The breaking of a thousand swords : a history of the Turkish military of Samarra, A.H. 200-275/815-889 C.E. / Matthew S. Gordon.

  • Albany : State University of New York Press c2001
Physical description
xx, 303 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
  • 0791447952 (hbk.)
  • 9780791447956 (hbk.)
  • 0791447960 (pbk.)
  • 9780791447963 (pbk.)
  • Includes bibliographical references (p. 263-291) and index.
  • 1. The Initial Period. The Appearance of the Guard. Al-Ma'mun: The Consolidation of Authority. Conclusion -- 2. The Settlement at Samarra. Al-Mu'tasim and the Departure from Baghdad. The Settlement at Samarra -- 3. The Samarran Political Arena. The Influence of the Turkish Leadership. The Onset of Anarchy -- 4. The Exercise of Authority. The Sources of Influence. The Reaction to Turkish Authority. Conclusion -- A Waning Presence -- App. A. Retainer Forces in Early Islamic History -- App. B. Notable Families of Turkish Origin.
  • Bibliography
  • Illustrated
  • text
  • English


  • It considers: the encounter of the Turks as rough, non-Muslim outsiders, with the sedentary, urbane world of Baghdad: the closely related encounter of the Turks with the Islamic tradition in its urban, scholarly guise; the settlement of the Turks, in Baghdad then in Samarra, through the use of land grants and appointments of office; the impact upon the affairs of the Turkish community of not only a military ranking but of a socio-political hierarchy as well; the construction by the Turkish elite of an elaborate network of patronage and support, both within urban Iraq and throughtout the provinces (Egypt in particular): and the emergence, and impact, of factionalism within the community."--BOOK JACKET.

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Location of copy Shelfmark Online location Holdings Notes
Aga Khan Library, London: Main reading room DS79.9 .S3 G67 2001
University of Birmingham Libraries: Main Library
British Library: General Reference Collection, St Pancras Reading Rooms YC.2002.a.13412
University of Cambridge Libraries: University Library: North Front 6 follow signs to North Staircase, Sixth Floor 636:25.c.200.12
University of Cambridge Libraries: Seeley Historical Library: Main Library DS79.9.S3 G67 2001
University of Edinburgh Libraries: Main Library (STANDARD LOAN) - 2nd floor DS79.9.S3 Gor.
University of Exeter Library: Forum Library 956.014 GOR
University of Nottingham Libraries: Hallward Library
University of Oxford Libraries: St Catherine's College Library 956.1 GOR
University of Oxford Libraries: Bodleian History Faculty Library: Upper Gladstone Link DS79.9.S3 GOR 2001
University of Oxford Libraries: Harris Manchester College Library: Tate Library, Library of Congress Classification DS79.9.S3 GOR 2001
University of Oxford Libraries: Islamic Studies Library DS38.3 GOR 2001
University of Oxford Libraries: Oriental Institute: Nizami Ganjavi Library DS79.9.S3 GOR 2001
University of Oxford Libraries: St Peter's College Library: Main Library OLH NUC QH [gor]
SOAS Library, University of London: Main Library NQ956.702 /859862
University of St Andrews Library: Main Library DS79.9S3G7
University of York Libraries: University Library: Morrell - Ordinary Q 56.7 GOR