- The Marwanids were a Kurdish dynasty that held sway from Diyarbakir southwards into the northern parts of what are now Syria and Iraq from approximately 984 to 1083. Islam and family ties, however, defined such dynasties more than the Kurdish ethnicity of its rulers. Indeed, it is likely that the Marwanids ruled a largely Christian population, at least in the city of Diyarbakir at that time.The founder of the dynasty was a Kurdish chief named Badh. The Marwanids took their name, however, from Marwan, a miller who had married Badh's sister. Their third son, Nasr al-Dawla Ahmad, brought Marwanid power to its zenith. During his long rule (10111061), Nasr al-Dawla skillfully balanced his buffer state among the three main powers of the Buyid sultan, the Fatimid caliph, and the Byzantine emperor. His court at Mayyafarikin was frequented by famous ulama (Islamic scholars and jurists) and poets. He also built bridges and citadels, as confirmed by inscriptions found on the walls of Diyarbakir.Turkic invasions eventually overthrew the dynasty. The Mar-wanids are one of the five Kurdish dynasties mentioned by Sharaf Khan Bitlisi in the Sharafnama as enjoying royalty.
Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Michael M. Gunter.
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