The transition from Ghaznavid to Seljuq rule in the Islamic East
Bosworth, Clifford Edmund
This thesis deals primarily with the eastern Islamic world during the period 1000-40. It attempts to delineate the structure of the Ghaznavid empire, its personal and administrative aspect (Part I) and its military aspect (Part II). The material used in Part II has already appeared in substantially similar form as "Ghaznevid military organisation" in Der Islam, XXXVI, 1960, 37-77. Against this background, the province of Khurasan under Ghaznavid rule, and in particular, the city of Nishapur, are described (Part III). The irruption of the Seljuqs is treated in Part V. However, a survey of what is known of the Oghuz before these migrations is prefixed to this (Part IV). It summarises presently-held views, attempting to synthesise the work of Central Asian specialists, Turcologists, historians and archaeologists, who alone are competent to investigate at first hand this difficult subject. The scope of the thesis is therefore that of the decline of Ghaznavid power in the west, and it is this aspect which has been concentrated upon, for the early years of the Great Seljuq dynasty have already been extensively covered by such scholars as Cl. Cahen, I. Kafesoğlu and M.A. Köymen, and the administrative system of the Seljuqs has been examined by A.K.S. Lambton in her London University thesis on Seljuq institutions. This thesis has been prepared under the joint supervision of the Rev. Dr. W. Montgomery Watt and Mr. J.R. Walsh, to whom I am greatly indebted for help and encouragement; from the latter, in particular, I have enjoyed much stimulating conversation and judicious guidance through the literature of the period.