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Samanides AD 874 - AD 999

The Dynasty of Samanides arose AD 874, and continued to AD 999 - 125 years, under ten princes, who broke, by their revolt, the bonds of political servitude to the sovereign of Transoxiana and Chorasan, who still paid a nominal allegiance to the Caliph of Bagdad, the distant successor of Mohammed. The Samani and Dilemi were two dynasties which divided between them the kingdom of Persia, about the beginning of the 10th century. The more northern dynasty, the Samani, had obtained from the Caliph the government of Transoxiana in AD 874; and to this Ismail, the most noted prince of the family, speedily added Khaurezm, Balkh, Khorassan, Seistan, and many portions of Northern Turkestan.

The 'Abbasids soon learned to avail themselves of the services of Turkman chiefs in the administration of their empire. It was thus that the Samanids first rose to power under the Khalffa Mamun, only to make themselves independent under his degenerate successors. About the year AD 961 a disputed succession occurred among the Samanids. The rightful heir in the direct line was a boy only eight years old, and for that reason, as the times were troublous, a party among the nobles declared in favour of his uncle, his father's brother. The matter was referred for settlement to the Samanid governor of Khurasan - a man of Turkman descent named Aiptigin - but before his decision arrived tho dispute had been settled and Mansur had succeeded to the throne. Alptigin had given his decision in favor of the uncle, and being fearful of Mansur's vengance he withdrew from Khurasan and carved himself out a small principality at Ghazni. He died in AD 969.

After two short reigns the troops elected Subuktigin to be their chief. He was a Turkman, had been brought up in the household of Alptigin, had subsequently acted as his general, and was a man of great ability and courage. He speedily enlarged his dominions and began those raids into India which became so frequent in the days of his more famous son. In the meantime the Samanid ruler Mansur had died, and his son, the Amir Nuh II., was driven from his capital at Bukhara by a Turkman invasion instigated by two of his own nobles, who subsequently, however, were compelled to flee for their lives. They appealed for aid to the Dflamids-the rivals of the Samanids-and obtained it. On this the Amir Nuh II himself appealed for help to Subuktigin, who marched to his assistance. A great battle was fought at Hanlt, and Subuktigm gained a decisive victory. The Amfr in his gratitude bestowed on him the title of Nasiru'd-Din, or Defender of the Faith, and on his eldest son Mahmud, who had greatly distinguished himself, that of Saifu'd-Daula, or Sword of the State, as well as the governorship of Khurasan. This happened in AD 994.

Three years later Subuktigin died. He left threo sons, Mahmud, Isma'il, and Nasr, and appointed Isma'il to succeed him. Mahmud seems to have behaved well, but after vain attempts at conciliation and compromise he was compelled to assert himself against his brother, who was speedily overthrown and ended his days in internment as a state-prisoner. The other brother, Nasr, supported Mahmud. Shortly afterwards the Samanid dynasty flickered out after the death of the Amir Nuh II., and in AD 999 Mahmud formally assumed the sovereignty, an event which is duly noted on his coins by tho prefix of Amfr to his own titles, and the omission of the name of the Samanid overlord which previously had been retained by the rulers of Ghazni.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:45:40 ZULU