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Making of the Modern World
MMW 13
Edmond Chang

Outline Lecture Eight—The Safavid Empire Key Focus: 1) The Ottoman (Sunni)-Safavid (Shi’ite) split in Dar al-Islam 2) How the Safavids used religious extremism to inspire a following and gain legitimacy 3) Transition from heterodox ideology to orthodox theocracy under ShahAbbas I) The Safavid Rise to Power in Persia --a) Isma’il and the Messianic Ideology of the Qizilbash ----i) Capture of Tabriz in 1501 Isma'il led an army of turkish warriors, capture Tabriz--northwestern corner of Iran ----ii) How did a 14 year-old achieve this? persian appeared purposely for the founding of the empire ------(1) Exploit every traditional source of messianic ideology in Islam Sufi Islam--predessor of turkey, adopted ideology Islamic utopian --------(a) 13th century Sufi leader—Safi al-Din good backgroud, Isma'il as the decedent of Safi al-Din --------(b) The “hidden” Twelfth Imam of Shi’a Islam put religious symbol on this boy associate him with the shia Islam--missing in mom--reappear the hidden Imam --------(c) Claim of divinity as the “God-shah” Isma'il--alah ----iii) Qizilbash fanaticism ------(1) Fearless fanaticism and blood oath to Isma’il ALL OF THEM AIM TO : take adventages of the religious authority---gain the movement to the political power soldiers believed that Isma'il would protect them from being hurt promote the rack and the existence of Ottoman --b) The Safavid-Ottoman Conflict ----i) Clash of Heterodoxy vs. Orthodoxy ------(1) Safavids intent on spreading their Sufi/Shi’ite ideology Safavid followed PD that mixed of sufian and shia whereas Ottoman seen themselves as Sufi Islam Safavid spread their religious, if they saw sufi Islam, forced them to convert ------(2) Ottomans projecting themselves as the defender of “true” Islam --------(a) Selim the Grim as the “exterminator of idolators” ----ii) Battle of Chaldiran 1514 religious conflict transferred to political conflict---battle in 1540s--Ottoman developed effective army to fight. Isma'il escaped, and forced to shift the capital to the hard land of Perisan ----iii) Geopolitical consequences ------(1) Profound implications for the expansion of the West—theory of contingency? conflict take place in the middle trade route, compell Eurpean to find another route new route--by sea, going aroundAfrica ----iv) Changes in Safavid Policies relying less on the Qizilbash ------(1) Shift from Qizilbash Sufism to “Imamite Sh’ia” adopt sth more acceptable to the massive from ideology to more traditional Shia, follow the authority of Imam II) Safavid Consolidation under ShahAbbas I (r.1588-1629) Shah Abbas was unique in an impressive way during the time Ottoman thrive from the west, usiba from the east --a) Securing the Empire--stablize ----i) Military Reorganization in the past, rely on Qizilba
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