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Chief minister of the 'Abbasid caliphs and later a high government official in various Muslim countries. The office was originally held and defined by the Barmakids in the 8th century; they acted as the caliph's representative to the public, later serving a similar function for various sultans. In the Ottoman Empire the title could be held by several people at once; under Mehmed II the position of grand vizier, the absolute representative of the sultan, was created.
Variants of VIZIER
vizier Arabic wazir
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on vizier, visit Britannica.com.