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Ziyadat Allah III of Ifriqiya

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Abu Mudhar Ziyadat Allah III (Arabic:أبو مضر زيادة الله الثالث‎) (died 916) was the eleventh and last Emir of the Aghlabids in Ifriqiya (903–909).

Ziyadat Allah III
Emir of Ifriqiya
(27 July 903–25 March 909)
Gold dinar of Ziyadat Allah III
PredecessorAbdallah II
SuccessorAbu Abdallah al-Shi'i, as regent on behalf of al-Mahdi Billah
Names
Abu Mudhar Ziyadat Allah ibn Abdallah ibn Ibrahim
HouseAghlabid
FatherAbdallah ibn Ibrahim
ReligionIslam
Campaign map of the fall of the Aghlabid Emirate to the Isma'ili Kutama Berbers under Abu Abdallah al-Shi'i

He came to power after the murder of his father Abdallah II on 27 July 903. He immediately had all his brothers and uncles executed to eliminate any possible rivals.[citation needed] While this massacre secured his position in the short term, the Aghlabid dynasty lost any remaining prestige it had in the eyes of the people.[citation needed]

Later Fatimid sources paint Ziyadat Allah in an extremely negative light, claiming that he had orchestrated his father's murder, and depicting him as a decadent and undignified ruler. Among his indulgences include the drinking of alcohol and hiding whoopee cushions (made of inflated animal bladders) for unsuspecting guests to sit on, which amused Ziyadat Allah and his friends to no end. Fatimid sources claim that Ziyadat Allah's shameful and unscrupulous behavior drove his subjects to side with the proto-Fatimid state led by the missionary Abu Abdallah al-Shi'i, whose piety and asceticism is portrayed positively.

Abu Abdallah, backed by the Kutama Berber tribe, took advantage of the instability following Ziyadat Allah's accession to capture the city of Sétif in October/November of 904. In 905, an Aghlabid force was sent west, towards Kutama territory, to restore order, but was ambushed and routed by Kutama horsemen a day after leaving Constantine. Another campaign was planned for 906, but in March the Aghlabid troops mutinied in Kairouan, where they released all the prisoners from the city's jails. Abu Abdallah al-Shi'i then went on the offensive again, capturing the cities of Tubna and Bilizma. While Ibn Idhari says that both cities fell at the end of Dhu al-Hijjah in 293 AH, Mohamed Talbi places the date of Bilizma's surrender in the middle of 294 AH, i.e. the spring of 907 CE.

By 907, Ziyadat Allah had begun to seriously consider the possibility of a Kutama invasion of central Ifriqiya: he had relocated from Tunis to the palace city of Raqqada (near Kairouan), which he had fortified with a wall made of rammed earth and unbaked clay bricks. In early 907, an Aghlabid force once again marched against Abu Abdallah, following the southern Roman road through the strongly fortified city of Baghaya. This time, however, they made it deep into Kutama territory. The Aghlabid troops, reinforced with Berber volunteers from the Aurès Mountains, destroyed the mountain stronghold of Dar Malul, but when they encountered a band of Kutama cavalry, they panicked and retreated to Baghaya, where they took up a defensive position. With its 1172-meter-long stone walls with 25 towers, built in 539 under Justinian's governor Solomon and still partially standing today, Baghaya was considered practically impenetrable. However, in May or June of 907, some local notables who had secretly aligned themselves with Abu Abdallah opened the city's gates to his forces, and they took the city without a fight.

The fall of such an important stronghold as Baghaya unleashed panic at the Aghlabid court in Raqqada. Ziyadat Allah's vizier, Ibn al-Sa'igh, advised fleeing to Egypt, and Ziyadat Allah quickly bought five hundred camels in preparation. However, he soon changed his mind, and had an official proclamation read from every mosque in Aghlabid Ifriqiya – propaganda. This speech downplayed the Aghlabids' losses in battle, saying that Ziyadat Allah would lead an army in person to defeat the "corrupters of religion". At the same time, a letter circulated, supposedly from the Abbasid caliph al-Muktafi and promising to send aid, while enjoining the people of Ifriqiya to support Ziyadat Allah "against the enemies of God". At the same time, Ziyadat Allah raised a volunteer army, personally handing out gold pieces to volunteers while seated on his throne under the parade pavilion (qubbat al-arḍ), although many simply left after being paid.

Ziyadat Allah, however, did not take command of this army, which mustered at al-Aribus at the end of October 907. That task was left to the prince Ibrahim ibn Abi al-Aghlab, who was ordered to remain in al-Aribus, on the northern Roman road, while Ziyadat Allah headed back to Tunis. They expected Abu Abdallah to approach via this route when they inevitably attacked Kairouan. Abu Abdallah, however, came from the south, capturing several cities in early 908 and forcing the Aghlabids under Ibrahim to march south. The two armies met at Dar Madyan, a place which was probably between Sbeitla and Kasserine, and fought an indecisive battle. Ibrahim returned to al-Aribus, while Abu Abdallah and the Kutama continued eastward, capturing Qastiliya (the region around the Chott el-Djerid) before withdrawing.

The decisive final battle took place at al-Aribus on Saturday, 18 March 909. The fighting lasted until the asr prayer (late afternoon), when a unit of 575 Kutama warriors, having circled around the battlefield in a deep streambed, attacked the Aghlabid army in the flank. The Aghlabid army then fled. Its commander, Ibrahim ibn Abi al-Aghlab, headed back towards Kairouan with what remained of his army. The next day, Sunday 19 March, al-Aribus offered an unconditional surrender to the Kutama, who then massacred its inhabitants and looted the city.

News of the defeat reached Raqqada that same day. Ziyadat Allah immediately made plans to flee, having clothes, jewels, weapons, furniture, and money loaded onto camels, while a thousand Saqaliba bodyguards hid 1,000 dinars each in their belts in case the camel caravan got attacked. The emir ordered several last-minute executions of important prisoners; he also had the bureau of finances (dīwān al-kharāj) burned down along with all the documents inside. After sundown, Ziyadat Allah fled with many of his courtiers by torchlight for Qalshana, south of Kairouan and the first stop on the road to Egypt. A notable exception was the vizier Ibn al-Sa'igh, who Ziyadat Allah suspected of secretly negotiating with Abu Abdallah; Ibn al-Sa'igh instead departed for Sousse, where he planned to then take a boat to Sicily. In the chaotic departure from Raqqada, a group of servants with 30 camels loaded up with money followed Ibn Sa'igh by mistake; the money ended up being confiscated by Abu Abdallah in Sousse.

Ziyadat himself managed to escape to the Near East, but was unable to secure any help from the Abbasids to regain his emirate. He died in 916 in Palestine.

Ziyadat Allah III of Ifriqiya
Ziyadat Allah III of Ifriqiya Language Watch Edit This article needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources Ziyadat Allah III of Ifriqiya news newspapers books scholar JSTOR January 2021 Learn how and when to remove this template message Abu Mudhar Ziyadat Allah III Arabic أبو مضر زيادة الله الثالث died 916 was the eleventh and last Emir of the Aghlabids in Ifriqiya 903 909 Ziyadat Allah IIIEmir of Ifriqiya 27 July 903 25 March 909 1 Gold dinar of Ziyadat Allah IIIPredecessorAbdallah IISuccessorAbu Abdallah al Shi i as regent on behalf of al Mahdi BillahNamesAbu Mudhar Ziyadat Allah ibn Abdallah ibn IbrahimHouseAghlabidFatherAbdallah ibn IbrahimReligionIslamCampaign map of the fall of the Aghlabid Emirate to the Isma ili Kutama Berbers under Abu Abdallah al Shi i He came to power after the murder of his father Abdallah II on 27 July 903 He immediately had all his brothers and uncles executed 1 to eliminate any possible rivals citation needed While this massacre secured his position in the short term the Aghlabid dynasty lost any remaining prestige it had in the eyes of the people citation needed Later Fatimid sources paint Ziyadat Allah in an extremely negative light claiming that he had orchestrated his father s murder and depicting him as a decadent and undignified ruler Among his indulgences include the drinking of alcohol and hiding whoopee cushions made of inflated animal bladders for unsuspecting guests to sit on which amused Ziyadat Allah and his friends to no end Fatimid sources claim that Ziyadat Allah s shameful and unscrupulous behavior drove his subjects to side with the proto Fatimid state led by the missionary Abu Abdallah al Shi i whose piety and asceticism is portrayed positively 1 Abu Abdallah backed by the Kutama Berber tribe took advantage of the instability following Ziyadat Allah s accession to capture the city of Setif in October November of 904 In 905 an Aghlabid force was sent west towards Kutama territory to restore order but was ambushed and routed by Kutama horsemen a day after leaving Constantine Another campaign was planned for 906 but in March the Aghlabid troops mutinied in Kairouan where they released all the prisoners from the city s jails Abu Abdallah al Shi i then went on the offensive again capturing the cities of Tubna and Bilizma While Ibn Idhari says that both cities fell at the end of Dhu al Hijjah in 293 AH Mohamed Talbi places the date of Bilizma s surrender in the middle of 294 AH i e the spring of 907 CE 1 By 907 Ziyadat Allah had begun to seriously consider the possibility of a Kutama invasion of central Ifriqiya he had relocated from Tunis to the palace city of Raqqada near Kairouan which he had fortified with a wall made of rammed earth and unbaked clay bricks In early 907 an Aghlabid force once again marched against Abu Abdallah following the southern Roman road through the strongly fortified city of Baghaya This time however they made it deep into Kutama territory The Aghlabid troops reinforced with Berber volunteers from the Aures Mountains destroyed the mountain stronghold of Dar Malul but when they encountered a band of Kutama cavalry they panicked and retreated to Baghaya where they took up a defensive position With its 1172 meter long stone walls with 25 towers built in 539 under Justinian s governor Solomon and still partially standing today Baghaya was considered practically impenetrable However in May or June of 907 some local notables who had secretly aligned themselves with Abu Abdallah opened the city s gates to his forces and they took the city without a fight 1 The fall of such an important stronghold as Baghaya unleashed panic at the Aghlabid court in Raqqada Ziyadat Allah s vizier Ibn al Sa igh advised fleeing to Egypt and Ziyadat Allah quickly bought five hundred camels in preparation However he soon changed his mind and had an official proclamation read from every mosque in Aghlabid Ifriqiya propaganda This speech downplayed the Aghlabids losses in battle saying that Ziyadat Allah would lead an army in person to defeat the corrupters of religion At the same time a letter circulated supposedly from the Abbasid caliph al Muktafi and promising to send aid while enjoining the people of Ifriqiya to support Ziyadat Allah against the enemies of God At the same time Ziyadat Allah raised a volunteer army personally handing out gold pieces to volunteers while seated on his throne under the parade pavilion qubbat al arḍ although many simply left after being paid 1 Ziyadat Allah however did not take command of this army which mustered at al Aribus at the end of October 907 That task was left to the prince Ibrahim ibn Abi al Aghlab who was ordered to remain in al Aribus on the northern Roman road while Ziyadat Allah headed back to Tunis They expected Abu Abdallah to approach via this route when they inevitably attacked Kairouan Abu Abdallah however came from the south capturing several cities in early 908 and forcing the Aghlabids under Ibrahim to march south The two armies met at Dar Madyan a place which was probably between Sbeitla and Kasserine and fought an indecisive battle Ibrahim returned to al Aribus while Abu Abdallah and the Kutama continued eastward capturing Qastiliya the region around the Chott el Djerid before withdrawing 1 The decisive final battle took place at al Aribus on Saturday 18 March 909 The fighting lasted until the asr prayer late afternoon when a unit of 575 Kutama warriors having circled around the battlefield in a deep streambed attacked the Aghlabid army in the flank The Aghlabid army then fled Its commander Ibrahim ibn Abi al Aghlab headed back towards Kairouan with what remained of his army The next day Sunday 19 March al Aribus offered an unconditional surrender to the Kutama who then massacred its inhabitants and looted the city 1 News of the defeat reached Raqqada that same day Ziyadat Allah immediately made plans to flee having clothes jewels weapons furniture and money loaded onto camels while a thousand Saqaliba bodyguards hid 1 000 dinars each in their belts in case the camel caravan got attacked The emir ordered several last minute executions of important prisoners he also had the bureau of finances diwan al kharaj burned down along with all the documents inside After sundown Ziyadat Allah fled with many of his courtiers by torchlight for Qalshana south of Kairouan and the first stop on the road to Egypt A notable exception was the vizier Ibn al Sa igh who Ziyadat Allah suspected of secretly negotiating with Abu Abdallah Ibn al Sa igh instead departed for Sousse where he planned to then take a boat to Sicily In the chaotic departure from Raqqada a group of servants with 30 camels loaded up with money followed Ibn Sa igh by mistake the money ended up being confiscated by Abu Abdallah in Sousse 1 Ziyadat himself managed to escape to the Near East but was unable to secure any help from the Abbasids to regain his emirate He died in 916 in Palestine References Edit a b c d e f g h i Halm Heinz 1996 The Empire of the Mahdi The Rise of the Fatimids Translated from the German by Michael Bonner Leiden E J Brill pp 107 121 ISBN 90 04 10056 3 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Ziyadat Allah III of Ifriqiya amp oldid 1049854199, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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