State of Atabeys (Ildenizids) of Azerbaijan

\"\"The independent sultanates, which emerged after the decline of the Seljuqs, originated new state entities. The founders of those states were the former slaves (mamluks) of the Seljuq sultans. Atabey (literally \"father lord\" in Turkic languages) was the title conferred upon the Turkic slave officers who served as mentors of the Seljuq princes. The founder of the Azerbaijani Atabeys (1136-1225) was Shams ad-Din Ildeniz. Upon the death of Toghrul II , in 1136, Atabey Ildeniz married his widow Momune Khatun and was appointed by Sultan Masud the governor of Arran with his residence in Ganja.Soon Ildeniz subordinated all emirs of Arran and became almost an independent ruler of the region on the eve of Sultan Masud`s de ath. Soon after Ildeniz subordinated Shirvan as well. Following the death of Chavli, Sultan Masud`s representative in Azerbaijan in 1146, Ildeniz, using the chaos, annexed the province of Nakhichevan and moved his capital to Nakhichevan. In 1161, the troops of Shams ad-Din Ildeniz seized Hamadan and his juvenile stepson Arslan ascended to the throne of the sultanate of Iraq. Hamadan became the capital of Sultan Arslan Shah and Atabey Ildeniz. After the proclamation Arslan Shah was sultan of the country, his Atabey was declared \"Ulu Atabey\" (\"Great Atabey\"). Thus, Shams ad-Din Ildeniz became the real head of the sultanate of Iraq. Since then the title \"Atabey\" lost its original meaning as \"the guardian of the prince\" and was understood as the supreme title of a ruler. In different periods the Atabeys of Azerbaijan consisted of large provinces and regions, with no clearly defined boundaries. Azerbaijan, Arran (Nakhichevan), Persian Iraq, Rey, and Hamadan were always parts of this state. Upon the death of Atabey Uzbek during the marches of Khwarezmian Shah Jalal ad-Din to Azerbaijan in 1225, the Atabeys of Azerbaijan ceased its existence.