The Ghaznavid Empire was a state in the region of today's Afghanistan that existed from 977 to 1186. It was created by Turks under Khan Sebük Tigin with the city Ghazna (Ghazni) as capital, replacing the Samanids. Sebük Tigin made himself lord of nearly all the present territory of Afghanistan and of the Punjab. In 997, Mahmud, the son of Sebük Tigin, succeeded his father upon his death, and with him Ghazni and the Ghaznavid dynasty have become perpetually associated. Issuing forth year after year from the capital, Mahmud carried fully seventeen expeditions of devastation through northern India and Gujarat, as well as others to the north and west. From the borders of Kurdistan to Samarkand, from the Caspian Sea to the Yamuna, his authority was acknowledged.
The wealth brought back to Ghazni was enormous, and contemporary historians (e.g. Abolfazl Beyhaghi, Ferdowsi) give glowing descriptions of the magnificence of the capital, as well as of the conquerors munificent support of literature. Mahmud died in 1030, and his son Mas'ud was unable to control the conquered lands and lost the Battle of Dandanqan in 1040. Even though there was some revival of importance under Ibrahim (1059-1099), the empire never reached anything like the same splendour and power. It was soon overshadowed by the Seljuk Turks of Persia. The Ghaznavid Empire ended in 1149 with the capture of Ghazna by the Ghurids. Ghaznavid power in northern India continued until the conquest of Lahore in 1186.
Ghaznavid armies penetrated into the Ganges-Jumna Do÷a@b and as far as Gwalior in Central India, but the culmination of his Indian campaigns was the attack on the celebrated shrine of Somnath in the Kathiawar peninsula (416-17 /1025-6), which yielded an immense haul of treasure (Gard^z^, ed.
Ghaznavid vassal principalities on the upper Oxus, K¨ottal and Ùa@g@a@n^a@n, were harried by Qarakhanid raiders, and by 425/1034 the outlying province of K¨úa@razm had slipped from Ghaznavid control.
The line of the Ghaznavids continued for some thirty more years, briefly under Bahra@mæa@h's son K¨osrowæa@h, and then, with a greater duration, under the latter's son K¨osrow Malek (the two similar names are often confused and the events of their reigns conflated in the sources).
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