By Yuri Bregel
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Additional resources for An Historical Atlas of Central Asia
In 898 the caliph granted #Amr a patent to the rule of Mavarannahr, but when #Amr tried to assert this right, he had to confront the Samanids, and in 900 he was defeated near Balkh by Isma#il Samani. The Samanids were an Iranian family who succeeded in founding the first Central Asian Islamic state. The ancestor of this family, Saman-Khuda, was allegedly a landlord in the province of Balkh (according to other data—near Samarqand or Termez), and his son, Asad, was converted to Islam in Merv in the early 9th century.
The main goal of Mahmud’s Indian campaigns was plunder, and they brought him enormous booty which allowed him to maintain a large army. Mahmud was a despotic ruler whose power rested upon the army and a large bureaucratic apparatus and whose rule was supported by spoils from his Indian campaigns. The central administrative system in his empire was inherited from the Samanids and further developed under his own rule, so that for later Islamic writers the Ghaznavid state became a model of a well organized and highly centralized bureaucracy, with a professional salaried standing army.
Its center was, as in the first qaghanate, in central Mongolia, and its western limit was the Altay mountains. A little later, in 699, Üch Elig, the chieftain of the Türgesh, one of the five Dulu tribes of the Western Türks, defeated and banished a puppet ruler of the Western Türks who had been installed by the Tang, and established his authority on the entire territory of the Western Türks, from Chach to Bishbalïq, thus founding a new, Türgesh, qaghanate. By that time the situation in the Tarim basin had changed again.