BADUSPANIDS, a dynasty ruling Rūyān and Rostamdār from the late 5th/11th to the 10th/16th century with the title of ostandārs and later of kings. It is named after Bādūspān (Pādūspān), son of Gīl Gīlān Gawbāra, who according to legend came to rule Rūyān when his brother Dābūya succeeded Gawbāra on the throne of Gīlān. The claim of the rulers of Rūyān to be descended from this Bādūspān is reflected in the Tārīḵ-eRūyān of Awlīāʾ-Allāh Āmolī (writing around 760/1359) who gives a pedigree of the contemporary ruler Jalāl-al-Dawla Eskandar going back to Bādūspān. This pedigree is in its earlier part entirely fictitious. Ẓahīr-al-Dīn Maṛʿašī (d. 892/1487) adds accounts of the reigns of early rulers allegedly descended from Bādūspān; some of these are known from Ebn Esfandīār’s account to be Qarenid espahbads of Lāfūr. Modern reconstructions of a Baduspanid dynasty ruling Rūyān continuously since Sasanid times are based on Maṛʿašī. Ostandārs ruling Rūyān are known from the 4th/10th century (see rūyān; S. M. Stern, “The Coinage of Āmul,” in NC, 7th ser., vol. 7, 1967, pp. 231, 233; Camb. Hist. Iran IV, pp. 218-19). Their kingdom is named in contemporary Arabic sources al-Ostandārīya from which the Persian name Rostamdār is derived. In the 5th/11th century Rūyān was mostly under the domination of Zaydī ʿAlids, and there is no mention of ostandārs in this period. The ostandārs of the 4th/10th century do not appear in the pedigree of the rulers of the 6th/12th century. There is no evidence that they claimed descent from Bādūspān. It will thus be appropriate to confine the name Baduspanids to the later dynasty.

The first ostandār of this dynasty known is named Nāṣer-al-Dawla Šaraf-al-Dīn Naṣr b. Šahrīvaš on coins minted in Rūyān and Kajū in 502/1108-09 and 504/1110-11 on which the overlordship of the Saljuq sultan Moḥammad Ṭapar is acknowledged. More doubtful is his mention on two coins on which Sultan Maḥmūd b. Moḥammad (511-23/1118-31) is acknowledged as overlord. Naṣr b. Šahrīvaš is not mentioned in the literary sources and does not appear in Ẓahīr-al-Dīn’s list of ostandārs. It seems likely, however, that he belonged to the same family as the later rulers. (Information kindly provided by A. H. Morton. See at present his article “Trois Dinars de l-Ustundār Naṣr,” RN, 6th ser., vol. 16, 1974, pp. 10ff. Some of the results of this article will be modified by a forthcoming article of the same author.) In Ebn Esfandīār’s Tārīḵ-eṬabarestān ostandārs of Rūyān appear slightly later as vassals of the Bavandid kings of Māzandarān. The first one mentioned is Šahrīvaš(n) (Ẓahīr-al-Dīn has Šahrnūš) b. Hazārasf who was persuaded by the Bavandid ʿAlāʾ-al-Dawla ʿAlī not to aid the amir ʿAbbās of Ray when the latter occupied Āmol ca. 534/1140. After ʿAlāʾ-al-Dawla’s death and the succession of Šāh-Ḡāzī Rostam, Šahrīvaš first joined the latter’s brother and rival Tāj-al-Molūk Mardāvīj who with the backing of Sultan Sanjar made war on Šāh-Ḡāzī. Later Šahrīvaš changed sides and was rewarded by Šāh-Ḡāzī with the hand of his sister or daughter and his possessions in Nātel and Pāydašt as her dowry. Šahrīvaš died about 553/1168. His brother Kaykāʾūs b. Hazārasf had fled from him in his youth and joined the service of Šāh-Ḡāzī at first as a mere foot soldier. His mother was a sister of the ʿAlid Kīā Bozorg al-Dāʿī ela’l-Ḥaqq al-Reżā b. al-Hādī, known as “king of Daylamān” (not of the Ismaʿili chief Kīā Bozorgommīd of Alamūt as has been held). Kīā Bozorg, who had a strong following of Zaydī Daylamites, was a major vassal of Šāh-Ḡāzī holding Rūdbast in fief from him and leader of the struggle against the Ismaʿilis in Daylamān. Šāh-Ḡāzī made Kaykāʾūs a knight and after the death of Kīā Bozorg (ca. 551/1156) put him in charge of his land holdings and the war against the Ismaʿilis. After the death of Šahrīvaš he also gained possession of Rūyān after seizing Nāmāvar b. Bīsotūn, a kinsman who had claimed the succession. Later he revolted against Šāh-Ḡāzī jointly with Faḵr-al-Dawla Garšāsf, lord of Golpāyegān. He inflicted a severe defeat on Šāh-Ḡāzī’s son Šaraf al-Molūk Ḥasan but then was subdued and pardoned by Šāh-Ḡāzī. Šaraf al-Molūk after his accession (560/1165) gave him ownership of the land which he had held as a tax-paying fief (be-żamān) from Šāh-Ḡāzī. Šaraf al-Molūk’s son and successor Šāh-Ardašīr at first also honored him but later decided to take back ownership of Šāh-Ḡāzī’s land in Rūyān and Daylamān and appointed Mobārez-al-Dīn Arjāsf b. Faḵr-al-Dawla Garšāsf as esfahsālār in Āmol, who harassed Kaykāʾūs. The latter resisted advice of his vassals that he should revolt. When his only son Jostān died, Šāh-Ardašīr agreed to his request that he should take charge of his one-year-old grandson and later give him his daughter in marriage and return his ancestral reign to him. Shortly afterwards he died (ca. 580/1184). According to Ebn Esfandīār Kaykāʾūs was, like his ancestors and many of his subjects, an adherent of the school of the Zaydī imam al-Moʾayyad beʾllāh (d. 411/1020).

After Kaykāʾūs his nephew Hazārasf b. Šahrīvaš gained recognition in Rūyān. He alienated his most powerful vassals by killing some of their relatives and making peace with the Ismaʿilis. They deserted to Šāh-Ardašīr who, after vainly warning Hazārasf, permitted Arjāsf to invade Rūyān. Hazārasf was forced to seek refuge with the Ismaʿilis. Šāh-Ardašīr now gave the former kingdom of Kīā Bozorg Dāʿī b. Hādī in Daylamān to an ʿAlid. When Hazārasf killed him in a surprise attack, Šāh-Ardašīr personally led a campaign against him and gave the reign of Rūyān to Hezabr-al-Dīn Ḵᵛoršīd. Hazārasf and his brother Ḵalīl sought refuge with the Saljuq sultan Ṭoḡrel in Hamadān (ca. 581/1185) but failed to get his backing. They were more successful in Ray with the amir Sarāj-al-Dīn Qāymāz who gave Hazārasf his daughter in marriage and an army to reconquer his country. Hazārasf was defeated, however, by Hezabr-al-Dīn. He and his brother then came to Kajū secretly but failed to gain support among the people. Hazārasf surrendered to Šāh-Ardašīr seeking his pardon, and his brother died. He was soon imprisoned by Šāh-Ardašīr at the instigation of his enemies and murdered by Hezabr-al-Dīn who was afraid that Šāh-Ardašīr might return the reign of Rūyān to him. Qāymāz sought permission of his overlord Atābak Moḥammad Pahlavān to avenge his son-in-law’s murder but was removed from the governorship of Ray by him (581/1186).

When the grandson of Kaykāʾūs had grown up (ca. 595/1199), Šāh-Ardašīr brought him from Ray with his tutor to Nātel intending to give the reign of Rūyān and Daylamān to him. His plans met opposition in Rūyān, however, and a group of rebels killed his governor Pādešāh-ʿAlī and the prince’s tutor and put Bīsotūn b. Nāmāvar (b. Bīsotūn?) on the throne in Kajū. Šāh-Ardašīr suppressed the revolt (ca. 596/1200), and Bīsotūn sought refuge with the Ismaʿilis.

The detailed account of Ebn Esfandīār ends here, and the further history of the dynasty until the middle of the 8th/14th century is known only from the summary and poor account of Awlīāʾ-Allāh Āmolī. The dates of events and reigns given by him must generally be taken with reserve. According to him, Šāh-Ardašīr installed the grandson of Kaykāʾūs, Zarrīnkamar b. Jostān, as ruler of Rūyān, and the latter died in 610/1213-14 after the lapse of the Bavandid reign. His son and successor Bīsotūn undertook a counteroffensive against the rulers of Gīlān, who had expanded into Daylamān, and established his residence for some time in the mountains of Lāhījān. He died in 620/1223. His son Faḵr-al-Dawla Nāmāvar cannot yet have reached adulthood at that time. He is said to have served the Ḵᵛārazmšāh Jalāl-al-Dīn for a year, presumably toward the end of the latter’s reign (617-28/1220-31). Returning to his homeland, he brought Rūyān and Daylamān under his control. According to Awlīāʾ-Allāh, he died in 640/1242-43; the date given by Maṛʿašī, 666/1267-68, is certainly too late. After him his eldest son Ḥosām-al-Dawla Ardašīr ruled Daylamān, while another son, Eskandar, reigned in Nātel in Rūyān. When Ardašīr died (still in 640/1242-43), he was succeeded by a third brother, Šahrāgīm b. Nāmāvar. He was pushed out of Gīlān by an offensive of the local rulers. A final peace agreement established by Namakāvarūd as the border which remained in effect for centuries.

As the Bavandid kingdom of Māzandarān was restored, close ties, strengthened by frequent marriage alliances, were resumed between the ostandārs and the kings of Māzandarān. The relation was now, however, more equal, and gradually the Baduspanids gained ascendancy in power as Rūyān was less affected by Mongol interference and control than Māzandarān. Šahrāgīm and the Bavandid king Šams-al-Molūk, his son-in-law, were ordered by the il-khan Abāqā (663-80/1265-82) to join the siege of the Ismaʿili stronghold of Gerdkūh. When they deserted, Māzandarān was invaded by Ḡāzān Bahādor. Šahrāgīm surrendered to him, was pardoned, and again joined the siege of Gerdkūh until its seizure in 669/1270. Later he revolted against the Mongol Qotloboḡā and thus provoked the execution of his ally Šams-al-Molūk and a punitive Mongol campaign to Rūyān in which the country was ravaged as never before. He then submitted to the il-khan and recovered his kingdom. His death date is given as 671/1272-73. Nothing remarkable is reported about the reign of his son and successor Faḵr-al-Dawla Nāmāvar Šāh-Ḡāzī who died in 701/1301-02 and was succeeded by his brother Kay Ḵosrow. The latter is said to have had nearly a hundred children and died in 712/1312-13. His son Šams-al-Molūk Moḥammad was a pious ruler who sought the company of religious scholars and founded numerous mosques and ḵānaqāhs in Rūyān. He died in 717/1317 and was succeeded by his brother Naṣīr-al-Dīn Šahrīār. The latter built the palace, town, and bazaar of Korkū in Kalārrostāq and carried out three campaigns to Eškevar bringing Daylamān and Garjīān as far as Tīmjān under his sway. He refused all contact with the Il-khanid court and gave aid to the Bavandid Rokn-al-Dawla Šāh-Kay Ḵosrow, his brother-in-law, against the Mongol Amir Moʾmen and his son Qotloḡšāh, who had occupied Āmol, and against the powerful Kīā Jalālī family established in Sārī. In 725/1325 he was murdered by his nephew Eskandar at the instigation of his brother Tāj-al-Dawla Zīār b. Šāh-Kay Ḵosrow, who took over the reign giving the rule of Kalārrostāq to Eskandar. His brother ʿEzz-al-Dawla opposed him seeking Il-khanid backing but was defeated. Tāj-al-Dawla died in 734/1333-34 in Kavīr and was succeeded by his son Jalāl-al-Dawla Eskandar, who gave his brother Faḵr-al-Dawla Šāh-Ḡāzī the rule of Nātelrostāq. The disintegration of the Il-khanid empire after the death of Abū Saʿīd in 736/1335 gave him the opportunity to expand to the southern Alborz mountains and to bring the area from Qazvīn to Semnān under his control. He backed the Bavandid Faḵr-al-Dawla Ḥasan in resisting the attempt of Masʿūd Sarbadār to establish his suzerainty over Māzandarān. When Masʿūd advanced from Āmol into Rostamdār he was captured and brought before Eskandar who had him executed in 745/1344. In 746/1346 he founded the town of Kojūr as his capital near the ruins of the former town of Kajū (earlier Kajja), which had been destroyed in the early Mongol invasions. He settled many people from Qazvīn and prominent Turkish and Mongol clans from Ray and Šahrīār in different quarters of the town and fortified it with the castle of Šāhdez and a wall. After the murder of his ally, the Bavandid Faḵr-al-Dawla, by the sons of Kīā Afrāsīāb Čalābī in 750/1349, he gave shelter to the Bavandid’s minor sons. His attempts to restore them ended in defeat of his army outside Āmol. In 761/1360 he was by mistake wounded by a bodyguard after a commotion at a drinking party and died three days later.

His brother Faḵr-al-Dawla Šāh-Ḡāzī now succeeded to the rule. Ẓahīr-al-Dīn Maṛʿašī’s information that he continued the feud with the Čalābī Kīās seems anachronistic since Sayyed Qewām-al-Dīn Maṛʿašī had killed Kīā Afrāsīāb and expelled his family from Āmol in 760/1359. Faḵr-al-Dawla died in 781/1379 and was succeeded by his son ʿAżod-al-Dawla Qobād. At this time the Maṛʿašī sayyeds ruling Māzandarān decided to bring Rūyān under their sway and accused the kings of Rostamdār of lack of cooperation and of mistreating the dervishes of their order. In 782/1380 Sayyed Faḵr-al-Dīn b. Qewām-al-Dīn inflicted a defeat on Qobād and seized the coastal plains of Rūyān. In the following year Qobād was killed in a battle at Laktor, and Faḵr-al-Dīn occupied Kojūr which became his permanent residence. The dates given may be some years too late since Ẓahīr-al-Dīn in his further account dates the death of Sayyed Qewām-al-Dīn, who was still alive at the time of these events, in 781/1379. The Maṛʿašī sayyeds intended to keep Rūyān. However, when Tīmūr’s plans to conquer Māzandarān became known in 792/1390, they decided to put the Baduspanid Saʿd-al-Dawla Ṭūs b. Zīār on the throne there in the hope that he would side with them against Eskandar Šayḵī, son of Kīā Afrāsīāb, who accompanied Tīmūr and incited him against the Maṛʿašī sayyeds. Ṭūs secretly corresponded with Eskandar Šayḵī, however, and in 794/1392 joined the army of Tīmūr in Astarābād. After Tīmūr’s conquest of Māzandarān in 795/1393, he successfully pleaded for mercy for the captured sayyeds. They were deported, and Eskandar Šayḵī was appointed governor in Āmol by Tīmūr. Ṭūs was, according to Ẓahīr-al-Dīn, murdered by his nephew Eskandar b. Gostahm b. Zīār in 796/1394. It is unknown whether Eskandar succeeded him in the reign. Ẓahīr-al-Dīn elsewhere describes Kayūmarṯ b. Bīsotūn b. Gostahm b. Zīār as the immediate successor of Ṭūs, but he must have been too young at this time.

When Eskandar Šayḵī joined Tīmūr’s campaign to Azerbaijan in 802/1399-1400, and Tīmūr put his own men in control of most of Rūyān, Kayūmarṯ b. Bīsotūn was left in possession of the castle of Nūr. Eskandar Šayḵī later returned to the fortress of Fīrūzkūh where he revolted against Tīmūr (ca. 804/1402). The leaders of the army sent against him by Tīmūr asked Kayūmarṯ to join them since he was known to be an enemy of Eskandar. They put him in fetters, however, and sent him to Eskandar in the hope of persuading the latter to submit. Eskandar immediately released Kayūmarṯ who went to Šīrāz to the court of Tīmūr’s son, where he was well received. After the death of Tīmūr in 807/1405 he was arrested. A few months later he escaped and traveled disguised in a group of qalandars to Nūr. There he killed the Timurid commander of the castle and, with the help of the native populace, gained quickly control over all of Rūyān and Rostamdār. Tīmūr’s son Šāhroḵ, who conquered Māzandarān in 809/1407, evidently confirmed his reign and later showed him much favor. During his fifty years’ reign he restored the dynasty once more to a role of prominence on the Caspian scene. He converted to Twelver Shiʿism and induced most of his subjects to follow his example. This meant politically a closer association with the Maṛʿašī sayyeds ruling Māzandarān. Early during his reign (ca. 812/1409) he gave military aid to Sayyed Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn against Sayyed ʿAlī Sārī, the chief of the sayyeds recognized by Šāhroḵ, and then gave him shelter after his defeat. In 816/1413 he provided Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn’s ally Sayyed ʿAlī Āmolī, who had been expelled from Āmol by Sayyed ʿAlī Sārī, with an army to recover the town. After ʿAlī Sārī’s death in 820/1417, however, he recognized the latter’s son Sayyed Mortażā, concluding an agreement with him. Sayyed Mortażā’s son Sayyed Moḥammad married his daughter while his own son Malek Kāʾūs was given the daughter of Sayyed Qewām-al-Dīn Āmolī in marriage. Kayūmarṯ received some border land. In 823/1420 he sent an army at the request of Sayyed Mortażā to aid him against a revolt of Sayyed Naṣīr-al-Dīn. South of the Alborz mountains he raided the territories of Elyās Ḵᵛāja, amir of Qom and a powerful vassal of Šāhroḵ, seizing the fortress of Ṭabarak near Ray and attacking Besṭām and Semnān. He neutralized the complaints of Elyās to Šāhroḵ by repeatedly sending one of his sons with lavish gifts to the latter. Šāhroḵ eventually sent ʿAbd-al-ʿAlī Bakāvlī with an army to warn Kayūmarṯ and back Elyās if necessary. He was killed in an attack of the army of Rostamdār near Šamīrān. Kayūmarṯ immediately released the son of Elyās, who had been captured in the battle, and other captives with his apology. He also begged Šāhroḵ, who dispatched another army, for pardon and was forgiven on a promise of future restraint. In the west he interfered in the territory of the Kīāʾī sayyeds of eastern Gīlān. He seized Alamūt after a brief siege from the Ismaʿili imam Ḵodāvand Moḥammad and held it for over a year when it was taken by Kīā Moḥammad b. Mahdī Kīā of Lāhījān. In 830/1427 he renewed his raids to Tonakābon and Alamūt. In the following year the army of Gīlān raided and devastated his territories of Ṭāleqān and Qaṣrān. After its withdrawal Kayūmarṯ invaded Tonakābon, burned the residence of its ruler sayyed Dāʾūd Kīā, and killed many of his men including two sayyeds of his family. The latter offence in particular gave Kīā Moḥammad cause to seek an alliance with Sayyed Mortażā of Sārī and Elyās Ḵᵛāja of Qom for common action against Kayūmarṯ. In 832/1429 the latter was attacked from three sides. Routed by the army of Gīlān and wounded, he fled first to Kojūr and Nātel. His territories were divided by the victors between his relatives Malek Nowẕar, a grandson of Ṭūs, and Malek Ḥosayn, great-grandson of Jalāl-al-Dawla Eskandar, whose fathers had been killed by him. He now sought refuge with Šāhroḵ in Herat and persuaded him to intervene for him. On Šāhroḵ’s instruction Kīā Moḥammad returned his land to him except for Ṭāleqān and the fortress of Fālīs. They were given back to him later in 845/1441-42 by Kīā Moḥammad’s son Mahdī Kīā when he sought his backing against his brother Nāṣer Kīā. In 840/1436-37 Kayūmarṯ became once more involved in the rivalry among the Maṛʿašī sayyeds backing Sayyed Ẓahīr-al-Dīn, the author of the history of Māzandarān, in his attempt to wrest the reign of Sārī from Sayyed Mortażā’s son Sayyed Moḥammad. When Ẓahīr-al-Dīn and his ally Sayyed Kamāl-al-Dīn Āmolī were defeated by Moḥammad in alliance with Amir Hendkā, Šāhroḵ’s governor of Astarābād, he gave them shelter but soon concluded an agreement with Moḥammad under which he received Mīānrūd in return for a promise not to aid the rebels. After Kamāl-al-Dīn gained control of Āmol and the acquiescence of Moḥammad, Kayūmarṯ aided Kamāl-al-Dīn’s rival Sayyed Mortażā and entered Āmol with him. He was forced to flee, however, as the army of Kamāl-al-Dīn counterattacked. He sheltered Sayyed Mortażā until he gained the throne of Āmol after the death of Kamāl-al-Dīn in 849/1445. Kayūmarṯ died in 857/1453.

At first the youngest son of Kayūmarṯ Malek Moẓaffar, tried to claim the succession in Kojūr. The eldest surviving son, Malek Kāʾūs, then gained general allegiance. Because of his despotic rule many members of the family soon turned to support another brother, Malek Eskandar. Kāʾūs subdued the revolt with the help of a Gilite army sent by Kīā Moḥammad and exacted a pledge of loyalty from Eskandar. A few months later Moẓaffar and another brother, Malek Īraj, again revolted in favor of Eskandar. In spite of some support from Kīā Moḥammad, Kāʾūs was forced to seek refuge with Sayyed ʿAbd-al-Karīm Sārī, ruler of Māzandarān. Eskandar sent gifts and pledges of loyalty to the Qara Qoyunlū Jahānšāh in Tabrīz, whose suzerainty was now recognized in Gīlān and Māzandarān. Jahānšāh invested him with the rule of Rostamdār and instructed Kīā Moḥammad to back him. The latter now concluded an alliance with him. When Jahānšāh, however, came on a campaign to Khorasan, ʿAbd-al-Karīm joined his army and praised the merits of Kāʾūs so effectively to him that he decided to invest Kāʾūs with the reign. When Jahānšāh returned from his campaign to Astarābād, Moẓaffar, sent by Eskandar and the people of Rostamdār, and a messenger of Kīā Moḥammad urged him to change his mind again. Jahānšāh now ordered that the crown land should be equally divided between the brothers and each brother should keep the land he inherited. Kāʾūs returned to Nūr which he had personally inherited and in addition held the castle of Lavāsān in the south. He engaged in a feud with Eskandar who in addition to the former capital controlled most of the father’s territories. Faithful to his treaty with Eskandar, Kīā Moḥammad sent Ẓahīr-al-Dīn Maṛʿašī three times (860/1456, 865/1461, 867-68/1472-73) with a Gilite army to back him against Kāʾūs. The latter received some ineffective aid from Sayyed Asad-Allāh of Āmol. Kāʾūs finally was forced to send an envoy to Jahāngīr in Tabrīz to seek his intervention. The latter firmly instructed Kīā Moḥammad to bring about a peace settlement between the brothers on the basis of a division of the crown land everywhere leaving Kojūr and Nātel to Eskandar. Kāʾūs died in 871/1467.

His eldest son, Malek Jahāngīr, succeeded and immediately went to Tabrīz to secure the confirmation of the Qara Qoyunlū Jahāngīr leaving his brother Šāhroḵ as his deputy. Šāhroḵ was murdered a few months later by one of his own men, and his brother Kay Ḵosrow took charge until the return of Jahāngīr. The feud with Eskandar continued off and on until both went to Qom to the court of the Āq Qoyunlū ruler Uzun Ḥasan whose suzerainty was recognized in Gīlān and Māzandarān since 873/1469. Uzun Ḥasan reaffirmed the division of the crown land. Jahāngīr obtained Nātelrostāq in addition to Nūr and Lavāsān, and the other members of the family were given the choice of vassalage to either of the two rulers. In 880/1475 there was renewed strife, and Ẓahīr-al-Dīn was once more sent by Kīā Moḥammad with a Gilite army to aid Eskandar, but a settlement was reached without fighting. Eskandar died in 881/1476. (For a firman of Eskandar dated 21 Rabīʿ II 878/17 October 1473 concerning the endowment of the sanctuary of Shaikh Majd-al-Dīn Kīā Āmolī see Ḥ. Modarresī Ṭabāṭabāʾī, “Haft fermān-e dīgar az pādešāhān-e Torkomān,” Barrasīhā-ye tārīḵī 11/2, 1355 Š./1976, pp. 113-17.)

Rostamdār remained divided into the two kingdoms of Kojūr and Nūr ruled by the descendants of Eskandar and Kāʾūs respectively until the Safavid Shah ʿAbbās put an end to both dynasties. Both dynasties were weakened by the division, and the Kīāʾī rulers of Gīlān were able to maintain a protectorate over Rostamdār exacting military allegiance which was later overshadowed by Safavid power. They usually had close relations with and backed the rulers of Kojūr, who as the principal line claimed the title of malek-al-molūk, while the rulers of Nūr offered an aggressive opposition and were often allied to the Maṛʿašī sayyeds of Māzandarān. The dynasty of Kojūr continued after Eskandar as follows:

1. Malek Tāj-al-Dawla b. Eskandar (881-97/1476-92). In 892/1487 he obeyed the instructions of the Āq Qoyunlū Yaʿqūb, who was present in Daylamān, to prevent the Maṛʿašī Sayyed ʿAbd-al-Karīm of Sārī from passing through Rostamdār to return to Māzandarān and was rewarded with the allegiance of Malek Shah Ḡāzī, lord of Kalārrostāq, who had previously been a vassal of Malek Jahāngīr of Nūr.

2. Malek Ašraf b. Tāj-al-Dawla (897-915/1492-1509). In 897/1492 he joined the army sent by the Kīāʾī ruler of Gīlān, Mīrzā ʿAlī, to Māzandarān in support of the Maṛʿašī Mīr ʿAbd-al-Karīm against Mīr Šams-al-Dīn of Sārī. After initial success the campaign of Mīrzā ʿAlī’s army ended in disaster. He also participated in the second Gīlāni campaign to Māzandarān in 899/1494 which was more successful. About 903/1497-98 he was with the Gīlāni army dispatched by Mīrzā ʿAlī which vainly besieged the fortress of Ṭārom. About 910/1504 Malek Bīsotūn of Nūr opened a new offensive against the rival dynasty seizing most of Rostamdār and laying siege to Kojūr which was defended by Ašraf’s son Kāʾūs. In 913/1507 Ašraf and his brother Malek Abū Saʿīd came to Sultan Aḥmad Khan, the new Kīāʾī ruler of Gīlān, to request his help against Bīsotūn. With a Gīlāni army they laid siege to Bīsotūn’s castle of Harsī. The castle surrendered after arrival of the news of Bīsotūn’s murder in Nūr and the succession of his son Bahman. Aḥmad Khan gave Harsī to Ašraf and Barār, another castle belonging to Bīsotūn, to Abū Saʿīd. Shortly afterwards Aḥmad Khan received Kāʾūs b. Ašraf in Lammasar and, at the request of Ašraf, recognized him as heir apparent and concluded a treaty with him. Ašraf soon quarreled with his son, who refused to relinquish Kojūr to him. In 915/1509 Kāʾūs imprisoned Ašraf and won the approval of Aḥmad Khan who at the same time agreed to the request of Malek Bahman for the return of the castle of Harsī to him. A year later Ašraf escaped and found refuge with Āqā Rostam Rūzafzūn, ruler of Māzandarān. Kāʾūs requested help from Aḥmad Khan who, however, was unable to respond as he was on the way to the Safavid court in Qazvīn. Before he returned Ašraf had taken possession of Lārejān. Nothing further is known about his fate until his death in 921/1515.

3. Malek Kāʾūs b. Ašraf (915-50/1509-43). His relations with Aḥmad Khan were close, and in 920/1514 marriage ties were established between them. In 921/1515 the truce which Aḥmad Khan had arranged between Kāʾūs and Bahman was broken by the latter. Aḥmad Khan offered to mediate but received an insolent answer from Bahman. Only when Kāʾūs laid siege to Harsī, Bahman apologized to Aḥmad Khan. The latter bade both kings to his court and arranged a reconciliation. In 929/1523 both kings joined Mīr ʿAbd-al-Karīm Maṛʿašī of Sārī for a visit to the court of Shah Esmāʿīl. According to Nūr-Allāh Šoštarī he was perhaps poisoned by his son Kayūmarṯ who had been imprisoned by him for eighteen years.

4. Malek Kayūmarṯ b. Kāʾūs (950-63/1543-56). He reigned at first, in his father’s lifetime, in Lārejān. At this time he invaded western Māzandarān in support of Mīr Sultan Morād Maṛʿašī when he tried to establish his ruler there. Later he came to the court of Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh Maṛʿašī in Sārī and cooperated with him in the murder of Sayyed ʿAzīz Bābolkānī. After the death of his father Kāʾūs, his uncle Bīsotūn b. Ašraf at first succeeded him in Kojūr. As he had earlier killed his brother Eskandar and now killed his own son Jahāngīr, the people revolted against him in favor of Kayūmarṯ. When Mīr Qewām-al-Dīn Maṛʿašī after the murder of his brother Zayn-al-ʿĀbedīn by Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh sought refuge in Kojūr, Kayūmarṯ established close ties with him giving him his daughter in marriage. (For a fatḥ-nāma addressed to him by the Safavid Shah Ṭahmāsb in Moḥarram, 956/February, 1549 see ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Navāʾī, Šāh Ṭahmāsb Ṣafawī, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971, pp. 173-87.) 5. Malek Jahāngīr b. Kāʾūs (963-75/1556-68). He reigned in Kojūr while his nephew Bahman b. Kayūmarṯ ruled Lārejān which became independent of Kojūr. Jahāngīr was married to an aunt of Khan Aḥmad Khan b. Ḥasan Khan of Gīlān.

6. Malek Sultan Moḥammad b. Jahāngīr (975-98/1568-90). He became an adherent of the Noqṭawī heresy and was accused of claiming divinity. According to Shaikh ʿAlī Gīlānī he abolished prayer and fasting in Rostamdār, and his subjects “drank his urine.” He was at odds with Khan Aḥmad Khan of Gīlān, his maternal cousin, concerning the rule of Tonakābon, and about 992/1584 routed a Gīlāni army sent by him. (For two letters exchanged between Moḥammad and Khan Aḥmad see Navāʾī, Šāh Ṭahmāsb Ṣafawī, pp. 113-17.) In 985/1577, he received and entertained Mīr ʿAlī Khan b. Qewām-al-Dīn Maṛʿašī, his paternal cousin, who was engaged in a struggle for the reign of Māzandarān with Mīrzā Moḥammad Khan b. Morād Khan. After the death of ʿAlī Khan, who had become ruler of Māzandarān, in 989/1581, he interfered in Māzandarān in competition with his cousin Malek Bahman of Lārejān. He seized and pillaged Sārī but withdrew after learning of the approach of Mīr Ḥosayn Khan b. Ḥasan Maṛʿašī who had been appointed by the Safavid Shah Moḥammad to govern Māzandarān. After Mīr Ḥosayn’s murder in 992/1584 he again invaded Māzandarān initially invited by Bahman who, however, became apprehensive about his aims and left as he approached. Moḥammad brought Māzandarān under his sway, burning and looting everywhere. About 994/1586 he also captured Nūr putting its ruler Malek ʿAzīz with most of his family to death and seized the castle which Bahman had built for himself in Āmol. Before his death he gradually lost control of Māzandarān as his general Ḵᵛāja Ḡarībšāh was killed and a fortress he built in Bārforūšdeh fell.

7. Malek Jahāngīr b. Moḥammad. In 1002/1593 he came to the court of Shah ʿAbbās and became a favorite boon companion of his. In 1003/1594 he murdered two prominent men from Gīlān at the shah’s signal during a drinking party in Qazvīn. He was forced to flee and entrenched himself in the castle of Kojūr. According to one account he was besieged there in 1004/1595, escaped, and was captured after forty days of hiding. Shah ʿAbbās ordered Malek Ḥasan Lavāsānī, a Baduspanid loyal to the shah, to kill him on 22 Jomādā I 1004/23 January 1596. According to another account the siege of Kojūr took place in 1006/1598-99. Jahāngīr escaped to some other castles and was eventually captured and killed in the same year together with his brothers Malek Kāʾūs and Malek Ašraf.

Malek Bahman of Lārejān was closely associated with Mīr ʿAlī Maṛʿašī, his nephew, during his reign in Māzandarān (985-89/1577-81) and spent much time at his court. He vainly incited him to revolt against the Qezelbāš and Safavid rule. Later he betrayed him together with some Māzandarāni opponents of the Maṛʿašī sayyeds. He continued interfering in Māzandarān during the reign of Mīr Ḥosayn Khan who was murdered in 992/1584 by Bahman’s allies. As Malek Moḥammad of Kojūr gained control of much of Māzandarān, Bahman’s influence was reduced and he lost the castle he had built for himself in Āmol to his nephew. After the latter’s death (998/1590) he recovered it and continued to cause trouble in Māzandarān even after he had been graciously received by Shah ʿAbbās. When the shah’s general Farhād Khan occupied Māzandarān in 1005/1596-97, he met some resistance at the castle of Āmol and, after its surrender, was ordered to proceed against Bahman in Lārejān. Bahman surrendered after a brief siege on a promise of safety. Shah ʿAbbās kept him first in Isfahan and then handed him over to Ḥosayn Lavāsānī in Qazvīn who killed him in 1006/1597-98 in revenge for his earlier attack on Lavāsān and his murder of Ḥosayn’s brother Ḥasan Lavāsānī. Bahman’s seventeen-year-old son Kay Ḵosrow now surrendered the fortress of Samankūr. Shah ʿAbbās handed him and his brothers and family to Ḥosayn Lavāsānī who killed all of them.

The rulers of Nūr, descendants of Kāʾūs, b. Kayūmarṯ, were:

1. Malek Jahāngīr b. Kāʾūs (871-904/1467-99). He refused to join the Gīlāni campaign to Māzandarān in 897/1492 and shortly afterwards sent an army to aid an invader of the territories of Mīrzā ʿAlī of Gīlān at Lammasar. In retaliation Mīrzā ʿAlī ordered four punitive campaigns to Nātel and Nūr which ravaged Jahāngīr’s territories and besieged him in Nūr (901-03/1496-98). He was finally forced to sue for peace, and his son Kāʾūs came to the court of Mīrzā ʿAlī to conclude the treaty.

2. Malek Bīsotūn b. Jahāngīr (904-13/1499-1507). Jahāngīr had appointed his son Kāʾūs as his successor but he was opposed by his brother Bīsotūn. Kāʾūs asked Mīrzā ʿAlī for support in accordance with their treaty of friendship. A joint army besieged Bīsotūn in the castle of Dārnā. The siege ended in failure because of disunity among the allies, and Kāʾūs was captured and killed by Bīsotūn. A second attack on Dārnā by Mīrzā ʿAlī’s army also failed. Bīsotūn’s successful offensive against Malek Ašraf of Kojūr has been described. He was widely hated and feared for his brutality and was murdered while drunk by one of his wives whose family he had killed.

3. Malek Bahman b. Bīsotūn (913-57/1507-50). He was put on the throne by his family after his father’s murder. In 915/1509 he sent an envoy to Sultan Aḥmad Khan seeking an end to the long hostility between the rulers of Gīlān and Nūr. A treaty of friendship was concluded and Aḥmad Khan returned the fortress of Harsī to him. Bahman married a sister of Aḥmad Khan. He was also married to a milk-sister of Sayyed ʿAbd-al-Karīm Maṛʿašī, ruler of Māzandarān, and had a treaty of alliance with him. In 917/1511 he sent an army to back him in subduing Sārī. In 929/1532 he joined him for a visit of the court of Shah Esmāʿīl. His quarrel with Malek Kāʾūs of Kojūr in 921/1515 has been mentioned. His sister was married to Mīr Sultan Maḥmūd, son of Mīr ʿAbd-al-Karīm, who came to Nūr seeking his support after ʿAbd-al-Karīm’s death in 932/1526 against Maḥmūd’s brother Mīr Šāhī, who succeeded to the rule in Sari. As Maḥmūd died soon, Bahman gave his son Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh, his own nephew, some ineffective help to gain control of Māzandarān. Later after Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh had been established as ruler of Māzandarān, he counseled him and sent some of his men to assist him in the murder of Sayyed Mīr Zayn-al-ʿĀbedīn whose popularity Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh feared. Bahman is said to have killed nearly forty members of his own family.

4. Malek Kayūmarṯ b. Bahman. He received his cousin Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh Maṛʿašī when he was on his way to the Safavid court after surrendering Māzandarān to Mīr Sultan Morād about 967/1560. When Morād after murdering ʿAbd-Allāh in 968/1561 decided to send the latter’s daughter, who was to become the mother of Shah ʿAbbās, to the Safavid court, Kayūmarṯ went to Māzandarān to protest, warning that her marriage to a Safavid prince might result in a claim of their son to Māzandarān and Rostamdār. Soon afterwards he sheltered ʿAbd-Allāh’s son ʿAbd-al-Karīm after the latter had vainly tried to establish himself in Āmol against Morād. He assisted ʿAbd-al-Karīm in a second attempt, invaded Māzandarān and defeated Morād in Savādkūh. ʿAbd-al-Karīm ruled western Māzandarān for some time, but in 973/1565-66 Morād expelled him and regained control. He now established close relations with Kayūmarṯ; his daughter was married to Malek Bahman, eldest son of Kayūmarṯ, and his son, Mīrzā Moḥammad Khan, married a daughter of Kayūmarṯ. The latter received Mīrzā Moḥammad after he had revolted against his father and brought about a reconciliation. In 983/1575 Morād visited him after Malek Bahman had been killed by one of his own men. Morād’s daughter, widow of Bahman, now was married to his brother Malek ʿAzīz. Kayūmarṯ also visited Mīrzā Moḥammad Khan after his succession to the rule of Māzandarān in 984/1576. He probably died soon afterwards. He is said to have repeatedly visited the court of Shah Ṭahmāsb.

5. Malek Sultan ʿAzīz b. Kayūmarṯ. About 990/1582 Mīr Šams-al-Dīn b. Mīr Ebrāhīm, a nephew of Mīr Morād Khan, came to him from Qazvīn seeking his aid on the basis of his blood relationship. ʿAzīz provided him with an army led by Malek Bīsotūn of Kalārrostāq. They were defeated, however, in Māzandarān, and Šams-al-Dīn was killed by Malek Bahman of Lārejān. ʿAzīz was killed together with five sons, a brother, and a nephew by Moḥammad b. Jahāngīr of Kojūr when the latter seized Nūr about 994/1586.

6. Malek Jahāngīr b. ʿAzīz. He came in 1002/1593-94 to the court of Shah ʿAbbās and voluntarily surrendered his possession to him. Shah ʿAbbās gave him an estate near Sāva where he remained until his death.



Ebn Esfandīār. Awlīāʾ-Allāh Āmolī, Tārīḵ-eRūyān, ed. M. Sotūda, (Tehran) 1348 Š./1969.

Ẓahīr-al-Dīn Maṛʿašī, Tārīḵ-eGīlān, ed. M. Sotūda, (Tehran) 1347 Š./1968.

Idem, Tārīḵ-eṬabarestān wa Rūyān wa Māzandarān. ʿAlī b. Šams-al-Dīn, Tārīḵ-e Ḵānī. ʿAbd-al-Fattāḥ Fūmanī, Tārīḵ-eGīlān. Eskandar Monšī, Tārīḵ-eʿālamārā-ye ʿabbāsī. The last four in B. Dorn, Muhammedanische Quellen zur Geschichte der südlichen Küstenländer des kaspischen Meeres, vols. 1-4, St. Petersburg, 1850-58, or subsequent editions.

Nūr-Allāh Šoštarī, Majāles al-moʾmenīn, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973, II, pp. 390-95.

Mollā Shaikh ʿAlī Gīlānī, Tārīḵ-eMāzandarān, ed. M. Sotūda, Tehran, 1352 Š./1973, pp. 80-90.

Mīr Tīmūr Maṛʿašī, Tārīḵ-eḵāndān-e Maṛʿasī-e Māzandarān, ed. M. Sotūda, [Tehran, 1977].

H. L. Rabino, “Les dynasties du Mazandaran,” JA 228, 1936, pp. 443-74.

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(W. Madelung)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: August 22, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 4, pp. 385-391