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The Great Seljuk Empire (Persian: امپراتوری سلجوقیان Amprāturye Saljūkiyān, Turkish: Büyük Selçuklu Imperiyası), also called Seljukian Turk Empire or simply Seljukian Empire, was a medieval Turko-Persian empire, originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljukian Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to eastern Anatolia and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. From their homelands near the Aral sea, the Seljukian Turks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia and the Levant.
The Seljukian empire was founded by khagan Tughril in 1037 after the efforts by the founder of the Seljukian dynasty, Seljuk, in the first quarter of the 11th century. Seljuk's father was in a higher position in the Oghuz Yabgu State, and he gave his name to both the state and the dynasty. The Seljukians united the fractured political scene of the Middle East and played a key role in the first and second crusades. Highly Persianized in culture, faith (khagan Kavurt was crowned padishah in 1092 changing his name to Hakan Shah I and converting to Mazdaism) and language, the Seljukian Turks also played an important role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition and they are considered the ancestors of the Azerbaijani people.
List of rulers of the Great Seljuk Empire
- Tughril 1037–1063
- Alp Arslan 1063–1072
- Kavurt, as khagan 1072–1087
Padishahs of the Seljukian Empire
- Hakan Shah I, as padishah 1087–1092
- Kutalmish 1092–1107
- Berkyaruk 1092–1094
- Hakan Shah II 1094–1105
- Tapar 1105–1118
- Armin Sanjar 1118–1153
- Kilij Arslan 1118–1131
- Dariyush 1131–1135
- Khashayar 1135–1152
- Hakan Shah III 1152–1153
- Arslan Shah 1153–1166
- Khadem Arslan 1166–1170
- Kaykhusrev 1170–1174