chapter  1
The Bu-yid social imaginary: Social and cultural contexts
Pages 32

It is generally accepted that the period of 334-440/945-1048 under Bu-yid rule was a turning point in Islamic culture.3 The arrival in 334/946 of Ah.mad b. Bu-ya (regnal name Mu‘izz al-Dawla, d. 356/967) to Baghdad marked the establishment of a dynasty in Iraq and western Iran following a political vacuum

and a period of decline in the authority of the ‘Abba-sid caliphate which had failed to recruit and maintain a reliable army during the first half of the fourth/tenth century.4 The Bu-yids changed this political reality by putting an end to the period of anarchy and civil strife surrounding the office of the chief emir (amı-r al-umara-’). The early Bu-yids also limited the activities of both the caliph and the vizier, and reinforced the supremacy of the army and succeeded in subsuming the office of amı-r al-umara-’ by giving it a new shape and turning it into an established institution with definite duties.5