The Great Ghaznavid Dynasty (c. 962—c. 1186)

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147967156634005.png
The Ghaznivid Empire at it's greatest extent.[1]
Foundation c. 962—977
Disintegration c. 1180—1187
Capital Ghazni, Afghanistan
Lahore, Pakistan
Enemies Qarakhanids, Seljuks
Ghurids, Hindus
Burids, Samanids
Allies Abbasids, Seljuks
Hindu Vassals
Territory 3.4 million Km2[2]
Emperors

Sebuktigin (977—997)
Mahmud (998—1030)
Mas'ud I (1030—1041)
Mawdud (1041—1048)
Farrokzad (1053—1059)
Ebrahim (1059—1099)
Bahramsah (1117—1157?)
Kosrowsah (1157?—1160)
K. Malek (1160—1186)

The Ghaznivid Empire was an empire that existed during the 10th-11th century; stretching at it's peak from Tehran to Northern India, and was Turkic-Persian in origin, largely following Sunni Islam. The date of it's foundation was 962[3]-977[4][5][6], and that of it's disintegration 1180[6]-1187;[4][5][3] lasting some 224 years. The Ghaznivids were one of the most distinguished empires to have ever existed in Afghanistan.[7] The empire was founded by the slave[8] Aptigin (a Turkish Mamluk originally from Ghazni;[7] who had fled from Balkh[3] to Ghazni in 961 after a failed coup;[9][8]) who revolted against the ruling Samanids of Iran,[7] conquering their throne, thus establishing himself[7] as ruler who would bring in great economic and political development. He was father in law[9] to Sabuktagin (whom some historians also consider the founder of the Ghaznivids[5][7][3]) who would later expand the empire extensively.[8][9]

Altigpin crossed the Hindu Kush, after laying siege to the "insignificant" Fort of Ghazni in 962 transforming it into "one of the most dazzling capitals of the Islamic world" after his victory.[7] The fort itself was militarily and politically advantageous for his cause; it lay near the lucrative Silk Road where it was nestled in between Kabul and Kandahar.[7] The empire itself became significant for it's prestige and for being the first Islamic empire to spread itself across Asia, and well into Hindu-dominated Northern India.[7] The centre of the Ghaznivid empire was known for being home to artisans,[7] poets,[7][5] musicians,[7] philosophers,[7] scholars[5]/scientists[9] and other intelligentsia; and were also responsible for building "opulent palaces, gold encrusted mosques"[7] and for having spread "abundant" gardens into India.[7] This empire also gave the world windmill's, which were one of the most important inventions the world has ever seen.

HISTORY

Beginnings:— The Ghaznavids were a Turkic Islamic dynasty ruling between 977 and 1186.[10] This civilisation managed to stretch it's empire as far west as Ray and Jebal, near modern day Iran, all the way up to Karazm, to the south in Baluchistan and North-western India.[10] By the end of it's lifespan, the empire was reduced to the state of Punjab (modern day Pakistan, and some parts of India).[10] They were essentially descended from slaves, with the dynasties true birth starting with a Turkic slave soldier of the Samanid Empire, in the middle of the 10th century.[10] Only when the Samanid emperor, Amir Abd-al-Malek died in 961, would Alptigin make for Gazna, following a failed usurpation of his Samanid masters; routing the Lawiks, who had ruled the city long before him.[10] There he mended his ties with the Samanids and became it's vassal, going as far as striking his own coins with the names of their Persian rulers.[10] The fifth commander of Altigin's forces in Gazna, Sabuktagin, then arose into prominance, ruling Gazna for 20 years as the cities "noble commander", laying the foundations of what would become one of the greatest dynasties South Asia would ever know.[10] Fortunately for Sabuktagin, his son Maḥmud was already in the employment of the Samanids in Khurassan, giving them ample opportunity to kill off what was left of this former dynasty, who were crippled by the invasions of the neighbouring Qarakhanids (these very same neighbours would later also prove problematic).[10]
Sabuktigin, fighting.
Mahmud, receiving his religious decree as an independent emperor from Al-Qadir.
Raids:— Executing his brother Esmail, and taking control of Gazna for himself, Mahmud proceeded to annex the lands of the south Oxus River.[10] Issuing his ruling by a religious decree from the Caliph of the Abbasids, al-Qader, he was legally allowed to call himself independent, and grant himself royal titles.[10] The most important one of these were the "Yamīn al-Dawla".[10] His next move was to partition the former Samanid territories with the Qarakhanids, thereby cementing his 32-year long rule.[10] A series of invasions, raids and wars increased the prestige of his empire, which was growing militarily strong every day.[10] His military soon became so successful that, as news of his great victories spread, a string of volunteers eager for adventure joined his ranks from across the Eastern Islamic world.[10] These supplementary units complimented the core professional force of soldiers in the employment of the Ghaznavid royalty.[10] Their raids reached as far as the Ganges, and deep into Gwailor at the very heart of India.[10] Victories over Somnath proved immensely profitable, given the treasure trove of bounties found there.[10] His achievements were so brazen that one historian called him the "hammer" of the Hindus, with his exploits reaching as far as Baghdad.[10] However, it should be noted that these were not religious wars, but were entirely secular, mainly for the purposes of accumulating wealth and power, leaving a string of ruling Hindu governors in his place to serve as his vassals.[10]
Peak:— By the end of his life, Mahmud had achieved almost near total domination of Persia and north-western India, having also murdered the Buyid dynasty of Ray (a Shia dynasty), overtaking it in 1029, with the Daylamite and Kurdish princes of northwestern Persia following suit, either bringing them into the fold or killing them.[10] His success saw him thus create "the most powerful and extensive empire known in the Islamic world since the heyday of the Abbasid caliphate".[10] By his death in 1030 however, a more meagre son took charge, Masud I, who truly saw the first struggles of the fledgling empire.[10] His first mistake was to misjudge the military, with his behaviour also irking the army and irritating the civilian government, thereby slowing the machinery of the empire.[10] He was unable to raise taxes, which were the single most pressing issue of his day.[10] Compensating by trying to find a solution, the young emperor raided India and Persia and even personally attacked the Virgin Fortress of Hansi in Delhi in 1037.[10] Open rebellions by what was left of the Buyid dynasty in Persia saw more cracks beginning to appear.[10] Compounding problems further were the Qarakhanids, who began harassing the Ghaznavids from Transoxania.[10] Particular concern were the upper Oxus River, Kottal, and Caganian.[10] By 1034, the worst occurred, with the Ghaznavids losing the territory of Karazm; additionally the rise of the Oguz Turks lead by the Seljuks posed a further problem.[10]
The Seljuk dynasty would later grow to great proportions.[3]
Silver dirhams of Masud I.
Crisis:— Indeed, the latter of these groups was the most threatening, but they are also seen as one of the most important dynasties in the history of early medieval Islam.[10] With their invasions into Transoxania starting in the 11th century, having been employed as auxilliary troops to various kings, emperors, rulers or otherwise, their employment by the Samanids, Qarakhanids, and even the Ghaznavids themselves proved in hindsight, immensely problematic.[10] By Mahmud's reign's end, this mercenary empire were on the very fringes of their territory.[10] Soon enough, they raided towns and cities, looting agricultural lands and destroying the countryside; further disrupting the flow of caravan trade in the Khurasan region.[10] The Ghaznavids were too slow to act, or else powerless to stop them.[10] The worst was yet to come with the city states of Marv, Ray and Nisapur openly welcoming the Oguz Turks between 1036 and 1037, frustrated with the lack of help from the sultan that was supposed to act as their protector.[10] A humiliating battle in 1040 saw the Ghaznavids even lose confidence in themselves.[10] The Seljuks then made a dash for the north of Persia, founding their sultanate, which would grow powerful enough to even challenge the Europeans to the west.[10] Things were so desperate that Masud I even expected to lose Gazna itself, fleeing to India.[10] Before he got there, he was brutally murdered by his own men in 1041, near the crossing of the Indus River.[10]
Murder:— After his father's death, Mawdud I was next in line to the throne, who took up to eight years to hunt down and murder his father's killers and then stem the flow of the Seljuk raiders of the north.[10] By now the city states of Balk, Herat and Termed were lost to the empire, with Sistan under serious threat of being taken over by the northern Turkic dynasty. Mawdud, by shear will power and military skill ultimately managed to bring stability to Southern Afghanistan which was in the most danger of annexation.[10] Importantly, he continued the raids of his forefathers into India for plunder. Unfortunately, Mawdud was murdered along with his son, Abd-al-Rasid in 1052; betrayed by one of his own trusted commanders, Ṭoḡrïl; who usurped the throne.[10] Mawdud's two other son's Farroḵzād and Ebrāhīm, wrestled his armies for the succession, penultimately winning it for house Ghaznavid for another 40 years.[10] Prior to this, the empire was in serious trouble of breaking apart totally, when the Čagri Beg of the Seljuk empire attacked their capital, still under Togril's rule. However the Ghaznavids managed to check the Seljuks before they could fully overtake the territory.[10] When Ebrahim came to power in 1059, he knew that any sort of challenge to bring back former territories into the fold were impossible, so he didn't try.[10] The idea of a Western Ghaznavid Afghanistan was therefore abandoned. A peace deal was then signed and negotiated with the Seljuks to prevent any more losses of territory.[10]
The Seljuk Empire, and the Ghaznavids, and Byzantines.
The coming of the Ghurids.
Peace:— Consolidating their territories in Eastern Afghanistan, and lands north of India, the empire augmented it's strength, but it should be noted that it was not totally weak.[10] It could have challenged the Seljuks to some serious blows, but it chose not to.[10] The peace brought about from Ebrahims rule lead to marriages of alliance, cementing ties between the two powerful empires.[10] Furthermore, cross border immigration was allowed to flow freely, and trade increased.[10] Peace however, would not last.[10] Ebrahim died in 1099, and a new power rising to the east explosively broke ground in 1148 with a sudden shock, indicating the coming of the Ghurids.[10] Ebrahim's son, Masud III and thereafter his grandsons, Šīrzād, Malek Arslān or Arslānšāh, and Bahrāmšāh, were long charged with the dynasties defence to the ends of their reigns.[10] The Ghaznavids would ultimately lose ground to this new aggressive power, but it did not stop them from raiding deep into India at the same time, as such was the profit to be brought back.[10] Their raids thundered all the way down to the Punjab, Lahore, and beyond; which were in essence fast becoming the only lifeblood of the Ghaznavid dynasty.[10] It became so reliant on the raids for sustenance, that the empire's capital moved ever deeper inland.[10] These raids were also likely expensive in and of themselves, and the empire faced "powerful and resolute Hindu opponents from such dynasties as the Paramāras of Mālwa and the Gāhaḍavalas of Kanawj", but yet they still succeeded[10]
End:— Ultimately when Masud III died in 1115 war erupted between his sons, as to who should take over control of the empire.[10] Finally, with the help of the Seljuks, Bahramsah emerged as the victor in 1117.[10] However this came at a huge cost; the Seljuks demanded heavy tributes, which in effect turned them into nothing more than a vassal state.[10] Furthermore, the Seljuks demanded that he send his own son as a hostage for insurance; sent to the emperor Sanjar's court in Marv.[10] He attempted a rebellion in 1135 but this did not fare well.[10] Still attached to tradition in the meanwhile, he continued raiding India.[10] Eventually, the Ghurids caught up with the Ghaznavids, but it was only through the ill judged actions of the emperor, which provoked their wrath.[10] Bahramshah had captured a Ghurid in 1149 and executed him, which lead to the total sacking of Gazna between 1150—1151.[10] Retreating to India, the emperor would only return when the Ghurids were beaten by the Seljuks.[10] Bahramsah died in 1157, although it is unclear how and the exact date of his death.[10] The Ghaznavids would continue for at least thirty more years but were severely weakened by the Ghurids, Oghuz and the lack of support from the Seljuks, permanently moving their home into the Punjab near Lahore; having lost almost all their historical territory in the east.[10] Multan and Peshawar were then conquered by the same party, and then finally the siege of Lahore began in 1186, crushing them into dust.[10]
Ghaznavid poets.
Sabuktigin, fighting.
Beginnings:— The Ghaznavids were a Turkic Islamic dynasty ruling between 977 and 1186.[10] This civilisation managed to stretch it's empire as far west as Ray and Jebal, near modern day Iran, all the way up to Karazm, to the south in Baluchistan and North-western India.[10] By the end of it's lifespan, the empire was reduced to the state of Punjab (modern day Pakistan, and some parts of India).[10] They were essentially descended from slaves, with the dynasties true birth starting with a Turkic slave soldier of the Samanid Empire, in the middle of the 10th century.[10] Only when the Samanid emperor, Amir Abd-al-Malek died in 961, would Alptigin make for Gazna, following a failed usurpation of his Samanid masters; routing the Lawiks, who had ruled the city long before him.[10] There he mended his ties with the Samanids and became it's vassal, going as far as striking his own coins with the names of their Persian rulers.[10] The fifth commander of Altigin's forces in Gazna, Sabuktagin, then arose into prominance, ruling Gazna for 20 years as the cities "noble commander", laying the foundations of what would become one of the greatest dynasties South Asia would ever know.[10] Fortunately for Sabuktagin, his son Maḥmud was already in the employment of the Samanids in Khurassan, giving them ample opportunity to kill off what was left of this former dynasty, who were crippled by the invasions of the neighbouring Qarakhanids (these very same neighbours would later also prove problematic).[10]
Mahmud, receiving his religious decree as an independent emperor from Al-Qadir.
Raids:— Executing his brother Esmail, and taking control of Gazna for himself, Mahmud proceeded to annex the lands of the south Oxus River.[10] Issuing his ruling by a religious decree from the Caliph of the Abbasids, al-Qader, he was legally allowed to call himself independent, and grant himself royal titles.[10] The most important one of these were the "Yamīn al-Dawla".[10] His next move was to partition the former Samanid territories with the Qarakhanids, thereby cementing his 32-year long rule.[10] A series of invasions, raids and wars increased the prestige of his empire, which was growing militarily strong every day.[10] His military soon became so successful that, as news of his great victories spread, a string of volunteers eager for adventure joined his ranks from across the Eastern Islamic world.[10] These supplementary units complimented the core professional force of soldiers in the employment of the Ghaznavid royalty.[10] Their raids reached as far as the Ganges, and deep into Gwailor at the very heart of India.[10] Victories over Somnath proved immensely profitable, given the treasure trove of bounties found there.[10] His achievements were so brazen that one historian called him the "hammer" of the Hindus, with his exploits reaching as far as Baghdad.[10] However, it should be noted that these were not religious wars, but were entirely secular, mainly for the purposes of accumulating wealth and power, leaving a string of ruling Hindu governors in his place to serve as his vassals.[10]
The Seljuk dynasty would later grow to great proportions.[4]
Peak:— By the end of his life, Mahmud had achieved almost near total domination of Persia and north-western India, having also murdered the Buyid dynasty of Ray (a Shia dynasty), overtaking it in 1029, with the Daylamite and Kurdish princes of northwestern Persia following suit, either bringing them into the fold or killing them.[10] His success saw him thus create "the most powerful and extensive empire known in the Islamic world since the heyday of the Abbasid caliphate".[10] By his death in 1030 however, a more meagre son took charge, Masud I, who truly saw the first struggles of the fledgling empire.[10] His first mistake was to misjudge the military, with his behaviour also irking the army and irritating the civilian government, thereby slowing the machinery of the empire.[10] He was unable to raise taxes, which were the single most pressing issue of his day.[10] Compensating by trying to find a solution, the young emperor raided India and Persia and even personally attacked the Virgin Fortress of Hansi in Delhi in 1037.[10] Open rebellions by what was left of the Buyid dynasty in Persia saw more cracks beginning to appear.[10] Compounding problems further were the Qarakhanids, who began harassing the Ghaznavids from Transoxania.[10] Particular concern were the upper Oxus River, Kottal, and Caganian.[10] By 1034, the worst occurred, with the Ghaznavids losing the territory of Karazm; additionally the rise of the Oguz Turks lead by the Seljuks posed a further problem.[10]
Silver dirhams of Masud I.
Crisis:— Indeed, the latter of these groups was the most threatening, but they are also seen as one of the most important dynasties in the history of early medieval Islam.[10] With their invasions into Transoxania starting in the 11th century, having been employed as auxilliary troops to various kings, emperors, rulers or otherwise, their employment by the Samanids, Qarakhanids, and even the Ghaznavids themselves proved in hindsight, immensely problematic.[10] By Mahmud's reign's end, this mercenary empire were on the very fringes of their territory.[10] Soon enough, they raided towns and cities, looting agricultural lands and destroying the countryside; further disrupting the flow of caravan trade in the Khurasan region.[10] The Ghaznavids were too slow to act, or else powerless to stop them.[10] The worst was yet to come with the city states of Marv, Ray and Nisapur openly welcoming the Oguz Turks between 1036 and 1037, frustrated with the lack of help from the sultan that was supposed to act as their protector.[10] A humiliating battle in 1040 saw the Ghaznavids even lose confidence in themselves.[10] The Seljuks then made a dash for the north of Persia, founding their sultanate, which would grow powerful enough to even challenge the Europeans to the west.[10] Things were so desperate that Masud I even expected to lose Gazna itself, fleeing to India.[10] Before he got there, he was brutally murdered by his own men in 1041, near the crossing of the Indus River.[10]
The Seljuk Empire, and the Ghaznavids, and Byzantines.
Murder:— After his father's death, Mawdud I was next in line to the throne, who took up to eight years to hunt down and murder his father's killers and then stem the flow of the Seljuk raiders of the north.[10] By now the city states of Balk, Herat and Termed were lost to the empire, with Sistan under serious threat of being taken over by the northern Turkic dynasty. Mawdud, by shear will power and military skill ultimately managed to bring stability to Southern Afghanistan which was in the most danger of annexation.[10] Importantly, he continued the raids of his forefathers into India for plunder. Unfortunately, Mawdud was murdered along with his son, Abd-al-Rasid in 1052; betrayed by one of his own trusted commanders, Ṭoḡrïl; who usurped the throne.[10] Mawdud's two other son's Farroḵzād and Ebrāhīm, wrestled his armies for the succession, penultimately winning it for house Ghaznavid for another 40 years.[10] Prior to this, the empire was in serious trouble of breaking apart totally, when the Čagri Beg of the Seljuk empire attacked their capital, still under Togril's rule. However the Ghaznavids managed to check the Seljuks before they could fully overtake the territory.[10] When Ebrahim came to power in 1059, he knew that any sort of challenge to bring back former territories into the fold were impossible, so he didn't try.[10] The idea of a Western Ghaznavid Afghanistan was therefore abandoned. A peace deal was then signed and negotiated with the Seljuks to prevent any more losses of territory.[10]
The coming of the Ghurids.
Peace:— Consolidating their territories in Eastern Afghanistan, and lands north of India, the empire augmented it's strength, but it should be noted that it was not totally weak.[10] It could have challenged the Seljuks to some serious blows, but it chose not to.[10] The peace brought about from Ebrahims rule lead to marriages of alliance, cementing ties between the two powerful empires.[10] Furthermore, cross border immigration was allowed to flow freely, and trade increased.[10] Peace however, would not last.[10] Ebrahim died in 1099, and a new power rising to the east explosively broke ground in 1148 with a sudden shock, indicating the coming of the Ghurids.[10] Ebrahim's son, Masud III and thereafter his grandsons, Šīrzād, Malek Arslān or Arslānšāh, and Bahrāmšāh, were long charged with the dynasties defence to the ends of their reigns.[10] The Ghaznavids would ultimately lose ground to this new aggressive power, but it did not stop them from raiding deep into India at the same time, as such was the profit to be brought back.[10] Their raids thundered all the way down to the Punjab, Lahore, and beyond; which were in essence fast becoming the only lifeblood of the Ghaznavid dynasty.[10] It became so reliant on the raids for sustenance, that the empire's capital moved ever deeper inland.[10] These raids were also likely expensive in and of themselves, and the empire faced "powerful and resolute Hindu opponents from such dynasties as the Paramāras of Mālwa and the Gāhaḍavalas of Kanawj", but yet they still succeeded[10]
Ghaznavid poets.
End:— Ultimately when Masud III died in 1115 war erupted between his sons, as to who should take over control of the empire.[10] Finally, with the help of the Seljuks, Bahramsah emerged as the victor in 1117.[10] However this came at a huge cost; the Seljuks demanded heavy tributes, which in effect turned them into nothing more than a vassal state.[10] Furthermore, the Seljuks demanded that he send his own son as a hostage for insurance; sent to the emperor Sanjar's court in Marv.[10] He attempted a rebellion in 1135 but this did not fare well.[10] Still attached to tradition in the meanwhile, he continued raiding India.[10] Eventually, the Ghurids caught up with the Ghaznavids, but it was only through the ill judged actions of the emperor, which provoked their wrath.[10] Bahramshah had captured a Ghurid in 1149 and executed him, which lead to the total sacking of Gazna between 1150—1151.[10] Retreating to India, the emperor would only return when the Ghurids were beaten by the Seljuks.[10] Bahramsah died in 1157, although it is unclear how and the exact date of his death.[10] The Ghaznavids would continue for at least thirty more years but were severely weakened by the Ghurids, Oghuz and the lack of support from the Seljuks, permanently moving their home into the Punjab near Lahore; having lost almost all their historical territory in the east.[10] Multan and Peshawar were then conquered by the same party, and then finally the siege of Lahore began in 1186, crushing them into dust.[10]

ARCHITECTURE

The "Towers of Victory", Ghazni, Afghanistan.
Towers of Victory:— Very few of the buildings constructed by the Ghaznavids remain intact today; there only exists two buildings that have survived since the 12th century, which are the "Towers of Victory".[11] These two towers are 600 meters apart and were built separately, first by Mas'ud III (c. 1099—1114) and then Bahramshah (c. 1118—1152).[11] They can be found east of Ghazni, close to the palace of Masud III.[11] These buildings were built from fire baked mud bricks, fastened with geometric terracotta decoration designs, along with Kufic script spread sparsely apart.[11] These leave a legacy of a story of the titles of the rulers, coupled with the Qu'ranic surah of victory.[11] At a height of twenty meters, these towers stand tall, but notably this isn't their true height; having been left shaken by earthquakes; the most significant one being from the early 20th century, where some of the towers floors have been ripped off.[11] These towers remained significant for later empires and dynasties who took inspiration and built their own.[11] The Ghurids, for instance, built the tower of Jam in Afghanistan, and there also exists the Qutb Minar found in Delhi, India.[11] The only reason why these structures exist and nothing else is down to the fact that the city of Ghazni was burned down by the "World Burner" (Allauddin Ghori);[12] further dealt a blow when the Mongols destroyed what was left in 1221.[12][13] However weather now seriously threatens the towers' existence.[13]
Wall Paintings:— Despite the wanton destruction of the empire's cities, a lot is known about how the Ghaznavids saw their empire.[14] Wall paintings were the single most significant aspect of Ghaznavid architectural culture.[14] At the palace of Balkh for instance they decorated the walls with illustrious scenes from Mahmud's reign; including battles, large feasts, which became "staples" of Islamic royal art; allegedly inherited from the Sassanian tradition.[14] Mahmud's son even decorated the walls of his Herat palace with erotic sexualised paintings.[14] A fresco discovered later illustrated forty-four life sized paintings of the Turkish Guard, who wore richly coloured robes.[14] These were found in the South Palace at the Lashkari Bazaar, which provided the first physical evidence of elaborate wall paintings used in the Ghaznavid court.[14] Interestingly, the oldest visibly Islamic building in Afghanistan is the Abbasid Mosque, built in the 9th century at Balkh.[15] There also exists, Qanats and Kariz's, which are irrigation works, which had been constructed by the more wealthier demographic of the empire; the Sultans were also responsible for hydraulic constructions of such irrigation systems,[16] which still exist today. The cataloguing of these buildings, and serious study into the art only took root in the West at the beginning of the 19th century.[17] This was coincidentally the same time the Ummayyad, Mamluk, and Nasrid architecture were being studied.[17] Tragically, some of the architecture was ripped apart and looted, such as the alleged "Somnath gates".[17]
Wall paintings of the Turkish Guard, Lashkari Bazaar, Afghanistan.
The "Towers of Victory", Ghazni, Afghanistan.
Towers of Victory:— Very few of the buildings constructed by the Ghaznavids remain intact today; there only exists two buildings that have survived since the 12th century, which are the "Towers of Victory".[11] These two towers are 600 meters apart and were built separately, first by Mas'ud III (c. 1099—1114) and then Bahramshah (c. 1118—1152).[11] They can be found east of Ghazni, close to the palace of Masud III.[11] These buildings were built from fire baked mud bricks, fastened with geometric terracotta decoration designs, along with Kufic script spread sparsely apart.[11] These leave a legacy of a story of the titles of the rulers, coupled with the Qu'ranic surah of victory.[11] At a height of twenty meters, these towers stand tall, but notably this isn't their true height; having been left shaken by earthquakes; the most significant one being from the early 20th century, where some of the towers floors have been ripped off.[11] These towers remained significant for later empires and dynasties who took inspiration and built their own.[11] The Ghurids, for instance, built the tower of Jam in Afghanistan, and there also exists the Qutb Minar found in Delhi, India.[11] The only reason why these structures exist and nothing else is down to the fact that the city of Ghazni was burned down by the "World Burner" (Allauddin Ghori);[12] further dealt a blow when the Mongols destroyed what was left in 1221.[12][13] However weather now seriously threatens the towers' existence.[13]
Wall paintings of the Turkish Guard, Lashkari Bazaar, Afghanistan.
Wall Paintings:— Despite the wanton destruction of the empire's cities, a lot is known about how the Ghaznavids saw their empire.[14] Wall paintings were the single most significant aspect of Ghaznavid architectural culture.[14] At the palace of Balkh for instance they decorated the walls with illustrious scenes from Mahmud's reign; including battles, large feasts, which became "staples" of Islamic royal art; allegedly inherited from the Sassanian tradition.[14] Mahmud's son even decorated the walls of his Herat palace with erotic sexualised paintings.[14] A fresco discovered later illustrated forty-four life sized paintings of the Turkish Guard, who wore richly coloured robes.[14] These were found in the South Palace at the Lashkari Bazaar, which provided the first physical evidence of elaborate wall paintings used in the Ghaznavid court.[14] Interestingly, the oldest visibly Islamic building in Afghanistan is the Abbasid Mosque, built in the 9th century at Balkh.[15] There also exists, Qanats and Kariz's, which are irrigation works, which had been constructed by the more wealthier demographic of the empire; the Sultans were also responsible for hydraulic constructions of such irrigation systems,[16] which still exist today. The cataloguing of these buildings, and serious study into the art only took root in the West at the beginning of the 19th century.[17] This was coincidentally the same time the Ummayyad, Mamluk, and Nasrid architecture were being studied.[17] Tragically, some of the architecture was ripped apart and looted, such as the alleged "Somnath gates".[17]

RELIGION

Ghaznavid citadel entrance.
Religion:— The emperors of the Ghaznavid empire was Muslim, having a strong sense of orthodox Sunni (Hanafi) Islam.[10] It was known that they had had a disdain for neighbouring Shia dynasties, although discrimination against them within the empire does not seem to have been a problem, given the fact that there are no records of significant persecution of minorities.[10] Mahmud, the most famous of it's emperors was very adament in opening up relations with the Abbasid dynasty, which largely worked to his favour in terms of military recruitment.[10] In this way he was able to his authority with the blessings of a foreign and more respected empire which actually had a caliph.[10] Friction between the Samanids and the caliphs were exploited; the crowning of Mahmud for instance by al Qader in Khurasan was done in spite of the fact that the Ghaznavids rivals recognized a different caliphical authority, in that of al Tae.[10] Additionally the caliphs recieved gifts from the empire, some of which came from the expeditions into India.[10] He was also at pains to condemn the "Ismaʿilis of Multan and the Shiʿites and Muʿtazilites of Ray".[10] Mahmud was so loyal that he had claimed he was going to lead a crusade against the Fatimads in Egypt and Syria.[10] When the Seljuks came to power, this special relationship drew further apart.[10] This probably continued the further weakening of the empire, which became more and more isolated from Baghdad, culminating into an ultimate loss of contact.[10]
Ghaznavid citadel entrance.
Religion:— The emperors of the Ghaznavid empire was Muslim, having a strong sense of orthodox Sunni (Hanafi) Islam.[10] It was known that they had had a disdain for neighbouring Shia dynasties, although discrimination against them within the empire does not seem to have been a problem, given the fact that there are no records of significant persecution of minorities.[10] Mahmud, the most famous of it's emperors was very adament in opening up relations with the Abbasid dynasty, which largely worked to his favour in terms of military recruitment.[10] In this way he was able to his authority with the blessings of a foreign and more respected empire which actually had a caliph.[10] Friction between the Samanids and the caliphs were exploited; the crowning of Mahmud for instance by al Qader in Khurasan was done in spite of the fact that the Ghaznavids rivals recognized a different caliphical authority, in that of al Tae.[10] Additionally the caliphs recieved gifts from the empire, some of which came from the expeditions into India.[10] He was also at pains to condemn the "Ismaʿilis of Multan and the Shiʿites and Muʿtazilites of Ray".[10] Mahmud was so loyal that he had claimed he was going to lead a crusade against the Fatimads in Egypt and Syria.[10] When the Seljuks came to power, this special relationship drew further apart.[10] This probably continued the further weakening of the empire, which became more and more isolated from Baghdad, culminating into an ultimate loss of contact.[10]

ECONOMY

Khurassan:— The 9th and 10th century writings of explorers such as Khurdabih, Istakhari, and Maqdisi give an important insight into the state of Khurasan when it was first brought under the control of the Ghaznavid Empire.[18] Later accounts in the 13th—14th centuries attributed to further explorers such as Yaqut, Mustafi and Battuta further amplify these historical evidences.[18] According to modern historians the city in the early 11th century was "undoubtedly an important agricultural region owing largely to human ingenuity and labour".[18] Khurasan is naturally a desert if left on it's own, and only recieves around twenty five centimeters of rainful annually.[18] As a result, inhabitants made use of "snow-fed streams and and springs", where "water was drawn from elevated points into underground channels connected by wells, until it came to the surface to irrigate the fields". Such contraptions were known as "qanat" or "kariz" and are said to have been well documented by geographers.[18] Canals were also "drawn from rivers" to the plains where "both rivers and canals had dams and barrages built across them to provide irrigation through distributaries".[18] Such ingenuity allowed for a diverse number of crops to be grown, including "corn (wheat, barley), rice,[n. 1] cotton, flax, vine, sesame, saffron, asafoetida" and numerous others.[18] The Ghaznavids are also said to have "established"[n. 2] sericulture by the start of the 11th century.[18] Technoligical advancements were also made; the use of horizontal, ungeared, water mills is particularly notable.[18] Small and mid size rivers were also described in terms of the number of mills a river could drive at a single point.[18] The worlds first windmills[n. 3] were also constructed in Sistan; said to have been a "remarkable act of indigenous innovativeness".[18]

The Ghaznavids invented the windmill.[n. 4]
Mining was a large economic driver.

Mining was also a hallmark of Khurasanian culture, where extensive operations were undertaken, unsurprising "when one considers it's mountaneous terrain rich in ores".[18] Precious stones were mined throughout the region, including balas rubies which "were obtained in the Pamirs", situated in the north of the Oxus River, and near Badakhshan, where in the latter region, lapis lazuli was also mined.[18] The brilliantly-blue mineral was also mined in Nishapur which was "the principle seat of Ghaznivid Khurasan".[18] Along with this, iron was also extensively obtained where ironware was reputedly manufactured near this important seat of power.[18] Sources also mention gold being regularly collected but historians claim this was "probably confined to dust collected from streams".[18] However there were larger and greater mines of silver near Parwan, which was located in Panjshir valley situated north of Kabul.[18] An account by the explorer Ibn Hauqal reported that there were around 10,000 miners in these areas under employment of the empire, though they were said to have been "unruly" employees.[18] Because of this, perhaps, the Ghaznavids also constructed a mint in Andarab, where it's bulllion was "supplied by the Panjshir mines" in order to be kept safe.[18] Another explorer, Nasir Khusrau, who's explorations lasted from 1045 to 1052 described Nishapur as being inhabited by a population of no less a "fifth of Cairo", which historians extrapolated to mean that the city contained no more than 40,000 inhabitants.[18]

North India:— The agricultural economy in Ghaznivid India[n. 5] relied predominantly on seasonal flooding;[18] where wheat and sugarcane was often cultivated, along with costus and canes being one of their major exports.[18] Northern India thus represented a large part of the empire's farming economy.[n. 6][18] In the nearby deserts nomads would also raise camels for animal husbandry which would frequently be "exported to Khurasan for cross breeding with Bactrian camels" in order to produce stronger breeds. Historians have noted that the "increasing use of this hardy animal" gave "fresh impetus to commerce" where "pastorialism and sedentary communities complemented each other" in their respective economic spheres.[18] In addition minted silver coins from as far "Egypt, Samarqand and Merv" have been found to have been traded here, evidence of which has largely come from excavations in the Banbohr region, as well as Mansura.[18] There is also much evidence supporting the fact that local economies across the Thar desert, where the Hindu empires lay, were strengthened through coin trade with the Ghaznivids.[18] Small "hoards" of silver dirhams for instance from "10th century amirs" have been discovered across regions such Rajasthan and south-eastern Saurashtra, where Muslims were providing their neighbors with money, suggesting "brisk commerce" was conducted between them.[18] Two ports are also thought to have existed in northern India.[18] Currently only one of these has been confirmed through archaeological evidence, but it is known that one was in severe decline whilst the other is thought to have prospered. The downfall of this port did not however negatively affect economic growth overall for the empire.[18]

11th Century Silver Dirham (Pakistan).[n. 7]
Mahmud of Ghazni crossing the Ganges River (1305—1314),[19] in preparation for a raid into India; which was much more profitable than the slow and steady coin trade.[n. 8]

Lahore was a city predominantly populated most probably by Hindus, before the Ghaznavids arrived.[n. 9][18] with chronicles suggesting that these people were found in the "markets and idol-temples", though they were ruled by Muslims.[18] The Amir of Multan for instance, allegiance lay to the Fatimids.[18] By 1021 the Ghaznivids had conquered it under the leadership of Mahmud of Ghazni, with trade ties strengthening over time after the wars initial chaos.[18] Mahmud's invasion was so brazen that the Hindus were said to have "scattered like atoms of dust"; with the Muslim "[e]mirates" of Multan and Mansura suffering a similar fate.[18] Mansura however, unlike Multan, never recovered from it's sacking and the city's power and prestige eventually went extinct thereafter.[18] However the silver trade still flourished, and is of particular importance.[18] Silver obtained from Panjshir mines was often coined at Waihind, then sent to the Sind, and then it was to be re-coined for use across the Thar desert.[18] Multan was crucial to this trade as it attracted merchants from across the city.[18] These merchants were Hindus in religion and spoke Persian, Sindi, as well as the "local dialect", some of who's trade involved ivory and copper-smithing.[18] However, the Ghaznivids were more concerned with conquering richer areas for their wealth in order to fill their treasury and run their empire.[18]

The Ghaznavids invented the windmill.[n. 10]

Khurassan:— The 9th and 10th century writings of explorers such as Khurdabih, Istakhari, and Maqdisi give an important insight into the state of Khurasan when it was first brought under the control of the Ghaznavid Empire.[18] Later accounts in the 13th—14th centuries attributed to further explorers such as Yaqut, Mustafi and Battuta further amplify these historical evidences.[18] According to modern historians the city in the early 11th century was "undoubtedly an important agricultural region owing largely to human ingenuity and labour".[18] Khurasan is naturally a desert if left on it's own, and only recieves around twenty five centimeters of rainful annually.[18] As a result, inhabitants made use of "snow-fed streams and and springs", where "water was drawn from elevated points into underground channels connected by wells, until it came to the surface to irrigate the fields". Such contraptions were known as "qanat" or "kariz" and are said to have been well documented by geographers.[18] Canals were also "drawn from rivers" to the plains where "both rivers and canals had dams and barrages built across them to provide irrigation through distributaries".[18] Such ingenuity allowed for a diverse number of crops to be grown, including "corn (wheat, barley), rice,[n. 11] cotton, flax, vine, sesame, saffron, asafoetida" and numerous others.[18] The Ghaznavids are also said to have "established"[n. 12] sericulture by the start of the 11th century.[18] Technoligical advancements were also made; the use of horizontal, ungeared, water mills is particularly notable.[18] Small and mid size rivers were also described in terms of the number of mills a river could drive at a single point.[18] The worlds first windmills[n. 13] were also constructed in Sistan; said to have been a "remarkable act of indigenous innovativeness".[18]

Mining was a large economic driver.

Mining was also a hallmark of Khurasanian culture, where extensive operations were undertaken, unsurprising "when one considers it's mountaneous terrain rich in ores".[18] Precious stones were mined throughout the region, including balas rubies which "were obtained in the Pamirs", situated in the north of the Oxus River, and near Badakhshan, where in the latter region, lapis lazuli was also mined.[18] The brilliantly-blue mineral was also mined in Nishapur which was "the principle seat of Ghaznivid Khurasan".[18] Along with this, iron was also extensively obtained where ironware was reputedly manufactured near this important seat of power.[18] Sources also mention gold being regularly collected but historians claim this was "probably confined to dust collected from streams".[18] However there were larger and greater mines of silver near Parwan, which was located in Panjshir valley situated north of Kabul.[18] An account by the explorer Ibn Hauqal reported that there were around 10,000 miners in these areas under employment of the empire, though they were said to have been "unruly" employees.[18] Because of this, perhaps, the Ghaznavids also constructed a mint in Andarab, where it's bulllion was "supplied by the Panjshir mines" in order to be kept safe.[18] Another explorer, Nasir Khusrau, who's explorations lasted from 1045 to 1052 described Nishapur as being inhabited by a population of no less a "fifth of Cairo", which historians extrapolated to mean that the city contained no more than 40,000 inhabitants.[18]

11th Century Silver Dirham (Pakistan).[n. 14]

North India:— The agricultural economy in Ghaznivid India[n. 15] relied predominantly on seasonal flooding;[18] where wheat and sugarcane was often cultivated, along with costus and canes being one of their major exports.[18] Northern India thus represented a large part of the empire's farming economy.[n. 16][18] In the nearby deserts nomads would also raise camels for animal husbandry which would frequently be "exported to Khurasan for cross breeding with Bactrian camels" in order to produce stronger breeds. Historians have noted that the "increasing use of this hardy animal" gave "fresh impetus to commerce" where "pastorialism and sedentary communities complemented each other" in their respective economic spheres.[18] In addition minted silver coins from as far "Egypt, Samarqand and Merv" have been found to have been traded here, evidence of which has largely come from excavations in the Banbohr region, as well as Mansura.[18] There is also much evidence supporting the fact that local economies across the Thar desert, where the Hindu empires lay, were strengthened through coin trade with the Ghaznivids.[18] Small "hoards" of silver dirhams for instance from "10th century amirs" have been discovered across regions such Rajasthan and south-eastern Saurashtra, where Muslims were providing their neighbors with money, suggesting "brisk commerce" was conducted between them.[18] Two ports are also thought to have existed in northern India.[18] Currently only one of these has been confirmed through archaeological evidence, but it is known that one was in severe decline whilst the other is thought to have prospered. The downfall of this port did not however negatively affect economic growth overall for the empire.[18]

Mahmud of Ghazni crossing the Ganges River (1305—1314),[19] in preparation for a raid into India; which was much more profitable than the slow and steady coin trade.[n. 17]

Lahore was a city predominantly populated most probably by Hindus, before the Ghaznavids arrived.[n. 18][18] with chronicles suggesting that these people were found in the "markets and idol-temples", though they were ruled by Muslims.[18] The Amir of Multan for instance, allegiance lay to the Fatimids.[18] By 1021 the Ghaznivids had conquered it under the leadership of Mahmud of Ghazni, with trade ties strengthening over time after the wars initial chaos.[18] Mahmud's invasion was so brazen that the Hindus were said to have "scattered like atoms of dust"; with the Muslim "[e]mirates" of Multan and Mansura suffering a similar fate.[18] Mansura however, unlike Multan, never recovered from it's sacking and the city's power and prestige eventually went extinct thereafter.[18] However the silver trade still flourished, and is of particular importance.[18] Silver obtained from Panjshir mines was often coined at Waihind, then sent to the Sind, and then it was to be re-coined for use across the Thar desert.[18] Multan was crucial to this trade as it attracted merchants from across the city.[18] These merchants were Hindus in religion and spoke Persian, Sindi, as well as the "local dialect", some of who's trade involved ivory and copper-smithing.[18] However, the Ghaznivids were more concerned with conquering richer areas for their wealth in order to fill their treasury and run their empire.[18]

COINS

MILITARY

Prowess:— The prowess of the Ghaznavid military is illustrated through one particular battle; that of Lamghan, fought between 989[28][29] and 991[30] against an allied Hindu Rajput alliance consisting of the Rajas of the Panjab, Delhi, Kanauj and Kalanjar.[31][30] The battle was a humiliating defeat for the Hindus as Sabuktagin's army was vastly inferior[30] to that of the Rajputs[n. 19] who amounted to 100,000 horse,[31][30] countless war elephants,[31][30], and "inumerbale" foot soldiers;[30] commandeered to defeat by Jaipal I, Chief of the Panjab.[31] The battle was fought near Lamghan (Jalalabad[30]) where the Rajputs "proved themselves very inferior" in battle.[31] Sabuktagin was able to win by directing his cavalry to attack the very center of the enormous Hindu force,[31] where "from this time the Hindus drew in their tails".[30] The Muslims in contrast were a "devoted band of warriors consecrated to the support of a common cause...accustomed to exertion".[31] Sabuktagins army also carried with them more advanced weaponry unlike the Rajputs.[31] However some Indian historians claim a "furious thunderstorm"[32] (in 1959 it was claimed a "snow storm"[33]) caused Sabuktagin to win;[n. 20] however there are no sources in existence that document such an event.[34] On the contrary historians have noted that "no work deserving the name of History can be said to exist among the Hindus", and that "[i]t is here Sanskrit grants and Mohammedan annals come to our aid in discovering truth".[34][n. 21]

Old Afghan Armour of the Ghaznivids (Vol. 3; "Medieval India..." (Stanley Lane-Poole).
The Ghaznavids raiding a castle under siege. The raids were a means of survival for the empire, as it filled their treasuries.
War Beasts:— The Ghaznavids only used small military forces in warfare.[35] It is notable that when the Ghaznavids would raid India,[n. 22] they would take the Hindu chieftains as tributaries, thereby indirectly ruling them.[35] This was later carried onto the Seljuk Turks.[35] Recruitment was largely based on gathering men from the border regions of the empire, especially those that belonged to the nomad class of Turks, who had moved in from the Upper Oxus River in the earlier stages of it's life.[36] The Ghaznavids also made it a point to recruit multi-ethnic armies, in order to diversify them; recruits therefore came from Afghan, Oghuz Turk, Khalaj and Hindu tribes, as well as the from the Dailamites of the Caspian Sea.[n. 23][36] These latter units were famous infantry soldiers who used two spears in battle, which were usually thrown at their enemy.[36] Arabs were also recruited as they were considered good skirmishers and raiders.[36][n. 24] The empire also maintained a standing army, something which the Sassanian Persians never had had; mainly for the purposes of siege warfare.[36] Distant wars and battles often used mounted infantry, including mounted camels, often only used as transport before dismounting and fighting from.[36] The actual horses that were recruited were hunted down and domesticated from their native Suleiman Mountains, found west of the Indus River, and the Upper Oxus River, and raised in the pastures of Guzgan, Gharchistan, Tukharistan, Khuttal and Chaghaniyan.[36]
Total Size:— Overall, the military of the Ghaznavids was always generally very small; in Khurasan alone, an important economic center, only 20,000 troops were stationed to defend the city.[37] Overall, the total combined forces that the Ghaznavids were capable of raising were 30,000 troops.[38] This included the Ghulam troops, who were an elite palace guard corps made up of 4,000—6,000 cavalry.[38] The standing army was therefore made up of 24,000—26,000 soldiers.[38] The cavalry would have been armed with bows, maces, battleaxes, lances, and curved swords.[38] Additionally, in eastern Iran, in the 12th century, mounted soldiers wore normal armour coats, which had had a long skirt attached to them, hampering dismounting.[39] Horse armour was also used, but was not popular amongst troops, who actually used it for elephants.[39] Elephant armour covered the entire body of the animal, except it's underbelly, which probably wasn't considered vulnerable.[39] The animals also wore metal head pieces known as the "ayina-ye pil", which not only were used for protection but also had the additional functions of being used in charges to tear down enemies or clanged to instil fear in the opposing army.[39] The depictions of elephants was an important way of showing off royal power and prestige between the 11th—12th centuries.[40] Elephants shown on the textile fragments from the St. Josse Shroud, made for the governor of Khurasan for instance, represents power and independence.[40]
The St. Josse Shroud (961), an Islamic shroud, depicting the prestige of elephants. It was looted by the crusaders and ended up in France.[41][42][43]
Old Afghan Armour of the Ghaznivids (Vol. 3; "Medieval India..." (Stanley Lane-Poole).

Prowess:— The prowess of the Ghaznavid military is illustrated through one particular battle; that of Lamghan, fought between 989[28][29] and 991[30] against an allied Hindu Rajput alliance consisting of the Rajas of the Panjab, Delhi, Kanauj and Kalanjar.[31][30] The battle was a humiliating defeat for the Hindus as Sabuktagin's army was vastly inferior[30] to that of the Rajputs[n. 25] who amounted to 100,000 horse,[31][30] countless war elephants,[31][30], and "inumerbale" foot soldiers;[30] commandeered to defeat by Jaipal I, Chief of the Panjab.[31] The battle was fought near Lamghan (Jalalabad[30]) where the Rajputs "proved themselves very inferior" in battle.[31] Sabuktagin was able to win by directing his cavalry to attack the very center of the enormous Hindu force,[31] where "from this time the Hindus drew in their tails".[30] The Muslims in contrast were a "devoted band of warriors consecrated to the support of a common cause...accustomed to exertion".[31] Sabuktagins army also carried with them more advanced weaponry unlike the Rajputs.[31] However some Indian historians claim a "furious thunderstorm"[32] (in 1959 it was claimed a "snow storm"[33]) caused Sabuktagin to win;[n. 26] however there are no sources in existence that document such an event.[34] On the contrary historians have noted that "no work deserving the name of History can be said to exist among the Hindus", and that "[i]t is here Sanskrit grants and Mohammedan annals come to our aid in discovering truth".[34][n. 27]

The Ghaznavids raiding a castle under siege. The raids were a means of survival for the empire, as it filled their treasuries.
War Beasts:— The Ghaznavids only used small military forces in warfare.[35] It is notable that when the Ghaznavids would raid India,[n. 28] they would take the Hindu chieftains as tributaries, thereby indirectly ruling them.[35] This was later carried onto the Seljuk Turks.[35] Recruitment was largely based on gathering men from the border regions of the empire, especially those that belonged to the nomad class of Turks, who had moved in from the Upper Oxus River in the earlier stages of it's life.[36] The Ghaznavids also made it a point to recruit multi-ethnic armies, in order to diversify them; recruits therefore came from Afghan, Oghuz Turk, Khalaj and Hindu tribes, as well as the from the Dailamites of the Caspian Sea.[n. 29][36] These latter units were famous infantry soldiers who used two spears in battle, which were usually thrown at their enemy.[36] Arabs were also recruited as they were considered good skirmishers and raiders.[36][n. 30] The empire also maintained a standing army, something which the Sassanian Persians never had had; mainly for the purposes of siege warfare.[36] Distant wars and battles often used mounted infantry, including mounted camels, often only used as transport before dismounting and fighting from.[36] The actual horses that were recruited were hunted down and domesticated from their native Suleiman Mountains, found west of the Indus River, and the Upper Oxus River, and raised in the pastures of Guzgan, Gharchistan, Tukharistan, Khuttal and Chaghaniyan.[36]
The St. Josse Shroud (961), an Islamic shroud, depicting the prestige of elephants. It was looted by the crusaders and ended up in France.[41][42][43]
Total Size:— Overall, the military of the Ghaznavids was always generally very small; in Khurasan alone, an important economic center, only 20,000 troops were stationed to defend the city.[37] Overall, the total combined forces that the Ghaznavids were capable of raising were 30,000 troops.[38] This included the Ghulam troops, who were an elite palace guard corps made up of 4,000—6,000 cavalry.[38] The standing army was therefore made up of 24,000—26,000 soldiers.[38] The cavalry would have been armed with bows, maces, battleaxes, lances, and curved swords.[38] Additionally, in eastern Iran, in the 12th century, mounted soldiers wore normal armour coats, which had had a long skirt attached to them, hampering dismounting.[39] Horse armour was also used, but was not popular amongst troops, who actually used it for elephants.[39] Elephant armour covered the entire body of the animal, except it's underbelly, which probably wasn't considered vulnerable.[39] The animals also wore metal head pieces known as the "ayina-ye pil", which not only were used for protection but also had the additional functions of being used in charges to tear down enemies or clanged to instil fear in the opposing army.[39] The depictions of elephants was an important way of showing off royal power and prestige between the 11th—12th centuries.[40] Elephants shown on the textile fragments from the St. Josse Shroud, made for the governor of Khurasan for instance, represents power and independence.[40]

TECHNOLOGY

War elephants in Persian South Asia.
Inventions:— The Ghaznavids were creative when it came to use of technology, particularly when it came to agriculture and warfare, although the latter is not well documented, and only sparse details are available. There was also some resistance to the adoption of certain technologies, especially when it came to those made by non-Muslims or suspected to have been made by non-Muslims.[44] The best example of this was when a Muslim who had invented a device to calculate time during the day and night were rejected by the imam of Ghazni, as he refused to believe it was the invention of a Muslim.[44] That Muslim was Biruni, who became so enraged that his device was rejected on this assumption that he shouted down the imam of Ghazni by saying "[i]t is an idiot who does not allow the use of scientific inventions because they have been handed down to us by strangers. The Greeks walk and eat like us. So it is necessary for us to give up walking or eating because the Greeks do the same thing(?)".[44] Other inventions include those for war machines, for instance one of the most creative was from a description written on "five elephants [that were] fitted with rams and battering equipment for use against walls and buildings", strongly implying that one of the beasts would push and pull the ram that was hung between the other four armoured war beasts.[45] These four war elephants would stand outside spiked gates while the mounted mahout directed the swinging from the main beast.[45]
The Windmill:— Perhaps the most significant invention that the Ghaznavids left the world were windmills, which were used to crush grain in order to create bread and other foodstuffs. According to scientists at NASA and Cornell University, "the earliest mentions of the use of wind power come from the East: India, Tibet, Afghanistan, Persia. Ancient manuscripts, however, have often suffered from mistranslations, revisions, and interpolations by other hands over the centuries. In some, even diagrams were changed to suit the whims of revisionists, and there are instances of forgeries. Drachman (1961), Needham (1965), Vowles (1930) and White (1962) all cite examples of these abberrations. Marie Boas provides a good illustration of the treatment a manuscript can undergo in her detailed monograph, "Hero's Pneumatica-A Study of its Transmission and Influence" (1949)...Mentioning the Boas monograph is apposite here because of the well-known ascription of the invention of the windmill to Heron (a variant of Hero) of Alexandria, by virtue of his account of it as one of the many devices in his Pnuematica of 2000 years ago. This ascription is now discounted by most authorities in varying degrees, ranging from outright rejection, though wistful reluctance to relinquish the idea, to acceptance as only a toy.";[46] with credit going to the Ghaznavids.[n. 31] The Europeans would later build upon the foundations left by Muslim scientists and develop the windmill further.[46]
Windmills were invented in Sistan, under the Ghaznavids.[47] They are also credited with invented the Tidal Mill, which uses water.[48]
War elephants in Persian South Asia.
Inventions:— The Ghaznavids were creative when it came to use of technology, particularly when it came to agriculture and warfare, although the latter is not well documented, and only sparse details are available. There was also some resistance to the adoption of certain technologies, especially when it came to those made by non-Muslims or suspected to have been made by non-Muslims.[44] The best example of this was when a Muslim who had invented a device to calculate time during the day and night were rejected by the imam of Ghazni, as he refused to believe it was the invention of a Muslim.[44] That Muslim was Biruni, who became so enraged that his device was rejected on this assumption that he shouted down the imam of Ghazni by saying "[i]t is an idiot who does not allow the use of scientific inventions because they have been handed down to us by strangers. The Greeks walk and eat like us. So it is necessary for us to give up walking or eating because the Greeks do the same thing(?)".[44] Other inventions include those for war machines, for instance one of the most creative was from a description written on "five elephants [that were] fitted with rams and battering equipment for use against walls and buildings", strongly implying that one of the beasts would push and pull the ram that was hung between the other four armoured war beasts.[45] These four war elephants would stand outside spiked gates while the mounted mahout directed the swinging from the main beast.[45]
Windmills were invented in Sistan, under the Ghaznavids.[47] They are also credited with invented the Tidal Mill, which uses water.[48]
The Windmill:— Perhaps the most significant invention that the Ghaznavids left the world were windmills, which were used to crush grain in order to create bread and other foodstuffs. According to scientists at NASA and Cornell University, "the earliest mentions of the use of wind power come from the East: India, Tibet, Afghanistan, Persia. Ancient manuscripts, however, have often suffered from mistranslations, revisions, and interpolations by other hands over the centuries. In some, even diagrams were changed to suit the whims of revisionists, and there are instances of forgeries. Drachman (1961), Needham (1965), Vowles (1930) and White (1962) all cite examples of these abberrations. Marie Boas provides a good illustration of the treatment a manuscript can undergo in her detailed monograph, "Hero's Pneumatica-A Study of its Transmission and Influence" (1949)...Mentioning the Boas monograph is apposite here because of the well-known ascription of the invention of the windmill to Heron (a variant of Hero) of Alexandria, by virtue of his account of it as one of the many devices in his Pnuematica of 2000 years ago. This ascription is now discounted by most authorities in varying degrees, ranging from outright rejection, though wistful reluctance to relinquish the idea, to acceptance as only a toy.";[46] with credit going to the Ghaznavids.[n. 32] The Europeans would later build upon the foundations left by Muslim scientists and develop the windmill further.[46]

CARTOGRAPHY

SOURCES

Footnotes

  1. ^ Rice in particular is a notable feature in these sources, as it was not thought it could grow in such a region in pre-Islamic times.
  2. ^ Though it was introduced only in the late Sasanian period
  3. ^ European historians have traditionally, falsely and deliberately claimed that the Windmill was invented in Greece by Heron, however Professor Dennis G Shepherd of Cornell university has noted that this perception was eradicated by modern 21st Century historians who do not now take the claim seriously.
    1. Shepherd, Dennis G (December 1990). Historical Development of the Windmill. Cornell University. Ithaca, New York. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (from National Wind Technology Center's Information Portal, part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Pg. 4-6. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
    2. Trudy Ring; Robert M. Salkin; Sharon La Boda (January 1996). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania. Taylor & Francis. p. 333. ISBN 978-1-884964-04-6.
    Quote: "Ancient manuscripts, however, have often suffered from mistranslations, revisions, and interpolations by other hands over the centuries. In some, even diagrams were changed to suit the whims of the revisionists, and there are instances of forgeries...Mentioning the Boas monograph is apposite here because of the well known ascription of the invention of the windmill to Heron of Alexandria by virtue of his account of it as one of the many devices in his pnuematica 2000 years ago. This ascription is now discounted by most authorities in varying defrees ranging from outright rejection through wistful reluctance to relinquish the idea, to acceptance as only a toy." (Pg. 4); and further that "Thus Herons work might have stimulated the use of wind power in the Islamic world, but there is no hard evidence to substantiate that". (Pg. 6) (D.G. Shepherd) Windmills are also said to have been invented in Herat according to Trudy Ring Robert M. Salkin and Sharon La Boda.
  4. ^
    1. Shepherd, Dennis G (December 1990). Historical Development of the Windmill. Cornell University. Ithaca, New York. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Pg. 7. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
    2. [1]
  5. ^ There are several primary and secondary sources available on the Ghaznivid rule of Norther India, namely from Khurdazbih, Istakhari, Mas'udi, Hauqal, Alberuni, and the Hududu'l'Alam. SEE ref name="EHMI"
  6. ^ given how many villages were cited in the sources 300,000, thought however an exaggeration, in Mansura alone SEE ref name="EHMI" which even mention Southern Punjab, however it being said to have been less fertile than the Sindh
  7. ^ Ruler and dates: Abu’l-Qasim Mahmud ibn Sebuktekin, (389-421 H/999-1030 AD). Mint name: Mahmudpur – honorific name for the city of Lahore, in Pakistan. Date: 418 H (1027 AD). Metal and denomination: Silver dirham. Weight and measurement: 2.93 g / 20.0 mm. Inv. no. C 367. (Obverse)
  8. ^ This illustration is "from the history of the Ghaznawids section in the Jami‛ al-Tawarikh of Rashid al-Din".
  9. ^ who were referred only to as "idolators" in the "Hududu'l'Alam" (the only source which mentions them)
  10. ^
    1. Shepherd, Dennis G (December 1990). Historical Development of the Windmill. Cornell University. Ithaca, New York. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Pg. 7. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
    2. [2]
  11. ^ Rice in particular is a notable feature in these sources, as it was not thought it could grow in such a region in pre-Islamic times.
  12. ^ Though it was introduced only in the late Sasanian period
  13. ^ European historians have traditionally, falsely and deliberately claimed that the Windmill was invented in Greece by Heron, however Professor Dennis G Shepherd of Cornell university has noted that this perception was eradicated by modern 21st Century historians who do not now take the claim seriously.
    1. Shepherd, Dennis G (December 1990). Historical Development of the Windmill. Cornell University. Ithaca, New York. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (from National Wind Technology Center's Information Portal, part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Pg. 4-6. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
    2. Trudy Ring; Robert M. Salkin; Sharon La Boda (January 1996). International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania. Taylor & Francis. p. 333. ISBN 978-1-884964-04-6.
    Quote: "Ancient manuscripts, however, have often suffered from mistranslations, revisions, and interpolations by other hands over the centuries. In some, even diagrams were changed to suit the whims of the revisionists, and there are instances of forgeries...Mentioning the Boas monograph is apposite here because of the well known ascription of the invention of the windmill to Heron of Alexandria by virtue of his account of it as one of the many devices in his pnuematica 2000 years ago. This ascription is now discounted by most authorities in varying defrees ranging from outright rejection through wistful reluctance to relinquish the idea, to acceptance as only a toy." (Pg. 4); and further that "Thus Herons work might have stimulated the use of wind power in the Islamic world, but there is no hard evidence to substantiate that". (Pg. 6) (D.G. Shepherd) Windmills are also said to have been invented in Herat according to Trudy Ring Robert M. Salkin and Sharon La Boda.
  14. ^ Ruler and dates: Abu’l-Qasim Mahmud ibn Sebuktekin, (389-421 H/999-1030 AD). Mint name: Mahmudpur – honorific name for the city of Lahore, in Pakistan. Date: 418 H (1027 AD). Metal and denomination: Silver dirham. Weight and measurement: 2.93 g / 20.0 mm. Inv. no. C 367. (Obverse)
  15. ^ There are several primary and secondary sources available on the Ghaznivid rule of Norther India, namely from Khurdazbih, Istakhari, Mas'udi, Hauqal, Alberuni, and the Hududu'l'Alam. SEE ref name="EHMI"
  16. ^ given how many villages were cited in the sources 300,000, thought however an exaggeration, in Mansura alone SEE ref name="EHMI" which even mention Southern Punjab, however it being said to have been less fertile than the Sindh
  17. ^ This illustration is "from the history of the Ghaznawids section in the Jami‛ al-Tawarikh of Rashid al-Din".
  18. ^ who were referred only to as "idolators" in the "Hududu'l'Alam" (the only source which mentions them)
  19. ^ Which were numerous as the "locusts of the wilderness" according to Hasan, Bird, and Dikshit
  20. ^ This is despite admitting that Muslims held out against the Hindu forces for "several days" according to Sailendra Nath Sen and Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta Sastri
  21. ^ Non-Hindu historians make no mention of any "weather events". Bird and Hasan, though very critical of some of the sources claims, going as far as calling them "exaggerations", make no mention of any freak weather event that caused the Muslims to win.
  22. ^ Most importantly, the Hindus suffered no loss of population through this conquest, and there was almost no conversion over to the faith.
    1. Josef W. Meri (31 October 2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-135-45596-5.
  23. ^ The army's most important units were elite slave soldiers, and this even included their Hindu soldiers.
    1. Josef W. Meri (31 October 2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-135-45596-5.
  24. ^ They would often pursue in a tactic known as a "lightning raid".
    1. Josef W. Meri (31 October 2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-135-45596-5.
  25. ^ Which were numerous as the "locusts of the wilderness" according to Hasan, Bird, and Dikshit
  26. ^ This is despite admitting that Muslims held out against the Hindu forces for "several days" according to Sailendra Nath Sen and Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta Sastri
  27. ^ Non-Hindu historians make no mention of any "weather events". Bird and Hasan, though very critical of some of the sources claims, going as far as calling them "exaggerations", make no mention of any freak weather event that caused the Muslims to win.
  28. ^ Most importantly, the Hindus suffered no loss of population through this conquest, and there was almost no conversion over to the faith.
    1. Josef W. Meri (31 October 2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-135-45596-5.
  29. ^ The army's most important units were elite slave soldiers, and this even included their Hindu soldiers.
    1. Josef W. Meri (31 October 2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-135-45596-5.
  30. ^ They would often pursue in a tactic known as a "lightning raid".
    1. Josef W. Meri (31 October 2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-135-45596-5.
  31. ^ "Thus, Heron's work might have stimulated the use of wind power in the Islamic world, but there is no hard evidence to substantiate that. Nearly all the stories and the records we have from between the first and the twelfth centuries come from the Near East and Central Asia, and so those regions of the world are generally considered to be the birthplace of the windmill."
    1. Shepherd, Dennis G (December 1990). Historical Development of the Windmill. Cornell University. Ithaca, New York. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (from National Wind Technology Center's Information Portal, part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Pg. 4-8. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  32. ^ "Thus, Heron's work might have stimulated the use of wind power in the Islamic world, but there is no hard evidence to substantiate that. Nearly all the stories and the records we have from between the first and the twelfth centuries come from the Near East and Central Asia, and so those regions of the world are generally considered to be the birthplace of the windmill."
    1. Shepherd, Dennis G (December 1990). Historical Development of the Windmill. Cornell University. Ithaca, New York. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (from National Wind Technology Center's Information Portal, part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Pg. 4-8. Retrieved 25 May 2014.

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