Historical Writing During the Reign of Shah ʻAbbas: Ideology, Imitation, and Legitimacy in Safavid Chronicles

Front Cover
University of Utah Press, 2000 - History - 197 pages
0 Reviews

How was history was written during the reign of Shah 'Abbas I (r. 1587-1629)? The question is critical for advancing current understanding of an important period in Iranian and Islamic history, since court chronicles are the chief sources for interpretation of all social, cultural, and political elements of the Safavid Period.

Sholeh Quinn demonstrates that far from composing arbitrary and haphazard compositions, the court historians adhered to specific conventions and metholodogies in their texts. In the course of unveiling Safavid historiographic conventions, Quinn also shows that the chronicles were highly imitative in portions. When narrating the past, for instance, Safavid historians usually chose one model that they repeated, often word-for-word, while introducing specific changes to make the earlier text reflect changing notions of political legitimacy and to establish Safavid connections to earlier dynasties.

Because these techniques were not unique to the Safavids, this study has implications for many other periods of Iranian history and provides a new approach to Persian chronicles.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Chronicles of Shah Abbas
The Historiography of Safavid Prefaces 63

7 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

Sholeh A. Quinn is assistant professor of history at Ohio University.

Bibliographic information