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Mardāvīj (, also spelled as Mardaviz, Mardavich, Mardavige, and Mardavaz; died 935), was the founder of the Ziyarids dynasty, who successfully defeated the Abbasid's army firstly in Hamadan (in the midwest of Iran), and finally in Kashan and Isfahan (the central cities of the country). On December 2, 931, Mardāvīj arrived in Isfahan, declared himself Amir of Iran and made Isfahan the capital of his kingdom.


Although the exact birth-date of Mardāvīj is unknown, it is speculated that he was born around 890 when Amr-i Laith Saffari and Nasr I of Samanid ruled in Seistan and Khorasan respectively. Some reports say that his birthplace was in Daylaman (in northwestern Iran) or somewhere in Mazandaran (also known as Tabaristan at the time).

There is some evidence that indicates the Ziyarids belonged to the Arghich Clan (the "ivy" clan), who resided originally in Gilan. Mardavij was the son of Ziyar, and the grandson of Vardanshah Gili, a chief of the Arghich clan. Members of that clan were mostly known to be considered as warriors (in Persian: Dellavar) and the name of Mardavij which means 'A Man Who Fights Bravely' should have been popular. The religion of Ziyar and his family is not exactly known. Zoroastrianism, including heterodox branches such as the Mazdakite, the Zurvanite and Gayomardian, was still popular at his time. However, Mardavij was known to harbour Zoroastrian sympathies and may have practiced that religion. He expressed his wishes to see a...
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