ASAD B. SĀMĀNḴODĀ, (Sāmānḵodāt in Naršaḵī), ancestor of the Samanid dynasty. Sāmānḵodā seems to have been a local landowner (dehqān) of the village of Sāmān in the district of Balḵ. Bīrunī gives a genealogy going back four generations from Sāmānḵodā to the Sasanian Bahrām Čūbīn (Āṯār al-bāqīa, p. 39; Chronology, p. 48); while Gardīzī traces the line back to Gayomarṯ, the first man (ed. Nazim, pp. 19-20; ed. Ḥabībī, p 145). This affiliation of the Samanids with the Sasanians, whatever its truth, was generally accepted by contemporaries (as Bīrūnī testifies). Sāmānḵodā became a Muslim at the hands of Asad b. ʿAbdallāh Qasrī (not Qošayrī), the Omayyad governor in Khorasan (106-09/724-27, 117-20/735-38; he was not under al-Maʾmūn, pace Gardīzī’s information). Asad was named after this governor. Of his life nothing is known, but he must have flourished in the late 2nd/8th and early 3rd/9th centuries. His four sons Nūḥ, Aḥmad, Yaḥyā, and Elyās were appointed deputy governors in towns of Ṭoḵārestān and Transoxania by al-Maʾmūn’s governor of Khorasan, Ḡassān b. ʿAbbād (202-05/817-20). With them began the growth of Samanid fortunes in Transoxania. 


See also Barthold, Turkestan3, p. 209.

Naršaḵī, pp. 81-82, 104-05, 263; tr. R. N. Frye, The History of Bukhara, Cambridge, Mass., 1954, p. 76.

Ebn al-Aṯīr, VII, p. 279.

Frye in Camb. Hist. Iran IV, p. 136.

C. E. Bosworth, “The Heritage of Rulership in Early Islamic Iran and the Search for Dynastic Connections with the Past,” Iran 11, 1973, pp. 58-59.

(C. E. Bosworth)

Originally Published: December 15, 1987

Last Updated: August 16, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 7, pp. 696-697

Cite this entry:

C. E. Bosworth, “ASAD B. SĀMĀNḴODĀ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, II/7, pp. 696-697, available online at (accessed on 30 December 2012).