ĀJŪDĀN-BĀŠĪ, a Persian term translating the French military title adjudant-en-chef; the first half of the term is borrowed from the French, while the rest is rendered by Tk. bāšī. In the military organization of the Qajar period, the āǰūdān-bāšī was aide and deputy to the army commander (amīr-e neẓām). The term came into use after a modern army had been created in Iran in the early 19th century under the auspices of Prince ʿAbbās Mīrzā, a son of Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah (r. 1212-50/1794-1834). It seems that the title was first held by Ḥosayn Khan Moqaddam Marāḡaʾī (q.v.) in the reign of Moḥammad Shah (1250-64/1834-48). Ḥosayn Khan commanded the army of Azerbaijan during Moḥammad Shah’s Herat campaign (Garmrūdī, Āǰūdān-bāšī, pp. 10-11, citing Rawżat al-ṣafāʾ). After him the rank was held by Ḥasan-ʿAlī Khan Ḵoʾī and then Kalb-e Ḥosayn Khan. The former went on to become the assistant (pīškār) of the governor of Qazvīn and died in 1267/1860-61 (Ḵormūǰī, Ḥaqāʾeq al-aḵbār, p. 308). The latter was subsequently named chief officer in charge of the army of Azerbaijan in 1267/1850-51 (Eʿtemād-al-salṭana, Montaẓam III, p. 207). He was succeeded by ʿAzīz Khan Mokrī. Following ʿAzīz Khan, ʿAlī-qolī Khan Afšār Mīrpanǰa was appointed āǰūdān-bāšī of the armies in 1274/1857-58 (Eʿtemād-al-salṭana, Montaẓam III, p. 233). After him, in 1296/1878-79, Allāhyār Khan Afšār was raised to this rank (ibid., p. 356), which he held until his death in 1304/1886-87. The rank was then conferred on his son Ḥasan Khan (idem, Ḵāṭerāt, p. 1190; Bāmdād, Reǰāl IV, p. 431), and subsequently, in 1319/1901-02, on the latter’s son, Yār-Moḥammad Khan. However, from 1297/1879-80, when the ministry of war and command of the army were given to Kāmrān Mīrzā, and with the development of the Cossack brigade (already formed in 1295/1878), the rank of āǰūdān-bāšī gradually lost its importance. In addition to the rank of āǰūdān-bāšī of all the army, an identical rank was created of the artillery section (rasta-ye tūpḵāna). In 1276/1859-60, a certain ʿAlī-Akbar was so designated (Eʿtemād-al-salṭana, Montaẓam III, pp. 266, 305). His son, Mīrzā Esmāʿīl Khan (b. 1265/1848-49) succeeded to this rank in 1300/1882-83. He was executed on 13 Raǰab 1328/1 August 1909 as a result of his opposition to the constitutionalist government (Bāmdād, Reǰāl III, p. 122).
ʿA. Garmrūdī, Šarḥ-e maʾmūrīyat-e āǰūdān-bāšī, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968.
Eʿtemād-al-salṭana, Montaẓam-e Nāṣerī, Tehran, 1300/1882-83.
Idem, Rūz-nāma-ye ḵāṭerāt-e Eʿtemād al-salṭana, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966.
Moḥammad Jaʿfar Ḵormūǰī, Ḥaqāʾeq al-aḵbār-e Nāṣerī, ed. Ḥ. Ḵadīvǰam, Tehran, 1344 Š./1965.
(Ḥ. Maḥbūbī Ardakānī)
Originally Published: December 15, 1984
Last Updated: July 29, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 7, pp. 705-706
Ḥ. Maḥbūbī Ardakānī, “ĀJŪDĀN-BĀŠĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/7, pp. 705-706; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ajudan-basi (accessed on 25 April 2014).