A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
An icon is a religious work of art, most a painting, in the cultures of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic, certain Eastern Catholic churches. The most common subjects include Christ, Mary and angels. Although associated with "portrait" style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term covers most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative scenes. Icons can represent various scenes in the Bible. Icons may be cast in metal, carved in stone, embroidered on cloth, painted on wood, done in mosaic or fresco work, printed on paper or metal, etc. Comparable images from Western Christianity are not classified as "icons", although "iconic" may be used to describe a static style of devotional image. Eastern Orthodox tradition holds that the production of Christian images dates back to the early days of Christianity, that it has been a continuous tradition since then. Modern academic art history considers that, while images may have existed earlier, the tradition can be traced back only as far as the 3rd century, that the images which survive from Early Christian art differ from ones.
The icons of centuries can be linked closely, to images from the 5th century onwards, though few of these survive. Widespread destruction of images occurred during the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 726–842, although this did settle permanently the question of the appropriateness of images. Since icons have had a great continuity of style and subject. At the same time there has been development. Christian tradition dating from the 8th century identifies Luke the Evangelist as the first icon painter. Aside from the legend that Pilate had made an image of Christ, the 4th-century Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Church History, provides a more substantial reference to a "first" icon of Jesus, he relates that King Abgar of Edessa sent a letter to Jesus at Jerusalem, asking Jesus to come and heal him of an illness. In this version there is no image. A account found in the Syriac Doctrine of Addai mentions a painted image of Jesus in the story. Further legends relate that the cloth remained in Edessa until the 10th century, when it was taken to Constantinople.
It went missing in 1204 when Crusaders sacked Constantinople, but by numerous copies had established its iconic type. The 4th-century Christian Aelius Lampridius produced the earliest known written records of Christian images treated like icons in his Life of Alexander Severus that formed part of the Augustan History. According to Lampridius, the emperor Alexander Severus, himself not a Christian, had kept a domestic chapel for the veneration of images of deified emperors, of portraits of his ancestors, of Christ, Apollonius and Abraham. Saint Irenaeus, in his Against Heresies says scornfully of the Gnostic Carpocratians: "They possess images, some of them painted, others formed from different kinds of material, they crown these images, set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world, to say, with the images of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, the rest. They have other modes of honouring these images, after the same manner of the Gentiles ". On the other hand, Irenaeus does not speak critically of icons or portraits in a general sense—only of certain gnostic sectarians' use of icons.
Another criticism of image veneration appears in the non-canonical 2nd-century Acts of John, in which the Apostle John discovers that one of his followers has had a portrait made of him, is venerating it: "...he went into the bedchamber, saw the portrait of an old man crowned with garlands, lamps and altars set before it. And he called him and said: Lycomedes, what do you mean by this matter of the portrait? Can it be one of thy gods, painted here? For I see that you are still living in heathen fashion." In the passage John says, "But this that you have now done is childish and imperfect: you have drawn a dead likeness of the dead." At least some of the hierarchy of the Christian churches still opposed icons in the early 4th century. At the Spanish non-ecumenical Synod of Elvira bishops concluded, "Pictures are not to be placed in churches, so that they do not become objects of worship and adoration". Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis, wrote his letter 51 to John, Bishop of Jerusalem in which he recounted how he tore down an image in a church and admonished the other bishop that such images are "opposed... to our religion".
Elsewhere in his Church History, Eusebius reports seeing what he took to be portraits of Jesus and Paul, mentions a bronze statue at Banias / Paneas under Mount Hermon, of which he wrote, "They say that this statue is an image of Jesus". John Francis Wilson suggests the possibility that this refers to a pagan bronze statue whose tru
Michael III was Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian dynasty, he was given the disparaging epithet the Drunkard by the hostile historians of the succeeding Macedonian dynasty, but modern historical research has rehabilitated his reputation to some extent, demonstrating the vital role his reign played in the resurgence of Byzantine power in the 9th century. Michael was the youngest child of his empress Theodora. Crowned co-ruler by his father in his infancy in 840, Michael had just turned two years old when his father died and Michael succeeded him as sole emperor on January 20, 842. During his minority, the empire was governed by a regency headed by his mother Theodora, her uncle Sergios, the minister Theoktistos; the empress had iconodule sympathies and deposed Patriarch John VII of Constantinople, replacing him with the iconodule Patriarch Methodius I of Constantinople in 843. This put an end to the second spell of iconoclasm.
As the emperor was growing up, the courtiers around him fought for influence. Fond of his uncle Bardas, Michael invested him with the title kaisar and allowed him to murder Theoktistos in November 855. With the support of Bardas and another uncle, a successful general named Petronas, Michael III overthrew the regency on March 15, 856 and relegated his mother and sisters to a monastery in 857; the internal stabilization of the state was not matched along the frontiers. Byzantine forces were defeated by the Abbasids in Pamphylia, on the border with Syria, but a Byzantine fleet of 85 ships did score a victory over the Arabs in 853. There were many operations around the Aegean and off the Syrian coast by at least three more fleets, numbering 300 ships total. Following an expedition led by Michael's uncle and general, against the Paulicians from the eastern frontier and the Arab borderlands in 856, the imperial government resettled them in Thrace, thus cutting them off from their coreligionists and populating another border region.
Michael was responsible, as per the writings of Constantine VII, for the subjugation of the Slavs settled in the Peloponnese. A conflict between the Byzantines and Bulgarian Empire occurred during 855 and 856; the Byzantine Empire wanted to regain its control over some areas of Thrace, including Philippopolis and the ports around the Gulf of Burgas on the Black Sea. Byzantine forces, led by the emperor and the caesar Bardas, were successful in reconquering a number of cities – Philippopolis, Develtus and Mesembria among them – as well as the region of Zagora. At the time of this campaign the Bulgarians were distracted by a war with the Franks under Louis the German and the Croatians. In 853 Boris had allied himself to Rastislav of Moravia against the Franks; the Bulgarians were defeated by the Franks, following this the Moravians changed sides and the Bulgarians faced threats from Moravia. Michael III took an active part in the wars against the Abbasids and their vassals on the eastern frontier from 856 to 863, in 857 when he sent an army of 50,000 men against Emir Umar al-Aqta of Melitene.
In 859, he led a siege on Samosata, but in 860 had to abandon the expedition to repel an attack by the Rus' on Constantinople. In 863, Petronas defeated and killed the emir of Melitene at the battle of Lalakaon, celebrated a triumph in the capital. Bardas justified his usurpation of the regency by introducing various internal reforms. Under the influence of both Bardas and Photios, Michael presided over the reconstruction of ruined cities and structures, the reopening of closed monasteries, the reorganization of the imperial university at the Maganaura palace under Leo the Mathematician. Photios a layman, had entered holy orders and was promoted to the position of patriarch on the dismissal of the troublesome Ignatios in 858; this created a schism within the Church and, although a Council of Constantinople in 861 confirmed Photios as patriarch, Ignatios appealed to Pope Nicholas I, who declared Photios illegitimate in 863. Michael presided over a synod in 867 in which Photios and the three other eastern patriarchs excommunicated Pope Nicholas and condemned the Latin filioque clause concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit.
The conflict over the patriarchal throne and supreme authority within the church was exacerbated by the success of the active missionary efforts launched by Photios. Under the guidance of Patriarch Photios, Michael sponsored the mission of Saints Cyril and Methodios to the Khazar Khagan in an effort to stop the expansion of Judaism among the Khazars. Although this mission was a failure, their next mission in 863 secured the conversion of Great Moravia and devised the Glagolitic alphabet for writing in Slavonic thus allowing Slavic-speaking peoples to approach conversion to Orthodox Christianity through their own rather than an alien tongue. Fearing the potential conversion of Boris I of Bulgaria to Christianity under Frankish influence, Michael III and the Caesar Bardas invaded Bulgaria, imposing the conversion of Boris according to the Byzantine rite as part of the peace settlement in 864. Michael III stood by proxy, for Boris at his baptism. Boris took the additional name of Michael at the ceremony.
The Byzantines allowed the Bulgarians to reclaim the contested border region of Zagora. The conversion of the Bulgarians has been evaluated as one of the greatest cultural and political achievements of the Byzantine Empire. Michael III's marriage with Eudokia Dekapolitissa was childless, but the emperor did not want to risk a
A caliphate is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph, a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire ummah. The caliphates were polities based in Islam which developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. During the medieval period, three major caliphates succeeded each other: the Rashidun Caliphate, the Umayyad Caliphate and the Abbasid Caliphate. In the fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire claimed caliphal authority from 1517. During the history of Islam, a few other Muslim states all hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates. Prior to the rise of Muhammad and the unification of the tribes of Arabia under Islam, Arabs followed a pre-Islamic Arab polytheism, lived as self-governing sedentary and nomadic communities, raided their neighbouring tribes. Following the early Muslim conquests of the Arabian Peninsula, the region became unified and most of the tribes adopted Islam.
The first caliphate, the Rashidun Caliphate, was established after Muhammad's death in 632. The four Rashidun caliphs, who directly succeeded Muhammad as leaders of the Muslim community, were chosen through shura, a process of community consultation that some consider to be an early form of Islamic democracy; the fourth caliph, who, unlike the prior three, was from the same clan as Muhammad, is considered by Shia Muslims to be the first rightful caliph and Imam after Muhammad. Ali reigned during the First Fitna, a civil war between supporters of Ali and supporters of the assassinated previous caliph, from Banu Umayya, as well as rebels in Egypt; the second caliphate, the Umayyad Caliphate, was ruled by Banu Umayya, a Meccan clan descended from Umayya ibn Abd Shams. The caliphate continued the Arab conquests, incorporating the Caucasus, Sindh, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world; the caliphate had considerable acceptance of the Christians within its territory, necessitated by their large numbers in the region of Syria.
Following the Abbasid Revolution from 746–750, which arose from non-Arab Muslim disenfranchisement, the Abbasid Caliphate was established in 750. The third caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate was ruled by the Abbasids, a dynasty of Meccan origin which descended from Hashim, a great-grandfather of Muhammad, making them part of Banu Hashim, via Abbas, an uncle of Muhammad, hence the name. Caliph al-Mansur founded its second capital of Baghdad in 762 which became a major scientific and art centre, as did the territory as a whole during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age. From the 10th century, Abbasid rule became confined to an area around Baghdad. From 945 to 1157, the Abbasid Caliphate came under Buyid and Seljuq military control. In 1250, a non-Arab army created by the Abbasids called. In 1258, the Mongol Empire sacked Baghdad, ending the Abbasid Caliphate, in 1261 the Mamluks in Egypt re-established the Abbasid Caliphate in Cairo. Though lacking in political power, the Abbasid dynasty continued to claim authority in religious matters until the Ottoman conquest of Mamluk Egypt in 1517.
The fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, was established after their conquest of Mamluk Egypt in 1517. The conquest gave the Ottomans control over the holy cities of Mecca and Medina controlled by the Mamluks; the Ottomans came to be viewed as the de facto leaders and representatives of the Muslim world. In the Indian subcontinent, dominant powers such as the Delhi Sultanate's Alauddin Khilji, Mughal Empire's sixth ruler Aurangzeb, Mysore's kings Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan have been heralded as few of the Indian caliphs existed, due to their establishments of Islamic laws throughout South Asia. Following their defeat in World War I, their empire was partitioned by the United Kingdom and French Third Republic, on 3 March 1924, the first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as part of his reforms, constitutionally abolished the institution of the caliphate. A few other states that existed through history have called themselves caliphates, including the Isma'ili Fatimid Caliphate in Northeast Africa, the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba in Iberia, the Berber Almohad Caliphate in Morocco and the Fula Sokoto Caliphate in present-day northern Nigeria.
The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that, as a head of state, a caliph may come to power in one of four ways: either through an election, through nomination, through a selection by a committee, or by force. Followers of Shia Islam, believe a caliph should be an Imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt. In the early 21st century, following the failure of the Arab Spring and defeat of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State", there has seen "a broad mainstream embrace of a collective Muslim identity" by young Muslims and the appeal of a caliphate as a "idealized future Muslim state" has grown stronger. Before the advent of Islam, Arabian monarchs traditionally used the title malik, or another from the same root; the term caliph, derives from the Arabic word khalīfah, which means "successor", "steward", or "deputy" and has traditionally been considered a shortening of Khalīfat Rasūl Allāh. However, studies of pre-Islamic texts suggest that the original meaning of the phr
Narjis was the wife of Imam Hasan al-Askari and the mother of the final Imam of Twelver Shia Islam. Her name has been recorded as Narjis, Katrina and Anna in books. More sources have described her as a "Roman princess" who pretended to be a slave so that she might travel from her kingdom to Arabia. Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi, in Encyclopedia of Iranica, suggests that the last version is "undoubtedly legendary and hagiographic". According to Ibn Babawayh's account, Narjis saw Mary, the mother of Jesus, Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, in her dreams and asked for her hand in marriage with Imam Al Askari; the first scholar to reveal information about Narjis as the mother of twelfth Imam was Al-Masudi. According to his account, she was a Roman princess named Narjis. Ibn Babawayh was the first scholar to discuss the nationality of Narjis on the authority of Muhammad b. Bahr al-Shaybani, who attributed his narration to Bishr b. Sulayman al-Nakhkhas. According to Ibn Babawayh and Allamah Majlesi in al-Ghaibah, she was a Christian Narjis was the granddaughter of a Roman Caesar, a descendant of the Apostle Simon.
Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi, in Encyclopedia of Iranica, suggests that the last version is "undoubtedly legendary and hagiographic". However, nowadays all twelvers consider her to be a Roman princess. Saiyra, Narges Khatoon, Katrina,Lilliana, Magdalena are names attributed to her in the sources. According to the Sibt ibn al-Jawzi and Ibn Talhah, Sunni narrators, she had been known as Sawsan. According to Ibn Babawayh's account, Narjis saw Mary, the mother of Jesus, Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, in her dreams on fourteen nights, they asked her to become Muslim and travel to Medina by masquerading as a captive of the Muslim army. According to al-Ghaibah, after conversion to Islam upon the request of Mary and Fatima, she had another dream in which she visited Hasan al-Askari, the eleventh Shia Imam; the Imam tells her that her grandfather will shortly send an army to fight against Muslims and that she should turn herself in as a captive without being identified. According to Donaldson, Ali al-Hadi, Hasan al-Askari's father, wrote a letter and handed it to his friend Bashar ibn Sulaiman with 220 dinars in a red pouch.
He asked Bashar to go to Baghdad where slaves were sold to inquire of Amr ibn Yazid about a slave girl who would shout in the Roman Language "Ακόμη και αν έχετε τον πλούτο και τη δόξα του Σολομώντα, του γιου του Δαβίδ, δεν θα απευθυνθώ σε σας. Έτσι μην σπαταλάτε τα χρήματά σας"!: "Even if you have the wealth and glory of Solomon, son of David, I will not turn to you. So don't waste your money!" Ali al-Hadi had predicted that the slave seller would respond that in any case he would have to sell the slave girl but she would respond: "Don't rush and let me select the buyer". Bashar narrates; the girl cried. She asks Amr ibn Yazid to sell her to the writer of the letter, "for if you refuse I will kill myself". Bashar narrates that on their way to Samarra, the girl kisses the letter rubbing it on her face and body; when Bashar asks her about the reason, she replies: "May the offspring of the Prophet dispel your doubts". After a while she reveals to Bashar her escape from her father's palace. After joining Ali al-Hadi, he invites his sister, Hakimah Khātūn, says to her about Narjis: "she is the wife of Hasan al-Askari and mother of Al-Qa'im.
According to the views of scholars Muhammad Khawja Bukhari in his book Fasl-ul-Khetab, Hamidah the daughter of Muhammad al-Jawad, the ninth Shia Imam, the aunt of Hasan al-Askari, used to pray a lot to witness the son of Hasan al-Askari. On the eve of 14 Sha'ban in 255 AH she met Hasan al-Askari; when she decided to return, Hasan al-Askari asked her to stay with them in order to witness the birth of the child whom she wished so much to see. Hamidah narrates. Hakima went to her. After a few moments, Narjis delivered the child. Hakima brought him to Hasan al-Askari, he took the child in his arms and he stroked his back and his eyes. He said aloud Adhan in his right ear and Iqama in his left ear. There were no signs of birth in Narjis. Hakimah Khatun has said that the "pregnancy of Narjis was like pregnancy of Moses and Jesus without any signs for the protection of the child"; that is because the Abbasid decided to kill the expected child, known as the savior. After the birth of the child, Hasan al-Askari revealed the child to his forty close followers and the child was hidden.
According to Kohlberg, after the death of Hasan al-Askari, some Shia followers believed he was Qaem and Muhammad al-Mahdi was not his son because he did not have any child. The group believed that he had not died and had gone into occultation. Another part of historians studying the pedigrees of some Central Asian "shejere" saints, believe that the 12th Imam was not the only son of Imam Hasan al-Askari. In the 11th Imam had Sayyid Muhammad and Sayyid Ali Akbar. One descendant of Sayyid Ali Akbar was Saint Ishan Imlo of Bukhara. Ishan Imlo - Bukhara "saint of the last time," as he is called in Bukhara, as it is believed that after him the Saints had no more; the average Asian Muslims revere him as the last of the Saints. Ishan Imlo. According to the source, died in 1162 AH, the mausoleum is in a cemetery in Bukhaara; the existence of any descendant of Imam Hasan al Askari is disputed by many people. However it is believed by Sunni and Shia followers of the
Abu al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid, better known by his regnal name al-Ma'mun, was the seventh Abbasid caliph, who reigned from 813 until his death in 833. He succeeded his half-brother al-Amin after a civil war, during which the cohesion of the Abbasid Caliphate was weakened by rebellions and the rise of local strongmen. Well educated and with a considerable interest in scholarship, al-Ma'mun promoted the Translation Movement and the flowering of learning and the sciences in Baghdad, he is known for supporting the doctrine of Mu'tazilism and the rise of the inquisition, for the resumption of large-scale warfare with the Byzantine Empire. Abdallah, the future al-Ma'mun, was born in Baghdad on the night of the 13 to 14 September 786 CE to Harun al-Rashid and his concubine Marajil, from Badghis. On the same night, which became known as the "night of the three caliphs", his uncle al-Hadi died and was succeeded by Ma'mun's father, Harun al-Rashid, as ruler of the Abbasid Caliphate. Marajil died soon after his birth, Abdallah was raised by Harun al-Rashid's wife, herself of high Abbasid lineage as the granddaughter of Caliph al-Mansur.
As a young prince, Abdallah received a thorough education: al-Kisa'i tutored him in classical Arabic, Abu Muhammad al-Yazidi in adab, he received instruction in music and poetry. He was trained in fiqh by al-Hasan al-Lu'lu'i, showing particular excellence in the Hanafi school, in the hadith, becoming himself active as a transmitter. According to M. Rekaya, "he was distinguished by his love of knowledge, making him the most intellectual caliph of the Abbasid family, which accounts for the way in which his caliphate developed". Although Abdallah was the oldest of his sons, in 794 Harun named the second-born Muhammad, born in April 787 to Zubayda, as the first in line of succession; this was the result of family pressure on the Caliph, reflecting Muhammad's higher birth, as both parents descended from the Abbasid dynasty. Muhammad received the oath of allegiance with the name of al-Amin, first in Khurasan by his guardian, the Barmakid al-Fadl ibn Yahya, in Baghdad. Abdallah was recognized as second heir only after entering puberty, in 799, under the name al-Ma'mun, with another Barmakid, Ja'far ibn Yahya, as his guardian.
At the same time, a third heir, al-Qasim, named al-Mu'tamin, was appointed, under the guardianship of Abd al-Malik ibn Salih. These arrangements were confirmed and publicly proclaimed in 802, when Harun and the most powerful officials of the Abbasid government made the pilgrimage to Mecca. Al-Amin would succeed Harun in Baghdad, but al-Ma'mun would remain al-Amin's heir and would additionally rule over an enlarged Khurasan; this was an appointment of particular significance, as Khurasan had been the starting-point of the Abbasid Revolution which brought the Abbasids to power, retained a privileged position among the Caliphate's provinces. Furthermore, the Abbasid dynasty relied on Khurasanis as military leaders and administrators. Many of the original Khurasani Arab army that came west with the Abbasids were given estates in Iraq and the new Abbasid capital and became an elite group known as the abnaʾ al-dawla; this large-scale presence of an Iranian element in the highest circles of the Abbasid state, with the Barmakid family as its most notable representatives, was a factor in the appointment of al-Ma'mun, linked through his mother with the eastern Iranian provinces, as heir and governor of Khurasan.
The stipulations of the agreement, which were recorded in detail by the historian al-Tabari, accorded al-Mamun's Khurasani viceroyalty extensive autonomy. However, modern historians consider that these accounts may have been distorted by apologists of al-Ma'mun in the latter's favour. Harun's third heir, al-Mu'tamin, received responsibility over the frontier areas with the Byzantine Empire in Upper Mesopotamia and Syria; the latent rivalry between the two brothers had important repercussions: immediately after the court returned to Baghdad in January 803, the Abbasid elites were shaken by the abrupt fall of the Barmakid family from power. On the one hand, this decision may reflect the fact that the Barmakids had become indeed too powerful for the Caliph's liking, but its timing suggests that it was tied to the succession issue as well: with al-Amin siding with the abnaʾ and al-Ma'mun with the Barmakids, the two camps becoming more estranged every day, if al-Amin was to have a chance to succeed, the power of the Barmakids had to be broken.
Al-Fadl ibn Sahl, a Kufan of Iranian origin whose father had converted to Islam and entered Barmakid service, replaced Ja'far ibn Yahya as al-Ma'mun's tutor. In 806 he became al-Ma'mun's secretary, an appointment that marked him out as the chief candidate for the vizierate should al-Ma'mun succeed to the throne. In 804, al-Ma'mun married his cousin, Umm Isa, a daughter of the Caliph al-Hadi; the couple had Muhammad al-Asghar and Abdallah. The years after the fall of the Barmakids saw an increasing centralization of the administration and the concomitant rise of the influence of the abnaʾ, many of whom were now dispatched to take up positions as provincial governors and bring these provinces under closer control from Baghdad; this led to unrest in the provinces Khurasan, where local elites had a long-standing rivalry with the abnaʾ and their tendency to
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands referred to as Regione Siciliana. Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina, its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, one of the most active in the world 3,329 m high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate; the earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. By around 750 BC, Sicily had three Phoenician and a dozen Greek colonies and, for the next 600 years, it was the site of the Sicilian Wars and the Punic Wars. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily was ruled during the Early Middle Ages by the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine Empire, the Emirate of Sicily; the Norman conquest of southern Italy led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily, subsequently ruled by the Hohenstaufen, the Capetian House of Anjou and the House of Habsburg.
It was unified under the House of Bourbon with the Kingdom of Naples as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, a plebiscite. Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region on 15th May 1946, 18 days before the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. Albeit, much of the autonomy still remains unapplied financial autonomy, because the autonomy-activating laws have been deferred to be approved by the parithetic committee, since 1946. Sicily has a rich and unique culture with regard to the arts, literature and architecture, it is home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples and Selinunte. Sicily has a triangular shape, earning it the name Trinacria. To the east, it is separated from the Italian mainland by the Strait of Messina, about 3 km wide in the north, about 16 km wide in the southern part.
The northern and southern coasts are each about 280 km long measured as a straight line, while the eastern coast measures around 180 km. The total area of the island is 25,711 km2, while the Autonomous Region of Sicily has an area of 27,708 km2; the terrain of inland Sicily is hilly and is intensively cultivated wherever possible. Along the northern coast, the mountain ranges of Madonie, 2,000 m, Nebrodi, 1,800 m, Peloritani, 1,300 m, are an extension of the mainland Apennines; the cone of Mount Etna dominates the eastern coast. In the southeast lie the lower Hyblaean Mountains, 1,000 m; the mines of the Enna and Caltanissetta districts were part of a leading sulphur-producing area throughout the 19th century, but have declined since the 1950s. Sicily and its surrounding small islands have some active volcanoes. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and still casts black ash over the island with its ever-present eruptions, it stands 3,329 metres high, though this varies with summit eruptions.
It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 with a basal circumference of 140 km; this makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. In Greek mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under the mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky. Mount Etna is regarded as a cultural symbol and icon of Sicily; the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the northeast of mainland Sicily form a volcanic complex, include Stromboli. The three volcanoes of Vulcano and Lipari are currently active, although the latter is dormant. Off the southern coast of Sicily, the underwater volcano of Ferdinandea, part of the larger Empedocles volcano, last erupted in 1831, it is located between the island of Pantelleria. The autonomous region includes several neighbouring islands: the Aegadian Islands, the Aeolian Islands and Lampedusa; the island is drained by several rivers, most of which flow through the central area and enter the sea at the south of the island.
The Salso flows through parts of Enna and Caltanissetta before entering the Mediterranean Sea at the port of Licata. To the east, the Alcantara flows through the province of Messina and enters the sea at Giardini Naxos, the Simeto, which flows into the Ionian Sea south of Catania. Other important rivers on the island are the Platani in the southwest. Sicily has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild and wet winters and hot, dry summers with changeable intermediate seasons. On the coasts the south-western, the climate is affected by the African currents and summers can be scorching. Sicily is seen as an island of warm winters but above all along the Tyrrhenian coast and in the inland areas, winters can be cold, with typical continental climate. Snow falls in abundance above 900–1000 metres, but stronger cold waves can carry it in the hills and in coastal cities on the northern coast of the island; the interi