Post Islam (651 AD - 1925 AD)

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Postby Liberator » Sun Jul 16, 2006 6:45 pm


Mardavij or Maj (also spelled as Mardaviz, Mardavich, Mardavige, and Mardavaz), was the founder of Ziyarids who successfully defeated the Abbasid's army firstly in Hamadan (in the midwest of Iran), and finally in Kashan and Isfahan (the central cities of the country). On December 2, 931, Maj arrived in Isfahan, declared himself Amir or the King of Iran and made Isfahan the capital of his kingdom.


Although the exact birth-date of Maj is unknown, it is speculated that he was born around 890 when Amr Laith Saffar (879-901) and Nasr_I_of_Samanid ruled in Seistan and Khorasan respectively. Some reports say that his birthplace was in Daylaman (in northwestern Iran) or somewhere in Mazandaran (also known as Tabaristan at the time).

There is some evidence that indicates the Ziyarids belonged to the Arghich Clan (the "ivy" clan), who resided originally in Gilan. Mardavij was the son of Ziyar, and the grandson of Vardanshah Gili, a chief of the Arghich clan. Members of that clan were mostly known to be considered as warriors (in Persian: Dellavar) and the name of Mardavij which means 'A Man Who Fights Bravely' should have been popular. The religion of Ziyar and his family is not exactly known. Zoroastrianism, including heterodox branches such as the Mazdakite, the Zurvanite and Gayomardian, was still popular at his time. Some scholars indicate that Mardavij adopted the Ismailite faith. However, Mardavij was known to harbour Zoroastrian sympathies and may have practiced that religion. He expressed his wishes to see a return to the Empire of the Persians and Zoroastrianism, after ousting the Arabs and Islam.


Around 913 AD, Mardavij joined the army of Asfar Shiruyeh (ASF). Asfar, a native of Larijan and a devout Zoroastrian, claimed descent from Shiruyeh (also called as Kavadh II), the patricidal son and successor of Khosrau II or from Shahrbaraz, a Sassanian general and the usurper of the Sassanid throne for a short time who was succeeded by QueenPourandokht., the daughter of Khosrau II of Persia. His name, Asfar, was possibly derived from the Persian term of Asp-var, ("horseman" or "horse rider"). Asfar was a general in the service of Alavides who ruled Tabaristan at the time. During the Abbasid Caliphate, Alavides lived in the mountainous areas of Daylam and tried to resist the Abbasid Caliphs influence in Iran.[citation needed]

Later, Asfar took advantage of a rebellion in the Samanid army and seized power in Gurgan (prestly called Golestan) in northern Iran. Asfar also took Amol, Ghazvin, Zanjan, and the city of Rayy and appointed Mardavij as the governor of Zanjan. In 927 AD, due to Asfar's increasingly erratic behavior, a powerful opposition emerged against him and the next year Mardavij joined this opposition, defeated Asfar, and took over Asfar's possesions. At this time, Mardavij officially founded the Ziyarid dynasty. Shortly after, Mardavij raised an army to encounter the Abbasid Caliph first in Hamadan and Kashan, and finally in Isfahan.


On December 2, 931, Maj arrived in Isfahan, named himself the Amir of Iran and made Isfahan his capital. From the advent of Islam until Maj's arrival, Isfahan had been under the jurisdiction of the Arabs, and was favored by Mansur, one of the Abbassid Caliphs during his rule.

Once in Isfahan, Maj declared his ruling agenda and asked Iranians to help him to revive the Persian Empire and its Zoroastrian traditions.

The reliable evidence indicate that in February 932, after about three centuries, Maj and his court celebrated Sadeh in Isfahan and many Iranians observed Sadeh again.

His death

In 935, only four years after entering Isfahan, and shortly before Nowruz festivities, Mardavij was assassinated by his Turkish slaves, Tuzun and Bajkam who fled to Baghdad. After his assassination, the family of Buwayhid (Persian: All-e-Buyeh), who were commanders in service of Mardavij, took over his possesions in central and southern Iran.

Mardaviz dome

Mardaviz Dome (Persian: Gonbad-e-Mardaviz) is located in the north east of Amin Abbad Borough in the city of Ray, south of Tehran.

Mardaviz Avenue

Mardaviz Avenue and Mardaviz District (Persian: Mahalleh-e-Mardaviz) can be also found in the south of Farabi Street in Isfahan.
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