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Deborah G. Tor
University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635)
The Great Seljuq Sultanate and the Formation of Islamic Civilization, 1040-1194

The period in which the Great Seljuq Dynasty (AD 1040-1194) presided over the Middle East, from Syria to Central Asia, was one of the most formative in Islamic history. During this era, which inaugurated a millennium of Turco-Mongol rule in the Middle East, many of the final contours of the religious, political, and social institutions of classical Islamic society took shape, with ramifications extending to the present. My proposed book will be the first to trace many of the key developments of the Seljuq era, including the appearance and concept of a universal Sultanate, which challenged the political authority of the caliphate and caused the reshaping of Islamic political theory; the flowering of Islamic chivalric ideals and their literary expression; the tying of the Sunni religious clerics and mystics to the government; the new and prominent political role of Seljuq women; the conflict between Turkmen nomadic norms and Perso-Islamic ones; and the proliferation of native militias.

Project fields:
Near and Middle Eastern History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014