STANDARD 12 safavids

Safavid Empire during the reign of
Shah Abbas I
• Shah Abbas took the throne in 1587.
He created a golden age of culture
that drew from the best Ottoman,
Persian and Arab worlds. Shah
Abbas reformed some aspects of the
Military- limited the power of the
military, created two new armies that
would be loyal to him alone, one being
made up of Persians the other of
Christian recruits that he modeled
after the Ottoman janissaries. Both
armies were equipped with modern
Government- he punished
corruption severely and promoted
only those officials who proved
competent and loyal, he was
known to hire foreigners to fill
gov’t positions.
To convince European merchants
of his religious tolerance, he
brought in Christian religious
orders to the empire
Europeans moved into the land.
This caused a large exchange of art,
trade and industry between the
Europeans and Safavid empire.
Safavid moved the capital to
Esfahan which is almost directly
south of current day Tehran, Iran.
The city covered 4 ½ miles and was
considered to be one of the
prettiest in the world. Foreign and
Safavid artist both worked on the
construction of the city.
- Armenians wove carpets
-300 Chinese potters produced
glazed building tiles
Shah Abbas brought in many
Chinese artists and had them work
side by side with Safavid artists.
They created intricate metal works,
pottery, glass work, calligraphy,
and tile work. This started a
collaboration between Chinese and
Persian artists.
The most important Western
influence on the Safavids though
was the demand for Persian
carpets. This changed weaving
from a local craft to a national
At first carpets reflected Persian
themes but as the empire grew, the
designs became more culturally
blended. In the 16th century, Shah
Abbas, sent artist to Europe to study
under Raphael. Rugs began to show
European influence after the artists
The empire declined after Shah Abbas’
death. This was in large part because
he had made the same mistake the
Ottoman ruler Suleyman had made by
killing or blinding his best sons.
Because he had done this, his spoiled
grand son took over control of the
empire. He was hated so much that
one of his own soldiers assassinated