Biography of Sha de Persia Abbas I (1571-1629)

Fifth sovereign of Persia belonging to the dynasty Safawi, called the great, born January 27, 1571 and died January 19, 1629. Son of Shah Mohamed Khodabendeh.

In 1576, when Abbas was only seven years old, the ThamaspShah, died. Thamasp was a sovereign victorious but cruel; fearful, it did lock up your children to prevent it to betray him and they arose him the throne, yet could not avoid to die murdered. On the death of Thamasp, children are engaged in a civil war over succession. The first attack was Ismael, which killed the heir designated by his father (the only one of his brothers who was freed from captivity) and proclaimed himself Shah of Persia. Ismael was killed the following year, poisoned by a rival faction dissatisfied with their misrule.

Ismael II was replaced on the throne by his brother Mohamed. The new Shah kept incessant struggles all his Government with the Turks and Uzbeks, until it was removed in 1587 by an Alliance of Turkish tribes. That same year, Abbas, who held the position of Governor of the province of Khorasan (Jurasan), took up arms against the Turkish invaders and proclaimed himself independent ruler. A family conflict between Abbas and his brothers that was resolved two years later with the victory of Abbas immediately broke. This one, which was nicknamed El Grande, was one of the most important rulers of their dynasty.

He moved the capital to Isfahan and signed a peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire, the Treaty of Constantinople, which ceded control of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Once assured the Ottoman border, Abbas could submit to the Uzbeks, in absentia for some time and, subsequently, subject most of Afghanistan. Solved problems on the northern borders and this, Abbas returned to direct its attention toward the western border. At the beginning of the 17TH century broke the Pact with the Ottoman Empire and recaptured Baghdad in Ottoman power since 1534. Between 1603 and 1623 Persians incessantly attacked Iraq and succeeded in the conquest of important cities such as Mosul; In addition to the greater part of Iraq, Kurdistan, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Persian attack of Abbas led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, also beset in the Mediterranean by Christian troops.

In addition to expand their territories to the West, Abbas I took the border east of his Kingdom to the Indus, on the way to the Portuguese snatched the strategic enclave of Hormuz; in this way, to his death, Persia stretched from the Tigris to the Indus. The key to such dramatic territorial expansion was the creation of a standing army, the first of Persia, which exceeded by far the armies of the other kingdoms in the region. The British helped to Abbas in the creation of this army, since they had interest in destabilizing the region and, above all, to limit the power of the Ottoman Empire.

Along with its undeniable military successes, Abbas gave samples of a great cruelty. In a fit of madness, induced fear they bolstered him the throne, he ordered to kill her firstborn and, later, commanded that they bring the eyes to their other two children. Shortly after these acts, sent poison in his presence to several rulers whose loyalty they doubted.

Despite the climate of terror that dominated the Court, Persia prospered under the rule of Abbas I thanks to military conquests and the large public works program that the Shah got underway. Isfahan, its capital, was transformed and embellished with many monuments. He promoted the arts and commerce, in addition to restoring the internal order of the Kingdom thanks to the unifying element that gave the Shiites. During the reign of Abbas I, Persia reached the peak of its political, economic and cultural influence in the region.

On his death, the 19 January 1629, he was succeeded by his grandson Shafi I.

Bibliography

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SAVORY, R. Iran under the Safavids. 1980.

SAVORY, R. Studies on the history of Safawid Iran. London, 1987.