eldest son of the Kakuyid amir of Jebāl, ʿAlāʾ-al-dawla Moḥammad b. Došmanzīār.


ABŪ MANṢŪR FARĀMARZ, ẒAHĪR-AL-DĪN ŠAMS-AL-MOLK, eldest son of the Kakuyid amir of Jebāl, ʿAlāʾ-al-dawla Moḥammad b. Došmanzīār. He reigned in Isfahan, 433-43/1041-51, and died at some unknown date after 455/1063. He may thus be considered as the second independent ruler of the Kakuyid dynasty, whose original fortunes had been made as commanders under the Buyids and who played a significant role in the first half of the 5th/11 century, skillfully maintaining their position in Isfahan, Hamadān and other towns of Jebāl against the three rival great powers of the Buyids, Ghaznavids, and Saljuqs. Their rise is one aspect of what V. Minorsky called the “Deylamī interlude” of Persian history, when hitherto submerged elements from northern and northwestern Persia rose to power and prominence. The eventual triumph of Toḡrïl Beg and the Saljuqs led, however, to the ending of the Kakuyids’ independent power, although members of the Kakuyid family continued as vassals of the Saljuqs and as governors in various towns of central Persia for well over another century.

Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz’s father, ʿAlāʾ-al-dawla Moḥammad, died in 433/1041-42. Four years previously he had fortified his capital of Isfahan as a protection against the marauding bands of Oḡuz Turkmens, who passed through Khorasan and were now harrying the towns of Jebāl and the fringes of Iraq. The loss of Khorasan by the Ghaznavids after the battle of Dandāqān in 432/1041 meant that the Kakuyids faced a serious threat from the Saljuqs. Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz succeeded his father at Isfahan, while his brother Abū Kālīǰār Garšāsp moved westward to Nehāvand and established himself there as his brother’s subordinate. After quelling the rebellion of another brother, who had sought the help of the Buyid amir of Fārs, Abū Kālīǰār ʿEmād-al-dīn, he had to face the menace of the Saljuqs. Toḡrïl had made Ray in northern Persia his capital, and Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz’s relations with him now assumed paramount importance. He had already had some contact with the Saljuqs during his father’s lifetime in circumstances which are rather mysterious; according to the Ghaznavid historian Bayhaqī, he was present with the Saljuq forces at Dandāqān. Soon after Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz’s accession, Toḡrïl sent an expedition from Ray to secure his allegiance and to exact tribute. Only a few of Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz’s coins are extant; but the first of these, dated 434/1042-43, shows him acknowledging Toḡrïl as suzerain.

Both Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz and his brother Abū Kālīǰār Garšāsp in Hamadān nevertheless showed themselves, over the next few years, unwilling to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the Saljuq side. They were ready on occasion to transfer their allegiance to the Buyid Abū Kālīǰār ʿEmād-al-dīn. Thus in 437/1045-46 the local Dailamite and Kurdish rulers of Jebāl banded together with the Buyids in order to present a common front against Oḡuz infiltrations into western Persia; but when Toḡrïl appeared before Isfahan the next year, Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz submitted to the Saljuqs. For the next five years, judging by the evidence of his coins, he remained faithful to Toḡrïl, but the Saljuq amir seems to have become exasperated by the Kakuyids’ changes of policy and allegiance. In 442/1050 Toḡrïl returned from Khorasan and besieged Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz in Isfahan; the town held out heroically for a year but was, in the end, forced to surrender; and its walls were dismantled. Thus in 433/1051 Toḡrïl made Isfahan his own capital, and Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz was compensated for the loss of his ancestral lands by a grant of the towns of Abarqūh and Yazd; both of these towns had previously been, at least sporadically, under Kakuyid control.

Thus began the second and last phase of the Kakuyids’ history, their rule as local governors in the Yazd region. Local historians of Yazd, such as Jaʿfar b. Moḥammad Jaʿfarī, refer to Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz’s wise rule there and to his extensive building and charitable activities, which included the provision of walls for the town (see bibliog.). Unfortunately, we do not possess any coins minted by him in Yazd, a fact which suggests that, having become definite vassals of the Saljuqs, they were no longer allowed the privilege of minting gold and silver coins. Yet Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz was obviously an honored figure at the Saljuq court. He acquired the honorific of Šams-al-molk at this period; and on two occasions, in 453/1061 and two years later, he formed part of the Saljuq delegation to Baghdad. He first went with vizier Kondorī and then with Toḡrïl himself, in order to arrange the marriage of Toḡrïl with the daughter of the ʿAbbasid caliph Qāʾem. After this we hear no more of Abū Manṣūr Farāmarz, and he probably died shortly afterwards.



Bayhaqī, pp. 627-28; tr. A. K. Arends, Istoriya Masʿuda, Tashkent, 1962, pp. 553-54.

Bondārī, Histoire des Seldjoucides de l’Iraq, ed. M. T. Houtsma, Leiden, 1889, p. 25.

Ebn al-Aṯīr, IX, pp. 339, 347-48, 361-62, 365, 384-85.

Moǰmal al-tawārīḵ, p. 407.

C. E. Bosworth, “Dailamīs in Central Iran: the Kakuyid of Jibāl and Yazd,” Iran 8, 1970, pp. 81-84, 89-90, 93 (with tr. from Jaʿfarī’s Tārīḵ-e Yazd, ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, p. 19).

Idem, in Camb. Hist. Iran V, p. 38.

Some new sidelights on Kakuyid rule in Yazd are given by R. Holod, “The Monument of Duvāzdeh Imām in Yazd and its Inscription of Foundation,” Near Eastern numismatics, iconography, epigraphy and history: Studies in honor of George C. Miles, Beirut, 1974, pp. 285-88.

(C. E. Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 19, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 3, pp. 335-336

C. E. Bosworth, “Abu Mansur Faramarz,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/3, pp. 335-336; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abu-mansur-faramarz-zahir-al-din-sams-al-molk-eldest-son-of-the-kakuyid-amir-of-jebal-ala-al-dawla-mohammad-b (accessed on 30 January 2014).