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Title: Southern Iranian Vassal States Under the Ilkhanate: 1220-1300
Authors: Chen, Edith Xin
Advisors: Cook, Michael A
Contributors: Near Eastern Studies Department
Keywords: Fars
Subjects: Middle Eastern history
Islamic studies
Middle Eastern studies
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: While the Mongol conquests have typically been studied as a subject in military history, the local dimension – what it was like living under Mongol rule – has not received as much scholarly attention up until now. This dissertation explores how the Mongol conquest of the Middle East unfolded from the perspective of the local dynasties located in central and southern Iran. This region included Fars, Kirman, and Yazd and was not conquered by force but rather submitted voluntarily to Mongol rule. The mountainous terrain and hot climate of these parts made them less suited for nomadic armies to traverse. As a result, the Mongol rulers of Iran, the Ilkhanids, retained these vassal dynasties and administered this region indirectly through them. In exchange for contributing taxes, tribute, and sometimes troops for war, these regions enjoyed a semi-autonomous status during the early decades. For the most part, these local dynasties maintained cordial and occasionally close associations with their Mongol overlords through diplomacy, marriages, and mentorship. Patron-client ties formed between the Mongol aristocracy and these local dynasties, and the quality of these ties can bring strategic benefits to local rulers. These local dynasties also had to remit taxes to the Mongol divan. While the tax burden squeezed the local treasury, it was relatively low compared to other parts under Mongol direct rule. Until 1280, the local courts managed to have surplus revenues left after the taxes to patronize culture, scholarship, and architecture. Understanding this might explain the contradiction that despite the high taxes under Mongol rule, the local courts in Iran were able to encourage cultural flourishing and sustain Islamic scholarship during this vacuum. By the late 13th century, many of the most prosperous local dynasties in Fars, Kirman, and Yazd went into decline and came under direct rule. Without these local rulers, the local Persian elites who once had served them were recruited directly into Mongol service and continued to administer these parts. Despite the surface changes, local rule in southern Iran prevails.
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Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Near Eastern Studies

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