Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
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Sayf al-Dawla was the founder of the Hamdanid dynasty of Aleppo who took over the region in 944. The territory under his control stretched throughout central Syria from Homs to Aleppo to the eastern part of the Jazira. The support of the leading Banu Kilab bedouin tribe enabled Sayf al-Dawla to gain power, but he struggled to maintain alliances with the bedouin tribes in the early years of his reign. He was seen as a champion of Islam against the Byzantine empire by demonstrating a strong commitment to jihad in his attacks on Byzantine holdings. However, he had very limited resources and therefore did not see much success on the Byzantine front. The end of his reign was plagued by rebellions against the failing government, and he left Aleppo for Mayyafariqin where he died in 967.
Posted at Apr 12/2009 09:38AM:
ian: A good example of the more regional 10th century ruler able to carve out a sphere of influence among the bigger fish.