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The Origins and Rhetorical Evolution of the Term Qizilbāsh in Persianate Literature

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This essay traces the use of the term Qizilbāsh 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 Ṣafavid dynasty only gradually over the sixteenth century. Moreover, the term acquired symbolic meanings and direct connection to the time of Shaykh Ḥaydar (d. 1488) and Shāh Ismāʿīl (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.

Affiliations: 1: Stanford Universitysbashir@stanford.edu

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/content/journals/10.1163/15685209-12341352
2014-06-20
2017-09-23

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