Ghazan Khan, Mahmud

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ghazan Khan, Mahmud


Born Nov. 4, 1271; died May 17, 1304. Il-khan (khan) of Iran from the Il-Khanid dynasty [in Russian, Hulagu dynasty]. Reigned from 1295.

While vicegerent of Khurasan, Mazanderan, and Rai, Ghazan Khan revolted against the Il-khan Baida and seized the throne. He was raised as a Buddhist, but needing the support of the Iranian nobility, the Muslim clergy, and the Muslim part of the Mongol nomadic nobility, he embraced Islam and again made it the state religion of Iran. With the assistance of his vizier Rashid ad-din, he carried out administrative and economic reforms. He issued a decree on the allotment of military fiefs to all Mongols in the feudal army (the decree of 1303) and confirmed the Mongol-introduced attachment of peasants to the land and the prohibition of the right of movement.

During Ghazan Khan’s reign, canals were built, and an observatory and hospital were constructed near Tabriz. From 1299 to 1303 he conducted unsuccessful campaigns into Syria against the Mamelukes.


Rashid ad-din. “Povestvovanie o Gazan-khane.” In Dzhami attavarikh, vol. 3. Baku, 1957. (Persian text and Russian translation. Also includes texts of Ghazan Khan’s decrees.)
Falina, A. I. “Reformy Gazan-Khana.” Uchenye zapiski Instituta vostokovedeniia AN SSSR, 1959, vol. 17.
Petrushevskii, I. P. Zemledelie i agrarnye otnosheniia v Irane XIII-XIV vv. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960. Pages 55-62, 83-92.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.