Dabuyid dynasty

The Dabuyid or Gaubarid Dynasty was a Zoroastrian[2] Iranian dynasty that started in the early seventh century as an independent group of rulers, reigning over Tabaristan and parts of western Khorasan.[3] Dabuyid rule over Tabaristan and Khorasan lasted from ca. AD 642 to the Abbasid conquest in 760.

Dabuyid dynasty

The Dabuyid dynasty around its greatest extent under Farrukhan the Great
The Dabuyid dynasty around its greatest extent under Farrukhan the Great
CapitalAmol (early)
Sari (late)
Fuman (660–760)[1]
Common languagesMiddle Persian, Caspian languages, Tabari
• 640-660
Gil Gavbara (first)
• 740/41-759/60
Khurshid (last)
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Abbasid conquest of Tabaristan
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Sassanid Empire
Abbasid Caliphate
Bavand dynasty
Qarinvand dynasty
Today part of


The family's early history is semi-mythical, and recorded by the later historian Ibn Isfandiyar. According to this story, the Dabuyids were descended from a brother of the Sassanid shah Kavadh I. His grandson Firuz conquered Gilan, and Firuz's grandson Gil, surnamed Gavbara, then extended the family's rule over Tabaristan as well. This led to the formal conferment of the titles of Gil-Gilan ("ruler of Gilan") and Padashwargarshah ("Shah of Patashwargar", the old name of Tabaristan's mountains), to Gil's son Dabuya or Daboe, by the last Sassanid shah, Yazdegerd III. Following the Muslim conquest of Persia the Dabuyids established their domain as a quasi-independent principality, owing only nominal allegiance to the Arab Caliphate. In addition to the titles granted by Yazdegerd, the Dabuyid rulers also bore the old Iranian military rank of ispahbadh as their regnal title.

The first documented ruler of the Dabuyid line, however, is Farrukhan the Great, who repelled a great Muslim invasion under Yazid ibn al-Muhallab in 716–717, and who may in reality be the true founder of Dabuyid rule in Tabaristan; more recent research places his assumption of power there in the 670s instead of the early 710s, as hitherto assumed. Farrokhan died in 728, and was succeeded by his son, Dadmihr. Little is known of his reign, and he died at an early age in 740/741. His son and successor, Khurshid, was still a boy, and his uncle Farrukhan the Little ruled as regent for seven years. Khurshid ruled a prosperous state, and tried repeatedly, though without success, to break his ties to the Caliphate, exploiting the turmoil of the final years of the Umayyads and of the Abbasid Revolution. These attempts led to a large-scale invasion of Tabaristan in 759, forcing Khurshid to seek refuge in Gilan, where he poisoned himself in 761.

Dabuyid rulers


  1. ^ Bazin, Marcel (2000). "FŪMAN". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. X, Fasc. 3. pp. 227–228.
  2. ^ C.E. Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties, (Columbia University Press, 1996), 162; "Hence in 758 the caliph undertook the definitive conquest of Tabaristan, successfully drove out Khurshid II and ended the dynasty of the Dabuyids(who, as Zoroastrians, had never accepted Islam..".
  3. ^ DABUYIDS, W. Madelung, Encyclopaedia Iranica


Alid dynasties of northern Iran

Alid dynasties of northern Iran or Alâvids. In the 9th–14th centuries, the northern Iranian regions of Tabaristan, Daylam and Gilan, sandwiched between the Caspian Sea and the Alborz range, came under the rule of a number of Alid dynasties, espousing the Zaydi branch of Shia Islam.

The first and most powerful Zaydi emirate was established in Tabaristan in 864 and lasted until 928. It was interrupted by Samanid occupation in 900, but restored in 914 by another Alid branch.

The second period of the Alid emirate was plagued by internal dissensions and power struggles between the two branches, and ended in the second conquest of the region by the Samanids in 928. Subsequently, some of the soldiers and generals of the Alavids joined the Samanids, among them Mardavij, founder of the Ziyarid dynasty, and the three sons of Buya (Ali, Hassan and Ahmad), founders of the Buyid dynasty.

Local Zaydi rulers survived in Daylam and Gilan until the 16th century.


The Amardians, widely referred to as the Amardi (and sometimes Mardi), were an ancient Iranian tribe living along the mountainous region bordering the Caspian Sea to the north, to whom the Iron Age culture at Marlik is attributed. They are said to be related to, or the same tribe as, the Dahae and Sacae. That is to say, they were Scythian.


Dabuya or Dabuyih (Persian: دابویه‎), was the Dabuyid ruler (ispahbadh) of Tabaristan. He succeeded his father Gil Gavbara in 660 and reigned until his death in 712. His son, Farrukhan the Great succeeded him.


Dadhburzmihr or Dadmihr was the independent ruler (ispahbadh) of Tabaristan. He succeeded his father Farrukhan the Great in 728 and reigned until his death in 740/741. His 6 year old son, Khurshid succeeded him.

Farrukhan the Great

Farrukhan the Great (in Persian: فرخان بزرگ, Farrukhan-e Bozorg; fl. 712–728) was the independent ruler (ispahbadh) of Tabaristan in the early 8th century, until his death in 728. He is the first actually attested (through his coinage) member of the Dabuyid dynasty, which is traditionally held to have ruled Tabaristan since the time of the Muslim conquest of Persia. He maintained his independence against the attacks of the Umayyad Caliphate, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Dadhburzmihr.

Farrukhan the Little

Farrukhan the Little (Persian: Farrukhan-e Kuchak), also surnamed the Deaf (Korbali), was a member of the Dabuyid dynasty, which ruled Tabaristan as independent monarchs in the century after the Muslim conquest of Persia. The brother of the ispahbadh Dadhburzmihr, Farrukhan governed Tabaristan between 740/41 and 747/48 as regent for his underage nephew, Khurshid.

Gil Gavbara

Gil Gavbara (Persian: گیل گیلانشاه‎), known in Arabic sources as Jil-i Jilanshah and Gavbarih, was king and founder of the Dabuyid dynasty in 642, ruling until his death in 660.


Jamasp (also transcribed as Zamasp or Djamasp; Persian: جاماسپ‎ Jāmāsp) was a Sasanian king who ruled from 496 to 498. He was the younger brother of king Kavadh I and was installed on the Sasanian throne upon the deposition of the latter by members of the nobility.

Khurshid of Tabaristan

Khurshid (Middle Persian: 𐭧𐭥𐭫(𐭧)𐭱𐭩𐭲‎, Khwar(kh)šēd; Tabari/Persian: اسپهبد خورشید‎, Spāhbed Khōrshīd 'General Khorshid'; 734–761), erroneously designated Khurshid II by earlier scholars, was the last Dabuyid ispahbadh of Tabaristan. He succeeded to the throne at an early age, and was supervised by his uncle as regent until he reached the age of fourteen. Khurshid tried to assert his independence from his vassalage to the Caliphate, supported various rebellions and maintained diplomatic contacts with Tang China. Finally, the Abbasids conquered his country in 759–760, and captured most members of his family. Khurshid fled to Daylam, where he ended his life.


The Lullubi or Lulubi were a group of pre-Iranian tribes during the 3rd millennium BC, from a region known as Lulubum, now the Sharazor plain of the Zagros Mountains of modern Iraqi Kurdistan. Frayne (1990) identified their city Lulubuna or Luluban with the region's modern Iraqi town of Halabja.

The language of the Lullubi is regarded as an unclassified language due to the complete absence of any literature or written script, meaning it cannot be linked to known languages of the region at the time, such as Elamite, Hurrian, Sumerian, Akkadian, Hattic and Amorite, and the Lullubi pre-date the arrival of Iranian-speakers by many centuries. The term Lullubi though, appears to be of Hurrian origin.

Masmughans of Damavand

The Masmughans of Damavand (Middle Persian: Masmughan-i Dumbawand, New Persian: مس مغان دماوند, meaning Great Magians of Damavand) were a local dynasty, which ruled Damavand and its surrounding areas from ca. 651 to 760. The founder of the dynasty was a Karenid named Mardanshah of Damavand.


Padishkhwārgar was a Sasanian province in Late Antiquity, which almost corresponded to the present-day provinces of Mazandaran and Gilan. The province bordered Adurbadagan and Balasagan in the west, Gurgan in the east, and Spahan in south. The main cities of the province was Amol and Rasht.

The province functioned as some kind of vassal kingdom, being mostly ruled by princes from different royal families, who bore the title of Padashwargarshah ("Shah of Padishkhwargar").


The Paduspanids or Baduspanids (Persian: پادوسبانیان) were a local dynasty of Tabaristan which ruled over Royan, Nur and Rostamdar. The dynasty was established in 655, and ended in 1598 when the Safavids invaded their domains.

Qarinvand dynasty

The Qarinvand dynasty (also spelled Karinvand, Karenvand, and Qarenvand), or simply the Karinids or Qarinids, was an Iranian dynasty that ruled in parts of Tabaristan (Mazandaran) in what is now northern Iran from the 550s until the 11th-century. They considered themselves as the inheritors of the Dabuyid dynasty, and were known by their titles of Gilgilan and Ispahbadh. They were descended from Sukhra, a Parthian nobleman from the House of Karen, who was the de facto ruler of the Sasanian Empire from 484 to 493.

Sasanian family tree

This is a family tree of the Sasanian emperors, their ancestors, and Sasanian princes/princesses.

Sharwin I

Sharwin I (Persian: شروین) was the fifth ruler of the Bavand dynasty from 772 to 817. He was the son and successor of Surkhab II.

Surkhab II

Surkhab II (Persian:سهراب دوم) was the fourth ruler of the Bavand dynasty from 755 to 772. In 760, his overlord, the Dabuyids, under Khurshid of Tabaristan, revolted against the Abbasid Caliphate. Khurshid, was, however, defeated, and fled to Daylam, where he made a counterattack against the Abbasids, but was once again defeated. After learning that his family was captured by the Abbasids, Khurshid poisoned himself. This marked the end of the Dabuyid dynasty, however, other dynasties such as the Bavandids, Karenids and Zarmihrids, who were all formerly subject to the Dabuyids, continued to control parts of Tabaristan as tributary vassals of the Abbasid government. Surkhab II died in 772, and was succeeded by his son Sharwin I, who would later along with the rulers of Tabaristan revolt against the Abbasids and massacre all the Muslims in Tabaristan.


Wuzurgan (Middle Persian: 𐭥𐭰𐭥𐭫𐭢‎, meaning "grandees" or the "great ones"), also known by its Modern Persian form of Bozorgan (بزرگان), was the third class-rank of the four or five types of the Sasanian aristocracy. After the fall of the Sasanian Empire, they reappear under the Dabuyid dynasty.


The Zarmihrid dynasty was a local dynasty of Tabaristan which ruled over parts of the mountainous areas of the region since the reign of Sasanian king Khosrau I to 785.

The family claimed its origin from a powerful Karen lord named Sukhra, a descendant of Kaveh the blacksmith, the national hero of Iran, and who was one of the leading nobles of the empire during the reign of Balash and Kavadh I. According to a traditional story, Sukhra left two children, Karin and Zarmihr, who helped Khosrau I protect the eastern borders of his empire when it was invaded by Turkic nomads. Karin was rewarded with land in the south of Amol, and was given title of Ispahbadh, thus starting the Karen dynasty of Tabaristan. Zarmihr was rewarded with parts of Tabaristan and was given the title of Marzban and Masmughan. Eastern Tabaristan was mainly divided between the Karenids, the Zarmihrids and the Marzban of Tomisha.

In 783, the Karenids, along with the Bavandids and the Zarmihrids revolted against the Abbasid Caliphate, the alliance was, however, defeated in 785, and thus the Zarmihrids disappeared from history afterwards.

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