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The Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphs from all but Spain. It was built by the descendant of Muhammad's youngest uncle, Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib. It was created in Harran in 750 C.E. and shifted its capital in 762 C.E from Harran to Baghdad. It flourished for two centuries, but slowly went into decline with the rise to power of the Turkish army it had created, the Mamluks. Within 150 years of gaining power across Persia, they were forced to cede power to local dynastic amirs who only nominally acknowledged their power, and had to cede Al Andalus to an escaped Umayyad royal and the Maghreb and the African territories (Ifriqiya) to independent entities such as the Aghlabids and the Fatimids. Even as soon as 820 the Samanids had begun the process of exercising independent authority in Transoxiana and Greater Khorasan, the Shia Hamdanids in Northern Syria, and the successive Tahirid, Alid and Saffarid dynasties of Iran. By the early 10th century, the Abbasids almost lost control to the growing Persian faction known as the Buwayhids that replaced the Samanids as the Buwayhids were quietly able to assume real power in the bureaucracy at Baghdad. All these autonomous provinces slowly took on the characteristic of de facto states with hereditary rulers, armies, and revenues and operated under only nominal caliphal suzeranity, which may not necessarily be reflected by any contribution to the treasury.
In the East Mahmud of Ghazni took the title of sultan, as opposed to the "amir" that had been in more common usage, signifying the Ghaznavid Empire's independence from Caliphial authority even as a matter of form. By the 11th century, the loss of respect for the caliphs had gone even further, as the Seljuks, Khwarezmshahs, Almoravids and other Islamic rulers no longer mentioned the caliph's name in the Friday Khutba, or struck it off their coinage. The Fatimids contested the Abbasids for even the titular authority. The Buwayhids were defeated in the mid-11th century with the aid of the Seljuks under Toghril Beg; however, the Seljuks then themselves took over de facto lordship of the Empire, and the Caliph bestowed on Toghril Beg the title of Sultan of the East and the West. The Seljuks publicly pledged allegiance to the Caliph, but left him in control of little actual terrritory beyond Baghdad. Caliph Al-Muqtafi was the 1st Abbasid Caliph to regain the independence of the Caliphate,after nearly 250 years of foreign rule,he successfully defended Baghdad against the Seljuqs,thus securing Iraq for the Abbasids
Their rule was ended in 1258, when Hulagu Khan, the Mongol conqueror, sacked Baghdad. While they continued to claim authority in religious matters from their base in Egypt under the Mamluks for some time after this conquest, the dynasty finally disappeared with Al-Mutawakkil III, who was carried away as a prisoner of the palace to Constantinople by Selim I where he only had a ceremonial role, until his death in 1543.
- Do not dismiss the poor spear, they are so cheap but don't be afraid to use them in the main line. You can use them in the center of your line. By placing the spear in the center the enemy will have to match your formation with his own troops which will usually be much more expensive.
- This leaves room on the flanks which is where your Ghilmen are best used.
- Maxing out terrain - especially fields - gives the Dailami and other MF bowmen a real advantage over mounted opponents and can allow them to work well with the Ghilmen
User-contributed links about this army:
- Abbasid Arabs DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
- Abbasid Egyptians DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
- Abbasids DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
- Overview of Abbasid history personal website
- Encyclopedia Iranica Entry useful arabic history site
- The TNE Wiki useful DBM research site
- Fanaticus banner download page with some banners that can be used for this army
Put information on allied contingents here - including recommendations on which to use, and why
You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site. This listing only covers "arabic" figures - Turk/Hunninc/Mongol figures are omitted as nearly everyone does some of them.
- Essex Miniatures - many generic Arabs, possibly too generic for todays tastes in their Ancients selection, plus a newer 50-strong Arab range of more tailored figures in their Crusades ranges that may be more suitable
- Donnington - 35+ arabs
- Museum Miniatures - several nice Arab/Persian/Turkish ranges, often using the same figures in each!
- Gladiator Miniatures by Fighting 15's (Previously Black Hat) 33-strong Crusades Moslems Range
- Old Glory 15's, several Arab Ranges
- Minifigs Venerable Crusader range with Arabs
- Irregular Miniatures 39 Arab & Turk figures from a generic range
- Lancashire Games - Several large "value" packs of Arab troops
- LKM Direct - Freikorps ranges have Medieval Turks
- Tin Soldier 16 Arabs in one range
- Outpost Wargame Services A specialist in this period/region, 30+ Crusade-period Islamics
- East Riding Miniatures Some berbers in a small El Cid Range may be suitable
- Khurasan Miniatures again a specialist period for Khurasan, with several Persian/eastern ranges
- Viking Forge several Arab & Turkish ranges
- Falcon Figures Ottoman range
- Battle Line Miniatures 27 Generic Arabs
- Eureka - Australian Site Grumpys Miniatures Perian & Afghan Ranges are quite fun
- 50 Paces.com their website shows an "Arab" range, but no figure codes listed. The range is sold in Europe (with pictures and figure codes) by Strategia e Tattica
- Camelot Games Italian-based supplier
- Legio Heroica 22 Crusades-era Arabs
Which troops are absolutely needed for this army, and what are your thoughts on how to organise, paint and buy them.
Sample army lists for this army
800 AP list with solid foot
- 1 LF Archers LF unprotected Average Undrilled bow - - - 8
- 2 Berber Arab Lancers LH unprotected Average Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen - 4
- 3 Berber Arab Lancers Cv Protected Average Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen - 4
- 4 Berber Arab Lancers LH unprotected Average Undrilled - lancers Swordsmen - 4
- 5 Zanj HF Protected Average Drilled - Light spear Swordsmen - 6
- 5.1 suporting LF LF unprotected Average Drilled bow - - - 3
- 6 Zanj HF Protected Average Drilled - Light spear Swordsmen - 6
- 6.1 suporting LF LF unprotected Average Drilled bow - - - 3
- 7 Deaf Spearmen HF Protected Average Drilled - defensive spearmen - - 6
- 7.1 suporting LF LF unprotected Average Drilled bow - - - 3
- 8 Turkish Ghilmen Cv armoured superior Drilled bow Swordsmen - 4
- 9 Turkish Ghilmen Cv armoured superior Drilled bow Swordsmen - 4
- 10 Turkish Ghilmen Cv armoured superior Drilled bow Swordsmen - 4
- 11 Dailami MF armoured superior Drilled - Impact foot Swordsmen - 4
- 11.1 supporting light archers LF unprotected superior Drilled bow - - - 2
- 12 Volunteers MF Protected superior Undrilled - Impact foot Swordsmen - 6
- Generals TC - - - - - - - 1
- Generals TC - - - - - - - 3