ʿAMR B. YAʿQŪB B. MOḤAMMAD B. ʿAMR B. LAYṮ ABŪ ḤAFṢ, great-grandson of the co-founder of the Saffarid dynasty and ephemeral boy amir in Sīstān, 299-301/912-13. The first Saffarid empire had collapsed a decade after the defeat and capture of ʿAmr b. Layṯ, and Sīstān itself had come under Samanid occupation in 298/911, with Abū Ṣāleḥ Manṣūr b. Esḥāq, cousin of the amir Aḥmad b. Esmāʿīl, as governor. The occupying forces speedily became unpopular, especially as Manṣūr b. Esḥāq made excessive fiscal demands on the populace of the province. A patriotic movement broke out in 299/912 headed by the Kharijite (Gardīzī, Ebn al-Aṯīr) Moḥammad b. Hormoz, called mawlā Sandalī, a former mawlā of the Saffarid prince Moḥammad b. ʿAmr b. Layṯ (d. 274/887). Such a rising had to be headed by a representative of the Saffarid house, under which Sīstān had achieved significance; this was found in the ten-year old prince ʿAmr b. Yaʿqūb, the only surviving member of the dynasty from the direct line of the original two Saffarid brothers. Moḥammad b. Hormoz and the ʿayyārs of Sīstān slaughtered the Samanid garrison in Zarang and arrested Manṣūr b. Esḥāq, but once in power, Moḥammad b. Hormoz’s ambitions led him to try and set aside ʿAmr b. Yaʿqūb and to have the ḵoṭba read in his own name. Legitimist feeling was too strong for him, and pro-Saffarid forces under Moḥammad b. ʿAbbās Kūlakī succeeded in installing ʿAmr b. Yaʿqūb on the throne in Zarang on 12 Ramażān 299/2 May 912. Meanwhile, Aḥmad b. Esmāʿīl was preparing an expedition to restore his authority in Sīstān. An army under Ḥosayn b. ʿAlī Marv-al-rūdī and then a second force under Abū Bakr Moḥammad b. Moẓaffar Moḥtāǰī and Sīmǰūr Dawātī entered Sīstān and suppressed the local independence movement. Manṣūr b. Esḥāq was freed, the ʿayyār leaders killed, and ʿAmr b. Yaʿqūb sent into honorable exile at the court of Bukhara (Šawwāl-Ḏu’l-ḥeǰǰa, 300/May-July, 913). A second Samanid occupation under Sīmǰūr’s governorship followed, but this was to last only for a year or so; then the Amir Aḥmad b. Esmāʿīl was assassinated and the state fell into chaos.


The most detailed account is in the Tārīḵ-e Sīstān, pp. 297-302, tr. pp. 240-44; to be supplemented by Gardīzī, ed. Nazem, pp. 23-24, ed.

Ḥabībī, p. 149, and Ebn al-Aṯīr, VIII, pp. 52-53.

Of secondary sources, see J. Walker, The Coinage of the Second Saffarid Dynasty in Sistan, ANS Numismatic Notes and Monographs 72, New York 1936, p. 11, and Camb. Hist. Iran IV, pp. 130.

(C. E. Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1984

Last Updated: December 15, 1984

Cite this entry:

C. E. Bosworth, “ʿAMR B. YAʿQŪB,” Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2012, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/amr-b-3 (accessed on 16 October 2012).