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b. Vošmgīr, ẒAHĪR-AL-DAWLA, Ziyarid amir in Ṭabarestān and Gorgān (r. 967-78). Much of his reign was spent in fending off Samanid claims to sovereignty over the Caspian provinces.

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Volume IV, Fascicle 3, pp. 305-306

BĪSOTŪN, ẒAHĪR-AL-DAWLA ABŪ MANṢŪR b. Vošmgīr, the Ziyarid amir in Ṭabarestān and Gorgān (r. 357-67/967-78, not 356-66 as in Zambaur, pp. 210-11). The date of his father Vošmgīr’s (q.v.) death in a hunting accident is given by Ebn Meskawayh, Tajāreb II, p. 233, tr., V, p. 247, as 1 Moḥarram 357/7 December 967, and his own death at Astarābād by Gardīzī, ed. Nazim, p. 46, as falling in Rajab, 367/February-March, 978 (but according to Ebn al-Aṯīr in 366/976-77). Bīsotūn was active as a military commander during his father Vošmgīr’s lifetime, but the chronicles record only two defeats of his, one in 348/959-60 during fighting with ʿAlī b. Kāma, nephew of the Buyid amir in northern Persia Rokn-al-Dawla (q.v.), and a second one in 355/966 when he was worsted in Deylam by the Zaydī ascetic and missionary Abū ʿAbd-Allāh, called Ebn al-Dāʿī. When Vošmgīr died on 11 Moḥarram 357/7 December 967 Bīsotūn, as elder brother, claimed the succession against his younger brother Qābūs, the latter backed by the Samanids; when Bīsotūn heard that the Samanid governor in Nīšāpūr, Abu’l-Ḥasan Moḥammad b. Ebrāhīm Sīmjūrī, intended to mulct him in order to pay the Samanid army of Khorasan he sought the help of Rokn-al-Dawla and established himself in Āmol with Buyid support (cf. Gardīzī, p. 45, and Barthold, Turkestan3, p. 251). He received legitimation for his rule over Gorgān, Ṭabarestān, Čālūs, and Rūyān, together with the honorific Ẓahīr-al-Dawla, from the ʿAbbasid caliph al-Moṭīʿ and further strengthened his position by marrying a daughter of the Buyid ʿAżod-al-Dawla Fanā-Ḵosrow.

Much of his subsequent reign was spent in fending off Samanid claims to sovereignty over the Caspian provinces. When he died he left an infant son, but this time Qābūs b. Vošmgīr (q.v.) was able, after a brief succession struggle, to assume the rule and begin a reign of some thirty-five years.


Margoliouth and Amedroz, Eclipse II, pp. 176, 216, 233; tr., V, pp. 191, 229, 247.

Gardīzī, Zayn al-aḵbār, ed. Nazim, pp. 45-46, ed. Ḥabībī, p. 163.

Ebn Esfandīār, p. 225 (confused and inaccurate).

Ebn al-Aṯīr (Beirut), VIII, pp. 527, 574, 578, 687-88.

F. Justi, Namenbuch, p. 69.

Barthold, Turkestan3, p. 251.

Cl. Huart, “Les Ziyarides,” Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres 42, 1922, pp. 403-4.

E. D. Ross, “On Three Muhammadan Dynasties in Northern Persia in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries,” Asia Major 2, 1925, pp. 209-11.

Zambaur, pp. 210-11 (indicating the existence of coins minted by Bīsotūn). Mafizullah Kabir, “History of the Ziyarids of Tabaristan and Gurgan (927-8-1090-1 A.D.)”, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Pakistan 5, 1960, pp. 1-20.

W. Madelung, in Camb. Hist. Iran IV, p. 214.

Cite this page
C. Edmund Bosworth, “BĪSOTŪN, ABŪ MANṢŪR”, in: Encyclopaedia Iranica Online, © Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. Consulted online on 19 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2330-4804_EIRO_COM_7001>
First published online: 2020
First print edition: 19891215

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