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Maeda, Hirotake

Hirotake Maeda. The Household of Allahverdi Khan: an Example of Patronage Network in Safavid Iran

Compte-rendu réalisé par Giorgio Rota
Référence(s) :

Hirotake Maeda. « The Household of Allahverdi Khan: an Example of Patronage Network in Safavid Iran », in : Florence Hellot-Bellier et Irène Natchkebia, éds., La Géorgie entre Perse et Europe. Paris, L’Harmattan, 2009, p. 49-66.

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1The author returns to a subject on which he has already made important contributions: Caucasian ġolāms in Safavid service. His investigation focuses on Allāhverdī Ḫān, one of the most prominent and well-known ġolāms, who is set in the new light provided by the recent rediscovery of the lost third volume of Falī Ḫūzānī Eṣfahānī’s Afalo’t-tavārīḫ. Maeda starts by sketching a biography of the Khan, about whom the rediscoverd volume provides many a detail. He then reviews the information from this same source about five members of the Khan’s entourage: two Caucasians, a Turk, a Tajik and an officer of mixed Turk/Tajik ancestry (who was a cousin of Falī Ḫūzānī Eṣfahānī). One of these, Mīkā’īl Beyg (a cousin of the Khan) has apparently never been mentioned in other sources from the period. Maeda describes the importance of patronage, personal connections and family heritage in these men’s careers, which cut across the supposed barriers existing between Turks, Tajiks, and ġolāms – recent scholarship sees this supposition about Safavid society as being obsolete. It is not clear to the present reviewer, however, whether Maeda is claiming that the Afalo’t-tavārīḫ alone suffices for moving beyond this old-fashioned portrayal of relations among the various ethnic components of Safavid society. He writes, “the newly found volume III […] contributes much to the clarification of those connections which were not observed in other Persian sources” (p. 64). In this case, we cannot concur with him.

2This is a very useful and interesting article, especially since a critical edition of the Afalo’t-tavārīḫ is not yet available. Nonetheless, this contribution needs severe editing: the English text is sometimes obscure, and misprints are frequent. For example, we come upon several instances of khajja instead of khaṣṣa). Maeda oddly lists his own article “Parsadan Gorgijanidze’s Exile in Shushtar […]” as forthcoming in a miscellaneous volume to come out in London (n. 20, p. 56 and p. 66), whereas it has already been published in Journal of Persianate Studies, 1/II (2008), p. 218-229.

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Giorgio Rota. Maeda, Hirotake, « Hirotake Maeda. The Household of Allahverdi Khan: an Example of Patronage Network in Safavid Iran », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 32-33 | 2013, document 245, mis en ligne le 01 juillet 2016, consulté le 29 avril 2017. URL :

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