The nineteenth lesson in a 22 lesson course on Monuments of Islamic Architecture developed by Professors Gulru Necipoglu and David Roxburgh at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University. This lesson explores the development of the Safavid empire, which reached its apex in the capital city of Isfahan. The city as a global metropolis is characterized by its economic growth, cultural efflorescence, and social diversity. Throughout this lesson we will explore how it was that the city evolved, as well as how it embodied ideas about the ruler, the state, and society, in addition to cultivating an economic upsurge.
What is the story that the city is telling us about the Safavid elite and its relationship to this multi-ethnic, multi-confessional population?
Necipoglu, Gulru and David Roxburgh. “Isfahan under Shah Abbas.” Lesson 13/22 presentation developed for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Education Programme, 2019.