Home Region:  Iran (Southwest Asia)

Safavid Empire

EQ 2020  ir_safavid_emp / IrSafvd

The Safavid period of rule in Persia (1501-1722 CE) was begun by Shah Ismail (1501-1524 CE) and is known as a ’gunpowder empire’ due to the now widespread use of artillery and muskets on the battlefield. [1]
Shah Ismail, whose original power base was near the Caspian sea, began the conquest of Iran with the capture Tabriz from the Ak Koyunlu. He declared that the state religion was Shi’ia and the Safavids were decisive for the spread of Shi’ism in Iran.
While initially the governing system was "largely a continuation of its Aq Qoyunlu counterpart and its Turco-Mongolian traditions" [2] it eventually became a "highly cen­tralized and complex bureaucratic system" [3] based at the Safavid court in the capital city. The highest officials of the Safavid court included the Vazir-e-azam (chief minister), Amir al-omard (commander in chief of the army, later titled Sepdhsdldr-e koll-e lasgar-e Iran), the Sadr (judiciary and religious minister), and vice-regent. [4]
As a defensive measure against Ottoman attacks Shah Tahmasp (1524-1576) moved the capital from Tabriz to Qazvin, but Shah Abbas I (1587-1629 CE) moved it again, further south, to a new monumental city at Isfahan. Under Shah Abbas Isfahan’s population grew to 200,000. [5] The rule of Shah Abbas I (1587-1629 CE) is widely thought of as representing the peak Safavid achievement. Incredible wealth acquired from the state monopoly over the silk trade, was spent on large-scale building works. Abbas also made key reforms to improve the administration and the army. [6] [7] [8]

[1]: (Haneda 1989, 62) Masashi Haneda. January 1, 1989. “The Evolution of the Safavid Royal Guard.” Iranian Studies 22, no. 2/3.

[2]: (Mitchell 2009, 29) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.

[3]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii

[4]: (Mousavi 2008, 23-24) Mohammad A. Mousavi. January 1, 2008. “The Autonomous State in Iran: Mobility and Prosperity in the Reign of Shah ’Abbas the Great (1587-1629).” Iran & the Caucasus 12, no. 1 doi:10.2307/25597352.

[5]: David Blow. 2009. Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. London: I.B. Tauris, 2009, p.193.

[6]: (Matthee 2008) Rudi Matthee. 2008. ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’. IranicaOnline. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids

[7]: (Savory 1967, 75) R M Savory. 1967, “The Sherley Myth.” Iran 5

[8]: (Ward 2009, 49) Steven R. Ward. 2009. Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces (Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
39 S  
Original Name:
Safavid Empire  
Capital:
Tabriz  
Qazvin  
Isfahan  
Alternative Name:
mamalik-i Iran  
mamlikat-i Iran  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,629 CE  
Duration:
[1,501 CE ➜ 1,722 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Turco-Mongol  
Perso-Islamic  
Shia-Islamic  
Succeeding Entity:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
2,700,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
elite migration  
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Ak Koyunlu  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European  
Semitic  
Afro-Asiatic  
Language:
Persian  
Turkic  
Arabic  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Islam  
Religion Family:
Shia  
Religion:
Twelver  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
200,000 people  
Polity Territory:
2,700,000 km2  
Polity Population:
9,000,000 people  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[4 to 5]  
Religious Level:
[5 to 6]  
Military Level:
[6 to 7]  
Administrative Level:
6  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Merit Promotion:
absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
present  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
inferred present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
absent  
Mnemonic Device:
unknown  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
unknown  
Precious Metal:
unknown  
Paper Currency:
unknown  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent  
General Postal Service:
absent  
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
unknown  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
present  
  Complex Fortification:
present  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
unknown  
  Bronze:
unknown  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
inferred present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
inferred present  
  Sling:
inferred absent  
  Self Bow:
inferred absent  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
present  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
present  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
unknown  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
present  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
inferred absent  
  Donkey:
unknown  
  Dog:
absent  
  Camel:
present  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
present  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
inferred present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
present  
  Breastplate:
inferred present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Safavid Empire (ir_safavid_emp) was in:
 (1471 CE 1505 CE)   Southern Mesopotamia
 (1505 CE 1533 CE)   Southern Mesopotamia     Susiana
 (1533 CE 1722 CE)   Susiana
Home NGA: Susiana

General Variables
Identity and Location


Capital:
Tabriz

Tabriz was the first capital of the Safavids; Qazvin was a later capital. Isfahan under Shah Abbas. [1] "In view of the vulnerability of Tabriz to Ottoman attacks, Shah Tahmasp [(1524-76)] decided to transfer the capital from Tabriz to Qazvin." [2] Relocated from Tabriz to Qazvin under Tahmasp, and moved to Isfahan by Abbas I. [3]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[2]: E Eshraghi, ‘PERSIA DURING THE PERIOD OF THE SAFAVIDS, THE AFSHARS AND THE EARLY QAJARS’, in Chahryar Adle and Irfan Habib (eds), History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. V The Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Centuries (Paris: Unesco, 1992), p.254; Masashi Haneda and Rudi Matthee, ’ISFAHAN vii. SAFAVID PERIOD’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/isfahan-vii-safavid-period

[3]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.

Capital:
Qazvin

Tabriz was the first capital of the Safavids; Qazvin was a later capital. Isfahan under Shah Abbas. [1] "In view of the vulnerability of Tabriz to Ottoman attacks, Shah Tahmasp [(1524-76)] decided to transfer the capital from Tabriz to Qazvin." [2] Relocated from Tabriz to Qazvin under Tahmasp, and moved to Isfahan by Abbas I. [3]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[2]: E Eshraghi, ‘PERSIA DURING THE PERIOD OF THE SAFAVIDS, THE AFSHARS AND THE EARLY QAJARS’, in Chahryar Adle and Irfan Habib (eds), History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. V The Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Centuries (Paris: Unesco, 1992), p.254; Masashi Haneda and Rudi Matthee, ’ISFAHAN vii. SAFAVID PERIOD’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/isfahan-vii-safavid-period

[3]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.

Capital:
Isfahan

Tabriz was the first capital of the Safavids; Qazvin was a later capital. Isfahan under Shah Abbas. [1] "In view of the vulnerability of Tabriz to Ottoman attacks, Shah Tahmasp [(1524-76)] decided to transfer the capital from Tabriz to Qazvin." [2] Relocated from Tabriz to Qazvin under Tahmasp, and moved to Isfahan by Abbas I. [3]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[2]: E Eshraghi, ‘PERSIA DURING THE PERIOD OF THE SAFAVIDS, THE AFSHARS AND THE EARLY QAJARS’, in Chahryar Adle and Irfan Habib (eds), History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. V The Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Centuries (Paris: Unesco, 1992), p.254; Masashi Haneda and Rudi Matthee, ’ISFAHAN vii. SAFAVID PERIOD’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/isfahan-vii-safavid-period

[3]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Alternative Name:
mamalik-i Iran

The Safavids their state mamAlik-i Iran [the "dominions of Iran"] or mamlikat-i Iran [the "kingdom of Iran"]. [1]

[1]: Savory, Roger. “The Safavid State and Polity.” Iranian Studies 7, no. 1/2 (January 1, 1974): 179-212.

Alternative Name:
mamlikat-i Iran

The Safavids their state mamAlik-i Iran [the "dominions of Iran"] or mamlikat-i Iran [the "kingdom of Iran"]. [1]

[1]: Savory, Roger. “The Safavid State and Polity.” Iranian Studies 7, no. 1/2 (January 1, 1974): 179-212.


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
1,629 CE

Reign of Shah Abbas I (1587-1629 CE). “Shah Abbas I (known as Shah Abbas the Great) has deservedly been considered the ruler who revived the political and military power of the Safavids.” [1] "Abbās I is universally regarded as the greatest Safavid ruler, the embodiment of the age-old Persian ideal of the just monarch." [2] Under Abbas I "military, political and economic stability." [3]
Iran’s role in the silk trade led to the forging of important diplomatic relations with European powers. The death of Abbas is usually seen as the beginning of the slow decline of Safavid rule; certainly by the end of the 17th century they were no longer a great military force and their administration had stagnated. [4]

[1]: E Eshraghi, ‘PERSIA DURING THE PERIOD OF THE SAFAVIDS, THE AFSHARS AND THE EARLY QAJARS’, in Chahryar Adle and Irfan Habib (eds), History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. V The Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Centuries (Paris: Unesco, 1992), p.257

[2]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[3]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.

[4]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids; E Eshraghi, ‘PERSIA DURING THE PERIOD OF THE SAFAVIDS, THE AFSHARS AND THE EARLY QAJARS’, in Chahryar Adle and Irfan Habib (eds), History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. V The Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Centuries (Paris: Unesco, 1992)pp. 250-75.


Duration:
[1,501 CE ➜ 1,722 CE]

Note: Secondary literature dates the start of the polity a year earlier than we do. 1501 is the year Ismāil defeated the Āq Qoyunlu and proclaimed himself Shah. [1] The end date is the same 1722 when the Afghans forced Solṭān-Ḥosayn to surrender to them. He gave the title of shah to the Afghan leader Maḥmud Ḡilzay. [2]
1527-1531 CE Takkalu regency. 1531-1532 CE Shamlu-Ustajlu alliance. [3]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids; ’Safavid Dynasty’ in The Oxford Dictionary of Islam ed. John L. Esposito (2003).

[2]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[3]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]

The Safavids were an independent state.
Numerous marriage alliances. For example, Tahmasp had Georgian, Circasian and Daghistani wives. [1]

[1]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Supracultural Entity:
Turco-Mongol

"chancellery correspondence after 1588 pointed to the Safavid dynasty as the custodian of a complex heritage, which on the one hand recognized ecumenicalism and on the other claimed exclusive divine absolutism and soteriological superiority. This Universalist emphasis was in part inherited from the Turco-Mongol world of the Fourteen and Fifteenth centuries, but we also cannot dismiss the importance of those Universalist empires and world conquerors of the Archaemenian and Sasanian eras represented so faithfully as exemplars in Perso-Islamic literature and art." [1] "The ’Shi’fication’ and Iraniation’ of the Safavid Empire over a period of a hundred years prepared the landscape for a regional split into distinct Sunni Ottoman and Shi’i Safavid dominions." [2]

[1]: (Mitchell 2009, 202) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.

[2]: Babayan, Kathryn. “The Safavids in Iranian History (1501-1722)” in The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, edited by Touraj Daryaee, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, p.290.

Supracultural Entity:
Perso-Islamic

"chancellery correspondence after 1588 pointed to the Safavid dynasty as the custodian of a complex heritage, which on the one hand recognized ecumenicalism and on the other claimed exclusive divine absolutism and soteriological superiority. This Universalist emphasis was in part inherited from the Turco-Mongol world of the Fourteen and Fifteenth centuries, but we also cannot dismiss the importance of those Universalist empires and world conquerors of the Archaemenian and Sasanian eras represented so faithfully as exemplars in Perso-Islamic literature and art." [1] "The ’Shi’fication’ and Iraniation’ of the Safavid Empire over a period of a hundred years prepared the landscape for a regional split into distinct Sunni Ottoman and Shi’i Safavid dominions." [2]

[1]: (Mitchell 2009, 202) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.

[2]: Babayan, Kathryn. “The Safavids in Iranian History (1501-1722)” in The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, edited by Touraj Daryaee, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, p.290.

Supracultural Entity:
Shia-Islamic

"chancellery correspondence after 1588 pointed to the Safavid dynasty as the custodian of a complex heritage, which on the one hand recognized ecumenicalism and on the other claimed exclusive divine absolutism and soteriological superiority. This Universalist emphasis was in part inherited from the Turco-Mongol world of the Fourteen and Fifteenth centuries, but we also cannot dismiss the importance of those Universalist empires and world conquerors of the Archaemenian and Sasanian eras represented so faithfully as exemplars in Perso-Islamic literature and art." [1] "The ’Shi’fication’ and Iraniation’ of the Safavid Empire over a period of a hundred years prepared the landscape for a regional split into distinct Sunni Ottoman and Shi’i Safavid dominions." [2]

[1]: (Mitchell 2009, 202) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.

[2]: Babayan, Kathryn. “The Safavids in Iranian History (1501-1722)” in The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, edited by Touraj Daryaee, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, p.290.


Succeeding Entity:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

Solṭān-Ḥosayn surrendered to the Afghans and gave the title of shah to their leader Maḥmud Ḡilzay. [1]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.


Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
2,700,000 km2

km squared.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
elite migration

The Safavids drove out the Āq Qoyunlu from Persia with the help of Qezelbāš tribal forces. They installed themselves as Shahs, princes etc and Qezelbāš were given regional governorships. They declared the new regime to be Shi’i and the existing Sunni population was "persecuted, driven out, or killed". [1] Evidence for this is material cultural e.g. new coins minted and texts such as chronologies. [1] "the Safavids were themselves the posterity of the Aq Qoyunlu, not only in a genealogical sense, but also as heirs to a tribally constituted military elite". [2] Ismail began from a power base in the Caspian region, before moving into western Persia and Azerbaijan after defeating the the Āq Qoyunlu. [3]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[2]: (Melville 1998) Melville, Charles. 1998. From the Saljuqs to the Aq Qoyunlu (ca. 1000-1500 C.E.). Iranian Studies, Vol. 31, No. 3/4 (Summer-Autumn), A Review of the "Encyclopaedia Iranica", Taylor & Francis Ltd. pp.473-482

[3]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids; E Eshraghi, ‘PERSIA DURING THE PERIOD OF THE SAFAVIDS, THE AFSHARS AND THE EARLY QAJARS’, in Chahryar Adle and Irfan Habib (eds), History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. V The Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Centuries (Paris: Unesco, 1992)pp. 250-75.

Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

The Safavids drove out the Āq Qoyunlu from Persia with the help of Qezelbāš tribal forces. They installed themselves as Shahs, princes etc and Qezelbāš were given regional governorships. They declared the new regime to be Shi’i and the existing Sunni population was "persecuted, driven out, or killed". [1] Evidence for this is material cultural e.g. new coins minted and texts such as chronologies. [1] "the Safavids were themselves the posterity of the Aq Qoyunlu, not only in a genealogical sense, but also as heirs to a tribally constituted military elite". [2] Ismail began from a power base in the Caspian region, before moving into western Persia and Azerbaijan after defeating the the Āq Qoyunlu. [3]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[2]: (Melville 1998) Melville, Charles. 1998. From the Saljuqs to the Aq Qoyunlu (ca. 1000-1500 C.E.). Iranian Studies, Vol. 31, No. 3/4 (Summer-Autumn), A Review of the "Encyclopaedia Iranica", Taylor & Francis Ltd. pp.473-482

[3]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids; E Eshraghi, ‘PERSIA DURING THE PERIOD OF THE SAFAVIDS, THE AFSHARS AND THE EARLY QAJARS’, in Chahryar Adle and Irfan Habib (eds), History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. V The Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Centuries (Paris: Unesco, 1992)pp. 250-75.


Preceding Entity:
Ak Koyunlu

"Having lived under the protection of the ruler of Gilān for five years, in 1499 Esmāʿil emerged from the Caspian region, defeated the Širvānšāhs, and set out to wrest control of western Persia from the Āq Qoyunlu. In 1501, the Safavid army broke the power of the Āq Qoyunlu by defeating their ruler, Alvand (r. 1497 in Diārbakr [q.v.], and then in Azerbaijan until 1502, d. 1504), in the Battle of Šarur, in the Aras valley." [1] Core region: Anatolia and Azarbaijan: "A once parochial and religiously ambiguous millenarian movement that had depended heavily on the nomadic elements of the Anatolian and Azarbaijani environments now inherited the dynastic infrastructures of two well-established empires (the Aq Qoyunlus and Timurids) and annexed cities and territories from equally centralized polities, such as the Ottomans and the Mamluks." [2]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[2]: (Mitchell 2009, 44-45) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.


Degree of Centralization:
unitary state

either confederated state or unitary state. Did the shah appoint and remove regional governors and impose taxes and send them to the centre [unitary]?


Language

Language:
Persian

Persian used in literature and inscription on coins. Initially Arabic was used on coins. [1] Turkic was used by some at court. "Government officials and their servants, merchants, artisans and their apprentices, professors and students, all spoke Persian. Business and preaching were usually done in Persian. " [2] "Qizilbash tribal elements and the early shahs especially were more comfortable in dialects of Turkish, native Iranians (Tajiks) spoke Persian and the primary language of the established faith was Arabic." [3]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[2]: Masashi Haneda and Rudi Matthee, ’ISFAHAN vii. SAFAVID PERIOD’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/isfahan-vii-safavid-period.

[3]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.

Language:
Turkic

Persian used in literature and inscription on coins. Initially Arabic was used on coins. [1] Turkic was used by some at court. "Government officials and their servants, merchants, artisans and their apprentices, professors and students, all spoke Persian. Business and preaching were usually done in Persian. " [2] "Qizilbash tribal elements and the early shahs especially were more comfortable in dialects of Turkish, native Iranians (Tajiks) spoke Persian and the primary language of the established faith was Arabic." [3]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[2]: Masashi Haneda and Rudi Matthee, ’ISFAHAN vii. SAFAVID PERIOD’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/isfahan-vii-safavid-period.

[3]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.

Language:
Arabic

Persian used in literature and inscription on coins. Initially Arabic was used on coins. [1] Turkic was used by some at court. "Government officials and their servants, merchants, artisans and their apprentices, professors and students, all spoke Persian. Business and preaching were usually done in Persian. " [2] "Qizilbash tribal elements and the early shahs especially were more comfortable in dialects of Turkish, native Iranians (Tajiks) spoke Persian and the primary language of the established faith was Arabic." [3]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[2]: Masashi Haneda and Rudi Matthee, ’ISFAHAN vii. SAFAVID PERIOD’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/isfahan-vii-safavid-period.

[3]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.



Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
200,000 people

Under Shah Abbas Isfahan’s population grew to 200,000 [1]
Safavid Persia did not have large cities: "Isfahan was smaller than Damascus, Cairo and Istanbul." [2]

[1]: Blow, David. Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. London: I.B. Tauris, 2009, p.193.

[2]: (Roy 2014, 104-105) Roy, Kaushik. 2014. Military Transition in Early Modern Asia, 1400-1750: Cavalry, Guns, Government and Ships. A&C Black.


Polity Territory:
2,700,000 km2

km2. Calculated with Google map distance calculator. In comparative terms note: "The Safavid polity was never as large physically as those of the Achaemenians or Sassanians." [1]
Ismail expanded towards Persian Gulf, Kurdistan and Iraq. In fact under Ismail the Safavid polity was at its greatest territorial extent, later Shahs could never hold onto such large borders. [2]

[1]: Newman, Andrew J. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. London: I.B. Tauris, 2006., p.128.

[2]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids; E Eshraghi, ‘PERSIA DURING THE PERIOD OF THE SAFAVIDS, THE AFSHARS AND THE EARLY QAJARS’, in Chahryar Adle and Irfan Habib (eds), History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. V The Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Centuries (Paris: Unesco, 1992)pp. 250-75.


Polity Population:
9,000,000 people

Floor estimates a total population of 9 million. He also estimates the urban population was between 10 to 15 % of this total. [1]

[1]: Floor, Willem M. The Economy of Safavid Persia. Iran-Turan, Bd. 1. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2000, pp.2-5; 301.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[4 to 5]

levels.
Under Shah Abbas Isfahan’s population grew to 200, 000 [1] Under Ṭahmāsp I (r. 1524-76) the main city "Tabriz, may have had as many as 80,000 inhabitants; Hormuz perhaps numbered 50,000. Most other cities were much smaller, with Isfahan, Kashan and Shiraz having a population of between 15,000 and 20,000 people.” [2]
1. Large cities e.g Isfahan and Tabriz.
2. Small cities e.g. Kashan and Shiraz.
3. Towns
4. Villages
(5. Hamlets)

[1]: Blow, David. Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. London: I.B. Tauris, 2009, p.193.

[2]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.


Religious Level:
[5 to 6]

levels.
Twelver Shi‘ism official faith, established by Ismail. [1]
1. The Shah. The shahs claimed the titles of “representatives of the Twelfth Imam of the Shi’ites and to bear the title of Morsed-e-kdmel (the supreme spiritual leader of the Sufi order)” [2]
2. Mulla Bashi "a learned person of high repute ... whom many Safavid kings chose as a close companion, who could counsel them on religious matters and read various prayers for them on different occasions." [3]
2. Sadr "the highest religious office of the land, whose incumbent was chosen directly by the king." [3]
3. "the chief official religious dignitary (shaikh al-islam) of the bigger cities". Sadars appointed them "with the consent of the king". [3]
4. Mujtahids. These were clerics outside political power. They gave "fresh opinions on sacred law". [3]
5. Imans - leaders of prayers in the mosques. "Chosen freely by the members of the religious community itself."
[3]
"chancellery correspondence after 1588 pointed to the Safavid dynasty as the custodian of a complex heritage, which on the one hand recognized ecumenicalism and on the other claimed exclusive divine absolutism and soteriological superiority. This Universalist emphasis was in part inherited from the Turco-Mongol world of the Fourteen and Fifteenth centuries, but we also cannot dismiss the importance of those Universalist empires and world conquerors of the Archaemenian and Sasanian eras represented so faithfully as exemplars in Perso-Islamic literature and art." [4]

[1]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.

[2]: Mousavi, Mohammad A. “The Autonomous State in Iran: Mobility and Prosperity in the Reign of Shah ’Abbas the Great (1587-1629).” Iran & the Caucasus 12, no. 1 (January 1, 2008):22

[3]: Nasr, Hossein. “Religion in Safavid Persia.” Iranian Studies 7, no. 1/2 (January 1, 1974): 275-276

[4]: (Mitchell 2009, 202) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.


Military Level:
[6 to 7]

levels.
This hierarchy is for the Qizilbish army. How many levels in the Georgian/Caucasian corps (ghulam or qullar corps) created by Abbas I? [1]
1. Shah
2 qurchibashi chief of royal guard or mounted cavalry [1]
2. amir al-umara (commander-in-chief) of Qizilbash forces [1] Amir al-omard (commander in chief of the army, which later titled Sepdhsdldr-e koll-e lasgar-e Iran). [2] He "had extensive influence over the Shah on military issues. He was responsible for the well being of the army, employment of personnel, support and ammunitions, and superintendent of the royal military workshops (boyutdt)." [2]
3. Military governors/tribal chiefsthe Ustajlu and Shamlu tribes provided most of the commanders-in-chief. Other tribes in the Qizilbash confederation were the Rumlu, Dhul-Qadr and Takkalu. [1]
4. Officers of 1000e.g. The tribal corps were organised into groups of a thousand with a chief appointed to lead them. Each group of royal archers had a centurion in command of them. [3]
5. Officers of 100?
6. Officers of 10?
6 or 7. Individual soldiers

[1]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.

[2]: Mousavi, Mohammad A. “The Autonomous State in Iran: Mobility and Prosperity in the Reign of Shah ’Abbas the Great (1587-1629).” Iran & the Caucasus 12, no. 1 (January 1, 2008):23-24 doi:10.2307/25597352.

[3]: M. Haneda ’ARMY iii. Safavid Period’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/army-iii


Administrative Level:
6

levels.
1. The Shah
- “At the top of the Safavid administrative and social structure was the Shah. He and his court constituted the apex of a substantial bureaucracy centred in the capital. The highest officials of the court included Vazir-e-azam (chief minister), Amir al-omard (commander in chief of the army, which later titled Sepdhsdldr-e koll-e lasgar-e Iran), Sadr (judiciary and religious minister), and vice-regent." [1]
"haram women and palace eunuchs" [2]
2. khassa landskhassa lands were controlled directly by the central court, as distinct to mamalik lands controlled by the provincial administration. [2]
_Central government_
"highly cen­tralized and complex bureaucratic system" [3] "Ismail’s bureaucratic structure was largely a continuation of its Aq Qoyunlu counterpart and its Turco-Mongolian traditions." [4]
2. vakil, vikalat (vicegerency) [5] "Qadi-yi Jahan’s nomination as co-vazir, to be shortly followed by a promotion to the office of vakil". [5]
3. niyabat (deputyship to vicegerency) [5]
3. vizier [2] / Vazir-e-azam (chief minister)vizier an office below vakil: "Qadi-yi Jahan’s nomination as co-vazir, to be shortly followed by a promotion to the office of vakil, is a continuation of those policies that had been effected since the 1508 "palace revolution," keeping administrative power out of the hands of the Qizilbash." [5]
“At the top of the bureaucracy was Vazir-e-azam (chief minister). He generally had a lengthy stay in office and on frequent occasions continued to serve in the office after the Shah who had appointed him had died." [1]
3. Divan-e-ala (State Council)"The daily functioning of the state ran by Divan-e-ala (State Council), which included the Vazir-e-azam, Mustaufi al-mamalek (finance minister), Sadr, and Amir al-omara (army chief commander). Financial institution was directly overseen by the Shah and his chief minister (Vazir-e-azam). Except for the Shah, the latter was the final authority of financial affairs." [6]
4. Divan for taxation
5. sub-head in divan for taxation?
6?. ra’is did this official still exist at this time or was it replaced by the kalantar?The ra’is "was essentially the link between the government and the taxpayers ... cases involving taxation were referred to his dīvān." [3]
3. Divanbegi (chief judge)
"dīvānbegī, the chief ’orfī judge of the empire, who could intervene in any matter under the jurisdiction of the dārūḡa; once he had done so, the latter could no longer concern himself with it" [3]
_Provincial government_
2. Darughah, Daruga (or beglerbegī) and his deputy (same level). Vali (viceroy of border states) & Beiglar-beigi (governor general of a province), Hdkem - ("ruler of major cities and areas") [1] "Provincial governorships were held by tribal elites appointed from the centre or, as a sign of the inability of the coalition controlling the capital to enforce its writ throughout the realm, retained by tribes out of favour at the centre." [2]
dārūḡa was a police officer or a post analogous to the šeḥna: Jean Chardin 1669 CE said "[E]ach fortress or town has its own governor called darugha ... they are appointed directly by the king and each one has a deputy also appointed by the king indepen­dently of the governor". [3] Under the Safavids "the term beglerbegī tended to supersede dārūḡa in the sense of a local governor, as distinct from a police officer" [3]
3. asas and ahdat (guards) and mir sab (night watch)"The dārūḡa was espe­cially charged with the maintenance of security at night, in which task he was assisted by officials called ʿasas and aḥdāṯ (guards) and a mīr šab (night watch)." [3]
3. Prison chief"the dīvānbegī, the chief ’orfī judge of the empire, who could intervene in any matter under the jurisdiction of the dārūḡa; once he had done so, the latter could no longer concern himself with it" [3]
4. Prison guard inferred
3. gassal-basi (chief of the washers of the dead) [3] 4. Washers of the deadA "chief of the washers of the dead" suggests there also were less prestigious posts. [3]
3. Kalantarc15th century onward "designated an official of the ’civil’ hierarchy, in charge of a town or a ward." [3] Under the Safavids "As the head of a town or ward the kalāntar was, like the raʾīs, a link between the central government and the taxpayers; it was his task to reconcile the interests of the two parties." [3]
4. moḥaṣṣeṣ-e mamlakat (clerk) (or Mustaufi al mamalek?)"in effect, the kalāntar’s clerk and appointed with his approval." [3] "the technical business like preparing and auditing the budget, assessing taxes, and collecting the revenues, was in the hands of a large staff of accountants, clerks, tax collectors, and financial experts under the direction of Mustaufi al mamalek." [6]
4. naqib (guild supervisor)"an official whose functions included the supervision of guild affairs". [3]
4. ostādān (master craftsman)Kalantar appointed master craftsmen (ostādān) [3]
4. rīš-safīdān (elder of guild)Kalantar appointed elders (rīš-safīdān) of the guilds [3]
4. Kadkodas (of villages/wards)"If the town was large, the kalāntar appointed kadḵodās over the wards." [3]
5. roʾasā ? of hamletKalantar appointed "the roʾasāʾ and kadḵodās of the villages and hamlets of the bolūkāt (administrative subdivisions)" [3]

2. Minor Provincial governors- Khan ("head of tribe or small city" ), Sultan ("lowest position in the provincial governorship") [1]

[1]: Mousavi, Mohammad A. “The Autonomous State in Iran: Mobility and Prosperity in the Reign of Shah ’Abbas the Great (1587-1629).” Iran & the Caucasus 12, no. 1 (January 1, 2008): 23-24 doi:10.2307/25597352.

[2]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.

[3]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii

[4]: (Mitchell 2009, 29) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.

[5]: (Mitchell 2009, 89) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.

[6]: Mousavi, Mohammad A. “The Autonomous State in Iran: Mobility and Prosperity in the Reign of Shah ’Abbas the Great (1587-1629).” Iran & the Caucasus 12, no. 1 (January 1, 2008):23-24 doi:10.2307/25597352.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

Soldiers in the royal guard were full-time professionals.
Georgian/Caucasian corps (ghulam or qullar corps) created by Abbas I. [1]

[1]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Professional Priesthood:
present

e.g. Imans. Under Shah Abbas Shi’i clergy made "key pillar of the state. [1]

[1]: Blow, David. Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. London ; New York : New York: I.B. Tauris ; Distributed in the U.S. by Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, p.45.


Professional Military Officer:
present

Officers in the royal guard were full-time professionals.


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

e.g. the official mints. [1]

[1]: Matthee, Rudi. “Mint Consolidation and the Worsening of the Late Safavid Coinage: The Mint of Huwayza.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 44, no. 4 (January 1, 2001): 505-39.


Merit Promotion:
absent

"Succession was typically hereditary for all administrative positions, although the shah could always break the line." [1]
[2]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.

[2]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

e.g. Tahmasp had chief accountants, comptroller-general and chief scribe. [1]

[1]: Newman, Andrew J. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. London: I.B. Tauris, 2006., p.44.


Examination System:
absent

"Succession was typically hereditary for all administrative positions, although the shah could always break the line." [1]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.


Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

Imami Shi’i jurists (faqīh) "Already by the 14th century the Shi’ite jurists developed an elaborate legal system of private law based on ijtihad, the exercise of logical reasoning by utilizing the sources of the law to form qualified legal opinion within a specific timeframe. The exercise of ijtihad in turn led to the development of an elaborate methodology of jurisprudence, the science of the usul al-fiqh. Some of the best legal minds articulated complex linguistic debates on legal semantics and phenomenological discussions on the authority of the text" (Amanat 2003, 3) [1] Debate between Usuli and Akhbari scholars over use of independent legal reasoning (ijtihad) [2]

[1]: (A. Amanat, ‘From Ijtihad to wilayat-i faqih: The Evolution of the Shi‘i Legal Authority to Political Power’, in A. Amanat and F. Griffel (eds.), Shari‘a: Islamic Law in the Contemporary Context (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007))

[2]: (Abisaab, R.J., 1994. The Ulama of Jabal ‘Amil in Safavid Iran, 1501-1736: marginality, migration and social change. Iranian Studies, 27(1-4), pp.103-122. https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/ZCSEN5RI/item-list)


"the dīvānbegī, the chief ’orfī judge of the empire, who could intervene in any matter under the jurisdiction of the dārūḡa; once he had done so, the latter could no longer concern himself with it" [1]

[1]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii


Formal Legal Code:
present

Law and its administration was split into secular and religious spheres. Secular law was formed through the legal code issued by the central government. Religious law was Islamic and run through the shari’ah courts. Court had judges.
"Almost all taxes were in direct forms and were collected throughout the country in accordance with the legal code prepared by the central government." [1]

[1]: Mousavi, Mohammad A. “The Autonomous State in Iran: Mobility and Prosperity in the Reign of Shah ’Abbas the Great (1587-1629).” Iran & the Caucasus 12, no. 1 (January 1, 2008): 32.


e.g. shari’ah courts. [1]

[1]: Savory, Roger. “The Safavid State and Polity.” Iranian Studies 7, no. 1/2 (January 1, 1974): 201.


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

Safavid government had a muhtasib [1] (a supervisor of bazaars and trade). Shah Abbas built bazaars. [2] "the dārūḡa fixed prices, which no shopkeeper dared to transgress, for fear of punishment". [3] The kalāntar of Isfahan, among his duties, "oversaw the bāzār". [4] General reference for Seljuk? - Safavid? time period: "The bāzār was usually, though not always, divided into a number of sūqs (markets) in which different crafts and occupations had separate quarters. At night, after members of the crafts and shopkeepers had shut their premises and retired to their homes, the gates of the bāzārs were locked and barred." [4]

[1]: (Keyvani 1982, 130) Keyvani, Mehdi. 1982. Artisans and Guild Life in the Later Safavid Period: Contributions to the Social-economic History of Persia. Klaus Schwarz. Artisans.

[2]: E Eshraghi, ‘PERSIA DURING THE PERIOD OF THE SAFAVIDS, THE AFSHARS AND THE EARLY QAJARS’, in Chahryar Adle and Irfan Habib (eds), History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. V The Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Centuries (Paris: Unesco, 1992), p.261.

[3]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii

[4]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii


Irrigation System:
present

- a "double dam" was built by the ghulam Allah Verdi Khan in the Shiraz area [1] Expanded qanat system started in the Iron Age that brought irrigation and likely drinking water from higher areas. This technology spread through the Near East and into Central Asia, as far as China and some parts of Eurasia. [2]

[1]: Sholeh A. Quinn, ‘Iran under Safavid Rule’, in David O. Morgan and Anthony Reid (eds), The New Cambridge History of Islam: Volume 3. The Eastern Islamic World, Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 227.

[2]: (Miksic, John. Personal Communication to Jill Levine, Dan Hoyer, and Peter Turchin. April 2020. Email)


Food Storage Site:
present

"Caravansaries, where goods were unloaded on arrival and where merchants could take rooms, were to be found both in or close to the bāzārs and on the outskirts of the city." [1]

[1]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

Shah Abbas had cisterns built. [1] Expanded qanat system started in the Iron Age that brought irrigation and likely drinking water from higher areas. This technology spread through the Near East and into Central Asia, as far as China and some parts of Eurasia. [2]

[1]: R. M. Savory, “’Abbas (I),” Encyclopædia Iranica" http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abbas-i

[2]: (Miksic, John. Personal Communication to Jill Levine, Dan Hoyer, and Peter Turchin. April 2020. Email)


Transport Infrastructure

"Abbas I developed the communications network, secured roads, and invested in the infrastructure." [1] Road building. [2]

[1]: Mousavi, Mohammad A. “The Autonomous State in Iran: Mobility and Prosperity in the Reign of Shah ’Abbas the Great (1587-1629).” Iran & the Caucasus 12, no. 1 (January 1, 2008):32 doi:10.2307/25597352.

[2]: (Keyvani 1982, 130) Keyvani, Mehdi. 1982. Artisans and Guild Life in the Later Safavid Period: Contributions to the Social-economic History of Persia. Klaus Schwarz. Artisans.


e.g. Anzali on the Caspian Sea. [1]

[1]: (Matthee 1999, 54) Matthee, Rudolph P. 1999. The Politics of Trade in Safavid Iran: Silk for Silver, 1600-1730. Cambridge University Press.


Shah Abbas had canals built to take water from the Alburz Mountains to Ashraf. [1] "In Isfahan in 1566-1567, an Afshar chieftain built a canal from the nearby Zayanda Rud to the Masjid-i Ali". [2]

[1]: Blow, David. Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. London: I.B. Tauris, 2009. p.178.

[2]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Bridge:
present

e.g. Khaju Bridge built by Shah ʿAbbās II over the Zayanderud at Isfahan [1]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

Although Matthee caution that the Safavids "explored the potential of the existing [silver mines] ones only haphazardly and intermittently" [1]

[1]: Matthee, Rudi. “Mint Consolidation and the Worsening of the Late Safavid Coinage: The Mint of Huwayza.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 44, no. 4 (January 1, 2001): 505-39.


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

e.g. the documents in the Chancery [1] "court/diplomatic correspondence and religious endowment (vaqf) documents". [2]

[1]: Sussan Babaie, Isfahan and Its Palaces: Statecraft, Shi’ism and the Architecture of Conviviality in Early Modern Iran (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008), P.8.

[2]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Script:
present

Persian and Arabic script. [1] The Safavids had a thriving literature culture based around the court. Persian and Arabic written systems were used. Religious and philosophical texts, history, practical works and, of course, poetry were produced by scholars and artists associated with the court. The central government also kept it own administrative records, although these have not survived.

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

Persian and Arabic have phonetic alphabets. [1] [2]

[1]: ’ARABIC’ in Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language ed. Tom McArthur (Oxford University Press, 1998)

[2]: ’Persian (Farsi, Iranian)’ in Oxford World Encyclopedia Online Version: 2014.


Nonwritten Record:
present

administrative and tax documents. [1]

[1]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii




Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

e.g. Shakyh Baha’al-Din al-Amili "wrote on a diverse variety of topics, including scientific works such as treatises on mathematics, numerology and astrolabes; traditional Islamic sciences such as tafsir and hadith". [1]

[1]: 1. Sholeh A. Quinn, ‘Iran under Safavid Rule’, in David O. Morgan and Anthony Reid (eds), The New Cambridge History of Islam: Volume 3. The Eastern Islamic World, Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 222.


Sacred Text:
present

e.g. The Qur’an.


Religious Literature:
present

e.g. Persian theological works [1] "most Shi‘i clerics of the day, whether resident in Iran or abroad, composed their scholarly works in Arabic." [2]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids

[2]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Practical Literature:
present

Cookbooks from the period have survived [1] [2]

[1]: Sussan Babaie, Isfahan and Its Palaces: Statecraft, Shi’ism and the Architecture of Conviviality in Early Modern Iran (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008).

[2]: (Mitchell 2009) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.


Philosophy:
present

e.g. Mir Damad "“wrote on a variety of topics, his main interest was in the field of philosophy, where he attempted to bring together the philosophies of Avicenna and Suhrawardi. He also had an interest in the philosophies of time" [1] Abbas I funded philosophers. [2]

[1]: 1. Sholeh A. Quinn, ‘Iran under Safavid Rule’, in David O. Morgan and Anthony Reid (eds), The New Cambridge History of Islam: Volume 3. The Eastern Islamic World, Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 223.

[2]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

administrative and tax documents. [1]

[1]: (Lambton 2011) Lambton, Ann K S. 2011. CITIES iii. Administration and Social Organization. Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cities-iii


History:
present

e.g. chronicles outlining the history of the Safavids. [1] About two dozen Persian-language "court-chronicles" exist from the Safavid period. [2]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids

[2]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Fiction:
present

Tahmasp and Abbas I funded poets. Nimatallahi Vahshi (d.1583-4 CE), Sayyid Ali b. Khvaja Mir Ahmad ("Muhtasham" d.1587-1588 CE or 1592 CE), Urfi Shirazi (1556-c1591 CE), Sharaf Jahan (d.1560), satirist Hayrat (d.1553 CE), Damiri (d.c1578 CE), Abdi Bek Shirazi (d.1580 CE). [1]

[1]: (Newman 2009) Newman, Andrew J. 2009. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. I.B. Tauris. New York.


Calendar:
present

e.g. the sonar and lunar calendars [1]

[1]: Kathryn Babayan, Mystics, Monarchs, and Messiahs: Cultural Landscapes of Early Modern Iran (Cambridge, Mass: Distributed for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies of Harvard University by Harvard University Press, 2002), pp.73 -75.


Information / Money



Indigenous Coin:
present

The Safavids minted silver tangas, as well as tumans and dınars. Copper coins were also minted for small dominations. [1] When Esmāʿil became shah he had coins "struck in his name". [2] To begin with, the basic coins the Safavids minted were silver tangas, as well as tumans and dınars. The range of coins minted expanded over the late 17th century. There were money testers to insure quality control of coin weights and purity. Copper coins were also minted for small dominations, and "From the available evidence it has been surmised that each Iranian city had its own copper mint" although these coins were only used within regions. [1] When Esmāʿil became shah he had coins "struck in his name". [2] Credit was obtained through Indian merchants trading in Persia. "Whether owing to their exemption from Islamic restrictions on any open practice of usury or to their expertise in money-changing, the Indian banyas (traders and bankers by caste) became fairly numerous in Persia, becoming closely associated with the mints. Credit was also greatly influenced by the multitude of Indian usurers (in Isfahan alone there were over 10,000 banyas in the seventeenth century)." [1]

[1]: Moosvi, S. “THE MONETARY SYSTEM IN SAFAVID PERSIA.” In History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Vol. V The Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Centuries, edited by Chahryar Adle and Irfan Habib, Paris: Unesco, 1992, p.455

[2]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’ http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids.


Foreign Coin:
present

Foreign gold and silver specie, much of it coming into Iran through the silk trade. [1]

[1]: Newman, Andrew J. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire. London: I.B. Tauris, 2006, p.63.



Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent

"The Safavid government maintained a postal system, mainly to relay messages and government orders. The couriers gradu­ally came to be known as čāpār. The system of relay stations no longer existed, however." [1]

[1]: (Floor 1990) Floor, Willem. 1990. ČĀPĀR. www.iranicaonline.org/articles/capar-or-capar-turk


General Postal Service:
absent

"The Safavid government maintained a postal system, mainly to relay messages and government orders. The couriers gradu­ally came to be known as čāpār. The system of relay stations no longer existed, however." [1]

[1]: (Floor 1990) Floor, Willem. 1990. ČĀPĀR. www.iranicaonline.org/articles/capar-or-capar-turk


Courier:
present

"The Safavid government maintained a postal system, mainly to relay messages and government orders. The couriers gradu­ally came to be known as čāpār. The system of relay stations no longer existed, however. The čāpārs took riding animals wherever they could find them. They even had the right to make people dismount and give up their animals ... Riding animals actually came mostly from villagers, who would send somebody with the čāpār to retrieve the animal. The čāpārs, of course, did not dare to demand riding animals from important personages or Eu­ropeans." [1] Spies used the postal service to transmit intelligence. [2]

[1]: (Floor 1990) Floor, Willem. 1990. ČĀPĀR. www.iranicaonline.org/articles/capar-or-capar-turk

[2]: Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War, 1500-1988. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2011., chapter three.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications


Stone Walls Mortared:
present

"The Safavid cities’ fortifications were not that impressive. Isfahan was surrounded by a wall with eight gates. ... The Safavids, after making Isfahan their capital, did not rebuild the wall. ... Since Isfahan faced no threat, there was no point in constructing time-consuming and costly fortifications." [1]

[1]: (Roy 2014, 105) Roy, Kaushik. 2014. Military Transition in Early Modern Asia, 1400-1750: Cavalry, Guns, Government and Ships. A&C Black.




Isfahan: "Canals were outside the city walls, which might have functioned as a wet moat." [1] "There was a citadel at Sarakh situated on the top of a hill and surrounded by a moat." [1]

[1]: (Roy 2014, 105) Roy, Kaushik. 2014. Military Transition in Early Modern Asia, 1400-1750: Cavalry, Guns, Government and Ships. A&C Black.


Fortified Camp:
unknown

Were any fortified camps necessary on Shah Abbas’s campaign to retake Iraq from the Ottomans?


Earth Rampart:
present

Safavid soldiers used breastwork in sieges. [1]

[1]: Steven R. Ward, Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces (Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press, 2009), p.49.


Safavid soldiers dug trenches during sieges. [1] "Shah Abbas arrived at Ganja in 1606 to make heavy use of trenches, siege works, and cannon fire to subdue its Ottoman garrison." [2]

[1]: Steven R. Ward, Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces (Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press, 2009), p.49.

[2]: (Farrokh 2011) Farrokh, Kevin. 2011. Iran at War: 1500-1988. Osprey Publishing.


Complex Fortification:
present

"The important towns in Central Asia had citadels and were walled and further protected by mud circumvallation." [1] "Some forts were protected by double walls." [1] The ghulam Allah Verdi Khan built a fort in the Shiraz area. [2] Tabriz and many Iranian cities did not have defensive walls around the whole site, although they did have a central citadel where defenders would retreat to. [3] Isfahan had "more than 3,500" towers around the city. These were the so-called ’pigeon towers’. [4]

[1]: (Roy 2014, 105) Roy, Kaushik. 2014. Military Transition in Early Modern Asia, 1400-1750: Cavalry, Guns, Government and Ships. A&C Black.

[2]: Sholeh A. Quinn, ‘Iran under Safavid Rule’, in David O. Morgan and Anthony Reid (eds), The New Cambridge History of Islam: Volume 3. The Eastern Islamic World, Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010),P.227.

[3]: Blow, David. Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. London: I.B. Tauris, 2009. p.76.

[4]: Blow, David. Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. London : I.B. Tauris ; , 2009. plate 12.


Military use of Metals

Shah Ismail’s Qizilbash soldiers described as having steel armour. [1] Steel plate armour. [2]

[1]: Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War, 1500-1988. Oxford : Osprey Publishing, 2011. chapter three.

[2]: (Khorasani 2014) Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr. 2014. Reproduction of an Early Safavid Armor. https://www.academia.edu/8815598/Moshtagh_Khorasani_Manouchehr_2014_._Reproduction_of_an_Early_Safavid_Armor


Iron plate armour. [1]

[1]: (Powell 2010, 626) Powell, John. 2010. Weapons & Warfare: Modern weapons and warfare (since c. 1500). Salem Press.




Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

At Shamakhi 1606 CE "siege engines, cannon, horses, and pack animals" [1]

[1]: (Farrokh 2011) Farrokh, Kevin. 2011. Iran at War: 1500-1988. Osprey Publishing.


Sling Siege Engine:
present

At Shamakhi 1606 CE "siege engines, cannon, horses, and pack animals" [1]

[1]: (Farrokh 2011) Farrokh, Kevin. 2011. Iran at War: 1500-1988. Osprey Publishing.



Self Bow:
absent

Unnecessary as they used the more powerful composite bow.


Javelin:
present

Safavids had ’combat spears’ which were designed to be thrown in battle. Training with these was an important exercise too. [1]

[1]: Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War, 1500-1988. Oxford : Osprey Publishing, 2011. chapter three.


Handheld Firearm:
present

e.g. Esmāʿil introduced corps of musketeers into his army. [1] The Safavid armies were equipped with ’traditional’ weapons and armour: bows, swords, cavalry horses. But this period also saw the use of firearms: both artillery (mainly in a defensive capacity) and muskets on the battle. They did not have a professional navy, instead employing mercenaries when needed. [2] [3] [4]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids

[2]: Haneda, Masashi. “The Evolution of the Safavid Royal Guard.” Iranian Studies 22, no. 2/3 (January 1, 1989): 62

[3]: Savory, R. M. “The Sherley Myth.” Iran 5, 1967 / : 75

[4]: Steven R. Ward, Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces (Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press, 2009), p.49.


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present

The Safavids used cannon for sieges rather than in the field. [1] Siege cannon used in 1507 CE at Siege of Arantelia. [2]

[1]: Rudi Matthee ‘SAFAVID DYNASTY’http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/safavids

[2]: (Roy 2014, 105) Roy, Kaushik. 2014. Military Transition in Early Modern Asia, 1400-1750: Cavalry, Guns, Government and Ships. A&C Black.


Crossbow:
present

Safavid diplomat carrying a "victory letter" presented the Mamluk Sultan an ornamental copy of the Quran, a prayer carpet, a kiswah for the Kabah in Mecca, and a crossbow. [1]

[1]: (Mitchell 2009, 37) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.


Composite Bow:
present

Royal guard described as having bows and arrows, these were made in the compound manner. [1]

[1]: Haneda, Masashi. “The Evolution of the Safavid Royal Guard.” Iranian Studies 22, no. 2/3 (January 1, 1989): 62;Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War, 1500-1988. Oxford : Osprey Publishing, 2011. chapter three.


Weapon of the Americas


Handheld weapons
War Club:
present

e.g maces [1]

[1]: Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War, 1500-1988. Oxford : Osprey Publishing, 2011. chapter three.


Royal guard described as having scimitars. [1]

[1]: Haneda, Masashi. “The Evolution of the Safavid Royal Guard.” Iranian Studies 22, no. 2/3 (January 1, 1989): 62.


Cavalry armed with spears/lances [1]

[1]: Blow, David. Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. London: I.B. Tauris, 2009.p.55



Dagger:
present

Mentioned in poetry. [1]

[1]: (Mitchell 2009, 38) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.


Battle Axe:
present

Qizilbdsh troops sometimes used battle axes. [1]

[1]: Savory, R. M. “The Sherley Myth.” Iran 5, 1967 / : 75.


Animals used in warfare

Royal guard described as having horses. [1]

[1]: Haneda, Masashi. “The Evolution of the Safavid Royal Guard.” Iranian Studies 22, no. 2/3 (January 1, 1989): 62.


Elephant:
absent

"Certainly the Arabs of Sind, the Saffarids, and the later Buyids made almost no use of them at all." [1]

[1]: (Wink 1997, 102-103) Andre Wink. 1997. Al-Hind. The Making of the Indo-Islamic World. Volume II. The Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest 11th-13th Centuries. BRILL. Leiden.




Mainly used for the baggage train. [1]

[1]: Blow, David. Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. London: I.B. Tauris , 2009, p.67.


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

Some shields made of wood. [1]

[1]: Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War, 1500-1988. Oxford : Osprey Publishing, 2011. chapter three.


Shield:
present

Shah Abbas wore a ’target’ when on horseback i.e. a small shield. His soldiers also used shields. [1]

[1]: Blow, David. Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. London: I.B. Tauris , 2009, p.55; Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War, 1500-1988. Oxford : Osprey Publishing, 2011. chapter three.


Scaled Armor:
unknown

On bardings for horses?


Plate Armor:
present

e.g. the Chahar-Ayned [lit. "four mirrors"] - four armour plates wrapped round the torso. [1] Iron plate armour: "four iron plates covering chest and back with a hole for the arms on the two side pieces was an innovation of the Safavid Period." [2]

[1]: Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War, 1500-1988. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2011., chapter three.

[2]: (Powell 2010, 626) Powell, John. 2010. Weapons & Warfare: Modern weapons and warfare (since c. 1500). Salem Press.


Limb Protection:
present

Shaneband, saqband, payband, Bazuband protected the shoulders, shins, feet, and arms respectively. Ranin thigh protector, bala bazuband upperarm protector. [1]

[1]: (Khorasani 2014) Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr. 2014. Reproduction of an Early Safavid Armor. https://www.academia.edu/8815598/Moshtagh_Khorasani_Manouchehr_2014_._Reproduction_of_an_Early_Safavid_Armor


Leather Cloth:
present

The qizilbdsh troops "wore light armour". [1] Leather face and neck protectors. [2] Wool and silk Khaftan and Shalvar-e Khaftan (gambeson and gambeson pants). Balatane-ye namadi (felt jacket). [2]

[1]: Savory, R. M. “The Sherley Myth.” Iran 5, 1967: 75

[2]: (Khorasani 2014) Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr. 2014. Reproduction of an Early Safavid Armor. https://www.academia.edu/8815598/Moshtagh_Khorasani_Manouchehr_2014_._Reproduction_of_an_Early_Safavid_Armor



Helmet:
present

Shah Ismail’s Qizilbash soldiers described as having ’robust’ helmets. [1]

[1]: Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War, 1500-1988. Oxford : Osprey Publishing, 2011. chapter three.


Chainmail:
present

Shah Ismail’s Qizilbash soldiers described as wearing chainmail. [1] Zereh mail armour. [2]

[1]: Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War, 1500-1988. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2011., chapter three.

[2]: (Khorasani 2014) Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr. 2014. Reproduction of an Early Safavid Armor. https://www.academia.edu/8815598/Moshtagh_Khorasani_Manouchehr_2014_._Reproduction_of_an_Early_Safavid_Armor


Breastplate:
present

Mentioned in Safavid literature. [1]

[1]: (Mitchell 2009, 44-45) Mitchell, Colin P. 2009. Practice of Politics in Safavid Iran, The: Power, Religion and Rhetoric. I.B. Tauris. London.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

The early Safavid did not have a proper navy. [1] The early Safavid did not have a proper navy. Shah Abbas would recruit sailors from Arab vassal states to man converted merchant ships. He also received support from the English who provided armed ships and landed Safavid troops. [1]

[1]: Steven R. Ward, Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces (Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press, 2009), p.49.



Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present

Shah Abbas would recruit sailors from Arab vassal states to man converted merchant ships. [1]

[1]: Steven R. Ward, Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces (Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press, 2009), p.49.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.