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On the margins of minority life: Zoroastrians and the state in Safavid Iran 1

  • Kioumars Ghereghlou (a1)
Abstract

This article looks at the treatment of the Zoroastrians by central and provincial authorities in early modern Yazd, Kirman and Isfahan, emphasizing the institutional weaknesses of the central or khāṣṣa protection they were supposed to benefit from under the Safavids (907–1135/1501–1722). It is argued that the maltreatment the Zoroastrians endured under the Safavids had little to do with religious bigotry. Rather, it arose from rivalries between the central and the provincial services of the Safavid bureaucracy, putting Zoroastrians in Yazd, Kirman, Sistan and Isfahan at risk of over-taxation, extortion, forced labour and religious persecution. The argument developed in this article pivots on the material interest of the central and the provincial agents of the Safavid bureaucracy in the revenue and labour potentials of the Zoroastrians, and the way in which the conflict of interest between these two sectors led to such acts of persecution as over-taxation, forced labour, extortion and violence.

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kg2458@columbia.edu
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1

I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments and useful suggestions. This article could not have attained its final form without their feedback. Special thanks are due to Mahnaz Moazami who kindly offered to read an earlier version of the manuscript and took the time and interest to offer insights on ravāyats. All remaining errors are mine.

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2 Lockhart, Laurence, The Fall of the Ṣafavī Dynasty and the Afghan Occupation of Persia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958), 72–3; Moreen, Vera B., “The status of religious minorities in Safavid Iran, 1617–61”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 40/2, 1981, 133–4; Choksy, Jamsheed K., “Despite the Shahs and the Mollas: minority sociopolitics in premodern and modern Iran”, Journal of Asian History 40/2, 2006, 135–41; Foltz, Richard, “Zoroastrians in Iran: what future in the homeland?Middle East Journal 65/1, 2011, 76 ; Sanasarian, Eliz, Religious Minorities in Iran (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 48 .

3 See Firby, Nora K., European Travellers and Their Perceptions of Zoroastrians in the 17th and 18th Centuries (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer, 1988).

4 Exceptions are two publications on medieval and early modern Yazd and Kirman; see Afshār, Īraj, Yādgārhā-yi Yazd, 2 vols (Tehran: Anjuman-i āthār-i millī, 1348–54 sh/1969–75), 2: 813–23; Pārīzī, Muḥammad Ibrāhīm Bāstānī, Ganj-ʿAlī Khān (Tehran: Asāṭīr, 1362 sh/1983), 298301 . The relevant parts of Bāstānī Pārīzī’s book have recently been translated into English; see Daryaee, Touraj, “Zoroastrians under Islamic rule”, in Stausberg, Michael and Vevaina, Yuhan S.D. (eds), The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism (Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2015), 116–7.

5 For more on the Parsee anjumans in early modern Gujarat, see Ovington, John, A Voyage to Surat in the Year 1689, Giving a Large Account of That City, and Its Inhabitants, and of the English Factory There (London, 1696), 374–83; cf. Karaka, Dusabji F., History of the Parsis (London, 1884), 3943 . As regards the Parsee Zoroastrians there are several published Mughal decrees and land grant edicts that shed light on various aspects of their life under emperor Akbar (963–1014/1556–1605) and his immediate successors; see Modi, Jivanji J., The Parsees at the Court of Akbar and Dastûr Meherjee Rânâ (Bombay: Bombay Education Society, 1903); see also Langrial, Altaf Hussain and Baig, Mirza Asif, “Zoroastrians in Mughal court: a short study of Parsis and their rise in Mughal India”, Al-Azwa 42, 2014, 5570 .

6 See Modi, Jivanji J., “Introduction”, in Unvâlâ, Manockji R. (ed.), Dârâb Hormazyâr's Rivâyat, 2 vols (Bombay: British India Press, 1922), 1: 13 ; and Modi, Jivanji J., “The Persian Rivayats of the Pârsîs”, in Modi, Jivanji J. (ed.), Oriental Conference Papers (Bombay: Fort Press, 1932), 255–7.

7 Khanbaghi, Aptin, The Fire, the Star, and the Cross: Minority Religions in Medieval and Early Modern Iran (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006), 100 ff.

8 Jung (ms. Majlis Library 17341); see Khūʾī, ʿAlī Ṣadrāʾī, Fihrist-i nuskhahā-yi khaṭṭī-i Kitābkhāna-yi Majlis-i Shawrā-yi Islāmī, vol. 37 (Qum: Daftar-i Tablīghāt-i Islāmī, 1377 sh/1998), 273 . The polemical treatise Kitāb-i ʿulamāʾ-yi islām dates from 628/1230–31 and was first published in 1829; see Mohl, Julius and Olshausen, Justus, Fragments relatifs à la religion de Zoroastre, extraits des manuscrits persans de la Bibliothèque du Roi (Paris, 1829), 110 .

9 On Bāfqī’s history of Yazd, see Derek J. Mancini-Lander, “Memory on the boundaries of empire: narrating place in the early modern local historiography of Yazd”, PhD dissertation, University of Michigan, 2012, 15–24.

10 Qazvīnī, Aḥmad Ghaffārī, Tārīkh-i jahān-ārā (Tehran: Kitābfurūshī-i Ḥāfiẓ, 1343 sh/1964), 296 ; cf. Savory, Roger M., “The consolidation of Ṣafawid power in Persia”, Der Islam 41/1, 1965, 74–5.

11 Lāhījī, ʿAlī b. Shams al-Dīn, Tārīkh-i khānī, ed. Sutūda, Manūchihr (Tehran: Bunyād-i farhang-i Īrān, 1352 sh/1973), 185–6.

12 Aubin, Jean, “Révolution chiite et conservatisme: Les soufis de Lâhejân, 1500–1514 (Études safavides II.)”, Moyen Orient et Océan Indien 1, 1984, 45 . On silk production and trade in Yazd in the late fifteenth century, see Khvāfī, Shihāb al-Dīn ʿAbdallāh, Jughrāfīā-yi Ḥāfiẓ-i Abrū, ed. Sajjādī, Ṣādiq, 3 vols (Tehran: Mīrāth-i maktūb, 1375–78/1996–99), 2: 110–1; cf. Aubin, Jean, “Chiffres de population urbaine en Iran occidental autour de 1500”, Moyen Orient et Océan Indien 3, 1986, 45 .

13 Jaʿfarī, Jaʿfar b. Muḥammad, Tārīkh-i Yazd, ed. Afshār, Īraj (Tehran: Bungāh-i tarjuma u nashr-i kitāb, 1343 sh/1964), 172–3.

14 Yazdī, Jaʿfar b. Ḥusayn Kātib, Tārīkh-i jadīd-i Yazd, ed. Afshār, Īraj (Tehran: Farhang-i Īrān zamīn, 1345 sh/1966), 220 ; cf. Bāfqī, Muḥammad Mufīd b. Maḥmūd, Jāmiʿ-i Mufīdī, ed. Afshār, Īraj (Tehran: Kitābfurūshī-i Asadī, 1340–42 sh/1960–63), 673 .

15 Naṭanzī, Maḥmūd b. Hidāyatallāh Āfūshtaʾī, Nuqāvat al-āthār fī ẕikr al-akhyār [sic], ed. Ishrāqī, Iḥsān (Tehran: Bungāh-i tarjuma u nashr-i kitāb, 1350 sh/1971), 531 .

16 Bāfqī, Jāmiʿ, 725; Nāʾīnī, Muḥammad Jaʿfar, Jāmiʿ-i Jaʿfarī, ed. Afshār, Īraj (Tehran: Anjuman-i āthār-i millī, 1353 sh/1974), 420 .

17 de Silva y Figueroa, Don García, Commentarios de la embaxada al Rey Xa Abbas de Persia (1614–1624), ed. Loureiro, Rui Manuel et al. , 4 vols (Lisbon: Centro de História de Além-Mar Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2011), 1: 295–6; Sanson, Nicolas, Estat present du Royaume de Perse (Paris, 1694), 264 .

18 de Chinon, Gabriel and Moreri, Louis, Relations nouvelles du Levant, ou traités de la religion, du gouvernement et coûtomes des Perses, des Arméniens, et des Gaures (Paris, 1671), 430 ; Tavernier, Jean-Baptiste, Les six voyages de Jean Baptiste Tavernier Écuyer Baron d'Aubonne, qu'il a fait en Turquie, en Perse, et aux Indes (Paris, 1676), 431 ; cf. Firby, European Travellers, 42. For disabusing remarks concerning this claim, see de Thévenot, Jean, The Travels of Monsieur de Thévenot into the Levant, 3 vols (London, 1687), 2: 111 .

19 Chardin, Jean, Voyages du Chevalier Chardin en Perse et autres lieux de l'Orient, ed. Langlès, Louis, 10 vols (Paris, 1811), 3: 290 .

20 See Jung, 204r. On overland trade routes from Qandahar to central Iran, see Klein, Rüdiger, “Caravan trade in Safavid Iran (first half of the 17th century)”, in Calmard, Jean (ed.), Etudes safavides (Paris: Institut français de recherche en Iran, 1993), 310–11.

21 Tavernier, Voyages, 431; see also Gopal, Surendra, Commerce and Crafts in Gujarat, 16th and 17th Centuries: A Study in the Impact of European Expansion on Precapitalist Economy (New Delhi: People's Publishing House, 1975), 132 .

22 Jāmiʿī, ʿAbbās, Iran Village Gazetteer: The Yazd Province (Tehran: Iran Statistical Centre, 1968), 38, 44; Razmārā, Ḥusayn-ʿAlī (ed.), Farhang-i jughrāfīāʾī-i Īrān (Tehran: Chāpkhāna-yi ārtish, 1332 sh/1953), 10: 40, 120; see also Boyce, Mary, A Persian Stronghold of Zoroastrianism: Based on the Ratanbai Katrak Lectures, 1975 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978).

23 Jung, MS 17341, 211r. For a partial translation of this ravāyat, see Dhabhar, Bamanji N., The Persian Rivayats of Hormazyar Framarz and Others (Bombay: K.R. Cama Oriental Institute, 1932), 602–6; Boyce, Mary, Textual Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 117–9.

24 The original date for this ravāyat is the day of day-bihdīn (23rd) of the month day of the Zoroastrian or Yazdigirdī year 855, which corresponds to 8 Muḥarram 892 ah. For converting the Yazdigirdī dates I have used: al-Bīrūnī, Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad b. Aḥmad, Kitāb al-tafhīm li'awāʾil ṣanāʿat al-tanjīm, ed. Humāʾī, Jalāl (Tehran: Anjuman-i āthār-i millī, 1351 sh/1972), 234 ; cf. Hartner, Willy, “Old Iranian calendars”, in Gershevitch, I. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Iran, 2: The Median and Achaemenian Periods (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 729 . On Bahrām-Shāh's family background, see Boyce, Mary and Kotwal, Feroze, “Changa Asa”, Encyclopaedia Iranica 5, 2002, 362–3.

25 Dhabhar, Hormazyar Framarz, LII; Vitalone, Mario, The Persian Revāyats: A Bibliographic Reconnaissance (Naples: Istituto Universitario Orientale, 1987), 6 .

26 Jung, 208v.

27 Jung, 209v.

28 Vitalone, Persian Revāyats, 7.

29 Jung, 210v–211r.

30 Jung, 211v. More than a century later, Tavernier claimed rather exaggeratedly that the Zoroastrian population of Kirman “exceeds ten thousand” souls; see Tavernier, Voyages, 431. This figure is accepted uncritically in secondary literature; see Lambton, Ann K.S., “Kirmān”, Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd ed., 5, 1986, 157 .

31 Sīstānī, Malik Shāh Ḥusayn, Iḥyāʾ al-mulūk, ed. Sutūda, Manūchihr (Tehran: Bungāh-i tarjuma u nashr-i kitāb, 1344 sh/1965), 80–1.

32 Sirawshīān, Jamshīd S., Tārīkh-i Zartushtīān-i Kirmān (Tehran: ʿilmī u farhangī, 1369 sh/1990), 18 .

33 See, for instance, Qumī, Aḥmad Ḥusaynī, Khulāṣat al-tavārīkh, ed. Ishrāqī, Iḥsān (Tehran: Dānishgāh-i Tihrān, 1383 sh/2004), 65 .

34 See ʿAlī Ṭūsī al-Sharīf, Risāla-yi mubashshara-yi shāhīya, folios 1r–64r of Majmūʿa (ms. Majlis Library 21519), 42v–44r; at the close of his treatise, Ṭūsī introduces himself as “an old servant” of the Safavids.

35 Jung, 125r. On the contrary, a late Safavid Shiʿi cleric claimed that the Hidden Imam's mother was a Byzantine princess descended from Jesus Christ; see Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir, Kitāb-i rajʿat, ed. Musavī, Ḥasan (Qum: Intishārāt-i dalīl-i mā, 1382 sh/2003), 7786 .

36 On the Karra (also Jākī or Junakī) confederation of Shii tribes of Kūhgīlūya, see Naṣrābādī, Muḥammad Ṭāhir, Taẕkira-yi Naṣrābādī, ed. Naṣrābādī, Muḥsin Nājī (Tehran: Asāṭīr, 1378 sh/1999), 803 .

37 See Ḥayātī Tabrīzī, Tārīkh (ms. National Library of Iran 15776), 187r. This manuscript is catalogued as an anonymous, seventeenth-century history of Shah Ismāʿīl; see Darāyatī, Muṣṭafā, Fihristvāra-yi dast-nivishthā-yi Īrān, 12 vols (Tehran: Kitābkhāna-yi Majlis, 1389 sh/2010), 2: 717 . For more on Ḥayātī's chronicle see my “Chronicling a dynasty on the make: new light on the early Safavids in Ḥayātī Tabrīzī's Tārīkh (961/1554)”, Journal of the American Oriental Society (forthcoming).

38 For an analysis of power relations between the Niʿmatallāhīya ṭarīqa and the early Safavids, see Mancini-Lander, “Boundaries of empire”, 458–63.

39 Ḥayātī Tabrīzī, Tārīkh, 192v. Ḥayātī Tabrīzī is the only Safavid chronicler who refers to Karra's Nūrbakhshī leanings and his claim to Mahdiship. The following two studies of the Nūrbakhīya say nothing about the Mahdist clique in Yazd and Isfahan; see Alexandra W. Dunietz, “Qāḍī Ḥusayn Maybūdī of Yazd: representative of the Iranian provincial elite in the late fifteenth century”, PhD dissertation, University of Chicago, 1990, 171–6; Bashir, Shahzad, Messianic Hopes and Mystical Visions: The Nūrbakhshīya between Medieval and Modern Islam (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, 2003), 186–93.

40 Khvāndamīr, Ghīyāth al-Dīn, Tārīkh-i ḥabīb al-siyar fī akhbār-i afrād-i bashar, ed. Dabīr-Sīyāqī, Muḥammad, 4 vols (Tehran: Kitābkhāna-yi Khayyām, 1333 sh/1954), 4: 480 ; Haravī, Ṣadr al-Dīn Ibrāhīm Amīnī, Futūḥāt-i shāhī, ed. Naṣīrī, Muḥammad R. (Tehran: Anjuman-i āthār u mafākhir-i farhangī, 1383 sh/2004), 242–3; cf. Aubin, Jean, “L'avènement des Safavides reconsidéré (Études safavides III.)”, Moyen Orient et Ocean Indien 5, 1988, 41, 93.

41 See, for instance, Ḥusaynī, Khurshāh b. Qubād, Tārīkh-i Īlchī-i Niẓām-Shāh, ed. Naṣīrī, Muḥammad R. and Haneda, Koichi (Tehran: Anjuman-i āthār u mafākhir-i farhangī, 1379 sh/2000), 2031 . The Safavids reportedly killed several hundred villagers in Ṭabas in retaliation for the Timurid ruler, Sulṭān-Ḥusayn Bāyqarā’s hostile letter to Shah Ismāʿīl, in which the Timurid ruler warned against meddling in the internal affairs of Khurāsān; see ʿAbdallāh Marvārid, Šaraf-nāma, (ms. Istanbul University F87), 30v; translated by Roemer, Hans R. as Staatsschreiben der Timuridenzeit: Das Šaraf-nāmä des ʿAbdallāh Marwārīd in Kritischer Auswertung (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1952), 121 ; see also Khvāndamīr, Ḥabīb al-siyar, 4: 480; Amīnī Haravī, Futūḥāt, 242–3.

42 Mushtāq, Mīrzā ʿAlī, “Tuḥfat al-fuqarāʾ (ed. Rukn al-Dīn Humāyūn Farrukh)”, Farhang-i Īrān Zamīn 16–7, 1349 sh/1970, 130 .

43 Qazvīnī, Budāq Munshī, Javāhir al-akhbār, ed. Naṣīrī, Muḥammad R. and Haneda, Koichi (Tokyo: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 1999), 46 .

44 On the value of tūmān under Shah Ismāʿīl, see Ghereghlou, Kioumars, “Cashing in on land and privilege for the welfare of the shah: Monetisation of Tiyūl in early Safavid Iran and eastern Anatolia”, Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 68/1, 2015, 95 .

45 Bāfqī, Jāmiʿ, 167; Turkmān, Iskandar Beg Munshī, Tārīkh-i ʿālam-ārā-yi ʿAabbāsī, ed. Afshār, Īraj (Tehran: Amīr Kabīr, 1335 sh/1956), 165 ; translated by Savory, Roger M. as History of Shah ʿAbbas the Great (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1978), 260 . Ṭihrānī seems to have been appointed vizier of Yazd shortly after the death of Muḥammad Khan Takkalu (d. 964/1557), the Safavid governor of Herat, for whom he had worked as a bureaucratic deputy; see Qumī, Khulāṣat, 390–1.

46 On his family and descendants in Mughal India, see Ṣamṣām al-Dawla ʿAbd al-Razzāq Ḥusaynī Khvāfī also known as Khan, Shahnavāz, Maʾāthir al-umarāʾ, ed. ʿAbdur-Rahim, Maulana and ʿAli, Maulana M.A., 3 vols (Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1888–92), 1: 129–31, 408–12.

47 Munshī Qazvīnī, Javāhir, 127; Kirmānī, ʿAbd al-Razzāq et al. , Matériaux pour la biographie de Shah Niʿmatullāh Wali Kirmani, ed. Aubin, Jean (Tehran: Institut français d'Iranologie, 1983), 220 ; cf. Szuppe, Maria, “La participation des femmes de la famille royale à l'exercice du pouvoir en Iran safavide au XVIe siècle (première partie)”, Studia Iranica 23/2, 1994, 217 . For the full-text of Khānish Begum’s waqf deed, see Naṣrābādī, Kāżim Dihqāniān, Guzīda-yi asnād-i mawqūfāt-i Shahristān-i Taft (Yazd: Andishmandān-i Yazd, 1393/2014), 205301 . Her Zoroastrian slaves are named as Isfandyār, Manūchihr, Suhrāb, Qubād, Parvīz, and Khusraw. I am grateful to Muhammad K. Rahmati for bringing this source to my attention.

48 Röhrborn, Klaus-Michael, Provinzen und Zentralgewalt Persiens im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1966), 119–20.

49 Jung, 212r.

50 For a brief discussion of famines in Kirman in the 1550s, see Fażlī Beg Khūzānī Iṣfahānī, Afżal al-tavārīkh [Volume II], (ms. British Library Or.4678), 221v.

51 Tatavī, Aḥmad and Qazvīnī, Qavām al-Dīn Jaʿfar Beg Āṣaf, Tārīkh-i alfī, ed. Ṭabāṭabāʾī-Majd, Ghulām-Riżā, 8 vols (Tehran: ʿIlmī u farhangī, 1382 sh/2003), 8: 5909 . Qazvīnī was a close relative of Ṭihrānī, the first khāṣṣa vizier of Yazd; see Munshī Turkmān, ʿĀlam-ārā, 165; tr., 260. He had a successful career as a poet, Taẕkira writer and historian at the court of emperor Jahāngīr in Agra; see Qazvīnī, ʿAbd al-Nabī Fakhr al-Zamānī, Taẕkira-yi maykhāna, ed. Gulchīn-Maʿānī, Aḥmad (Tehran: Iqbāl, 1340 sh/1961), 158–60.

52 Bidlīsī, Sharaf Khan, Sharaf-nāma, ed. Véliaminof-Zernof, V., 2 vols (St. Petersburg, 1860–62), 2: 243 . Ṭahmāsp's successor, Ismāʿīl II (r. 984–985/1576–77) squandered all these gold and silver reserves on filling the pockets of his supporters; see Qumī, Khulāṣat, 654; Kioumars Ghereghlou, “Esmāʿil II”, Encyclopaedia Iranica, available online at: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/esmail-02.

53 See Āfūshtaʾī Naṭanzī, Nuqāvat, 326–7; cf. Munshī Turkmān, ʿĀlamārā, 418–9; tr. 595–7.

54 On ʿAlī-Qulī Khan Shāmlū’s refusal to retire from his khāṣṣa post as prefect of Yazd and leave the city, see Iṣfahānī, Fażlī Beg Khūzānī, A Chronicle of the Reign of Shah ʿAbbās, ed. Ghereghlou, Kioumars (Cambridge: E.J.W. Gibb Memorial Trust, 2015), 73 .

55 Āfūshtaʾī Naṭanzī, Nuqāvat, 330.

56 Āfūshtaʾī Naṭanzī, Nuqāvat, 531.

57 Jung, 249v.

58 Majlisī, Muḥammad-Taqī, Lavāmiʿ-i ṣāḥibqirānī, 8 vols (Qum: Ismāʿīlīān, 1993), 6: 24–5.

59 Jung, 147v.

60 Khūzānī Iṣfahānī, Chronicle, 705.

61 Arak‘el of Tabriz, Book of History, tr. Bournoutian, George A. (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 2010), 358 .

62 In an anonymous chronological account of Safavid history (892–1042/1487–1632), 26 Ẕu’l-ḥajja 1006/30 July 1598 is given as the date on which Isfahan was officially declared the new capital; see Yāddāshthā-yi tārīkhī (ms. National Library of Iran 20197), 122v. On the transfer of capital from Qazvin to Isfahan, see Blake, Stephen R., “Shah ʿAbbās and the transfer of the Safavid capital from Qazvin to Isfahan”, in Newman, Andrew J. (ed.), Society and Culture in the Early Modern Middle East: Studies on Iran in the Safavid Period (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 145–64.

63 Āfūshtaʾī Naṭanzī, Nuqāvat, 532–3.

64 Qazvīnī, Muḥammad Ṭāhir Vaḥīd, Tārīkh-i jahān-ārā-yi ʿabbāsī, ed. Ṣādiq, Saʿīd M. M. (Tehran: Pazhūhishgāh-i ʿulūm-i insānī, 1383 sh/2004), 683 ; Arak‘el, History, 359.

65 Pietro della Valle, Viaggi, 2 vols (Brighton, 1843), 1: 463.

66 Figueroa, Commentarios, 1: 296.

67 Jung, 146v.

68 Bedik, Pedros, A Man of Two Worlds: Pedros Bedik in Iran, 1670–1675, tr. Ouahes, Colette and Floor, Willem (Washington DC: Mage, 2014), 41 ; for brief references to Zoroastrians in Isfahan in 1674, see Bembo, Ambrosio, The Travels and Journal of Ambrosio Bembo, Engl. tr. and ed. Bargellini, Clara and Welch, Anthony (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), 329, 359–60.

69 See Hunarfar, Luṭfallāh, Ganjīna-yi āthār-i tārīkhī-i Iṣfahān (Isfahan: Kitābfurūshī-i Thaqafī, 1344 sh/1965), 575 .

70 Richard, Francis, Raphaël du Mans, missionaire en Perse au XVIIe siècle, 2 vols (Paris: Editions l'Harmattan, 1995), 1: 23, 35–6.

71 Jung, 153r–156r. On place names mentioned in this ravāyat, see Jaʿfarī, Tārīkh, 178; Afshār, Yādgārhā, 2: 784.

72 On Bihābādī as vizier, see Bāfqī, Jāmiʿ, 190. On ʿAlī-Qulī Khan's career, see Khūzānī Iṣfahānī, Chronicle, 315; cf. Munshī Turkmān, ʿĀlam-ārā, 1040; tr., 1261. For more on amīr-i dīvān, a post normally given to members of the royal family, see Naṣīrī, ʿAlī-Qulī, Alqāb u mavājib-i dawra-yi salāṭīn-i ṣafavīya, ed. Raḥīmlū, Yūsif (Mashhad: Dānishgāh-i Firdawsī, 1371 sh/1992), 33 .

73 Bāfqī, Jāmiʿ, 191.

74 Khūzānī Iṣfahānī, Chronicle, 225.

75 Khvāndamīr, Ḥabīb al-siyar, 4: 585. Under Nādir Shah (r. 1148–60/1736–47) a group of Zoroastrians from Kirman held office as middle-ranking military commanders (yūzbāshī) in his army; see Ushīdarī, Jahāngīr, “Gabr maḥalla”, in Mazdāpūr, Katāyūn (ed.), Sirawsh-i Pīr-i Mughān: Yādnāma-yi Jamshīd Sirawshiān (Tehran: Intishārāt-i thurayyā, 1381 sh/2002), 100 .

76 For anecdotal evidence of Zaynab Begum's political clout at court under Shah ʿAbbās and Shah Ṣafī, see Khūzānī Iṣfahānī, Chronicle, 622–4; Iṣfahānī, Muḥammad Maʿṣūm b. Khvājagī, Khulāṣat al-sīyar, ed. Afshār, Īraj (Tehran: ʿIlmī, 1368 sh/1989), 43 ; cf. my “Zaynab Begum”, Encyclopaedia Iranica, available online at: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/zaynab-begum (accessed 14 December 2016).

77 On its location, see Siroux, Maxime, Anciennes voies et monuments routiers de la région d'Ispahân (Cairo: Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 1971), 215 .

78 Khūzānī Iṣfahānī, Chronicle, 300.

79 Kirmanī, Aḥmad-ʿAlī Vazīrī, “Jughrāfīā-yi Kirmān (ed. Muḥammad Ibrāhīm Bāstānī Pārīzī)”, Farhang-i Īrān Zamīn 14, 1344 sh/1965, 64 ; cf. Bāstānī Pārīzī, Ganj-ʿAlī Khān, 299.

80 Anonymous, Kāravānsarāha-yi Iṣfahān dar dawra-yi Ṣafavī (ed. Īraj Afshār)”, Mīrāth-i Islāmī-i Īrān 5, 1376 sh/1997, 552 ; Blake, Stephen, Half the World: The Social Architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 1590–1722 (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 1999), 121–2.

81 Röhrborn, Provinzen und Zentralgewalt, 122.

82 Vaḥīd Qazvīnī, Jahān-ārā, 277; cf. Bardsīrī, Muḥammad Saʿīd Mashīzī, Taẕkira-yi Ṣafavīya-yi Kirmān, ed. Pārīzī, Muḥammad Ibrāhīm Bāstānī (Tehran: Nashr-i ʿilm, 1369 sh/1990), 185–6.

83 For details of Ṭahmāsp-Qulī Khan's life and career as governor of Kirman, see Munshī Turkmān, ʿAlam-ārā, 1058; tr. 1281–82; Khūzānī Iṣfahānī, Chronicle, 801, 923.

84 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 188.

85 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 192.

86 Jung, 148v. Kirman was then considered the “Piraeus” or intellectual stronghold of Zoroastrianism in Iran; see Chardin, Voyages, 4: 260.

87 Sirawshīān, Zartushtīān, 27.

88 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 196.

89 Sirawshīān, Zartushtīān, 27.

90 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 217.

91 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 207–8.

92 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 278.

93 Bāfqī, Jāmiʿ, 502–3.

94 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 242–3. During this period, bureaucrats in charge of collecting poll tax were normally Zoroastrian; see Sirawshīān, Zartushtīān, 22.

95 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 244–5.

96 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 247–8.

97 Sirawshīān, Zartushtīān, 26.

98 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 251–2.

99 See Spicehandler, Ezra, “The persecution of the Jews of Isfahan under Shāh ʿAbbās II (1642–1666)”, Hebrew Union College Annual 46, 1975, 331–56; and Moreen, Vera B., “The downfall of Muḥammad [ʿAlī] Beg, grand vizier of Shah ʿAbbās II (reigned 1642–1666)”, Jewish Quarterly Review 72/2, 1981, 8199 .

100 For a brief narrative in verse on the monetary crisis under ʿAbbās II, see Afshār, Īraj, “Inqilāb-i diram dar zamān-i Shāh ʿAbbās-i duvvum”, Tārīkh 1, 1355/1976, 267–74.

101 Bāfqī, Jāmiʿ, 673.

102 Bāfqī, Jāmiʿ, 206–15.

103 Bāfqī, Jāmiʿ, 226, 759.

104 Bāfqī, Jāmiʿ, 760.

105 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 452. It is reported that in the 1670s a group of Shiʿi religious dignitaries in Kirman banned Zoroastrians from living in the Muslim-populated neighbourhoods of the city, forcing them to take up residence in a new ghetto called Gabr-Maḥalla outside city walls; see Aḥmad-ʿAlī Vazīrī, Tārīkh-i Kirmān, ed. Muḥammad Ibrāhīm Bāstānī Parīzī (Tehran: ʿIlmī, 1370 sh/1991), 27; cf. Ushīdarī, “Gabr maḥalla”, 98.

106 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 490–91.

107 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 499–501.

108 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 510–12.

109 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 529.

110 Krusiński, Tadeusz Jan, The History of the Late Revolutions of Persia, 2 vols (London, 1733), 2: 197 .

111 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 547.

112 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 563, 565–7.

113 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 568–9.

114 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 575–7.

115 Mashīzī Bardsīrī, Taẕkira, 578–83.

116 Floor, Willem (ed.), The Afghan Occupation of Safavid Persia, 1721–1729 (Paris: Association pour l'avancement des études iraniennes, 1998), 43 .

117 Floor, Afghan Occupation, 46.

118 Krusiński, Revolutions, 2: 197.

119 Floor, Afghan Occupation, 50.

120 Floor, Afghan Occupation, 57, 93, 227.

1 I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments and useful suggestions. This article could not have attained its final form without their feedback. Special thanks are due to Mahnaz Moazami who kindly offered to read an earlier version of the manuscript and took the time and interest to offer insights on ravāyats. All remaining errors are mine.

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