Table of Contents

  • ISFAHAN v. LOCAL HISTORIOGRAPHY

    JÜRGEN PAUL

    Isfahan is exceptional in the number and variety of works of local historiography; no other Persian city has attracted nearly as many such works.

  • ISFAHAN vi. MEDIEVAL PERIOD

    Hossein Kamaly

    The history of Isfahan prior to the city’s efflorescence in the 17th century often traced alternating cycles of urbanization and de-urbanization.

  • ISFAHAN vii. SAFAVID PERIOD

    Masashi Haneda and Rudi Matthee

    Isfahan came under Safavid rule in 1503 following Shah Esmāʿil’s defeat of Solṭān Morād, the Āq Qoyunlu ruler of Erāq-e ʿAjam, near Hamadān.

  • ISFAHAN viii. QAJAR PERIOD

    Heidi Walcher

    The historical changes affecting the Isfahan of this period included loss of its status as the royal capital and its transformation into a major provincial city.

  • Isfahan ix. THE PAHLAVI PERIOD AND THE POST-REVOLUTION ERA

    Habib Borjian

    In the process of consolidating his power in Isfahan, Reza Shah managed to constrain two powerful social groups: the Shiʿite clergy and the Baḵtiāri tribesmen.

  • ISFAHAN x. MONUMENTS

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    According to the French traveler Jean Chardin, in the late 17th century Isfahan housed some 162 mosques, 48 theological colleges (madrasa), 1,802 caravansaries, and 273 bathhouses.

  • Isfahan x. MONUMENTS (1) A Historical Survey

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

     Isfahan’s monuments developed in the early medieval period first under the ʿAbbāsid caliphate and Buyid patronage. But many of the extant monuments of Isfahan date to the periods in history when the city served as the capital of the ruling dynasties of the Great Saljuqs (1040-1194) and the Safavids (1501-1722).

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (2) Palaces

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    European visitors to Safavid Persia, for example, found themselves increasingly bound by Isfahan, where they were able to gain a royal audience or conduct their business with the court and government bureaucracy without having to follow the itinerant monarchs.

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (3) Mosques

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    Isfahan is known historically for its large number of mosques. According to Abu Noʿaym of Isfahan, the first large mosque in Isfahan was built during the Caliphate of Imam ʿAli b. Abi Ṭāleb (r. 656-61). The French traveler Jean Chardin counted 162 mosques during his travels to Isfahan in the middle of the 17th century.

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (4) Madrasas

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    The earliest extant madrasa in Isfahan is the 1325 Emāmi Madrasa, which is also known as the Madrasa-ye Bābā Qāsem after the name of its first teacher, who is buried in a nearby tomb. As in Persian mosque type, this and most other madrasas in Persia follow the four-ayvān courtyard-centered plan.

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