Hillah
1102 CE [Founded by Sayf al-Dawla Ṣadaqa b. Manṣūr]
Iraq
The town of Hillah lies along the Euphrates, in the province of Babylon (Babel), close to the old city of Babylon and was built from its bricks. It was founded in 1102 by Sayf al-Dawla Ṣadaqa b. Mansur, the fourth prince of the Shi'ite Mazyadid tribe and a vassal of the Seljuks. During the Abbasid Caliphate and the Seljuq reign of Bar-Kiyaruq, Mazyadids gained prominence and power in Basra, Kufa, Anah and Hit and they established Hillah as the Mazyadid capital city. It was enclosed in strong walls and surrounded by gardens that produced rice, grains and dates and was consequently called Hillah al Fayha' meaning radiating and odorant. After the death of Bar-Kiyaruk, Mazyadid political relations were changing and consequently the Seljuk and Caliphal troops occupied Hillah several times. 

In 1163, under the reign of al-Mustanjid, the town was incorporated in the caliphate territories ending the Mazyadid power. Dubays II ben Sadaka was a great patron of Arabic poets who promoted Hillah as an important literary center during the Abbasid caliphate. The town was destroyed during the Mongol invasion and in the later Ilkhanid period it regained its prominence as a political, literary and religious center housing several important native poets like Ṣafī al-Dīn al-Ḥillī; moreover it became the religious center of Shi'ism during the fourteenth century. During the Jalayrid period, the town was conquered by Sultan Ḥasan al-Jalayrī after Shaykh Ḥasan al-Ḥillī attempted to gain independence. After the Timurid invasions, the town served as military base for the Jalayrid Sultan Ḥasan in re-conquering Baghdad from Timur's son. Ibn Battuta describes the city during the later Jalayrid period as rectangular in shape lying parallel to the Euphrates on its eastern bank, boasting large markets and extensive building and palm trees inside and outside the city. The town is depicted as having a stone bridge linking the city to the other side of the river; and inhabited by twelvers Shi'ites of Kurdish origin.

In 1509 it was conquered by Shah Ismāi'l of the Safavid dynasty and was annexed by his empire until in 1537 when Sulayman the Magnificent conquered Baghdad and Ḥillah. It remained under the Ottoman rule until 1623 when the Safavid Shah Abbas conquered the Iraqi territories. Ḥillah was a major vassal to Shah Abbas until it was re-conquered by the Ottomans under by Murad I. During the eighteenth and nineteenth century Hillah flourished as an administrative center of the region. Nowadays, the town lies in a large irrigated area where dates, barley, rice, wheat, millet, sesame and beans are grown. With its two hundred and sixty thousand inhabitants it is an important port and the main cereal market of the middle Euphrates area.

Sources: 
Young, Gavin. 1980. Iraq: Land of Two Rivers. Collins, London. 93-101. 
 Hilli, Yusuf Karkush.1934. Mukhtasar Tarikh al-Hillah. Sayda, Makbat al-Irfan. 
 Bosworth, Clifford Edmond. 1996. The New Islamic Dynasties, New York, Columbia University Press, 87-88. http://www.greatestcities.com/Middle_East/Iraq/Al_Hillah_city.html
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Variant Names
Hillah
الحلة
Alternate
Al-Hilla
Variant
Al-Hillah
Alternate transliteration
Al-Ḥillah
Alternate transliteration
Hilla
Alternate transliteration