Abbas Amanat, Iran: A Modern History (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2017) Part I
Persian tripartite model of authority: clerical establishment+state power+prophetic paradigm
象棋作为伊朗政治的隐喻: Few shahs over the long course of Iranian history managed to maintain the formidable “balance” of both the polity and society at large without being isolated to the point of checkmate. The mobility and versatility of the minister or queen (including his or her revivification to the stage from the position of a negotiating pawn) as opposed to the shah’s isolated vulnerability is a telling commentary on the hazards of ministerial office as head of the divan.
中央和边缘的关系：The delicate arrangement between the center and the periphery was at the core of the idea of the King of Kings (shahan-shah), a key notion in Persian political culture. The interplay between Iranshahr and its periphery generated a central theme in pre-twentieth-century Iran and was a decisive force in shaping political authority even in the Islamic classical period, when the land of Iran became fragmented or was annexed to a larger Islamic empire. 十世纪以来几乎所有的伊朗王朝都来自游牧边缘，或者被其支持。
Major tribes on the northern Iranian periphery, at least from the mid-Safavid period, were Turkish speaking (such as the Shahseven of Azarbaijan) or Kurdish. Before the conscription army of the twentieth century, the tribes were the backbone of Iran’s fighting force, and the presence of tribal regiments of different ethnicities in the dynastic armies of the Safavid and post-Safavid periods was the norm. 主要是骑兵
The large-scale merchants (tojjar) dominated the trade and finances of the bazaar, as well as its political orientation and loyalty. They were an indigenous equivalent of a bourgeoisie with a strong capitalist ethos, but in contrast to their European counterparts, they were often introverted in their private lives and pious in negotiating an Islamic mercantile ethics. Yet in times of crisis they did not hesitate to incite the bazaar to protest, often against government intervention in the market. 在现代也是重要的经济、政治力量，关闭bazaar常被用来做政治武器
The Shahnameh, and the cultural milieu associated with it, had a lasting effect on Persian awareness even before Shi‘ism became Iran’s state creed in the sixteenth century.
One should note that the Persianate cultural domain was about the only one in the entire Islamic world that over a long period of time preserved and advanced a vibrant and comprehensive musical tradition with an extensive body of lyrical, romance, and epic verse and literature entirely of non-Islamic origin and inspiration
Despite political defeat and the relatively swift conversion to Islam, it can be argued that Iran never was fully won over by the predominant culture of normative Islam. It converted to Islam at its own pace and on its own terms, and with paradigms and practices it improvised along the way.
As early as the sixth century CE, Sasanian Iran came up with a dictum that symbolized and sanctified the need for a bond between the state and the religious establishment, above all to combat heresies, which were often labeled “bad religion.” 和现代的政教分离不同, 波斯政治理论家认为“好政府”和“好宗教”是一对兄弟，相辅相成，谁也离不开谁。实际情况：state-religion relationship was guarded at best and antagonistic at worst. In some respects the tension reverberated between them all up to the Islamic Revolution in the late twentieth century.
The practice of “temporary marriage” (popularly known as siqeh), as sanctioned by Shi‘i law, gave women some agency through their choice of partner, as well as duration and terms of the marriage.
白奴隶、黑奴隶：从高加索地区掳来的白奴隶服务后宫生孩子，从波斯湾进口的东非黑奴隶做显贵家奴，二十世纪初据估计2%的人口是奴隶后代。波斯湾沿岸有传统上从事渔业的黑人。对男女奴隶的刻板印象：Male slaves were often stereotyped as shrewd and witty, and females as trusted practitioners of white magic. 有描述奴隶使唤主人的喜剧传统“black acting” (siyah-bazi)。
1 SHI‘ISM AND THE SAFAVID REVOLUTION (1501–1588)
Since its inception, Shi‘ism has been imbued with a cult of suffering and martyrdom. It also has prompted numerous messianic movements with crucial roles in the shaping of Islamic history.
十五世纪后半叶， Ottoman，Safavid，Mughal，中亚的Uzbek confederacy都是Persianate帝国。
Both empires, Safavid and Ottoman, remained essentially introverted and unable to seriously engage with new trends that rapidly were changing Europe of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Safavid House的背景：祖上是库尔德贵族，和Ahl-e Haqq有渊源，十二世纪时，Ismail I的六世祖Safi alDin Ardabili 迁到阿塞拜疆东北，是当地的Safavi Sufi Order（still Sunni）的创办者和领袖。到十五世纪时，Safavid Sufis发生明显转变：adopted a form of Shi‘ism with messianic proclivities and increasingly became a crusading force with overt political ambitions.
Ottoman帝国和埃及Burji Mamluks王朝之间的政治真空为西伊朗地区势力的崛起（如Turkmen王朝Aq Qoyonlu）留出空间。后来Safavid政治文化受到Aq Qoyonlu不少影响。为了控制Safavi Order，Aq Qoyonlu统治者和Safavi Order领导者家族通婚。Ismail I的祖先于是可以trace到拜占庭皇室（Aq Qoyunlu统治者和黑海地区Trebizond希腊王国的统治者家族，十三世纪时为躲避十字军从君士坦丁堡跑出来的拜占庭王室的后裔，通婚）。
Safavi Order的厉害之处：combined mystical and military appeal to the Turkmen warriors (不少是Ottoman扩张带来的失地牧民) of the region. Organized into a Turkmen confederacy, possibly as early as the 1480s, the Qezilbash (Turkish for “the red heads”), as their enemies first called them是Safavid王朝早期征战的主力。
Qezilbash的信仰是非正统的（注：好像和Alevism属于同类）Anatolia东部/伊朗西北部信仰。What was remarkable about these nonorthodox trends in the borderlands was a dormant form of messianism, one untouched by the strictures of urban Islam. As it turned out, the heretical “extremism” of the Safavi order, as its opponents saw it, would successfully channel an amorphous nomadic mass of followers into a powerful military force.
In the early sixteenth century, there were seven major “tribes” of the Qezilbash, all of whom shared 游牧/半游牧生活方式, 土耳其语, a “messianic”信仰, 对Ottoman的仇恨.
Isma‘il epitomized the revolutionary process that propelled him into the dual position of a Persian shah and a Sufi master.Even though he was still in his teens, to his senior followers, Isma‘il appeared to be a sacred leader who had come to avenge the martyrdom of his forefathers and deliver worldly blessings of land, flocks, and slaves to the Qezilbash.
To a mix of Turkmen messianism and ancestral claims, Isma‘il added a third element of Twelver Shi‘ism. Isma‘il himself was not particularly keen on practicing the Twelver (or Ja‘fari) law, but it was this brand of Shi‘ism that he came to promote with zeal throughout his reign.
东征Herat和Marv（今土库曼斯坦Merv），确立帝国东界。打败当地的Uzbek统治者Shayban Khan后，把头骨做成酒杯，把砍下来的右臂送给Babur（Mughal王朝的创立者），把头皮送给Ottoman的Sultan Bayazid II，剩下的身体让Qezilbash吃了？
Safavid王朝的崛起启发了Ottoman境内Turkmen起义，如Shah-Qoli Baba的起义。Bayazid II选择和Safavid讲和。Bayazid II的儿子Salim I则敌意强烈，发起anti-Safavid宣传，向Safavid宣战（”The eternal reward for killing one Shi‘i, a fatwa by the mufti of Istanbul declared, was equal to killing seventy Christian infidels.”）。
Salim I和Ismail I的信件来往
十分搞笑。Ismail I试图解除敌意但是没用。1514年，Salim I带十六万大军攻打Safavid。Ismail I仅带了两万人（当时东线正在和Uzbek作战，抽不出更多兵力；Ismail I低估了Salim I的敌意，也一直试图回避正面交战；对Qezilbash的战斗力过于自信，轻敌）在Chaldiran（不打不行了，快打到首都Tabriz啦）迎战。
The fatalist strain running through Isma‘il’s political life appeared strange even to his own Qezilbash lieutenants. Whether to overcome combat fright or out of sheer self-confidence, he and his Qezilbash chiefs spent the night before the battle drinking until dawn. 开战当天早上Ismail I还在打鸟！
Safavid不重视火器（原因之一，认为使用火器不够骑士精神，Qezilbash自认为神佑天兵，也看不上火器），而Ottoman军队火力强大。Chaldiran之战后Safavid才开始重视火器，过了一百年才在这方面赶上Ottoman。最后Safavid惨败，Ismail I本人差点被活捉，老婆Tajlu Khanum被活捉了（但后来又自己从Ottoman人手里逃出来了），爱妃Behruzeh Khanum被捉到伊斯坦布尔作为战利品赏赐给军事人员了。不久Tabriz陷落，Safavid眼看要完，但是出于对Janissary造反的恐惧，Ottoman军队没在Tabriz久留就离开了。Ottoman军队从Tabriz带到伊斯坦布尔的战利品里包括一批画家，书法家，插画师，这些人后来对Ottoman艺术影响不小。
Salim I曾计划和乌兹别克人瓜分伊朗，畅想伊斯法罕会师，但是从未实现。腹背受敌 remained in place throughout the Safavid and post-Safavid periods.
Chaldiran之战的失败给Safavid革命热情浇了一大盆冷水，也让Ismail I作为sacred leader的个人威信大打折扣。喝酒喝得更猛了，人也更忧郁了，不再亲征。开始从魅力领袖到传统Persian kingship的持续几代的转型。
Chaldiran之战后，although Alawite communities in Anatolia periodically revolted against the Ottomans during the Jelali revolts of the mid to late sixteenth century, 输出什叶革命不再可能。
关于Ismail I本人：诗人（笔名Khatai，可能是“契丹”？）, 打猎成瘾, 男女通吃情人无数, 重度抑郁，死时年仅三十七岁。 A curious mix of unbridled prowess, violent tantrum, princely affection, and a streak of genius, Isma‘il seemed an unlikely candidate to build an empire. Yet he proved an ideal leader for a messianic enterprise that brought together, a cacophony of erratic Turkmen chiefs, shrewd Persian administrators, and Arab jurists. He harnessed the warlike energies of his Turkmen devotees and diverted them remarkably into a state structure with a lasting future. In this respect, his initiative to adopt Twelver Shi‘ism as a state creed with legal and institutional capabilities was a conscious policy upon which he intended to build a state and a community of believers.
Isma‘il’s vision of the state was neither purely messianic nor juristic; it was primarily based on the Persian model of kingship. Ismail I本人痴迷波斯文化，尤其喜欢Shahnameh，给三个儿子都用Shahnameh里的人物起名（给剩下的一个儿子起名Alqas，意思是复仇，结果这个儿子后来投奔Ottoman了…）。Safavid史官把Safavid vs Uzbek比喻为Shahnameh里的Iran vs Turan。Ismail I的死敌Salim I也特别喜欢Shahnameh。The kingship paradigm to which they all subscribed, from the Ottoman Empire to South Asia and Central Asia, offered a common Persianate political culture despite widening of sectarian divide. （Ismail I晚期喜欢上画画，据说曾给Shah Tahmasp著名的插图版Shahnameh画画。1568年，Tahmasp把手稿献给苏莱曼的儿子Salim II作为登基礼物，收藏在Topkapi宫的皇家图书馆。二十世纪成为流失文物，大都会博物馆靠拍卖发了一笔财👎）
Tahmasp’s era is remembered as an age of clerical consolidation, when Shi‘i jurists, Arab emigrants, and indigenous Iranians gained prominence in government and in society at large.
Denouncing the Sunni “other” helped reinforcing doctrinal conformity as much as it encouraged a state-sponsored spirit of intolerance. Yet unlike宗教裁判所, Safavid Iran never institutionalized systematic intrusion in the life of individuals.
为了回应Sunni邻居的异端指控，取得更大的legitimacy，Safavids开始声称拥有神圣血统。从Tahmasp开始，自称血统可以追溯到‘Ali ibn Musa al-Rida, the Eighth Shi‘i Imam, whose shrine in Mashhad was the most venerated site in Safavid Iran.
1548年，Tahmasp把首都从Tabriz迁到Qazvin，the decision to move to the Persian-speaking interior and away from the original Qezilbash base in Azarbaijan was a turning point in the further “Persianization” of the Safavid Empire。
As the early career of the young ‘Abbas I, the ultimate successor to the throne, demonstrates, the Safavid princes were no more than puppets whose only other refuge from their manipulative Qezilbash guardians was their mothers and other female members of the royal household.
Safavid后宫女性崛起和Mughal后宫女性崛起，以及Ottoman帝国著名的“sultanate of the women”基本同期。The coincidence of women’s influence was probably because all three empires experienced a similar, if not identical, pattern of political transition.
Ismail II继位：同父异母的妹妹Pari-khan Khanum功不可没。Pari-khan的妈是Circassian奴隶，她取得了其它Circassian奴隶来源的军政人士的支持，和部分Qezilbash部落结盟，把对手搞了下去。
Ismail II被Tahmasp关在阿塞拜疆的某个要塞里二十年，性格乖张，喜食鸦片。一上台就处死大量其它皇家人员和Qezilbash反对者。一反anti-Sunni宗教政策，不进行强制转化和迫害。Ismail II在位两年就蹊跷死亡。死亡时刚和男情人共度春宵。虽然可能死于鸦片过量，但也不排除谋杀。如果Ismail II活得更久些，可能会把Safavid王朝变得更加包容并和Sunni邻国改善关系？
Ismail II死后是宫斗和内战时间。最后Qezilbash首领推举Tahmasp的长子Sultan Mohammad继位。Mohammad无实权，权力实际被Qezilbash寡头控制。老婆Khayr al-Nesa（Mahd ‘Olya）则掌握宫中权力。Ismail II的妹妹Pari-khan Khanum失势，后来被谋杀，宫中Circassian派系陨落。Mahd ‘Olya搞不定Qezilbash，最后被一群Qezilbash首领入宫杀掉，编织的罪名是和在Qazvin避难的克里米亚王子通奸。
1578-1590年间Safavid王朝十分虚弱。Ottoman趁虚而入。Murad III四次入侵。1584年入侵的借口是“解放被Safavid压迫的高加索基督徒”“为Ismail II报仇”。1585年，Tabriz陷落，并把什叶男女掳为奴隶。东线Uzbek也趁虚而入，什叶男女被卖到中亚奴隶市场。The fatwas of the Sunni muftis in Istanbul and Bukhara legitimized enslaving the Safavid subjects on the grounds of their heretic Shi‘i beliefs.
In the midst of civil strife and foreign invasion, the governor of Herat, a Qezilbash chief by the name of ‘Ali Qoli Khan Shamlu, declared the ten-year old ‘Abbas Mirza, the prince in his custody, the nominal Safavid shah of Khorasan in 1581. 1587年在Qazvin继位，即Shah ‘Abbas.
The early Safavid experience demonstrated that southern Mesopotamia, eastern Anatolia, and southern parts of Central Asia could no longer be easily incorporated into Iran proper despite common Persianate cultural, religious, and ethnic ties. Isma‘il’s world-conquering project was bound to stop at the threshold of Iran’s natural frontiers.
2 THE AGE OF ‘ABBAS I AND THE SHAPING OF THE SAFAVID EMPIRE
Few rulers in Iranian history are as idealized in public memory as ‘Abbas I, and few epochs as cherished as his reign (1588–1629). He was seen as an empire builder who rose to the challenges of his time.
处决Qezilbash相对顺利的原因： erosion of Qezilbash fighting power and the breakdown of clan loyalties
Abbas I通过推行shahisevan（love for the shah）加强Qezilbash士兵直接对其本人的忠诚。‘Abbas exploited this sense of solidarity not only to undermine the Qezilbash elite but also to uphold it as a principle, a political motto, and even an institution upon which he could rebuild the Safavid army and administration. 减少对Qezilbash的依赖，使用其它ethnicity的军队，更加倚重奴隶。The Qezilbash was effectively stripped of its status as a cohesive tribal elite in control of a semiautonomous military force.
The key to ‘Abbas’s shahisevan solidarity and the cornerstone of his centralizing policy was the effective use of firearms. Cannon helped consolidate power in ‘Abbas’s hands, established a rapport with Europe, and augmented Safavid Iran’s image of itself as a victorious power. Equipped with artillery and reinforced by musketeer corps, for a limited time in the first half of the seventeenth century the Safavid army reached an effective optimal balance between the traditional methods of warfare and the new military technology and tactics.
What also gave ‘Abbas’s career a flavor of the common trends in the empires of the early modern times were a clearer sense of military strategy and political priorities. 如先和Ottoman讲和，平定内乱和东部边界后再打Ottoman，收复失地。
1598年，Abbas I重新夺回呼罗珊。之后迁都Isfahan。迁都的sense：位于Safavid中心；离波斯湾更近；在连结伊朗和阿富汗印度的陆路商道的中心；靠近 Zayandehrud河，水资源丰富；人才多
Abbas I’s economic interventionist policies and deliberate mix of business and government heralded a political economy in tune with the European state mercantilism of his age.
The cornerstone of his economic reform policy was to shift the landholding pattern from hereditary fiefdoms to state-controlled renewable land tenures (tuyul) assigned as estates to the members of the Persian and gholam elite.
Silk was the most plausible, perhaps the only, cash commodity at ‘Abbas’s disposal in order to compensate for the paucity of other nonagrarian source of wealth.
Ottoman和Safavid争夺高加索的丝绸生产中心。1605年，Abbas I下令把亚美尼亚的丝绸生产中心的Julfa的居民全部转移，部分转移到首都Isfahan，划出New Julfa区，令其从事丝绸贸易（亚美尼亚人商业网络广泛；亚美尼亚商人可以相对安全地穿越Safavid-Ottoman边境）。之后夷平Julfa，让Ottoman死心。The nurturing of an Armenian mercantile network was ‘Abbas’s answer to the Ottoman blockade of what would potentially be his most profitable commodity.
买来或者捉来的亚美尼亚人和格鲁吉亚人改宗后在政府里做高官，典型如Allah-Verdi Khan。Abbas I时代，基督徒发挥着和人口占比不成比例的重要作用。亚美尼亚人（They were viewed as a window to the outside world and a key medium for enticing and sustaining Europe’s diplomatic and commercial interests toward Iran.）成最大赢家，比犹太人和其它minority受益都多。New Julfa大发达，各种修漂亮教堂如Vank教堂。
Despite a cultural divide and geographical distance, by the late sixteenth century Iran’s geopolitical destiny was curiously tied up with Europe’s. 试图和反Ottoman的其它欧洲势力，如西班牙哈布斯堡王朝，还有俄国人，结盟，但是Ottoman封锁给外交来往造成不少障碍。（后来和Ottoman讲和，不再需要搞反Ottoman联盟）
一批各怀鬼胎的欧洲外交官以及冒险家访问Safavid谈商业军事合作。Safavid派出的使团各种不靠谱，有把货物卖掉自己吞钱的，还有改宗天主教的如“Don Juan of Persia”。派到英国的使团虽然合作没谈成（受到英国的ottoman支持者的反对），但是使者（打扮成Qezilbash的英国人）的服饰在Stuart朝廷掀起了一股波斯时尚旋风。
‘Abbas’s diplomacy worked to the extent that it not only opened Iran to European commerce and curiosity but also forged stronger bonds with Mughal India and eventually with the Shaybanid Uzbeks of Central Asia.
Having been a land power, the Safavids, similar to the Mughals of Hindustan, had difficulty adopting the sea culture of their southern and northern peripheries. 葡萄牙人走后荷兰人垄断了海路丝绸出口。本地的丝绸商人（如Isfahan的亚美尼亚人）利益受损。
Trade through Bandar Abbas and other southern ports was essential for incorporating the Persian Gulf littoral into the Safavid Empire, in much the same way that exporting silk produced in Gilan province through the northern route integrated the Caspian provinces into Safavid Iran.
Europeans traced the material evidence of Persia’s ancient past and its place in the biblical and Greco-Roman experience. Some of the earliest Orientalist representations of the East were shaped by images of the Safavid court, culture, and society.
Montesquieu’s Lettres persanes relied in part on both Olearius and Chardin and the format of their journals to portray an imaginary Persian observer of French society.
Precious little was ever written about Europe by Safavid authors beyond passing geographical references, mostly based on classical Islamic texts rather than on fresh learning and observation. Early modern European thinkers and their scientific discoveries remained unknown to the Safavids even as late as early nineteenth century.
该时期波斯语的对中国的描述（如Khataynameh）很少。 The Chinese-style figures that Persian artists portrayed in their paintings were about the only memory still alive of 波斯与中国的长期文化交流。
Although a small Armenian printing house with Armenian typeface did exist in New Julfa at the time, the idea of printing seems not to have impressed Iranians for a long time.
宗教控制加强，打压异端，sufis日子不好过，连Safavi Order都名存实亡。边境关闭，邻国敌意，让喜欢长距离游走的dervishes旅行困难。伊斯兰千年之际出现 Noqtavi 运动. The Noqtavis’ conscious attempt to break away from the dominant religion of the time was a rare phenomenon in Islamic history. Sense of historical progression stood in contrast to the veneration of the past in normative Islam. In its origins, Noqtavism was the most cerebral and systematic manifestation of the greater qalandari movement of the late Islamic Middle Ages. The alternative convents of the Noqtavis in the Safavid period, so far as the sources inform us, were more about music, wine, appreciation of nature, good food, and intellectual discourse than formalities of the shari‘a. We may assume that it was the growing popularity of the Noqtavis, and their anti-jurist and even anti-state ideas, which turned the shah against them. The Noqtavis were persecuted under Tahmasp, but it was ‘Abbas’s millennial anxieties that persuaded him to eradicate the agnostic heretics. Noqtavis称伊斯兰教千年（Hijra calendar）时要要完，Abbas I千年刚过就下手，指责其通敌Mughal。不过Mughal印度宫廷确实受到Noqtavis的影响，皇帝Akbar推崇的Divine Creed (din-e elahi)就有Noqtavism成分。
The more the Ottoman and Uzbek states turned to Sunni orthodoxy, the more the Safavids became dogmatic Shi‘is, and so closing the geopolitical horizons of Iranian territory and society.
Safavid哲学：The shift in the Safavid state’s ideology allowed conservative jurists to articulate an ethos of pious legalism through law, ritual, and sacred myth. The Safavid age also nurtured a new generation of thinkers akin to mystical and philosophical thought, even at times engaging in proto-modern themes that otherwise were entertained only by antinomian trends outside the confines of normative Islam.
By the late seventeenth century the promising intellectual momentum seems to have come to its end. Most evident in this respect was the late Safavid scholars’ engagement with the study of hadith (traditions) and akhabr (reports) related from the Prophet and the Shi‘i Imams, a pedantic preoccupation that clearly contrasted with the speculative thinking of earlier generations.
Mulla Mohammad Baqer Majlesi 影响力大的正统人物，钳制思想，迫害宗教minority
The anti-intellectualism of the Safavid ulama, had hardly changed even after two centuries of Persianization: obsession with the hadith, legal conservatism, ritualization of Shi‘ism, rejecting diversity, and popularizing of a tearful myth of suffering of the Imams. Their hostility toward Persian literary and artistic pursuits, and condescending attitude even toward their lay constituency, was typical of their sociocultural orientation. The Iranian public reserved great ambivalence for the ulama, a sort of love-hate relationship, revering them for their hard-tounderstand learning and for their sanctified posture, and despising them for their haughtiness, hypocrisy, and greed—all of which is highlighted vividly in Persian literature.
国家大力支持ulama：The ulama served the state as moral police, defining learning, disciplining leisure, promoting uniformity, and sharpening the divide between the “saved” Shi‘i and the “damned” Other
Until the time of Majlesi, weapons of social control, even when fortified with the sanctity of the hadith, were not fully in place. Leisure and artistic inspirations remained strong.
The jurists’ attack on philosophy and on organized and theoretical Sufism proved more effective. Philosophy, the most vulnerable of all, was banished to small and inconsequential circles at the margins of the madrasa. 窒息气氛下知识分子出走印度：多数消极避世。
The Safavid imperial model and its theory of legitimacy proved to endure long after the Safavids’ demise. Most of these features were shared with contemporary Mughal India, Qing China, the Ottoman Empire, and Habsburg Spain.
问题：Neither Shah ‘Abbas nor his successors were able to overcome the institutional limitations in the Safavid system. Weakening of the Qezilbash and its replacement with a gholam class did not end tribal conflicts, which soon flared up spectacularly. The silk monopoly proved viable, but efforts to create an indigenous trading network competitive with the European trading companies was transient. The Safavids never developed a maritime empire and showed no interest in creating a naval power. Their overland territorial expansion paid off in the southern Caucasus and Persian Gulf, and less so in Iraq, but revenue from these sources was not a long-term remedy for the state’s shortfall. Centralization of the agrarian regime raised revenue but over the long term actually weakened Safavid defenses.
3 THE DEMISE OF THE SAFAVID ORDER AND THE UNHAPPY INTERREGNUMS
1722年，阿富汗Sunni chief Mahmud Hotaki打进Isfahan，迫Safavid国王Shah Soltan Hosain退位，成为Mahmud Shah，Safavid灭亡。
The dramatic collapse of the Safavids and their surrender to a small tribal army raises questions about the economic and administrative problems of the empire, as well as political legitimacy, Shi‘i identity, changes long occurring at the Iranian periphery, and shifting regional patterns across the Eurasian world.
梅毒肆虐：从欧洲经Ottoman传入。Among the members of the royal house, behavior such as abrupt killings, mutilation, self-inflicted wounds, and utter feebleness might be taken as either withdrawal symptoms or as signs of mental degeneration associated with contracted or congenital syphilis.
十七世纪经济稳定，文艺发展，民间业余诗歌创作发达。咖啡屋，酒馆，妓院数量增加。Admiring the beauty of youth, often male, became acceptable through the lyrics and paintings of the period.
咖啡屋是自由交流表达的场所：棋牌，念诗（史诗和什叶主题故事如Hamzanama），音乐舞蹈。 One cannot fail to note the budding Safavid public space comparable not only to similar Ottoman and Egyptian establishments, but also to French salons and English coffeehouses of the period.
Safavid晚期饮酒盛行，鸦片流行，男女卖淫tolerated（taxed and regulated by the state）。烟草开始流行。
边患不断：高加索（半游牧部落、哥萨克，干扰里海陆路贸易），西部（库尔德人），南部（Oman海盗干扰波斯湾贸易，Khuzestan 起义不断），东南（Baluch部落干扰和印度贸易 ）。
阿富汗坎大哈Ghalzai Afghan部落造反：长期和Mughal争夺此地（军事、经济价值） ，当地人不喜欢波斯人，对Safavid的anti-Sunni政策不满。1701年坎大哈mayor Mir Vays Hotaki在Mughal朝廷和麦加支持下造反。二十年后其子在Afghan、Baluch部落支持下打进Safavid腹地，围城Isfahan。
Shah Soltan Hosain无力应对阿富汗危机。刚刚因为“亲Sunni”指控处决了grand vizier Fath Ali Khan Daghestani和他的亲信，军政不稳。The downfall of the shrewd Lezgian minister, who earlier had established his power base in Georgia, was one example of how the spread of Shi‘ism in the Safavid realms gradually eroded tribal support for the empire on the Sunni periphery. Safavid军队被数量少得多的阿富汗部落军打败。Mahmud入城后，开始对前朝官员、市民还比较大度，后来发现人们对Safavid忠诚度颇高，开始大开杀戒。
Isfahan陷落后Ottoman以“帮Safavid Shah复位”名义入侵。1726年Ashraf Hotaki下令处决末代Safavid Shah Soltan Hosain。
赶走阿富汗人后仍然混乱了几十年。复辟Safavid失败，强人Nader Shah Afshar崛起 etc。
此段时期部落造反不断的可能原因之一是气候变化。十七世纪末到十八世纪小冰期: 此时期西亚的游牧部落造反爆发也影响到了Ottoman和Mughal。On the Iranian plateau, the shaping of new Afghan warring confederacies, both the Ghalzai takeover of Kandahar and the occupation of Herat by the rival Abdali tribes, may be attributed to the same climatic changes. The simultaneous rise of the Baluch tribes in the Makran, the Kurdish tribes in northwestern Iran, and the Cossacks and Lezgians in the Transcaucasus, all soon followed by unrest among the Afsharids and other tribes of Khorasan, the Kurdish tribes of the northern and eastern Iranian periphery, and the confederacy of frontier Turkmens in the northeast, may also be contributed to the same phenomenon.
气候变化也影响到Safavid腹地：Repeated crop failures and recurring droughts coincided with the shrinking of the agricultural hinterlands, decline of trade in Persian Gulf and Mediterranean ports, and the depopulation of the cities. 1666年宫廷占星家曾建议Shah暂时退位以避免大灾。
Safavid军队解散，武器流落民间，助力部落造反。十八世纪部落占领不断，摧毁居民区，bazaar经济瘫痪，旅行和贸易受到严重干扰。丝绸贸易崩溃。Not until the beginning of the nineteenth century did trade in the Persian Gulf recover, and even then it did not reach the heights of the Safavid period.
The tax burden and inflationary pressures, even before the fall of the Safavids, became intolerable enough under Solayman and Soltan Hosain that the peasants and nomads had to be forcefully kept on the land and prevented from fleeing. This policy of near serfdom, previously alien to the Islamic world, may help explain the explosion of restlessness among the nomadic and seminomadic tribes once the central state had largely collapsed.
全球通胀危机的影响：A shortage of currency, hoarding by state authorities and the privileged classes, drainage of currency, and overall weakening of the agrarian base intensified the empire’s fiscal crisis. the siphoning off of Persian silver by the Dutch and English trading companies to Europe and by Indian traders (banyans) to the subcontinent had a long-term negative impact. between 1642 and 1660, the Dutch East India Company smuggled the equivalent of more than nine million guilders from Iran, a gigantic drainage of spices profoundly contributive to the Safavid insolvency. The cycle of trade from Europe through the Ottoman Empire, Iran, and to Mughal India generated three to four fold profit for European trading companies at the expense of impoverishing the empires of the east.
By 1727 Safavid Iran had nearly ceased to exist as an empire. The Afghans, their rule harsh and alien to the Shi‘i Iranians, held only a semblance of control over what was left of Iran. Within a few short years not only the most prosperous northern and western provinces were snatched away; cities and countryside throughout the empire were depleted, nomadic forces on the periphery were in rebellion, and confidence in the culture and social order was at its lowest ebb. Isfahan的Safavid state archives 被毁。
Nader-Qoli崛起。结束post-Safavid时期的外国占领但也彻底葬送Safavid的军事奇才Nader Shah Afshar (r. 1736–1747)后世历史评价争议大。His countrymen viewed him first as a restorer of the empire and a savior but later a tyrant and a maniac. For his contemporary Europeans he was a thundering conqueror whose Indian campaign paved the way for British colonial domination. To the incoming Qajar dynasty, he was a despicable usurper, yet in the Pahlavi era he was glorified as a hero and a forerunner of national unity, a prototype of a sort for Reza Shah, who admired him for his discipline and resolve. Today he is still part of Iran’s nationalist narrative, appealing to panIranian sentiments of some and anticlerical aspirations of others. Beyond the constructs of the later centuries, however, Nader looms large as a unique phenomenon, in some ways reasserting tribal identity of the Iranian periphery and in other ways as a prototype anticipating the nationalist trends of later centuries.
Nader-Qoli：出生在北呼罗珊的Turkmen，被Abbas I迁到呼罗珊抵御Uzbek入侵的Qezilbash后裔。早年是Malek Mahmud Sistani(a self-styled claimant to the legendary Kayanid dynasty of the Shahnameh)地界的军阀，和Malek Mahmud争夺Mashhad失败后，转而服务Tahsmasp II，号称Tahmasp-Qoli (slave of Tahmasp)。击败阿富汗人收回Isfahan，被视为“解放者”。
Nader-Qoli组织军队，招募部落很有一套。Perhaps for the first time in Iranian history—and possibly in the history of empires in the region—his crude method of drafting able-bodied men from remote villages and towns, often without serious resistance, set the precedent for a new conscription army. Nader’s drive for a disciplined military force increasingly entailed an element of protonational integration: a sense of unanimity and emphasized pronounced elements of shared identity, such as standardized insignia in campaigns, the use of Shahnameh legendary motifs, and later the creation of a new royal crown for himself instead of the Safavid Qezilbash cap. Nader himself became a champion of national assertiveness, distinct from the late Safavids’ public image of debauchery on the one hand and excessive religiosity on the other.
Nader收回丢给Ottoman和俄国人的失地，打败高加索叛军，重夺Herat，平定呼罗珊，控制波斯湾。. It seemed as though Safavid rule, nominal though it was, had finally restored stability and calm to the empire.
In the winter of 1736, he summoned to the plain of Moghan on the bank of the Aras River in northern Azarbaijan a great assembly of khans and notables to consider the future of the Iranian state. Perhaps inspired by the Mongolian tribal gatherings of the Ilkhanid era, the Moghan assembly was the first time that the notion of representation was introduced to the Iranian milieu. Moreover, Nader justified deposing the Safavid monarchy, and his own “reluctance” to carry the burden of kingship, on the grounds of restoring Iranian sovereignty when the Safavids were no longer fit to rule the country.
Nader主张放弃什叶国教，主张相对包容的Ja‘fari creed. Devoid of anti-Sunni exclusivity, messianic longing, and juristic tradition, Nader’s Ja‘fari brand seemed to be a diluted form of the Safavids’ state- dominated creed. Nader认识到exclusionist form of Shi‘ism的害处. He hoped that declaring the Ja‘fari creed would persuade the Ottomans to comply with the terms of his peace proposal, which called for the establishment in Mecca for the Shi‘i pilgrims of a fifth platform around the Ka’ba (lit. rokn, “pillar”), adjacent to that of the Hanafis, which was to be taken as recognition of Shi‘ism as a legitimate Islamic creed.
Nader意识到淡化Sunni-Shi‘i differences有利于他征服Sunni土地。 Nader的军队不少都是Sunni。Here, perhaps for the first time in a political context, the notion of a pan-Islamic solidarity (ettehad-e Islam) found expression in Nader’s conciliatory proposal, which, though it never materialized, denoted a shift away from the creed-based Ottoman and Safavid Muslim empires. As it turned out, Nader’s proposal was unacceptable to both sides
Nader决定征印度，取得资源，然后对付Ottoman。从印度满载而归。威胁到Ottoman但没拿回伊拉克。边乱又起。统治残暴，不断征战，对城市破坏大，Nader的辉煌不可持续，十分短暂：With Iran’s resources stretched to their limits, he left behind a ruined agrarian economy, little trade and manufacture, and decimated administrative infrastructure. It was as if Nader and his army represented a nomadic revenge of the periphery against Iran’s urban centers.
His progressive insanity, which erupted in bursts of violence, fueled the fire of ethno-religious tension among his officers and troops. 计划eliminate the growing opposition among his Persian officers and troops，还没实现，1747年就在平定库尔德叛乱中被刺身亡。The mostly Shi‘i Iranian faction among his troops, who had now regrouped under the title of Qezilbash, had felt threatened by Nader’s ominous drift toward his Afghan and Uzbek mercenaries.
Nader’s failure to put an end to post-Safavid tribal turmoil cost Iran dearly. Though he aimed to create a stable imperial model distinct from the Safavids, he essentially remained a tribal chief in control of a formidable war machine devoted to conquest.
His policy of deemphasizing Shi‘ism and disengaging from its clerical core never led to a tolerant alternative. It became apparent that the people of Iran, at least of the Persian-speaking urban centers, no longer would abandon Shi‘ism. It is therefore not surprising that shortly after his accession, the Persian urban public of the interiors viewed him as a usurper of the Safavid throne. 不过反Nader复Safavid的叛乱多失败告终。
Nader死后再次局势混乱，陷入内战。By 1757 the rise of Karim Khan Zand in the south was the only positive outcome. Karim’s personality combined political sagacity and soldierly valor with beneficence, acumen, and conviviality—a rare combination especially when compared to his cohorts. His rule of more than two decades marks one of the most tranquil in Iran’s early modern history, a remarkable example of how the ruler’s personal qualities, rather than the institutional framework within which he operated, determined political stability, the well-being of subjects, and cultural florescence. He was realistic enough to acknowledge the place of Shi‘i faith and wise enough to respect devotion to the Safavid memory.
Consolidation of the Zands soon gravitated the political center, at least temporarily, toward the south. Shiraz大发展。建筑风格独特。娱乐业发达。社会风气相对开放。
Karim Khan 1779年去世，内战再次开始。The tribal truce that was the outcome of Karim Khan’s political acumen withered rapidly after his passing. Not for another two decades, until the last year of Aqa Mohammad Khan Qajar (r. 1789–1797), the prevailing leader of the Qajars of Astarabad, did a solution to the question of political authority emerge.
Karim Khan视Qajar为最大威胁。It is noteworthy that the Qajar contender relied on the Turkmen tribes of the northeast frontier, as had the early Safavids on the Qezilbash Turkmens of Azarbaijan three centuries earlier
Aqa Mohammad Khan Qajar: Qajar王子，父亲叛乱被杀，儿时被人（an Afsharid pretender to Nader’s throne）阉割，早年作为人质生活在Shiraz，在Karim Khan临死之际逃出回到北方。
Aqa Mohammad Khan can be credited for his great success in reunifying Iran, an enterprise in which Nader Shah and Karim Khan both failed. 有Nader的军事精明，和Karim Khan的政治才干。
Contrary to Nader’s enmity toward the Safavid divan, he partially rehabilitated the existing Zand bureaucrats, who themselves often had their roots in divan families of the late Safavid era. He also learned from Nader’s error not to alienate the Shi‘i clerical establishment. One of the most important political figures of modern Iranian history, he founded a dynasty that survived for more than a century despite many odds.
1786，Aqa Mohammad Khan定都德黑兰：as Isfahan was a millennial city for ‘Abbas I, so was Tehran a centennial capital for the Qajars. It was a gateway to the Iranian interior and provided easy access to Astarabad and other Qajar strongholds in the north. Moreover, being devoid of a sizable urban population, Tehran was free from Isfahan’s pro-Safavid and Shiraz’s pro-Zand sentiments. 北部Alborz山脉提供天然屏障，猎物丰富。
After more than a decade of conflict and economic disruption, some had come to accept the reality of the Zands’ eclipse. Fars长官Haji Ibrahim Shirazi趁Zand王子Lotf-‘Ali Khan出征，将Shiraz献给Aqa Mohammad Khan。Lotf-‘Ali Khan后来被抓到后被挖眼，轮奸，处决，成为民歌里的悲剧人物。
1796年，Aqa Mohammad Khan登基。1797年，再次出征高加索时被刺杀身亡。Surely no one shed tears over the dead Qajar khan; but even beyond the grave, his vision for an enduring dynasty seemed to have held more firmly than Nader’s or Karim Khan’s. Aqa Mohammad Khan活着的时候杀掉了多数王位争夺者，侄子继位相对顺利，没有出现大乱。
十八世纪大量波斯知识分子出走印度，在喜欢波斯文化的印度人（Mughal朝廷，以及后来的princely states）那里得到庇护。代表人物Shaykh Mohammad ‘Ali Hazin。
Through disaster and defeat, one can detect flickers of a new national awareness, one no longer tied to Safavid sovereignty but to the sorrowful memory of a glorious past, one that repeatedly would be invoked in the later Iranian experience. 同样表现在Mirza Mohammad Kalantar（Zand时期的Shiraz市长，十八世纪伊朗和Ottoman崛起的urban notable阶层的典型）的回忆录里。 Here we can detect the seeds of an indigenous communal awareness made sharper by the loss of influence and wealth in the south to a new dynastic power from the north.
The Qajar rulers relied not only on the claim of legitimate heredity that went back to their membership in the Qezilbash of the Safavid era; they claimed for themselves the memory of the legendary kings and dynasties of the Persian past, kings who defended the land of Iran against its Rum and Turan neighbors. Likewise, the Qajar cultural and artistic expressions remained indebted to the southern spirit of leisure, music, and the good life, a continuity of the late Safavid and Zand eras.