Assassins

The Assassins (Persian: حشاشين Ḥashshāshīn, also Hashishin, Hassassin, or Hashashiyyin) were an order of Nizari Ismailis, particularly those of Persia and Syria that formed around 1091. Posing a strong military threat to Sunni Seljuq authority within the Persian territories, the Nizari Ismailis captured and inhabited many mountain fortresses under the leadership of Hassan-i Sabbah.

The name "Assassin" is often said to derive from the Arabic Hashishin or "users of hashish", to have been originally derogatory and used by their adversaries during the Middle Ages.

The Masyaf branch of the Assassins was taken over by the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in 1273. The Mamluks however, continued to use the services of the remaining Assassins: Ibn Battuta reported in the 14th century their fixed rate of pay per murder. In exchange, the higher authorities allowed them to exist. The mention of Assassins were also preserved within European sources, such as the writings of Marco Polo, in which they are depicted as trained killers, responsible for the systematic elimination of opposing figures.

Read more about Assassins:  Origins, Etymology, Timeline, Military Tactics, Downfall and Aftermath, Legends and Folklore, Friedrich Nietzsche, In Popular Culture

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Famous quotes containing the word assassins:

    No Government can be long secure without a formidable Opposition. It reduces their supporters to that tractable number which can be managed by the joint influences of fruition and hope. It offers vengeance to the discontented, and distinction to the ambitious; and employs the energies of aspiring spirits, who otherwise may prove traitors in a division or assassins in a debate.
    Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881)

    No Government can be long secure without a formidable Opposition. It reduces their supporters to that tractable number which can be managed by the joint influences of fruition and hope. It offers vengeance to the discontented, and distinction to the ambitious; and employs the energies of aspiring spirits, who otherwise may prove traitors in a division or assassins in a debate.
    Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881)