Henry Layard – and Bakhtiari poetry

I’ve been re-reading Henry Layard’s 1887 ‘Early Adventures in Persia’; after I noticed that this apparently included identifying details of the events and individuals in one of the Bakhtiari poems translated by DLR Lorimer. I was especially interested by Layard’s descriptions of Bakhtiari poetry recitations: “I frequently witnessed . . the effect which poetry had …

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The golden caravanserai and the ‘fort with two doors’

I’ve been finishing the first drafts of my two papers about Shah Abbas’ thousand kilometre walk in 1601.  Abbas’ stopping places were relatively easy to find in the first part of the walk; but only three specific names were given by Munajjim Yazdi along the Khorassan Highroad. One of those was the Ribat-i Do Dar …

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Diamonds which ‘shew like stars’

Shortly after the New Year celebrations for 1601, Iskandar Munshi describes how some refugee Uzbek princes reached Shah Abbas’ court in Isfahan.  Abbas welcomed them with a reception and “a cash grant of one thousand Iraqi toman in gold, to cover their living expenses”. The princes reciprocated, with “their modest gifts” including a valuable diamond …

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