|Emir of the Samanids|
Artwork of the coronation of Mansur I
|Reign||24 November 961-12 June 976|
|Predecessor||Abd al-Malik I|
|Died||12 June 976|
The death of Mansur's brother 'Abd al-Malik I at the end of 961 caused a succession crisis. The Turkic military establishment, which was effectively in control of the government, split over who should succeed 'Abd al-Malik. Alptigin, the leader of the Samanid Turks and the governor of Khurasan, supported 'Abd al-Malik's son, while Fa'iq, who had known Mansur since his childhood, pressed for the latter's coronation. Mansur and Fa'iq were eventually victorious; Alptigin fled to Ghazna, which became a separate domain where the Ghaznavid dynasty was eventually formed.
In order to trace and kill the rebellious Alptigin, Mansur I appointed Abu Mansur Muhammad as the governor of Khorasan, whom he sent against Alptigin. However, Abu Mansur did not manage to kill Alptigin, who fled to Balkh. Abu Mansur, who feared the wrath of his master, shortly changed his allegiance to the Buyid ruler Rukn al-Dawla. Mansur quickly appointed Abu'l-Hasan Muhammad Simjuri as the new governor of Khorasan, and sent him to deal with the rebellious Abu Mansur, which he managed to accomplish.
After having brought stability in Khurasan, Abu'l-Hasan Muhammad Simjuri soon went to war with the Buyids, who had in that year expelled the Samanids' Ziyarid vassals from Tabaristan and Gurgan on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. The death of Vushmgir, the Ziyarid prince, a few years later caused an end to hostilities, and the Buyid 'Adud al-Dawla paid tribute to the Samanids. This tribute did not last for long, however, and Mansur continued to have difficulties in raising money. The Buyids would continue to move against the Samanid position; 'Adud al-Dawla wrested Kirman from the Banu Ilyas, nominal Samanid vassals, and effectively uprooted Abus, a son Vushmgir and the Samanid candidate to succeed him, from Tabaristan and Gurgan.
In 969 the Saffarid Abu Ahmad Khalaf arrived at the Samanid court, requesting for assistance against his brother Abu'l-Husayn Tahir. Military aid was given, although Tahir's death in 970 proved much more effective than the Samanid assistance. Tahir's son Husayn eventually continued the struggle, and gained the support of the Samanids; the tribute sent by Khalaf subsequently ceased. In 975, Mansur appointed Abu Abdallah Ahmad Jayhani, a grandson of Abu Abdallah Jayhani, as vizier, but he proved unable to stem the Samanid decline. Mansur died in the following year, and was succeeded by his son Nuh II.