Zidan al-Nasir

Mawlay Zidan el Nasir (? – September 1627) was the Sultan of Morocco from 1603 to 1627. He was son of Ahmad al-Mansur, and resided in Marrakech.

Civil war

During the reign of Zidan, after the death of Mulay al-Mansur in 1603, Morocco progressively fell into a state of anarchy, with the Sultan losing authority.[1] Salé became a sort of independent Republic.[1] Morocco was in a state of civil war with warlords taking territory from Zidan, such as Ahmed ibn Abi Mahalli in the South and Sidi al-Ayachi in the North.[2] The Spanish also seized the opportunity to capture the cities of Larache in 1610 and then al-Ma'mura.[2]

Foreign relations

Mulay Zidan established friendly relations with the Low Countries, with the help of envoys such as Samuel Pallache, and from 1609, he established a Treaty of Friendship. He sent several more envoys to the Low Countries, such as Muhammad Alguazir, Al-Hajari and Yusuf Biscaino.[3]

James I of England sent John Harrison to Muley Zaydan in Morocco in 1610 and again in 1613 and 1615 in order to obtain the release of English captives.[4]

By a coincidence the complete library of this sultan has been transmitted to us to the present day. During a civil war in 1612, Mulay Zidan commissioned a French privateer, Jehan Philippe de Castelane, to shift his household goods from Safi to Agadir for a sum of 3000 escudos. After waiting 6 days, without being paid, he sailed north, with the cargo still aboard. A Spanish fleet of 4 ships under command of Luis Fajardo de Córdoba intercepted the vessel near Mehdya and took it to Lisbon (then part of Spain) and convicted the crew of piracy. Two years later the collection was transmitted to El Escorial for permanent storage.[5][6]

See also

El Escorial


  1. 1 2 Ships, money, and politics by Kenneth R. Andrews p.167. Books.google.com. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  2. 1 2 The Cambridge history of Islam by P. M. Holt, Ann K. S. Lambton, Bernard Lewis p.247. Books.google.com. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  3. Romania Arabica by Gerard Wiegers p.410. Books.google.com. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  4. Khalid Ben Srhir. Britain and Morocco during the embassy of John Drummond Hay, 1845-1886. p. 14. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
    • For details of the incident see: Chantal de la Véronne, Histoire sommaire des Sa'diens au Maroc, 1997, p. 78.
    • Catalogue: Dérenbourg, Hartwig, Les manuscrits arabes de l'Escurial / décrits par Hartwig Dérenbourg. - Paris : Leroux [etc.], 1884-1941. - 3 volumes.
  5. Journal of Early Modern History 18 (2014) 535-538 "Traveling Libraries: The Arabic Manuscripts of Muley Zidan and the Escorial Library" by Daniel Hershenzon of University of Connecticut ()

External links

Preceded by
Ahmad al-Mansur
Sultan of Morocco
Succeeded by
Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik II
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