1st Edition

The Safavid World

Edited By Rudi Matthee Copyright 2021
    766 Pages 76 Color & 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    766 Pages 76 Color & 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    766 Pages 76 Color & 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Safavid World brings together thirty chapters on many aspects of the complex Safavid state, 1501–1722. With the latest insights and arguments, some offer overviews of the period or topic at hand, and others present new interpretations of old questions based on newly found sources.

    In addition to political history and religious life, the chapters in this volume cover economic conditions, commercial links and activities, social relations, and artistic expressions. They do so in ways that stretch both the temporal and geographical perimeters of the subject, and contributors also examine Safavid Iran with an eye to both its Mongol and Timurid antecedents and its long afterlife following the fall of the dynasty. Unlike traditional scholarship which tended to view the country as unique, sui generis, and barely affected by the outside world, The Safavid World situates Iran in a wider, regional or global context.

    Examining the Safavids from their foundations in the fourteenth century to their relations with the rest of the world in the eighteenth century, this study is essential reading for undergraduates, postgraduates, and scholars of the Safavid world and the history and culture of Iran and the Middle East.


    Rudi Matthee

    Part 1: Foundations

    1. The emergence of the Safavids as a mystical order and their subsequent rise to power in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

    Ayşe Baltacıoğlu-Brammer

    2. Who really were the Kizilbash? a rethinking of the Kizilbash movement in light of new sources and research

    Ayfer Karakaya-Stump

    3. The rise of the Safavids as a political dynasty: the revolution of Shāh Esmā‘il, founder of the Safavid state

    Riza Yildirim

    Part 2: History and Historiography

    4. Custodial politics and princely governance in sixteenth-century Safavid Iran

    Colin Mitchell

    5. Beyond charismatic authority: the crafting of a sovereign’s image in the public sphere

    Hani Khafipour

    6. Against all odds: the Safavids and the Georgians

    Hirotake Maeda

    7. Safavid Iran from Shāh Safi to Shāh Soltān Hoseyn: stability and stasis

    Rudi Matthee

    8. Safavid historiography: the place of the Safavids in Iranian history

    Sholeh A. Quinn

    9. Continuing a legacy in times of change: courtly historiography in the sixteenth-century Safavid world

    Tilmann Trausch

    Part 3: Safavid Society

    10. The Safavid court and government

    Willem Floor

    11. The Safavid army: continuity and change

    Willem Floor

    12. The Safavid economy

    Willem Floor

    13. Trade in Safavid Iran

    Willem Floor

    14. Coinage and the monetary system

    Alexander V. Akopyan

    15. The status of women in Safavid society

    Nozhat Ahmadi

    Part 4: Religious Life

    16. Sufi habitus and shari‘a practitioners in late Safavid Iran

    Rula Jurdi Abisaab

    17. Sufism in the Safavid period

    Ata Anzali

    18. Vaqf in the Safavid period

    Nozhat Ahmadi

    19. ‘In the rifts of history’: Iranian Jews in the Safavid era

    Vera B. Moreen

    Part 5: Science, Art and Architecture

    20. The occult sciences in Safavid Iran and Safavid occult scientists abroad

    Matthew Melvin-Koushki

    21. The mathematical sciences and medicine in Safavid Iran

    Sonja Brentjes

    22. Not all of the poets went to India: literary culture in Iran under Safavid rule

    Paul Losensky

    23. Deluxe manuscript production in the Safavid period

    Marianna Shreve Simpson

    24. The Safavid ceramics industry

    Lisa Golombek

    25. Safavid architecture

    Sussan Babaie

    Part 6: Safavid Iran and the World

    26. Safavid relations with Muslim neighbors

    Ernest Tucker

    27. The Kurdish frontier under the Safavids

    Akihiko Yamaguchi

    28. Safavid Iran in the South Asian political imagination

    Azfar Moin

    29. Diplomatic relations between Safavid Iran and Europe

    Giorgio Rota

    30. Portrait of a traveler in Safavid Iran: the frontispieces of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier’s Six voyages (1678-1726)

    Elio Brancaforte








    Rudi Matthee is the John and Dorothy Munroe Distinguished Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of Delaware. He works on the political and socioeconomic history of early modern Iran. He is the author of four prize-winning scholarly books and the co-editor of another five volumes.