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New Light on Early Mongol Islamisation: The Case of Arghun Aqa's Family 1


The paper discusses the questions of the alleged conversion of Arghun Aqa, the powerful Mongol governor of great parts of Western Asia in the mid-13th century, to Islam, claimed by the famous Armenian historian Kirakos. While in the end dismissing the historicity of this claim, the paper uses a variety of archaeological, numismatic, epigraphic and literary sources in order to highlight the great role the Islamic beliefs and identity of the surrounding Persianised society played in the continuous Islamic acculturation of Arghun Aqa and his family since the earliest phases of their presence in Iran.

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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013) / ERC Grant Agreement 312397. The original version of this paper has been presented on the Second Symposia Iranica (Cambridge, April 8-9, 2015). I am deeply thankful to Professor Michal Biran, Dr Florence Hodous and Dr Yoichi Isahaya for their invaluable help and advice during the work on this paper.

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Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • ISSN: 1356-1863
  • EISSN: 1474-0591
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-royal-asiatic-society
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