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

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. 

 

Notes: 

1. Bosworth, EI3. 

2. Bosworth, EI3. 

3. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, 99. 

4. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, 107. 

5. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, 109. 

 

Sources: 

Bosworth, C. Edmund. “Bahrām Shāh”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. <http://dx.doi.org.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_23700


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. 

Associated Sites
Variant Names
Bahram Shah, Ghaznavid Sultan
ابو المظفر ابن مسعود
Original
Abū l-Muzaffar ibn Mas'ud
Transliterated
Bahram-Shah of Ghazna
Alternate
یمین الدولة
Variant
امیر الملة
Variant
زھیر الملة
Variant
علاء الدولة و دین
Variant
بھرام شاہ
Original
Yamīn al-Dawla
Transliterated
Amīr al-Milla
Transliterated
Zahīr al-Milla
Transliterated
‘Ala’ al-Dawla wa’l-Dīn
Transliterated