By Philip M. Fields
This quantity of Tabari's annals offers nearly solely with the ultimate phases of the Zanj rebel, the main severe exterior problem confronted via the important gurus within the final 1/2 the third/ninth century. The uprising, which all started as an 'Alid rebellion, yet quickly gave technique to Kharijite affects, was once a circulate that attracted the disenfranchised parts of society in decrease Iraq. Their conflict opposed to the confirmed armies of the Caliphate endured over 3 a long time. And whereas the Zanj have been by no means capable of translate their localized successes into any decisive victory, they triggered common chaos and nice crisis in case you had a vested curiosity in political and financial stability.
In many respects, the Zanj resemble smooth progressive hobbies that stay off the nation-state, and harass the gurus. They emerged sometimes for traditional battles, yet, usually they resorted to unconventional struggle, making the most of the tremendous tricky terrain within the marshy parts of the area that gave upward push to them. To defeat them, the govt. armies needed to improvise new strategies and a technique in keeping with the teachings of early defeats.
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Additional info for The History of al-Ṭabarī, Vol. 37: The ‘Abbāsid Recovery: The War Against the Zanj Ends A.D. 879-893/A.H. 266-279
Abi Dulaf and, sparing his life, he entrusted him to one of his officers. The one named Lou, was struck by an arrow which killed him. A great many women who were in the hands of the Zanj were rescued on that day. Abu al-'Abbas ordered that they be set free and returned to their families. He seized everything that the Zanj had collected. Abn al-'Abbas then returned to his camp and ordered his troops to rest in preparation for marching against Suq al-Khamis. He summoned Nugayr and instructed him to get his men ready to march.
Abu al-'Abbes's troops therefore became aware of the ruse that al-jubbe i had conceived , and they took precautions to avoid passing along that road. The Zanj harassed the camp in the early morning every day to provoke an engagement; they even camped at Nahr al-Amir in force, but all this was to no avail. They abstained from fighting for about a month. Now Sulaymen wrote to the leader of the Zanj , requesting the latter to reinforce him with galleys of forty oarsmen each. And, indeed, within some twenty days forty galleys arrived, each carrying two army men.
Abu al-'Abbas, along with Nusayr and Zirak, sailed on the barges and transports. He ordered that the cavalry be transferred from Bar Musiwir to the road to al-Zuhr. The army advanced until it reached al-Hurth, whereupon Abu al-'Abbas ordered that the beasts of burden be transferred there. The animals were transported across the water, thereby reaching the western side of the Tigris. Abu al-'Abbas then instructed the army to march along the road to Dayr al-'Ummal'1 When the Zanj noticed the cavalry, they were seized with terror and escaped to the water and their vessels.
The History of al-Ṭabarī, Vol. 37: The ‘Abbāsid Recovery: The War Against the Zanj Ends A.D. 879-893/A.H. 266-279 by Philip M. Fields