Medieval Persia 1040-1797  book cover
2nd Edition

Medieval Persia 1040-1797

ISBN 9781138885660
Published July 9, 2015 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

Medieval Persia 1040-1797 charts the remarkable history of Persia from its conquest by the Muslim Arabs in the seventh century AD to the modern period at the end of the eighteenth century, when the impact of the west became pervasive. David Morgan argues that understanding this complex period of Persia’s history is integral to understanding modern Iran and its significant role on the international scene.

The book begins with a geographical introduction and briefly summarises Persian history during the early Islamic centuries to place the country’s Middle Ages in their historical context. It then charts the arrival of the Saljūq Turks in the eleventh century and discusses in turn the major political powers of the period: Mongols, Timurids, Türkmen and Safawids. The chronological narrative enables students to identify change and consistencies under each ruling dynasty, while Persia’s rich social, cultural, religious and economic history is also woven throughout to present a complete picture of life in Medieval Persia. Despite the turbulent backdrop, which saw Persia ruled by a succession of groups who had seized power by military force, arts, painting, poetry, literature and architecture all flourished in the period.

This new edition contains a new epilogue which discusses the significant literature of the last 28 years to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the latest historiographical trends in Persian history. Concise and clear, this book is the perfect introduction for students of medieval Persia and the medieval Middle East.

Table of Contents

Preface 1. The Land and People of Persia 2. Persia in the Early Islamic Centuries 3. Turkish Rule in Persia 4. Institutions of Saljũq Government 5. The Later Saljũq Period and its Aftermath 6. The Mongols and their coming to Persia 7. The Early Mongol Rulers 8 The Barbarians Civilized? Ghazan and his successors 9. The Empire of Tamerlane 10. Persia in the Fifteenth Century: The Timurids 11. Persia in the Fifteenth Century: The Türkman Dynasties 12. Shãh Ism ail I and the Established of Shi ism 13. Crisis, Recovery and Crisis 14 The Apogee of the Safawid Empire 15 The Second Century of Safawid Rule 16 Persia in the Eighteenth Century. Conclusion

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David Morgan is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His previous publications include Medieval Historical Writing in the Christian and Islamic Worlds (1982) and The Mongols (second edition 2007).


"David Morgan's Medieval Persia 1040-1797 is an ideal textbook for courses on the medieval and early modern Middle East. Concise, accurate, and highly readable, it remains the best introduction to its subject."
Adam Sabra, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

"A tour de force by a master of his craft. Morgan's Medieval Persia guides the reader eloquently through a thousand years of Persian history with a fluency that renders a complex period accessible to the lay reader while retaining details of interest for the specialist. This is an essential read for all students of Iranian history."
Ali Ansari, University of St Andrews, UK