The Lost City of the Middle Ages: Arradjan From the by Muslims Conquest Until the Beginning of the XIIth Centuryİsmet Burak Batır
Established in the Sasanids period, Arradjan is located on the border of Khuzistan and Fars regions. After the Muslim conquest, the first two centuries retained its importance. With the weakening of the authority of the Abbasid, its importance gradually decreased after the occupation of city by the local dynasties. Both the sultanate struggles in the Buyids period and the esoteric activities that emerged during the Saldjukids period laid the groundwork for the destruction of Arradjan. In addition to this, natural disasters such as epidemics, earthquakes and drought are among the reasons that accelerate the collapse of city. For this reason, the reasons for the disappearance of Arradjan were examined in two parts, political and human. In this study, the process from the conquest of city by Muslims to its destruction will be tried to be revealed by making use of the main sources and modern research works of the period.
Orta Çağın Yitik Şehri: Müslümanlar Tarafından Fethinden XII. Yüzyıl Başlarına Kadar Errecânİsmet Burak Batır
Sâsânîler devrinde kurulan Errecân, Hûzistân ve Fars bölgelerinin sınırında yer almaktadır. Müslümanların fethinden sonra da ilk iki yüzyıl önemini korudu. Abbâsîlerin otoritesinin zayıflamasıyla birlikte şehrin mahallî hanedanlar tarafından işgal edilmesi sonrasında önemi giderek azaldı. Gerek Büveyhîler dönemindeki saltanat mücadeleleri gerek Selçuklular zamanında ortaya çıkan Bâtınî faaliyetler Errecân’ın yok olmasına zemin hazırlamıştır. Bunun yanında meydana gelen salgın hastalıklar, depremler ve kuraklık gibi doğal afetler de şehrin çöküşünü hızlandıran nedenlerin başında gelmektedir. Bu sebeple Errecân’ın yok olmasının sebepleri siyasî ve beşerî olmak üzere iki kısımda incelenmiştir. Bu çalışmada dönemin ana kaynaklarından ve modern araştırma eserlerinden istifade edilmek suretiyle şehrin Müslümanlar tarafından fethinden yıkılışına giden süreç ortaya konmaya çalışılacaktır.
Established in the Sasanian Era, Arradjan is located on the border of Khuzestan and Fars provinces. Today, Arradjan is a dilapidated area near Behbahan in Southwestern Iran. The city was established by the Sasanian ruler Kavad I and was called Amida Kavad because of the war prisoners brought from Amida and Silvan. Arradjan has also been known as Ram-Kavad, Beram-Kavad, and Abar-Kavad. During the Sasanian and Islamic periods, the city became famous with the name Arradjan. As far as can be determined from the works of Islamic geographers and historians, Isfahan at the time was to the north and northeast of Arradjan, the Persian Gulf was to the south, Darak was to the southwest, Ramhormoz was to the northwest, Shahpour was to the east, and Ardashir-Khwarrah was to the southeast.
While the northern part of the city remained cool year-round due to the Zagros Mountains, the southern part had a warm climate due to the Persian Gulf. For this reason, the majority of the people living in the south built underground houses to protect themselves from the heat. The Tab River, which gave life to the city and defines the borders of Fars and Khuzestan, travels a long way to reach Arradjan, passing through Reishahr and pours into the sea at the ancient port of Siniz.
Arradjan had a developed trade network due to its geopolitical location. Located on the busy trade routes, the city had connections to both maritime trade and regions far from the land route. Trade was carried out with India and Far Eastern countries, especially through the Port of Mahruban, which had an international character. Road trade continued uninterruptedly through the bridges built in the Sasanian and Islamic periods. Located between Khuzestan and Fars, the city had the distinction of being the Farsi gateway to Mesopotamia. The road from Isfahan to Shiraz by way of Ahwaz and Susa, which was used between Baghdad and Fars, passed through Arradjan. Undoubtedly, the passing of these three roads through Arradjan contributed to the development of the city. Being on the main trade routes and having abundant water resources and fertile lands, the people of this city lived a very prosperous life in times of stability. Arradjan was also directly affected by the political and economic developments in Iran due to its location.
Arradjan was an important stop on the Persian royal road during the Sasanian Era and was also a significant settlement center in that era’s first centuries. The local dynasties that emerged as a result of the deterioration in the Abbasid State occupied the lands under Abbasid rule, and one of these was the Saffarid dynasty, During the Yaʿkub b. al-Layth period, they captured Fars and Khuzestan and became the neighbor of the caliphate. Ya‘kub’s son Amr b. al-Layth then continued his father’s policy and constantly struggled with the Abbasid caliphate. He minted coins in his name in Arradjan and its affiliated cities.
After the collapse of the Saffarid dynasty, the Abbasid State dominated Arradjan again. The Buyid dynasty, which had adopted the Shia school that emerged in Daylam in the first half of the 10th century, came to Fars under the leadership of ʿImad al-Dawla. Here, al-Dawla struggled with the local Abbasid administrators. Following this struggle, al-Dawla took Shiraz and then Arradjan under his rule. After ʿImad al-Dawla took over Fars, he seized the treasures of the Saffarid and Mohammad b. Yaqut. ʿImad al-Dawla became economically stronger and commissioned his brother Muʿizz al-Dawla to seize Khuzestan. In this process, Arradjan was used as a military base. After ʿImad al-Dawla’s death and due to not having had his own son, Rukn al-Dawla’s son Adud al-Dawla was appointed heir. During the reign of Adud al-Dawla, Arradjan gave special importance to this Khuzestan due to the high tax income. For this reason, wars took place between them and the Bakhtiyar for control of the city. The period of Adud al-Dawla’s sons Sharaf al-Dawla, Samsam al-Dawla and Baha alDawla is when Arradjan started to collapse socioeconomically. The Buyid brothers, who’d been fighting each other for about 20 years, created devastating damage in Arradjan that was difficult to recover from. Due to the city constantly changing hands during this period, the people who’d been crushed by heavy taxes were forced to migrate to other cities. The struggle between Abu Kalidjar’s sons Malik al-Rahim and Fulad Sutun paved the way for the collapse of the Buyids and facilitated the spread of the Saldjukids in the Buyid lands. Their struggle for power turned Arradjan into a battlefield, causing its economic structure to further deteriorate. In addition to the political conflicts during the Buyid era, disasters such as severe earthquakes, drought, and epidemics also accelerated the collapse of the city.
The Saldjukids dominated Arradjan during the reign of Tughril Beg I. In this period, the city was given to Hazarasb, one of Tughril I’s most important assistants, in return for sending taxes to the central government every year. When Arradjan came under the rule of the Saldjukids, the social structure of the city was completely destroyed. When examining the sources, they are not seen to mention Arradjan except for the Batinid activities. At the beginning of the 12th century, the Batinids, who belonged to the Ismailiyya branch of Shiism, ruled Arradjan. They captured the fortified castles in Arradjan and carried out terrorist activities from these castles. For this reason, the local people were very nervous. Thereupon, Sultan Berkyaruq sent Emir Chavli to fight the Batinids. Although Emir Chavli eliminated a significant portion of the Batinids, Arradjan was no longer able to attain its former prosperity.