Out of the conflict, a Navy, fortresses and a mini-financial system in … Another group of scholars claim it is of Persian origin, claiming zang/zangi is used to denote "Negro." It has been the subject of research by such famous Orientalists as Theodor Nöldeke (Sketches from Eastern History) and Louis Massignon (The Passion of al-Hallaj); Alexandre Popović has authored a more recent monograph on the subject. They even had somewhat of a navy to take on the caliph’s ships. It is questionable whether or not the same taxation rates were applied to the Arabian peninsula as to Egypt, where more a more formal and established administrative-extractive apparatus already existed. Eventually, he moved to the “Abbasid capital, where he mixed with some of the influential slaves of Caliph al-Muntasir (861-862 A.D.)”. See 153. Shaban, 110. One anecdotal passage from Al-Masudi is of importance in this regard. Only small, flat boats could navigate these canals, making navigation in al-Batiha extraordinarily difficult (and often a perfect hideaway for brigands and rebels of all sorts).
Both his arms and legs were amputated and he was slashed with swords.
 There is considering divergence on this question.
T he Revolt of African Slaves in Iraq in the 3rd / 9th Century. 10, No.
 Others still claim it is Greek, coming from "zingis," although this is less likely. …They even ate their own dead, and he who was able to kill his companion, did so and ate him. Initially.
Mas’udi provides even more gruesome details. trained expert engineers who blocked the enemy’s advance by constructing impenetrable fortresses, cocooned inside layers of water canals or conversely built rapid bridges and communication lines for uninvited courtesy calls to the citadels of the gods.  Ibid., 12-3.
The Zanj revolt was a major slave uprising against the Abbasid Caliphate that took place in the marshlands of Southern Iraq (al-Bata‘ih) and Southern Iran (al-Ahwaz) during the ninth century.
The resulting labor shortage led to an increased slave market.
On the contrary, some of the people who were working in the salt marshes were among the first to fight against the revolt. Canonically, the lands of Basra were "amwat" ("dead lands"), under their original crust of unproductive natron or sebakh, "revived" by the coolie labor of the Zanj… who were refused their claim to freedom following their conversion… in Basra it ended in a fight to the death between the privileged elite of the City that wanted everything for itself, and the starved proletariat of the plantations and sand-filled oases who pounced on the City to destroy it.
The rebels gained control of southern Iraq by capturing al-Ubullah (June 870), a seaport on the Persian Gulf, and cutting communications to Basra, then seized Ahvāz in southwestern Iran. "Modern Takes on Motivations Behind the Zanj Rebellion," Lights: The Messa Journal (Spring 2012, Issue 3, Vol. http://www.raceandhistory.com/historicalviews/slaverebel.htm, http://books.google.com/books?id=igltYwUE764C, http://books.google.com/books?id=UIspERtZEHIC, http://books.google.com/books?id=-ctgf6WSCPMC, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Zanj_Rebellion?oldid=4540079. As Popovic argues, "In spite of Ya'qub b. Layth's rejection of Ali b. Muhammad's proposal for an alliance, there is no question about the Saffarid contribution to the Zanj cause… it was only when the Saffarid question was settled that al-Muwaffiq was able to undertake the large-scale operations that would eventually crush the revolt," See Alexandre Popovic, The Revolt of African Slaves in Iraq in the 3rd / 9th Century (Markus Wiener Publishers, 2011), 1.
Wealthy proprietors “had received extensive grants of tidal land on the condition that they would make it arable.” Sugar cane was prominent among the products of their plantations, particularly in Khūzestān Province.  It is likely that the Sahib al-Zanj was born in a village outside of Tehran, although he was probably of Arab descent.  Yet, Popovic also sees in Ali ibn Muhammad nothing more than an "ambitious, totally unprincipled man.
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