Samanid Empire

The Samanids (Persian سامانیان, DMG Sāmāniyān ) were a Persian -born, Muslim dynasty with considerable political and cultural influence, which ruled in Transoxiana and Khorasan 819-1005. Their rulers titled as emirs and were subject to at least formally, the Abbasid Caliphate. Their capital city was Bukhara.

Rise and peak power

The progenitor of the dynasty, Saman Chuda, came from an old Iranian family from Balkh and was, after allegations of the dynasty itself, a descendant of Bahram Chobins, a general of the Sassanids. The Samanids were 819 first governor of the Tahirids in Samarkand, Ferghana, Shash and Herat.

Nasr ibn Ahmad I. ( 874-892 ) was used 874 after the fall of Tahirids by the Saffarids of the Abbasids as governor of Transoxiana and could de facto independent govern. Capital of the dynasty was Bukhara. Under Ismail I ( 892-907 ) the Saffarids of Khorasan were sold and control of large parts of eastern Iran be won. Ismail also urged the Oghuz back and replaced by those chain reaction in the steppe from which the appearance of the Magyars (ie the Hungarians ) led in Pannonia ( 895 ). With Nasr II ( 914-943 ), the empire reached its greatest extent in Central Asia and Iran, where as the border regions to India have been achieved. During his government at the end, there was unrest, among other reasons, because the army received no pay. After 945 the Sunni Samanids were also forced out of the Shiite Buyids of western Persia.

Trade and Economy

In the 10th century Transoxiana was the hub of international trade between East and West. In addition to trade relations in the Middle East and the Chinese Empire were also connections to India and in the Volga region. We traded countless goods (among soap, fabrics, wool, carpets, furs, makeup, oil, metal vessels, honey, nuts, melons, weapons, slaves, horses). Certain Central Asian melons were so popular that they are transported in crates filled with snow lead to Baghdad, where they ( per fruit seven to ten times as much as for a slave ) achieved exorbitant prices. Hundreds of thousands of Samanid silver coins are found in Europe, many of them in Sweden, and also in Mainz they were used, according to a slaver named Ibrahim Jakub in the 10th century. In addition to the trade also flourished irrigation field economy and a highly developed mining industry. Due to the economic wealth of the Samanids, especially in the cities were able to develop a rich construction. Get thereof such as the Samanids mausoleum in Bukhara.

Literature and scholarship

Under Mansur I ( 961-976 ) and Nuh II ( 976-997 ) is the capital Bukhara rose by promoting the Samanids to become a center of Persian culture. Especially the Persian Islamic literature reached a flower that contributed to the rise of the New Persian language. It is associated especially with poets such as Rudaki († 941), Kalila wa Dimna whose masterpiece Indian fables reworked and was illustrated by Chinese artists. Also, the Shahnameh -called major work Firdausi († 1020) was one more in the Samanidenzeit because Mahmud of Ghazni brought little understanding on. Even the polymath al -Biruni and Ibn Sina to be resettled in medicine began their careers still under the Samanids.

Low and sinking

The Samanids were based on the eastern Iranian gentry. In the course of the 10th century but increasingly Turkish mercenaries or military slaves were taken into the army in order to keep the nomadic Turkish tribes in Central Asia under control can. The slave soldiers were a factor of power at court, which brought in difficulty, the emirs soon. So it was 961 at the death of the Emir to an attempt to overthrow their leaders in Bukhara, where the palace was destroyed. Also made ​​since the mid-10th century, some officers in the provinces themselves. In particular, the General Alp - Tigin founded 962 the semi-independent rule of the Ghaznavids, who got control of all Khorasan 994 as a result of another military rebellion. Still came unrest among the urban population, uprisings of peasants and champagne disputes to the conspiracies at court and among the military governors in the provinces.

The simultaneous pressure of the Ghaznavids in the south and the Qarakhanid from the East were no longer up to the end of the 10th century, the Samanids. The clergy and the urban population behaved passively, as Bukhara occupied in October, 999 of the Qarakhanid Arslan Ilek - Nasr and the ruling family was captured by Abd al -Malik II at the top. A prince, Ismail II, though escaped, but remained his struggle for the restoration of the Samanid Empire unsuccessful; with his assassination in 1005 ended the dynasty.

Today's Tajiks trace their ancestors and culture back to the Samanid dynasty. Ismail I, the most famous Samanidenherrscher, now applies in Tajikistan as a national hero and father of the nation. Also the name of the modern currency of Tajikistan Somoni is derived from the name of the dynasty.


The conquest by the Arabs brought hardly any new architectural forms to Central Asia, but the architecture of the Abbasids of Central Asian models were affected. For example, were the palaces and tombs in Khorezm the model for appropriate buildings in Baghdad and Samarra of the 8th and 9th centuries, both the floor plan were ( domed room with four halls, to atria ) and the stucco design as a template.

In Tirmidh rough remains of a palace from the 10th century have been preserved: The Kyrk - Kyz was a two- story facility of approximately 54 meters on one side and a center space of 11 meters. The appearance has been termed " central dome kiosk ".

In Old Samarkand ( Afrasiyab ) three palaces have been found from the Samanidenzeit. One of them consisted of three rooms with central dome and boss portico and included extensive stucco. A second was also a dome and the third presented a hall with stucco, and although geometrically connected floral ornaments (1919 found ). Incidentally Old Samarkand was already attached and had ten gates.

Of the mausoleums, the Samanid Mausoleum in Bukhara is obtained, as well as the Arab- Ata in Tim. The Arab- Ata has been established in accordance with inscription 977/8, and has unlike the Samanid Mausoleum in Bukhara a magnificent facade.

Ruler list and pedigree

  • Ahmad ( I ) b. Asad b. Saman Chuda (r. 819-874 )
  • Nasr ( I. ) b. Ahmad (r. 874-892 )
  • Al -Amir al -Mahdi Abu Ibrahim Ismail b. Ahmad (r. 892-907 )
  • Al -Amir al- Shahid Abu Nasr Ahmad ( II ) b. Ismail (r. 907-914 )
  • Al -Amir al- Said Nasr ( II ) b. Ahmad (r. 914-943 )
  • Al -Amir al - Hamid Nuh ( I. ) b. Nasr (r. 943-954 )
  • Al -Amir al - Muayyad (or al - Muwaffaq ) Abu l - Fawaris Abd al -Malik ( I. ) b. Nuh (r. 954-961 )
  • Al -Malik al - Muzaffar al -Amir al- Mansur Salih Abu Sadid ( I. ) b. Nuh (r. 961-976 )
  • Al -Amir ar - Radi (or ar - Rashid ) Abu l -Qasim Nuh ( II ) b. Mansur (r. 976-997 )
  • Abu al - Harith Mansur ( II ) b. Nuh (r. 997-999 )
  • Abu l - Fawaris Abd al -Malik ( II ) b. Nuh (reigned 999-1000 )
  • Abu Ibrahim Ismail ( II ) al - Muntasir b. Nuh (r. 1000-1005 )