Sallarid dynasty

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Sallarid dynasty

Map of the Sallarid dynasty at its greatest extent
Status Monarchy
Capital Tarom
Common languages Persian
Government Monarchy
Muhammad bin Musafir (first)
Musafir ibn Ibrahim II (last)
Historical era Middle Ages
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Sajid dynasty
Nizari Ismaili state Blank.png
Today part ofFlag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran

The Sallarid dynasty (Persian : سالاریان), (also known as the Musafirids or Langarids) was an Iranian [1] [2] Muslim dynasty ruled in Tarom, Samiran, Daylam, Gilan and subsequently Azerbaijan, Arran, some districts in Eastern Armenia in the 2nd half of the 10th century. [3] They constitute the period in history that has been named the Iranian Intermezzo, [4] a period that saw the rise of native Iranian dynasties during the 9th to the 11th centuries.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script, which itself evolved from the Aramaic alphabet.

Iranian peoples diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group

The Iranian peoples, or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages.

Azerbaijan (Iran) region in northwestern Iran

Azerbaijan or Azarbaijan, also known as Iranian Azerbaijan, is a historical region in northwestern Iran that borders Iraq, Turkey, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Iranian Azerbaijan is administratively divided into West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardabil, and Zanjan provinces. The region is mostly populated by Azerbaijanis, with minority populations of Kurds, Armenians, Tats, Talysh, Assyrians and Persians.


Early years

The Sallarids were Daylamites [5] [6] who, probably in the later 9th century, gained control of Shamiran, a mountain stronghold about twenty five miles north of Zanjan. From Shamiran they established their rule over the surrounding region of Tarom. The Sallarids also established marriage ties with the neighboring Justanid dynasty of Rudbar.


The Daylamites or Dailamites were an Iranian people inhabiting the Daylam—the mountainous regions of northern Iran on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea. They were employed as soldiers from the time of the Sasanian Empire, and long resisted the Muslim conquest of Persia and subsequent Islamization. In the 930s, the Daylamite Buyid dynasty emerged and managed to gain control over much of modern-day Iran, which it held until the coming of the Seljuq Turks in the mid-11th century.

Tarom County County in Zanjan Province, Iran

Tarom County is a county in Zanjan Province in Iran. The capital of the county is Ab Bar. At the 2006 census, the county's population was 42,939, in 10,734 families. The county was subdivided into two districts: the Central District and Chavarzaq District. The county contains two cities: Chavarzaq and Ab Bar.

Rudbar City in Gilan, Iran

Rudbar is a city and capital of Rudbar County, Gilan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 11,454, in 3,303 families.

Muhammad bin Musafir

In the early 10th century the Sallarid in control of Shamiran was Muhammad bin Musafir. He married a Justanid and subsequently involved himself in their internal affairs. His harsh rule, however, eventually turned even his family against him, and in 941 he was imprisoned by his sons Wahsudan ibn Muhammad and Marzuban.

Wahsudan ibn Muhammad was the Sallarid ruler of Daylam (941/2–967). He was the son of Muhammad bin Musafir, the ruler of Tarum.

Marzuban ibn Muhammad Sallarid ruler

Marzuban ibn Muhammad was the Sallarid ruler of Azerbaijan (941/2–957). He was the son of Muhammad bin Musafir, the ruler of Tarum.

Azerbaijan Under the Sallarids

Marzuban ibn Muhammad

Wahsudan remained in Shamiran while Marzuban invaded Azerbaijan and took it from its ruler, Daisam. Marzuban took Dvin and successfully held off attacks from the Rus and Hamdanids of Mosul. However, he was captured in a war with the Buwayhid Rukn al-Daula and control of Azerbaijan was fought over between Muhammad bin Musafir, Wahsudan, the Buyids, and Daisam. Eventually Marzuban escaped and reestablished control over Azerbaijan and made peace with Rukn al-Daula, marrying off his daughter to him. He ruled until his death in 957.

Dvin (ancient city) capital

Dvin was a large commercial city and the capital of early medieval Armenia. It was situated north of the previous ancient capital of Armenia, the city of Artaxata, along the banks of the Metsamor River, 35 km to the south of modern Yerevan. The site of the ancient city is currently not much more than a large hill located between modern Hnaberd and Verin Dvin, Armenia. Systematic excavations at Dvin that have proceeded since 1937 have produced an abundance of materials, which have shed light into the Armenian culture of the 5th to the 13th centuries.

Mosul City in Iraq

Mosul is a major city in northern Iraq. Located some 400 km (250 mi) north of Baghdad, Mosul stands on the west bank of the Tigris, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank. The metropolitan area has grown to encompass substantial areas on both the "Left Bank" and the "Right Bank", as the two banks are described by the locals compared to the flow direction of Tigris.

Marzuban's Successors

Marzuban had designated his brother Wahsudan as his successor. When he came to Azerbaijan, however, the commanders of the fortresses refused to surrender to him, recognizing instead Marzuban's son Justan I ibn Marzuban I as his successor. Unable to establish his rule in the province, Wahusdan returned to Tarum; Justan was recognized as ruler in Azerbaijan, with his brother Ibrahim I ibn Marzuban I made governor of Dvin. Justan seems to have been interested primarily in his harem, a fact which alienated some of his supporters, although he and Ibrahim successfully put down a revolt by a grandson of the caliph al-Muktafi in 960.

Justan I ibn Marzuban was the Sallarid ruler of Azerbaijan (957–960). He was the son and successor of Marzuban ibn Muhammad.

Ibrahim I ibn Marzuban I was the Sallarid ruler of Dvin (957–979) and later Azerbaijan. He was the son and successor of Marzuban ibn Muhammad.

Al-Muktafi Abbasid caliph

Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad, better known by his regnal name al-Muktafī bi-llāh, was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 902 to 908. More liberal and sedentary than his militaristic father al-Mu'tadid, al-Muktafi essentially continued his policies, although most of the actual conduct of government was left to his viziers and officials. His reign saw the defeat of the Qarmatians of the Syrian Desert, and the reincorporation of Egypt and the parts of Syria ruled by the Tulunid dynasty. The war with the Byzantine Empire continued with alternating success, although the Arabs scored a major victory in the Sack of Thessalonica in 904. His death in 908 opened the way for the installation of a weak ruler, al-Muqtadir, by the palace bureaucracy, and began the terminal decline of the Abbasid Caliphate.

Shortly afterwards Justan and another brother, Nasir, came to Tarum, where they were treacherously imprisoned by Wahsudan, who sent his son Isma'il to take over Azerbaijan. Ibrahim raised an army in Armenia to oppose Isma'il, prompting Wahsudan to execute Justan, his mother and Nasir. Ibrahim was driven out of Azerbaijan by Isma'il, but retained his rule in Dvin.

Isma'il died in 962, however, allowing Ibrahim to occupy Azerbaijan. He then invaded Tarum and forced Wahsudan to flee to Dailaman. In 966 Ibrahim was defeated by an army of Wahsudan's and his soldiers subsequently deserted him. He fled to his brother-in-law, the Buyid Rukn al-Daula, while Wahsudan installed his son Nuh in Azerbaijan. Rukn al-Daula sent an army under his vizier to reinstate Ibrahim in Azerbaijan, and Wahsudan was ejected from Tarum for a time. In 967 however he again sent an army, which burnt Ardabil before Ibrahim concluded a peace with his uncle, ceding part of Azerbaijan to him. In 968 he reaffirmed Sallarid authority over Shirvan, forcing the Shirvanshah to pay him tribute.

Ardabil City in Iran

Ardabil is an ancient city in northwestern Iran, and the capital of Ardabil Province. Located in the northeastern part of Iran's historic Azerbaijan region, at the 2011 census, Ardabil's population was 564,365, in 156,324 families. The dominant majority in the city are ethnic Iranian Azerbaijanis and the primary language of the people is Azerbaijani.

Shirvan region

Shirvan, also spelled as Sharvān, Shirwan, Shervan, Sherwan and Šervān, is a historical region in the eastern Caucasus, known by this name in both Islamic and modern times. Today, the region is an industrially and agriculturally developed part of the Azerbaijan Republic that stretches between the western shores of the Caspian Sea and the Kura River and is centered on the Shirvan Plain.

Shirvanshah Title of the rulers of Shirvan

Shirvanshah, also spelled as Shīrwān Shāh or Sharwān Shāh, was the title of the rulers of Shirvan, located in modern Azerbaijan, from the mid-9th century to the early 16th century. The title remained in a single family, the Yazidids, an originally Arab but gradually Persianized dynasty, although the later Shirvanshahs are also known as the Kasranids or Kaqanids. The Shirvanshah established a native state in Shirvan.

Ibrahim's authority began to decline in the latter part of his reign. In 971 the Shaddadids took Ganja, and Ibrahim was forced to recognize their rule in that city after a siege failed to dislodge them. In around 979 he was deposed and imprisoned; he died in 983. His deposition marked the end of the Sallarids as a major power in Azerbaijan, as the Rawadids of Tabriz overran much of the province. A grandson of Wahsudan named Marzuban b. Isma'il retained a small portion of Azerbaijan until 984 when he was captured by the Rawadids. His son Ibrahim fled to Tarum and would later restore Sallarid rule there after it was seized by the Buwayhids.

In Dvin, meanwhile, a son of Ibrahim b. Marzuban b. Muhammad, Abu'l-Hajja', held power; in 982 or 983 he was persuaded by the King of Kars to invade the domain of the Bagratid king Smbat II. Some time after this Abu'l-Hajja' led an expedition against Abu Dulaf al-Shaibani, the ruler of Golthn and Nakhchivan, but was defeated and lost Dvin to him. He then traveled throughout Georgia and Armenia and visited the Byzantine emperor Basil II. In 989 or 990 Smbat II gave him an army to retake Dvin, but afterwards revoked his support. Eventually Abu'l-Hajja' met his end at the hands of his servants, who strangled him.

Tarum Under the Later Sallarids

After Wahsudan's death (some time after 967), his son Nuh succeeded him in Shamiran. Nuh died before 989; in that year the Buwayhid Fakhr al-Daula married his widow and then divorced her, taking Shamiran in the process. Nuh's young son Justan was brought to Ray.

In 997, after Fakhr al-Daula died, Ibrahim b. Marzuban b. Isma'il took advantage of the weakness of his successor to seize control of Shamiran, Zanjan, Abhar, and Suharavard. When the Ghaznavid Mahmud of Ghazni conquered Ray in 1029 he sent a force to conquer Ibrahim's territories, but it failed to do so. Ibrahim took Qazvin from the Ghaznavids and defeated Mahmud's son Mas'ud in battle. Mas'ud managed to bribe some of Ibrahim's soldiers to capture him. Ibrahim's son refused to give up the fortress of Sarjahan but was compelled to pay tribute. By 1036 the Sallarids were back in Shamiran.

In around 1043 the Seljuk sultan Toghril Beg received the submission of the salar of Tarum, who became his vassal and submitted tribute. This Sallarid may have been Justan b. Ibrahim, who was named as the ruler of Tarum in 1046. In 1062 Toghril went to Shamiran and again received tribute from its ruler, Musafir. This is the last Sallarid who is known; it is likely that the dynasty was shortly afterwards wiped out by the Assassins of Alamut, who dismantled the fortress of Shamiran. Latterly, the dynasty was assimilated by Seljuk Turks.

See also


  1. Clifford Edmund Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties, (Columbia University, 1996), 148-149.
  2. V. Minorsky, Studies in Caucasian History, Cambridge University Press, 1957. pg 112
  3. Clifford Edmund Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties, 148-149. "..their centres at Tarum and Samiran, and then in Azerbaijan and Arran..", "..into Azerbaijan, Arran, some districts of Eastern Armenia and as far as Darband in the Caspian coast."
  4. V. Minorsky, Studies in Caucasian history, Cambridge University Press, 1957. pg 110
  5. Clifford Edmund Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual, Columbia University, 1996. pg 148
  6. V. Minorsky, Studies in Caucasian history, Cambridge University Press, 1957. pg 112

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