Safavid Dynasty - Military and The Role of Qizilbash

Military and The Role of Qizilbash

The Qizilbash were a wide variety of Shi'ite (ghulāt) and mostly Turcoman militant groups who helped found the Safavid Empire. Their military power was essential during the reign of the Shahs Ismail and Tahmasp. The Qizilbash tribes were essential to the military of Iran until the rule of Shah Abbas I- their leaders were able to exercise enormous influence and participate in court intrigues (assassinating Shah Ismail II for example).

A major problem faced by Ismail I after the establishment of the Safavid state was how to bridge the gap between the two major ethnic groups in that state: the Qizilbash ("Redhead") Turcomans, the "men of sword" of classical Islamic society whose military prowess had brought him to power, and the Persian elements, the "men of the pen", who filled the ranks of the bureaucracy and the religious establishment in the Safavid state as they had done for centuries under previous rulers of Persia, be they Arabs, Mongols, or Turkmens. As Vladimir Minorsky put it, friction between these two groups was inevitable, because the Qizilbash "were no party to the national Persian tradition".

Between 1508 and 1524, the year of Ismail's death, the shah appointed five successive Persians to the office of vakil. When the second Persian vakil was placed in command of a Safavid army in Transoxiana, the Qizilbash, considering it a dishonor to be obliged to serve under him, deserted him on the battlefield with the result that he was slain. The fourth vakil was murdered by the Qizilbash, and the fifth was put to death by them.

Read more about this topic:  Safavid Dynasty

Other articles related to "military and the role of qizilbash, qizilbash, military":

Safavid Dynasty - Military and The Role of Qizilbash - Reforms in The Military
... his empire without antagonizing the Qizilbash, he needed to create reforms that reduced the dependency that the shah had on their military support ... the aristocracy, but even more important in undermining the authority of the Qizilbash was the introduction of the Royal Corps into the military ... This military force would serve the shah only and eventually consisted of four separate branches Shahsevans – these were 000 ... strong and built up from the small group of ...

Famous quotes containing the words military and/or role:

    His ugliness was the stuff of legend. In an age of affordable beauty, there was something heraldic about his lack of it. The antique arm whined as he reached for another mug. It was a Russian military prosthesis, a seven-function force-feedback manipulator, cased in grubby pink plastic.
    William Gibson (b. 1948)

    The addition of a helpless, needy infant to a couple’s life limits freedom of movement, changes role expectancies, places physical demands on parents, and restricts spontaneity.
    Jerrold Lee Shapiro (20th century)