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Men of the regime, the Daylam and Turkish groups

Given their humble origin and the fact that they could not manipulate the religious polarity of their subjects, the Buyids had to affiliate themselves with long-established nobility if they were to strengthen their power. Therefore, they relied on the ethnically influential nobility of the Daylam and Gil tribes of northern Iran throughout the tenth and most of the eleventh centuries. The relationship of these communities to the Buyids was, like that with the caliphs, based on mutual benefit rather than on trust. The relationship was also contaminated by greed and jealousy towards the Buyids on the part of the Daylamites and their willingness to rebel against the Bu- yids whenever possible.50 Encouraged by the regime, this powerful aristocracy included the military commanders, who formed a somewhat ethnically exclusive caste, and learned how to manipulate situations and to attach themselves to, and disengage themselves from, different Buyid rulers. As a result, they formed a patrician class in cities of the region which included a significant component of the preIslamic landed aristocracy, and this allowed them to play an effective role in dynastic political struggles in the Buyid polity.51

To maintain the loyalties of these nobles, Bu- yid rulers granted them large areas of land. By doing so, Cahen argues that the Buyids made sure that the new aristocracy respected their strict control in matters of public order. This new aristocracy gradually gained ascendancy over other burgeoning social groups such as merchants, civilian landlords, and high-ranking officials who played an influential role during the ‘Abbasid era.52 This militarization of political power brought about potentially stricter control over the economic and social lives of the general population.53

The Buyids had also to rely on the Turkish army commanders and the Turkish faction in order to reduce the power of the Daylaml-Gil aristocracy. The Turkish army commanders were mostly men of humble origin who like the Daylaml-Gil faction were able to maintain their distinct ethnic identity. The Buyids maintained a mixture of both groups in the army, but sometimes they struggled to maintain the loyalty of these antagonistic groups, shifting their support between them.54 The constant clashes between the Turkish and DaylamI groups had a deleterious effect on society, especially in Baghdad. Those clashes often took a sectarian form, especially during times of civil disorder with the Daylam-Is siding with the Sh-I‘-I groups, while the Turks supported the Sunn-Is, particularly the Hanbalis, who brutally attacked Shi‘I residences and markets. An example of these army disturbances is the disorder caused by Sabuktak-In, the Turkish chief chamberlain who became a great leader of the army and who was wary of ‘Izz al-Dawla when he learnt of the latter’s intention to seize his land and reduce the power of his troops. As a survival tactic, Sabuktak-In took various stands against ‘Izz al-Dawla, restricting correspondence between them to mediators. He also manipulated the ‘amma (commoners) in Baghdad, which led to civil disorder in 361/972, with the fanaticism of the participants causing much destruction, and killing.55 Those clashes between the major factions of the army underlined the comparative weakness of Buyid rule.

 
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