Hafsids(redirected from Hafsid dynasty)
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a dynasty of Berber origin that ruled in Tunisia from 1229 to 1574. Its name derives from Sheikh Abi Hafs, a founder of the Almohad movement. Abu Zakariya Yahya (ruled 1229–49), Abi Hafs’ grandson and the Almohad viceroy in Ifriqiya, founded a state that enjoyed de facto independence. The Hafsids reached their greatest power in the reigns of al-Mustansir (1249–77), Abu Faris (1394–1434), and Uthman (1435–88). The internecine strife among feudal lords that went on almost incessantly in the Hafsid state encouraged foreign invasion. The Moroccans invaded in the mid-14th century. They were followed by the Turks and by the Spaniards, who established a protectorate over Tunisia that lasted from 1535 to 1574. In 1574 the country was seized by the Turks, and the Hafsids were overthrown.