HĀRUN B. ALTUNTAŠ, son of a Turkish slave commander of Maḥmud of Ghazna (q.v.) who served as governor in Kᵛārazm from 423/1032 until 426/1035 (see CHORASMIA ii.), first of all for the Ghaznavids, and then as an independent ruler. Hārun succeeded his father Altuntaš as de facto governor of Ḵᵛārazm on his death in Jomādā I 423/April-May 1032 (for the events leading up to this, see ALTUNTAŠ). However, the suspicious Sultan Masʿud (q.v.) had already grown mistrustful of Altuntaš and his family. Hence he appointed his young son Saʿid as nominal Ḵᵛārazm-Šāh, with Hārun serving merely as his lieutenant (ḵalifat-al-dār). Soon afterwards, Sultan Masʿud also sent his agent ʿAbd-al-Jabbār as kadḵodā, or adjutant, with a brief to watch over Hārun and his activities (Bayhaqi, pp. 355-56, 372-73). For his part, Hārun’s animosity was aroused by the report, in 424/1033, of the death of one of his brothers in Ghazna in ambiguous circumstances (ibid., pp. 403, 680). He accordingly gathered together troops and allied himself with Masʿud’s enemies, the Qarakhanid ʿAlitegen (q.v.) and, subsequently, his sons, with the aim of attacking Marv and Khorasan while the Qarakhanids attacked the upper Oxus provinces. Furthermore, in Šaʿbān 425/June-July 1034 he symbolically omitted Masʿud’s name from the ḵoṭba (Friday sermon) of Ḵᵛārazm and used his own in its place (ibid., pp. 422, 433, 465, 681). The sultan plotted to procure Hārun’s death, and on 2 Jomādā II 426/14 April 1035 Hārun was attacked by a group of his palace ḡolāms (military slaves) and infantrymen, dying four days later; Hārun’s forces had to lift the threat to Marv, and ʿAlitegen’s sons had to abandon the siege of Termeḏ on the Oxus (ibid., pp. 686-87; for the course of subsequent events, see ALTUNTAŠ).



The sole contemporary source is Abu’l-Fażl Bayhaqi, Tāriḵ-e masʿudi, ed. Ḡani and Fayyāż, Tehran, 1945, in the latter part of which Bayhaqi incorporated Biruni’s history of his native Ḵᵛārazm.

For secondary sources, see the bibliography to ALTUNTAŠ.

(C. E. Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 2003

Last Updated: March 20, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XII, Fasc. 1, p. 17