The Marwanids (Kurdish Merwanî, Arabic مروانيون, romanized Marwaniyyun) were a Kurdish dynasty in northern Mesopotamia, which ruled from 990 to 1096.

Establishment of the Marwanid State

The State of Dostiki or the State of Marwanids was established in the year 982 AD. The founder of this state was Baz [1]. Baz, in his time, was known for his courage and wisdom. Ali ibn al-Athir says in his book al-Kamil fi’l-Ta’rikh (the Complete History) that the Abbasid caliph Uddat al-Dawla met with Bazê Dostîkî, secretly telling his minister that this guy scares people. Apparently, Baz read the caliph’s mind through his eyes, he therefore fled the palace with his cavalrymen and rescued himself from the Caliph’s forces.

After that, he began to rebuild his state in his own way. At first, he attacked Ardish []. And the other Kurdish fortresses and cities opened their gates to him one by one after sending letters. In this way the reputation of Baz was spread and the neighboring states, Buyids and the Abbasid caliphate, began to prepare their forces and acts to stop his achievement and expansion of his state. They tried to kill him many times and managed to kill him in his attack on Mosul.

Description of Baz’s personality requires special researches since his life was not well documented in historical sources. His original name was Husênê Ebdulahê Dostikî (Hussein Abdulah Dostiki). He was from the Harbexi (Harbeghi) Kurds of the Botan lineage.

After the death of Baz, the Abbasids, Buyids and Romans thought that the Dostiki State was no longer a threat. But on the contrary to this prediction; Baz’s deputies and heirs, especially Ebû Elî kurê Merwanî, restored their authority in cities and increased their strength once again. Ibn Kathir makes it clear: “The Fatimid delegation had sent a large delegation with gifts and antiques to Mir Abu Ali, acknowledged the existence of the state. Plus, Abbasids and the Byzantine Empire each demanded a great deal of friendship and boundary.”

Expansion of the Marwanids

The delineation of the state’s expanse and the ground on which it was established is a bit difficult. But if we describe the border of Marwanid state, we can create an image with these settlements in mind (3): Miyafarqin (capital), Diyarbekîr, Ardish, Nusaybin, Mardin, Urfa, Muş, Wan, Hasankif, Kharput, Botan, Qamishli, Amuda, Serêkaniyê and Derik. It’s evident that not all Kurdish lands had fallen into the hands of the Dostikîs. Therefore, in order to understand the general picture of this state, the political map of that era must be at hand. We must write about political conflicts and military forces and the courses of the conflicts. We should be able to understand Dostikîs through these events.

The Buyids and Abbasid Caliphate were in Baghdad at the time, and the Fatimid Caliphate was in Egypt, There were no clashes among the Muslim leaderships at all.

The State and Architecture


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