Alp Tigin

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Alp Tigin (; Alp Tegīn, Turkic for brave prince)(r. 961–963) was a founder of the state of Ghazna. He was a general of Central Asian Turkic origin from Balkh who had risen from a mercenary to general to the Governor of Khorasan based in Ghazni, and eventually to the ruler of Ghazna state.

In a political fallout over succession of the Samanids he crossed the Hindu Kush mountains, captured Ghazni, located strategically between Kabul and Kandahar in modern Afghanistan on the road between Iran and India, and established his independence.


Two military families arose from the Turkic Slave-Guards of the Samanids — the Simjurids and the Ghaznavids — who ultimately proved disastrous to the Samanids. The Simjurids received an appanage in the Kūhestān region of southern Khorasan and Alp Tigin founded the Ghaznavid fortunes when he established himself at Ghazna (now in Afghanistan) in 962.

When the Samanid Emir 'Abd al-Malik I, died in 961 CE it created a succession crisis between 'Abd al-Malik I's brothers. He and Abu al-Hasan Simjuri, as Samanid generals, competed with each other for the governorship of Khorasan and control of the Samanid empire by placing on the throne emirs they could dominate. Abu al-Hasan died in 961, but a new rival Fa'iq rose and eventually Mansur I was elected by the court ministers, and having backed the wrong candidate Alptigin retired from Khurasan to Ghazna, where he ruled as a largely independent sovereign, thus starting the Ghaznavid list...
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