Timurids in Transition

Turko-Persian Politics and Acculturation in Medieval Iran

Series:

How did the the descendants of Tamerlane, collectively known as the Timurids, make the transition from a nomadic empire to a sedentary polity based on the Perso-Islamic model , and what effect did the process of transition have on their Turko-Mongolian customs and identity? This volume seeks to answer these questions by utilizing the Weberian concepts of the “routinization” of charismatic authority and the patrimonial household state.
Focusing on the period of the last Timurid ruler, Sulṭān-Ḥusain Bayqara (1469–1506), the author examines the impact of the introduction of Persian modes of bureaucratic administration on the evolution of Timurid government and describes the development of the agrarian economy of the eastern Iranian province of Khorasan through the Islamic institution of the pious endowment.
Based on an exceptionally broad range of sources in Persian, Arabic, and Turkic languages, the book provides a new paradigm for understanding the Timurids within the framework of post-Mongol history and offers fresh insights into Turko-Persian relations and the problem of acculturation in medieval Iran.
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Biographical Note

Maria E. Subtelny, PhD (1979) in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, is Professor of Persian and Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto. She has published extensively on the Timurids and on medieval Iranian and Central Asian cultural history. Her book Le monde est un jardin: Aspects de l’histoire culturelle de l’Iran médiéval (Paris, 2002) received the Saidi–Sirjani Book Award.

Review Quotes

"Thoroughly researched and elegantly presented, this volume offers valuable insights into questions that stand at the heart of medieval Islamic and Central Asian history."
Ron Sela (Indiana University), Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 68:2 (2009)

'Subtelny has produced a fine book, which draws on an extremely impressive range of sources, many of them still unpublished, and remains clear and admirably readable even wehn dealing with intractable matters like agronomy and fiscal management.'
Peter Jackson, Keel University, Speculum July 2009.

Table of contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION AND STYLE
MAPS, TABLES, AND ILLUSTRATIONS

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE. THE ROUTINIZATION OF CHARISMA: THE TIMURID PATRIMONIAL HOUSEHOLD STATE

CHAPTER TWO. POLITICAL VAGABOND TO POTENTATE: THE CAREER OF SULṬĀN-ḤUSAIN BAYQARA

CHAPTER THREE. THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE: CENTRALIZING REFORMS AND THEIR OPPONENTS

CHAPTER FOUR. THE SEARCH FOR LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS: KHORASAN AND THE AGRICULTURAL IMPERATIVE

CHAPTER FIVE. PIETY AND PRAGMATISM: THE ROLE OF THE ISLAMIC ENDOWMENT

CHAPTER SIX. SAINTS AND SCRIBES: TIMURID SHRINES AS VEHICLES FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND AGROMANAGEMENT

CONCLUSION

APPENDIX ONE. SURVEY OF ENDOWMENT DEEDS FROM THE TIMURID PERIOD
APPENDIX TWO. A TIMURID DEED OF ENDOWMENT: THE VAQFIYYA OF AFAQ BEGIM
APPENDIX THREE. AN EDICT OF SULṬĀN-ABŪ SA‘ĪD CONCERNING COMPLETION OF THE GULISTĀN DAM AT MASHHAD
APPENDIX FOUR. A DIPLOMA OF APPOINTMENT ISSUED BY SULṬĀN-ḤUSAIN FOR THE SUPERVISOR OF THE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT AT THE ‘ALID SHRINE AT BALKH
APPENDIX FIVE. BILLS OF PURCHASE AND SALE RELATING TO THE PRIVATIZATION OF STATE LAND IN THE BALKH REGION BY SULṬĀN-ḤUSAIN

FACSIMILE EDITION
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

Readership

Students and historians of Iran and Central Asia, as well as those interested in post-Mongol history, medieval Islamic history, Middle Eastern economic history, and Islamic legal and cultural history.

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Collection Information