Academic journal article International Journal of Turkish Studies

Iran and the World in the Safavid Age

Academic journal article International Journal of Turkish Studies

Iran and the World in the Safavid Age

Article excerpt

WILLEM FLOOR AND EDMUND HERZIG, eds., Iran and the World in the Safavid Age (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, in association with the Iran Heritage Foundation), Pp. 506, £ 45.00 cloth

This is a collection of thirty papers drawn from those presented at a conference of the same name, held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in 2002. The editors are two distinguished scholars of Safavid history, Edmund Herzig, Soudavar Professor of Persian Studies at the University of Oxford, and Willem Floor, an exceedingly productive independent scholar. References to work published since 2002 appear from time to time, so presumably the contributors had the opportunity to revise and, where necessary, update and expand their papers prior to publication.

The study of the Safavid period of Iranian history has made great strides in recent decades, and this impressive collection provides a good conspectus of what has been going on in fields relating to foreign policy. The book is divided into five parts. After an introduction by the editors (who also contribute papers), part 1, "The Safavid Empire in the Early Modern World," contains both a characteristically lucid and thoughtful discussion by Bert Fragner of "The Safavid Empire and the Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Strategic Balance of Power within the World System," and a paper on "The Safavid Economy as Part of the World Economy" by Rudi Matthee, which foreshadows parts of the argument of his remarkable recent book, Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan (2012). …

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