Researched by Nimira Dewji
Hasan Sabbah acquired the castle of Alamut on September 4, 1090. This marked the foundation of what was to become an independent Nizari Ismaili state which lasted until 1256 when it was destroyed by the Mongols. According to the Persian chronicles, Hasan gave the owner of Alamut a draft of 3,000 gold dinars for the castle. Over the course of the next 150 years, the Ismailis acquired more than 200 fortresses in Iran and Syria including the settlements in the surrounding towns and villages, thus establishing autonomous states in these regions. The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period maintained a sophisticated outlook and placed a high value on intellectual activities. Several of the Nizari strongholds had become flourishing centres of intellectual activities. At many of the fortresses including Alamut, the community established impressive libraries containing not only a significant collection of books and documents but also scientific tracts and equipment. The libraries were open to everyone.
Reference: Farhad Daftary, A Short History of the Ismailis, Edinburg University Press, 1998