The Shaddadids (Ku:Şedadiyan) were a Kurdish[1][2][3][4] Muslim dynasty that ruled in parts of Transcaucasia from 951 to 1174. Its capitals were Dvin, Ganja[5] and Ani. In its heyday, it controlled the entire area between Kura and Aras rivers.


Rise of Shaddadids

In 951, Muhammad ibn Shaddad conquered the city of Dvin, but was later expelled from there. He fled to Vaspurakan, Armenia. His eldest son Ali Lashkari conquered the important city of Ganja in 971 and ended the influence of the Musafirids in Arran. He extended his territory to Shamkur (Şəmkir)  in the north and to as far as Barda (Bərdə) in the east. After a brief reign of Lashkari’s brother Marzuban, Fadl ibn Muhammad became the new emir.

Fadl had several conflicts with the Armenian neighboring empires. He recaptured Dvin from them in 1022 and captured the area west of Shamkur. His war against the Armenian Bagratids and Georgians lasted several years, but Fadl was eventually defeated in 1030. He built a bridge over the River Aras in 1027 to possibly conquer the land of Rawadids across the river. Fadl was the only Shaddadi to mint his own coins. The mint was first in Barda, was later moved to Ganja. Shaddadids flourished under his long rule.

Decline and Dissolution

The political fabric of the region became unstable and chaotic at that time due to the pressure of the Byzantines and the raids of the Turkic Seljuks. Thus, the Seljukids attacked Ganja around 1046; the city could only be saved with the help of Byzantines and Georgians. The Shaddadid Abu’l-Aswar Shavur, who led the branch of the dynasty in Dvin from 1022, also took over in Ganja in 1050 and ruled until 1067. He was the last great, independent emir of the Shaddadis. Although he was married to the Armenian king’s sister, he gained great prestige as a fighter of faith against the “disbelievers”. But Abu’l-Aswar had to bow to the Seljuki Sultan Tughril Beg in 1054 and became his vassal. He participated in Seljukids’ incursions into Anatolia and Armenia and fought against the Shirvanshahs and Alans in the north of his kingdom.

At the end of the 11th century, Shaddadids had to cede their kingdom to the Seljukids and in 1072, the old Bagratid capital Ani was assigned as a new dominion. The history of Ani’s sidelines is only fragmentary. David IV of Georgia (David the Builder) seized Ani in 1124, but Fadl IV regained the city in 1125. In addition, he conquered Dvin and Ganja. Nevertheless, the Shaddadids remained in Ani under Georgian rule. After the Georgians expelled Fadl V. from Ani in 1161 and snatched the city from Shahanshah in 1174, the Shaddadis finally disappeared from the historical sources towards the end of the 12th century. One of the last members of this dynasty (Sultan ibn Mahmud) is documented in an inscription in Ani for 1199 the year Ani finally fell to Georgia.

Manuchehr Mosque in Ani (around 1072), one of the most significant ruins of the city, was built by Ani’s first Shaddadid ruler.

List of Rulers

Dvin and Ganja

  • Muhammad ibn Shaddad (951–971)
  • Lashkari Ali ibn Muhammad (971–978)
  • Marzuban ibn Muhammad (978–986)
  • Fadl I. ibn Muhammad (986–1031)
  • Abu’l-Fath Musa ibn Fadl (1031–1034)
  • Lashkari II. Ali ibn Musa (1034–1049)
  • Anushirvan ibn Ali Lashkari II. (1049)
  • Abu l-Aswar Shawur I. ibn Fadl I. (1049–1067)
  • Fadl II. ibn Shawur I. (1067–1073)
  • Ashot ibn Schawur I. (1067)
  • Fadl III. ibn Fadl II. (1073–1075)


  • Manuchihr ibn Shavur (1072–1118)
  • Abu’l-Aswar Shavur II. (1118–1124)
  • Fadl IV. ibn Shavur II. (1125–?)
  • Khushchikr (1131–?)
  • Mahmud (?)
  • Fakr al-Din Shaddad ibn Mahmud (round 1154)
  • Fadl V. ibn Mahmud (1155–1161)
  • Shahanshah ibn Mahmud (1164–1174)
  • Sultan ibn Mahmud (?-1199)


1. The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates: The Islamic Near East from the Sixth to the Eleventh Century, Edition 3 by Hugh Kennedy; P. 215
2. Andrew C. S. Peacock, Nomadic Society and the Seljūq Campaigns in Caucasia, P. 209
3. Shaddadids, C.E. Bosworth, The Encyclopedia of Islam, Vol.IX, Ed. C.E.Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P.Heinrichs and G.Lecomte, (Brill, 1997), P. 169
4. Kurdish culture and society: an annotated bibliography by Lokman I. Meho,Kelly L. Maglaughli (1968); P. 306
5. Andrew C. S. Peacock, Nomadic Society and the Seljūq Campaigns in Caucasia, Iran & the Caucasus, V. 9, No. 2, 2005:210

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