HAZĀRASPIDS, a local dynasty of Kurdish origin which ruled in the Zagros mountains region of southwestern Persia, essentially in Lorestān and the adjacent parts of Fārs, and which flourished in the later Saljuq, Ilkhanid, Mozaffarid, and Timurid periods. It is often described as an “Atabeg” dynasty, although the line was not ethnically Turkish, as the true Atabeg dynasties were, nor was any of its members actually the Atabeg or tutor (see ATĀBAK) to any young prince of the period.
The sparseness of the sources means that the origins of the dynasty and the chronology of its members are both extremely obscure; but the line managed to survive amongst the much mightier powers of the time through skillful diplomacy, submission to superior force, and the timely payment of tribute to stronger neighbors. Abu Ṭāher ʿAli b. Moḥammad claimed descent from the Ša-bānkāraʾi Kurdish chief of Lorestān (Mostawfi, p. 540). His son ʿEmād-al-Din Hazārasp (after whom the line came to be known) styled himself as a “Malek” and began his reign in 600/1203-04 (ibid., pp. 540-42; Ša-bānkāraʾi, p. 207). The subsequent history of the line until its demise in 827/1424 at the hands of the Timurid Šāhroḵ may be followed in the article ATĀBAKĀN-E LORESTĀN.
There is no written history specifically devoted to this line, so it must be pieced together from scattered mentions in the general Persian historical sources of the period, in particular, Tāriḵ-e Waṣṣāf, pp. 249-67; Tāriḵ-e gozida, ed. Navāʾi, pp. 537-49; Moḥammad b. ʿAli Šabānkāraʾi, Majmaʿ al-ansāb, ed. Mir Ḥāšem Moḥaddesò, Tehran 1363/1984, pp. 206-9.
For secondary sources, see the bibliography to ATĀBAKĀN-E LORESTĀN, as well as that of C. Edmund Bosworth, The New Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Manual, Edinburgh, 1996, pp. 207-8, no. 103.
(C. Edmund Bosworth)
Originally Published: December 15, 2003
Last Updated: March 20, 2012
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