Writing History in Safavid Times.
Khvāndamīr’s (d. 1535-6) General History Ḥabīb al-siyar and its Reception in the Pre-Modern Period
Under the Timurid and Safavid dynasties of 15th to 17th century Iran, general as well as dynastic historical writing in Persian flourished in a way not seen before. Khvāndamīr’s general history Ḥabīb al-siyar of 1524 was by far one of the most important historical works of this period which influenced later historians in their way of writing history to a great extent. In my PhD project, I intend to analyse Ḥabīb alsiyar by combining source criticism with a narratological approach for the first time. By deconstructing this historical narrative, my objective is to examine the way in which history was written at that time and by which narrative strategies a meaningful vision of the past was presented to its readers. This includes three main steps: Firstly, I will focus on the work itself and how Khvāndamīr combines past events, how he understands ‟writing history” and on which patterns he constructs his work. Secondly, I will compare Ḥabīb al-siyar to other historical works dating from the same period, contextualising it within the historiographical discourse in early Safavid times. The third step deals with the reception of Ḥabīb al-siyar: By having a look at its manuscript tradition, I will try to trace the actual usage of the work during the 16th to 19th centuries, putting the results in the framework of the transfer of knowledge in the pre-modern Islamic world.
First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gudrun Krämer
Second Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Christoph Werner
Third Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Mansur Sefatgol