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The Barmakids Options
Daemon
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The Barmakids

The Barmakids were a noble Persian family who attained great power under the Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad in the 8th century. Often serving as viziers and holding other influential roles, the Barmakids were patrons of the sciences and are credited with establishing Baghdad's first paper mill. However, by the start of the 9th century, the family's power and status was in decline and many of its members were imprisoned or executed. The Barmakids are mentioned in what famous stories? More...
KSPavan
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The Barmakids
The Barmakids were a noble Persian family who attained great power under the Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad in the 8th century. Often serving as viziers and holding other influential roles, the Barmakids were patrons of the sciences and are credited with establishing Baghdad's first paper mill. However, by the start of the 9th century, the family's power and status was in decline and many of its members were imprisoned or executed.
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2017 8:52:22 AM

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Barmakids
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Barmakids

The Barmakids (Persian: برمکیان‎ Barmakīyān; Arabic: البرامكة‎ - al-Barāmikah, from the Sanskrit: pramukha प्रमुख "leader, chief administrator, registrar";[1] also wrongly called Barmecides (philologically, the third syllable contains an unvoiced velar, not a sibilant)) were an influential family from Balkh in Bactria where they were originally Buddhists,[2] and subsequently came to great political power under the Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad. Khalid, the son of Barmak became the Prime Minister or Wazir of Al Saffah, the first Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty. His son Yahya aided Harun Al-Rashid in capturing the throne and rose to power as the most powerful man in the Empire. The Barmakids were remarkable for their majesty, splendor and hospitality. They are mentioned in some stories of the Arabian Nights.
Origins

The family is traceable back to the hereditary Buddhist administrators, Sanskrit प्रमुख Pramukha (Arabized to Barmak), of the Buddhist monastery of Nava Vihāra (Nawbahar) west of Balkh.[3] Historians of Islam have sometimes considered the Barmakids to have been Zoroastrian priests before converting to Islam, an erroneous view based on the fact that Balkh was known as an important centre of Zoroastrianism, or from a simple failure of early Islamic sources to distinguish Zoroastrians from Buddhists. In fact, the Barmakids descended from the chiefs, or administrators of the Buddhist monastery called Navavihāra (Skt. नवविहार) or "New Monastery", that was described by the Chinese Buddhist diarist Xuanzang in the seventh century[4] which may have led to the Persian and Arabic error of thinking that the term "Nowbahār" was the name of a Zoroastrian fire temple headed by the Barmakids as reported in Islamic sources. The Pramukhas converted during the Arab invasion of the Persian Empire.

The Barmakids were highly educated, respected and influential throughout Arabia, Persia, Central Asia and the Levant. In Baghdad, the Barmakid court became a centre of patronage for the Ulema, poets, scholars alike.[5]

Khalid ibn Barmak occupied distinguished positions under first two Abbasid Caliphs, al-Saffah and al-Mansur. He had risen to be the vizier, following death of Abu Salma and Abul Jahm. Khalid was on such intimate terms with al-Saffah that his daughter was nursed by the wife of the Caliph. Likewise, Caliph's daughter was nursed by Khalid's wife. His son, Yahya ibn Barmak, at one time Governor of Arminiya, was entrusted by Caliph al-Mahdi (775-85) with the education of his son, Harun, the future Caliph al-Rashid.[6]

Under Abbasid regime Khalid rose to the headship of the department of Finance (diwan al-Kharaj) This department was concerned with Taxation and Land Tenure. Genuine budgets began to be drawn up for the first time and offices sprang up for various departments. The extensive staff of officials engaged in correspondence with the provinces and prepared estimates and accounts. An influential stratum of officialdom, the Irano-Islamic class of secretaries (kuttab in Arabic, dabiran in Persian), was formed which considered itself as the main support of the state. Their knowledge of the complex system of the kharaj (land tax) which took account not only of the quality of the land but of the produce of the crops sown, made the officials of the diwan al-Kharaj; the guardians of knowledge which was inaccessible to the uninitiated and was passed by inheritance.[7]

In 765, Khalid ibn Barmak received the governorship of Tabaristan, where he crushed a dangerous uprising. During his governorship of Upper Mesopotamia, Khalid, through a mix of firmness and justice, brought the province quickly into order and effectively curbed the unruly Kurds.[citation needed]
Influence under the early Abbasids

The Barmakid family was an early supporter of the Abbasid revolt against the Umayyads and of As-Saffah. This gave Khalid bin Barmak considerable influence, and his son Yaḥyá ibn Khālid (d. 806) was the vizier of the caliph al-Mahdi (ruled 775–785) and tutor of Hārūn al-Rashid (ruled 786–809). Yahya's sons al-Fadl and Ja'far (767–803), both occupied high offices under Harun.[citation needed]

Many Barmakids were patrons of the sciences, which greatly helped the propagation of Indian science and scholarship into the Islamic world of Baghdad and beyond.[8] They patronized scholars such as Gebir and Jabril ibn Bukhtishu.[citation needed] They are also credited with the establishment of the first paper mill in Baghdad.[citation needed] The power of the Barmakids in those times is reflected in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights; the vizier Ja'far appears in several stories, as well as a tale that gave rise to the expression "Barmecide feast".[9]

"We know of Yahya ibn Khalid al-Barmaki (d. 805) as a patron of physicians and, specifically, of the translation of Hindu medical works into both Arabic and Persian. In all likelihood however, his activity took place in the orbit of the caliphal court in Iraq , where at the behest of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786-809), such books were translated into Arabic. Thus Khurāsān and Transoxiana were effectively bypassed in this transfer of learning from India to Islam, even though, undeniably the Barmakī's cultural outlook owed something to their land of origin, northern Afghanistan, and Yahya al-Barmakī's interest in medicine may have derived from no longer identifiable family tradition."[10]


with my pleasure
ChristopherJohnson
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2017 9:07:51 AM

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Barmakians are mentioned in Alf Layla wa-Layla aka Arabian Nights, of course.
monamagda
Posted: Monday, October 02, 2017 9:24:58 AM

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The Arabian Nights

Historical Figures

Haroun al Rashid



Haroun al-Rashid was the fifth Abbasid caliph and, due partly to his frequent inclusion in The Thousand and One Nights, the most famous of the Abbasid caliphs. Relatively soon after his death, numerous poets and bards began to commemorate his reign as one of posterity and peace — due to the exhausting civil war that occurred soon after his own death, the people of the dynasty began to long for the era of al-Rashid [8]. This idea is reflected in one of the last tales of The Thousand and One Nights, The End of Jafar and the Barmakids. The tragic ending seems to suggest the inherent transience of any era of happiness: though, in the tales, Jafar and al-Rashid go on many exciting adventures, their lives must inevitably end in sorrow.

During his reign, al-Rashid was a competent and capable leader who focused on fortifying and stabilizing the empire he inherited rather than expanding into new territories. However, due to a failure on his part to equitably divide the empire among his successors, he indirectly caused the civil war that plagued the empire after his death.

https://coursewikis.fas.harvard.edu/aiu18/1001_Nights

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