Slaves of the shah: new elites of Safavid Iran (2004)

Slaves of the shah: new elites of Safavid Iran (2004)
Title:Slaves of the shah: new elites of Safavid Iran
Author:Sussan Babaie, Kathryn Babayan, Ina Baghdiantz-McCabe, Massumeh Farhad
Publisher:I.B. Tauris
Pages:XIII, 218
File:PDF, 8.91 MB
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Sussan Babaie, Kathryn Babayan, Ina Baghdiantz-McCabe, Massumeh Farhad. Slaves of the shah: new elites of Safavid Iran. London:  I.B. Tauris, 2004, XIII+218 p. ISBN 1860647219

The Safavid dynasty represented the pinnacle of Iran’s power and influence in its early modern history. The evidence of this – the creation of a nation state, military expansion and success, economic dynamism, and the exquisite art and architecture of the period – is well-known. What is less understood is the extent to which the Safavid success depended on an elite originating from outside Iran: the slaves of Caucasian descent and the Armenian merchants of Isfahan. This book describes how these elites, following their conversion to Islam, helped to transform Isfahan’s urban, artistic and social landscape.

About the authors

Kathryn Babayan is Assistant Professor of Iranian History and Culture at the University of Michigan.

Sussan Babaie is Assistant Professor of Islamic Art History at the University of Michigan. She was born in Abadan, Iran and was educated in graphic design at Tehran University. She continued her education in America and received her PhD from New York University. An historian of art and architecture focusing on Iran and Islamic West Asia, she has published widely and has taught in the US, Germany and is teaching since 2013 at The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.

Ina Baghdiantz-McCabe is Assistant Professor of Armenian History at Tufts University.

Massumeh Farhad is Associate Curator of Islamic Art, Freer Gallery of Art/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.


Illustrations … vii
Acknowledgements … xi
Note on Transliteration and Usage … xiii

1. Slaves of the Shah … 1
2. The Safavid Household Reconfigured: Concubines, Eunuchs and Military Slaves … 20
3. Armenian Merchants and Slaves: Financing the Safavid Treasury … 49
4. Launching from Isfahan: Slaves and the Construction of the Empire … 80
5. Military Slaves in the Provinces: Collecting and Shaping the Arts … 114

Appendix … 139
Notes on the Text … 149
Bibliography … 193
Index … 213

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