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Title: Zengid  
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Subject: Cairo, Kurdish people, Saladin, Fatimid Caliphate, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Homs, Ismailism, Ayyubid dynasty, Hama, Burid dynasty
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Zengid dynasty

Zengid Dynasty at its greatest extent
Capital Aleppo
Languages Arabic
Religion Sunni Islam
Government Emirate
 -  1127–1146 Imad ad-Din Zengi I (first)
 -  1241–1250 Mahmud Al-Malik Al-Zahir (last reported)
 -  Established 1127
 -  Disestablished 1250
Currency Dinar

The Zengid (or Zangid) dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Oghuz Turk origin,[1] which ruled parts of Syria and northern Iraq on behalf of the Seljuk Empire.[2]


The dynasty was founded by Imad ad-Din Zengi (or Zangi), who became the Seljuk Atabeg (governor) of Mosul in 1127.[3] He quickly became the chief Turkish potentate in Northern Syria and Iraq, taking Aleppo from the squabbling Ortoqid emirs in 1128, and capturing the County of Edessa from the Crusaders in 1144. This latter feat made Zengi a hero in the Muslim world, but he was assassinated by a slave two years later, in 1146.[4]

On Zengi's death, his territories were divided, with Mosul and his lands in Iraq going to his eldest son Saif ad-Din Ghazi I, and Aleppo and Edessa falling to his second son, Nur ad-Din Mahmud. Nur ad-Din proved to be as competent as his father. In 1149 he defeated Prince Raymond of Antioch at the battle of Inab, and the next year conquered the remnants of the County of Edessa west of the Euphrates River.[5] In 1154 he capped off these successes by his capture of Damascus from the Burid Emirs who ruled it.

Now ruling from Damascus, Nur ad-Din's success continued. Another Prince of Antioch, Raynald of Châtillon was captured, and the territories of that Principality greatly reduced. In the 1160s, Nur ad-Din's attention was mostly held by a competition with the King of Jerusalem, Amalric I, for control of the Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt. Ultimately, Nur ed-Din's Kurdish general Shirkuh was successful in conquering Egypt in 1169, but Shirkuh's nephew and successor as Governor of Egypt, Saladin, eventually rejected Nur ad-Din's control.[6]

Nur ad-Din was preparing to invade Egypt to bring Saladin under control when he unexpectedly died in 1174. His son and successor As-Salih Ismail al-Malik was only a child, and was forced to flee to Aleppo, which he ruled until 1181, when he was murdered and replaced by his relation, the Atabeg of Mosul. Saladin conquered Aleppo two years later, ending Zengid rule in Syria.

Zengid princes continued to rule in Northern Iraq well into the 13th century, ruling Mosul until 1234; their rule did not come finally to an end until 1250.

Zengid rulers

Zengid Atabegs and Emirs of Mosul

Zengid Emirs of Aleppo

Zengid Emirs of Damascus

Zengid Emirs of Sinjar (in Northern Iraq)

  • Imad ad-Din Zengi II 1171-1197
  • Qutb ad-Din Muhammad 1197-1219
  • Imad ad-Din Shahanshah 1219-1220
  • Jalal ad-Din Mahmud 1219-1220
  • Fath ad-Din Umar 1219-1220

Zengid Emirs of Jazira (in Northern Iraq)

  • Mu'izz ad-Din Sanjar Shah 1180-1208
  • Mu'izz ad-Din Mahmud 1208-1241
  • Mahmud Al-Malik Al-Zahir 1241-1250

See also


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