Battle of Baghdad (946)

Battle of Baghdad (946)
Part of the Buyid-Hamdanid Wars
Northern Iraq and Eastern Jazira in 946.svg
Boundary established between the Buyid and Hamdanid amirates at the end of the war (dashed line).
DateApril – August, 946
Baghdad, modern-day Iraq
ResultDecisive Buyid victory
Buyid amirate of IraqHamdanid amirate of Mosul
Commanders and leaders
Mu'izz al-Dawla
Abu Ja'far Saymari
Nasir al-Dawla
Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Shirzad
Abu 'Abdallah Husayn b. Sa'id

The Battle of Baghdad (946 AD) was fought between the forces of the Buyid Emirate of Iraq under Mu'izz al-Dawla and the Hamdanid Emirate of Mosul under Nasir al-Dawla within the city of Baghdad. The battle lasted for several months; it eventually ended in victory for the Buyids, who expelled the Hamdanids from Baghdad with a major offensive and secured control of the city.

The battle was the first conflict in the Buyid-Hamdanid Wars; it was also the only one to occur largely on Buyid, rather than Hamdanid, territory.[1]


Baghdad became a Buyid possession when Ahmad ibn Buya advanced from Ahvaz with his army and entered the city in December 945. Upon his arrival, he met with the Abbasid caliph al-Mustakfi, who agreed to give him control of the affairs of the state and conferred on him the honorific of "Mu'izz al-Dawla."[2] News of this event was received negatively by the Hamdanid amir Nasir al-Dawla, who ruled over Mosul and the districts of the eastern Jazira. Nasir al-Dawla had previously controlled Baghdad in 942 and he still entertained hopes of regaining the city;[3] Mu'izz al-Dawla's takeover of the capital was therefore an unwelcome development for him.

Nasir al-Dawla had reason to be confident that he could defeat Mu'izz al-Dawla if he made an attempt to capture Baghdad. His army had been bolstered by the arrival of numerous Turkish soldiers who had fled from Baghdad just before Mu'izz al-Dawla's entrance into the capital,[4] and he was much more familiar with the territory between Mosul and Baghdad than his rival was. Mu'izz al-Dawla, on the other hand, was on less secure ground; Baghdad was in a sorry state thanks to years of mismanagement and he was hamstrung by its numerous financial and military problems.[5] Nasir al-Dawla furthermore gained a pretext for war when in January 946 Mu'izz al-Dawla deposed and blinded the caliph al-Mustakfi and replaced him with the more obedient al-Muti'.[6] As a result of these factors, Nasir al-Dawla took a belligerent tone with the Buyids; he withheld the payment of tribute to Baghdad,[7] refused to recognize al-Muti' as caliph and continued to mint coins in al-Mustakfi's name.[8]