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On Women, Power, and Politics During the Last Phase of the Ilkhanate

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Abstract As a social and cultural study, this article is an attempt to contribute to the discussion around the end of the Ilkhanate by looking at the question of assimilation of Muslim and Mongol traditions during Abū Saʿīd’s rule (reg. 716-736/1316-1335). By studying this period through the main focus of women’s roles, it hopes to draw connections between the traditional Turco-Mongol status of elite women, the process of Islamization of the Ilkhanate, and the Ilkhanate’s inability to ensure continuity of government after the death of Abū Saʿīd. It will highlight the role of women of the ruling house during this period that on the one hand was seen as a Golden Age of the Ilkhanate, but on the other hand was marked by political fragmentation, confusing alliances, marriages, and numerous rebellions which ultimately led to its dissolution. The tension between choosing to remain loyal to traditional Turco-Mongol values and the processes of cultural exchanges, integration, and especially conversion to Islam becomes particularly interesting when studying the role of women in the late Ilkhanid court.

Affiliations: 1: California State Polytechnic University Pomona


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