Al al-Din

Al al-Din (Chinese: 阿老瓦丁; pinyin: Ālăowădīng; Wade–Giles: A-lao-wa-ting, the name presumably representing Ala-ud-din, d. 1312) was a Muslim Persian mangonel expert who served in Kublai Khan’s army in the conquest of the Southern Song Dynasty.

In 1271 Kublai Khan dispatched envoys to obtain persons skilled in the management of mangonels from his kinsman Abaqa, the Ilkhan in Persia. The latter sent Al al-Din and Ismail, together with their families, by post route to Hangzhou, where they began by building large mangonels which they erected in front of the city gates. Al-Din was subsequently attached to the staff of the general Alihaya, with whom he crossed the Yangtse River, being present at the capture of many towns. He died in 1312, loaded with honors, and was succeeded in his dignities by his son Mahasha 馬哈沙.


This article incorporates material from Herbert Giles's A Chinese Biographical Dictionary (London: Arthur Probsthain, 1898), which is now in the public domain.

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