Samanid dynasty

Samanid dynasty

Infobox Former Country
native_name = سامانیان
conventional_long_name = Samanid Empire
common_name = Samanid Empire
continent = Asia
region =
country = Iran
era = Medieval
status =
status_text =
empire =
government_type = Monarchy
year_start = 819
year_end = 999
event_start =
date_start =
event_end =
date_end =
p1 = Saffarid dynasty
flag_p1 =
s1 = Kara-Khanid Khanate
flag_s1 =

flag_type =

image_map_caption = The Samanid Empire at its height.
capital = Bukhara
common_languages = Persian
religion = Sunni Islam
currency =
leader1 = Yahya ibn Asad
leader2 = 'Abd al-Malik II
year_leader1 = 819-855
year_leader2 = 999
title_leader = Emir

The Samanids (819–999) [Encyclopedia Britannica, Online Edition, 2007, "Samanid Dynasty", [ LINK] ] (PerB|سامانیان "Sāmāniyān") were a Persian dynasty in Central Asia and Greater Khorasan, named after its founder Saman Khuda who converted to Sunni Islam [The History of Iran By Elton L. Daniel, pg. 74] despite being from Zoroastrian theocratic nobility.It was among the first native Iranian dynasties in Greater Iran and Central Asia after the Arab conquest and the collapse of the Sassanid Persian empire.


The Samanid period is considered the beginning of the Tajik nation (which was a part of Greater Iran). [Tajikistan in the New Central Asia, By Lena Jonson, pg. 18] Their rule lasted for 180 years, and their territory encompassed Khorasan, Ray, Transoxiania, Tabaristan, Kerman, Gorgan, and the area west of these provinces up to Isfahan. To legitimize the dynasty, the Samanids claimed to be descendants of Bahram Chobin, [Iran and America: Re-Kind [l] ing a Love Lost By Badi Badiozamani, Ghazal Badiozamani, pg. 123] and thus descended from the House of Mihrān, one of the Seven Great Houses of Iran. In governing their territory, the Samanids modeled their state organization after the Abbasids, mirroring the caliph's court and organization. [The Monumental Inscriptions from Early Islamic Iran and Transoxiana By Sheila S. Blair, pg. 27] They were rewarded for supporting the Abbasids in Transoxania and Khorasan, and with their established capitals located in Bukhara, Samarkand, and Herat, they carved their kingdom after defeating the Saffarids. [Iran and America: Re-Kind [l] ing a Love Lost By Badi Badiozamani, Ghazal Badiozamani, pg. 123]

With their roots stemming from the city of Balkh, [Tajikistan in the New Central Asia, pg. 18] the Samanids promoted the arts, giving rise to the advancement of science and literature, and thus attracted scholars such as Rudaki and Avicenna. While under Samanid control, Bukhara was a rival to Baghdad in its glory. [The History of Iran By Elton L. Daniel, pg. 74] Scholars note that the Samanids revived Persian more than the Buyids and the Saffarids, while continuing to patronize Arabic to a significant degree. [The History of Iran By Elton L. Daniel, pg. 74] Nevertheless, in a famous edict, Samanid authorities declared that "here, in this region, the language is Persian, and the kings of this realm are Persian kings." [The History of Iran By Elton L. Daniel, pg. 74]

Cultural and religious legacy

The Samanids not only revived Persian culture but they also determinedly propagated Sunni Islam. In doing so, the Samanids repressed Ismaili Shiism [An Ismaili Heresiography: The "Bab Al-Shaytan" from Abu Tammam's Kitab Al ... By Wilferd Madelung, Paul Ernest Walker, pg. 5] but remained tolerant of Twelver Shiism. [The History of Iran By Elton L. Daniel, pg. 74] The Samanid state became a staunch patron of Islamic architecture and spread the Islamo-Persian culture deep into the heart of Central Asia. The population within its areas began firmly accepting Islam in significant numbers, notably in Taraz, now in modern day Kazakhstan.

According to historians, through the zealous missionary work of Samanid rulers, as many as 30,000 tents of Turks came to profess Islam and later under the Ghaznavids higher than 55,000 under the Hanafi school of thought. [The History of Iran By Elton L. Daniel, pg. 74] The mass conversion of the Turks to Islam eventually led to a growing influence of the Ghaznavids, who would later rule the region.

Another lasting contribution of the Samanids to the history of Islamic art is the pottery known as Samanid Epigraphic Ware: plates, bowls, and pitchers fired in a white slip and decorated only with calligraphy, often elegantly and rhythmically written. The Arabic phrases used in this calligraphy are generally more or less generic well wishes, or Islamic admonitions to good table manners.In 999 their realm was conquered by the Karakhanids.

Under Ghaznavid rule, the Shahnameh, was completed. In commending the Samanids, the epic Persian poet Ferdowsi says of them:

کجا آن بزرگان ساسانیان
زبهرامیان تا بسامانیان

"Where have all the great Sassanids gone?
From the Bahrāmids to the Samanids what has come upon?"

amanid Amirs

*Saman Khuda
*Asad ibn Saman
*Yahya ibn Asad (819-855)
*Nasr I (864 - 892) (Effectively independent 875)
*Ismail (892 - 907)
*Ahmad II (907 - 914)
*Nasr II (914 - 943)
*Hamid Nuh I (943 - 954)
*Abdul Malik I (954 - 961)
*Mansur I (961 - 976)
*Nuh II (976 - 997)
*Mansur II (997 - 999)
*'Abd al-Malik II (999)

ee also

*History of Iran
*Full list of Iranian Kingdoms
*History of Arabs in Afghanistan


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