(1524-1576), second ruler of the Safavid dynasty. His 52-year reign was the longest of all Safavid rulers.


ṬAHMĀSP I, second ruler of the Safavid dynasty (b. village of Šāh-ābād near Isfahan, 22 February, 1514; d. Qazvin, 14 May, 1576).

Introduction. Given that the 52-year reign of Abu’l-Fatḥ Ṭahmāsp (posthumously referred to as ḵāqān-e jannat-makān) was the longest of all Safavid rulers, the absence of any full-scale biography by a Western scholar is surprising (for a comprehensive biography and bibliography in Persian see Pārsādust.) The abundance of materials available for this period in terms of court chronicles, royal memoirs, poetry, religious treatises, calligraphy, and miniature painting simply emphasizes this lack. This lacuna in Safavid studies is most probably a result of this reign being preceded and followed by two of the most charismatic and successful Safavid shahs, Esmāʿil I (r. 1501-24) and ʿAbbās I (r. 1588-1629), and these tend to overshadow the lengthy and substantial list of accomplishments by Ṭahmāsp in terms of court politics, cultural patronage, and religious policies.

Political History: Ṭahmāsp as a princeling (1516-24). Ṭahmāsp Mirzā, the eldest son of the Safavid dynastic founder, Shah Esmāʿil I, was designated early on as the successor to the throne. Consistent with Turco-Mongolian customs in terms of corporate family sovereignty, he was allocated nominal control of the lucrative province of Khorasan, and in 1516 he was placed under the tutorship (lalegi) of Amir Solṭān Mawṣellu, the former governor of Āmed (see AMIDA; now Diārbakr) under the Āq Qoyunlus. Situating Ṭahmāsp Mirzā in Herat as the heir-apparent was consistent with a longstanding Turkic dynastic tradition dating back to the Saljuq period, and Herat would emerge in the 16th century as a city where Safavid crown princes were brought up and educated. These decisions by Esmāʿil were undoubtedly also influenced by his desire to halt and perhaps reverse the meteoric rise of the Šāmlu tribe which had dominated Safavid court politics and held a number of powerful governorships, including that of Khorasan, since the “emergence” (ẓohur) of Esmāʿil. By naming his two-year old son as governor, and placing him in the care of the chief amir (see also AMIR-AL-OMARĀʾ) of the recently-incorporated Mawṣellu tribe, Esmāʿil was not only redistributing tribal power but also inducing a much-needed physical manifestation of the imperial Safavid family (which was considered sacred) in a troubled peripheral area of his nascent empire. Moreover, Esmāʿil insisted that there should be a religious tutor to instruct the young prince in the principal rituals and ceremonies of Twelver Shiʿism, and the religious notable and prominent Persian urbanite of Herat, Amir Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Moḥammad b. Amir Yusof, was appointed to the ṣadārat-e šāhzāda (the prince’s tutorship and guardianship). At the age of eight, Ṭahmāsp found himself in the center of a power struggle between Turkmens and “Tājiks,” that is Persians, personified in Amir Solṭān Mawṣellu and Amir Ḡiāṯ-al-Din, over the control of Herat. Amir Solṭān Mawṣellu managed to arrest Ḡiāṯ-al-Din in 1521 and had him executed the following day but he himself was dismissed from his post and recalled to Tabriz by Shah Esmāʿil, who appointed a new tutor (lala), ʿAli Beg Rumlu, known as Div Solṭān for Ṭahmāsp Mirzā, while the princedom of Herat and Khorasan was given to his brother, Sām Mirzā.

King and qezelbāš ward (1524-33).Ṭahmāsp’s puppet status continued with his accession to the throne on 23 May 1524, and the self-appointed status of Div Solṭān Rumlu (one of the Sufis of the Old Guard “ṣufiān-e qadimi”) as the shah’s vicegerent and the empire’s de facto ruler. Dissension appeared soon afterward among the Qezelbāš ranks, and the Ostājlu tribe, headed by Köpek Solṭān, chafed at the prospect of Rumlu hegemony at the Safavid court. As governor of the Safavid capital, Köpek Solṭān still retained a fair amount of control, and some of his tribal supporters petitioned him to challenge the shah’s lala openly. Div Solṭān acknowledged that despite his powerful political leverage as custodian of Ṭahmāsp, he still needed to secure the Ostājlu stronghold of Tabriz. Moreover, the Takkalu tribe and its leader, Čuha Solṭān, were in control of the cities of Isfahan and Hamadān. Div Solṭān Rumlu proposed a triumvirate, a junta of sorts, whereby he would share the office of amir-al-omarā (commander-in-chief) with both Köpek Solṭān Ostājlu and Čuha Solṭān Takkalu. Div Solṭān proved to be both cunning and patient in his plan to subjugate the Ostājlu and Takkalu groups, and used this period of cooperation to placate tribal sensitivities and isolate Köpek Solṭān Ostājlu. Civil war, however, broke out roughly a year later and Div Solṭān led his forces successfully against the Ostājlu rebels in Azerbaijan, Ardabil, and Gilān. Köpek Solṭān was killed at Šarur in 1527. This internal strife was only complicated by the first of many Uzbek invasions of Khorasan that culminated in the temporary seizure of Ṭus and Astarābād. Deemed too old and no longer able to address these internal and external threats, Div Solṭān was executed on 5 July 1527 by order of the shah, and control of the Safavid Empire was transferred to the sole remaining member of the Qezelbāš triumvirate, Čuha Solṭān Takkalu.

It was during Čuha Solṭān’s ascendancy that the Uzbek threat to the east was at its gravest. In 1528, ʿObayd-Allāh managed to re-conquer the cities of Astarābād and Mashad and lay siege to the city of Herat. The fourteen-year-old Ṭahmāsp led a relief force to the east and, by all accounts, acquitted himself bravely at the battle of Jām (24 September 1528). The Safavid defeat of the Uzbeks in that encounter, thanks primarily to their introduction of gunpowder technology to this particular frontier, turned out to be rather fleeting. Forced to return west and suppress a rebellion in Baghdad (see BAGHDAD ii) led by Ḏu’l-Faqār Mawṣellu, Ṭahmāsp could do little to prevent the Uzbeks from returning to Khorasan some months later. After a lengthy siege and ensuing negotiations, Herat was handed over to the Uzbeks by Sām Mirzā and his tutor, Ḥosayn Khan Šāmlu, in exchange for safe passage out of Khorasan to the west. The Safavids quickly drove the Uzbeks from eastern Khorasan in the late summer of 1530, and Ṭahmāsp appointed his brother, Bahrām Mirzā, and his tutor, Ḡāzi Khan Takkalu to take charge of the province. Takkalu brinkmanship ultimately alienated the shah, and when a melee broke out between rival groups of Takkalu and Šāmlu in the royal tent, Shah Ṭahmāsp symbolically disentangled himself from this political debacle by ordering the wholesale execution of those Takkalu tribesmen in attendance, and the event was dubbed “the Takkalu pestilence” (āfat-e Takkalu) in contemporaneous Persian chronicles and later scholarship.

Takkalu ascendancy was promptly replaced by that of the Šāmlu when Ṭahmāsp appointed Ḥosayn Khan Šāmlu as his wakil, or plenipotentiary. Marginalized and hostile, a number of Takkalu abandoned the Safavid cause and joined the Ottoman Empire to the west; the most celebrated case was that of Olāma Beg Takkalu who had held the powerful positions of yasāvol-bāši (chief bodyguard) and ešik-āqāsi-bāši (chamberlain) during the reign of Esmāʿil, and at the time of his revolt had been serving as the governor (ḥākem) of Azerbaijan. Olāma Beg Takkalu returned to Persia in 1532 with an Ottoman patron, Fil Pasha, and 50,000 troops. Shah Ṭahmāsp and Ḥosayn Khan Šāmlu were able to defeat and drive the Ottomans temporarily out of western Azerbaijan, but news of yet another Uzbek invasion forced the young shah’s attention eastward. Herat was able to weather the Uzbek siege for a year before ʿObayd-Allāh decided to disengage and retreat in October 1533. Annoyed by the Uzbek proclivity for occupying Safavid territory in his absence, Ṭahmāsp spent the next eight months in Khorasan, expanding Safavid dominion in the direction of Marv and Ḡarčestān, while at the same time re-appointing Sām Mirzā to the governorship of Khorasan and naming Aḡzivār Khan Šāmlu as his brother’s Turkmen lala, or advisor. In the spring of 1534, news of a massive Ottoman invasion led by the Ottoman sultan Solaymān the Magnificent (r. 1520-66) in person, reached Ṭahmāsp in Balḵ. Perhaps more problematic for the young shah was the revelation that his brother, Sām Mirzā, had been in secret correspondence with Solaymān and that this Ottoman invasion was in fact designed to remove Ṭahmāsp and place a pro-Ottoman Safavid monarch on the throne in Tabriz. Detecting the machinations of his wakil, Ḥosayn Khan Šāmlu, behind his brother’s treachery, Ṭahmāsp had the Šāmlu amir executed. Combined with his purging of the “Takkalu Pestilence,” the execution of Ḥosayn Khan was a deliberate demonstration of sovereignty by the young shah, and 1533 is generally accepted as heralding a new phase of confidence and political awareness for the young Ṭahmāsp.

Issues of Turco-Mongol corporate sovereignty (1533-55). Fraternal revolts and family schisms in the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal dynastic households dominated the course of political events in Persia after 1533. These disruptions were essentially manifestations of the core ethos of corporate sovereignty peculiar to Turco-Mongolian states, and to counteract them, key changes were soon introduced by Ṭahmāsp to the court and military that would radically alter the ethnic composition of Persia’s elite in the next century.

Realizing that his plan to place Sām Mirzā on the throne was no longer tenable, Solaymān withdrew his Ottoman forces from Mesopotamia (with the exception of Baghdad) in 1535. However, the Ottomans continued to apply pressure by invading Persia again in 1548, once again a direct result of fraternal fractures within the Safavid household. Ṭahmāsp’s brother, Alqāṣ Mirzā had been governor of Šervān (Shirvan) since March 1538, and it was clear that the Qezelbāš amirs had begun pushing the prince to rebel against his older brother. In March 1547, hostilities broke out when Alqāṣ’s forces, led by Moḥammad Beg Afšār, were routed by Šāhqoli Ḵalifa and the city of Darband was taken from the rebels by Bahrām Mirzā. Alqāṣ Mirzā and sixty followers sought asylum at the court of Solaymān the Magnificent, and convinced the Ottoman sultan to launch an invasion of the Safavid dominions. Not unlike Solaymān’s earlier invasion of ʿErāq-e ʿarab and Baghdad during Sām Mirzā’s bid for the throne, the Ottomans were once again using royal dissent in the Safavid house as a means of establishing a pro-Ottoman satellite state to the east. Olāma Beg Takkalu, now serving as the Ottoman governor of Erzurum, was ordered to assemble his troops and accompany Alqāṣ Mirzā in an invasion of Azerbaijan. While Tabriz was quickly conquered in July 1548, it soon became apparent that Alqāṣ Mirzā’s claims that all the Qezelbāš tribes were eager to embrace him as the new shah were grossly exaggerated, and the campaign quickly turned into a lengthy, meandering expedition of plunder. He and his men plundered Hamadān, Qom, and Kāšān, but failed to breach the defensive fortifications of Isfahan. The Safavids organized a counter-offensive under Bahrām Mirzā, and this eventually drove the remnants of Alqāṣ Mirzā’s forces from Dezful to Ottoman territory. These episodes of fraternal rivalry and open rebellion in the Safavid household suggest that Shah Ṭahmāsp was now having to come to terms with certain aspects of Turco-Mongolian dynastic practice, specifically its avoidance of strict primogeniture. This tendency in Turco-Mongolian polity had been recently witnessed by Ṭahmāsp between 1543 and 1545 when he extended temporary asylum to the Indian Moghul ruler, Homāyun (see HOMĀYUN PĀDEŠĀH, r. 1530-40 and 1555-56), who had been pursued west from Kandahar (Qandahār) by his own brothers after being expelled from the Indo-Gangetic plain by Šēr-Šāh Suri; likewise was the case in Turkish Constantinople when political aspirations and familial rivalry resulted in the defection of Solaymān’s son, Bāyazid, to the Safavid court in 1562.

While later rulers, in particular ʿAbbās the Great, dealt with these questions of corporate sovereignty by simply eliminating any possible counterclaims from within the family, Ṭahmāsp looked for a long-term solution that would avoid having to harm or physically immobilize male family members (with the exception of one son, Esmāʿil Mirzā). For Ṭahmāsp, the problem lay with the military tribal elite, the Qezelbāš, who believed that physical proximity to and control of a member of the immediate Safavid family guaranteed spiritual advantages, political fortune, and material advancement. While Ṭahmāsp could obviate some of his concerns regarding familial revolt by having his brothers and sons routinely transferred around to various governorships in the empire, he realized that any long-lasting solutions would involve minimizing the political and military presence of the Qezelbāš as a whole. To some extent, his father had begun this process by patronizing a number of prominent Persian urbanites, most famously Yār-Aḥmad Ḵuzāni (laqab: Najm-e Ṯāni), in powerful bureaucratic positions, and we see this continued in Ṭahmāsp’s lengthy and close relationship with the chief vizier and wakil, Qāżi Jahān of Qazvin, after 1535. While Persians continued to fill their historical role as administrators and clerical elites under Ṭahmāsp, little had been done so far to minimize the military role of the Qezelbāš. Thus, in 1540, Shah Ṭahmāsp initiated the first of a series of systematic invasions of the Caucasus region, bringing back massive amounts of plundered property and prodigious numbers of Christian slaves. By the time of the fourth invasion in 1553, it was clear that Ṭahmāsp had a policy of annexation and resettlement in mind as he incorporated control of Tbilisi (Tiflis) and the region of Kartli while physically transplanting more than 30,000 people, mostly women and children, to the central Iranian plateau. This would be the starting point for the corps of ḡolāmān-e ḵāṣṣa-ye-e šarifa, or royal slaves, who would dominate the Safavid military in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. As non-Turkmen converts to Islam, these Circassian and Georgian (see GEORGIA, especially vii and viii) ḡolāmān were unfettered by clan loyalties and kinship obligations, which was an attractive feature for a ruler like Ṭahmāsp whose childhood and upbringing had been deeply affected by Qezelbāš tribal politics. In turn, many of these transplanted women became wives and concubines of Ṭahmāsp, and the Safavid harem emerged as a competitive, and sometimes lethal, arena of ethnic politics as cliques of Turkmen, Circassian, and Georgian women and courtiers vied with each other for the shah’s attention.

Reorientation and stability (1555-76). Although the date of the official transfer is still debated among historians, it is almost certain that Ṭahmāsp began preparations to have the royal capital moved from Tabriz to Qazvin during this period of ethnic re-settlement in the 1540s. As Eḥsān Ešrāqi (Echraqi) has demonstrated (1996, pp. 105-16), a number of administrative centers had been established in Qazvin during the reign of Esmāʿil, and Shah Ṭahmāsp had been purchasing and developing various properties in the city environs since 1544. Most scholars concur that Tabriz had shown itself to be vulnerable to Ottoman attack, and strategy dictated having a centrally located royal capital. However, a series of Safavid victories in the early 1550s: the conquest of the Armenian cities of Arjiš, Aḵlāt,Van, and Bitlis (see BEDLIS), the routing of Eskandar Pasha outside Erzurum, the capture of Sinān Pasha, and the ensuing peace treaty of Amasya (29 May 1555), suggest that Tabriz was relatively secure when Ṭahmāsp decided to relocate his royal capital to Qazvin in 1557. A more appealing explanation for basing the central, royal administration in Qazvin lies with the aforementioned agenda of minimizing undue Turkic influence in the Safavid court. As Hans Roemer (1986, p. 249) observed, there was no need to see a policy of “Persianization” in this move, but undoubtedly “the idea of a Turkmen state with its center at Tabriz and its fulcrum in eastern Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and northwestern Persia was abandoned.” The decision to replace Tabriz as the imperial center, a city that had historically been the hub of a number of Mongol and Turkmen dynasties such as the Il-khanids, the Qara Qoyunlus, and the Āq Qoyunlus, was concurrent with a decision by the shah to populate and staff his court and army with members of a new, non-Qezelbāš constituency. Qazvin had long since been associated with orthodoxy and stable governance, and Ṭahmāsp’s patronage of a number of new palaces, administrative complexes, gardens, and other public works suggests a need to develop a new imperial center for a new imperial ethos. After the Peace of Amasya and the shift of the imperial residence, the militant nomadism associated with the dawlat-e qezelbāš that had dominated the first forty years of Safavid dynastic rule began to dissipate. After 1555, there were ripples of disturbance in Ottoman-Safavid relations, amongst which was Ṭahmāsp’s decision to provide temporary refuge to Solaymān’s rebel son, Bāyazid, in 1562, and the Ottoman assassination of the chief Safavid official in Syria, Maʿṣum Beg Ṣafavi, for proselytizing among the Turkmen populations in northern Syria. In each case, Ṭahmāsp eschewed martial responses and sought resolution through dialogue and conciliation. When Shah Ṭahmāsp died in 1576, the empire he had inherited from his father had not only been maintained but also expanded during the reign of the most successful and expansionary sultan known to the Ottoman Empire.

Personal Piety and Religious Policy. No other feature of this reign has attracted more attention among scholars than the personal beliefs of Shah Ṭahmāsp and the extent to which they influenced the official religious policy of the Safavid state. As Biancamaria Scarcia Amoretti (p. 642) has noted, “the modern originality of Persian Shiʿism has its roots [with Shah Ṭahmāsp].” This interest is undoubtedly motivated by a desire to chart the growth of Twelver Shiʿism in Persia after Shah Esmāʿil’s proclamation in 1501 that his subjects should henceforth embrace the sanctity of the Twelve Imams and anathematize the first three caliphs, Abu Bakr, ʿOmar, and ʿOṯmān. At the same time, Esmāʿil was reluctant to rid himself entirely of his status as the perfect spiritual guide (moršed-e kāmel) who was openly venerated by his Qezelbāš disciples (morids) as not only the direct descendent of ʿAli and Moḥammad, but the promised Mahdi who would usher in the Day of Judgment. The popular interpretation in today’s scholarship seems to be of Ṭahmāsp, surrounded by overbearing Qezelbāš amirs until 1533, continuing in the footsteps of his father and adopting the courtier lifestyle of a bon vivant who did little to police unorthodox and millenarian behavior. It is generally believed that at a certain (the date is still debated) moment, Ṭahmāsp underwent a spiritual rebirth whereby he rejected his sinful ways and thereafter outlawed all irreligious behavior (elḥād) in his empire: taverns and brothels were closed, and social restrictions were increased. In turn, this has been extrapolated to suggest that Ṭahmāsp encouraged an official policy of intolerance and bigotry toward all Sunni Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Some celebrated instances of this bigoted orthodoxy include the massacre of various Noqṭawi and Ismaʿili communities, the abrogation of a number of objectionable verses from his father’s divān, the public decree that court poets henceforth write panegyrics solely to the Twelve Imams, and the xenophobic denigration of the English Muscovy Company agent, Anthony Jenkinson.

However, various sources, both Persian and European, indicate that Shah Ṭahmāsp, not unlike his father, allowed, and perhaps even endorsed, unorthodox behavior and court rituals among his followers well after his public decrying of such heretical innovations (bedʿat). As Alexander H. Morton has indicated in his study of the Venetian Michel Membré’s travel account, the ritualistic bastinado (čub-e ṭariq) of penitent Qezelbāš amirs by a high-ranking Turkmen Sufi (ḵalifat al-ḵolafā), and other “un-Islamic” ceremonies, continued to be practiced in various Turkmen mystical gatherings with the shah in attendance. The same Venetian account relates how villagers would perform informal pilgrimages to the royal court in the hope of securing an article of the shah’s clothing, which was believed widely to hold healing properties (tabarrok), as was the water used by the shah to clean his hands (Membré, pp. 41-42). Perhaps more telling is Ṭahmāsp’s own claims that he regularly foresaw future events while dreaming and was visited in his dreams on a number of occasions by Sufi saints, most notably his ancestors, Shaikh Ṣafi-al-Din and Solṭān Ḥaydar. After a long description of a number of dreams in the year 1554 in which he saw inscribed or found himself spontaneously speaking the phrase fa-sayakfikahum Allāh (“and God will suffice thee against them,” Qurʾān 2:137), Ṭahmāsp was astonished to find that this verse referred to God’s promise that His Prophets would be victorious over their enemies. Ṭahmāsp writes “After realizing this, I was very anxious, and it occurred to me again then that a flash of light from God, may His name be exalted, had burst forth and made itself apparent” (Horn, 1890, p. 637). Ṭahmāsp relates how God had revealed Himself through miraculous light to the Prophet Moses on Mount Sinai, and that He spoke to the Prophet Moḥammad from behind a curtain during the Night of the Ascension (meʿrāj). Ṭahmāsp concludes how “it is known that I saw these types of miracles (nawʿ-e ʿajābāt) and in this way, the Qurʾānic verse (2:137) had run off my tongue.” Not long afterwards, Ṭahmāsp managed to defeat the largest Ottoman invasion to date by Sultan Solaymān (Horn, pp. 635-37). Published documents (Papazian, nos. 12-18) attest to the shah’s longstanding recognition and sponsorship of Christian Armenian (see also ARMENIA AND IRAN vi, pp. 471 ff.) cloisters and lay communities living in Marand, Naḵčavān, Ḵāčin, Ṭātef, and Akules. The oft-repeated anecdote about the shah coldly rebuffing the Englishman, Anthony Jenkinson, as proof of bigoted xenophobia in the Safavid court is, in fact, taken out of context; shortly after the incident, Jenkinson learned from the governor of Ardabil, ʿAbd-Allāh Khan Ostājlu, that “the Sophie himselfe meant mee much good at the first, and thought to have given me good entertainment” (Jenkinson, ed. Hakluyt, I, p. 150). Nor does this isolated event reflect Shah Ṭahmāsp’s general geopolitical awareness, in which diplomacy and correspondence were conducted semi-regularly with non-Muslim powers such as Portugal, Spain, and Venice.

While a strict moral code appears to have been decreed by the shah at some time in the 1530s, it is questionable whether it was enforced with any regularity in city and countryside alike. While no documentation exists as to what was taking place among the general population, numerous incidents are recorded of royal courts serving as arenas for recitals of secular and love poetry and concerts by prominent musicians. After Homāyun had been invited to Persia in 1542, Shah Ṭahmāsp dispatched an edict (farmān) to the governor of Herat, Moḥammad Šaraf-al-Din Oḡli stating that “it is mandatory that the Ḥāfeẓ (memorizer of the Qurʾān) Ṣāber Burqāq, Mawlānā Qāsem Qānuni (“the qānun player”), Ostād Šāh Moḥammad Sornāʾi (“the flute player”), the Ḥāfeẓ Dust-Moḥammad Ḵᵛāfi, Ostād Yusof Mawdud, and other famous reciters and singers who may be in the city, be constantly present. So that whenever the king wishes, these singers can at once provide songs and music to give him a festive time (Navāʾi, 1971, p. 59). The son of Ḡiāṯ-al-Din b. Homām-al-Din Ḵᵛāndamir, Amir Maḥmud, described this concert in Herat with little left for the imagination: “Fair women, amiable and meek, expert in rendering service, stood in every corner like virgins of paradise in that assembly of heavenly dignity. On account of their spirit-enhancing beauty, the thought of life and the next world vanished. On account of the pleasure-exciting songs of the singers, Venus was concealed (in shame) in the sheet of the sky and on account of the music of the musicians, grieved hearts became gladdened; and on account of the palatable foods and pleasant drinks the unsettling hunger in the hearts of beggars vanished like the desire for food in the hearts of rich persons. After the attainment of these materials of sensual pleasures and material delicacies, cash money in gold and silver was submitted to [Homāyun] as presents” (Amir Maḥmud b. Ḡiāṯ -al-Din Ḵᵛāndamir, p. 214). It would be a divination from one of Jāmi’s (d. 1492) ḡazals, or lyrical poems, that convinced the shah to rebuild the mausoleum of the famous Timurid poet in Herat, ironically first destroyed by the shah himself some years earlier after hearing that Jāmi had supposedly been an anti-Shiʿite (Dickson, 1958, p. 190).

Nonetheless, Ṭahmāsp’s “spiritual repentance” is presented in conventional historiography as a metaphor for Safavid Persia’s transition to Twelver Shiʿite orthodoxy from what Michel Mazzaoui termed “Folk Islam,” or more specifically an ad hoc fusion of rituals and liturgies influenced by a variety of traditions: mainstream Sunnism, Imami Shiʿism, Neẓāri Ismaʿilism, Neoplatonic theosophy, militant ḥorufi millenarianism (see HORUFISM), and Turkmen shamanism. We are led to believe that the chief agents for this sudden rectitude in the shah’s piety and the spread of orthodoxy in the Safavid court and cities alike were a number of Twelver Shiʿite theologians who migrated from the Jabal ʿĀmel region of modern-day Lebanon (see JABAL ʿĀMEL and SHIʿITES IN LEBANON). However, as some scholars (Stewart, Newman, Morton, Amoretti) have noted, the religious situation in the 16th century was far more nuanced than this, and the characterization of the Iranian population as homogeneous in its acceptance of and familiarity with formal Imami Twelver Shiʿism is problematic. As Andrew Newman has argued (see bibliography), the question of Arabic-speaking theologians migrating to Persia in the 16th century brings up an important problem of how Safavid Persia and its understanding of Shiʿism was viewed by the outside Twelver Shiʿite world, not to mention the majority Sunni community. Of the theologians who did in fact migrate to Persia, Shaikh Nur-al-Din ʿAli b. Ḥosayn Karaki (d. 1534) is recognized as the most famous and the most successful. He was dignified as “Legal Expert of the Age” (Mojtahed-al-zamān) and “the Second Investigator” (al-Moḥaqqeq al-ṯāni, the first one, al-Moḥaqqeq al-awwal, being Najm-al-Din Ḥelli (d. 1326). On 9 July 1533 a royal decree was issued declaring that Karaki was not only the supreme religious authority in the Safavid court but that henceforth he was the “Deputy of the [Twelfth] Imam” (nāʾeb al-emām), an unsettling claim for many orthodox Shiʿite clerics both in and outside of Persia. Karaki’s treatises on taxes, public prayer, the role of the Imam, and other questions were reflective of a theologian who had little difficulty rationalizing a legitimate Shiʿite state during the absence of the Twelfth Imam, or the Greater Occultation (see ḠAYBA). The lynchpin of Karaki’s program was his utter disavowal of the doctrine of taqlid (‘imitation’) that was central to the aḵbāri (see AḴBĀRIYA) tradition within Twelver Shiʿism. Unfettered by the juridical and exegetical arguments and proofs presented by Shiʿite scholars in the past, Karaki was free to embrace the oṣuli principle of ejtehād (‘interpretation’) in his defense of a secular kingdom acting as the spiritual custodian of the Imami community. These and other contentious questions suggest that the Safavid doctrine of Imami Shiʿism was somewhat malleable, and stood outside the pale of orthodox Twelver Shiʿism. If the problem of religious irregularity existed at a doctrinal level among the hierocracy itself, it stands to reason that “Folk Islam,” in its various manifestations, continued to influence and mold popular piety during the reign of Shah Ṭahmāsp.

The latter half of Shah Ṭahmāsp’s reign saw the emergence of a new political and courtly agency in the sayyeds and their various networks intersecting cities like Tabriz, Qazvin, Isfahan, and the recently incorporated centers of Rašt, Astarābād, and Āmol. Indeed, the developments during this period support the contention that one particular coterie of sayyeds from Māzandarān and the east were especially influential for the duration of Shah Ṭahmāsp’s reign. More compelling has been the suggestion that the sayyeds from Gorgān and Māzandarān – specifically those from Astarābād – were integral to the dispersing, preaching, and popularizing of al-Karaki’s interpretations of Shiʿism across Safavid dominions. Ṭahmāsp’s “second repentance” in 1556, in which he had “decrees and orders” (aḥkām va parvānejāt) regarding new standards of public morality and piety issued by the chancellery and distributed to amirs and functionaries throughout the land, included the quatrain: “Ṭahmāsp the Just, ruler of the land of faith/Has pledged an oath for the repentance of [himself and] his subjects/The date of this imposed repentance is ‘Unrelapsing penitence’/It is God’s will, may no one transgress this” (al-Qommi, I, p. 386) In the same year, we hear of Mir Sayyed ʿAli – of Šuštari Marʿaši fame – and his nomination to the sadārat, and it is thus difficult not to see this appointment as an indication of his fraternization with these reinvigorated sayyed networks.

Cultural Patron. If Shah ʿAbbās I is credited with establishing the Safavid dynasty as one of the principal architectural patrons known to Perso-Islamic history, and Shah Esmāʿil is recognized for his formal introduction of Twelver Shiʿism to Persia, Shah Ṭahmāsp must be acknowledged for his patronage and revival of Persian adab and cultural life. It is in no small part on account of Ṭahmāsp’s patronage of artists, miniaturists, calligraphers, historians, poets, stylists, bookbinders, and other cultural artisans, primarily from Timurid Khorasan, that the Safavid dynasty was able to emerge as an imperial entity of any significance. According to the secretary and historian, Budāq Qazvini, Shah Ṭahmāsp in his youth “was inclined towards calligraphy and art, and brought those singular masters who were without comparison in each of their own art. Of the calligraphers: Mollā ʿAbdi Nišāpuri, Ostād Shah Maḥmud Nišāpuri, Mollā Rostam ʿAli Haravi. Of the artists: Ostād Solṭān Moḥammad Moṣawwar, Ostād Behzād Moṣawwar, Ostād Mirak Eṣfahāni, Mir Moṣawwar, and Dust Divāna. The shah paid absolute patronage and attention to these groups.” (Budāq Monši Qazvini, p. 144). That the shah would be committed to building a court that was intimately familiar with urban Persian culture, both literary and artistic, should be of no surprise; his own memoirs, the Tadkera-e Šāh Ṭahmāsp, is littered with quotations from Hafez, Sa’di, and Neẓāmi, as well as a number of Turkish verses. He also included a list of Qurʾān verses and Hadiths supporting the proofs of the eternality and predestination of the family of the Prophet (ahl-e bayt).

The implications of this policy of Ṭahmāsp staffing his ketāb-ḵāna (library-atelier) and divān-e aʿlā (central administration; see DIVAN ii) with Timurid-trained artists and administrators, a trend arguably begun by Esmāʿil when he invaded Khorasan and conquered the cities of Marv (Merv) and Herat in 1510, are profound. The Safavid Empire, in many ways, began to show an unprecedented degree of cultural sophistication, especially in terms of the “arts of the book,” during the period between 1541 and 1555. It was then that artists such as Solṭān Moḥammad Tabrizi, Dust Moḥammad, and Mir Sayyed ʿAli were beginning to enjoy vigorous support from the royal family in Tabriz and Herat; the well-celebrated Šāh-nāma-ye Šāh Ṭahmāsp was completed in the mid-1540s, a beautiful copy of Neẓāmi’s ḵamsa, copied and illustrated by the aforementioned artists, Šāh-Maḥmud Nišāpuri, Ostād Mirak Eṣfahāni and Mir Moṣawwer, was commissioned by the shah in 1539 and finished in 1543, while Jāmi’s Haft awrang was finished at the court of Ṭahmāsp’s son, Solṭān Ebrāhim, in the early 1540s. Later sources, such as Ebrāhim Beg Monši’s Tāriḵ-e ʿālam ārā-ye ʿabbāsi and Moḥammad-Yusof Vāla Eṣfahāni’s Ḵold-e barin, also refer to Shah Ṭahmāsp’s reign as the zenith of the calligraphic and pictorial arts. Fortunately, we have a contemporary text providing a prosopography of these individuals with Qāżi Aḥmad b. Šaraf-al-Din Qomi’s Golestān-e honar (or Taḏkera-ye ḵošnevisān wa naqqāšān), which was translated by Vladimir Minorsky (see Qāzi Aḥmad, tr. Minorsky).

In the poetic arts, we have Moḥammad b. Solaymān Foẓuli, the greatest lyric poet in Azeri Turkish, who composed a version of Leyli o Majnun in that language, and among whose Persian works are Sāqi-nāma and Rend o zāhed, as well as Moḥammad Tāqi-al-Din Ḥayrati Tuni (d. 1553) who wrote a lengthy religious ode to the Twelve Imams entitled Ketāb-e moʿjezāt. Although many prominent poets left Persia for the Indian Subcontinent, two of the best poets of the reign of Shah Ṭahmāsp, Waḥši [Vahshi] of Bāfq (d. 1583) and Moḥtašam of Kashan (d. 1587-88), managed to stay in Persia, despite supplementing their collection of religious odes with erotic ghazals. It is on account of Moḥtašam’s fine strophic elegy (marṯia davazdah-band) on the martyrdom at Karbalāʾ, who was publicly reprobated for his “secular” poetry, that elegies of the Twelve Imams grew in popularity among those poets dependent on court patronage. Perhaps the greatest of the ghazal writers was Jamāl-al-Din Moḥammad b. Badr-al-Din of Shiraz (d. 1590-91) who wrote under the nom de plume of ʿOrfi.

One particularly understudied poet is Ḵᵛāja ʿAbdi Beg of Shiraz (laqab: Navidi), perhaps better known for his historical work, the Takmilat al-aḵbār, but whose poetical collection, Jannat-e ʿAdan (made up of five major poems, in the spirit of Neẓāmi’s Ḵamsa) deserves more scholarly attention for its allusions to and descriptions of historical events and monuments.

Shah Ṭahmāsp’s own brother, Sām Mirzā, wrote the Taḏkera-yetoḥfa-ye sāmi, in which he mentioned 700 poets during the reigns of the first two Safavid rulers. Sām Mirzā himself was an ardent poet, writing 8,000 verses and a Šāh-nāma dedicated to his brother, Ṭahmāsp (see Sām Mirzā, ed. Homāyun-Farroḵ, 1969).

Finally, the reign of Shah Ṭahmāsp is particularly rich in terms of historiography (For details see the primary sources subsection of the bibliography).

Annotated Bibliography:

Primary sources.

A number of contemporary sources exist for the study of the reign of Shah Ṭahmāsp, and thanks to the work of several scholars, many have been made available in published editions. Principally, we have the shah’s own memoirs, completed in 1561, as Taḏkera-ye Šāh Ṭahmāsp; ed. and tr. into German by Paul Horn, “Die Denkwurdigkeiten des Shah Ṭahmāsp I. von Persien,” ZDMG 44, 1890, pp. 563-649; 45, 1891, pp. 245-91; Memoirs of Shah Tahmasp, ed. D. C. Phillott, Bibliotheca Indica 210 = N.S. 1319, Calcutta, 1912 (Persian text with English footnotes); Taḏkera-ye Šāh Ṭahmāsp, Berlin, 1924. See also Sām Mirzā, Taḏkera-ye toḥfa-e Sāmi, ed. R. Homāyun-Farroḵ, Tehran, 1969.

Šaraf-al-Din Bedlisi’s Šaraf-nāma, ed. V. V. Velyaminov-Zernov, 2 vols., St. Petersburg, 1860-62, provides an interesting Kurdish perspective (For an Eng. tr. see Sharaf Khan Bidlisi [Šaraf Ḵān Bedlisi], The Sharafnama, or, The History of the Kurdish Nation, tr. M. R. Izady, Costa Mesa, Calif., 2004). It should be noted that many of the court chronicles completed during or shortly after the reign of Ṭahmāsp are often in large part recensions of grander, universal histories such as Ḡiāṯ˚-al-Din b. Homām-al-Din Ḵᵛāndamir’s Ḥabib al-siar (ed. J. Homāʾi, 4 vols., Tehran, 1954; ed. Bombay, 3 vols., 1955-56; ed. M. Dabir-Siāqi, 4 vols., Tehran, 1983; Eng. tr. W. M. Thackston, Habību’s-Siyar, III: The Reign of the Mongol and the Turk, Pt.I: Genghis Khan, Amir Temür, Cambridge, Mass., 1994; Pt.II: Shahrukh Mirza, Shah Ismail, Cambridge, Mass., 1994).

Probably the most detailed court chronicle of this period, produced shortly after Ṭahmāsp’s reign, is Qāżi Aḥmad b. Šaraf-al-Din Qomi’s Ḵolāṣat al-tawāriḵ, ed. Eḥsān Ešrāqi, 2 vols., Tehran, 1980-84. Shorter, less prosaic accounts can be found in: Ḥasan Beg Rumlu, Aḥsan al-tawāriḵ, ed. and tr. C. Seddon, 2 vols., Baroda, 1931-33; ʿAbdi Beg Širāzi, Takmelat al-aḵbār, ed. ʿA. Navāʾi, Tehran, 1990, and Qāżi Aḥmad Ḡaffāri Qazvini, Tāriḵ-e jahānārā, ed. M. Minovi, Tehran, 1964.

Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Ḵᵛāndamir’s son, Amir Maḥmud, produced a valuable first-hand account of Shah Ṭahmāsp’s intermittent campaigns against the Uzbeks in Khorasan in Tāriḵ-e Šāh Esmāʿil va Šāh Ṭahmāsp, ed. M.-ʿA. Jarrāḥi, Tehran, 1994. Recently, two key sources for the Safavid period and the reign of Shah Ṭahmāsp have become available: Budāq Monši Qazvini, Jawāher al-aḵbār, ed. M. Bahrām-nežād, Tehran, 2000, and Ḵᵛuršāh b. Qobād Ḥosayni, Tāriḵ-e ilči-ye Neẓāmšāh, ed. M.-R. Nāṣeri and K. Haneda, Tehran, 2000. For Safavid genealogies, see Šayḵ Ḥosayn Pirzāda Zāhedi, Selselat al-nasab-e ṣafawiyya, ed. K. Irānšahr, Berlin, 1924-25.

A number of other primary sources, namely diplomatic letters (maktubāt), royal decrees (farāmin), and diplomas of investiture have been edited and, in some cases, translated. See ʿA. Navāʾi, Šāh Ṭahmāsp-e ṣafavi: Majmuʿa-ye asnād va mokātebāt-e tāriki, hamrāh bā yād-dāšthā-ye tafṣil, Tehran, 1971, and D. T¯ābetiān, Asnād va nāmahā-ye tāriki-ye dawra-ye ṣafaviya, Tehran, 1964. For facsimiles, transcriptions, and translations of documents, see L. Fekete’s monumental Einführung in die persische Paläographie, Budapest, 1977, pp. 349-437; locations of published documents for this period are available in R. Schimkoreit’s Regesten publizierter safawidischer Herrscherurkunden, Berlin, 1982, pp. 125-62. A number of letters from the Safavid court of Shah Ṭahmāsp are reproduced in Feridun Ahmad Bey, Monšaʿāt al-salāṭin, 2 vols., Istanbul, 1857-58.

Specific documents have been examined in A. N. Kozlova, “Ein persisches Dokument von Šah Tahmasp I. (1524-1576) aus Dagestan,” in Muslim Culture in Russia and Central Asia, ed. von Kügelgen, A. Muminov, M. Kemper, III Berlin, 2000, pp. 529-38, G. Hermann, “Ein Erlass Tahmasps I. von 934/1528,” ZDMG 139, 1989, pp. 104-19; R. G. Martin, “Seven Safavid Documents from Azarbayjan,” in Documents from Islamic Chancelleries, ed. S. M. Stern, Oxford, 1965, pp. 171-206; H. Horst “Zwei Erlasse Shah Ṭahmāsp I,” ZDMG 110, 1960, pp. 301-9. See also A. D. Papazian, Persidskie dokumenty Matenadarana (Persian documents in the “Matenadaran” [Institute]; Russian title, text in Armenian and Russian), Yerevan, 1956.

For works reproducing aspects of Persian miniature painting during the Safavid period, the following are worth noting. Parts of the Šāh-nāma-ye Šāh Ṭahmāsp have been reproduced by S. C. Welch and M. Dickson in The Houghton Shahnameh, Cambridge, 1981. Illustrations from the celebrated Safavid copy of the Haft Awrang have been reproduced by M. S. Simpson in Sultan Ibrahim Mirza’s Haft Awrang: A Princely Manuscript from Sixteenth-Century Iran, New Haven, 1997. See also S. C. Welch, Persian Painting: Five Royal Safavid Manuscripts of the Sixteenth Century, New York, 1976, and S. Canby, The Golden Age of Persian Art, 1501-1722, London, 1999. A general overview of 16th century art, architecture, and material culture is available in J. Thompson and S. Canby, eds., Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran, 1501-1576, Milan, 2003.

European sources include Anthony Jenkinson’s travel account in A compendious and brief declaration of the journey [...] from [...] London into the land of Persia, passing in this same journey thorow Russia, Moscovia, and Mare Caspium [...] 14May [...] 1561, ed. Richard Hakluyt, Principal Navigations 2, repr. 1907, pp. 9-29, and M. Mazzaoui, “Shah Ṭahmāsp and the Diaries of Marino Sanuto (1524-1533),” in Die islamische Welt zwischen Mittelalter und Neuzeit, ed. U. Haarmann and P. Bachmann, Beirut, 1979, pp. 416-44. A. H. Morton’s translation of the account of the Venetian agent, Michele Membré (Mission to the Lord Sophy of Persia (1539-1542), tr. A. H. Morton, London, 1993), has been invaluable for insights into various aspects of Safavid court culture and popular piety.

Secondary sources.

The only biographies of Shah Ṭahmāsp by western scholars are: Clement Huart, “Ṭahmāsp I,” EI¹, IV, 1934, p. 615; R. M. Savory, “Ṭahmāsp I,” EI¹, IV, 1998, pp, 108-10, and Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia, IV, pp. 81 and 84-98. However, as noted earlier, a substantial study in Persian of this reign is: M. Pārsādust, Šāh Ṭahmāsb-e awwal, Tehran, 1998. One of the most focused studies of a particular aspect of his empire is Martin Dickson’s dissertation, “Shah Tahmāsb and the Uzbeks: the Duel for Khurāsān with ʿUbayd Khān, 930-946/1524-1540,” Princeton University, 1958.

In terms of the general political narrative between 1524 and 1576, there are also sections of books and monographs that provide good analyses: See H. R. Roemer, “The Safavid Period,” Camb. Hist. Iran VI, 1986, pp. 233-50, as well as the relevant pages from his Persien auf dem Weg in die Neuzeit: Iranische Geschichte von 1350-1750, Beirut, 1989. Also worthy of note are the relevant chapters in Andrew Newman, Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire, London, 2006, as well as Kathryn Babayan’s chapter on Shah Ṭahmāsp, “Mirroring the Safavi Past: Shah Tahmasp’s Break with His Messiah Father,” in her Mystics, Monarchs, and Messiahs: Cultural Landscapes of Early Modern Iran, Cambridge, Mass., 2002, pp. 295-348.

R. Savory discusses Ṭahmāsp’s reign in Iran Under the Safavids, Cambridge, 1980, pp. 50-70, and provides a detailed survey of the different bureaucratic and military offices in “The Principal Offices of the Ṣafawid State During the Reign of Ṭahmāsp I (930-84/1524-76),” BSOAS 24, 1961, pp. 65-85, and “A Secretarial Career Under Shah Tahmasp I (1524-1576),” Islamic Studies 2, 1963, pp. 343-52. For aspects of Ṭahmāsp’s diplomacy, see I. A. Zilli, “Early Correspondence Between Shah Tahmasp and Akbar,” in Islamic Heritage in South Asian Subcontinent, ed. N. Ahmad and I. H. Siddiqui, II, Jaipur, 2000, pp. 230-45; W. Posch, “Der Fall Alkāṣ Mīrzā und der Persienfeldzug von 1548-1549: Ein gescheitertes osmanisches Projekt zur Niederwerfung des safavidischen Persiens,” Ph.D. diss., Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg University, 2000; A. Allouche, The Origins and Development of the Ottoman-Safavid Diplomatic Conflict, 906-966/1500-1555, Berlin, 1983; Jean Aubin, “Per Viam Portugalensem: Autour d’un projet diplomatique de Maximilien II,” Mare Luso-Indicum 4, 1980, pp. 45-73; R. Islam, Indo-Persian Relations: A Study of the Political and Diplomatic Relations Between the Mughal Empire and Iran, Tehran, 1970, pp. 18-51; idem, “Venezia e la Persia tra Uzun Hasan e Tahmasp (1454-1572),” Veltro 14, 1970, pp. 61-76. A. Soudavar has examined the cultural implications of Ṭahmāsp’s diplomacy in “The Early Safavids and their Cultural Interactions with Surrounding States,” in Iran and the Surrounding World: Interactions in Culture and Cultural Politics, ed. N. Keddie and R. Matthee, Seattle, 2002, pp. 89-120.

Literary aspects of this reign have been studied by Paul Losensky. See his Encyclopædia Iranica article on Moḥtašam of Kashan, and “The Palace of Praise and the Melons of Time: Descriptive Patterns in ‘Abdi Bayk Shirazi’s Garden of Eden,” Eurasian Studies: the Skilliter Center-Instituto per l’Oriente Journal for Balkan, Eastern Mediterranean, Anatolian, Middle Eastern, Iranian, and Central Asian Studies 2, 2003, pp. 1-29. For another perspective on Širāzi, see Rasul Jaʿfariān, “Didgāh-hā-ye siāsi-e ʿAbdi Beg Širāzi dar bāra-ye Šāh Ṭahmāsp Ṣafavi,” Ṣafaviya dar ʿarṣa-ye din, farhang va siāsat, ed. R. Jaʿfariān, Vol. 1, Tehran, 2000, pp. 493-503.

For a good introduction to religious life in Persia during the reign of Shah Ṭahmāsp, see B. Scarcia Amoretti, “Religion in the Timurid and Safavid Periods,” in Camb. Hist. Iran, VI, 1986, pp. 640-46; S. A. Arjomand, The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam, Chicago, 1984, pp. 109-21, 132-44, and his “Two Decrees of Shāh Ṭahmāsp Concerning Statecraft and the Authority of Shaykh ʿAlī al-Karakī,” in Authority and Political Culture in Shiʿism, ed. idem, Albany, 1988, pp. 250-62. See also R. S. Johnson, “Sunni Survival in Safavid Iran: Anti-Sunni Activities during the Reign of Shah Tahmasp,” Iranian Studies 27, 1994, pp. 123-33; A. H. Morton, “The chūb-i ṭarīq and qizilbāsh ritual in Safavid Persia,” in Étudessafavides, ed. J. Calmard, Paris, 1993, pp. 225-46; Devin Stewart “The First Shaykh al-Islām of the Safavid Capital Qazvin,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 116, 1996, pp. 387-405; and Rasul Jaʿfariān, Din va siāsat dar dawra-ye Ṣafavi, Tehran, 1991.

The debate on clerical migration and Safavid Persia is treated in Rula Abisaab, Converting Persia: Religion and Power in the Safavid Empire, 1501-1736, London, 2004; Devin Stewart, “Notes on the Migration of ʿĀmilī Scholars to Safavid Iran,” JNES 55, 1996, pp. 81-104, and Andrew Newman, “The Myth of the Clerical Migration to Safavid Iran: Arab Shiite Opposition to ʿAlī al-Karakī and Safawid Shiism,” Die Welt des Islams 33, 1993, pp. 66-112. The most recent addition to the discussion of the migration of scholars is R. Jaʿfariān, “The Immigrant Manuscripts: A Study of the Migration of Shiʿi Works from Arab Regions to Iran in the Early Safavid Iran,” in Society and Culture in the Early Modern Middle East: Studies on Iran in the Safavid Period, ed. A. Newman, Leiden, 2003, pp. 351-70. See also Devin Stewart, “The First Shaykh al-Islām of the Safavid Capital Qazvin,” JAOS 116, 1996, pp. 387-405.

A number of studies have been offered on architecture and urban dynamics under Shah Ṭahmāsp. For the city of Ardabil, see K. Rizvi, “Its Mortar Mixed with the Sweetness of Life: Architecture and Ceremonial at the Shrine of Safi al-Din Ishaq Ardabili during the Reign of Shah Tahmasb I,” Muslim World 90, 2000, pp. 232-51, and A. H. Morton, “The Ardabil Shrine in the Reign of Shah Tahmasp,” Iran 12, 1974, pp. 31-64; 13, 1975, pp. 39-58. For Qazvin, see Ehsan Echraqi [Eḥsān Ešrāqi], “Le Dār al-Salṭana de Qazvin, deuxième capitale des Safavides,” in Safavid Persia: The History and Politics of an Islamic Society, ed. C. Melville, London, 1996, pp. 105-16, and “Description contemporaine des peintures murales disparues des palais de Shah Ṭahmāsp à Qazvin,” in Art et société dans le monde iranien, ed. Chahryar Adle, Paris, 1982, pp. 117-26. See also M. Szuppe, “Palais et jardins: le complexe royal des premiers safavides à Qazvin, milieu XVIᵉ-début XVIIᵉ siècles,” in Sites et monuments disparus d’après les temoignages de voyageurs, ed. R. Gyselen, Bures-sur-Yvette, 1996, pp. 143-77, and W. Kleiss, “Der safavidische Pavilion in Qazvin,” AMI 9, 1976, pp. 299-311. Insights into Ṭahmāsp’s treatment of the city of Herat can be found in M. Szuppe, Entre Timourides, Uzbeks et Safavides: Questions d’histoire politique et sociale de Hérat dans la première moitié du XVIᵉ siècle, Paris, 1992, and “Les résidences princières de Herat: problèmes de continuité fonctionnelle entre les époques timouride et safavide (1ère moitié du XVIe siècle),” in Étudessafavides, ed. J. Calmard, Paris, 1993, pp. 267-86.

(Colin P. Mitchell)

Originally Published: July 15, 2009

Last Updated: July 15, 2009