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(säfä`wēd), Iranian dynasty (1499–1736), that established Shiite Islam in Iran as an official state religion. The Safavid state provided both the territorial and societal foundations of modern Iran. Founded by Shah IsmailIsmail
, 1486–1524, shah of Persia (1502–24), founder of the Safavid dynasty. He restored Persia to the position of a sovereign state for the first time since the Arab invasion of Persia.
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, this Turkic-speaking dynasty claimed descent from a Shiite Sufi order. Shiite views, propagated with the help of clerics recruited from Jabal Amil (today in Lebanon) and Iraq, endowed Iran with an identity distinct from its Sunni neighbors. The consolidation of Safavid rule was completed during the reign of Shah Abbas IAbbas I
(Abbas the Great) , 1557–1629, shah of Persia (1587–1628), of the Safavid dynasty. In 1597 he ended the raids of the Uzbeks, and subsequently (1603–23) he conquered extensive territories from the Turks.
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. Recognizing his military inferiority vis-à-vis the Ottoman Sultanate, Abbas accepted the Ottoman occupation of the western parts of his domain and was thus able to concentrate his efforts on creating a standing army and halting Uzbek incursions from the east. He established Isfahan as his capital and transformed it into an architectural showcase. The strategic location of Iran and Safavid animosity toward the Ottomans, who were a continuing threat to European powers, generated European interest. Shah Abbas received numerous European legations and, with the help of English warships, conquered Hormoz, the Portuguese colony at the entrance of the Persian Gulf. His project to create a major competing maritime trade center at Bandar Abbas failed. Benefiting from a change in the balance of power, he expanded into Ottoman territory, annexing the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf. A period of upheaval followed his death, during which Ottoman pressure from the west and Mughal attacks from the east led to substantial territorial losses. Abbas II (1642–66) attempted to eliminate bureaucratic corruption, and gained a peace, largely due to the military exhaustion of Iran's neighbors. Husayn (1694–1722, see Sultan HusaynSultan Husayn
, d. 1729, Safavid shah of Persia (1694–1722). A weak and superstitious man, Shah Sultan Husayn was surrounded by astrologers and fanatics and was able to offer little opposition to the uprising of the Afghans.
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) devoted his energy to reconquering the island of Bahrayn, ignoring the opposition centered in Afghanistan. In 1722, Afghan forces entered Isfahan and forced Husayn to abdicate, putting an effective end to Safavid rule. The final blow came in 1736 when the Afshar Nadir, regent of young Abbas III, deposed him, becoming shah himself (see Nadir ShahNadir Shah
or Nader Shah
, 1688–1747, shah of Iran (1736–47), sometimes considered the last of the great Asian conquerors. He was a member of the Afshar tribe.
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See L. Lockhart, The Fall of the Safavi Dynasty (1958); I. Munshi, History of Shah Abbas the Great (1978); R. Savory, Iran under the Safavids (1980).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Safawiyah), a dervish order of the Sufi sect. The Safavid order was founded in the late 13th century by Sheikh Safi al-Din (1252–1334) in the city of Ardebil, in Iranian Azerbaijan. Initially the order defended its followers against oppression by feudal lords. In the 15th century, however, its leaders themselves became feudal lords, sheiks of Ardebil, and initiated a struggle for political power, using propaganda based mainly on Safavid beliefs incorporated with elements of Shiism. The army of the Safavid sheikhs was drawn largely from the Kizilbash people. In 1499, Ismail Safavid led the followers of the Safavid order in a successful campaign against the Ak-Koy-unlu, which eventually led to the formation of the Safavid state.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Nonetheless, as I shall argue in this essay, as early as Marlowe's Tamburlaine, learned literature was aware of a distinct Persian Islamic identity, and with the publication of John Day, William Rowley, and George Wilkins's The Travels of the Three English Brothers, which dramatizes the sensational visit and embassage of the Sherley brothers to the court of Abbas I, the most prominent and internationally active of the Safavid Shahs, this distinct identity entered the public sphere and occupied the popular imagination of Londoners with unprecedented intensity.
This mutually beneficial relationship was marked by the assistance and, more important, the legitimization that the Shiite religious leaders of Jabal Amil in south Lebanon granted to the Safavid dynasty.
Thus the Mughals in the sixteenth century, after being defeated in India by the Afghans, sought the support of the Safavid Shah Tahmasp (r.
Perhaps the most interesting chapter for Thai scholars is on Ibn Muhammad Ibrahim's The ship of Sulayman, penned in 1685 as an account of the embassy sent by the Safavid ruler Shah Sulayman to the court of King Narai, which is divided into four chapters, interestingly translated as 'jewels'.
The Safavid Empire restructured the society and economy while instituting an "imperial" administrative and religious tradition.
Matthee studies the politics and economics of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736) of Iran.
In addition to well known Western cities, they include Mohenjo-Daro: mysteries of the Indus civilization, Teotihuacan: where time and water flow, Timbuktu: city in the sands, Isfahan: Shah 'Abbas and the Safavid Empire, Montreal: the defiance that made Canada, and Shanghai: China's super-city.
In the times of the Safavid and even long before that, the ships were sailing the sea and the caravans left from its coast to Baku or Shirvan.
A hidden layer of decorated wall dating back to the early Safavid era (1501-1722 CE) was also discovered when archeologists were renovating the walls linking the balcony to the main hall of the palace.
The first lecture titled, 'The Awakening of a Persian Beauty', is hosted by Dr Annette Beselin and discusses the history and restoration of an early Safavid carpet.
The first lecture titled, The Awakening of a Persian Beauty, is hosted by Dr Annette Beselin and discusses the history and restoration of an early Safavid carpet.
Roy seeks to create an Asian-centered narrative that emphasizes the linkages between the Asian states' militaries with the Western Europeans as a "background." The book considers four Asian empires: the Ottoman Turks, Safavid Persia, Mughal India, and China (Ming and Manchu dynasties).