Bahram Shah, Ghaznavid Sultan
1084-1153/477-548 AH (r. 1117-1153/511-547 AH)

Bahram Shah was the son of Ghaznavid sultan Mas‘ud III (d. 1115/508 AH) and succeeded to the throne in 1117/511 AH reigning until 1152-1153/547 AH. After Mas‘ud’s death, there was a struggle for succession amongst his sons, where Shirzad (d. 1116/510 AH) and then Malik Arsalan (d. 1118/512 AH) ruled briefly [1]. Bahram Shah had to seek the help of the Seljuks in order to over-power his brother Arsalan [2]. 

Bahram Shah, during his whole reign, remained a vassal of the Seljuks, particularly their sultan Ahmed Sanjar (d. 1157/552 AH), except one instance of refractory behavior in 1135; this dependence is reflected in the coins of his era [3]. His reign was particularly notable for a flowering and growth of Persian literature with the outpouring of lyric poetry and epic [4]. Perhaps the most notable figure of his court was Abu l-Ma‘ālī Nasrullah who composed the Persian prose version of the collection of animal fables, The fables of Bidpai, that had been translated into Arabic as Kalīla wa-Dimna by Ibn al-Muqaffa‘ from a Middle Persian version of the Indian original [5]. 

In terms of architecture, Bahram Shah is known for one of the most famous minarets in Ghazni, the Manar-i Bahram Shah, which has inscription on it stating its patron’s name. 



1. Bosworth, EI3. 

2. Bosworth, EI3. 

3. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, 99. 

4. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, 107. 

5. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, 109. 



Bosworth, C. Edmund. “Bahrām Shāh”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. <

Bosworth, C. Edmund. The Later Ghaznavids: Splendour and Decay: The Dynasty in Afghanistan and Northern India, 1040-1186. Persian Studies Series; No. 7. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977. 

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Variant Names
ابو المظفر ابن مسعود
Abū l-Muzaffar ibn Mas'ud