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The Zarmihrid dynasty was a local dynasty of Tabaristan which ruled over parts of the mountainous areas of the region since the reign of Sasanian king Khosrau I to 785.

Tabaristan Historical region of Iran

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.

The family claimed its origin from a powerful Karen lord named Sukhra, a descendant of Kaveh the blacksmith, the national hero of Iran, and who was one of the leading nobles of the empire during the reign of Balash and Kavadh I. According to a traditional story, Sukhra left two children, Karin and Zarmihr, who helped Khosrau I protect the eastern borders of his empire when it was invaded by Turkic nomads. Karin was rewarded with land in the south of Amol, and was given title of Ispahbadh, thus starting the Karen dynasty of Tabaristan. Zarmihr was rewarded with parts of Tabaristan and was given the title of Marzban and Masmughan. Eastern Tabaristan was mainly divided between the Karenids, the Zarmihrids and the Marzban of Tomisha.

House of Karen noble family

The House of Karen, also known as Karen-Pahlavi (Kārēn-Pahlaw) was one of the Seven Great Houses of Iran. The seat of the house lay at Nahavand, about 65 km south of Ecbatana.


Sukhra was an Iranian nobleman from the House of Karen, who was the de facto ruler of the Sasanian Empire from 484 to 493. He was active during the reign of shah Peroz I, Balash and Kavadh I. He is often confused with his father Zarmihr Hazarwuxt and son Zarmihr Karen.


Balash was the nineteenth king (shah) of the Sasanian Empire from 484 to 488. He was the brother and successor of Peroz I (457–484), who had died in a battle against the Hephthalite invasion of Iran from the east.

In 783, the Karenids, along with the Bavandids and the Zarmihrids revolted against the Abbasid Caliphate, the alliance was, however, defeated in 785, and thus the Zarmihrids disappeared from history afterwards.

Bavand dynasty

The Bavand dynasty, or simply the Bavandids, was an Iranian dynasty that ruled in parts of Tabaristan (Mazandaran) in what is now northern Iran from 651 until 1349, alternating between outright independence and submission as vassals to more powerful regional rulers.

Abbasid Caliphate Third Islamic caliphate

The Abbasid Caliphate was the third of the Islamic caliphates to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib, from whom the dynasty takes its name. They ruled as caliphs for most of the caliphate from their capital in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, after having overthrown the Umayyad Caliphate in the Abbasid Revolution of 750 CE (132 AH).

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Zarmihr Karen was an Iranian nobleman from the House of Karen, who served as the Sasanian governor of Zabulistan. He was the son of Sukhra.