Power, Politics and Religion in Timurid Iran

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Beatrice Forbes Manz uses the history of Iran under the Timurid ruler Shahrukh (1409-47) to analyze the relationship between government and society in the medieval Middle East. She provides a rich portrait of Iranian society over an exceptionally broad spectrum - the dynasty and its servitors, city elites and provincial rulers, and the religious classes, both ulama and Sufi. The work addresses two issues central to pre-modern Middle Eastern history: how a government without the monopoly of force controlled a heterogeneous society, and how a society with diffuse power structures remained stable over long periods. Written for an audience of students as well as scholars, this book provides the first broad analysis of political dynamics in late medieval Iran and challenges much received wisdom about civil and military power, the relationship of government to society, and the interaction of religious figures with the ruling class.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is a deeply learned study of the government and society of Eastern Iran and Central Asia under Shahrukh (1409-1447), the son and successor of Tamerlane....This admirably researched book explores the historically events in exhaustive detail and provides rich anecdotal material about the policies and careers of the Timurid elites..." - Ira M. Lapidus, University of California Berkeley, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Beatrice Manz has become one of the premier scholars of Timurid Central Asia, and this book solidifies that well-earned reputation." - Canadian Journal of History

"Manz has minded all available sources, which are 'fragmentary, repetitious and tendentious' ...with consummate skill. The result is a book that is essential reading for all students of medieval and early modern Islamic societies." - International Journal of Middle East Studies

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Beatrice Forbes Manz is Associate Professor of History at Tufts University, Massachusetts. Her previous publications include The Rise and Fall of Tamerlane (1989) and, as editor, Studies on Chinese and Islamic Central Asia (1995).

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Table of Contents

List of maps     x
Preface     xi
Chronology     xiii
Family tree of major Timurid princes     xviii
Introduction     1
The formation of the Timurid state under Shahrukh     13
Issues of sources and historiography     49
Shahrukh's diwan and its personnel     79
Political and military resources of Iran     111
Timurid rule in southern and central Iran     146
Political dynamics in the realm of the supernatural     178
The dynasty and the politics of the religious classes     208
The rebellion of Sultan Muhammad b. Baysunghur and the struggle over succession     245
Conclusion     276
Bibliography     284
Index     296
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