The origins and rhetorical evolution of the term qizilbash in persianate literature

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Abstract

This essay traces the use of the term Qizilbsh in select literature in Persian produced during the approximate period 1490-1700. The survey indicates that the term became the standard name given to devotee-soldiers of the afavid dynasty only gradually over the sixteenth century. Moreover, the term acquired symbolic meanings and direct connection to the time of Shaykh Saydar (d. 1488) and Shh Isml (d. 1524) only in the seventeenth century. The material presented here argues for reading Persian chronicles and other sources with careful attention to their rhetorical qualities and the contexts in which they were produced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-391
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Headgear
  • Historiography
  • Qizilbash
  • Religion
  • Safavid

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