Altun Jan Khatun (died December 1060; meaning "Golden soul") was the Principal consort of Sultan Tughril, the founder of the Seljuk Empire, ruling from 1037 to 1063.

Altun Jan Khatun
Principal consort of the Seljuk Empire
Tenure1043 - December 1060
BornKhwarezm, Khwarazmian Empire
DiedDecember 1060
Zanjan, Seljuk Empire
SpouseShah Malik
IssueFrom her first husband:
Full name
Altun Jan Khatun
HouseHouse of Seljuq (by marriage)


Early lifeEdit

Altun Jan Khatun was a Turkish woman, possibly from Khwarezm. Before becoming Tughril Beg's wife she had been married to the Khwarezm Shah Shah Malik. Her son by that marriage, Anoushiravan, apparently remained with her after she married Tughril Beg in around 1043.[1][2]

Political influenceEdit

Tughril Beg is reported to have consulted his chief wife Altun Jan Khatun in affairs, Sibt ibn al-Jawzi states that she was a religious woman, much given to charitable works, of good judgement and firm determination.[3][4]

When Tughril Beg went to Hamadan in 1058 to deal with the revolt of Ibrahim Inal, he sent Altun Jan, Anoushiravan and al-Kunduri to Baghdad. Despite the Caliph's objection, Altun Jan took the treasury and Seljuk soldiery in Baghdad with her, leaving al-Kanduri. When Ibrahim Inal learnt of Altun Jan's approach he seems to have sent a force to have her intercepted. Other Turkmen ruler also joined, and defeated Ibrahim Inal. After this Tughril retired to Rey, where Altun Jan joined him.[5]

In Tughril's last days, before al-Basasiri's nseizure of the city, a convulated plot had been hatched by Altun Jan Khatun and his vizier al-Kunduri to install Altun Jan's son, Anushirvan. However, Anushirvan attracted no support, and Altun Jan soon dissociated herself from the plot, all of whose conspirators appear to have been eventually restored to favor without further punishment.[6]

Death and aftermathEdit

She died of edema in December 1060 in Zanjan. Tughril grieved for her greatly, and her bier was carried to Rey, where she was buried.[7][8] She held estates in Iran. Just before her death she bequeathed her states, assignments and pensions to the Caliph's daughter. Tughril assigned these to the latter when the marriage contract between him and the caliph's daughter was finally concluded in 1062.[9] According to some sources it was her who requested Tughril to marry the caliph's daughter at her deathbed.[6] After Tughril's death in 1063, Anoushiravan rebelled but was captured. He was imprisoned in Rey and was killed.[10]


  1. ^ Lambton 1988, p. 262.
  2. ^ Türk 2008, p. 112.
  3. ^ Gibb 1954, p. 482.
  4. ^ Kupferschmidt 1987, p. 482.
  5. ^ Basan 2010, p. 68.
  6. ^ a b Peacock 2015.
  7. ^ Boyle 1968, p. 224.
  8. ^ Richards 2014, p. 134.
  9. ^ Lambton 1988, p. 259.
  10. ^ Lambton 1988, p. 262-3.


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