Dabuyid dynasty

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Dabuyid dynasty

The Dabuyid dynasty around its greatest extent under Farrukhan the Great
Capital Amol (early)[ citation needed ]
Sari (late)[ citation needed ]
Fuman (660–760) [1]
Common languages Middle Persian, Caspian languages, Tabari
Gil Gavbara (first)
Khurshid (last)
Historical era Middle Ages
  Abbasid conquest of Tabaristan
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Derafsh Kaviani flag of the late Sassanid Empire.svg Sassanid Empire
Abbasid Caliphate Black flag.svg
Bavand dynasty BavandDynastyIranian.png
Paduspanids Blank.png
Qarinvand dynasty Blank.png
Today part of

The Dabuyid or Gaubarid Dynasty was a Zoroastrian [2] Iranian dynasty that started in the early seventh century as an independent group of rulers, reigning over Tabaristan and parts of western Khorasan. [3] Dabuyid rule over Tabaristan and Khorasan lasted from ca. AD 642 to the Abbasid conquest in 760.


Tabaristan, also known as Tapuria, was the name applied to Mazandaran, a province in northern Iran. Although the natives of the region knew it as Mazandaran, the region was called Tabaristan from the Arab conquests to the Seljuk period.

Greater Khorasan historical region of Persia

Khorasan, sometimes called Greater Khorasan, is a historical region lying in northeast of Greater Persia, including part of Central Asia and Afghanistan. The name simply means "East, Orient" and loosely includes the territory of the Sasanian Empire north-east of Persia proper. Early Islamic usage often regarded everywhere east of so-called Jibal or what was subsequently termed 'Iraq Ajami', as being included in a vast and loosely-defined region of Khorasan, which might even extend to the Indus Valley and Sindh. During the Islamic period, Khorasan along with Persian Iraq were two important territories. The boundary between these two was the region surrounding the cities of Gurgan and Qumis. In particular, the Ghaznavids, Seljuqs and Timurids divided their empires into Iraqi and Khorasani regions.



The family's early history is semi-mythical, and recorded by the later historian Ibn Isfandiyar. According to this story, the Dabuyids were descended from a brother of the Sassanid shah Kavadh I. His grandson Firuz conquered Gilan, and Firuz's grandson Gil, surnamed Gavbara, then extended the family's rule over Tabaristan as well. This led to the formal conferment of the titles of Gil-Gilan ("ruler of Gilan") and Padashwargarshah ("Shah of Patashwargar", the old name of Tabaristan's mountains), to Gil's son Dabuya or Daboe, by the last Sassanid shah, Yazdegerd III. Following the Muslim conquest of Persia the Dabuyids established their domain as a quasi-independent principality, owing only nominal allegiance to the Arab Caliphate. In addition to the titles granted by Yazdegerd, the Dabuyid rulers also bore the old Iranian military rank of ispahbadh as their regnal title.

Bahā’ al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ḥasan ibn Isfandiyār was a 13th-century Iranian historian from Tabaristan, who wrote a history of his native province, the Tarikh-i Tabaristan. What little is known of his life comes from the introduction of this work.

Padishkhwargar province of Sassanian empire

Padishkhwārgar was a Sasanian province in Late Antiquity, which almost corresponded to the present-day provinces of Mazandaran and Gilan. The province bordered Adurbadagan and Balasagan in the west, Gurgan in the east, and Spahan in south. The main cities of the province was Amol and Rasht.

The first documented ruler of the Dabuyid line, however, is Farrukhan the Great, who repelled a great Muslim invasion under Yazid ibn al-Muhallab in 716–717, and who may in reality be the true founder of Dabuyid rule in Tabaristan; more recent research places his assumption of power there in the 670s instead of the early 710s, as hitherto assumed. Farrokhan died in 728, and was succeeded by his son, Dadmihr. Little is known of his reign, and he died at an early age in 740/741. His son and successor, Khurshid, was still a boy, and his uncle Farrukhan the Little ruled as regent for seven years. Khurshid ruled a prosperous state, and tried repeatedly, though without success, to break his ties to the Caliphate, exploiting the turmoil of the final years of the Umayyads and of the Abbasid Revolution. These attempts led to a large-scale invasion of Tabaristan in 759, forcing Khurshid to seek refuge in Gilan, where he poisoned himself in 761.

Farrukhan the Great third Dabuyid ispahbadh of Tabaristan

Farrukhan the Great was the independent ruler (ispahbadh) of Tabaristan in the early 8th century, until his death in 728. He is the first actually attested member of the Dabuyid dynasty, which is traditionally held to have ruled Tabaristan since the time of the Muslim conquest of Persia. He maintained his independence against the attacks of the Umayyad Caliphate, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Dadhburzmihr.

Yazid ibn al-Muhallab (672–720) was a provincial governor in the time of the Umayyad dynasty and the progenitor of the Muhallabid family that became important in early Abbasid times.

Khurshid of Tabaristan last Dabuyid ispahbadh of Tabaristan

Khurshid, erroneously designated Khurshid II by earlier scholars, was the last Dabuyid ispahbadh of Tabaristan. He succeeded to the throne at an early age, and was supervised by his uncle as regent until he reached the age of fourteen. Khurshid tried to assert his independence from his vassalage to the Caliphate, supported various rebellions and maintained diplomatic contacts with Tang China. Finally, the Abbasids conquered his country in 759–760, and captured most members of his family. Khurshid fled to Daylam, where he ended his life.

Dabuyid rulers

Gil Gavbara

Gil Gavbara, known in Arabic sources as Jil-i Jilanshah and Gavbarih, was king and founder of the Dabuyid dynasty in 642, ruling until his death in 660.

Dabuya or Dabuyih, was the Dabuyid ruler (ispahbadh) of Tabaristan. He succeeded his father Gil Gavbara in 660 and reigned until his death in 712. His son, Farrukhan the Great succeeded him.


Dadhburzmihr or Dadmihr was the independent ruler (ispahbadh) of Tabaristan. He succeeded his father Farrukhan the Great in 728 and reigned until his death in 740/741. His 6 year old son, Khurshid succeeded him.

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Farrukhan the Little, also surnamed the Deaf (Korbali), was a member of the Dabuyid dynasty, which ruled Tabaristan as independent monarchs in the century after the Muslim conquest of Persia. The brother of the ispahbadh Dadhburzmihr, Farrukhan governed Tabaristan between 740/41 and 747/48 as regent for his underage nephew, Khurshid.


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  1. Bazin, Marcel (2000). "FŪMAN". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. X, Fasc. 3. pp. 227–228.
  2. C.E. Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties, (Columbia University Press, 1996), 162; "Hence in 758 the caliph undertook the definitive conquest of Tabaristan, successfully drove out Khurshid II and ended the dynasty of the Dabuyids(who, as Zoroastrians, had never accepted Islam..".
  3. DABUYIDS, W. Madelung, Encyclopaedia Iranica


Wilferd Madelung British Islamic scholar

Wilferd Ferdinand Madelung is a scholar of Islam. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany, where he completed his early education at Eberhard-Ludwigs-Gymnasium.

Ehsan Yarshater Iranian academic

Ehsan Yarshater was an Iranian historian and linguist who specialized in iranology. He was the founder and director of The Center for Iranian Studies, and Hagop Kevorkian Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Columbia University.

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