Zayyanid dynasty

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Zayyanid dynasty
Current regionMaghreb; North Western Algeria
FounderYaghmurasen Ibn Zyan
Final rulerHassan I
TitlesSultan of Tlemcen

The Zayyanid dynasty (Arabic: زيانيون, Ziyānyūn) or Abd al-Wadids (Arabic: بنو عبد الواد, Bānu ʿabd āl-Wād) was a Berber Zenata[1][2][3] dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Tlemcen, mainly in modern Algeria centered on the town of Tlemcen in northwest Algeria. The Zayyanid dynasty's rule lasted from 1235 to 1557[4]


On the collapse of the Almohad Caliphate's rule around 1236,[5] the kingdom of Tlemcen became independent under the rule of the Zayyanids, and Yaghmurasen Ibn Zyan.[5][6] Ibn Zyan was able to maintain control over the rival Berber groups, and when faced with the outside threat of the Marinids, he formed an alliance with the Sultan of Granada and the King of Castile, Alfonso X.[5]

After ibn Zyan's death, the Marinid sultan besieged Tlemcen for eight years and finally captured it in 1337–48, with Abu al-Hasan 'Ali as the new ruler. After a period of self-rule, it was governed again by the Marinid dynasty from 1352 to 1359 under Abu Inan Faris.[5] The Marinids reoccupied it periodically, particularly in 1360 and 1370.[7] In both cases, the Marinids found that they were unable to hold the region against local resistance.[8] but these episodes appear to have marked the beginning of the end of the Zayyanid dynasty.

During the rule of Abu Malek the Zayyanids captured Fez and then all of Morocco and installed a ruler as a vassal of Tlemcen, thereby making Morocco a Zayyanid vassal. In the 15th century, expansion eastward was attempted, but proved disastrous, as consequences of these incursions they were so weakened that over the following two centuries, the Zayyanid kingdom was intermittently a vassal of Hafsid Ifriqiya, Marinid Morocco, or Aragon.[8] When the Spanish took the city of Oran from the kingdom in 1509, continuous pressure from the Berbers prompted the Spanish to attempt a counterattack against the city of Tlemcen (1543), which was deemed by the Papacy to be a crusade. The Spanish failed to take the city in the first attack, although the strategic vulnerability of Tlemcen caused the kingdom's weight to shift toward the safer and more heavily fortified corsair base at Algiers.

In 1554, the Kingdom of Tlemcen became a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire, which later deposed the Zayyanid dynasty and annexed the country to the Regency of Algiers.

List of rulers[edit]

Dates and most alternate names taken from John Stewart's African States and Rulers (1989).[9]

No. Name Alternate Name Reign Begin Reign End Notes
1 Yghomracen Ibn Zyan Abu Yahya I bin Zayyan 1236 March 1283 Founder
2 Abu Said Uthman I Othmane Ibn Yaghmoracen March 1283 6 June 1304 Son of Abu Yahya I
3 Abu Zayyan I Abu Zayyar I Muhammad 6 June 1304 14 April 1308 Son of Abu Said Uthman I
4 Abu Hammu I Abu Hamma I Musa 14 April 1308 22 July 1318 Brother of Abu Zayyan I
Assassinated by his son Abu Tashufin I
5 Abu Tashufin I Abu Tashufin I Abdal Rahman 22 July 1318 May 1336 Son of Abu Hammu I
First Marinid conquest (1337–1348) (Marinid ruler was Abu al-Hasan Ali)
6 Abu Said Uthman II Abu Sa'id Uthman II Abdal Rahman 1348 1352 Son of Abu Tashufin I
Co-ruler with Abu Thabid I
7 Abu Thabid I Abu Thabit 1348 1352 Son of Abu Tashufin I
Co-ruler with Abu Said Uthman II
Second Marinid conquest (1352–1359) (Marinid ruler was Abu Inan)
8 Abu Hammu II Musa Abu Hammu II ibn Abi Yaqub February 1359 20 May 1360 First Reign
Brother of Abu Said Uthman II
9 Abu Zayyan II Abu Zayyan Muhammad II ibn Uthman 20 May 1360 1360 Ruled during times when Abu Hammu II was forced from power
- Abu Hammu II - 1360 1370 Second Reign
Expedition to Bugia defeated, 1366
- Abu Zayyan II - 1370 1372 Second Reign
- Abu Hammu II - 1372 1383 Third Reign
- Abu Zayyan II - 1383 1384 Third Reign
- Abu Hammu II - 1384 1387 Fourth Reign
- Abu Zayyan II - 1387 1387 Fourth and final Reign
- Abu Hammu II - 1387 1389 Fifth and final Reign
10 Abu Tashufin II Abu Tashufin II Abdal Rahman 1389 29 May 1393 Son of Abu Hammu I
11 Abu Thabid II Abu Thabit II Yusuf 29 May 1393 8 July 1393 Son of Abu Tashufin I
12 Abul Hadjdjadj I Abu Hadjjaj Yusuf 8 July 1393 November 1393 Brother of Abu Thabid II
13 Abu Zayyan II Abu Zayyan II Muhammad November 1393 1397 Brother of Abul Hadjdjadj I
14 Abu Muhammad I Abu Muhammad Abdallah I 1397 1400 Brother of Abu Zayyan II
15 Abu Abdallah I Abu Abdallah Muhammad I 1400 1411 Brother of Abu Muhammad I
16 Abd al-Rahman I Abd al-Rahman ibn Musa U 1411 1411 Son of Abu Muhammad I
17 Said I Abu Sa'id ibn Musa 1411 November 1412 Brother of Abu Muhammad I
18 Abu Malek I Abu Malek Abd al-Wahid November 1412 May 1424 First reign
Brother of Said I
19 Abu Abdallah II Abu Abdallah Muhammad II May 1424 1427 First reign
Son of Abd al-Rahman I
Interregnum – Civil War (1427–1429)
- Abu Malek I - 1429 1430 Second reign
- Abu Abdallah II - 1430 1430 Second reign
20 Abu Abbas Ahmad I Abu al-Abbas Ahmad I 1430 January 1462 Son of Abu Thabid II
21 Abu Abdallah III Abu Abdallah Muhammad III February 1462 1468 Son of Abu Abbas Ahmad I
22 Abu Tashufin III - 1468 1468 Son of Abu Abdallah III
23 Abu Abdallah IV Abu Abdallah Muhammad IV 1468 1504 Brother of Abu Tashufin III
24 Abu Abdallah V Abu Abdallah Muhammad V 1504 1517 Son of Abu Abdallah IV
25 Abu Hammu III Abu Hammu III Musa 1517 1527 Son of Abu Abbas Ahmad I
26 Abu Muhammad II Abu Muhammad Abdallah II 1527 January 1541 Brother of Abu Hammu III
27 Abu Zayyan III Abu Zayyan Ahmad January 1541 7 March 1543 First Reign
Son of Abu Muhammad II
28 Abu Abdallah VI Abu Abdallah Muhammad VI 7 March 1543 June 1543 Brother of Abu Zayyan III
- Abu Zayyan III - June 1543 1550 Second Reign
29 Al Hassan ibn Abdallah - 1550 1557 Brother of Abu Zayyan III

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Algeria – Zayanids". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Abd al-Wadid Dynasty | Berber dynasty". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  3. ^ Appiah, Anthony; Gates, Henry Louis (1 January 2010). Encyclopedia of Africa. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195337709.
  4. ^ Phillip Chiviges Naylor, North Africa: a history from antiquity to the present, (University of Texas Press, 2009), 98.
  5. ^ a b c d "'Abd al-Wadid". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. I: A-Ak – Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2010. pp. 16. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8.
  6. ^ Delfina S. Ruano (2006), Hafsids, in Josef W Meri (ed.), Medieval Islamic Civilization: an Encyclopedia. Routledge., p. 309.
  7. ^ "Qantara – The Abdelwadids (1236-1554)". Archived from the original on 7 July 2010.
  8. ^ a b I. Hrbek (1997), The disintegration of political unity in the Maghrib, in Joseph Ki-Zerbo & Djibril T Niane (eds.) (1997), General History of Africa, vol. IV: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century (abridged ed.) UNESCO, James Curry Ltd., and Univ. Calif. Press., pp. 34–43.
  9. ^ Stewart, John (1989). African States and Rulers. London: McFarland. pp. 2–3. ISBN 0-89950-390-X.

External links[edit]

Media related to Zayyanid dynasty at Wikimedia Commons