Mahmud of Ghazni Biography
(Sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire (998-1030))
Birthday: November 2, 971 (Scorpio)
Born In: Ghazni, Afghanistan
Mahmud of Ghazni was a late-10th-century and early-11th-century political and military leader and conqueror who reigned over a vast region in Asia, which stretched from Ray in the west to Samarkand in the north-east, and from the Caspian Sea to the Yamuna River in India. The first independent ruler of the Ghaznavid dynasty, he began his career serving under his father, who was a slave commander in the Samanid Empire, in various military campaigns. Mahmud ascended the throne in 999 and immediately began his efforts to secure his position and expand his empire. He was an extremely Persianized ruler, who upheld the bureaucratic, political, and cultural customs of the Samanids, his predecessors. This act ultimately set up the framework for a Persianate state in northern India. When he chose to use the title “Sultan”, he became the first ruler in history to do so. The title underscored the enormity of his power, while simultaneously maintaining an ideological connection with the suzerainty of the Abbasid Caliphate.