British scholar writes book on Safavid era thinkers

A British scholar of Islamic Studies and Persian Andrew J. Newman authored the book considering the life and works of Iranian thinkers and artists during Safavid era.Newman’s book titled ‘Safavid Thinkers: The Intellectual Creators of Iran’s Renaissance in the Early Modern Period’also focuses on the role played by Iran on the verge of the modern age.

His earlier work ‘Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire’on Iran during Safavid’s role won Iran’s Book of the Year Award for 2007 in the category of Iranian Studies. This work was translated by Behzad Karimi into Persian and was released 3 years ago. The Safavid era (1501-1722) is regarded as the key to the emergence of modern Iran. Safavid Iran became a regional superpower, with its reach extending beyond its domains into the Middle East, South Asia, and the Eastern Mediterranean. This was the period in which, challenging Otoman and Mughal power, an Iranian nation-state was established, with a defined central government, state sovereignty and setled borders. The Shahs, especially Shah Abbas I have been credited with Iran’s rise to power but Andrew Newman›s revisionist study demonstrates that the mainspring of Safavid progress was the work a range of intellectual giants who would dominate the thinking of any era. Among the thinkers, he takes into consideration is Eskandar Baik Monshi who wasthe celebrated court historian and secretary of Shah Abbas I. The celebrated historicalbook, Tȃrikh-e Ȃlam Ȃrȃy-e Abbȃsi is the most important book by Eskandar Baik written during20 years. He arranged the book in three volumes in a way which it has a preface, two parts sahifas) and an ending. The other prominent figure described in this work is Reza Abbasi, the leading Persian miniaturist of the Isfahan School during the later Safavid period, spending most of his career working for Shah Abbas I. He is considered to be the last great master of the Persian miniature. Andrew J. Newman is a Professor at the University of Edinburgh with a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from UCLA.


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