ABŪ ʿALĪ MOḤAMMAD B. ʿĪSĀ DĀMḠĀNĪ, vizier of the Samanids in the last years of their power. The reign of Amīr Nūḥ II b. Manṣūr (365-87/976-97) was rent by internal strife among the great military leaders of the state, with the viziers tending to become the creatures of one or other opposing faction in the state. Dāmḡānī’s predecessor ʿAbdallāh b. Moḥammad b. ʿOzayr (ʿAzīz?) had been the protégé of the powerful Sīmǰūrīs, Abu’l-Ḥasan and his son Abū ʿAlī, and of Fāʾeq, and he was hostile to the ʿOtbī family, the influential previous occupants of the vizierate. Nothing is known of Dāmḡānī’s antecedents, though the nesba indicates a family origin from Dāmḡān in Qūmes, but Nūḥ b. Manṣūr appointed him vizier on 10 Rabīʿ II 378/28 July 988. He seems to have had a first vizierate and then to have been briefly replaced by Abū Naṣr Aḥmad b. Moḥammad b. Abī Zayd, previously head of the Samanid chancery; but according to Nāṣer-al-dīn Monšī Kermānī (Nasāʾem al-asḥār, ed. Jalāl-al-dīn Ormavī, Tehran, 1959, p. 38), Abū Naṣr Aḥmad was killed after six months by the palace ḡolāms, and Dāmḡānī apparently was reappointed (though Kermānī does not in fact mention him and is very sketchy about the viziers of the last Samanids). Gardīzī records that when the Qarakhanid Boḡra Khan Hārūn occupied Bokhara in spring, 382/992, he became ill and retired to Samarqand, carrying off Dāmḡānī with him; and it was there that Dāmḡānī died on 1 Raǰab 382/2 September 992, around the time that the Khan also died.
Gardīzī, ed. Nazim, p. 52; ed. Ḥabībī, pp. 167-68.
ʿOtbī, al-Taʾrīḵ al-yamīnī, ed. Manīnī, Cairo, 1286/1869, I, p. 152 (gives the date of Dāmḡānī’s appointment to office as Jomādā II, 377/October, 987).
Barthold, Turkestan3, pp. 253ff., 260.
(C. E. Bosworth)
Originally Published: December 15, 1983
Last Updated: July 19, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 3, p. 255
C. E. Bosworth, “ABŪ ʿALĪ DĀMḠĀNĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/3, p. 255; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abu-ali-mohammad-b-2 (accessed on 26 January 2014).