Then there was Harthama. He was less determined; he began by lending bis prestige and bis great military experience to the Sahlid cause but he was too powerful and too independent to be a useful

instrument and was treacherously done to death by them. Finally, there were the people of Iraq: notably, the ahna' of Baghdad but also the people of the Sawad. They were defeated but by no means impotent and the economic disruption caused by the way seems to have made it easy for would-be rebels to fmd support. They objected, not to Ma'mun himself, but to the Sahlids and their policy of government from Marw, since government from Marw meant that Iraq, and especially Baghdad, would become impoverished and provincial. It was these competing interests which kept the civil war aIive for the next three years.