ALĀFRANK or ALA-FIRENG, the eldest son of the Il-khan Geiḵatu (r. 690-94/1291-95). His career is shrouded in a good deal of mystery. In December, 1303 a plot was allegedly hatched to overthrow the then reigning Il-khan, Ḡāzān; according to Rašīd-al-dīn, Alāfrank himself was not an active participant. This would seem to be confirmed by the fact that Ḡāzān, not one to spare princely blood unnecessarily, did not have him executed. The conspirators are alleged to have been “Mazdakites,” a not very informative but fairly common term of abuse for persons professing views deemed to be socially subversive. They passed themselves off as shaikhs, concealing their real character under a cloak of mysticism. The tentacles of the conspiracy are said to have reached into the entourage of the former finance minister Ṣadr-al-dīn, who had disastrously attempted to introduce paper money (čao) into Persia during Geiḵatu’s reign. When Ḡāzān was succeeded, shortly after, by his brother Ölǰeitü, one of the new Il-khan’s first acts was to have Alāfrank killed, presumably as a potential rival for the throne. He was done to death unsuspectingly by an emissary of Ölǰeitü during a private interview (24 Šawwāl 703/30 May 1304).
Camb. Hist. Iran V, pp. 396-98, 548-49.
B. Spuler, Mongolen3, pp. 104-05.
(D. O. Morgan)
Originally Published: December 15, 1984
Last Updated: July 29, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 7-8, pp. 784-785
D.O. Morgan, "ALĀFRANK," Encyclopædia Iranica, I/7-8, pp. 784-785; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/alafrank-the-eldest-son-of-the-il-khan-geikatu-r-1291-95 (accessed on 17 May 2014).