Who were the Samanids?
Samanids or Sogdians?
The Samanids were pretty much the descendants of the Sogdians who lived in that area before them. There’s no big change; we just call them the Samanids in the Middle Ages.
Samanids and Sassanians
The Samanid rulers were families descended from the old Zoroastrian aristocracy of the Sassanian Empire. They had converted to Sunni Islam too. Not everybody followed Islam. Some people must have been Mazdakites, while others were Christians or Buddhists.
Samanids and Samarkand
Samanid rulers mostly supported the Abbasids and copied Abbasid government. They were technically part of the Abbasid Empire, though really they were pretty much independent. One of their capital cities was Samarkand, the old capital of the Sogdians.
Samanids and the Silk Road
Like the Sogdians before them, the Samanids kept on traveling between West Asia and China as traders. Samanid coins were the common currency of the Silk Road in the 800s and 900s AD. Even people as far away as the Vikings in Scandinavia often used Samanid coins.
Samanid education and art
The Samanids probably brought crucible steel technology from India north to Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The Samanids sold steel to the Vikings and to China. They also supported Islamic architecture. They built mosques and palaces all over Central Asia.
What happened to the Samanids?
Bibliography and further reading about the Samanids: