Qazvin and the Babi/Bahá'í historiographical tradition
First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #36
London School of Economics: London, England
July 13–15, 2001
(see list of papers from #36)
During the Safavid era, the city of Qazvin became an important center of historical writing. This was partly a result of Shah Tahmasp moving the capital city from Tabriz to Qazvin. Consequently, several historians composed their chronicles in this city. These include individuals such as Yahya ibn 'Abd al-Latif Husayni Qazvini, author of the Lubb al- tavarikh, Hasan Beg Rumlu, author of the Ahsan al-tavarikh, and Budaq Munshi, author of the Javahir al-akhbar. Qazvin was subsequently eclipsed by Isfahan after the capital moved to that city during the reign of Shah 'Abbas.
However, some three centuries later, Qazvin again seems to have become a center of historiographical production. Whereas the primary focal point of the 19th century ruling Qajar dynasty and its official historiography was the city of Tehran, alternative historiographical traditions were developing in other parts of the country. These focused on the events associated with the emergence of the Babi and Bahá'í religions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the development of a regional historiography focusing a few select events of Qazvin. A number of Babi and Bahá'í histories will be analyzed, including the narratives of Hajj Nasir Qazvini, Mulla Ja'far Qazvini, and Shaykh Kazim Samandar Qazvini.
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