ĀLČĪ (“sealer”), a Turkish term (from āl “red seal”) designating an il-khanid chancery official. In Rašīd-al-dīn’s account of Ḡāzān’s administrative reforms, āḷčīs occur in the section concerned with preventing the misuse of yarlīḡs (edicts) and pāyīzas (tablets of authority); they are forbidden to receive anything from anyone for affixing the āl to documents (Rašīd-al-dīn, Jāmeʿ al-tawārīḵ III, ed. A. Alizade, Baku, 1957, p. 501). The āḷčī was one of the first four principal chancery officials, and was responsible for affixing the qara tamqā (black seal) to chancery documents.

See also Āl Tamḡā.


G. Doerfer, Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen II, Wiesbaden, 1965, p. 115.

B. Spuler, Die Mongolen in Iran, 3rd. ed., Berlin, 1968, p. 291.

Useful information on Mongol and later chancery practice in S. M. Stern, Fāṭimid Decrees, London, 1964, especially pp. 160-65.

(D. O. Morgan)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: July 29, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 8, p. 825

Cite this entry:

D.O. Morgan, “Alci,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/8, p. 825; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/alci-sealer-a-turkish-term-from-al-red-seal-designating-an-il-khanid-chancery-official (accessed on 18 May 2014).