The Abbasids

The Abbasids now control most of the old Umayyad Caliphate from Tunisia to the Indian subcontinent. They are responsible for the fall of the Umayyad Caliphate in the past 50 odd years after growing discontent beforehand due to harsher rulings being made, which led to the Abbasid Revolution in the 700s. They rule a more mixed country now taking in different minorities in their territory where it is based more on having the best individual for a job than maintaining a powerful minority of families at the top.   Their seat of power was in Bagdad, in modern Iraq, though one of the two most powerful cities in the country outside of Raqqa in Syria when the court & governance was moved there in 796. Harun al-Rashid is the current Caliph taking power in February 766 AD. He is also known as 'Aaron the Just', or Aaron the Rightly-Guided'. He has also established the legendary library Bat al-Hikma (House of Wisdom). One of the most prominent families at this time is the Barmakids, a dynastic family of Persians, from Iran and originally Buddhist, as well as being from the city Balkh. They were the leaders of the Buddhist leaders in the Nawbahr monastery, before converting to Islam. The son Ja'far is the present leader of the family. Muhammad al-Shaybari is a powerful Qadi under Harun al-Rashid when appointed to this position in 796 AD. al-Rashid's mentor & long-term associate is a Vizier to, after being raised up to this position. His name is Yahya bin Khalid bin Barmak, and his sons share similar positions.   There is many competent Viziers present too, who act as advisors & righthand men to the Caliphate. At this time there is still conflict between the Abbasids & Byzantium, which flared up after previous Caliphs started an invasion in 787. There seems to be no let up in raids along the border between the two. During this time, the Abbasid governors off each region has been given greater autonomy, and many are making their titles hereditary. Cyprus has also fallen to the Abbasids with the navy of them being the main force to accomplish this.   The nation has good relations with the Franks, of which the latter had sent a delegation to the Caliphate in 799 AD. They sent many gifts back along with a working clock, which Charlemagne & court thought was magical (mainly for the inner works & noises, including noises every hour). Einhard (a known Frankish scholar and courtier), is a common delegate going to and from both nations, especially when there is problems of access for Christians making pilgrimage to the Holy Lands. There is also a treaty between the Caliphate and the Tang Empire in China, both of whom are enemies of the Tibetans.   When an ambassador, diplomat, or messenger is interacting with al-Rashid, they are split by a screen, and the Caliph speaks first, cannot be interrupted or opposed. The diplomat's undivided attention must be on the Caliph, and be prepared to give the Caliph a measured answer at all times.


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