How the Ispahbad Khurshíd revolted against
the Caliph Manṣúr.

When the Caliph al-Manṣúr slew Abú Muslim, and news of this came to his friend and ally Sindbád in Ray, he sent all the treasures and cattle which Abú Muslim had confided to him to the Ispahbad, as a trust, together with a present of six million dirhams, and at the same time cast off his allegiance to al-Manṣúr, and revolted against him. The Caliph thereupon sent Jumhúr b. Marár from Baghdad to fight against him; and he came to Ray and defeated Sindbád at Jurjunbání (? Jurkhiyání). Sindbád fled to Ṭabaristán and sought protection with the Ispahbad, who sent his cousin Ṭús out to meet him, with provisions, presents, horses and arms. When Ṭús met Sindbád, he alighted from his horse and saluted him, while Sindbád answered him from his saddle, and did not alight to do him honour. Thereat Ṭús was angered and said, “I am one of the Ispahbad’s cousins, and he sent me out to do thee honour. It was not contemplated that thou should’st treat me with disrespect.” To this speech Sindbád returned a harsh answer, and Ṭús, remounting his horse, soon found an opportunity to smite Sindbád with his sword and cut off his head, after which he brought all his retainers and stores to the Ispah­bad, who was greatly vexed, reviled Ṭús, and took possession of all Abú Muslim’s and Sindbád’s property. News of this was sent by Jumhúr to the Caliph, who instructed his general to demand the surrender of this property from the Ispahbad. At this time 'Abdu`l-Jabbár b. 'Abdu`r-Raḥmán was in Khurásán. The Ispahbad sent one of his chamber­lains named Fírúz with Sindbád’s head to the Caliph, who received him with great honour. On learning this, the Ispahbad sent Fírúz once more to the Caliph with a gift of precious stones and rare products of Ṭabaristán. The Caliph then requested him to hand over the treasures of Abú Muslim and Sindbád, but the Ispahbad persisted in declaring that they were not in his possession, and finally broke out into open revolt against the Caliph, who thereupon sent his son al-Mahdí to Ray, bidding him seize the Ispahbad’s son Hurmuz as a hostage for the father’s loyalty. The Ispahbad, on receiving this demand, replied that his son was too young to bear the fatigues of the journey, and al-Mahdí wrote to his father the Caliph, advising him not to press this demand, lest the Ispahbad should break into more open revolt. So al-Manṣúr sent him a royal crown and robe of honour, and the Ispahbad, being pleased thereat, consented to send to the Court of Baghdad the same tribute which Ṭabaristán had formerly paid to the Sásánian kings, to wit: a poll-tax of one dirham of gold for each inhabitant; 300,000 dirhams, each containing four dángs (i. e. 4/6 = 2/3) of “white” silver; 300 bales of green silk carpets and quilts; (f. 86a) the same amount of good coloured cotton; the same amount of gold-embroidered garments of the kinds called Rúyání and Lafúraj; the same amount of saffron, which is of a kind unequalled in all the world; and a cer­tain amount of sea-fish. All this tribute was laden on forty mules, on each of which was mounted a Turkish slave or hand-maiden.

Now the sight of this tribute of Ṭabaristán did but inflame the Caliph al-Manṣúr’s desire to posssess so rich a povince; and he sent a verbal message to the Ispahbad bidding him help his troops in repelling the attacks of 'Abdu`l-Jabbár. He also wrote to his son al-Mahdí, who was at Ray, bidding him write to the Ispahbad that, owing to the drought and consequent scarcity of food, it was impossible for all his army to follow the same route, and that he desired the Ispahbad’s permission for one division of them to pass through Ṭabaristán.