sami Zubaida. 2005. Law and Power in the Islamic World. London: I. B. Tauris.

[14]: (Pickard 2013, 431) John Pickard. 2013. Behind the Myths: The Foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.

[15]: (Bennison 2009, 180) Amira K. Bennison. 2009. The Great Caliphs: The Golden Age of the Abbasid Empire. London: I. B. Tauris.

[16]: (Lambton 2011) Ann K. S. Lambton. 2011. ’Cities iii: Administration and Social Organization’, in Encyclopedia Iranica V/6, 607-23; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii (accessed 2 April 2017).

[17]: Christopher Chase-Dunn 2001, personal communication.

[18]: (Blankinship 1994, 37-38) Khalid Y. Blankinship. 1994. The End of the Jihad State: The Reign of Hisham Ibn ’Abd Al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
38 S  
Original Name:
Abbasid Caliphate I  
Capital:
Kufa  
Baghdad  
Al-Raqqah  
Samarra  
Baghdad  
Merv  
Alternative Name:
Abbasid Caliphate  
al-Khilafah al-Abbasiyyah  
First Abbasid Caliphate Period  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
809 CE  
Duration:
[750 CE ➜ 946 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Supracultural Entity:
Perso-Islamic  
Succeeding Entity:
Buyid Confederation  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
11,000,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Succeeding: Samanid Empire (uz_samanid_emp)    [continuity]  
Succeeding: Yemen Ziyad Dynasty (ye_ziyad_dyn)    [None]  
Preceding:   Umayyad Caliphate (sy_umayyad_cal)    [continuity]  
Succeeding: Ayyubid Sultanate (eg_ayyubid_sultanate)    [continuity]  
Succeeding: Egypt - Tulunid-Ikhshidid Period (eg_thulunid_ikhshidid)    [continuity]  
Succeeding: Fatimid Caliphate (tn_fatimid_cal)    [elite migration]  
Succeeding: Buyid Confederation (ir_buyid_confederation)    [elite migration]  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
nominal  
Language
Language:
Arabic  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Islam  
Religion Family:
Sunni  
Religion:
Hanafi  
Alternate Religion Genus:
Islam  
Alternate Religion Family:
Shia  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
700,000 people 800 CE
900,000 people 900 CE
300,000 people 900 CE
Polity Territory:
8,300,000 km2 800 CE
1,000,000 km2 900 CE
Polity Population:
[23,000,000 to 33,000,000] people 800 CE
[9,000,000 to 11,000,000] people 900 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
6  
Religious Level:
2  
Military Level:
6  
Administrative Level:
6  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
absent  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Merit Promotion:
present  
absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred absent  
Judge:
present  
absent  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
inferred present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Mnemonic Device:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
unknown  
Precious Metal:
inferred present  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present  
General Postal Service:
inferred present  
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
inferred present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
inferred absent  
  Bronze:
inferred absent  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
inferred absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
unknown  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
inferred absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
unknown  
  Polearm:
present  
  Dagger:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
unknown  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
unknown  
  Camel:
present  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
present  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
inferred present  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
present  
  Breastplate:
present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Abbasid Caliphate I (iq_abbasid_cal_1) was in:
 (750 CE 751 CE)   Upper Egypt     Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana     Sogdiana     Kachi Plain
 (751 CE 861 CE)   Upper Egypt     Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana     Yemeni Coastal Plain     Sogdiana     Kachi Plain
 (861 CE 867 CE)   Upper Egypt     Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana     Yemeni Coastal Plain     Sogdiana
 (867 CE 868 CE)   Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana     Yemeni Coastal Plain     Sogdiana
 (868 CE 875 CE)   Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana     Sogdiana
 (875 CE 946 CE)   Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana
Home NGA: Southern Mesopotamia

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Abbasid Caliphate I

{Kufa: 750-762 CE; Baghdad: 762-833 CE; Al-Raqqah: 796-809 CE; Samarra: 833-893 CE; Baghdad 833-946 CE} [1] . Samarra was the military and administrative headquarters of the Caliphate 836-870 CE. [2] Merv was the capital of the caliphate from 810-819 CE. [3]
Both Baghdad and Samarra were purpose built cities.

[1]: Lapidus, Ira A., History of Islamic Society 2nd edition(Cambridge, 2002)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 106)

[3]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

Capital:
Baghdad

{Kufa: 750-762 CE; Baghdad: 762-833 CE; Al-Raqqah: 796-809 CE; Samarra: 833-893 CE; Baghdad 833-946 CE} [1] . Samarra was the military and administrative headquarters of the Caliphate 836-870 CE. [2] Merv was the capital of the caliphate from 810-819 CE. [3]
Both Baghdad and Samarra were purpose built cities.

[1]: Lapidus, Ira A., History of Islamic Society 2nd edition(Cambridge, 2002)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 106)

[3]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

Capital:
Al-Raqqah

{Kufa: 750-762 CE; Baghdad: 762-833 CE; Al-Raqqah: 796-809 CE; Samarra: 833-893 CE; Baghdad 833-946 CE} [1] . Samarra was the military and administrative headquarters of the Caliphate 836-870 CE. [2] Merv was the capital of the caliphate from 810-819 CE. [3]
Both Baghdad and Samarra were purpose built cities.

[1]: Lapidus, Ira A., History of Islamic Society 2nd edition(Cambridge, 2002)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 106)

[3]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

Capital:
Samarra

{Kufa: 750-762 CE; Baghdad: 762-833 CE; Al-Raqqah: 796-809 CE; Samarra: 833-893 CE; Baghdad 833-946 CE} [1] . Samarra was the military and administrative headquarters of the Caliphate 836-870 CE. [2] Merv was the capital of the caliphate from 810-819 CE. [3]
Both Baghdad and Samarra were purpose built cities.

[1]: Lapidus, Ira A., History of Islamic Society 2nd edition(Cambridge, 2002)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 106)

[3]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

Capital:
Baghdad

{Kufa: 750-762 CE; Baghdad: 762-833 CE; Al-Raqqah: 796-809 CE; Samarra: 833-893 CE; Baghdad 833-946 CE} [1] . Samarra was the military and administrative headquarters of the Caliphate 836-870 CE. [2] Merv was the capital of the caliphate from 810-819 CE. [3]
Both Baghdad and Samarra were purpose built cities.

[1]: Lapidus, Ira A., History of Islamic Society 2nd edition(Cambridge, 2002)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 106)

[3]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.

{Kufa: 750-762 CE; Baghdad: 762-833 CE; Al-Raqqah: 796-809 CE; Samarra: 833-893 CE; Baghdad 833-946 CE} [1] . Samarra was the military and administrative headquarters of the Caliphate 836-870 CE. [2] Merv was the capital of the caliphate from 810-819 CE. [3]
Both Baghdad and Samarra were purpose built cities.

[1]: Lapidus, Ira A., History of Islamic Society 2nd edition(Cambridge, 2002)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 106)

[3]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Alternative Name:
Abbasid Caliphate

al-Khilāfah al-‘Abbāsīyyah

Alternative Name:
al-Khilafah al-Abbasiyyah

al-Khilāfah al-‘Abbāsīyyah

Alternative Name:
First Abbasid Caliphate Period

al-Khilāfah al-‘Abbāsīyyah


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
809 CE

The end of the reign of Harun- al Rashid (763-809 CE) whose rule is described in The Thousand and One Nights. [1] Or alternatively the year range 786-809 CE, which the whole reign of Harun- al Rashid (763-809 CE) [1] .

[1]: Esposito, John L.,The Oxford History of Islam, p. 691


Duration:
[750 CE ➜ 946 CE]

In 750 CE the Abbasid Dynasty took over power from the Umayyad Dynasty. In 946 CE the Caliph lost autonomy when it was taken over by the Daylamite Buyids, reducing the Caliphate to a nominal figurehead of the Islamic world. This resulted also in the loss of an independent military. The Caliph still retained prestige and could influence legitimacy in its former territory. In 1258 CE Baghdad, the capital, was sacked by the Mongols and this extinguished the last vestigial power of the Abbasid Dynasty, although the Abbasid Caliphate was restored in Cairo in 1261. [1]

[1]: Kennedy, Hugh, The Armies of the Caliphate p. 164


Political and Cultural Relations

Supracultural Entity:
Perso-Islamic

"Abbasid architecture was influenced by three architectural traditions: Sassanian, Central Asian (Sogdian) and later, during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Seljuk." [1] Abbasid military was dominated by the Persian technology and tradition.

[1]: (Petersen 2002, 1)Petersen, Andrew. 2002. Dictionary of Islamic Architecture. Routledge.


Succeeding Entity:
Buyid Confederation

Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
11,000,000 km2

km squared.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

Preceding Entity:
Abbasid Caliphate I [iq_abbasid_cal_1] ---> Samanid Empire [uz_samanid_emp]

Settlements of the estate of Saman "in the provinces of Balkh, Samarkand and Tirmidh (Termez)." [1]

[1]: (Negmatov 1997, 84) Negmatov, N N. in Asimov, M S and Bosworth, C E eds. 1997. History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume IV. Part I. UNESCO.

Preceding Entity:
IqAbbs1 [iq_abbasid_cal_1] ---> Yemen Ziyad Dynasty [ye_ziyad_dyn]
Preceding Entity:
Umayyad Caliphate [sy_umayyad_cal] ---> Abbasid Caliphate I [iq_abbasid_cal_1]
Preceding Entity:
Abbasid Caliphate I [iq_abbasid_cal_1] ---> Ayyubid Sultanate [eg_ayyubid_sultanate]
Preceding Entity:
Abbasid Caliphate I [iq_abbasid_cal_1] ---> Egypt - Tulunid-Ikhshidid Period [eg_thulunid_ikhshidid]
Preceding Entity:
Abbasid Caliphate I [iq_abbasid_cal_1] ---> Fatimid Caliphate [tn_fatimid_cal]

Began as revolutionary movement against Abbasids in Syria. "Naturally, Islmaili religious claims and Fatimid political ones were both bitterly opposed by the Abbasids, forcing the Fatimid/Ismaili leadership to flee their first base in Syria in 909. They seized Ifriqiya - modern Tunisia and Eastern Algeria - took over the trans-Saharan gold-and-slave trade, built two great capitals - first Kairouan, then nearby Mahdiyya - and set up an autonomous state far from the reach of Baghdad." [1] Initially the core region was the region of modern Tunisia but it quickly became Egypt after the capital was moved there.

[1]: (Man 1999) Man, J. 1999. Atlas of the Year 1000. Harvard University Press.

Preceding Entity:
Abbasid Caliphate I [iq_abbasid_cal_1] ---> Buyid Confederation [ir_buyid_confederation]

(Relationship): The ruling dynasty were from "the northern Iranian provinces of Gilam and Daylam ... Gilam was the name given to the area on the south-west shores of the Caspian Sea; Daylam was the mountainous hinterland." [1] , The ruling dynasty were from "the northern Iranian provinces of Gilam and Daylam ... Gilam was the name given to the area on the south-west shores of the Caspian Sea; Daylam was the mountainous hinterland." [1]
(Entity): Origin region: "Iranian plateau where this alliance with the local civilian élite was a major source of strength for the dynasty. Only in Baghdad, with its powerful Turkish soldiers and its growing religious tensions, was there serious local resistance to their rule. [2] Core region: Fars. The Buyid period was "a golden age when Fars had been the wealthy centre of an empire." [3]

[1]: (Kennedy 2004, 210) Kennedy, Hugh N. 2004. The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates. Second edition. Pearson Longman. Harlow.

[2]: (Kennedy 2004, 216) Kennedy, Hugh N. 2004. The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates. Second edition. Pearson Longman. Harlow.

[3]: (Kennedy 2004, 243) Kennedy, Hugh N. 2004. The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates. Second edition. Pearson Longman. Harlow.


Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

unitary state: 750-936 CE; nominal: 937-946 CE In 936 CE, the Caliphate lost substantial powers of authority and was reduced in its ability to control outlying territory because of bankruptcy and the disintegration of the army. The Caliph granted Ibn Ra’iq the control of military and civil power. Ten years later, the Daylamite Buyids conquered Baghdad, reducing the Abbasid Caliphs to figureheads. [1] .

[1]: Lapidus, Ira A., History of Islamic Society 2nd edition(Cambridge, 2002), pp. 58-60

Degree of Centralization:
nominal

unitary state: 750-936 CE; nominal: 937-946 CE In 936 CE, the Caliphate lost substantial powers of authority and was reduced in its ability to control outlying territory because of bankruptcy and the disintegration of the army. The Caliph granted Ibn Ra’iq the control of military and civil power. Ten years later, the Daylamite Buyids conquered Baghdad, reducing the Abbasid Caliphs to figureheads. [1] .

[1]: Lapidus, Ira A., History of Islamic Society 2nd edition(Cambridge, 2002), pp. 58-60


Language
Language:
Arabic

Regional languages included Aramaic, Armenian, Berber, Coptic, Georgian, Greek, Kurdish, Persian, Oghuz Turkic. However, Arabic became the language of trade and governance in a vast territory. [1] . In Egypt the adoption of Arabic as the language of local government took over 100 years. Initially almost all papyruses were written in Greek. 643 CE saw the first bilingual Greek-Arabic document and 719 the last. Earliest known Arabic only document is dated 709 CE. The last papyrus written in Greek was in 780 CE. [2]

[1]: Lapidus, Ira A., History of Islamic Society 2nd edition(Cambridge, 2002), p. 44

[2]: (Raymond 2000, 23)



Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
700,000 people
800 CE

Baghdad. Founded in 762 CE, Baghdad eventually surpassed Constantinople as the largest urban centre in the Middle East.
[300,000-500,000]: 900 CE [1]
700,000: 800 CE [2] 900,000: 900 CE [2]

[1]: Lapidus, History of Islamic Society (Cambridge, 2002), p. 56

[2]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Population of the Largest Settlement:
900,000 people
900 CE

Baghdad. Founded in 762 CE, Baghdad eventually surpassed Constantinople as the largest urban centre in the Middle East.
[300,000-500,000]: 900 CE [1]
700,000: 800 CE [2] 900,000: 900 CE [2]

[1]: Lapidus, History of Islamic Society (Cambridge, 2002), p. 56

[2]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Population of the Largest Settlement:
300,000 people
900 CE

Baghdad. Founded in 762 CE, Baghdad eventually surpassed Constantinople as the largest urban centre in the Middle East.
[300,000-500,000]: 900 CE [1]
700,000: 800 CE [2] 900,000: 900 CE [2]

[1]: Lapidus, History of Islamic Society (Cambridge, 2002), p. 56

[2]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)


Polity Territory:
8,300,000 km2
800 CE

kilometers squared. 11,100,000: 750 CE; 8,300,000: 800 CE; 4,600,000: 850 CE; 1,000,000: 900 CE; 200,000: 946 CE [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

Polity Territory:
1,000,000 km2
900 CE

kilometers squared. 11,100,000: 750 CE; 8,300,000: 800 CE; 4,600,000: 850 CE; 1,000,000: 900 CE; 200,000: 946 CE [1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)


Polity Population:
[23,000,000 to 33,000,000] people
800 CE

persons.
[23,000,000-33,000,000]: 750-799 CE ET: is this expert disagreement or a range? I’ve changed curly brackets to square brackets on the assumption it’s a range (only one source cited). [720 CE] {23,000,000-33,000,000} [1] The population of the Abbasid Caliphate would have been comparable to the preceding Umayyad Caliphate. The loss of Iberia and the Western half of North Africa in part accounted for by the ensuring population growth of the remaining territory.
900 CE - no Egypt, Afghanistan or Central Asia.
Western Iran 2m (estimating half of total 4.25m), Iraq 2.5m, The Interior (Saudi Arabia) 2m, Palestine and Jordan 0.5m, Syria 1.5m. [2] Also a bit of Turkey and the Caucasus which is too tough to estimate. Will use 9 million as base of a range.

[1]: Blankinship, Khalid Yahya, The End of the Jihad State pp.37-8

[2]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd.

Polity Population:
[9,000,000 to 11,000,000] people
900 CE

persons.
[23,000,000-33,000,000]: 750-799 CE ET: is this expert disagreement or a range? I’ve changed curly brackets to square brackets on the assumption it’s a range (only one source cited). [720 CE] {23,000,000-33,000,000} [1] The population of the Abbasid Caliphate would have been comparable to the preceding Umayyad Caliphate. The loss of Iberia and the Western half of North Africa in part accounted for by the ensuring population growth of the remaining territory.
900 CE - no Egypt, Afghanistan or Central Asia.
Western Iran 2m (estimating half of total 4.25m), Iraq 2.5m, The Interior (Saudi Arabia) 2m, Palestine and Jordan 0.5m, Syria 1.5m. [2] Also a bit of Turkey and the Caucasus which is too tough to estimate. Will use 9 million as base of a range.

[1]: Blankinship, Khalid Yahya, The End of the Jihad State pp.37-8

[2]: (McEvedy and Jones 1978) McEvedy, Colin. Jones, Richard. 1978. Atlas of World Population History. Penguin Books Ltd.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
6

These are based on the minimalist estimates put forth by J.C Russel in Medieval Regions and Their Cities. [1] His estimates are lower than others but have the largest amount of evidence to support them. The full arguments regarding urbanization and demographics for the later part of the Abbassid period can be found in Maya Shatzmiller’s Labour in the Medievel Islamic World. [2]
The settlement hierarchy can be divided into seven subsets:
1. More than 150,000: Baghdad, Samarra [2]
2. Metropoles (50,000-150,000): Cairo [3]
3. Provincial Centres (20,000-50,000): Antioch, Alexandria [3]
4. Provincial cities (10,000-20,000): Jerusalem [3]
5. Small towns (500-10,000): Gaza, Hebron [3]
6. Villages (200-500)

[1]: Russell, Josiah Cox. Medieval regions and their cities. David & Charles, 1972.

[2]: Maya Shatzmiller, Labour in the Medievel Islamic World pp.57-61

[3]: Maya Shatzmiller, Labour in the Medievel Islamic World pp.59


Religious Level:
2

1. Caliph as head of the Sunni Muslim umma.
2. Imams, successors of the prophet and leaders of the muslim world.
In theory the Caliphate and governors were the head of the Sunni faith, but in practice local religious scholars (ulama) and aesthetics (Sufis) increasingly attracted the wider populace as definers of doctrine. Unlike the Orthodox or Catholic faith, the structure of the Islamic faiths were not clearly hierarchical and all were equal before Allah. [1]

[1]: Lapidus, History of Islamic Society p. 82,p. 215


Military Level:
6

1. Amir al-mu’ minin (official title of the Caliph)
2. Amir (commander or governor of a province or army)
3. Qa-id (military officer)
4. Arif (leader of a militay unit of ten to fifteen soldiers)
5. Muquatila(Muslim soldiers paid a salary); Malwa(rank and file Turkish soldier)
6. Arrarun (irregular volunteers) [1]
The above estimate is an oversimplification. The Shurta (police) and the Haras (guards) were responsible for the securing the capital and the security of the Caliph. [2] In the earlier period the Caliphate relied on the service of Arab tribes from Arabia. As the empire expanded this system changed to a professional standing army paid for in cash. Given the fractured nature of the military structure this ranking system is not fully representative. By 833 CE, two totally separate military establishments existed under the caliphs. Shakiriya were entire tribal groups serving under their chiefs, and the second were Ghilman, slave soldiers serving in regiments. Each of these had separate hierarchies. Each of these also their own internal structures with soldiers recruited from Syria using older Byzantine ranks, whereas mercenary tribes recruited from North Africa or Central Asia served under their clan leaders. There were also differences depending of where the individuals were serving. Permanent garrisons differed from temporary soldiers used for a campaign. From 833 CE, Turkic tribesmen became increasingly integral to the military of the Caliphate. By 936 CE, the Caliph lost even the pretext of military authority. [3]

[1]: Kennedy, The Armies of the Caliphate pp. 209-210

[2]: Kennedy, Hugh N. The Court of the Caliphs,(London, 2004) p.49

[3]: Kennedy, Armies of the Caliphs pp. 118-147


Administrative Level:
6

Longest chain was provincial government, probably in Iraq: 1. Caliph - 2. Governor - 3. kura (name of level) - 4. tassuj (name of level) - 5. rustaj (name of level) - 6. Village headman
1. Caliph
In Baghdad
_ Central government line _
2. wazir in BaghdadPresided over The Three Bureaus (Diwans)
3. diwan-al-rasa’il (Chancery)
Three types of services were departmentalized. These were called Diwans in Arabic. These departments were divided into three main areas of responsibility: the Chancery (diwan-al-rasa’il), the department responsible for tax collection (diwan al-kharif), and the department overseeing the army (diwan al-jaysh).
3. diwan al-kharif (tax collection)
4. Sub-heads within diwan al-kharifLapidus comments on the elaborate subdivisions within each department throughout the period, beyond what the simple three tiers implies. [1]
5. Scribes
6. Tax collectors
3. diwan al-jaysh (army administration)
3. PensionsCourt expenses and pensions were handled by separate administrations.
3. Court expensesCourt expenses and pensions were handled by separate administrations.
2. BaridPostal and information service. Also used to inspect/spy on governors and local administrations.
3.
4.
_ Provincial line _
Direct control took place in territories closest to the imperial centre. Iraq, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria, Western Iran and Khuzistan were governed directly. Other areas were largely autonomous. In some territories military governors were appointed while in others local elites paid tribute and maintained autonomy. These tributes would have been paid to one of the departments associated above. [2] Beginning in 945 CE, the Caliphate lost substantial powers of authority and was reduced in its ability to control outlying territory. [3]
2. Governor of governors (839 CE-)al-Mu’tasim appointed Ashnas overal governor of the vast region of al-Jazirah, Syria, and Egypt (in practice, gubernatorial powers in these provinces were exercised by deputies while Ashnas himself remained in Iraq). [4]
3. Governor4. Deputy Governor
4. Ruler of a district5. Kura (Iraq and Egypt) chain of command or spatial division?6. Tassuj (Iraq and Egypt) chain of command or spatial division?7. Rustaq (Iraq and Egypt) chain of command or spatial division?8. Village headmenra’is in Iran, shaykh al-balad in Egypt
4. Saheb al-sorta (city)5. Amir al-suq (city)
2. Governor (centrally governed provinces) [5] Iraq, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria, western Iran, Khuzistan. Officials on short term contracts, and rotated. Role often split between two officials: military commander and finance official. A third official was head of judiciary. All were inspected by the barid (information service).
Egypt had a governor [6]
"Under the caliphate ... provincial governments incorporating cities and towns were gradually established in Persia; the governors were nominated by the caliph." [7]
3. Deputy GovernorDeputy governors existed, e.g. in Tabaristan. [8]
3. Ruler of a district"In every district of your governorship, you should appoint a trusted observer [amin] who will keep you informed of the activities of your local officials and will write to you regularly about their way of life and doings, in such a way that you will be, as it were, an eyewitness of every official’s complete activities within his sphere of responsibility." Bosworth notes of ’amin’: "Here obviously the equivalent of the sahib al-barid, postmaster and intelligence officer, of the Abbasid caliphate and of the later mushrif al-mamlakah of eastern Iranian states". [9]
3. Saheb al-sorta in major cities."In each major city there was an official known as ṣāḥeb al-šorṭa, who was in charge of public order; his subordinate, the amīr al-sūq, regulated the bāzār (cf. Spuler, Iran, pp. 315-32)." [7]
4. Amir al-suq
3. kuraLocal government: divided into a hierarchy of districts in Iraq and Egypt. These subdivisions were for assessing taxation. In Iraq settlements were divided into three categories: the Kura, the Tassuj, and the rustaq. In other areas the system varied. These payments would have passed to the provincial authorities. [10]
Hierarchy of districts - kura; tassuj and rustaj - in Iraq, parts of Khurasan and western Iran. Similar hierarchy used for Egypt. Crown lands and some iqta’s were not included in governed area. [11]
3. or 4. tassuj
3. or 5. rustaj
this was the lowest unit. A market and administrative town surrounded by a number of villages.
4. or 6. Village headman [12] ra’is in Iran, shaykh al-balad in Egypt
_Affiliated provinces_
2. Sometimes local dynastic rulers became "governors of the caliphs." Khurasan was directly appointed until 820 CE after which it was controlled by the Tahirids (820-873 CE). Autonomous, government that was not inspected. Same true for Transoxania under the Samanids. Caliph al-Ma’mun (813-833 CE) named Samanids hereditary governors of Samarqand, Farghana, and Herat.
2. Affiliated provinces (provinces that were not-centrally governed) [13] Caspian highlands (Jilan, Tabaristan, Daylam, Jurjan), Inner Asian provinces (Transoxania, Farghana, Ushrusana, Kabul), most of North Africa.
2. Often supervising military governor appointed, whilst the garrison received the taxes and tribute.
3. Actual collection of taxes done by local administration.
4. ... ? ...

[1]: Lapidus, Ira A., History of Islamic Society, pp.58-59

[2]: Lapidus, , History of Islamic Society, p.61

[3]: Lapidus, History of Islamic Society, p. 60

[4]: p.178 Bosworth, C.E. trans. 1991. The History of al-Tarabi. Volume XXXIII. Storm and Stress along the Northern Frontiers of the Abbasid Caliphate. State University of New York Press. Albany.

[5]: (Lapidus 2012, 97

[6]: (Raymond 2000, 24)

[7]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii

[8]: p.130 Bosworth, C E. trans. The History of al-Tabari. Volume XXXII. The Reunification of the Abbasid Caliphate. State University of New York Press.

[9]: p.123 Bosworth, C E. trans. The History of al-Tabari. Volume XXXII. The Reunification of the Abbasid Caliphate. State University of New York Press.

[10]: Lapidus, History of Islamic Society, p.61

[11]: (Lapidus 2012, 99

[12]: (Lapidus 2012, 100

[13]: (Lapidus 2012, 98-99


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

[1]
"The armies of the Umayyad and early ’Abbasid period were paid stipends in minted coin. At the beginning of this period, these stipends could be thought of as the hereditary right of those whose names appeared in the diwan registers. During the course of the second/eighth century, the Caliphs and their representatives forced a transformation so that the stipend became a true salary, a payment for work done. Unlike their contemporaries in the West, the soldiers of the Caliphs were never given land grants in lieu of salaries. Sometimes they might be given houses or plots of land on which to build, but not to provide an alternative income. One the rare occasions when larger land grants were given to soldiers it was as a reward for past services, rather than payment for continuing and future ones. Both Umayyads and ’Abbasids normally maintained the separation of the military from tax-collecting: apart from dire emergencies, soldiers were never given the right to collect taxes with which to pay themselves. This was always done by the government diwans." [2]

[1]: Kennedy, Hugh, The Armies of the Caliphate pp. 18-118

[2]: (Kennedy 2001, 88) Kennedy, H. 2001. The Armies of the Caliphs. Routledge. London.


Professional Priesthood:
absent

[1] absent as Islam did not have a professional priesthood.

[1]: Lapidus, A History of Islamic society pp. 133-192


Professional Military Officer:
present

Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

e.g. The administrative offices for the court at Baghdad. [1]

[1]: Hugh Kennedy, The Court of the Caliphs, pp. 150-159


Merit Promotion:
present

Expert disagreement.
According to Van Berkel, El Cheikh, Kennedy and Osti the two most important factors for promotion were kinship and patronage. [1]
However, according to Lapidus the Abbasids "returned to the principles of Umar II, The Abbasids swept away Arab caste supremacy and accepted the universal equality of Muslims." Persians and Nestorian Christians were heavily represented in the bureaucracy. "Jews were active in administrative and commercial activities. Shi’i families were also prominent." [2]
Furthermore the "Abbasid policy of recruiting notables regardless of ethnic background not only soothed the conflicts that racked the Umayyad dynasty but was essential if a centralized government was to be built at all." [3]

[1]: Van Berkel, Maaike, Nadia Maria El Cheikh, Hugh Kennedy, and Letizia Osti. Crisis and Continuity at the Abbasid Court p. 108)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 93-95)

[3]: (Lapidus 2012, 102)

Merit Promotion:
absent

Expert disagreement.
According to Van Berkel, El Cheikh, Kennedy and Osti the two most important factors for promotion were kinship and patronage. [1]
However, according to Lapidus the Abbasids "returned to the principles of Umar II, The Abbasids swept away Arab caste supremacy and accepted the universal equality of Muslims." Persians and Nestorian Christians were heavily represented in the bureaucracy. "Jews were active in administrative and commercial activities. Shi’i families were also prominent." [2]
Furthermore the "Abbasid policy of recruiting notables regardless of ethnic background not only soothed the conflicts that racked the Umayyad dynasty but was essential if a centralized government was to be built at all." [3]

[1]: Van Berkel, Maaike, Nadia Maria El Cheikh, Hugh Kennedy, and Letizia Osti. Crisis and Continuity at the Abbasid Court p. 108)

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 93-95)

[3]: (Lapidus 2012, 102)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

[1]
The bureaucrats ran the various Diwans. These departments were divided into three main areas of responsibility. Officials could be found in the Chancery (diwan-al-rasa’il), the department responsible for tax collection (diwan al-kharif), and the department overseeing the army (diwan al-jaysh). Court expenses and pensions were handled by separate administrations who were also long term employees.

[1]: Kennedy, The Armies of the Caliphs pp. 60-66


Examination System:
absent

[1]
There was no formal system to test a scribe’s suitability for the civil service.

[1]: Van Berkel, Maaike, Nadia Maria El Cheikh, Hugh Kennedy, and Letizia Osti. Crisis and Continuity at the Abbasid Court p. 107


Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent

no specialist court or judge so lawyer unlikely to be a specialist?
"In legal matters, Patricia Crone points out, "there is no trace of the Prophetic tradition until about 770" and it was the lawyers in particular who created the stories about Mohammed simply to back up their own arguments in law. "Numerous Prophetic traditions can be shown to have originated as statements made by the lawyers themselves ... it was the lawyers who determined what the Prophet said, not the other way around." Bukhari is said to have accumulated as many as 600,000 traditions, of which he only accepted as authentic 7,000, or just over one per cent!" [1] -- these are religious scholars not lawyers as this variable codes? lawyers do "red tape", defend, prosecute, submit claims etc.

[1]: (Pickard 2013, 432) Pickard, J. 2013. Behind the Myths: The Foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. AuthorHouse.


We code present for specialist judges. If judges were "multicompetent state officials" it does not appear they are specialists who only judge law. For similar case e.g. the Roman Principate. On the other hand, another source says Qadis were "full time judiciary officials" so maybe there were some specialists.
In the Abbasid Caliphate formal the law was promulgated by a body known as the Fuqaha. The law code was heavily influenced by Sharia law. Sharia was based on the Sunna, which were teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, and the Quran, the holy book of Islam. Legal thought was also influenced by Ijma’, which were a body of rulings on legal issues based on the consensus of scholars who had met to discuss specific cases. Despite the Caliphate’s claims to religious authority based on their links to the Prophet Muhammed, it was rare for direct rulings on legal matters to originate from the caliphal authorities. Alongside a developing legal code was the development of the Qudis, who were full time judiciary officials. [1]
At least in the Umayyad period judges were "multicompetent state officials dealing with justice, police, tax, and finance issues." [2] Judges were appointed and were called Qadi. [3]

[1]: Zubaida, Sami, Law and power in the Islamic world. (Tauris & Company Limited, 2005) pp. 74-84

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 96)

[3]: Zubaida, Sami, Law and power in the Islamic world. (Tauris & Company Limited, 2005) p. 46

We code present for specialist judges. If judges were "multicompetent state officials" it does not appear they are specialists who only judge law. For similar case e.g. the Roman Principate. On the other hand, another source says Qadis were "full time judiciary officials" so maybe there were some specialists.
In the Abbasid Caliphate formal the law was promulgated by a body known as the Fuqaha. The law code was heavily influenced by Sharia law. Sharia was based on the Sunna, which were teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, and the Quran, the holy book of Islam. Legal thought was also influenced by Ijma’, which were a body of rulings on legal issues based on the consensus of scholars who had met to discuss specific cases. Despite the Caliphate’s claims to religious authority based on their links to the Prophet Muhammed, it was rare for direct rulings on legal matters to originate from the caliphal authorities. Alongside a developing legal code was the development of the Qudis, who were full time judiciary officials. [1]
At least in the Umayyad period judges were "multicompetent state officials dealing with justice, police, tax, and finance issues." [2] Judges were appointed and were called Qadi. [3]

[1]: Zubaida, Sami, Law and power in the Islamic world. (Tauris & Company Limited, 2005) pp. 74-84

[2]: (Lapidus 2012, 96)

[3]: Zubaida, Sami, Law and power in the Islamic world. (Tauris & Company Limited, 2005) p. 46


Formal Legal Code:
present

[1]
In the Abbasid Caliphate formal the law was promulgated by a body known as the Fuqaha. The law code was heavily influenced by Sharia law. Sharia was based on the Sunna, which were teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, and the Quran, the holy book of Islam. Legal thought was also influenced by Ijma’, which were a body of rulings on legal issues based on the consensus of scholars who had met to discuss specific cases. Despite the Caliphate’s claims to religious authority based on their links to the Prophet Muhammed, it was rare for direct rulings on legal matters to originate from the caliphal authorities. Alongside a developing legal code was the development of the Qudis, who were full time judiciary officials. [2]

[1]: Van Berkel, Maaike, Nadia Maria El Cheikh, Hugh Kennedy, and Letizia Osti. Crisis and Continuity at the Abbasid Court pp. 87-90

[2]: Zubaida, Sami, Law and power in the Islamic world. (Tauris & Company Limited, 2005) pp. 74-84


Court proceedings took place either in a Judge’s own residence, the main mosque of the city or in the palace. [1]

[1]: Zubaida, Sami, Law and power in the Islamic world. (Tauris & Company Limited, 2005) p. 46


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

The Markets of Alexandria and Baghdad saw goods from China to Andalusia traded in purpose built areas. The Islamic Suq was built next to the central mosque of the Islamic city and represented the commercial heart of urban spaces. Mosques were integral to the commercial activities and shared the space of the market place in cities conquered by the Abassids. [1]

[1]: Bloom, Jonathan M., and Sheila Blair, eds. The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture Vol. 3, p. 56


Irrigation System:
present

The foundation of new cities like Samarra led to an expansion of irrigation networks. Further evidence is provided by the large number of manuals on irrigation and land management that survive from the period. Iraq’s new cities were supported by a vast network of new water works. [1]

[1]: Young, M. J. L., John Derek Latham, and Robert Bertram Serjeant, eds. Religion, learning and science in the ’abbasid period p. 159


Food Storage Site:
present

During a grain crisis involving soldiers in 920 CE, the Caliph had to open the granaries [1] . There is also archaeological evidence of depressions in the walls of residences and palaces for the purpose of food storage. [2]

[1]: Van Berkel, Maaike, Nadia Maria El Cheikh, Hugh Kennedy, and Letizia Osti. Crisis and Continuity at the Abbasid Court p. 118

[2]: Bloom, Jonathan M., and Sheila Blair, eds. The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture, Vol 3, p. 83


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

Water provision was an important aspect of Abbasid city building. In the city of Fusat, water provision was provided by the cutting of large cisterns, pack animals carrying bags of water, and in richer homes water supplies for drinking and cooking/bathing. The Abbasid Caliphate also adopted the use of qanats, a persian tecnology. There is also evidence of the use of augmented Byzantine infrastructure, with the use of lifting devices to redirect supplies. The output of a large amount of drainpipes and other containers in potter workshops indicates sanitation and water as important concerns. [1] Water was crucial in Mosques because of the cleansing rituals. Drinking fountains were called Sabil. [2]

[1]: Milwright, Marcus. An introduction to Islamic archaeology. Edinburgh University Press, 2010, p. 93

[2]: (Bloom and Blair, eds. 2009, 77-78)


Transport Infrastructure

The vast network of routes to facilitate the religious journey of the Hajj best exemplify the types of road networks maintained by the Abbasid Caliphate. Whereas the previous Hajj route had originated in Damascus, the rising importance of Baghdad saw a development of guard post, paved roads and watering stations across the deserts between that city and Mecca. [1] [2]

[1]: Petersen, Andrew. Dictionary of Islamic architecture Routledge, 2002., pp. 29-30

[2]: Bloom, Jonathan M., and Sheila Blair, eds. The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture p. 334


Baghdad was near large rivers that connected it to wider trade networks. Ports along the Persian gulf also provided outlets to trade. [1] [2]

[1]: Hourani, George Fadlou. Arab seafaring: in the Indian Ocean in ancient and early medieval times. Princeton University Press, 1995. pp. 65-71

[2]: Bloom, Jonathan M., and Sheila Blair, eds. The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture p. 334


Canals were a vital component to the core cities constructed during the Abasid Caliphate. [1] [2]

[1]: Osman S. A. Ismail (1968). The founding of a new capital: Sāmarrā’. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 31, pp 1-13. provides further evidence of bridge building.

[2]: Bloom, Jonathan M., and Sheila Blair, eds. The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture p. 334


Bridge:
present

The bridges of Samarra are an example of Bridge making during the Abassid Caliphate. Its inscriptions and brickwork stand out. [1] [2]

[1]: Osman S. A. Ismail (1968). The founding of a new capital: Sāmarrā’. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 31, pp 1-13. provides further evidence of bridge building.

[2]: Bloom, Jonathan M., and Sheila Blair, eds. The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture p. 334


Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

[1] See kinds of Written records for further details.

[1]: Cook, Michael. The Koran: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press, 2000.


Script:
present

[1]

[1]: Cook, The Koran: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press, 2000.


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

Classical Arabic. [1]

[1]: Cook, Michael. The Koran: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press, 2000.


Nonwritten Record:
present

[1]

[1]: Cook, Michael. The Koran: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press, 2000.


Non Phonetic Writing:
absent

Mnemonic Device:
present

[1]

[1]: Cook, Michael. The Koran: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press, 2000.


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

Works on Physics, Mathematics and Applied Science, such as Mechanical Technology survive from the period. One of the outstanding examples is the Kitab al-Hiyal (Book of ingenious devices), detailing over 100 devices ranging from self filling lamps and fountains to a primitive gas mask. [1] "The brothers Jafar, Ahmad, and Hasan ibn Musa from Merv, known as the “Sons of Musa” (Banu Musa). In ninth-century Baghdad they dominated the scientific scene under Caliph Mamun and his successors. Besides their work in geometry and astronomy, Ahmad wrote a pioneering work in practical mechanics, Book of Ingenious Devices." [2] Ahmad al-Farghani (c.797-860 CE). "An astronomer who hailed from the Ferghana Valley in present-day Uzbekistan. Farghani’s The Elements was among the earliest works on astronomy to be written in Arabic." [2]

[1]: Young, M. J. L., John Derek Latham, and Robert Bertram Serjeant, eds. Religion, learning and science in the ’abbasid period pp. 248-288

[2]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Sacred Text:
present

The Quran


Religious Literature:
present

The closest proximity to theology is the Arabic Kalam. The complexities of this are beyond a single entry, but Islamic writers wrote synopses of Islamic theological thought in volumes called Aqidat. Abu Hanifah’s testiment is one of the best known, being the work of Abu Ja’far Ahmad al-Tawawi dating from 933 CE. [1] Muhammad al-Bukhari (810-870 CE): "Bukhara-born compiler and editor of An Abridged Collection of Authentic Hadiths with Connected Chains [of Transmission] Regarding Matters Pertaining to the Prophet, His Practices, and His Times, the most revered book in Islam after the Quran." [2]

[1]: Young, M. J. L., John Derek Latham, and Robert Bertram Serjeant, eds. Religion, learning and science in the’abbasid period pp. 14-15

[2]: (Starr 2013) Starr, S. Frederick. 2013. Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane. Princeton University Press. Princeton.


Practical Literature:
present

Examples include Descriptive and practical manuals, didactic treaties for the training and guidance of secretaries. Furthermore, biographical materials and collections of anecdotes on viziers and secretaries were also produced. [1]

[1]: Young, M. J. L., John Derek Latham, and Robert Bertram Serjeant, eds. Religion, learning and science in Abbasid period pp. 155-163


Philosophy:
present

Examples abound, one such being Al-Farabi’s Al-jam’ bayna ra’yay al-hakimayn aflatun al-ilahi-wa arostitalis, translated as ’Harmonizations of the Opinions of Plato and Aristotle’. Another tradition was on the relationship of the philosopher and the city, such as Ibn Sina’s visionary recitals, the Hayy b. Yaqzan. [1] (Governor?) Tahir wrote an advice for rulers for his son, an epistle, which became famous and is copied out in full by al-Tabari in Volume XXXII pages 110-128. [2]

[1]: Young, M. J. L., John Derek Latham, and Robert Bertram Serjeant, eds. Religion, learning and science in the ’abbasid period pp. 76-103

[2]: Bosworth, C E. trans. The History of al-Tabari. Volume XXXII. The Reunification of the Abbasid Caliphate. State University of New York Press


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

The Ilm al-Miqat astrological literature led to the creation of vast tables, ranging from simple tables compiled in Baghdad in the ninth century CE to measure solar or stellar altitudes effect on prayer time to more sophisticated tables dictating what tens of thousands of entries for finding the time of day or night by the sun or any star on multiple latitudes. [1]

[1]: Young, M. J. L., John Derek Latham, and Robert Bertram Serjeant, eds. Religion, learning and science in the’abbasid period pp. 285


History:
present

Abu-Ja’far Muhammed (c. 923 CE) wrote the definitive historical work of the period, the Ta’risk al-rusul wa-l-muluk, which was held in the highest esteem for the next three centuries. He and other writers had access to vast records and correspondences of the state, allowing for a large degree of evidence and checking of sources. [1] "this was the greatest period of growth for the Arabic language and literature, as well as for the development of Islamic histories based on the romance of Bedouin lore." [2]

[1]: Young, M. J. L., John Derek Latham, and Robert Bertram Serjeant, eds. Religion, learning and science in the’abbasid period pp. 188-216

[2]: (Pickard 2013, 432) Pickard, J. 2013. Behind the Myths: The Foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. AuthorHouse.


Fiction:
present

Abbasid writers produced a large number of Belles-Lettres during the period. Topics ranged from fables and legends to poetry on topics as wide ranging as hunting poems called the tardiyyat to politics. Also, they Abbasids oversaw the translation of fiction works from earlier Greek and Persian sources. [1] "this was the greatest period of growth for the Arabic language and literature, as well as for the development of Islamic histories based on the romance of Bedouin lore." [2]

[1]: Ashtiany, Julia, ed. Abbasid Belles Lettres. Vol. 2. Cambridge University Press, 1990.

[2]: (Pickard 2013, 432) Pickard, J. 2013. Behind the Myths: The Foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. AuthorHouse.


Calendar:
present

Islamic prayer times are astronomically defined, as is determining the direction of Mecca. As such, astrological timekeeping, the body of literature called ’ilm-al-miquat’ replaced folk astronomy with mathematical precision. [1]

[1]: Young, M. J. L., John Derek Latham, and Robert Bertram Serjeant, eds. Religion, learning and science in the’abbasid period pp. 283-4


Information / Money



Indigenous Coin:
present

The gold Dinar, the silver dirham, copper daniq. [1] There were two principle coins in circulation, the gold Dinar and the silver dirham. This was in part a legacy of the conquest of Byzantine and Sassanian territories where the two coins were the major form of currency. The ratio of exchange was twenty dirhams to the dinar. From approximately 800 CE-950 CE a copper coin called the daniqs seems to have been in circulation. [2] By 819 CE the coinage was increasingly being debased. [3]

[1]: Kennedy, The Armies of the Caliphs pp 67-70.

[2]: Kennedy, Hugh N.The Court of the Caliphs, p. xxv

[3]: Kennedy, The Armies of the Caliphs pp 81.


Foreign Coin:
present

[1]

[1]: Kennedy, The Armies of the Caliphs pp 67-70.



Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present

Simple postal stations in use as stopping point for couriers. [1] The Abbasid had a department of state running the post office, called the Barim. [2] "The Muslim conquerors adop­ted many ancient institutions, including the postal system, which they called barīd (ultimately derived from Lat. veredus, Gk. beredos “[courier’s] horse”). Although there is some controversy over whether it was primarily the Byzantine or Sasanian model that was followed (see, e.g. EI2, s.v. Barīd; Camb. Hist. Iran III/1, p. 564), it is probable that elements of both were taken over (Mez, p. 466). In the eastern part of the empire at least, ancient Persian practices and terminology seem to have prevailed." [3]

[1]: Silverstein, Adam J. Postal systems in the pre-modern Islamic world p. 77-78, 97..

[2]: ( Alcock, Susan E., John Bodel, and Richard Ja Talbert, eds. Highways, byways, and road systems in the pre-modern world. Vol. 9. (Wiley 2012) pp. 70-74)

[3]: (Floor 1990) Floor, Willem. 1990. ČĀPĀR. www.iranicaonline.org/articles/capar-or-capar-turk


General Postal Service:
present

"Only rarely were private individuals allowed to make use of the post (Bayhaqī, ed. Schwally, p. 429)." [1] a ’hamami’ was a "despatcher of carrier pigeons and letters from one town to another" in Iraq, Egypt and Syria: 9th, 10th 11th CE. [2]

[1]: (Floor 1990) Floor, Willem. 1990. ČĀPĀR. www.iranicaonline.org/articles/capar-or-capar-turk

[2]: (Shatzmiller 1993, 140) Shatzmiller, Maya. 1994. Labour in the Medieval Islamic World. E. J. BRILL. Leiden.


Courier:
present

[1] Royal couriers carried messages and directives of the court. a ’hamami’ was a "despatcher of carrier pigeons and letters from one town to another" in Iraq, Egypt and Syria: 9th, 10th 11th CE. [2]

[1]: Silverstein, Adam J. Postal systems in the pre-modern Islamic world p. 77-78,

[2]: (Shatzmiller 1993, 140) Shatzmiller, Maya. 1994. Labour in the Medieval Islamic World. E. J. BRILL. Leiden.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

e.g. use of spiked wooden barriers. [1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 189.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
unknown

Stone Walls Mortared:
present

As used around Baghdad. [1] The technology to create fortifications was present, but in the case of large cities not implemented as the Caliphs preferred battles over sieges, and because of concerns that citizens would use them for protection during revolts. The Arabic word for castle or fortress was Hisn, with the Qasr more often used for a fortress. The use of fortifications depended on local tradition. In Syria, pre-existing walls were maintained. In other areas of conquest or after rebellions fortifications were torn down. Baghdad stands out as an exception in terms of a fortified urban centre. Baghdad was surrounded by large walls, and fortified gates were secured with two sets of iron covered doors and large numbers of guards. [1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 185-192


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present


Abbasid siege of Al-Wasit, last Umayyad stronghold in Iraq: "In the first such encounter Umayyad forces were defeated, and they retreated to the moat that surrounded the western section of the city." [1]

[1]: (Elad 1986, 65) Saron, M. 1986. Studies in Islamic History and Civilization: In Honour of Professor David Ayalon. Brill.



Earth Rampart:
present

Earth ramparts were used in this region in the Middle Ages. No specific reference.


Ditches were used in this region in the Middle Ages. No specific reference.


Complex Fortification:
unknown

As with the walls and gates around Baghdad. [1] -- more than one ring of walls?

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 185-192


Military use of Metals

[1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178


[1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178




Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

Torsion engines in use in Arabic warfare in this period. [1] [2] "A fragment of a wall painting depicting the use of a traction trebuchet at the siege of Penjikent (700-725) in modern Tajikistan. This unique painting is contemporary with Tang China, displaying how the traction trebuchet was used along the Silk Road." [3]

[1]: (Kennedy 2001, 184

[2]: Kelly DeVries, ’siege engines’ in The Oxford Companion to Military History, Eds. Holmes, Singleton, and Jones Oxford University Press: 2001)

[3]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

Abbasids had the manjaniq, a swing beam engine similiar to the Western Trebuchet. [1] Manjaniq was man-powered not gravity powered? [2] First known use of the counter-weight trebuchet 1165 CE at Byzantine siege of Zevgminon. [3]

[1]: Kennedy, The Armies of the Caliphs p. 184

[2]: (Nicolle 2003, 14) Nicolle, David. 2003. Medieval Siege Weapons (2): Byzantium, the Islamic World and India AD 476-1526. Osprey Publishing.

[3]: (Turnball 2002) Turnball, S. 2002. Siege Weapons of the Far East (1): AD 612-1300. Osprey Publishing.


Poem about a siege mentions "the evil man that loads the sling". [1] This could also refer to a siege engine.

[1]: (Kennedy 2001, 110)


’Arab’ and Persian’ bows mentioned in sources, both composite bows. [1]

[1]: (Kennedy 2001, 177-178)


"In attack, a short spear or javelin seems to have replaced the pike, and a mace might also have been added." [1]

[1]: (Nicolle 1982, 20) Nicolle, D. 1982. The Armies of Islam, 7th-11th Centuries. Osprey Publishing.


Handheld Firearm:
absent

Not in use until the 15th century. [1]

[1]: ( Wood, Stephen. "matchlock." In The Oxford Companion to Military History. : Oxford University Press, 2001.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent

Not in use until the 14th century. [1]

[1]: (Bailey, Jonathan B. A. "cannon." In The Oxford Companion to Military History. : Oxford University Press, 2001.


Abbasid refered to the crossbow as the qaws al-rijl, first mentioned in 881 CE. [1] Unlike Medieval Europe, archery was seen as a noble pursuit. Compound bows and Crossbows were present, as well as more esoteric weaponry such as fire arrows, were used on some occasions. Volunteers and informal levies were reported to have used slings, makeshift spears and other unconventional weapons. [2]

[1]: Nicolle,David, Medieval Siege Weapons (2): Byzantium, the Islamic World and India AD 476-1526(Osprey Publishing 2003)

[2]: Kennedy, Hugh N. The armies of the caliphs: military and society in the early Islamic state. Vol. 3 Routledge, 2001. pp. 168-182


Composite Bow:
present

present: 820 CE Inferred, compound bows being used in this period in the region. [1] [1] ’Arab’ and Persian’ bows mentioned in sources, both composite bows. [2]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 178

[2]: (Kennedy 2001, 177-178)


New World weapon


Handheld weapons

Period from 862 CE: Maces. [1] "In attack, a short spear or javelin seems to have replaced the pike, and a mace might also have been added." [2]

[1]: (Kennedy 2001, 24) Kennedy, H. 2001. The Armies of the Caliphs. Routledge. London.

[2]: (Nicolle 1982, 20) Nicolle, D. 1982. The Armies of Islam, 7th-11th Centuries. Osprey Publishing.


Broadswords and short-swords. [1]

[1]: (Nicolle 1982, 20) Nicolle, D. 1982. The Armies of Islam, 7th-11th Centuries. Osprey Publishing.


were there handheld spears in addition to thrown?


"In defence the abna were trained to maintain ranks behind their long pikes and broadswords however hard the enemy pressed, and then to fight hand-to-hand with short-swords and daggers." [1]

[1]: (Nicolle 1982, 20) Nicolle, D. 1982. The Armies of Islam, 7th-11th Centuries. Osprey Publishing.


"In defence the abna were trained to maintain ranks behind their long pikes and broadswords however hard the enemy pressed, and then to fight hand-to-hand with short-swords and daggers." [1]

[1]: (Nicolle 1982, 20) Nicolle, D. 1982. The Armies of Islam, 7th-11th Centuries. Osprey Publishing.


Animals used in warfare

Used for cavalry. Horses and Camels were used extensively. Donkeys were used in a logistical capacity. The use of elephants is reported, but it seems to be in a purely ceremonial capacity. [1]

[1]: (Kennedy, Hugh. The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State. London; New York: Routledge, 2001. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/SGPPFNAZ/q/kennedy)


Imported from the Kachi plains region and used in processions and ceremony. [1] - but were elephants used in fighting?

[1]: (Kennedy, Hugh. The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State. London; New York: Routledge, 2001. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/SGPPFNAZ/q/kennedy)


Donkeys were used in a logistical capacity. [1]

[1]: (Kennedy, Hugh. The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State. London; New York: Routledge, 2001. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/SGPPFNAZ/q/kennedy)



Used extensively in caliphate armies. [1]

[1]: (Kennedy, Hugh. The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State. London; New York: Routledge, 2001. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/SGPPFNAZ/q/kennedy)


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

Used for shields. [1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178


Widely available for soldiers. [1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178


Scaled Armor:
present

[1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178


Plate Armor:
absent

[1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178


Limb Protection:
present

Some evidence of lamellar leggings in the sources. [1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178


Leather Cloth:
present

Used for shields. [1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178


Laminar Armor:
present

Some evidence of lamellar leggings in the sources. [1] Although abna were often armoured, they would also fight without cuirass or even shield." [2]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178

[2]: (Nicolle 1982, 20) Nicolle, D. 1982. The Armies of Islam, 7th-11th Centuries. Osprey Publishing.


Widely available for soldiers. [1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178


Chainmail:
present

Coats of mail for elite soldiers. "The early Islamic sources treat the coast of mail as a standard piece of military equipment." [1]

[1]: (Kennedy 2001, 168) Kennedy, H. 2001. The Armies of the Caliphs. Routledge. London.


Breastplate:
present

Some evidence of breastplates in the sources. [1]

[1]: Kennedy, the Armies of the Caliphs pp. 168-178


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

The Abbasid Caliphate was not a naval power in the Mediterranean. The Umayyad Caliphate had faced substantial losses at sea with Greek crewed ships, and the Abbasid never attempted to blockade Constantinople from the sea. Furthermore, while the Caliphs controlled the coastlines and had freedom of movement along this territory, it lacked both the facilities to build military ships and the raw materials to facilitate this endeavor. The situation in the Persian gulf was different, as large trade fleets plied the waters between Iraq and India, and down the Horn of Africa. [1] Territorial losses outside of the core territories in Egypt and Syria further weakened the capacity of the Abassid Caliphs capacity to wage naval warfare. [2]

[1]: Whitehouse, David. "Abbasid Maritime Trade: The Age of Expansion." prince MlKASA Takahito (éd.), Cultural and Economic Relations Between East and West: Sea Routes (1988): 62-70.

[2]: Gabrieli, Francesco. "Greeks and Arabs in the Central Mediterranean Area." Dumbarton Oaks Papers 18 (1964): 57-65.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

[1]

[1]: Gabrieli, Francesco. "Greeks and Arabs in the Central Mediterranean Area." Dumbarton Oaks Papers 18 (1964): 57-65.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present

[1]

[1]: Gabrieli, Francesco. "Greeks and Arabs in the Central Mediterranean Area." Dumbarton Oaks Papers 18 (1964): 57-65.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions