Safavid dynasty ruled
Persia from 1501 until 1736.
They united the successor states of the Arab
empire into a
Shiism as the state
religion, either because of the preponderance of
territory or to counter the
of their rivals, the
empire. Isfahan was the capital of Safavid
after Baghdad fell to the Turks in 1533.
The Arab empire was overrun by the Mongols and
eventually split into smaller kingdoms. until the 16th century
The Safavids arose from the Safaviya
in the 14th century founded by Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili in the 14th century.
The Safavids may have been of mixed
They were probably not Georgian or Turkic as is sometimes charged. In the 15th century, the Safaviya under Sheikh Haydar became a militant sect,
launching raids against Christian Georgia. Ismail, a grandson of Haydar,
launched the Safavid dynasty in 1501 or 1502, with his military allies,
the Qizilbashi. Ismail introduced
as a state religion. Ismail's program included forced conversion anddestruction
os Sunni Mosques.
Ismail and his successors were unable to meet the
challenge of the
empire, Ismail also declared a theocracy for a time, with himself as head. The Safavids
were repeatedly defeated until Abbas I modernized the
army with British help, and suppressed the role of the Qizilbashi, who were
reluctant to integrate with the
or take orders from them.
Safavid rule ended in civil war. Some consider that it ended with the death
of Abbas III in 1736, making Nadir the founder of the Afsharid
dynasty, while others date the end of Safavid rule to the death of Nader Shah in
1747. Still others date the end of the dynasty to much later.
Persian Safavid Empire about 1600
Shahs of the Safavid Dynasty
Ismail I 1501–1524
Tahmasp I 1524–1576
Ismail II 1576–1578
Mohammed Khodabanda 1578–1588
Abbas I 1588–1629
Abbas II 1642–1666
Suleiman I 1666–1694
Sultan Hoseyn I 1694–1722
Tahmasp II 1722–1732
Abbas III 1732–1736
Nader 1736 - 1747
Chronology of the Safavid Dynasty
1501 Isma'il takes control of Tabriz, is crowned as shah, and declares
as the state religion.
1502: Isma'il declares himself an infallible
imam as well as Shah..
1514: Battle of Chaldiran. Ismail is defeated by the Turkish
Sultan Selim. This battle destroyed the claim of the shah that he was infallible
and semi-divine figure.
1524 - Ismail succeeded by his son Tahmasp.
1533: Baghdad is overrun by the
empire. Isfahan becomes temporary
1580's: Qizilbashi murder the heir to the crown together
with other important members of the royal family and other Persians.
1588: Abbas I becomes shah.
1590: Abbas I makes peace with the
1599: AbbasI I modernizes the army with British aid, dismisses
the Qizilbashi and pays the army out of the royal treasury.
1602: Abbas I displaces the Portuguese from the island of Bahrain in
the Persian Gulf.
1603: Abbas I defeats the Ottomans, winning back the territory
they had lost earlier.
1623: With the aid of British officers and troops, Abbas I forces the
Portuguese out of the island of Hormuz.
1624: The Safavids take back control over Baghdad. Nonetheless,
Isfahan remained the capital of Safavid Persia.
1638: Safavid control over Baghdad is lost.
1629: Death of Abbas I.
1639: The Treaty of Qasr-e Shirin between the
Ottoman Empire and Safavid
sets the western border of
1722: Capture of Isfahan by the Ghilzai Afghans.
1729: Shah Tahmasp II retakes Isfahan.
1732: Tahmasp II is deposed by his own troops, under the leadership of
1747: The Safavid dynasty comes to an end,
October 29, 2010
Synonyms and alternate spellings: