The Original Assassins: Medieval Warriors of Alamut
By Ahmad Amirali
Recently, I came across an article published on National Geographic magazine website about the Assassins of Iran and their stronghold in a mountainous fort called ‘Alamut’. Since eight centuries, the legends of Nizari Assassins are keeping its well-maintained place in the works of crusaders chronicles and the manuscripts of later Syrian-Sunni Muslims. These legends caught-up its fame when a traveller named Marco Pollo visited the forts and later mentioned these tales in his travelogues.
In this article, Vicente Millán Torres not only gives the outsider’s account (Crusaders) of the Assassins but also discuss the Marco Polo’s idea of ‘Assassin’ which he coined as a self-made invention. In this article, Vicente not only provides some notable details about the Nizari Ismaili sect of Shi’i Islam but also briefly explain their origins and advent. Moreover, He also discusses who was Hasan-i Sabbah and how he caught his fame as the leader of Assassins legion. Who was ‘the old man of the mountain’ and how it misinterpreted over centuries? Who was Rashid al-Din Sinan and how he deals with as-Salahuddin – the Ayubid? The article concludes with the downfall of Alamut in the 1300s by the hand of Hulegu the Mongol ruler.
The reading is quite interesting and provides some strong insights about this topic. Below is the link the article.