Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Baldac, Baldake, Bandes, Baudac

Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, located in the central part of the country, situated on the eastern bank of the Tigris River.

According to Wolfram, it was invaded by Babylonians in Uther Pendragon’s time. Perceval’s father Gahmuret aided the Baruc of Baghdad in fighting off the Babylonians and was killed during a battle.

The Vulgate Lancelot names it as the home of Sapient, one of Arthur’s scribes. In the In the Alliterative Morte Arthure, it is subject to Lucius of Rome.

In the Prose Tristan, the King of Baghdad’s daughter is loved by a Sarecen knight named Corsabrin. When she rejects him, he tells people she is insane. The maiden promises herself and her lands to Palamedes (Palomides) if he can defeat Corsabrin in combat, and Palamedes kills him during the tournament at Sorelois. Malory calls the maiden the daughter of King Bandes.

According to Heinrich von dem Türlin, Arthur and his knights fought in a great tournament in Baghdad against three knights named Ansgir of Slaloi (Angsir), Gamur the Saracen, and Firus Bahandin. Heinrich calls Baghdad the capital of Babylonia, ruled by King Laamez.

Baghdad | 0 to the 20th century AD

Pre-Islamic Era
The area around modern-day Baghdad has a history dating back to ancient Mesopotamia, with early settlements and civilizations in the region. In the second century AD, the Parthian Empire ruled over this territory.

Islamic Foundation | 8th century
The foundation of Baghdad is closely tied to the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate. In 762 AD, Caliph Al-Mansur chose the location strategically along the Tigris River for the construction of a new capital. The city was named Madinat al-Salam (City of Peace) but became known as Baghdad.

Baghdad was designed with a circular plan, and its impressive round city walls became a distinctive feature. The circular design was intended to symbolize the unity of the caliphate and served both practical and symbolic purposes.

House of Wisdom
During the Abbasid Caliphate, Baghdad became a major center of learning and culture. The caliphs established the House of Wisdom, a renowned institution for scholars, scientists, and translators. The House of Wisdom played a crucial role in the translation of Greek, Roman, and Persian texts into Arabic, preserving and transmitting knowledge.

Golden Age of Islam
Baghdad flourished during the Islamic Golden Age (eighth to fourteenth centuries), reaching its cultural and intellectual zenith. The city became a hub for scholars, poets, and philosophers, fostering advancements in various fields, including mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and literature.

Caliphs and Rule
The early Abbasid caliphs, including Harun al-Rashid, are often associated with the grandeur and prosperity of Baghdad. Harun al-Rashid’s court was famously depicted in stories such as “One Thousand and One Nights.”

Mongol Invasion | 1258
One of the darkest periods in Baghdad’s history occured in 1258 when the city was sacked by the Mongols under Hulagu Khan. The destruction of Baghdad by the Mongols marked the end of the Abbasid Caliphate’s prominence and had a profound impact on the region.

Later Periods
After the Mongol invasion, Baghdad experienced periods of decline and reconstruction. The city came under Ottoman rule in the sixteenth century. Baghdad became the capital of the modern state of Iraq when the country gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1932.

See also
Babylon | The Legend of King Arthur
Caliph of Baghdad | The Legend of King Arthur

Parzival | Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1200–1210
Vulgate Lancelot | 1215-1230
Prose Tristan | 1230-1240
Diu Crône | Heinrich von dem Türlin, c. 1230
Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400