ABŪ MANṢŪR MOḤAMMAD B. ʿABD-AL-RAZZĀQ B. ʿABDALLĀH B. FARROḴ, a dehqān (landowner) of Ṭūs, official under the Samanids, and patron of a lost prose Šāh-nāma (Šāh-nāma-ye Abū Manṣūrī). When Khorasan was assigned to Abū ʿAlī Čaḡānī, Abū Manṣūr governed Ṭūs as his deputy until 335/946-47. He then joined Abū ʿAlī in rebellion against Amir Nūḥ b. Naṣr; and when Abū ʿAlī campaigned toward Marv and Bokhara, Abū Manṣūr served as commander of Khorasan. After Abū ʿAlī’s defeat in 336/947-48, Abū Manṣūr took refuge in Ray with the Dailamite Rokn-al-dawla Ḥasan. He sought and received Amir Nūḥ’s pardon in 339/950-51 and returned to Ṭūs. According to Ebn al-Aṯīr (VIII, pp. 459ff., 470, 479ff.), he mediated a peace treaty between Abū ʿAlī and Rokn-al-dawla (see differently Gardīzī, ed. Ḥabībī, p. 160).
Perhaps Abū Manṣūr was again governor of Ṭūs at this time, since it was at his direction that Abū Manṣūr Maʿmarī invited several Khorasani scholars to Ṭūs to compose a prose Šāh-nāma. Work on the Šāh-nāma-ye Abū Manṣūrī was completed in Moḥarram, 346/April, 957. Abū Manṣūr was away from Ṭūs during a six months tenure as commander of Khorasan (from Jomādā II, 349/August, 960); in Ḏu’l-ḥeǰǰa, 349/February, 961 Alptegīn took up his post at Nīšāpūr. Abū Manṣūr returned home, possibly again as governor. But Manṣūr b. Nūḥ reappointed him, with orders to check the insurgent Alptegīn (see Gardīzī; also Naršaḵī, Tārīḵ-e Boḵārā, ed. Modarres Rażawī, Tehran, 1351 Š./1972, p. 135). The latter withdrew to Balḵ, while Abū Manṣūr again sought the protection of Rokn-al-dawla in Gorgān. In 350/961 he was killed in battle with the reappointed commander of Khorasan, Abu’l-Ḥasan Moḥammad b. Ebrāhīm (Gardīzī, ed. Ḥabībī, pp. 160-63; the account of his poisoning at the instigation of the Ziarid ruler Vošmgīr is unlikely.
In the surviving introduction to the prose Šāh-nāma (ed. Moḥammad Qazvīnī in Bīst Maqāla, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1332 Š./1953, II, pp. 73f.), Abū Manṣūr’s ancestry is traced to a commander of Ḵosrow II’s time and beyond. While Bīrūnī was correct in regarding genealogies of this type as spurious (Āṯār al-bāqīa, pp. 37-38), Abū Manṣūr probably was descended from ancient dehqāns. In his time the survivors of the ancient families had not yet lost all power; and an amir who thought of compiling a Šāh-nāma must have been motivated, not only by ethnolinguistic feelings, but by his attachment to family and class. Gardīzī mentions two sons of Abū Manṣūr (ʿAbdallāh and Manṣūr) and praises his good governorship (ed. Ḥabībī, p. 161)
See also Moqaddesī, pp. 319, 338.
Ṯaʿālebī, Yatīma IV, pp. 69-70.
S. Ḥ. Taqīzāda, “Šāh-nāmahā-ye fārsī,” repr. from Kāva in Ferdowsī va Šāh-nāma-ye ū, ed. Ḥ. Yaḡmāʾī, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970, pp. 152ff.
Originally Published: December 15, 1983
Last Updated: July 19, 2011
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Vol. I, Fasc. 3, p. 335