FARMĀNFARMĀ (lit. “giver of an order,” i.e., ruler, commander), an epithet with three usages in the Safavid and Qajar periods.
1. As a general form of address, farmānfarmā was used by the Safavid shahs and their officials in addressing the European monarchs, interchangeably with farmānravā and farmānda (see, inter alia, letters and edicts of ShahʿAbbās, Shah Ṣafī, Shah Solayman, and Bīglarbeygī of Erevan in J. Qāʾem-maqāmī, Yakṣad o panjāh sanad-e tārīḵī az Jalāyerīān tā Pahlavī, Tehran 1348 Š./1969, pp. 28-29, 39-40, 48-51, 83-85.)
2. As a form of address farmānfarmā was used for distinguished governor-generals, interchangeably with or in addition to their occupational epithets, ḥokmrān and wālī. For instance the crown prince Moẓaffar-al-Dīn Mīrzā, Masʿūd Mīrzā Ẓell-al-Solṭān, and Farhād Mīrzā Moʿtamad-al-Dawla (q.v.) were addressed, in the late 19th century, as farmānfarmā, ḥokmrān and wālī of Azerbaijan, Isfahan, and Fārs respectively (e.g., Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana, Montaẓam-e nāṣerī, ed. Reżwānī,I, p. 467, III, pp. 2067, 2139; Waqāyeʿ-e ettefāqīya, ed. ʿA.-A. Saʿīdī Sīrjānī, Tehran, 1361 Š./1984, pp. 33-62, systematically uses farmānfarmā instead of wālī in addressing Yaḥyā Khan Moʿtamad-al-Molk, governor general of Fārs from 1875-76, who had not been granted farmānfarmā as his personal title).
3. As a personal title farmānfarmā was bestowed upon five prince-governors and a tribal khan-governor. Initiated by Fatḥ-ʿAlī Shah (q.v.) in 1212/1797, the title was first bestowed upon the Shah’s fifth son, Ḥosayn-ʿAlī Mīrzā, when he was appointed as governor-general of Fārs. Following the death of Ḥosayn-ʿAlī Mīrzā in 1251/1835, the title was granted to the following governor-generals: Fereydūn Mīrzā, the fifth son of the crown prince ʿAbbās Mīrzā (q.v.), in 1252/1836when he was appointed governor-general of Fārs; Fīrūz Mīrzā Noṣrat-al-Dawla, the 16th son of the crown prince ʿAbbās Mīrzā, in 1293/1876 when he was appointed as governor-general of the central province; Maḥmūd Khan Nāṣer-al-Molk, the khan of the Qaragūzlū tribe of Hamadān, in 1303/1886 when he was appointed governor-general of Khorasan; Solṭān ʿAbd-al-Ḥamīd Mīrzā Nāṣer-al-Dawla, the first son of Fīrūz Mīrzā Noṣrat-al-Dawla, in 1306/1888, two years after he inherited the governorship of Kermān and Baluchistan; and finally the title was bestowed upon ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Mīrzā, the second son of Noṣrat-al-Dawla, in 1309/1892 when his brother Nāṣer-al-Dawla died.
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: December 15, 1999