Sāsānian dynasty

or Sāssānian dynasty

Persian dynasty (AD 224–651). Founded by Ardashīr I (r. AD 224–241) and named for his ancestor Sāsān (circa 1st century AD), it replaced the Parthian empire (see Parthia). Its capital was Ctesiphon. The dynasty battled the Roman Republic and Empire and its successor the Byzantine Empire in the west and the Kushāns and Hephthalites in the east throughout much of its existence. In the 3rd century its empire stretched from Sogdiana and Georgia to northern Arabia, and from the Indus River to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Traditions of the Achaemenian dynasty were revived, Zoroastrianism was reestablished as the state religion, and art and architecture experienced a renaissance. Its important rulers included Shāpūr I (d. 272), Shāpūr II (309–379), Khosrow I, and Khosrow II. The Sāsānids were the last native Persian dynasty before the Arab conquest of the region in the late 7th century.

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(1368–1644) Chinese dynasty that provided an interval of native rule between eras of Mongol and Manchu dominance. The Ming, one of the most stable but autocratic of dynasties, extended Chinese influence farther than did any other native rulers of China. Under the Ming, the capital of China was moved from Nanjing to Beijing, and the Forbidden City was constructed. Naval expeditions led by Zheng He paved the way for trade with Southeast Asia, India, and eastern Africa. During the Ming dynasty, novels were written in the vernacular, while philosophy benefited from the work of Wang Yangming in Neo-Confucianism. Ming monochrome porcelain became famous throughout the world, with imitations created in Vietnam, Japan, and Europe.

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or Mamluke dynasty

(1250–1517) Rulers of Syria and Egypt. The term mamlūk is an Arabic word for slave. Slave soldiers had been used in the Islamic world since the 9th century, and they often exploited the military power vested in them to seize control from the legitimate political authorities. In 1250 a group of mamlūk generals seized the throne of the Ayyūbid dynasty on the death of the sultan Al-Malik al-Ssubdotālihsubdot Ayyūb (r. 1240–49). The resulting dynasty legitimized its rule by reconstituting the caliphate of the aynAbbāsid dynasty (destroyed by the Mongols in 1258) and by acting as patrons to the rulers of Mecca and Medina. Under Mamlūk rule the remaining crusaders were expelled from the eastern Mediterranean coast, and the Mongols were driven back from Palestine and Syria. Culturally, historical writing and architecture flourished during their rule. A shift in their ethnic makeup from Turkish to Circassian corresponded with their slow decline; their failure to adopt field artillery as weapons (except in siege warfare) contributed to their defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. They afterward remained intact as a social class, however, and continued to exercise a high degree of political autonomy, though they were only one of several forces influencing Egyptian political life. Their power was finally broken by the Albanian-Egyptian officer Muhsubdotammad aynAlī in a massacre in 1811. Seealso Baybars I.

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Arabic al-Murābitsubdotūn

The 12th-century gateway Bab Agnaou, at the entrance to the medina (ancient Moorish quarter) of elipsis

(1056–1147) Berber confederation that succeeded the tsubdotimid dynasty in the Maghrib. It flourished in the 11th and early 12th centuries. Its founder, aynAbd Allāh ibn Yasīn, was a Muslim scholar of the Mālikī school who used religious reform as a means of gaining followers in the mid-11th century. The Almoravids took over Morocco and then the rest of the Maghrib following the decline of the Zīrid dynasty. By 1082 they ruled Algiers. By 1110 they also controlled Muslim Spain, but the Christians began to win back territory in 1118. In the 1120s another Berber coalition, the Almohads, started a rebellion, eventually displacing the Almoravids.

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Arabic al-Muwahsubdothsubdotidūn (“Unitarians”)

(1130–1269) Berber confederation born out of religious opposition to the Islamic doctrines of the Almoravid dynasty. The Almohad leader Ibn Tūmart began his rebellion in the 1120s. Marrakech was captured in 1147 under the leadership of his successor aynAbd al-Muhamzahmin. By the 1170s all of the Maghrib was under unified control for the only time in its history, and the Almohads also controlled Muslim Spain. Their rule was marked by, on the one hand, the cultivation of science and philosophy and, on the other, efforts at religious unification by compelling Jews and Christians to convert or emigrate. They lost control of Spain to the Christians in 1212 and of their North African provinces to the Hsubdotafssubdotid dynasty in Tunis (1236) and the Marīnids in Marrakech (1269).

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A dynasty is a succession of rulers who belong to the same family for generations. A dynasty is also often called a "house", e.g. the House of Saud or House of Habsburg. In the histories of Europe, much of Asia and some of Africa, ruling and noble houses have usually been patrilineal; inheritance and kinship being predominantly viewed and legally calculated through descent from a common ancestor in the male line. Often, however, if the male lineage died out, descendants through females (and sometimes the females themselves) were recognized as entitled to inherit the dynasty's realms and/or wealth.

The term "dynasty" is also used to describe the era during which a family reigned, as well as events, trends and artifacts of that period, e.g. "Ming dynasty vase". In such cases, often the "dynasty" is dropped but the name may be used adjectively, e.g. "Tudor style", "Ottoman expansion", "Romanov decadence". Historians traditionally consider a state's history within a framework of successive dynasties, particularly with such nations as China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire. Much of European political history was dominated, successively and together, by dynasties such as the Carolingians, the Capetians, the Habsburgs, the Stuarts, the Hohenzollerns and the Romanovs. Until the nineteenth century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty, that is, to increase the territory, wealth and power of family members.

Dynastic names may not be the same as individual surnames, in that titles are customarily used instead. Or the name of the dynasty may follow the throne by descending through females, e.g. the current heads of the dynasties of Grimaldi, Habsburg, Orange and Romanov actually descend paternally from, respectively, the houses of Polignac (Chalençon), Lorraine, Lippe and Oldenburg. Also, often a new dynastic name does not signal an altogether different family, so much as a new branch of the dynasty that has obtained the throne: kings of the House of Anjou, Bourbon, Valois and Burgundy dynasties were all male-line descendants of Hugh Capet of France and are collectively called Capetians. Thus, by a royal decree of 1960 the British ruling dynasty remains the House of Windsor, despite the present Queen having married Philip Mountbatten, who is by birth a prince of the reigning Danish dynasty of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, itself a branch of the House of Oldenburg, of which the Romanovs descended from Peter III were also agnatic descendants.

Dynasties may change due to war, but also when a king fails to produce an heir, sometimes resulting in a maternal relative's succession. The dynasty usually then takes the name of that successor's paternal family name.


A ruler in a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a dynast, but this term is also used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains succession rights to a throne. For example, following his abdication, Edward VIII of the United Kingdom ceased to be a dynastic member of the House of Windsor.

A "dynastic marriage" is one that complies with monarchical house law restrictions, so that the descendants are eligible to inherit the throne and/or other royal privileges. For instance, the 2002 marriage of Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange to Máxima Zorreguieta was dynastic, and their eldest child is expected to eventually inherit the Dutch crown. But the marriage of his younger brother Prince Friso to Mabel Wisse Smit in 2003 lacked government support and parliamentary approval. Thus Friso forfeited his place in the order of succession, lost his title as a Prince of the Netherlands, and his children have no dynastic rights.

In historical and monarchist references to formerly reigning families, dynastic describes a family member who would have succession rights if the monarchy's rules were still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Max was bypassed for the Austrian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Even since abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Max and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position.

The term "dynast" is sometimes used to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, and sometimes to those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe overlapping but distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her late sister, Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown, and in that sense is a British dynast. Yet he is not a male-line member of the royal family, and is therefore not a dynast of the House of Windsor.

On the other hand, the German aristocrat Ernst August, Prince of Hanover (born 1954), although a male-line descendant of George III of the United Kingdom, is a remote descendant with no legal British titles and styles (although he is entitled to re-claim the once-royal dukedom of Cumberland). Yet he was born in the line of succession to the British crown and is bound by the Royal Marriages Act 1772. Thus, in 1999 he requested and obtained formal permission from Elizabeth II to marry Princess Caroline of Monaco. But immediately upon marriage he forfeited his (remote) claim to the British throne because she is a Roman Catholic and Ernst August is also bound by the English Act of Settlement 1701 which permanently deprives dynasts of succession rights upon marriage to a Roman Catholic. However, the couple's daughter, Princess Alexandra of Hanover (born 1999), remains a legal dynast of both the United Kingdom and Monaco, not to mention her father's claim to dynasticity as pretender to the former royal crown of Hanover.

Dynasties by region








Araucania and Patagonia



Inca Empire




New Zealand Māori










India (including parts thereof)



Saudi Arabia


Viet Nam





Belgium, Flanders





See Early kings of the Lombards.




Byzantine Empire




The next house after the death of Queen Elizabeth II will be the House of Mountbatten-Windsor





















Roman Empire




merged with england wales, and ireland to create united kingdom

The next house after the death of Queen Elizabeth II will be the House of Mountbatten-Windsor


Two Sicilies


Political families in Republics

Though in elected governments rule does not pass automatically by inheritance, political power often accrues to generations of related individuals even in Republics. Eminence, Influence, familiarity, tradition, genetics, and even nepotism may contribute to this phenomenon.

Some political dynasties:


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