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Near East Kingdoms



Zangid Atabegs of Mosul, Aleppo, & Damascus
AD 1127 - 1262

The Zangid Atabegs (or Atabeks) were Turkic governors in northern Syria, administering the region on behalf of the Seljuq Sultan Mahmud II. Once the territory of Crusader Edessa to the east of the Euphrates had been re-conquered, the Atabegs under Zangi I were appointed to govern Syria from Aleppo. The death of the founder of this new state, which enjoyed a fairly high degree of independence even from the start, led to it being divided in two.

Zangid Mosul & Jazira
AD 1127 - 1259

Al-Jazira (or Jazirah) was the northern region of Iraq. From 1146 and the death of Zangid I, Mosul and Jazira were ruled by one of his sons, Emir Ghazi I, although not until he had won support to ward off the threat of Arslan Shah, the son of Seljuq Sultan Ahmad Sanjar, being installed in Mosul. Mosul today is the northern capital of modern Iraq, in the heartland of Kurdish territory.

(Additional information from The Political and Dynastic History of the Iranian World (AD 1000-1217), C E Bosworth (The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 5, William Bayne Fisher, John Andrew Boyle, & Richard Nelson Frye (Eds), Cambridge University Press, 1968), and from External Links: Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Encyclopaedia Iranica, and the Turkish Cultural Foundation.)

1146 - 1149

Sayf ad Din Ghazi I

Son of Zangid of Aleppo and Mosul.


Breaking up the state into small rival principalities means that the Crusaders are able to recapture Edessa for two months in the immediate aftermath of the division. However, Ghazi's brother in Aleppo, Nur ad-Din, is able to present a strong front against the Crusaders.

Zangid coins
Shown here are two sides of a coin that was issued in Zangid-controlled Mosul, most probably during the rule of Sayf al-Din Ghazi II, son of the powerful atabeg of Aleppo


Upon the death of Ghazi I, a brother, Mawdud, races to secure Mosul for himself and has himself recognised as emir. He also occupies Homs and Sinjar.

1149 - 1170

Qutb ad Din Mawdud

Brother. In Mosul and Sinjar.


The Abbasid caliph is supporting Suleiman-Shah, a rival for the Seljuq throne. The current incumbent, Muhammad II, marches on Baghdad with an army of 30,000 to meet up with the forces of Qutb ad-Din Mawdud. A storming of the city sees Muhammad capture the western side, but the eastern side across the Tigris remains unassailable. With a stalemate the outcome, and Mahmud Nur ad-Din, Zangid atabeg of Aleppo, castigating his brother, Qutb ad-Din, for attacking the caliph and destroying the previously-staunch Zangid-Seljuq alliance, the attackers give up and return home.

1170 - 1171

With Mawdud's death his rightful heir, Zangi II Imad ad Din, is pushed aside in favour of a brother. Zangi flees to Aleppo from where he launches his conquest of Sinjar. Having completed that, in 1171 he besieges Mosul and takes it. Ghazi II is reduced to a titular role, with real power being held by Zangi's representative, Gümüshtekin.

1170 - 1180

Sayf ad Din Ghazi II

Son. In Mosul. Titular emir only from 1171.


With the death of Ghazi II, his domains are divided between Mosul and Jazira, both of which now have Zangid emirs.

1180 - 1193

Izz ad Din Masud I

Brother. Ruled Mosul.

1180 - 1208

Muizz ad Din Sanjar Shah

Ruled Jazira.


Masud murders his relation, Ismail of Aleppo. Realising that he cannot control both Aleppo and Mosul with the threat offered by Ayyubid Sultan Saladin ever present, he allows Aleppo to be ruled by Sinjar which is led by another Zangid, in exchange for governorship in Sinjar.


Striking out from his base in Damascus, the Ayyubid sultan, Saladin, besieges Mosul, but is unsuccessful in taking control of it.

1193 - 1211

Nur ad Din Arslan Shah I

Son of Masud I. Ruled Mosul.

1208 - 1241

Muizz ad Din Mahmud

Ruled Jazira.

1211 - 1218

Izz ad Din Masud II

Ruled Mosul.

1218 - 1219

Nur ad Din Arslan Shah II

Ruled Mosul.

1219 - 1234

Nasir ad Din Mahmud

Ruled Mosul.

1234 - 1259

Badr ad Din Lu'lu

Ruled Mosul & Lu'luid.

1234 - 1240

Sultan al-Kamil of Egypt sends his son, the future as-Salih II, to Damascus, removing him from the succession in Egypt after suspecting him of conspiracy in alliance with the Mamelukes. His uncle, as-Salih Ismail, soon expels him from Damascus, and he flees to the Jazira, where he becomes allied to forces from the former emirate of Khwarazm.

1241 - 1250

Masud al-Malik al-Zahir

Ruled Jazira.

1250 - 1254

Jazira is conquered by the Ayyubids and then the Lu'luids.


Mongol dominion is established over Mosul. Tolui's son, Hulegu, begins a campaign which sees him enter the Islamic lands of Mesopotamia on behalf of Great Khan Mongke. Ismailis (assassins) have been threatening the Mongol governors of the western provinces, so Mongke has determined that the Abbasid caliphs must be brought to heel. Hulegu takes Khwarazm, and quickly establishes dominion over Mosul, and Badr ad Din Lu'lu is allowed to retain governance of the city as he aids the Mongols in other campaigns in Syria.

Hulegu Khan
Inheriting the Persian section of the Mongol empire through his father, Tolui, Hulegu Khan led the devastating attack which ended the Islamic caliphate at Baghdad, but he also brought the eastern Persian territories under his firm control (he is seen here with his wife)

1259 - 1262

Rukn ad Din Ismail

Son. Ruled Lu'luid.


Rukn ad Din Ismail sides with the Mamelukes against the Mongols, precipitating Mongol retribution. Mosul is destroyed by them and its surrounding territory is integrated into the Mongol Il-Khan dominions, ending Zangid rule of the region.

Zangid Sinjar
AD 1171 - 1220

Sinjar was a province located in northern Iraq, and was in ancient times part of Assyria. It was secured by the Zangids under Mawdud in 1149, when he also secured the emirate of Mosul upon the death of his brother. He ruled Sinjar as well until his death in 1170, when his rightful heir, Zangi II Imad ad Din, was pushed aside in favour of a brother. Zangi fled to Aleppo from where he launched his conquest of Sinjar, which was thereafter ruled independently of Mosul.

1171 - 1197

Zangi II Imad ad Din

Son of Mawdud of Mosul. Also ruled Aleppo (1181-1183).


Zangi besieges Mosul and takes it. Mawdud is reduced to a titular role, with real power being held by Zangi's representative, Gümüshtekin.

Zangid coins
Coins from Sinjar, issued during the seventy-one year Zangid rule of the region

1181 - 1183

Aleppo is absorbed into Sinjar's territory following the murder of its ruler in 1181. Sinjar itself is subjugated by Ayyubid Sultan Saladin of Egypt in 1183, although it appears that the local rulers are allowed to remain in place.

1183 - 1186

al Adil I (Sayf ad Din / Safadin) / Abu Bakr

Brother of Saladin & governor. Later sultan of Damascus (1196).

1197 - 1219

Muhammad Qutb ad Din

Ruled Sinjar alone, but probably not fully independent.

1219 - 1220

Shahanshah Imad ad Din

1219 - 1220

Mahmud Jalal ad Din

1219 - 1220

Umar Fath ad Din


Sinjar is fully conquered by the Ayyubids, ending whatever independence it may have enjoyed since 1183.

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