Hulagu Khan

Hulagu Khan
Ilkhan of the Ilkhanate
Hulagu Khan.jpg
Painting of Hulagu Khan by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, early 14th century.
Reign1256 – 8 February 1265
SuccessorAbaqa Khan
Born15 October 1218
Died8 February 1265(1265-02-08) (aged 46)
Burial
Consort
Issue
HouseBorjigin
FatherTolui
MotherSorghaghtani Beki
ReligionBuddhism[1][2]

Hulagu Khan, also known as Hülegü or Hulegu (Mongolian: Хүлэгү/ᠬᠦᠯᠡᠭᠦ, romanized: Hu’legu’/Qülegü; Chagatay: ہلاکو; Persian: هولاکو خان‎, Hulâgu xân; Arabic: هولاكو خان/ هَلَاوُن; Chinese: 旭烈兀; pinyin: Xùlièwù [ɕû.ljê.û]; c. 1218 – 8 February 1265), was a Mongol ruler who conquered much of Western Asia. Son of Tolui and the Keraite princess Sorghaghtani Beki, he was a grandson of Genghis Khan and brother of Ariq Böke, Möngke Khan, and Kublai Khan.

Hulagu's army greatly expanded the southwestern portion of the Mongol Empire, founding the Ilkhanate of Persia, a precursor to the eventual Safavid dynasty, and then the modern state of Iran. Under Hulagu's leadership, the siege of Baghdad (1258) destroyed Baghdad's standing in the Islamic world and weakened Damascus, causing a shift of Islamic influence to the Mamluk Sultanate in Cairo and ended the Abbasid Dynasty.

Background

Hulagu was born to Tolui, one of Genghis Khan's sons, and Sorghaghtani Beki, an influential Keraite princess. Sorghaghtani successfully navigated Mongol politics, arranging for all of her sons to become Mongol leaders. She was a Christian of the Church of the East (often referred to as "Nestorianism") and Hulagu was friendly to Christianity. Hulagu's favorite wife, Doquz Khatun, was also a Christian, as was his closest friend and general, Kitbuqa. It is recorded however that he converted to Buddhism as he neared death,[3] against the will of Doquz Khatun.[4] The erection of a Buddhist temple at Ḵoy testifies his interest in that religion.[5]

Hulagu had at least three children: Abaqa Khan, Tekuder, and Taraqai. Abaqa was second Ilkhan of Iran from 1265–82, Teguder Ahmad was third Ilkhan from 1282–84, and Taraqai's son Baydu became Ilkhan in 1295.[6] Mīr-Khvānd mentions two more children, given as Hyaxemet and Tandon in an early translation; Hyaxemet initially served as governor of Armenia and Azerbaijan, while Tandon was given Diyarbakır and Iraq.[7] The order of birth is listed as Abaqa, Hyaxemet, Tandon, Teguder, then Taraqai. His daughter-in-law, Absh Khatun, was sent to Shiraz to reign in 1263.[8]