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The Future of Iran's PastNizam al-Mulk Remembered$
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Neguin Yavari

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190855109

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190855109.001.0001

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(p.31) 2 Origins
The Future of Iran's Past

Neguin Yavari

Oxford University Press

In the pursuit of political thought on authoritative and efficacious rule, this chapter contains a brief introduction to those currents that shaped the eleventh century: the coming of the Turks to the eastern Islamic world, and the interaction of Turkic rulers with the Abbasids and local elites, to which Nizam al-Mulk belonged, as narrated in the medieval histories with a particular élan. Drawing on new scholarship on ethnicity, ethnogenesis, and nomadic polities, it argues that normative assumptions that color medieval accounts of Saljuq tribal and political organization offer insights that have hitherto been neglected. Ethnonyms and toponyms are frequently used in medieval sources as situational constructs, camouflaging alliances and ideological proclivities.

Keywords:   Eleventh century, Turkic rulers, Eastern Islamic world, Nizam al-Mulk, ethnogenesis, Nomadic polities, Saljuq, Ethonyms, Toponyms, Medieval sources

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