DAFTAR-ḴĀNA-YE HOMĀYŪN (royal secretariat), a Safavid administrative unit headed by the daftardār, or chief secretary. The earliest known mention of the daftar-ḵāna (secretariat) is dated to the 14th century: Moḥammad Naḵjavānī devoted a chapter of his Dastūr al-kāteb to daftar-dārī-e mamālek (state record keeping). He credited Ṣāḥeb-(e) Dīvān Ḵᵛāja Šams-al-Dīn Jovaynī with having appointed a secretary (daftardār-e dīvān) to the Il-khanid court (II, pp. 125-31).
Under the Il-khanids (654-754/1256-1353) the chief state accountant (mostawfī al-mamālek) was assisted by the state comptroller (mošref al-mamālek) and the superintendent of state finances (nāẓer al-mamālek; cf. Fragner, p. 554: “In the Safavid nāẓir-i daftarkhāna-yi humāyūn-i aʿlā we can recognise the older nāẓir al-mamālik; and the mushrif al-mamālik was presumably the prototype of the Safavid dārūgha-yi daftarkhāna”).
In the Safavid period (907-30/1501-1736) the highest financial official of the divan was the mostawfī al-mamālek. The anonymous author of Taḏkerat al-molūk listed (pp. 71-78) the officials of the daftar-ḵāna. The two principal officials were appointed by the shah. The first was the nāẓer, director of the supreme royal secretariat (tr. Minorsky, p. 141), distinct from the higher-ranking nāẓer-e boyūtāt, who supervised the royal workshops (boyūtāt-e ḵāṣṣa-ye šarīfa, q.v.). His second in command was the dāruḡa, who was responsible for sealing financial documents, as well as the orders of employment for all ranks; it was also his responsibility when necessary to prosecute agents (ʿāmels) of the chancery, whose accounts were then cleared by the nāẓer (Taḏkerat al-molūk, tr. Minorsky, pp. 71-72). Other officials of the daftar-ḵāna included viziers and accountants of the qūṛčīān (arsenal), the ḡolāmān (slave soldiers), the tofanġčīān (musketeers), and the tūpḵāna (artillery) departments; the laškar-nevīs (lit., “army scribe”) and the sar-ḵaṭṭ-nevīs (?); the żābeṭa-nevīs, who dealt with most revenues; the ṣāḥeb-e tawjīh, an auditor; the chief secretary (daftardār-e daftar-ḵāna-ye homāyūn); the żābeṭ-bāšī and the żābeṭ-e dūšollok-e wakīl (collectors of fees for the wakīl); and avāraja-nevīsān (keepers of the books for miscellaneous revenues; for descriptions of all these offices, see Taḏkerat al-molūk, tr. Minorsky, pp. 71-78).
The main features of the Safavid administration were continued under the Afsharids (1148-1210/1736-95) and the Zands (1163-1209/1750-94). The office of daftar-ḵāna-ye homāyūn was retained by the Qajars (1193-1342/1779-1924), though many of its former functions were transferred to other administrative units. With the introduction of a new system of public finance under Reżā Shah Pahlavī (1301-20 Š./1924-41), the old administrative departments, including the daftar-ḵāna, passed into history.
Dastūr al-molūk, ed. M. T. Dānešpažūh, MDAT, supp., 1347 Š./1968.
B. Fragner, “Social and Internal Economic Affairs,” in Camb. Hist. Iran VI, pp. 491-567.
B. Lewis, “Daftar,” in EI2II, pp. 77-81.
M. Naḵjavānī, Dastūr al-kāteb fī taʿyīn al-marāteb, ed. ʿA.-A. Alīzāda, 3 vols., Moscow, 1964.
H. Rajabzāda, Āʾīn-e kešvar-dārī dar ʿahd-e Rašīd-al-Dīn Fażl-Allāh, Tehran, 1355 Š./1976.
K. M. Röhrborn, Provinzen und Zentralgewalt Persiens im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert, Berlin, 1966; tr. K. Jahāndārī, Neẓām-e ayālāt dar dawra-ye ṣafawīya, Tehran, 1357 Š./1978.
R. M. Savory, “The Safavid Administrative System,” in Camb. Hist. Iran VI, pp. 351-72.
Originally Published: December 15, 1993
Last Updated: November 11, 2011
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Vol. VI, Fasc. 6, pp. 564-565