This panel was compiled by the Conference Program Team from independently submitted paper proposals
The Ottomans and Safavids shared an inherited tradition of Persianate historiography. The earliest Persian histories composed under the Ottomans and the Safavids were universal chronicles, as opposed to histories covering a specific dynasty or a particular king. These universal histories include accounts of various biblical figures, episodes in ancient history, the story of the rise of Islam, and accounts of various Islamic dynasties. Despite the fact that these histories were produced under rival empires, they cover much of the same ground, suggesting that their authors were looking to a shared past and a common heritage. However, only by careful analysis, close comparison, and a search for the models and sources our chroniclers used can we reach larger conclusions about the strength of historiographical boundaries, the practice of history writing, and Ottoman-Safavid relations. This paper will compare a number of figures, including a pre-Islamic Persian king, a biblical patriarch, and an important personage in Shi’i history, in order to understand better the degree to which chroniclers tapped into the same historiographical tradition and how they modified that tradition to further the agendas of their patrons. The chronicles to be analyzed include Shukrullah’s Bihjat al-tavarikh, Khvandamir’s Habib al-siyar, Qazvini’s Lubb al-tavarikh, and Lari’s Mir’āt al-advār va mirqāt al-akhbār in order to address the questions raised above.