|Emirate of Great Quanzar|
امارة القانزار الكبيرة
Flag Coat of Arms
|Capital Metapontum (Solentia)|
Emir of Quanzar
First Ziyadat I ibn Harun
Last Akram II ibn Ziyadat Akhim
First Rashid Ibn Aziz Al Qanzar
Last Maktum Al-Naser
|Area ~ 3 600 000 (1800)|
|Population ~ ~ 94,000,000 (1800)|
|Currency Golden Quanzar|
The Empire of Quanzar (Majatran: الدولة القانزار, translitteration: al-Dawlat al-Qanzar), officially known as the Emirate of Great Quanzar (Majatran: امارة القانزار الكبيرة, translitteration: Imārah al-Qanzar al-Kabir), was a large empire ruled by the Al-Qanzar Dynasty which stretched from Kalopia-Wantuni to the Sarrentina Peninsula comprising Solentia and Kafuristan, between the end of the 15th century to the first half of the 20th century.
The rise of the Qanzars
The origins of the Quanzar's family go back to the period during which the lands of Solentia in the 13th century fell under the rule of the Ahmadi Caliphate and a Majatran élite took power throughout the greatly feudal Caliphate. From Kafuristan and Badara the Majatran tribes, led by the new Ahmadi leadership, swept westward conquering most part of the continent. Given the fact that the Ahmadi Caliphate was never a strong unitary empire, many territories and warlords became very autonomous and in time began to act independently. The Banu Qanzar, originary from the southern region of Kafuristan, in 13th century moved in the eastern territories of Solentia, close to the Kafuri lands, and by the beginning of the 15th century a warlord known as Karim Ibn Bener Al Qanzar was able to extend its control on most part of the territories of eastern Solentia and southern Kafuristan and was subsequently elevated by the Caliphate to the status of Emir, a vassal title of the Ahmadi Empire.
When, after the death of Caliph Azi Bunjamín, the Majalis, ruling over Badara and Kafuristan, proclaimed their own, Abadi Caliphate in 1486, leading to the disintegration of the Ahmadi Empire, the Emir of Quanzar declared his independence, officially founding the Emirate of Great Quanzar. Proclaiming his allegiance to the Caliph in Barmenia, the Qanzars began expanding their rule at the expense of the Majalis and other local successor states of the Caliphate. During the 15th and 16th century the Emirate continued to growth, despite the Dynasty was plagued by dynastic conflicts and contrasts between the authority of the Emirs, the nobility, formed by the former petty Emirs of the area already subjugated, and the Ahmadi clergy.
In 1565, the economy went sour due to excessive rainfall, flooding, famine, and disease. The nobility withdrew into their fortified manners and administration crumbled for some 5-7 years. When the disaster was finally over, there was further political in-fighting: the Emir Ziyadat Akhim II ibn Isma'il and its family, in fact, was decimated by two plagues in 1573 and 1579, the latter killing also the Emir. His last heirs fought for the succession. Not helping matters, the nobility chose one heir while the powerful clergy chose another. Initially the candidate supported by the nobility, Karim II ibn Isma'il, was the one which reached to assume the power, reigning until 1584 on an Emirate in turmoil with his brother Shayban I ibn Isma'il continuing to fight backed up by his supporters. War would have broken out had not Karim died from a bout of epilepsy. The new Emir Shayban was crowned in Metapontum and war only narrowly averted. The Shura however, had consolidated power in the absence of the Emir, and the army now answered to the Minister of War, not to the Emir. By the beginning of 17th century the Emir's powers were greatly eaten away.
But, with the death of Shayban I in 1605, his was suceeded by Ziyadat II ibn Ahmad, grandson of the Emirs, crowned when child but which, when reached the age to reign alone, quickly reversed the tide of aristocratic power. His policies and daring regained him all of the unwritten privileges that had changed hands to the ministers over the last century. Ziyadat set about a 77 year era of effectively absolute monarchy. The power of the Shura reverted to an advisory status while the army pledged allegiance to the Emir and only to the Emir. But while the Emir held political power, the populace was growing ever more affluent and economically influential. Ziyadat was a man in the right place at the right time and at his death in 1682 he left a powerful and stable Emirate to his son Shayban II ibn Ziyadat. Shayaban was remembered for his numberous wars against the other feudal powers arose in the area after the Caliphate, but also for his kind soul and artistic sensibility and his court, in fact, was renowed to be a "sanctuary" for the artists. Shayban was also remembered for the love he has for his son, Harun. The death of Harun during a military campaign depressed heavily the Emir which died in grieves after two years.
The Emirate under his grandson and successor, Ziyadat III ibn Harun, risked to definitively fall instead due to the fact that at the time it had become impossible to maintain an absolute monarchy: the populace wanted rights and they wanted freedom.
The fact, furthermore, that he was very effeminate and totally disinteressed by the other sex (he refuse to get married) and also by the state affairs, worsened the situation by strengthening the position of the people.
Ziyadat was thus forcively removed by the power by his brother Akram I ibn Harun, who ascended to the throne in 1705 facing with a burning call for reform. Despite the opulence and stability of the Emirate, under Shayban II and his successors, immense amounts of the treasury had squandered in order to strengthen the army and carry out foreign wars. This was a good strategy in the short run, as it consolidated power and unity, but financially it was a disaster. With no money left in the state's coffers, Akram could neither pay his troops nor feed his citizens. The cries for reform grew louder. But the new Emir was a rigid supporters of the royal absolutism and instead of trying to bargain with the people, he assumed that he could simply crush them, and with little foresight he used his under-payed troops to put down protests and slaughter dissidents on the streets.
For a decades this strategy reduced the empire into a police state firmly under the control of the Emir, but the crisis reached a head on September 8, 1720, when the Emir's troops carelessly stormed into the Anleitya Masjid, the most holy mosque in the Capital, and arrested a clergyman for preaching treason. It was rumored that they had also destroyed a sacred relic of Prophet Ahmad beloved by the people. The rumor was treated as truth, and within days riots broke out in Metapontum, the people uprising against the authocratic monarchs. Soon they spread to Halion, Akran, Gylsa, Bouthrotum, and more, each bringing chaos and bloodshed. The Emir fled to Nukeya, where the rebellion was more limited, but he could not restore order, not with his under-payed troops, and not with his uninspiring character.
On October 10, 1720, after nearly a month of chaos and disorder, the rebels took power in Metapontum. They preached of equality, spiritualism, and a return to the romanticized early days of the Caliphate. Yet in Halion, a different government was declared as well by the landed gentry and supporters of the aristocracy. A war was taking shape from the ubiquitous chaos, one that would decide the future of Solentia. Wasim was not involved in this conflict; he was not invited by the nobles, who had chosen their own candidate for the throne, nor was he given refuge by the rebels, of course. But the war was not to last long. The nobles were too held back by petty concerns of aristocratic niceties while the rebels were driven by a patriotic, religious, and revolutionary fervor. In only a year, the victory was decisive for the rebels.
Radicals, feeding off of fears of a counter-revolution, took control of the Emirate and began to lay out purge after purge. Thousands were brutally executed daily around the country; the spiritualist component of the revolution was ignored and shunned as religious leaders and the devout were slaughtered without concern. After two years of blood baths, the Grand Vizier, Ahmad ibn Akram al-Qanzar, son of Akhram, seized State control dethroning his father and proclaimed himself Emir. Things quieted down and prosperity once again returned to the Empire.
The new Emir then proceeded to consolidate his power, and under his rule and that of his successors the Qanzar Emirate emerged as the new hegemon of East Majatra, beginning the conquest of the neighboring Emirates and petty kingdoms. Between the 16th and 18th centuries all of Solentia and Kafuristan, as well as the northern region of the Istalian Peninsula, progressively had fallen under Quanzari control. In the next century the Empire expanded its rule over the Kalopian territories then ruled by the Wantuni dynasty, taking advantage of Deltarian domination in the region. In 1750, Abd al-Aziz ibn Abu Hafs al-Wantuni, a descendant of a separate line of the Watuni dynasty living in exile in Solentia, raised a rebel force and, with the aid of the Quanzar Emirs, succeeded in driving out the Deltarian colonials, to the joy of much of the native populace. Celebrations of independence were short-lived, however, because Abd al-Aziz soon declared his allegiance to the Qanzar Empire, who appointed him the Wali (Governor) of its new Wilayah (Province) of Wantuni. Only the Istalian kingdoms were still resisting the growing strength of the Quanzars.
The Quanzar Empire
In the 18th century the Quanzarian Empire, after centuries of skirmishes, finally decided to proceed with the definitive subjugation of the Istalian territories to eliminate the last still independent Eastern Majatran territories.
In fact, since 16th century, the Emirate had begun to occupy even more territories of the Istalian peninsula, justifying the continues raids and attacks as a way defending the Ahmadi populations in the area from the harsh anti-Ahmadi policy adopted by the Hosian Istalian monarchies after the fall of the Caliphate. In fact, the Quanzari was attracted by the peninsula because the istalian kingdoms held copious natural resources, lush agricultural terrain and their division and infighting rendered them vulnerable to the stable and expanding Quanzar Empire.
After subjugating the north-eastern territories of the peninsula the Emirs assumed the title of Lords of Therak (the ancient name of the northern istalian region of Trivendito), as a snub to the Istalians, and asserted a sphere of cultural and military dominance over the entire north of the peninsula, installing various nobles, many of them members of junior branches of the House of Quanzar, to rule portions of the territories in a quasi-feudal system.
After the defeat of the armies of the north-western kingdom of Padagna, the Emirs continued to adopt ancient non-Istalian titles and assumed the official titulature of Emir of Great Quanzar, Custodian of the Sacred Mosque, Overlord of the East, Sultan of Kafuristan, Basileus of Kalopia, Great Prince of Therak and Pheykran (any reference to Wantuni was always avoided by the Quanzars as sign of respect for the Wantuni Dynasty and its Wali, which offered the sovereignty of Kalopia-Wantuni to the Quanzars).
Finally, in the first half of 18th century the Emirate began a prolonged power struggle with the kingdom of Fidelia, the most powerfull of the istalian kingdoms and the last remaining independent polity on the istalian mainland, which ended in the subjugation of all of the Sarrentina Peninsula under the Quanzarian dynasty thanks to the sixteenth Emir, Harun ibn Ahmad, who conquered the Istalian mainland in 1771 defeating the armies of Fidelia during the Battle of Reggio Ingris.
After the conquest, the Ahmadi rulers, trying to eliminate any form of national sentiment in the lands of their Empire, initiated an oppressive campaign of Majatranization of all non-Majatran territories and peoples of their large Empire and this was particularly suffered by the Kalopians and by the Istalians. The latter culture was harshly despised by the Quanzars who attempted to further suppress the Istalianity of the conquered lands as a form of punishment for the years of opposition to the Empire.
The Qanzar Emirs thus proclaimed their supreme sovereignity on the eastern lands of Majatra controlling an Empire which, at its peak, covered all of today's Wantuni, some lands in today's Jakania and Deltaria, Solentia, Kafuristan and Istalia with the exception of the island of Alaria, where the Kingdom of Nicoma (also known as kingdom of Estalia), renamed as the Kingdom of Istalia in 1772, continued to resist against the Ahmadi giant.
Around the middle of the 17th century, Artanian explorers and merchants started to visit the eastern shores of Majatra and with them quickly came the first settlers. The Empire initially ignored the settlements established on the Kafuri and Kalopian shores by the Artanian colonial powers and indeed established fruitful trade exchanges with the newcomers. However in the late 18th century the expansionist behavior of the Artanians convinced the Emirs to hold their ground and reaffirm the sovereignty of the Empire on all Kafuristan by sending a large army.
A war, however, never broke out because during the 19th century the Empire entered a period of decadence and of internal trouble and the Artanians preferred to support the Majatran enemies of the Empire (the Deltarians and the Istalians) as well as domestic nationalist forces rather then directly intervene. Thanks to this support, the local tribes in Kafuristan , inspired by nationalist sentiments, began to turn their efforts against the Quanzars starting a guerilla war which would last for decades and cost the Empire even more territories. In reaction of the serious crisis of their Empire, which caused also military coups and palace intrigues, the Quanzars, especially under the reformers Harun II, had tried to reform and modernize the Empire, but these attempts failed due the increasing issues to face by part of the Emirate, especially, as said the nationalistic sentiments as well as the burgeoise demands for more reppresentation and State of Law.
Finally in 1875 the Empire, realizing that it was impossible to maintain its control of the region and to support the ever-increasing war efforts, came to an agreement with the Kafuri tribes: Kafuristan would remain under the sovereignty of the Quanzar Emir but the tribes would govern themselves autonomously, while they would be given support in their fight against the Artanians, by now seen as a common enemy. Since this moment the Quanzar Empire unofficially lost its first great territory, marking the beginning of the end of the great power of eastern Majatra.
Artanians were able to expand their influence to include whole nations, such as the Badara Protectorate, and since the first years of the 20th century nationalistic turmoil shook the Empire. Starting with the first years of 20th century the Quanzars progressively lost control of most of their Empire due to national uprisings supported by the Artanians: first Kafuristan, then Kalopia-Wantuni and Solentia, in 1930 and 1934, respectively, became independent. The flight of the Emir to Istalia definitively marked the end of the Emirate of Great Quanzar and of the Empire.
In the Peninsula the Dynasty maintained its power for around a century, and there it began to build an even more centralized and stable dominion. Under the Quanzar the nation itself, as part of a heavy Majatranization policy pursued by the Ahmadi élites, was christened as Quanzar, the name with which Istalia was known for almost other two centuries.
Emirs of the Empire of Quanzar
This is a list of all the Emirs of the House of Quanzar who reigned on the Empire since 1486 to 1934.
Titles of the Emirs of Great Quanzar
During the long reign of the Quanzar Dynasty the sovereigns usually used the title Emir to refers to themself, but actually with the progression of the conquests and the expansion of the Empire, they assumed even more titles to increase their prestige all over the subjugated nations, peoples and suzerains and the other Majatran rulers and Dynasties.
In 1770, before the conquest of the Sarrentina Peninsula, the complete official title of the Emirs of the Quanzar Dynasty was: Great Quanzar Emir, Custodian of the Sacred Mosque, Overlord of the East, Sultan of Kafuristan, King of Kalopia, Great Prince of Therak and Pheykran (in Majatran: أمير القنزاري الكبير٬ خادم المسجد الحرام٬ رب أعلى الشرق٬ سلطان القلب٬ ملك العجم٬ أمير العظيم الثراق والفيكرين, translitteration: ʾAmīr al-Qanzārī al-Kabir, Khādim al-Masjid al-Ḥarām, Rab ʾAʿlā aš-Šarqi, Sulṭān al-Qalbi, Malik al-ʿAjami, ʾAmīr al-ʿAẓīm aṯ-Ṯirāqi wa-l-Faikrīn).
After the definitive subjugation of the Istalian mainland, the Emirs also assumed the title of Overlord of the Eastern Peninsula (Majatran: رب أعلى الشبه جزيرة الشرقية, translitteration: Rab ʾAʿlā aš-Šibhi l-Jazīrati aš-Šarqiyyati) while in 1820 Emir Karim III, aiming to compete with the several Majatran and Artanian rulers who held higher title than King (often considered equivalent to the Majatran title Sultan or Emir) or Overlord and also committed to modernize the Empire, tried to introduce as first title of the Dynasty the one of Emperor of Eastern Majatra (Majatran: سلطان السلاطين المعترة الشرقية, Sulṭān'u-s-Salāṭīn al-Maʿatrati aš-Šarqiyyati) but soon, due to some remarks, internal as well as from abroad, about the existence of the still indipendent Kingdom of Istalia, Karim III himself dropped the title. Colloquially the peoples of the Empire as well as the foreigners often refered to the Emir as the Great Quanzar.
Culture, legacy and religion
The Quanzars had a large impact on East Majatran culture due to two significant developments that occurred during their rule, namely the revival of native Majatran culture and the entrenchment of Israi Ahmadism as the dominant sect in the region. Together with the Majalids the Quanzars were responsible for the revival of the Majatran language and culture, after centuries during which they were eclipsed by Classical Brmek and Jelbic culture. The Quanzars were great patrons of Majatran literature, sponsoring Majatran-language poets and historians and completing the first full translation of the Book of Bliss into Majatran. Thereafter the Majatran language gained equal status to Classical Brmek as a language of Ahmadi high culture and civilization, and the Majatran people became the dominant ethnic group throughout Eastern Majatra, partially as a result of a forceful campaign of assimilation. Religiously, although the Banu Qanzar continued to profess their allegiance to the Barmenian Caliph even after the disintegration of the Caliphate and were thus Israi Ahmadis, they rarely attempted to enforce their particular religious view on their Abadi subjects except for when it became politically expedient. The Abadi faith of the Majalis was used by the Quanzars as a pretext for their conquest of Kafuristan (this pushed the Emirate to use as flag a black banner, classic symbol of the Israism, with the Quanzar's Hawk), but thereafter they allowed the Majali Caliphs to retain their office while depriving them of all secular power. The Quanzar Emirs did generously sponsor Israi theologians, but also tried to get closer to the Abadis. Emir Ziyadat II even gave his daughter in marriage to the Abadi Caliph in an attempt to end the religious division, however this ended in failure as the Caliph refused to consummate the marriage. In order to prevent tensions between the two sects from spreading to the Empire's bureaucracy the Emirs would occasionally appoint Hosians to high offices instead of Ahmadis from either sect.
The Empire of Quanzar and its rules have repeatedly been the subject of many movies, TV series and documentaries. Among the most famous the Istalian made movie The Great Emir, based on the life ot Karim Ibn Bener Al Qansar, the first of the Quanzar Emirs.