Nadir Shah, Afshar

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nadir Shah, Afshar


(Nader Shah). Born Oct. 22, 1688, in Darreh Gaz, Khurasan; died June 20, 1747, in Khabushan, Khurasan. Shah of Iran from 1736; a member of the Afshar tribe.

Nadir entered the service of Shah Tahmasp II (reigned 1722–32) in 1726. Acting on the shah’s behalf, Nadir conducted successful campaigns against the Turks and the Afghans, who had seized several regions of Iran. During this period he enjoyed the support of the people, who saw him as their liberator from the foreign yoke. In 1732 he deposed Tahmasp and proclaimed the latter’s son Shah Abbas III, with himself as regent. In 1736 he proclaimed himself shah.

Nadir Shah pursued a policy of centralization. By fighting wars of conquest, he created a huge empire, which besides Iran included, either as provinces or as vassalages, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Dagestan, Afghanistan, and Baluchistan and the Khiva and Bukhara khanates. Nadir Shah led a campaign into northern India from 1737 to 1739 and conquered Delhi in 1739. He established a harshly tyrannical regime in the empire. His despotic policies and the rising taxes provoked numerous peasant and urban uprisings. In the 1740’s the subject peoples of the empire initiated rebellions against Nadir Shah, and internecine feudal wars broke out as well. Nadir Shah was killed in a conspiracy by one of the factions of the military and feudal aristocracy.


Arunova, M. R., and K. Z. Ashrafian. Gosudarstvo Nadir-shakha Afshara. Moscow, 1957.
Lockhart, L. Nadir-Shah. London, 1938.


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