The Ziri kings of Granada, deposed by the Almoravids (1090)


Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
Just starting the memoirs of Abd Allah, the last Ziri king of Granada, discovered by Levi-Provencal and introduced by him and Emilio Garcia Gomez. He was the only Ziri not to be known by a purely berber name and is the only eye-witness to the Battle of Zalaqa. It's a well-known reference but looks like it will be hard going, not being 'chapterised'.

In the extremely confusing world of Spanish muslims, who is an immigrant and where from and when , who an invader, who a converted hispano-roman-goth, 711 berber etc. I thought their background (in Iberia) found in the intro was quite interesting. So as to avoid a long ramble I'll just do some bullet points in case it's of interest to anyone:

1) When the Fatimids translated to Egpyt, the Ziris were left in control of Ifriqiya as clients of the Fatimids
2) The Ziris were Sinhaya berbers
3) They tried to take control of the central Magreb which was governed by the Zanatas, clients of the Calpihate of Cordobs
4) They were defeated and the head of their king sent to Cordoba
5) Notwithstanding the above, the Ziri general Zawi ben Ziri became a mercenary of the latter Caliphate under the Great Almanzor
6) On the collapse of the Caliphate just after the Milennium, after a combination of circumstances, the Ziris finally ended up kings of Granada and also Malaga
7) They were quite strong in the day against their arab/Omeya and Zanata enemies, whom they defeated several times
8) After a great victory over the Zanata the great king Badis (1038-1073) suddenly upped and left for the homeland of Ifriqiya. His letter said that it was the time to go - with so many enemies in Christians, Zanata and Omeya - after such a victory. It seems he expected most of the Ziri/Sinhayas to follow him, but only his immediiate family did - the others preferred to stay as kings of Granada
9) Sources said he returned rich and in luxury, but Abd Allah suggests he was robbed and deposed in Ifriquiya by his kinsmen
10) Abd Allah seems a dislikeable, deformed man with few, if any qualities. Nevertheless he reigned from 1073 to his deposition by the Almoravids in 1090, tributary of Alfonso VI from 1078
11) After the Almoravid intervention in the Peninsula, they became frustrated by the ineffectiveness, squabbling and impiety of the Andalusian kingdoms and resolved to get rid of them all
12) Few escaped with their life but Abd Allah was allowed to retire under luxurious house arrest to Agmat, the orignal capital of the Almoravids. And write.
13) There can be little doubt Abd Allah was allowed to live in retirement because he was a Ziri of the Sinhaya berbers - Sinhaya being of course the origins of the Almoravids.

Ziri kings of Granada

Nº de ordenNombreAños en el poder1
Zawi ben Ziri as-Sinhayi
2Buluguin ben Zawi
3Habús ben Maksan ben Ziri as-Sinhayi al-Muzaffar
4Badis ben Habús al-Mansur
5Buluguin ben Badis
6Abd Allah ben Buluggin ben Badis, Sayf ad-Dawla
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