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Isfahan form Qajar historians’ point of view

Isfahan form Qajar historians’ point of view

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Abdul Hussein Khan was the grandson of Muhammad Taqi Sepehr, the author of the famous book such as Nasakh al-Tawarikh. He worked at the State Department in youth at the age of 18 at the end of Nasser al-Din Shah's reign. Later he went to the court and served as secretary for Amin al-Sultan.

After the assassination of Nasser al-Din Shah in the court of Muzaffar al-Din Shah, he was appointed as teacher of the Shah, and after his father's death, he was first named as Malek al-Movarekhine and later from Sultan tasked as the historian of the court of Muzaffar al-Din al-Maqaf. Malik al-Movarekhine began publishing newspapers and writing critical articles in the late Mozaffar al-Din reign and advocated constitutionalists in the struggle between the constitutionalists and Mohammad Ali Shah. After the conquest of Tehran, he received the attention of Sardar Asad and, at his request, wrote Bakhtiari's history with the help of others. A few months after Samsam al-Saltanah resigned as prime minister, he left for Isfahan with him. Samsam live in a historical house in Iran during that time. Historical house accommodation in Iran were popular during Qajar era.

Samsam al-Saltanah was appointed as the ruler of Isfahan for the second time, and Malek Al-Movarekhin apparently came to Isfahan from the outskirts of Isfahan with the promise of the government of Borkhar and Marbin. But he argued that his rule over these areas and dealing with people's grievances was causing him a loss of income and lootings. Thus, he resigned from the government and returned to Tehran after less than four months in Isfahan for fear of mismanagement. In Tehran, he wrote memoirs of his travels to Isfahan, together with a description of the villages and suburbs of Isfahan, the history of the city from the time of Islam to the time of Nasser al-Din Shah, and other sources and monuments. During his stay in Isfahan, there were a luxury hotel in Isfahan which he used to visit sometimes.

 So the book is both author's travelogue and a kind of topography from Isfahan. But given the author's use of city geography from sources such as Mujam al-Baladan, Yakut Hamavi, Murat al-Baladan Etemad al-Saltanah, Shardan's Travelogue, etc., the book is worthy of describing the author's events, views, and information from his short stay in Esfahan. Author of important information on Isfahan's social situation, including people's living conditions, bread shortages, government, elections to the Third consul, involvement of foreign powers, especially Russians, in the affairs of the city and the oppression of some tribal leaders, including Samsam al-Saltanah offers. The book also contains useful information on describing the city's monuments and industries and the words that existed in Isfahan at the time of the author's residence in the city, which was a few months before the outbreak of World War I.

Describe the status of the people on the way to Isfahan, such as Qom, Kashan and their villages, expressing the distance between villages, towns and houses, expressing bread prices and comparing prices in different areas, describing how roads and security are managed and the oppression of vice. Nayeb Hussein and his sons’ cruelty to the people of Kashan are other valuable facts in his books. However, the author may attribute the disruptions in Isfahan mainly to the clerics, due to a dispute with Samsam al-Saltanah that led to his resignation, and neglected the role of other influential factors in the city, such as nationals and agents of the sultanate, etc. He has been widely criticized for damaging the city's monuments. Also, his information on the details of the Russian consul general in Isfahan is incorrect and he quotes one of the Russian consulates instead.

 The following paragraph is an example of his description:

 We arrived in Isfahan in the early twenty-seventh. Mr. Samsam al-Saltanah had also arrived unnoticed last night. A few days later, residents came to see Samsam al-Saltanah. They gave his some gifts too. On the day of arrival, some people celebrated. However, the villagers are not happy about the arrival of the Samasam, some of the rich men of Isfahan are. The situation in Isfahan is bad because most of the people in the past have confined their readership to the Russians, British and Germans. The wealth of the population is much better than in other provinces of Iran, despite recent losses. The poor have a lot come and go in the alleys. There are fewer unemployed people than Tehran in Isfahan, and women generally make cotton and socks, and there is less unemployment among them. People make good parties. Its fruits are plentiful, especially melon and watermelon are abundant and cheap. This year, because wheat is scarce, the bread is a little hard and expensive to find, the price of bread is two Qerans and two Abbasis. Isfahan rice is good and expensive. Citrus fruits come from Fars. Zayandehrood River water flows through alleyways and streets of the city, although it declines in summer. Drinkable water is often from wells. If Three to four meters of the ground is dogged they will reach water. (Malek Al-Movarekhin, 1392: 19-18).

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