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Chronicle of the Early Safavids and the Reign of Shah Ismail (907-930/1501-1524)

by Kioumars Ghereghlou American Oriental Society
Pub Date:
Hbk 416 pages
AU$132.00 NZ$135.65
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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In this volume, Kioumars Ghereghlou presents an edition, with preface and indexes, of a previously unpublished sixteenth-century Persian chronicle. Written by Qāsim Beg Ḥayātī, a court scribe to Shah Ṭahmāsp (r. 1524–76), it covers Safavid history beginning with the early part of the fourteenth century and closing with an account of Shah Ismāʿīl’s (r. 1501–24) rise to power and military campaigns in Iran.

Dedicated to the Safavid princess Mihīn Begum (d. 1562), whom Ghereghlou credits as Ḥayātī’s coauthor, the chronicle is composed of two parts. Part one deals with the predynastic phase of Safavid history and ends with an account of Shaykh Ṣafī’s life and career. Part two tells the story of the Ṣafaviyya Sufi order, from the ascension of Shaykh Ṣadr al-Dīn Mūsā b. Shaykh Ṣafi (d. 1377) to the early years of Shah Ismāʿīl’s reign. Punctuating this account are two “tailpieces” (tadhʾīl), one on the history of the Safavid shrine in Ardabīl in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and the other on the shrine’s superintendents who held this post in the early part of the sixteenth century.

This edition makes available for the first time a chronicle that had long been thought lost. Rich in new details about the Ṣafaviyya Sufi order (ṭarīqa) in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it is an important historical source for scholars interested in this period of Persian history.

Kioumars Ghereghlou is an independent scholar and the editor of A Chronicle of the Reign of Shah ‘Abbas, a critical edition of a major seventeenth-century Persian chronicle.