The Ḥafṣid dynasty resulted from the patrimonialization process of the Almohad governorate in Ifrīqiya (beg. 13th c.). After the death of the second sultan (al-Mustanṣir, d. 1277), the political authority was slowly divided until two Merinid campaigns (mid. 14th c.), witnessed by Ibn Ḫaldūn himself. Then, the dynasty recovered surprisingly in the last quarter of this dark century and three long reigns formed a Golden Age, the Ifrīqiyan Quattrocento: Abū l-ʿAbbās (r. 1370-1394), Abū Fāris (r. 1394-1434), Abū ʿAmr ʿUṯmān (r. 1435-1488). In this communication, we shall analyze the highly unusual ‘renewal’ scenario of a dynastic restoration in a medieval Maghrebi context.
The kingdom of Tsar Boril (1207-1218) has been usually interpreted as a period of decadence for Bulgaria. His typical portrait is that of a weak ruler, unable to replicate the success of his predecessor Kalojan (1197-1207), and forced to accept a peace settlement with the Latin Empire of Constantinople. This representation, while not completely inaccurate, must be however challenged: the establishment of peaceful relations with the neighbouring kingdoms was the result of deliberate planning, probably caused by the exhaustion of Bulgaria’s resources after more than twenty years of warfare, and by the necessity of opposing the separatist tendencies of part of the Bulgarian aristocracy. Boril focused instead on the internal organization of the State, and his ‘renewal’ of Bulgaria paved the way for the triumphs of Ivan Asen II (1218-1241).
After the Mongol invasion of 1241-1242, the Hungarian King Béla Ivth constituted a far-reaching military reform. Up to that point, the military frontier had been composed of several rows of frontier defenses and frontier guard villages, interspersed with fortifications (ditches, walls, obstacles on the roads, canalisations, fortresses). After the reform, the country relied more heavily on fortresses built in a modern style. Our project concerns the auxiliary people called Pechenegs in Sopron, Győr, Moson, Vas, and Zala counties. Their role presumably diminished with the reform. Our method consists of looking at frontier defense objects in the context of historical geography. The basis for this is that places were often named after the person who possessed it or the ethnicity that lived there in medieval Hungary. We compare the map to written sources, to determine what obstacles penetrating enemies met.