Sheibanid State

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sheibanid State


a feudal state in Middle Asia from 1500 to 1598. The capital was at Samarkand until 1560, when it was moved to Bukhara.

The Sheibanid state was formed after nomadic Uzbeks under Sheibani Khan arrived in Middle Asia and conquered central Mavera-un-Nahr (seeSHEIBANIDS). The state included all the former possessions of the Timurids. After Sheibani Khan was routed by the Iranian shah Ismail I Safavid in 1510, it divided into two Uzbek states: the Sheibanid state in Mavera-un-Nahr and the Khiva Khanate, which was independent of the Sheibanids and had its capital initially at Urgench and later at Khiva; the former Timurid possessions in Khorasan passed to Iran.

The Sheibanid state was divided into districts that were controlled by members of the dynasty. Among the largest districts were Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Balkh, and Khisar. To the ruler of the state belonged the outward prerogatives of power: he bore the honorific title of khan, his name was invoked during the Friday prayer, and silver coins were minted with his name.

The institution of land grants—the soyurghal and tiyul —underwent further development in the Sheibanid state. As a result of redistribution, the state lands came to be owned by the dynasty and by elite clans from nomadic Uzbek tribes that had come from the steppes. The exploitation of the peasantry consisted mainly of a tax rent, most of which was a fixed amount equal to 30–40 percent of the harvest and was collected in kind.

Numerous campaigns and raids on Khorasan and continual internecine strife among the feudal lords led to extensive destruction of the economy. A brief period of stability that began under Abdullah-Khan II ibn-Iskander was insufficient to repair the damage inflicted on handicrafts and trade. An important factor in the development of the Sheibanid state was the establishment of economic and diplomatic relations with Russia and with the Mogul Empire in India.

Under the Sheibanid state the designation “Uzbeks” was first applied to the Turkic-speaking population of Mavera-un-Nahr and Khorasan; the Old Uzbek literary language reached an advanced state of development. The leading cultural center was Bukhara, whose most famous poets and prose writers were Khodzha Hassan Nisari, Zainaddin Vasifi, Kamal al-Din Benai, and Abdurakhman Mushfiki. In the 16th century large-scale historical works devoted to the state were written, notably Benai’s Sheibani-name and Futukhati-khani, Muhammad Salikh’s Sheibani-name, Khwandamir’s Habib-al-siyar, Ruzbehan’s Mekhmannamai Bukhara, and Hafiz Tanysh’s Abdullah-name.


Istoriia Uzbekskoi SSR, vol. 1. Tashkent, 1967.
Gafurov, B. G. Tadzhiki. Moscow, 1972. Pages 521–59.
Ivanov, P. P. Ocherki po istorii Srednei Azii (XVI–seredina XIX vv.). Moscow, 1958.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.