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The State of Azerbaijan Atabeys

In the period of the collapse of Seldjukids, several previous mamluks managed to create political formations in a new type. Most of them were the guardians of the princes of Seldjukid dynasty and possessed the title of atabey. Atabeys were real governors of the states, which they ruled from the name of their wards. Although the name of Sultan was minted in coins and expressed in Khutbas, this was only external display of their reign. There were shaped such political formations in the empire of seldjukids at that time, such as the state of Mosul atabeys (it was founded by the dynasty of Zengids and existed in 1122-1262), the state of Persia Atabeys (the dynasty of Saltukids, 1137-1286s), the state of Erbil Atabeys (the dynasty of Beykenids, 1144-1233 s), the state of Luristan Atabeys (the dynasty of Khazarastimids, 1155-1424 s). Later there were established some other independent states, such as Seldjukids of Minor Asia, KharezmShahs and Artukids along with them.

Among the mentioned states, led by atabeys, the most mignificant state was the state of Azerbaijan Atabeys that was established by Shamsaddin Eldeniz and the creation of this state became the first reason of the final collapse of the empire of Seldjukids, also the shape of new states on political map of the world.

There are several versions about the origin of Shamsaddin Eldeniz. Some sources noticed that, he was the son of one of the tribe leaders, lost his parents during inter-tribal fought and was sold to slavery. Other sources mentioed that, he had difficult childhood because of early orphanage and Eldeniz was sold as slave at the result of it.

According to these sources young Eldeniz was bought by a merchant in the market of Derbend. Because of his ugly face the master sold him free, as recording to the rules of slave merchantry, if a man bought 40 slaves, he paid money only for 39 of them and the 40th one was given him as present. So, the weakest of this slaves was Eldeniz, that’s why he was sold free to his owner.

According to medieval authors, because of the hot weather on the way from Derbend to Irag Eldeniz fell from the wagon twice, and when it happened in the third time, his owner put him on the road. Clever boy reached to caravan himself in the evening. In Irag, the vezir of Seldjukid Sultan, Ali as-Sumayrami brought all slaves, firstly he refused to bring Eldeniz, but then he bought him too. Shamsaddin Eldeniz attracted Sultan with his capability and wise, and soon he was appointed the chief of Sultan’s kitchen. His enermous art in horse riding and shooting from bow also was taken into account and Eldeniz was transited to the line of personal mamluks of Sultan Toghrul II (1132-1135). Shamsaddin Eldeniz, who promoted in the post was respected by Sultan’s wife, Momina Khatun. Eldeniz, who listened to her advices never intervene to interior conflicts of palace and always was devoted to Sultan and his family. So, at the result of this devotion Eldeniz obtained the title of “emir”, before the death of Toghrul II in 1135. Toghrul II relied on him and appointed Shamsaddin Eldeniz the atabey of his little son, ArslanShah.

After the death of Toghrul II, new Sultan, Masud (1135-1152) married his widow Momina Khatun to Eldeniz. So, Eldeniz became much more close to Sultan family. There were born two sons – the future rulers of the state of Azerbaijan Atabeys, Muhammed Jahan Pahlevan and Gizil Arslan, and one daughter from the marriage of Shamsaddin Eldeniz and Momina Khatun.

In 1136, Sultan Masud rewarded Arran to Shamsaddin Eldeniz as iqta. Eldeniz went to his residence in Barda, liquidated some emirs, which had been against him before and subordinated others to his authority. He became the mignificant ruler in Azerbaijan. He neutralized the uprising in Arran and completely pressed the rebelled leaders of turkmans. Shamsaddin gradually occupied all Azerbaijan regions by subordinating local emirs to his authority. Eldeniz subordinated Nakhichevan, where he minted coins from his name so, there was established the state of Azerbaijan Atabeys.

The history of the state of Eldenizes, which played an important role in the medieval history of Azerbaijan, should be divided into 3 phases: the first phase – formation (1136-1160), the second phase – prosperity (1161-1191) and finally, the third phase – collapse (1191- 1225).

At the beginning of his activity, Eldeniz distinguished with his devotion to Sultan and his family, gained great influence in the palace of Seldjukid Sultan and took part in the system of governance of the state.

Simultaneously, he did his best to strengthen his own positions in all opportunities too. The one of such opportunities coincided to the year of 1160, when at the result of emirs’ agreement, Sultan Suleiman was dethroned and murdered. Then in the winter of 1160, Eldeniz directed to Hamadan with 20 thousand horsemen and put his ward and stepson ArslanShah to the throne. So, Shamsaddin Eldeniz became the real governor of Irag Sultanate of Seldjukids, and ArslanShah became the obedient implementer of his advices and desires. At the result of it, Eldeniz obtained the title of “Great atabey” and became the initiator of double-authority in the state. Sultan from the dynasty of Sadjukids stayed as the head of state – there were minted coins from his name, but in fact, the authority was concentrated in the hands of atabey Shamsaddin. Eldeniz attained to the appointment of his sons to the higher posts of feudal ierarchy. His elder son, Muhammed Jahan Pehlavan became emir-khadjib (“Main adviser”) of Sultan and his little son Gizil Arslan was appointed the chief commander of Sultan army.

So, Irag Sultanate of Seldjukids turned into Azerbaijan Sultanate.

Caliph al-Mustanshid (1160-1170), who did not want to see powerful state in neighborhood, did not recognize ArslanShah as Sultan. Caliph ordered to his vazir to direct influencive feudal nobility against ArslanShah and Eldeniz. Eldeniz leant about the thought of emirs before their alliance. First of all, the troops of the prince MahmudShah ibn Muhammed, grandson of Sultan Mahmud, who was supported by the owner of Maragha, Arslan al-Ahmedali were destroyed. Then Eldeniz captured Rey and gave this city to his son Muhammed Jahan Pehlavan, who married to Inanc-Khatun, the daughter of emir Inanc, the governor of Rey. Emir Inanc, the owners of Qum and Ardebil- Seykmen ibn Kaynaz and Ak-kush passed to the side of Sultan and recognized his vassality. After that Alp-Arqun, the owner of Qazvin, who rejected to obey, was destroyed and Qazvin was included to Sultan possessions. Then Eldeniz sent the army, led by Jahan Pehlevan against the owner of Marahga, Arslan Aba. But, Jahan Pehlevan was defeated by united troops of Arslan Aba and the owner of Khila-Bek-Timur Syokmen II (1128-1183). The fought between Azerbaijan and Atabeys’ lasted for many years. Maragha recognized its dependence from Eldenizids only during the reign of Shamsaddin Eldeniz’s second son, Gizil Arslan.

Another rivel of Eldeniz was the owner of Persia, Sunkur ibn Madud, who rejected to recognize the authority of ArslanShah and even pretended to the lands of Azerbaijan. Only after Sunkur ibn Maduds death in 1161, his successor and brother Zengi ibn Madud (1162-1175) recognized the vassal dependence both from ArslanShah and Shamsaddin Eldeniz and read khutba, minted coins from the name of ArslanShah.

In 1162, the owner of Ardebil, Nusrataddin Ak-Kush died; Eldeniz occupied Ardebil from the hands of his son, Muhammed and included it to the possessions of Jahan Pahlevan.

The governor of Nishapur, Kumis and Mazandaran, Muayyid ay- Apa, who was scared that Shamsaddin would capture his lands too, voluntarily transited to the vassal dependence from Azerbaijan Atabey and ordered to read khutba, to mint coins from his name.

Other rivals of Eldeniz, who saw the influence and power of atabey implemented his demands and obeyed him. Among them-atabey of Mosul, Gutabaddin Madud ibn Zengi ordered to read khutba, mint coins from the name of Sultan ArslanShah and Atabey Shamsaddin Eldeniz on Mosul, Diyarbakir and Djazir, as well as paid taxes to Sultan Treusary. In 1168, the atabey of Kirman, ArslanShah II ibn Toghrul and owner of Khuzistan, Shamla, in 1170, ShirvanShah Ahsitan recognized the dependence from Eldeniz.

Well-known author of the 12th century, Sadraddin al-Husseini mentioned that Eldeniz, who acted from the home of Seldjukid Sultan enlarged the lands of the state and his possessions too. The borders of the territories, which were subordinated by him stretched from the gates of Tiflis to Mekran, he owned Azerbaijan, Arran, Shirvan, Jibal, Hamadan, Gilan, Mazandaran, Isfahan and Rey. The vassals of Eldeniz, who ordered to read khutba and mint coins from his name were the atabeys of Mosul, Kirman and Fars, the rulers of Shirvan, Khuzistan, Khilat, Arzan ar-Rum and Maragha.

The one of the most powerful rivals of Eldeniz was the tsar of Georgia, Georgy III (1156-1184). In august, 1161, Georgy III with his army invaded to the possessions of Azerbaijan atabey. He conquered one of the cities of Arran, Ani. Medieval author Vardan wrote that, Georgian tsar killed many people here and captivated about 41 thousand people. At the end of August of the same year, the Georgian troops managed to conquer another city-Dvin (Dabil) in the “edge of the country of Azerbaijan”. According to historian ibn-Al-Asiv and other historians, lived at the same period with him, Georgians plundered and killed more than 10 thousand settlers, captivated women and children, whose dresses had been taken off. And when they arrived to their country, Georgian women protested against this action and said that, muslims would be able to do such with them too. Only after this protest Georgian soldiers returned dress to the women. After a while, in 1162 georgians attacked to Gandja, destroyed the city and captivated many people. Atabey Shamsaddin Eldeniz, who learnt about the actions of Georgians, decided to make a campaign to Georgia. Till that period, he subordinated approximately all his rivals-emirs to his authority, that’s why the owners of Khilat, Maragha, Arzan ar-Rum and others also participated in this campaign. United muslim troops, personally led by atabey Eldeniz invaded to Georgia in January, 1163. The hostilities continued only a month and Georgians were defeated, there were killed lots of Georgian soldiers. Eldeniz, emirs and soldiers, participated on the campaign acquired lots of trophies. Due to prevent Georgy III to re- collect his army, Eldeniz made his second campaign to Georgia in July, 1163. He destroyed Georgian troops and returned the city of Dvin.

Despite of hard defeat, tsar Georgy III again invaded to Azerbaijan in aprel, 1164; he destroyed Ganja and captured Ani. Eldeniz withdrew Georgians from the city, ordered to restore it and at the end of 1164, atabey gave Ani to the brother of emir Fadlun Shaddadid, ShakhanShah (1164-1174).

In 1166, tsar Georgy, who utilized from the engagement of Eldeniz in suppression of revolts of emirs and uprisings, invaded to Azerbaijan and plundered Ganja. Atabey Eldeniz replied with hard blow.

The side of Georgians violated the silence, continuing in 1160- 1174s. In January, 1174, atabey Eldeniz’s wife Momina Khatun came from Nakhichevan to Hamadan (the capital of Irag Sultanate) with the message about the invasion of Georgian troops. When great atabey prepared to the new campaign to Georgia, there began to spread plague among   soldiers,   which caused to the   weakening   of the   army. Nevertheless, atabey Shamsaddin and emir Nasiraddin Syokmen continued the campaign, destroyed Georgian troops and those, who survived “had hidden in mountains and forests too”. Atabey Eldeniz captured the fortress of Akhshehir, destroyed environs and returned to Nakhichevan with Big trophies. But soon, in October, 1174, georgians again encircled and captured the city of Ani, as well as appointed their governor to this city.

In august, 1175, Eldeniz sent great army to Georgia under the leadership of his son Jahan Pahlevan. The troops of Eldeniz, Sultan ArslanShah, the owners of Hilat and Diyarbakir were united under this army. Jahan Pahlevan chose very decisive tactic, defeated Georgians and returned the city of Ani. Shamsaddin Eldeniz gave Ani back to their former owners-the representatives of Shaddadid dynasty.

After the victory over Georgians and provision of temporary calmness in western borders of the country, Shamsaddin did his best to take under the control the condition in Eastern frontiers. So that kharezmShah, beginning from Arslan II (1156-1172) did not stop the attempts for invasion of the strategically important city of Nishapen. In 1166, the troops of kharezmShahs encircled the city for two monthes, but were not able to capture it. In the battles, happened between atabey and kharezmShah the domination went either to one or to another side.

Nevertheless, soon Eldeniz lost the city of Nishapen; the reason of this loss was the betray of the vassal of Eldeniz, the governor of Nishapen, Ay Aba, who passed to the side of kharezmShahs.

In 1168, another vassal, the governor of Maragha, Arslan Aba rose against Eldeniz. Great atabey sent troops under the leadership of Jahan Pahlevan, due to press the uprising. After the continuing besiege the city was occupied and the revolt was neutralized; Jahan Pahlevan restored the treaty about vassality with Arslan Aba and city population, which consisted of much harder arrangements.

KharezmShah Arslan II did not satisfy with the conquest of Nishapen, he concluded secret agreement with the vassal of atabey – the governor of Rey, Inanc. According to the agreement, Inanc refused to pay annual taxes to the state Treasury, also intended to give Rey and its around to the hands of kharezmShah. KharezmShah organized great army in order to aid Inanc and hoped that he would subordinate Rey and extend his farther’s authority to the west. But, that plan was not realized – in the battle, which took place in 1169, Eldeniz overwhelmed the kharezmShah’s troops. The attempt of Inanc to reconcile with the atabey by the vehicle of his daughter, the wife of Jahan Pahlevan wasn’t realized-by the order of Eldeniz Inanc was executed.

In November, 1175 the wife of Shamsaddin Eldeniz, Momina Khatun – the one of wise and influencive women of her period died in Nakhichevan. Great atabey died after a month of his wife’s death. The founder of the state of Azerbaijan Atabeys, great political statesman of his phase Shamsaddin Eldeniz differed with the racional activity, wise interior and foreign policy, as well as implemented all essential acts for the strengthening and maintaining of the central authority.

When Shamsaddin Eldeniz died, his son Jahan Pahlevan was in Hamadan. As soon as he learnt about the death of his father, Jahan Pahlevan came to Nakhichevan, brought the state treasury and the command over the military troops under his control.

After the death of Eldeniz, emirs of Irag, who did not satisfy with his policy incited ArslanShah to made campaign to Azerbaijan. Sultan prepared to realize the campaign, but fell sick in Zenjan and had to return to Hamadan, where he invited Jahan Pahlevan. ArslanShah, who felt that, he would die, reconciled with Jahan Pahlevan and gave him all state power, soon the Sultan died. According to several sources, Sultan was poisoned by atabey. Jahan Pahlevan, who took out his great rival, brought to the throne the seven years old son of ArslanShah, Toghrul III and declared himself his atabey.

At that time, the governor of Khuzistan Aydoghdu Shimla, who utilized from the uncertain circumstances in the palace, left the authority of Pahlevan. In the presence of Shamsaddin Eldeniz, Shimla could not obey him, but now he attacked to Nehavend, captured the city and ordered to execute the reis and gazi of the city. After the conquest of Nehavend, Shimla invaded the possessions of the vassals of Atabeys – Turkish tribes of afshar. The sent troops of Jahan Pahlevan together with the troops of afshars, who jointed the atabey, defeated the forces of Shimla, Shimla was wounded and captivated; after two days he died. Despite of difficult relations, Jahan Pahlevan appointed the son of Shimla, Sharajaddin Amiran the governor of Khuzistan and Amiran recognized the vassal dependence from atabey.

The last strict rival of Jahan Pahlavan was the uncle of Sultan Toghrul III, prince Muhammed. Muhammed, who settled in Khuzistan was the sole real pretender to the Sultan throne of Irag Seldjukids. First of all, Muhammed appealed to the emirs, depended on Jahan Pahlevan for the alliance – he incited the governors of Khuzistan, Vasit and Persia for rising against the atabey. But none of the emirs helped him, they even refused to give him settlement in their areas; finally the atabey of Persia, Zengi, who was the vassal of Jahan Pahlevan, arrested prince Muhammed and gave him to the great atabey of Azerbaijan.

Beginning from the July of 1177, in all Friday prayings (khutbas) the name of the great atabey Jahan Pahlevan was mentioned along with the name of 8 years old Sultan and caliph. No one-none of the governors of the regions, none of the vassals dared to disobey this. As Shamsaddin Eldeniz governed the state from the name of ArslanShah, Jahan Palevan ruled the country from the name of Sultan Toghrul III. Jahan Pahlevan put his brother, Gizil Arslan to the governance of Azerbaijan and Arran, simultaneously he appointed his brother the atabey of his son, Abu Bekr. Jahan Pahlevan chose Hamadan his residence and directed there, and Tabriz became the residence of the governor of Azerbaijan, Gizil Arslan.

Pahlevan concentrated all state deals in his hands and did his best to strengthen the central power: he attracted the part of emirs to his side and others, who did not obey and were inconfident, especially the emir of Persian Irag, were replaced by the mamluks of Pahlevan. They were awarded with some region or city as iqta. At the expense of cruel and racional politics of Jahan Pahlevan, there was strengthened order in all spheres of state administration. The state was not intervened and invaded by foreigners during the whole reign of Pahlevan. Namely during his ruling there was concluded peace with Georgians, were shaped friendship relations with Eastern neighbor-kharezmShah Tekish (1172-1200). Atabey Jahan Pahlevan maintained good relations with the caliphs al Musadi and an-Nasir (1180-1225).

The fought, continued more than decades between Aghsongurids and Eldenizids also ended with the victory of Jahan Pahlevan. The desire of Pahlevan about the join of the lands of Tabriz, which were in the hands of successors of Agshongur Al-Akhmadili; to his own possessions was realized with the death of Arslan Aba ibn Agshongur, the owner of this lands. Therefore, Jahan Pahlevan made the fortress of Ruindej, then the city of Maragha his residence, and the brother of great atabey Gizil Arslan occupied the city of Tabriz. According to the treaty, concluded between Aghsongurids and Jahan Pahlevan, the city of Tabriz was given to Gizil Arslan as iqta and Maragha was returned to its former owners-to the one of the representatives of Aghsongurid clan.

During his whole gorvernance, Jahan Pahlevan worried about the circumstances in western borders of the state most of all. This was related with the activity of the governor of Egypt and Syria, the founder of the dynasty of Eyyubids Alaeddin Yusif, who was well known in the whole East and who oftenly intervened the possessions of Irag seldjukids. Jahan Pahlevan sometimes aided to Seldjukids with military forces and aimed to reconcile the fighting sides. Jahan Pahlevan, who was the father of four sons and several daughters shaped good neighborhood relations with neighborhing governors and emirs by the vehicle of dynasty marriages. He appointed his son, Abu Bakr, who was from Kuteyba Khatun the governor of Azerbaijan and Arran, he gave Rey, Isfahan and most part of Irag to his sons Gutluq Inanc and Amir Amiran Omar, who were from Inanc Khatun, the daughter to the governor of Rey. Jahan Pahlevan gave the capital area of Hamadan to the son, who was born from his lovely wife, Zahida Khatun. He ordered all his sons to obey to his brother, Gizil Arslan, who should be the successor of great atabey after his death.

But after the death of Jahan Pahlevan in 1186, Gizil Arslan encountred with the resistance of Sultan Toghrul III, the widow of Pahlevan, Inanc Khatun and Irag emirs, supported them. Inanc Khatun and palace nobility concealed the death of Jahan Pahlevan from the population for some period in order to solve the problem about the heir of atabey’s authority. Finally, emirs of areas, who were close to the atabey, officers and military commanders decided that namely Gizil Arslan should be great atabey. They sent reliable men and called Gizil Arslan to the capital-Hamadan. Sultan Toghrul III had to agree to this decision.

The major reason of the strengthening of Gizil Arslan’s authority was related to his support by most mamluks of Jahan Pahlevan, reliable Eldenizids. Inanc Khatun who understood this very well and who was the biggest rival of Gizil Arslan wanted to bring to the throne one of his sons and that’s why, she united with Sultan Toghrul III in this struggle; Inanc Khatun was able to gain support of mamluks of her husband Amir Camal ay Aba Seyfeddin Rus as well as the owners of Zencan, Akhbar, Maragha. Their united force after several days of fought near Hamadan, in 1187, made Gizil Arslan leave the capital.

After a while there happened rivalry between emir Ay Aba and Rus for the commanding over the troops of Sultan. Rus was executed by the order of Sultan, then time for Ay-Aba and other officers and emirs, related with Gizil Arslan’s return. This repressions caused to that, local governor broke off relations with Sultan and united forces of Gizil Arslan’s rivals collapsed.

Gizil Arslan utilized from suitable circumstances and decided completely to weaken his rivals. With this goal, he wrote letter to the caliph an-Nasir and suggested him to organize united military action against Sultan Toghrul III, otherwise he threatened the caliph to come Baghdad and “as reliable mamluk of this high dynasty” to restore the reign of seldjukids in Baghdad. In the response for this letter, caliph quickly organized great troops under the leadership of his vezir. Vezir,who arrived in Hamadan before Gizil Arslan relied on his army and decided not to wait for the atabey to overwhelm the troops of Sultan independently, but he was defeated.

In the end of 1188, caliph sent his second army against Toghrul III and Gizil Arslan arrived in Hamadan on time in this occasion. Allies entered to the city, which was left by Sultan, Gizil Arslan was ceremonially greeted here and he was rewarded by caliph’s deed about his appointment as the governor of caliph. It was the prominent event on the history of Azerbaijan atabeys; Gizil Arslan was not the vassal of Sultan or his atabey, but he received the status of independent sovereign. Caliph ordered to read khutba with the name of Gizil Arslan as “sovereign”; he was put to the throne of Sultan and part of caliph’s troops was subordinated to new Sultan.

Toghrul III, who utilized from being Gizil Arslan in Hamadan invaded to Azerbaijan with his troops and plundered the cities of Ushnu, Khoy, Urmiya and Salmas. The governor of Egypt Salahaddin Ayyubi did his best to reconcile Gizil Arslan and Toghrul III, but these attempts were not resulted successfully – when negotiations were being resulted, Toghrul III again invaded Azerbaijan. Then, due to weaken the support of Sultan, Gizil Arslan gained the support of his nephews – the sons of Inanc Khatun, appointed them to high posts, married to their mother, i.e. widow of his brother, Jahan Pahlevan. At the result of it, Gizil Arslan easily destroyed the forces of Toghrul, who was deprived from the support, captivated him and put him to one of dungeons in Azerbaijan.

It’s important to mention that, during the fought between atabey Gizil Arslan and Toghrul III in Isfahan, Rey and other cities happened bloody clash among defenders and enemies of atabey. Reis of Isfahan shafiits led over the enemies of Gizil Arslan. These reis obeyed to Jahan Pahlevan during his presence, but after his death he ordered to murder the supporters of Gizil Arslan in Isfahan. So, by the order of atabey there were killed more than thousands Shiites in Isfahan during two- three years.

After these evidences Gizil Arslan returned to Hamadan and he became the sole sovereign of Azerbaijan, Arran, Hamadan, Isfahan, Rey. The owners of Persia and Khuzistan also obeyed him as vassals.

Soon in the palace was organized secret conspiracy by the participation of his wife, Inanc Khatun and finally at the result of this conspiracy Gizil Arslan was murdered in September, 1191.

As soon as the Sultan and atabey Gizil Arslan was killed, the state was divided among the sons of Jahan Pahlevan. Abu-Bakr occupied Azerbaijan and Arran; Ozbek obeyed him. In Hamadan and neighborhood areas the sons of Inanc Khatun, Gutluq Inanc and Amir Amiran occupied the authority but Inanc Khatun –stayed in Rey.

In spring, 1192 Toghrul III was liberated from the prison by one of mamluks of Jahan Pahlevan, Mahmud Anas oglu and in July of the same year destroyed the forces of Qutluq-Inanc by the aid of some emirs and mamluks, then entered to Hamadan and re-occupied the throne. Qutluq Inanc, who concealed in Rey sent message to KhasezmShah Tekish by the vehicle of his mother and informed Tekish about the conquest of Hamadan by Toghrul III; Qutluq Inanc asked kharezmShah for help against the Sultan. Interference of KharezmShah caused to the conquest of Rey and the fortress of Tabarak by him, but when Tekish returned to his land, Toghrul III attacked to the garrisons of KharezmShahs and returned both city and and fortress. At that time, Inanc Khatun sent message to Toghrul III with the suggestion of concluding the peace agreement and her marriage with Sultan. The marriage was contracted, but soon Toghrul III learnt that, Inanc Khatun wanted to poison her, Sultan poured her to drink that and at the result she was poisoned. The life of the woman, who played an essential role in conflicts and conspirancies also weakened the state of Azerbaijan ended so.

After this event, the fought among the sons of Inanc Khatun, Abu-Bakr and Toghrul III increased. In the battle between Qutluq Inanc and Abu Bakr, the second won-Qutluq Inanc escaped to Shirvan and Amir-Amiran escaped to Zencan. Qutluq Inanc, who took military support from KharezmShah, defeated Toghrul III in the battle, near Rey in March 4, 1194 and personally killed the wounded Sultan. So, the governance of Sultans was over from seldjukid dynasty and the weakened state of Azerbaijan Atabeys ruled by Abu Bakr (1191-1210) became the easy trophy for foreign enemies.

After the death of Abu-Bakr, the lands, which were under his governance passed to the authority of his little brother-Ozbek (1210- 1225). In 1210-1211s, the Georgian troops, which utilized from vague and uncertain circumstances inside of the state of Eldenizids, made destructive campaign to the territory of Azerbaijan. On the other side, former mamluk of Jahan Pahlevan, Nasiraddin Mengli conquered the cities of Hamadan, Rey and Isfahan in 1212. In 1215, he managed to withdraw him by aid of caliph’s army and soon, in one of the battles he was killed, his possessions were divided among caliph, ismailits and atabey Ozbek. Ozbek was able to prevent the campaigns of Georgian troops, subordinated the disobeyed vassal governors and normalized the issues in his own possessions by the vehicle of KharezmShah Alaaddin Muhammed. Because of the danger of Mongolian invasions, KharezmShah Muhammed recalled back his 50 thousands army, which was sent to the aid of Ozbek. After the destruction of the state of KharezmShah in June, 1221, part of Mongolian troops, led by Cebe- loyan and Subetey-bahaduz invaded the Azerbaijan. In their campaign to Tabriz, Ozbek managed to save the city by the means of money, dress and cattle. Then Mongols went to Arran through Mughan and directed to Georgia, where they destroyed Georgian troops, who resisted them around of Tabriz. Ozbek concluded peace agreement with Georgian tsar, Georgy IV and the governor of Hilat and al-Jazira, Malik al-Ashraf because of this threat. Mongols, who learnt about it, again attacked to Georgia and Arran, destroyed Maragha, Ardebil, Serab, Nakhichevan and Beylagan, again took ransom from the population of Tabriz and Ganja, then went to the North Caucasus through the Derbend passage. The first campaign of Mongols to the South Caucasus, which was organized by intelligence character ended so.

After Mongolian campaign, Azerbaijan was invaded by kipchaks and Georgians. Ozbek concluded an agreement with kipchaks and permitted part of them to settle in Azerbaijan.

Although the state of kharezmShahs collapsed and did not exist, sons of Allaaddin Muhammed continued the invasions to other countries with the remaining of their troops. After the destruction of Caliph’s troops in Baghdad, Jalaladdin Mankburnu directed to Azerbaijan and in May, 1225, captured Maragha without any resistance. He conquered Tabriz after 7 days of besiege on June 25, 1225. Then Jalaladdin captured Dvin and defeated Georgian troops near Qazni. Later he entered to Arran, subordinated the cities of Beylagan, Barda, Ganja, Shamkir. Returning to Tabriz, he contracted marriage with Maleyka Khatun, former wife of Ozbek and daughter of the last Seldjukid Sultan, Toghrul III. Ozbek who was in the fortress of Alinca at that time, learnt about this marriage and died. His sole son, deaf and dumb from the birth, Gizil Arslan Khamush directed to Ganja, where he met with Jalaladdin and recognized his authority. The state of Azerbaijan Atabeys, which territory was included to the possessions of Jalaladdin Mankburnu collapsed so.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"