BĀYDŪ (Baidu, on coins Badu), a son of Ṭaraḡāy and grandson of Hülegü (Hūlāgū), reigned as il-khan in Iran from Jomādā I to Ḏu’l-qaʿda, 694/March-October, 1295.
In 690/1291, during the election which ended with the choice of Gayḵātū, Bāydū had been approached by some of the Mongol amirs but was thwarted by Gayḵātū’s quick arrival at the gathering; he was then approximately 35 years old and had taken part in the Syria campaign in 1281. He was then held in preventive detention at the royal court and insulted by the new il-khan when the latter was drunk. After 684/1284 he was governor of Baghdad and Dīārbakr (Rašīd-al-Dīn, p. 199; Spuler, p. 291) and entrusted with the task of quelling a rebellion in Mesopotamia. He took the opportunity to rally various forces and launch a rebellion against Gayḵātū, whose prestige was shaken by the collapse of the government’s finances following the introduction of paper money (čāv) in 693/1294. The rival armies met near Hamadān, and Gayḵātū reached the battlefield in person on 3 Jomādā I 694/21 March 1295. After the defection of Amir Taḡāčār he lost the battle and planned to withdraw to Asia Minor, where he had once been the viceroy, but decided to return to Tabrīz first and was caught; on Bāydū’s order he was put to death on 6 Jomādā I 694/24 March 1295. Bāydū evidently adhered to traditional Mongol conceptions, though, as an enemy of Ḡāzān, he also relied on Christian counselors.
Bāydū assumed the sovereign power and executed a number of Gayḵātū’s supporters but from the start had to face a strong adversary in the person of Ḡāzān, a son of Arḡūn (r. 683-90/1284-91). Ḡāzān, with the help of his trusted general Nowrūz, mustered his forces in Khorasan, and both armies marched on Ray. Nothing came of Bāydū’s attempts to weaken Ḡāzān’s resolve through the offer of a shared rulership and to suborn Nowrūz through the promise of promotion to the vizierate. Ḡāzān presented counter-demands, and a meeting between the two rivals was of no avail. The forces backing Ḡāzān were augmented by the adhesion of former supporters of Gayḵātū. While a body of Ḡāzān’s troops under Nowrūz marched into Mesopotamia and Ḡāzān himself announced his intention to embrace Islam and to safeguard the heirs of the amirs whom Bāydū had executed, Bāydū retreated toward Caucasia and was overtaken and captured near Naḵčevān; he was executed on Tuesday, 23 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 694/4 October 1295. Some of his associates were also put to death on Ḡāzān’s orders. Ḡāzān was enthroned at Tabrīz on 29 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 694/9 November 1295 and formally converted to (Sunni) Islam on the same date.
J. A. Boyle in Camb. Hist. Iran V, pp. 375-79.
ʿA. Eqbāl, Tārīḵ-e mofaṣṣal-e Īrān I, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1341 Š./1962, pp. 250-58.
D. P. Little, An Introduction to Mamluk Historiography . . . , Freiburger Islamstudien 2, Wiesbaden, 1970.
A. Melkonian, Die Jahre 1287-1291 in der Chronik al-Yunīnīs, Ph.D. dissertation, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1975 (ed., tr., and comm.).
Rašīd-al-Dīn, Jāmeʿ al-tawārīḵ, (Baku). B. Spuler, Mongolen4, esp. pp. 77-79 (with source references).
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: December 15, 1988
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Vol. III, Fasc. 8, pp. 887-888