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(350-66/961-76), Samanid ruler in Transoxania and Khorasan and successor of his brother ʿAbd-al-Malek after the latter’s death in Šawwāl, 350/November, 961.

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Volume I, Fascicle 4, pp. 383-384

ABŪ ṢĀLEḤ MANṢŪR (I) B. NŪḤ B. NAṢR, called AL-AMĪR AL-SADĪD and AL-MALEK AL-MOẒAFFAR (350-66/961-76), Samanid ruler in Transoxania and Khorasan and successor of his brother ʿAbd-al-Malek after the latter’s death in Šawwāl, 350/November, 961. ʿAbd-al-Malek’s reign had been filled with discord, the amir striving to free himself from domination by the great military leaders, but he fell under the domination of the slave commander Alptigin, governor of Khorasan, and the latter’s then ally, the vizier Abū ʿAlī Moḥammad Balʿamī.

At this point, Alptigin attempted to raise to the throne ʿAbd-al-Malek’s young son Naṣr, doubtless hoping that he would be a pliant tool in his hands, but the rival general Fāʾeq Ḵāṣṣa and other members of the Samanid family favored the candidature of Manṣūr for the succession. Manṣūr accordingly was hailed as ruler at Bokhara on 19 Šawwāl 350/1 December 961, and Alptigin was compelled after the failure of his putsch to withdraw to Ḡazna on the far eastern periphery of the Samanid empire. Abū Manṣūr b. ʿAbd-al-Razzāq stepped into his old office as governor of Khorasan, though he was soon killed and replaced by Abu’l-Ḥasan Moḥammad Sīmǰūrī.

In an endeavor to find new financial resources for the state, the army was now diverted into northern Persia against external foes there. Samanid authority was extended over the Ziarid princes of Gorgān and Ṭabarestān, Ẓahīr-al-dawla Vošmagīr and his son and successor Bīsotūn, and a substantial indemnity was exacted from the latter. Campaigns were launched against the Buyid ruler in Ray, Rokn-al-dawla Ḥasan, until in 361/971-72 peace was made between Amir Manṣūr and the Buyid prince on a basis of the latter’s paying an annual tribute of 150,000 Nīšāpūrī dirhams (thus, in continuation of Naršaḵī, Tārīḵ-e Boḵārā, ed. Modarres Rażawī, Tehran, n.d. [ca. 1939], p. 116; tr. R. N. Frye, The History of Bukhara, Cambridge, Mass., 1954, p. 99; according to Ebn al-Aṯīr, Beirut, 1385-87/1965-67, VIII, p. 626, 150,000 dinars). Also, as part of this general settlement with the Buyids, Manṣūr’s son, Abu’l-Qāsem Nūḥ, married a daughter of ʿAżod-al-dawla. The authority of the Samanids was also restored, at least nominally, in Ḡazna after Alptigin’s death (352/963); his son Abū Esḥāq Ebrāhīm was only able to succeed to power there with military help from Bokhara (354/965).

Internally, the condition of the Samanid empire seems to have been generally peaceful, despite the background of financial crisis, with Balʿamī serving as vizier till his death in 363/974. Amir Manṣūr is mentioned by the continuator of Naršaḵī as the builder of fine villas and gardens beside the Jūy-e Mūlīān at Bokhara. Manṣūr himself died, according to ʿOtbī (al-Taʾrīḵ al-yamīnī, ed. Manīnī, Cairo, 1869, I, p. 349) and Gardīzī, on 11 Šawwāl 365/13 June 976; he was succeeded by his thirteen year old son Abu’l-Qāsem Nūḥ II.


The most detailed primary source is Gardīzī, ed. Nazim, pp. 43-47; ed. Ḥabībī, pp. 161-64.

See also the continuator of Naršaḵī, pp. 115-16; tr. Frye, pp. 98-99.

For the fighting in northern Persia between the Buyids and the Samanids, see ʿOtbī, al-Taʾrīḵ al-yamīnī; Ebn al-Aṯīr; and Ebn Meskawayh, Taǰāreb.

For secondary sources, see Barthold, Turkestan3, pp. 250-52; Spuler, Iran, pp. 99-100; R. N. Frye, Camb. Hist. Iran IV, pp. 152ff.

Cite this page
C. Edmund Bosworth, “ABŪ ṢĀLEḤ MANṢŪR (I) NŪḤ”, in: Encyclopaedia Iranica Online, © Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. Consulted online on 16 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2330-4804_EIRO_COM_4689>
First published online: 2020
First print edition: 19831215

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