Safavid dynasty

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The Safavid dynasty (Persian: دودمان صفوی), was an native Iranian dynasty,[1] of full or partial Kurdish[2][3][4] origin. The Safavids established of Shia Islam as the official religion of the empire.

The Expansive Realm of Iran
ملک وسیع‌الفضای ایران
The State of Iran
مملکت ایران
Flag of
Imperial Coat of Arms (1501–1722) of
Imperial Coat of Arms
Greatest borders during Abbas the Great
Greatest borders during Abbas the Great
CapitalTabriz (1501–1555)
Qazvin (1555–1598)
Isfahan (1598–1736)
Official languagesPersian[5]
• 1501–1524
Ismail I (first)
• 1732–1736
Abbas III (last)
• Established
• Disestablished
Succeeded by
Afsharid dynasty

From their base in Ardabil, the Safavids took control over parts of Greater Iran,[6] thus becoming the first native dynasty since the Sasanian Empire to establish a national state officially known as Iran.[7]

Safavid Shahs of Iran[change | change source]

Name Portrait Title Reign years
1 Ismail I Shah Ismail I.jpg Shahanshah 1501–1524
2 Tahamsp I Shah tahmasp.jpg Shah 1524–1576
3 Ismail II Shah Ismayil II.jpg Shah 1576–1577
4 Mohammad Khodabanda Shah,
5 Abbas I ShahAbbasPortraitFromItalianPainter.jpg Shah,
6 Safi Shah Safi I of Persia on Horseback Carrying a Mace- Sahand Ace.png Shah 1629–1642
7 Abbas II Shah Abbas II, 1663, Aga Khan trust of culture.PNG Shah 1642– 1666
8 Suleiman I Shah, Sultan 1666–1694
9 Soltan Hoseyn Sultan Husayn by Bruyn.jpg Shah, Sultan 1694–1722
10 Tahmasp II Shah 1729–1732
11 Abbas III Shah,
Sultan bar Salatin

References[change | change source]

  1. Savory 1970, p. 394.
  2. Matthee 2005, p. 17; Matthee 2008.
  3. Amoretti & Matthee 2009.
  4. Savory 2008, p. 8.
  5. Roemer 1986, p. 331.
  6. Why is there such confusion about the origins of this important dynasty, which reasserted Iranian identity and established an independent Iranian state after eight and a half centuries of rule by foreign dynasties? RM Savory, Iran under the Safavids (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1980), p. 3.
  7. Alireza Shapur Shahbazi (2005), "The History of the Idea of Iran", in Vesta Curtis ed., Birth of the Persian Empire, IB Tauris, London, p. 108: "Similarly the collapse of Sassanian Eranshahr in AD 650 did not end Iranians' national idea. The name "Iran" disappeared from official records of the Saffarids, Samanids, Buyids, Saljuqs and their successor. But one unofficially used the name Iran, Eranshahr, and similar national designations, particularly Mamalek-e Iran or "Iranian lands", which exactly translated the old Avestan term Ariyanam Daihunam. On the other hand, when the Safavids (not Reza Shah, as is popularly assumed) revived a national state officially known as Iran, bureaucratic usage in the Ottoman empire and even Iran itself could still refer to it by other descriptive and traditional appellations".

Sources[change | change source]

  • Matthee, Rudi (2005). The Pursuit of Pleasure: Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900. Princeton Universty Press. p. 18. The Safavids, as Iranians of Kurdish ancestry and of nontribal background (...)
  • Amoretti, Biancamaria Scarcia; Matthee, Rudi (2009). "Ṣafavid Dynasty". In Esposito, John L. (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford University Press. Of Kurdish ancestry, the Ṣafavids started as a Sunnī mystical order (...)
  • Matthee, Rudi (2008). "SAFAVID DYNASTY". Encyclopædia Iranica. As Persians of Kurdish ancestry and of a non-tribal background, the Safavids (...)
  • Savory, R. M (1970). "Safavid Persia". In P. M. Holt, Ann K. S. Lambton, Bernard Lewis (ed.). The Cambridge History of Islam. Vol. 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 394. ISBN 978-0-521-29135-4. What does seem certain is that the Safavids were of native Iranian stock, and spoke Āzarī, the form of Turkish used in Āzarbāyjān.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: editors list (link)
  • Savory, Roger (2008). "EBN BAZZĀZ". Encyclopædia Iranica. Vol. VIII. Fasc. 1. p. 8. This official version contains textual changes designed to obscure the Kurdish origins of the Safavid family and to vindicate their claim to descent from the Imams.
  • Roemer, H. R (1986). "The Safavid Period". The Cambridge History of Iran. Vol. 6: The Timurid and Safavid Periods. Cambridge University Press. p. 331. ISBN 0-521-20094-6. Depressing though the condition in the country may have been at the time of the fall of Safavids, they cannot be allowed to overshadow the achievements of the dynasty, which was in many respects to prove essential factors in the development of Persia in modern times. These include the maintenance of Persian as the official language (...)