Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fath ‘Ali Khan Qajar at the head of his victorious troops carrying Afghan heads


"Fath ‘Ali Khan Qajar at the head of his victorious troops carrying Afghan heads, and respectfully greeted by the people of Isfahan in the distance" [English translation of original Persian caption].

From Shahinshahnama of Fath 'Ali Khan Saba (c.1810).

"Fatḥ-ʿAli Khan’s part in these final years of Safavid rule is a matter of dispute. One source describes how he managed to enter the besieged city of Isfahan at night with two to three thousand men and through sheer valor turn the tide against the enemy. However, jealous courtiers managed to convince Shah Solṭan Ḥosayn that he was too bold and ambitious an ally and Fatḥ-ʿAli Khan was forced to leave to avoid possible incarceration (Marvi, pp. 27-28). More or less the same story is repeated in later Qajar sources. However, the lack of corroborative information from contemporary sources, including Krusiński, Moḥammad Moḥsen, or Shaikh Moḥammed ʿAli Ḥazin, throws considerable doubt on the historical validity of this narrative (Lockhart, pp. 280-1). http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/fath-ali-khan-qajar