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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2020

Khurāsānī and Transoxanian Ostikans of Early ʿAbbāsid Armenia

From the book Volume 1 Transregional and Regional Elites – Connecting the Early Islamic Empire

  • Alison Vacca


This chapter examines the relationship between Armenia and Khurāsān in the early ʿAbbāsid period by focusing on the Khurāsānī governors (ostikans) placed in the north between the rise of the ʿAbbāsids and the Samarran period. It argues that the presence of Khurāsānī governors and troops in Armenia challenges the idea that Armenia was separated or isolated from the broader concerns of the Caliphate. After a brief introduction to the ostikanate, the chapter discusses the Khurāsānī governors chronologically along five main periods: (1) the ʿAbbāsid Revolution; (2) the Battle of Bagrewand in 775; (3) Hārūn al-Rashīd and al-Amīn; (4) the fourth fitna; (5) the rise of Transoxanian ostikans. This discussion demonstrates that ʿAbbāsid rule relied heavily on Khurāsānī ostikans and troops in Armenia. It further establishes the caliphal north as a region where ʿAbbāsid power and at times intra-Khurāsānī conflict played out.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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