Historical books

Rudi Matthee: “I’m going to travel to Iran to buy historical books”


IBNA: The winner of the 21st World Book Prize of the Islamic Republic of Iran said: “I have written three books on the history of the Safavids; one of them titled “Trade Policy in Safavid Iran: Silk for Money” was published about 14 years ago. ”

“The other book is written on drugs in Iran which has yet to be translated. My other book ‘Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan’ will be published in a month or two by Namak Publications. The book is about the last period of Safavid history and it is, in fact, a study and analysis on the fall of the dynasty, ”he added.

The Safavid dynasty did not fall because of moral degeneration

The researcher then spoke about the sources, which he used for his book, saying, “As a historian, I have used all sources and evidence. By comparing them, I evaluated different aspects of the Safavid dynasty. As a result, I learned that the house did not fall due to moral degeneration, and several other factors were included as well.

Unfortunately, Iran does not have a complete archive of Safavid history, as the Afghans destroyed most of the sources in their famous attack. Another reason may be chaos, kings used to constantly change capitals which can indeed lead to a lack of sources, he noted.

Safavid history should be found in manuscripts

The University of Delaware history professor added: “In order to study the era, we should study the manuscripts most of which were published and available in the libraries of London and Paris. As a result, I did not have to travel to Iran, but as a result of the Islamic revolution, visa issues also existed. But I will go to Iran as soon as I have the chance, because I can buy the last books. ”

Speaking about the Iranian award, he said, “I think the book of the year award is an important invention that shows that the Islamic Republic of Iran, besides politics, cares about historical research and literature. The participation of foreigners is also a positive point.

He finally said that Iran is an interesting country. Its civilization dates back thousands of years. Iranians are kind and accommodating, they have special abilities in creating beautiful works.

Rudi Matthee is John and Dorothy Munroe Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Delaware, where he teaches Middle Eastern history, with an emphasis on research on modern Iran and the Persian Gulf. He has also published extensively on aspects of Safavid and Qajar Iran.


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