Encyclopaedia Iranica Online

Search Results: | 14 of 300 |

(441 words)

the family name of two viziers of the Samanids of Transoxiana and Khorasan.

ʿOTBI, the family name of two viziers of the Samanids of Transoxiana and Khorasan.

1. Abu Jaʿfar b. Moḥammad b. al-Ḥosayn (thus in Gardizi; the sources are, however, uncertain about his names and nasab), vizier in the first place to the Amir ʿAbd-al-Malek b. Nuḥ (I) from 344/956 to 348/959. After a military coup, he was appointed vizier in succession to Abu Manṣur Moḥammad b. ʿOzayr (Gardizi, p. 41; Barthold, p. 250). He is praised by Kermāni (p. 36), repeated in ʿAqili (p. 147) for replenishing the state treasury to an unprecedented high level; but his money-raising policies aroused discontent and he was deprived of office after two years in favor of Abu Yusof b. Esḥāq (Gardizi, loc. cit.; Barthold, loc. cit.). However, he returned to office a few years later, sharing the vizierate for the Amir Manṣur (I) b. Nuḥ (I) with Abu ʿAli Moḥammad Balʿami, till 363/974; Gardizi (p. 47) states that he corresponded and negotiated with the great Buyid statesman Abu’l-Fatḥ Ebn al-ʿAmid (q.v.), bringing peace to Khorasan and doing laudable things in that province.

2. Abu’l-Ḥosayn ʿAbd-Allāh b. Aḥmad, vizier to the Amir Nuḥ (II) b. Manṣur (I) from 367/977 to 372/982. He was appointed in Rabiʿ II 367/November-December 977 in succession to Abu ʿAbdallāh Aḥmad Jayhāni, the deceased Amir Manṣur’s last vizier, in face of opposition from Abu’l-Ḥasan Moḥammad b. Ebrāhim Simjuri, who considered Abu’l-Ḥosayn too young (ʿOtbi, p. 38; Gardizi, pp. 48-9; Barthold, p. 251). At the outset, he and Nuḥ’s mother in effect ruled the state as regents for the thirteen-year old Amir. ʿOtbi endeavored to reduce the power in the state of over-mighty Turkish military commanders, above all, of Abu’l-Ḥasan Simjuri. Latterly, he worked with the commander-in chief of the army, Tāš, who had been one of his father’s ḡolāms (ʿOtbi, pp. 42-3; Gardizi, pp. 49-50). He was in 372/982 about to join an army at Marv to repel an invasion by the Buyids when he was murdered by agents of the commanders Fāʾeq Ḵāṣṣa (q.v.) and Abu’l-Ḥasan Simjuri; his death was much mourned by the poets, and his kinsman the historian Abu Naṣr Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Jabbār ʿOtbi (q.v.) rightly considered him the last effectual vizier of the Samanids (ʿOtbi, pp. 61-5; Gardizi, pp. 50-1; Barthold, p. 252).


Sources. Gardizi, Zayn al-aḵbār, ed. M. Nazim, Berlin, 1928.

Nāṣer-al-Din Kermāni, Nasāʾem al-asḥar, ed. Jalāl-al-Din Ormavi Moḥaddeṯ, Tehran, 1959.

ʿOtbi, al-Ketāb al-Yamini, ed. Eḥsān Ḏonun al-Ṯāmeri, Beirut, 2004.

Sayf-al-Din ʿAqili, Āṯār al-wozarāʾ, ed. Jalāl-al-Din Ormavi Moḥaddeṯ, Tehran, 1959.

Studies. Barthold, Turkestan3. Bosworth, "al-ʿUtbī,” EI2 X, p. 945.

Cite this page
C. Edmund Bosworth, “ʿOTBI”, in: Encyclopaedia Iranica Online, © Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. Consulted online on 21 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2330-4804_EIRO_COM_10761>
First published online: 2020
First print edition: 20101124

▲   Back to top   ▲