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Ghaznavi-Seljuk Clash At Dandanaghan

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May, 23, 1040 A.D.:
Ghaznavi-Seljuk Clash At Dandanaghan

By: Mir M.Hosseini

The Battle of Dandanaghan was fought on May, 23, 1040 between the Seljuk and the Ghaznavi army that ended with a Seljuk victory; bringing down the Ghaznavi domination in Khorasan.
After the death of Mahmoud Ghaznavi, his son Masood ascended the throne. But he did not have his father's capabilities to keep together the empire. The Seljuks who were seeking an opportunity to avenge their defeats to Mahmoud Ghaznavi, gradually invaded northern Iran. Finally, Masood leaded his army to disperse the invaders, unaware about the fact that once a small tribe, the Seljuks had become wiser and stronger. The Seljuks used hit and run tactics that inflicted heavy losses on the Ghaznavi army during their march to Sarakhs. Before the battle that lasted for 3 days, the Ghaznavi army was exhausted and disappointed and their leader could not bring back discipline and morals needed to encounter a comparatively smaller army with high motivations that had already cut their access to sources of water. After a group of Ghaznavi forces defected to the enemy, the Seljuk victory was inevitable and Masood fled from the battlefield with a few men.
After the battle, the Seljuk leader Toghrol installed his brother Chaghri in Khorasan and expanded a campaign into the heart of Iran that ended with creation of the Seljuk Empire.
The Toghrol Tower in Rhagae is the proof that the Seljuks had a place in the heart of Iranians unlike the Ghaznavi who were a puppet of the Caliph. Looking for traces of the Ghaznavi empire, we hear that they irked great people such as Ferdowsi and Avicenna and soon lost credibility and acceptance despite their military achievements.

KEY TERMS:Avicenna , Chaghri , Dandanaghan , Ferdowsi , Ghaz , Ghaznavi , Iran , Iranian , Khorasan , Rhagae , Sarakhs , Seljuk , Toghrol

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