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Abū Saʿīd ʿAbd-al-Ḥayy ibn Żaḥḥāk b. Maḥmūd Gardīzī (Persian: ابوسعید عبدالحی بن ضحاک بن محمود گردیزی), better known as Gardizi (گردیزی), was an 11th-century Persian[1] historian and official, who is notable for having written the Zayn al-akhbar, one of the earliest history books written in New Persian.[2]

Little is known of Gardizi personally. He was probably from Gardiz in the region of Zamindawar, as his nisba implies.[3] His father's name was Zahhak, a name that was seemingly popular in the region.[1] Gardizi started his career as an official of the Ghaznavid monarch Mahmud of Ghazni (r. 998–1030), and was an eyewitness to many of the events that occurred under the latter.[2] In his Zayn al-akbar, Gardizi took a dispassionate view of history which was fairly remarkable for its time.[1] It consisted of a history of the pre-Islamic kings of Iran, Muhammad and the Caliphs until the year 1032. Included is a history of the Arab conquest of Khorasan, which it is believed Gardizi was using al-Sallami as a source. His history concerning the Turks was written using Ibn Khordadbeh, Jayhani and Ibn al-Muqaffa' as sources.[4] He may have been a student of al-Biruni, since the Zayn al-akbar contains information concerning Indian festivals.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Bosworth 2000, pp. 314–315.
  2. ^ a b Yarshater & Melville 2012, p. 120.
  3. ^ Bosworth 2000, pp. 314–315; Bosworth 2013
  4. ^ a b Gardizi, W. Barthold, The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Vol.II, p. 978.


  • Bosworth, C. Edmund (2013). "Gardīzī". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam (3rd ed.). Brill Online. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_27374. ISSN 1873-9830.
  • Bosworth, C. Edmund (2000). "Gardīzī, Abū Saʿīd ʿAbd-al-Ḥayy". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. X, Fasc. 3. pp. 314–315.
  • Yarshater, Ehsan; Melville, Charles (2012). Persian Historiography: History of Persian Literature A, Volume 10. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9780857721402.