Islam / Caliph / Abbasids /
(794-842) Caliph of Islam 833-842, belonging to the Abbasid Dynasty.
al-Mu'tasim introduced the ghilman, slave soldiers, who came to prominance in the later Abbasid military. The ghilman were enrolled as children, taken from Turkish or Armenian families of conquered regions.
Among the main challenges, although not addressed, during al-Mu'tasim's reign was the growing Tahirid Dynasty of the northeastern provinces of the Abbasid Empire. The factual independence of the Tahirids would lead to permanent loss for the Abbasids in this region.
794: Born as son of Harun ar-Rashid.
833: Succeeds his brother, al-Ma'mun, as caliph.
836: Following riots in Baghdad, al-Mu'tasim makes Samarra the new capital. It remains the capital of the Muslim world for 56 years.
837: Crushes the revolt of the Persian leader, Babak, who cooperates with the Greeks.
838 August: After an attack from the Byzantine Empire, al-Mu'tasim's troops attack the empire and destroy the fortresses of Ancyra (corresponding to modern Ankara) and Amorium.
842 January 5: Dies, and is succeeded by his son al-Wathiq.