ABŪ ṢĀLEḤ MANṢŪR B. ESḤĀQ B. AḤMAD B. ASAD SĀMĀNĪ, Samanid prince, the cousin of the amir Aḥmad b. Esmāʿīl (295-301/907-14) and uncle of his successor Naṣr b. Aḥmad (301-31/914-43). Little is known of his personal life, except that he filled various governorships on behalf of the Samanid rulers. Esmāʿīl b. Aḥmad (279-95/892-907) appointed him over Ray after the Samanid conquest of northern Persia as far as Qazvīn in 289/902. When the Samanids invaded Sīstān in 297/909-10 and temporarily quelled the Saffarids there, Abū Ṣāleḥ Manṣūr was made governor of Sīstān on behalf of Aḥmad b. Esmāʿīl; but when the local Ḵāreǰī leader Moḥammad b. Hormoz raised a revolt on behalf of the Saffarid amir ʿAmr b. Yaʿqūb, Abū Ṣāleḥ Manṣūr was jailed until a relieving Samanid force could free him (Gardīzī, ed. Nazim, pp. 21, 23-24; ed. Ḥabībī, pp. 147, 149; Ebn al-Aṯīr, Beirut, 1385-87/1965-67, VIII, p. 87).
In 301/913-14 he was appointed governor of Khorasan, but in the chaos within the Samanid state caused by the murder of Aḥmad Esmāʿīl and the raising to the throne of his eight-year old son Naṣr, Abū Ṣāleḥ Manṣūr’s father Esḥāq b. Aḥmad was tempted to rebel in Samarqand in a bid for the throne, and Abū Ṣāleḥ Manṣūr proclaimed himself amir also in Nīšāpūr and several of the towns of Khorasan, egged on by the governor of Herat, Ḥosayn b. ʿAlī Marvarrūḏī (302/914-15). He seems to have died in Nīšāpūr before an army under Ḥammūya b. ʿAlī sent to quell the uprising could arrive (Naršaḵī, Tārīḵ-e Boḵārā, ed. Modarres Rażawī, Tehran, n.d., [ca. 1939], pp. 111-12; tr. R. N. Frye, The History of Bukhara, Cambridge, Mass., 1954, pp. 95, 155; Ebn al-Aṯīr, VIII, pp. 87-88; Barthold, Turkestan3, pp. 240-41).
Abū Ṣāleḥ Manṣūr has, however, a special claim to fame as the dedicatee of a work by the great physician Moḥammad b. Zakarīyāʾ Rāzī (q.v.), addressed to him while he was governor in Ray. According to the early authorities, Abū Ṣāleḥ Manṣūr was the friend of Rāzī; hence the latter wrote for him his medical treatise in ten discourses, the Ketāb al-Manṣūrī fi’l-ṭebb or Ketāb al-ṭebb al-Manṣūrī, in 290/903. This work enjoyed a circulation in the medieval Christian West in Latin translation as Liber Almansoris.
See also Zambaur, pp. 48, 203.
On the Ketāb al-Manṣūrī, see: Fehrest (Tehran1), p. 356; tr. Dodge, II, p. 704.
Bīrūnī, Resāla fī fehrest kotob al-Rāzī, ed. M. Moḥaqqeq, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973, p. 6.
Ebn al-Qefṭī, Taʾrīḵ al-ḥokamāʾ, ed. J. Lippert, Leipzig, 1903, p. 274.
Ebn Abī Oṣaybeʿa, ʿOyūn al-anbāʾ, ed. A. Müller, Königsberg, 1884, I, p. 317.
Yāqūt, II, p. 901.
C. H. Elgood, A Medical History of Persia and the Eastern Caliphate, Cambridge, 1951, p. 201.
Brockelmann, GAL I2, pp. 268-69; S. I, p. 419.
Sezgin, GAS III, pp. 275, 281-83.
(C. E. Bosworth)
Originally Published: December 15, 1983
Last Updated: July 21, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 4, p. 383