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The Abbasid Caliphate, also known as the Arabian Empire,[1] was the third caliphate, an Islamic state regarded as succeeding the prophet Muhammad.[2] It was established in 750 in the wake of a revolution against the Umayyad Caliphate. Because their banners were black, they were known to the Tang as the "Black Arabs" (黑衣大食).[3]

In 751, they clashed with the Tang at the Battle of Talas, where the sudden betrayal of the Karluk mercenaries fighting under Tang forces resulted in a decisive victory for the Abbasids.[3]

The long period of Abbasid rule is often remembered as the Islamic Golden Age for being a zenith of scientific and artistic flowering across the Islamic world. Eventually, Abbasid power declined, and their control was reduced to only the territory around their capital of Baghdad by the time of the Crusades although their caliphs continued to wield spiritual prestige. In 1258, the Sack of Baghdad by Hülegü Khan of the Mongol Empire spelled an apocalyptic end to not just Abbasid cultural power but to the intellectual advances of Islamic society, as the city's philosophers and scientists were exterminated and its libraries and academies razed to the ground. The Abbasid Caliphate survived for a time in Egypt under the protection of the Mamluk Sultanate, although with little-to-none of their former spiritual authority and largely relegated to crowning the new Sultan, until finally the Mamluk Sultanate fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1517 and the Ottoman Sultans claimed the Caliphate for themselves. [citation needed]

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