Kartids

Kartids

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The Kartid Dynasty was a Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 dynasty that ruled over a large part of Khorassan
Greater Khorasan
Greater Khorasan or Ancient Khorasan is a historical region of Greater Iran mentioned in sources from Sassanid and Islamic eras which "frequently" had a denotation wider than current three provinces of Khorasan in Iran...

 during the 13th and 14th centuries. Ruling from their capital at Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

 (Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

) and central Khorasan in the Bamyan-Valley, they were at first subordinates within the Mongol Ilkhanate
Ilkhanate
The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate , was a Mongol khanate established in Azerbaijan and Persia in the 13th century, considered a part of the Mongol Empire...

, and upon the fragmentation of the Ilkhanate in 1335 they became de facto independent rulers up until the invasion of Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 in 1381.

Rise to Power


The first important Karts were two brothers, named Taju'd-Din 'Uthman-i-Marghini and 'Izzu'd-Din 'Umar-i-Marghini. Both served under the ruler of Ghor, Sultan Muhammad of Ghor
Muhammad of Ghor
Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori , originally called Mu'izzuddīn Muḥammad Bin Sām , was a ruler of the Ghurid dynasty who reigned over a territory spanning present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India.Shahabuddin Ghori reconquered the city of Ghazna Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori...

. The former was given charge of the castle at Khaysar, while the latter served as Muhammad's wazir. Taju'd-Din's son, Malik Ruknu'd-Din Abu Bakr, married the Sultan's daughter some time after Taju'd-Din died. Malik Ruknu'd-Din had a son, Shamsu'd-Din, who succeeded his father in 1245 or 1246. The following year, he participated in an invasion of India
Mongol invasions of India
The Mongol Empire launched several Mongol invasions into the Indian subcontinent from 1221 to 1327. The Mongols made Kashmir their vassal state. However, the campaigns against the Delhi Sultanate proved unsuccessful, in spite of constant Mongol incursions....

  led by Sali Noyan. Later, he met the ruler of the Mongol Empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

, Mongke Khan
Möngke Khan
Möngke Khan , born Möngke, , was the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from July 1, 1251 – August 11, 1259. He was the first Great Khan from the Toluid line, and made significant reforms to improve the administration of the Empire during his reign...

, who granted Shamsu'd-Din authority over Herat, Jam, Bushanj, Ghor, Khaysar, Firuz-Kuh, Gharjistan
Gharjistan
Gharjistan or Gharshistan refers to the region around the Badghis Province in Afghanistan or more specifically to the rising place of Murghab river. It was part of Greater Khorasan. Gharjistan is mentioned by name in the 16th century Baburnama, describing Babur's visit to the area in early 1507...

, Farah
Farah, Afghanistan
Farah is a city in western Afghanistan, situated at 650 m altitude, and located on the Farah River. It is the capital of Farah Province, and has a population of approximately 109,409....

, Sistan
Sistan
Sīstān is a border region in eastern Iran , southwestern Afghanistan and northern tip of Southwestern Pakistan .-Etymology:...

, Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, Tirah
Tirah
Tirah is a region located in Kurram and Khyber agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan . It lies between the Khyber Pass and the Khanki Valley. It is inhabited by the Afridi and Orakzai tribes of Pashtuns...

, and Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 (the Sulaiman Mountains
Sulaiman Mountains
The Sulaiman Mountains are a major geological feature of southeastern Afghanistan and northern Balochistan province of Pakistan. In Pakistan, it forms the eastern edge of the Iranian plateau where the Indus River separates it from the Asian Subcontient...

) all the way to the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

. Following his subjugation of Sistan, Shamsu'd-Din visited the Ilkhan Hülegü Khan around 1263/4, and then met Hülegü's successor Abaqa three years later. In 1276/7 he met the Ilkhan again, but eventually Abaqa grew suspicious of Shamsu'd-Din and had him poisoned in January 1278 with a watermelon given to him while he was bathing in Tabriz
Tabriz
Tabriz is the fourth largest city and one of the historical capitals of Iran and the capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters at the junction of the Quri River and Aji River, it was the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s, one of its former...

. His body was buried in chains in Jam.

1278-1307


Shamsu'd-Din was succeeded by his son Ruknu'd-Din. The latter adopted the title of malik, which all succeeding Kartid rulers were to use. By the time of his death in Khaysar on September 3, 1305, effective power had long been in the hands of his son Fakhru'd-Din. Fakhru'd-Din was a patron of literature, but also extremely religious. He had previously been cast in prison by his father for seven years, until the Ilkhanid general Nauruz intervened on his behalf. When Nauruz's revolt faltered around 1296, Fakhru'd-Din offered him asylum, but when an Ilkhanid force approached Herat, he betrayed the general and turned him over to the forces of Ghazan. Three years later, Fakhru'd-Din fought against Ghazan's successor Oljeitu, who shortly after his ascension in 1306 sent a force of 10,000 to take Herat. The malik, however, tricked the invaders by letting them occupy the city, and then destroying them, killing their commander Danishmand Bahadur in the process. He died on February 26, 1307. But Herat and Gilan were conquered by Oljeitu.

1307-1331


Fakhru'd-Din's brother Ghiyathu'd-Din succeeded him upon his death; almost immediately, he began to quarrel with another brother, 'Ala'u'd-Din. Taking his case before Oljeitu, who gave him a grand reception, he returned to Khurasan in 1307/8. Continuing troubles with his brother led him to visit the Ilkhan again in 1314/5. Upon returning to Herat, he found his territories being invaded by the Chagatai
Chagatai Khanate
The Chagatai Khanate was a Turko-Mongol khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan , second son of the Great Khan Genghis Khan, and his descendents and successors...

 prince Yasa'ur
Yasa'ur
Yasa'ur was a Chagatai prince who launched a revolt against the Ilkhan Abu Sa'id. He was the son of Chübei, and a great-great-grandson of Chagatai Khan.Yasa'ur had originally resided within the Chagatai ulus...

, as well as hostility from Qutbu'd-Din of Isfizar and the populace of Sistan. A siege of Herat was set by Yasa'ur. The prince, however, was stopped by the armies of the Ilkhanate, and in August 1320 Ghiyathu'd-Din made a pilgrimage to Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

, leaving his son Shamsu'd-Din Muhammad in control during his absence. In 1327 the amir Coban fled to Herat following his betrayal by the Ilkhan Abu Sa'id
Abu Sa'id (Ilkhanid dynasty)
Abu Sa'id also Abusaid Bahador Khan, Abu Sayed Behauder , was the ninth ruler of the Ilkhanate state in Iran ....

, where he requested asylum from Ghiyathu'd-Din, whom he was friends with. Ghiyathu'd-Din initially granted the request, but when Abu Sa'id pressured him to execute Coban, he obeyed. Soon afterwards Ghiyathu'd-Din himself died, in 1329. He left four sons: Shamsu'd-Din, Hafiz, Mu'izzu'd-Din Husain, and Baqir. Shamsu'd-Din, who succeeded him, died shortly after; Hafiz, a scholar and the next person to take the throne, was murdered after two years. The succession therefore fell on Mu'izzu'd-Din.

1331-1370


Four years after Mu'izzu'd-Din's ascension, the Ilkhan Abu Sa'id died, following which the Ilkhanate quickly fragmented. Mu'izzu'd-Din, for his part, allied with Togha Temur
Togha Temür
Togha Temür , also known as Taghaytimur, was a claimant to the throne of the Ilkhanate in the mid-14th century. Of the many individuals who attempted to become Ilkhan after the death of Abu Sa'id, Togha Temür was the only one who hailed from eastern Iran, and was the last major candidate who was of...

, a claimant to the Ilkhanid throne, and paid tribute to him. Up until his death, Mu'izzu'd-Din's main concern were the neighboring Sarbadars
Sarbadars
The Sarbadars were a mixture of religious dervishes and secular rulers that came to rule over part of western Khurasan in the midst of the disintegration of the Mongol Ilkhanate in the mid-14th century...

, centered in Sabzavar. As the Sarbadars were the enemies of Togha Temur, they considered the Kartids a threat and invaded. When the Kartids and Sarbadars met in battle at Zava on July 18, 1342, the battle was initially in the favor of the latter, but disunity within the Sarbadar army allowed the Kartids to emerge victorious. Thereafter, Mu'izzu'd-Din undertook several successful campaigns against the Chagatai
Chagatai Khanate
The Chagatai Khanate was a Turko-Mongol khanate that comprised the lands ruled by Chagatai Khan , second son of the Great Khan Genghis Khan, and his descendents and successors...

 Mongols to the northeast. During this time, he took a still young Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 into his service. In 1349, while Togha Temur was still alive, Mu'izzu'd-Din stopped paying tribute to him, and ruled as an independent sultan. Togha Temur's murder in 1353 by the Sarbadars ended that potential threat. Sometime around 1358, however, the Chagatai amir Qazaghan invaded Khurasan and sacked Herat. As he was returning home, Qazaghan was assassinated, allowing Mu'izzu'd-Din to reestablish his authority.

Another campaign by the Sarbadars against Mu'izzu'd-Din in 1362 was aborted due to their internal disunity. Shortly afterwards, the Kartid leader welcomed Shi'i dervishes fleeing from the Sarbadar ruler 'Ali-yi Mu'ayyad, who had killed their leader during the aborted campaign. In the meantime, however, relations with Timur became tense when the Kartid launched a raid into his territory. Upon Mu'izzu'd-Din's death in 1370, his son Ghiyas al-Din Pir 'Ali inherited most of the Kartid lands, except for Sarakhs
Sarakhs
Sarakhs is a city in and capital of Sarakhs County, Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran. Sarakhs was once a stopping point along the Silk Road, and in its 11th century heyday had many libraries and a famous school of architects. Much of the original city site is now just across the border at Saraghs...

 and a portion of Quhistan
Quhistan
Quhistan or Kohistan was a region of medieval Persia, essentially the southern part of Greater Khorasan. Its boundaries appear to have been indeterminate, and the term generally seems to have been applied loosely....

, which Ghiyas al Din's stepbrother Malik Muhammad gained.

Fall, 1370-1383


Ghiyas al-Din, a grandson of Togha Temur through his mother Sultan Khatun, attempted to destabalize the Sarbadar state by stirring up the refugee dervishes within his country. 'Ali-yi Mu'ayyad countered by conspiring with Malik Muhammad. When Ghiyas al-Din attempted to remove Malik Muhammad, 'Ali-yi Mu'ayyad flanked his army and forced him to abort the campaign, instead compromising with his stepbrother. The Sarbadars, however, soon suffered a period of internal strife, and Ghiyas al-Din took advantage of this by seizing the city of Nishapur
Nishapur
Nishapur or Nishabur , is a city in the Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, situated in a fertile plain at the foot of the Binalud Mountains, near the regional capital of Mashhad...

 around 1375 or 1376. In the meantime, both Ghiyas al-Din and Malik Muhammad had asked for the assistance of Timur regarding their conflict: the former had sent an embassy to him, while the latter had appeared before Timur in person as a requester of asylum, having been driven out of Sarakhs. Timur responded to Ghiyas al-Din by proposing a marriage between his niece Sevinj Qutluq Agha and the Kartid ruler's son Pir Muhammad, a marriage which took place in Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

 around 1376.

Later on, Timur invited Ghiyas al-Din to a council so that the latter could submit to him, but when the Kartid attempted to excuse himself from coming by claiming he had to deal with the Shi'i population in Nishapur, Timur decided to invade. He was encouraged by many Khurasanis, included Mu'izzu'd-Din's former vizier Mu'in al-Din Jami, who sent a letter inviting Timur to intervene in Khurasan, and the shaikhs of Jam, who, being very influential persons, had convinced many of the Kartid dignitaries to welcome Timur as the latter neared Herat. In April 1381 Timur arrived before the city, whose citizens were already demoralized and also aware of Timur's offer not to kill anyone that did not take part in the battle. The city fell, its fortifications were dismantled, theologians and scholars were deported to Timur's homeland, a high tribute was enacted, and Ghiyas al-Din and his son were carried off to Samarkand. Ghiyas al-Din was made Timur's vassal, until he supported a rebellion in 1382 by the maliks of Herat. Ghiyas al-Din and his family were executed around 1383, and Timur's son Miran Shah
Miran Shah
Miran Shah was a son of Timur, and a Timurid governor during his father's lifetime.Miran Shah's first charge was a vast region centered around Qandahar, which he was granted in 1383. That same year, he destroyed a rebellion against Timurid authority by the Kartids, then vassals of Timur in...

destroyed the revolt. That same year, a new uprising led by a Shaikh Da'ud-i Khitatai in Isfizar was quickly put down by Miran Shah. The remaining Kartids were murdered in 1396 at a banquet which Miran Shah had invited them to. The Kartids therefore came to an end, having been the victims of Timur's first Persian campaign.