Saffarids

Saffarids

 

a Persian (Iranian) dynasty, in power from 861 to 900, which played a significant role in the liberation of Persia from Arab domination. The dynasty was founded by Yakub ibn Layth and his brother Amr ibn Layth, peasants from Sistan. Yakub was at one time apprenticed to a coppersmith (Persian saffar; hence the name of the dynasty).

Having come to prominence while serving in the caliph’s army, Yakub removed his commander, the ruler of Sistan, from power, and in 861 became emir of Sistan. By 873 he had seized all of southern and eastern Iran and part of what is now Afghanistan, and in 873 he seized the lands of the Tahirids in Khorasan. He undertook a campaign against Baghdad in 875 but was defeated by the caliph’s army. Thereafter, only Sistan and Khorasan remained in the possession of the Saffarids.

Amr, who reigned from 879 to 900, accepted the status of vice-gerent to the caliph, who granted him a charter to rule eastern Iran. From 900 to 908, the Saffarid possessions were part of the Samanid state. Information about the internal policy of the Saffarids is sparse. It is known that the dynasty at one time imposed financial demands on its subjects and spent most of the revenues on the army.

References in periodicals archive ?
Sistan under the Arabs, from the Islamic Conquest to the Rise of the Saffarids (30-250/651-864).
15-59), focuses on the Saffarids of Sistan and the Arab amirs of Sind, who ruled over the polyglot emporiums of the eastern Islamic world.
Instead, what he had before him was the example of his contemporaries the Saffarids, who at the time dominated most of the eastern Islamic lands.
Seen from this perspective of the frontiers, the experience of the Tulunids in Egypt was also quite different from that of the Saffarids in Iran and the Aghlabids in North Africa.
Bosworth, The History of the Saffdrids ofSistan and the Maliks of Nimraz (Costa Mesa and New York: Mazda Publishers, 1994); idem, "Saffarids," EI2, 8: 795-98.
Deborah Tor has argued that Ya'qub the Coppersmith, and the Saffarid dynasty as a whole, lived and breathed for one purpose only, which was performance of holy war against infidels and heretics.
He is no stranger to the history of the Saffarids. His article on the armies of the Saffarids appeared in 1968, and in the same year he laid the groundwork for the present history with his monograph, Sistan under the Arabs, from the Islamic Conquest to the Rise of the Saffarids.
Bosworth rejects Zambaur's earlier division of the Saffarid dynasty into four separate dynasties, divided chronologically by the Samanid, Ghaznavid and Mongol invasions.
The importance of the Saffarid dynasty in post-Islamic Persian history lies not so much in its military successes, which were considerable, or in its political achievements, which lacked substance and permanence, as in its symbolic value.