ḴĀṢṢ BEG ARSLĀN B. PALANG-ERI, Turkish ḡolām who became the ḥājeb “chamberlain” and court favorite of the Great Saljuq Sultan Masʿud b. Moḥammad b. Malek Šāh (r. 1134-52); he played a prominent role in the troubled events of western Persia during that reign. Palang-Eri, Persian-Turkish “leopard-man,” seems to be a probable rendering of the ductus in the sources, b.l.n.k.r.y
He is described as the son of a Turkmen from the Oghuz settled in Azerbaijan (Pseudo-Nišāpuri, tr. Luther, p. 110; Ebn al-Aṯir (Beirut), XI, p. 163). He was nurtured by Sultan Masʿud and had risen high in his counsels. After the killing of the amir Ṭoḡan-Yürek, who had been governor of Azerbaijan and Arrān and was atabeg to the sultan’s nephew, Malek Šah b. Maḥmud, Ḵāṣṣ Beg succeeded to these offices. His ascendancy aroused violent resentment among rival Turkish amirs, and when the sultan’s uncle Sanjar came to Ray in 1149-50, he made threats against Masʿud if Ḵāṣṣ Beg were not removed. In the event, however, Sanjar was reconciled to Ḵāṣṣ Beg’s role in the state (Bondāri, p. 224; Ḥoseyni, p. 121; Rāvandi, p. 343; Ebn al-Atir (Beirut), XI, pp. 133-34, 143). Ḵāṣṣ Beg nevertheless remained close to Masʿud, and when the latter died in October 1152, Ḵāṣṣ Beg proclaimed Malek Šāh as Masʿud’s vali-ʿahd, or covenanted successor, and assumed the dominant position in the state (Ẓahir-al-Din Nišāpuri, p. 105; Bondāri, pp. 227-28; Ebn al-Aṯir (Beirut) XI, p. 161). Malek Šāh ruled for only four months, however, before Ḵāṣṣ Beg replaced him with his brother, Moḥammad b. Maḥmud. The new sultan, however, wished to be free of constraints, and immediately procured the murder of Ḵāṣṣ Beg and the jāndār or sultan’s personal guard Zangi, confiscating Ḵāṣṣ Beg’s great wealth and possessions (Pseudo-Nišāpuri, pp. 121-22; Ẓahir-al-Din Nišāpuri, pp. 90-91; Bondāri, pp. 228-30; Ḥoseyni, pp. 127-28; Rāvandi, pp. 259-61; Ebn al-Aṯir (Beirut), XI, pp. 161-63).
Fatḥ b. ʿAli Bondāri, Zobdat al-noṣra, ed. M. T. Houtsma, in Recueil de textes relatifs à l’histoire des Seljoucides II, Leiden, 1889, pp. 224, 226-30.
C. E. Bosworth, in Camb. Hist. Iran V, 1968, pp. 131-33, 175.
Ṣadr-al-Din Abu’l-ḤOasan ʿAli b. Nāṣer Ḥoseyni, Aḵbār al-dowla al-saljuqiyya, ed. M. Iqbal, Lahore, 1933, pp. 115-19, 121, 126-28.
Ẓahir-al-Din Nišāpuri, Saljuq-nāma, ed. A. H. Morton, London, 2004, pp. 89-91, 105.
Pseudo-Nišāpuri, Saljuq-nāma, tr. K. A. Luther as The History of the Seljuq Turks from the Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh, Richmond, Surrey, 2002, pp. 110. 117, 121-22, 126, 140.
Moḥammad b. ʿAli Rāvandi, Rāḥat al-ṣodur, ed. M. Iqbal, London, 1921, pp. 233-34, 237, 241-45, 249, 259-62.
(C. Edmund Bosworth)
Originally Published: May 1, 2012
Last Updated: November 15, 2006
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Vol. XVI, Fasc. 1, pp. 105-106