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Dynasty: Samanids
Ruler: Nasr II ibn Ahmad
Reigned: 301-331 AH (913-942 AD)
Denomination: AR Dirhem
Mint: Samaquand
Date of Issue: 309 AH 921 AD
Obverse: Arabic (Kuffic) incription
Reverse: Arabic (Kuffic) incription
Reference: Album 1451
Weight: 3.1 gms
Diameter: 27 mm


The Samanids were originally governors of four major towns in Afghanistan and Transoxania and one, Nasr bin Ahmad, was appointed governor of the province of Transoxania in 875 A.D.. This rich and fertile area formed the frontier with the pagan Turkish world beyond and was of great military importance. It also contained one of the main entry points for the trading goods of Russia and China. Following the example of the Tahirids, the Samanids remitted regular tributes to Baghdad and acquired in return military autonomy. Their capital of Bukhara become an important centre of scholarship and both Arabic and Persian studies were encouraged. in keeping with the Samanid claims of descent from the Sasanian kings of Persia. It was in Samanid Bukhara that the great Persian national epic, the Shah-narna, was begun, and the urban and rural developments fostered by the Samanids were to ensure prosperity in this area for several centuries. By 913 A.D. Samanid power had effectively quelled the Turkish steppe tribes and had reduced the Saffarids to vassal status for a time, taking Khurasan and Sistan into their empire.

The dynasty lasted for nearly another century but eventually family jealousies and a dependence on Turkish soldiers destroyed them. In 961 A.D, one of their commanders, Alptigin, following the failure of a palace revolution, took his troops and occupied Ghazna, nominally in the name of the Samanids but in practice acting independently. In c. 1000 A.D., one of his successors, Sebuktigin with his son Mahmud, took Khurasan from the Samanids just as the Qarakhanids moved in from the north to occupy Transoxania.

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