THE SAFAVID DYNASTY IS FOUNDED IN IRAN 1499 (H7)
xxxxxThe Safavids originated as a group of Islamic mystics called the Sufis, and were named after their founder, Safi-
xxxxxIn 1499 Shah Ismail I, Sheikh of Ardabil (illustrated) founded the Safavid Empire (see map), and, with the aid of his powerful Kizilbash followers, had united most of Iran under his rule by 1512, together with the Iraqi provinces of Baghdad and Mosul. The Safavids were defeated by the Ottoman Turks two years later at the Battle of Chaldiran, and they lost some of their territory, but, as we shall see, in the early part of the seventeenth century, under their leader Shah Abbas I (1623 J1), the lost land was regained from the Ottoman Turks, and Iran developed into an important trading nation. Its capital, the beautiful city of Esfahan, became a centre of artistic and architectural excellence. The dynasty finally came to an end in 1722, though technically it continued until 1736.
xxxxxThe Safavids originated as a group of Islamic mystics called Sufis, named after their founder Safi-
xxxxxThe talented artist Kamal al-
xxxxxTeaching and working in Herat when Shah Ismail founded the Safavid dynasty was the talented artist Kamal al-
xxxxxAs director of the royal library at Tabriz he was responsible for the production of the illustrated and illuminated manuscripts. Only thirty-
Ismail I: 17th century portrait, artist unknown – original artwork in Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Map (Muslim Empires): from www.apkmodgame.net/tag/safavid-