New Light on Shah ʿAbbas and the Construction of Isfahan
Type
journal article
Year
2016
The discovery and recent publication of the third volume of the Afḍal al-tawārīkh (The Most Excellent of Histories) by Fazli Beg Khuzani Isfahani (d. after 1640), with its rich layers of new details on the reign of Shah ʿAbbas I (1587–1629), has made possible a search for fresh information on the shah’s architectural patronage and development of the Safavid capital at Isfahan in the early seventeenth century. Apart from several details not recorded elsewhere, Fazli Beg’s chronicle provides a more continuous account of the development of the city than other contemporary sources, which tend instead to concentrate and group the details of the construction of different buildings into the record of a few specific dates, so that it is not always clear when they were initiated or completed. Fazli Beg gives the impression of a city under constant construction, and of the shah’s restless impatience to propel the work forward. The paper also attempts to address the chronological disparities found in the main sources for the period. 
Citation
Melville, Charles. "New Light on Shah ʿAbbas and the Construction of Isfahan." Muqarnas: An Annual On The Visual Cultures Of The Islamic World 33 (2016): 155-76.
Parent Publications
Authorities
Copyright
Charles Melville
Country
Iran
Language
English
Keywords
primary sources
urban design