ĀZĀDVĀR (or ĀZAḎVĀR), a small town of Khorasan in the district (kūra, rostāq) of Jovayn, which flourished in medieval Islamic times, apparently down to the Il-khanid period. It lay eight farsakhs from Jājarm and at the western end of the very fertile Jovayn corridor between the Kūh-e Čaḡatāy to the south and the Kūh-e ʿAlī to the north, hence on the road connecting Besṭām and Gorgān with Nīšāpūr. The medieval geographers describe it as the chief town (qaṣaba, madīna) of Jovayn, populous and prosperous; 189 villages depended on it; it had fine mosques, markets, and a caravanserai; and it was surrounded by rich agricultural land producing cereals and fruits. Irrigation was mainly by qanāts led down from the hills to the south. Maqdesī (Moqaddasī) describes the inhabitants of the district as cultured (ahl adab) and aṣḥāb ḥadīṯ, i.e., Shafiʿites; and from this district stemmed one of the greatest families of Shafiʿite ʿolamāʾ in Nīšāpūr—that of Abū Moḥammad ʿAbdallāh Jovaynī (d. 438/1047) and his son Abu’l-Maʿālī ʿAbd-al-Malek, the Emām al-Ḥaramayn (d. 478/1085). Samʿānī (Ansāb [Hyderabad] I, p. 76) names a considerable number of scholars and theologians with the nesba Āzādvār. The family of the historian ʿAlāʾ-al-dīn ʿAtā Malek Jovaynī and his brother, the statesman Šams-al-dīn Moḥammad Ṣāḥeb(-e) Dīvān also hailed from Āzādvār. The poet Ašraf Ḡaznavī is buried there. During the eighth/fourteenth century, however, Āzādvār apparently declined; and Faryūmad, some distance to its south, replaced it as the center of the Jovayn district. Āzādvār is now the name of a subdistrict (dehestān) and its administrative center in the baḵš of Jaḡatāy of the Sabzavār šahrestān. Near the present-day Āzādvār, in the center of the valley, are the remains of the medieval city, which were still marked by the remains of a lofty brick building in 1897 when Yate visited the area. A stage on the Tehran-Mašhad railroad is also called Āzādvār.
Eṣṭaḵrī, pp. 257, 284.
Ebn Ḥawqal, pp. 428, 433, 456; tr. Kramers, pp. 414, 419, 440.
Maqdesī, pp. 50, 318.
Ḥodūd al-ʿālam, tr. Minorsky, p. 102, sec. 23.
Yāqūt, I, p. 61; II, pp. 164-66.
Nozhat al-qolūb, p. 174; tr. Le Strange, p. 169.
ʿA. Mawlawī, Āṯār-e bāstānī-e Ḵorāsān I, Mašhad, 2535 = 1355 Š./1976, p. 361.
Le Strange, Lands, pp. 391-92.
H. Halm, Die Ausbreitung der šāfiʿitischen Rechtsschule von den Anfängen bis zum 8/14 Jahrhundert, Wiesbaden, 1974, p. 77.
J. Aubin, “Réseau pastoral et réseau caravanier: Les grand’routes du Khurassan à l’époque mongole,” Le monde iranien et l’Islam I, Geneva and Paris, 1971, pp. 128-29.
C. E. Yate, Khurasan and Sistan, London, 1900, pp. 390-91.
Razmārā, Farhang IX, p. 14.
(C. E. Bosworth)
Originally Published: December 15, 1987
Last Updated: August 18, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 2, p. 179