Portal:Seljuk Empire

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Introduction

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The Seljuk Empire (Persian: آل سلجوق‎, translit. Āl-e Saljuq, lit. 'House of Saljuq') or Great Seljuq Empire was a medieval Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qiniq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to western Anatolia and the Levant, and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. From their homelands near the Aral Sea, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia.

The Seljuk empire was founded by Tughril Beg (1016–1063) in 1037. Tughril was raised by his grandfather, Seljuk-Beg, who was in a high position in the Oghuz Yabgu State. Seljuk gave his name to both the Seljuk empire and the Seljuk dynasty. The Seljuks united the fractured political scene of the eastern Islamic world and played a key role in the first and second crusades. Highly Persianized in culture and language, the Seljuks also played an important role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition, even exporting Persian culture to Anatolia. The settlement of Turkic tribes in the northwestern peripheral parts of the empire, for the strategic military purpose of fending off invasions from neighboring states, led to the progressive Turkicization of those areas.

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Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital (Turkish: Divriği Ulu Camii ve Darüşşifası) is an ornately decorated mosque and hospital complex built in 1228-1229 by the local dynasty of the Mengujekids in the small eastern Anatolian town of Divriği, now in Sivas Province in Turkey. The complex is located in the upper town, below the citadel.

The building complex consists of a mosque which adjoins the hospital with which it shares its southern, qibla wall. The main entrance to the mosque is on the northern side and is marked by a tall portal which is celebrated for the quality and density of its high-relief stone carving. An entrance on the western side may be from a later date as this façade of the mosque had collapsed and was rebuilt at a later date when it was also strengthened by a round buttress on the north-western corner. A third entrance to the mosque is located on the eastern façade. This entrance appears to have served as a royal entrance which gave access to the raised wooden platform in the southeastern corner of the mosque's interior, reserved for the ruler and his entourage.

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