Assessments concerning the decline and the fall of Safavides: a Comparative analysis


Ilia State University, Georgia, Tbilisi


The thesis describes the decline of the Safavid dynasty. It covers very important issues around the reasons of the Safavid dynasty collapse.
Sources provide rich references on foreign policy problems, arbitrariness of nobles, tax burden deterioration, social conflicts, feudal wars, poverty in peasantry and so on. However, when exploring the reasons of historical events, eyewitnesses in their works are confined by only describing  personal characters of distinct historical figures. The historiography of that period, in general, does not strive for identifying reasons of social-economic and political developments and outlining interconnections between historical events. They give preference to personal factors. This tendency is discerned with all authors of primary sources: Iranian or Caucasian authors, Russian diplomats or European missioners.
The thesis discusses and compiles sources of the last Safavids period and scientific literature related to that Period. As a result, we can observe the gradual decadency of the Safavid state and then comprehensive and evident picture of full destruction.
Both historians of the 19th and 20th centuries and contemporary western and eastern researchers adhere to a certain consensus around this issue. Their opinion, in practice, does not differ from the Safavids contemporary historians’, but the accents outlined by scientists of various periods are also important.




1-      Arunova, Marianna. And Ashrafyan, Klara. (1958). Gosudarstvo Nadir-Shakha Afshara. (Realm of Nader Shah avshar). Moscow


2-      Axworthy, Michael. (2007).  Empire of the Mind. Hurst Books


3-      Butkov, Pyëtr. (1869). Materialy dlya novoy istorii kavkaza (1722-1803). Chast’ pervaya.  (Materials for the New History of Caucasus (1722-1803). The I Part). Canktpeterburg


4-      Berdzenishvili, Niko. (1973).Sakartvelos Ist’oriis Sak’itkhebi VI. (Georgian History Items VI). Tbilisi


5-      Foran, John. (1992). The long fall  of the Safavid dynasty: Moving beyond the standard views. International Journal of Middle East Studies. Vol. 24. No. 2.  281-304


6-      Jalaliants, Esai Hasan. (1971). Aghvanta Kveq’nis mokle ist’oria. (A Brief  History of the Aghuank Region). (Translated by Kutsia Karlo). Tbilisi


7-      K’atsit’adze, Davit. (2009).Iranis Ist’oria III-XVIII ss.(History of Iran III-XVIII centuries). Tbilisi.


8-      Kazem, Mohammad. (1374). Alem ‘Ara-ye Naderi. (The history of adorning the country by Nader). Ba Ta’lif-e Amin Riahi. (Compiler: Mohammad Amin Riahi). Tehran


9-      Matthee, Rudi. (2005). The pursuit of pleasure. Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900. Princeton university press. princeton and Oxford. New Jersey. In the United Kingdom.


10-  Nat’roshvili, Tamaz. (1991).Mashriq’it Maghribamde. (From “Mashregh” to “Maghreb”). Tbilisi


11-  Newman,  Andrew J. (2009). Safavid Iran-Rebirth of a Persian empire.  London-New York


12-  Pigulevskaya, Nina. Yakubovskiy, Aleksandr. Petrushevskiy, Il’ya. Ctroyeva, Lyudmila. And Belenitskiy, Aleksandr. (1958). Istoriya Irana c Drevneyshix vremen do kontsa XVIII veka. (History of Iran from the Begining of the Anciant Period to the end of the XVIII century). Leningrad


13-  Perry, J.R. (1971).The Last Safavids 1722-1773. Journal of the British Institute of Persian studies IX.


14-  Sanikidze, Giorgi. (2005). Shiizmi da Sakhelmts’ifo Iranshi. (Shia and the State in Iran). Tbilisi.


15-  SharaShenidze, Zurab. (1970). Irani XVIII sauk’unis meore nakhevarshi. (Iran in the Second Part of the XVIII century). Tbilisi