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ZIYARIDS dynasty

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Gonbad Kavoos the Tomb of Kavoos

ZIYARIDS dynasty

By:Z.Parvinzade

ZIYARIDS (Āl-e Ziār), a minor Islamic dynasty of the Caspian coastlands (931-ca. 1090).  They ruled first in northern Iran, and then in Ṭabarestān and Gorgān.
The Ziyarids belonged to the submerged mountain peoples, especially the Deylamites, Gilites and Kurds, whose rise to power is the "Daylami intermezzo" of Iranian history (Minorsky). After the decline of the direct Caliphal authority in northwestern Iran and the decline of local powers such as the Sājid governors of Azerbaijan, many mountain leaders became soldiers of happiness and contenders for authority in this power vacuum; The most successful of all were the three Deylamite Buyids.
The founder of the Ziyarid Dynasty Mardāvij b. Ziār (rr 931-35) claimed to be from the pre-Islamic royal family Gilān. He served first the Ḥasanides of Ṭabarestān and then the Gilite commander Asfār b. Širuya. In 931 Asfār's excesses in northern Iran enabled Mardāvij to defeat and kill him.Mardāvij gained control over a vast dominion that included Ray and Qazvin, which extended to Hamadan, Dinavar, and Isfahan, and until 934 invaded his troops even in Ahvāz. The brothers Buyid began their career as a condottieri in Mardāvij's ministry. Mardāvij seems to have had grandiose dreams of marching on Baghdad, overthrowing the Abbasids (qv) and reconstructing the ancient Persian empire and faith, but these ambitions were interrupted by his death in the hands of his Turkish military slaves in 935 .
His brother Ẓahir al-Dowla Vošmgir was celebrated as his successor at Ray, and his dexterity and prudence allowed a long reign, despite constant conflicts. At first, he was able to capture Mardāvij's conquests in northern and western Iran, but by 940 the powerful expanding buyids demanded his rule. Vošmgir joined forces with Mākān b. Kāki (940), another Deylamite candidate for power.Mākān had renounced his loyalty to the Samanids of Transoxania, the other great power that hoped to extend westward to the north of Iran under their commander (amir) Naṣr b. Aadmad In 940, in a battle near Dāmḡān, the Samanid commander Abu'Ali Aḥmad Moḥtāji defeated the troops of Mākān and Vošmgir. Mākān was killed and Vošmgir left Ray to retreat to Āmol in Ṭabarestān. After this defeat, the political and military power of the Ziyarids was limited to the Caspian coastal regions, and Vošmgir became a vassal of the Samanids. He was involved in complex battles to retain his power against such enemies as Ḥasan b. Firuzan, the deylamit governor of Sāri, and the buyid Rokn al-Dowla Ḥasan (r 947-77), while Ṭabarestān and Gorgān, with the support of the Samanids, are anxiously securing themselves as a buffer between themselves and the buyids.
But these two provinces changed their hands several times, until in the year 955 Rokn al-Dowla and the Samanid'Abd al-Malek b. Nuḥ (rt 954-61) reached a general peace agreement, according to which Vošmgir's control over Ṭ˘abarestān was no longer challenged by the buyid. In 958 Vošmgir briefly occupied Ray, the capital of Rokn al-Dowla, and in the last years of his life he took part in various Samanid attempts to recapture Ray. But the city remained the capital of the northern Buyid emirate until the conquest of the Ghasnavid Sultan Maḥmud in 1029. Rokn al-Dowla again occupied Ṭabarestān and Gorgān in the next two or three years, after 958, on one, possibly two occasions. At the end of 967 Vošmgir was killed by a wild boar when he was about to command a joint attack with a Samanid army under Moḥammad. Ebrāhim Simjuri on Rokn al-Dowla.After the death of Vošmgir, his eldest son, Bisotun, who had been governor of Ṭabarestān, succeeded in the throne, although his brother Qābus (978-81 and 997-1012), who demanded the support of the Samanid, challenged his succession. But Bisotun was supported by the Buyids and established itself in Ṭabarestān and Gorgān. This alliance was founded by his marriage with a daughter of'Ażod al-Dowla Fanā-Ḵosrow b. Rokn al-Dowla (r. 949-83, q.v.), and in 971, the Abbasid caliph al-Moṭi (r 946-74) granted Bisotun the honor (laqab) of Ẓahir al-Dowla. With this buyid support Bisotun retained its power until his death in 978.

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ziyarid coin

Qâbus won the throne by elbow aside Bisotun's young son, the candidate of Gilite Dobāj b. Bāni, the father-in-law of Bisotun. This seems to have been a temporal reversal of alliances since Qābus had won the support of'Ażod al-Dowla ', which he recognized on his first coins.
Between 978 and 979 the 'Abbasid al-Ṭā'e' (974-991) Qābus granted the title of Šams al-Ma'āli. But Qābus took care of Fa al-Dowla'Ali (983-97), the brother of the Buyid emir, and Qābus's brother-in-law. The Buyid ruler in Jebāl was at odds with his brother, and Qābus' relations with Aodod al-Dowla deteriorated very soon. In 980 and 981 Qābus first lost Ṭabarestān to'Ażod al-Dowla and then Gorgān to'Azod al-Dowla's brother Mo'ayyed al-Dowla (984).
After their defeat in Astarābād, Qābus and Faḵr al-Dowla sought refuge with Ḥosām al-Dowla Tāš, the Samanid governor in Nishapur, and the two exiles had no hope to return to their countries of origin, as long as Aodod al-Dowla and Mo' Ayyed al -Dowla lived. In 984 ḥāḥeb Ebn'Abbād (d. 995), the great Buyid-Vizir, supported that Fa al-Dowla resumed power in Ray and Jebāl, but he did not allow Qābus to return to the Caspian provinces. It was not until 997, when Fa al-Dowla, the son of Majd al-Dowla Rostam (born 1029), claimed the throne under the care of his mother Sayyeda, that Qābus was able to return from Gorgān after the seventeen-year absence.The events of the second part of the Qābus rule are less well documented in the sources. In these years he had proper and friendly relations with Maḥmud. In 999, the Ghaznavid Sultan Maḥmud had cleared the control of Khorasan from the Samanids and promised Qābus assistance in the re-conquest of his principality, but the terms for the Ziyarid ruler were not acceptable.
No doubt, Qābus clung to his power without recognizing any external voices. The historians say that Qābus's cruelty and bloodthirsty rule, coupled with a particular animosity toward those who did not share his strong Sunni teachings, aroused much resentment among his subjects. His arbitrary government culminated in the execution of the governor of Astarābād for his alleged Mo'tazelite convictions. A rebellion of his troops cost him control over his capital, Gorgān City, and the rebels raised his son Manučehr (1012-29), while Qābus was persecuted to Besṭām on Ray-Khorasan Street. Although Qābus abdicated his power, the insurgents feared him, and in 1012 they tried to kill him by being exposed to the icy winter conditions.

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Mardavij Coin

Qābus is the most famous Ziyarid ruler because of its cultural and literary importance (Bosworth, 1978). His military achievements were mediocre, while his reign was indeed tyrannical. But Qābus was a fine scholar in both Arabic and Persian, a clever poet in both languages, and famous for his leadership of the epistle; A collection of his Arabic writings (rasā'el) is preserved. He also had a reputation as an expert calligraph and as an authority for astrology. His extended exile among the Samanids brought him into contact with some of the brightest luminaries of Bukhara and Nishapur, and the Samanid context ensured Qābus's glory. Ṯa'ālebi (d. 1037-8) praises him as an excellent littérateur and scholar as well as Maecenas. Biruni (973-after 1050) visited the Ziyarid court soon after Qābus' re-establishment of the throne in 998 and composed around 1000 the Al-Āṯār al-bāqiya, which he dedicated to his patron.When, in 1013, Ebn Sinā (980-1037) left his native Khwarazm for Gorgān, he sought the Ziyarid patronage, but Qābus had just died. Outside Gorgān city stands his Mausoleum, the Gonbad-e Qābus. Qābus itself supervised its construction between 1006 and 1007, and the high cylindrical brick tower is one of the most famous monuments of Iranian architecture.
Qābus successor Manučehr received the tribute of Falak al-Ma'āli from the Abbasid Caliph Qāder (r. 991-1031). But Ghaznavids controlled Khorasan, and their power now expanded into the Caspian region. Sultan Maḥmud represented the cause of the brother Dārā b of Manučehr. Qābus (1035-49), who had been at the refugee court Ḡazni during her father's life. Ma'mud threatened to support Dārās throne claim and send him an army. Manučehr bought himself by promising the Ghaznavids an annual tribute of 50,000 dinars, and sealed the agreement with the marriage of a ma'mud's daughters.

www.irangazette.com/en.Borj-e Ljm is a tomb tower from time of Ziyarid rule

Borj-e Ljm is a tomb tower from time

of Ziyarid ruler


After that, the Ziyarid ruler was no longer an independent ruler. Manučehr had indeed become a Ghasnavid governor (wali), and occasionally sent troop contingents to Ma'mud's military campaigns. But in 1029, shortly before the death of Manučehr and Maḥmud, the Ziyarid felt threatened again when the Ghasnavids conquered the merchant Majd al-Dowla, and he paid a heavy compensation to the Sultan for a possible Ghasnavid invasion (Nāẓim, pp. 78-79). It is unknown whether Manučehr shared the cultural interests of his father and continued with the patronage of scholarship and the arts. However, there is no proof that the Ghaznavid poet Manučehri (fl. 1031-1041) derived his Penname (taḵallos) from a stay at the Ziyarid Court.
Manučehr's young son, Anušervān (1029-35), was confirmed in 1029 by Maḥmud as successor of his father, with the determination of the continuous recognition of the Ghaznavids. But from 1032 to 1040 these youths were excluded from a maternal relative, Abu Kālijār b. Vayhān. When Abu Kālijār in 1035 with his tribal payments, Mas'ud b. Maḥmud (r. 1031-1040) mounted a large-scale invasion of Gorgān and Ṭabarestān and wild sacked Āmol. Abu Kālijār agreed to resume tribute payments. While Anušervān seems to have conquered his princely power, even though the end of the Ghaznavid was near. Between 1041 and 1042, the Saljuq Sultan Ṭoghril Beg (r. 1043-63) first invaded Khorasan from Mas'ud and then penetrated into the Caspian countries, so that the Ziyarids became the tributaries of the great Saljuqs.
The last decades of the Ziyarid rule are very dark, and apparently Manučehr was the last Ziyarid to spend his own coin. Both Anušervān and Abu Kālijār seem to have died between 1049 and 1050. The last confirmed Ziyarid is'Onṣor al-Ma'āli Kaykāvus b. Eskandar b. Qābus (around 1087, see KAYKĀVUS), the famous author of the Qābus-nāma, named after his famous grandfather. Statements in the Qābus-nāma suggest that Kaykāvus has spent much of his early life away from the Caspian region, first in Ḡazni in the service of the Ghaznavid Mawdud b. Mas'ud (1041-48), and then Arrān in the Shaddadid Abu'l-Aswār Šāvor b. Fażl (R 1049-67). Kaykāvus is said to be successful after his son Gilānšāh (about 1080 - ca. 1090). But he is a completely shadowy figure and may have been overthrown by the Isma'ilis of the Alborz region, which brought the Ziyarid dynasty to its end. 1090.

 

 

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ziyarid tree of ruler

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