Abu Ali Salih ibn Mirdas
: ابو علي صالح بن مرداس
, romanized: Abū ʿAlī Ṣāliḥ ibn Mirdās
), also known by his laqab
(honorific epithet) Asad al-Dawla
("Lion of the State"), was the founder of the Mirdasid dynasty
and emir of Aleppo
from 1025 until his death in May 1029. At its peak, his emirate
(principality) encompassed much of the western Jazira
(Upper Mesopotamia), northern Syria
and several central Syrian towns. With occasional interruption, Salih's descendants ruled Aleppo for the next five decades.
Salih launched his career in 1008, when he seized the Euphrates
river fortress of al-Rahba
. In 1012, he was imprisoned and tortured by the emir of Aleppo, Mansur ibn Lu'lu'
. Two years later he escaped, capturing Mansur in battle and releasing him for numerous concessions, including half of Aleppo's revenues. This cemented Salih as the paramount emir of his tribe, the Banu Kilab
, many of whose chieftains had died in Mansur's dungeons. With his Bedouin
warriors, Salih captured a string of fortresses along the Euphrates, including Manbij
, by 1022. He later formed an alliance with the Banu Kalb
and Banu Tayy
tribes and supported their struggle against the Fatimids
. During this tribal rebellion, Salih annexed the central Syrian towns of Homs
, before conquering Fatimid-held Aleppo in 1025, bringing "to success the plan which guided his [Banu Kilab] forebears for a century", according to historian Thierry Bianquis
. (Full article...