DŪRMEŠ (or Dormeš) KHAN b. ʿAbdī Beg TAVĀČĪ ŠĀMLŪ, powerful Qezelbāš amir, brother-in-law and confidant of Shah Esmāʿīl I (907-30/1501-24; ʿĀlamārā-ye ṣafawī, pp. 148-49; Ḥabīb al-sīar, Tehran, IV, pp. 555, 558). In 909/1503 Dūrmeš Khan was appointed governor of Isfahan but remained at court in Tabrīz and sent Mīrzā Shah Ḥosayn Eṣfahānī to act for him (Tārīḵ-e Šāh Esmāʿīl, fol. 112b). At the battle of Čālderān in 920/1514 Dūrmeš commanded the right wing of the Safavid army (Tārīḵ-e Šāh Esmāʿīl, fol. 249b; Ḥabīb al-sīar, Tehran, IV, p. 545: left wing) and proposed the fatal delay in attacking the Ottoman positions that led to Safavid defeat (Ḥasan Rūmlū, pp. 189-90; ʿĀlamārā-ye ṣafawī, pp. 484-85). In Tārīḵ-e Qezelbāš (p. 19) Dūrmeš Beg is described as qūrčī-bāšī during the battle of Dīārbakr (which took place in about 920/1514; 924/1518, given in the source, cannot be correct), but there seems to be no corroboration in other sources (Savory, IV, p. 101). In later years Shah Ṭahmāsb was said to have cursed the name of Dūrmeš Khan whenever the battle of Čālderān was mentioned (Ḵᵛoršāh, fol. 473a), but in fact the shah seems to have borne no grudge, for in 923/1517 he appointed Dūrmeš Khan lala (guardian) of his newborn son Sām Mīrzā (Ḥabīb al-sīar, Tehran, IV, p. 555). In 924-25/1518-19 Dūrmeš Khan conducted successful campaigns in Māzandarān against rebellious local rulers (Ḥasan Rūmlū, pp. 218-19; Ḥabīb al-sīar, Tehran, IV, pp. 558-60, 562-64), and in 926/1520 he was sent to Baghdad to check the advance of the Ottoman Sultan Salīm, but the death of the sultan ended the threat (Tārīḵ-e Šāh Esmāʿīl, fol. 284b).
In a decree appointing Dūrmeš Khan governor-general of Khorasan in 927/1521 Esmāʿīl called him “the one who has the status of a son” (rotba-ye farzandī) to himself. The new governor reached Herat on 19 Ḏu’l-Ḥejja/20 November, followed by Sām Mīrzā on 17 Ramażān 928/10 August 1522. Dūrmeš Khan was unable to prevent Moḥammad Ẓahīr-al-Dīn Bābor from occupying Qandahār in May 1522 (Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, pp. 587-88, 590, 592), but in 930/1523-24 he successfully defended Herat against a prolonged siege by ʿObayd Khan Uzbeg; he was confirmed as governor-general by Shah Ṭahmāsb (930-84/1524-76) but died in 931/1525 (Ḥasan Rūmlū, pp. 241-45, 248).
Bibliography: (For cited works not found in this bibliography, see “Short References.”)
ʿĀlamārā-ye ṣafawī, ed. Y. Šokrī, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971.
ʿĀlamārā-ye Šāh Esmāʿīl, ed. A. Montaẓer-e Ṣaḥeb, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970.
Ḥasan Rūmlū, Aḥsan al-tawārīḵ, ed. ʿA.-Ḥ. Navāʾī, Tehran, 1357 Š./1929.
Ḵᵛoršāh b. Qobād Ḥosaynī, Tārīḵ-e īlčī-e Neẓāmšāh, British Library, London, ms. no. Add. 25,513.
R. Savory, “The Consolidation of Ṣafawid Power in Persia,” Der Islam 41, 1965, pp. 87-88; repr. in Studies in the History of Ṣafawid Iran, London, 1987, III, pp. 87-88.
Idem, “The Principal Offices of the Ṣafawid State during the Reign of Ismaʿīl I (907-30/1501-24)” BSOAS 23, 1960, p. 101; repr. in Studies in the History of Ṣafawid Iran, London, 1987, IV, p. 101.
Tārīḵ-e Qezelbāš, ed. Mīr Hāšem Moḥaddeṯ, Tehran, 1361 Š./1982.
Tārīḵ-e Šāh Esmāʿīl-e Ṣafawī, British Library, London, ms. no. Or. 3248.
(Roger M. Savory)
Originally Published: December 15, 1996
Last Updated: December 2, 2011
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Vol. VII, Fasc. 6, p. 597