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Saffarid (säˈfärĭd) [key], a dynasty of Sistan that flourished in the 9th cent., ruling (867–1495) in E Persia. Its founder, Yaqub ibn Layth, d. 879?, was a coppersmith who raised an army during a time of unrest and instability, conquering his native province of Sistan by 867. A few years later, he had expanded his rule to include Baluchistan, Fars, Kerman, Sind, and in 873, Khorasan. However, Yaqub's forces were defeated (876) in an attempt to take Baghdad. Amr ibn Layth, d. 900?, Yaqub's brother and successor, was legitimately recognized by the caliph ruling Baghdad. Amr, the governor of Fars, Isfahan, Khorasan, Sind, and Sistan, was defeated by the Samanids of Transoxiana in 900. Saffarid governors retained nominal local power until the late 15th cent., despite territorial encroachment by the Ghaznavids and the Mongols.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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