The Breaking of a Thousand Swords: A History of the Turkish Military of Samarra (A.H. 200-275/815-889 C.E.)
The Breaking of a Thousand Swords provides a portrait of the Samarran Turks as members of a community with a specific and complex history in the early medieval Islamic world. It considers: the encounter of the Turks as rough, non-Muslim outsiders, with the sedentary, urbane world of Baghdad; the closely related encounter of the Turks with the Islamic tradition in its urban, scholarly guise; the settlement of the Turks, in Baghdad then in Samarra, through the use of land grants and appointments to office; the impact upon the affairs of the Turkish community of not only a military ranking but of a socio-political hierarchy as well; the construction by the Turkish elite of an elaborate network of patronage and support, both within urban Iraq and throughout the provinces (Egypt in particular); and the emergence, and impact, of factionalism within the community.
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