Iberian Travelers in Persia in the Safavid Period

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Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Academic Bio: 
Saeid Hooshangi holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Persian Philology from the University of Tehran, and a PhD in Religious Studies from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2004). His Doctoral dissertation was titled “Iranian Demonology in the Pre-Islamic Religions of Iran”. He was an Assistant Professor of Persian Language at Universidad de Salamanca (2001-03), and is currently an Associate Professor of Persian Language and Literature, and Arabic Science History, at the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He has published numerous articles on Persian language and literature, and the following books: Persa para Españoles, Editorial Atenea, Madrid, 2007. Gramática Persa, Editorial Ibersaf, Madrid, 2007 Español para Iraníes, Editorial Atenea, Madrid, 2006. Destino Desértico, Editorial Sial, Madrid, 2005. Léxico para Situaciones Español/Persa, Editorial Atenea, Madrid, 2004. Esquemas Gramaticales de Persa, Editorial Atenea, Madrid 2004. Manual Práctico de Persa, Editorial Ibersaf, Madrid, 2003. Persa para Españoles, Editorial Clásicas, Madrid, 2002. His current research project focuses on the Classical Legacy (Greek, Latin and Persian) in the Islamic civilization of al-Andalus.

This paper offers an overview of the relations between the Iberian Peninsula and Persia during the Safavid period, a time when the exchange between the two was the most intense.  There were missionaries, merchants, travelers for pleasure and diplomats among the people who travelled to Persia; all of them with different reasons to make that journey, and with different goals upon their arrival. Rui González Clavijo (d. 1412, the pioneer, who travelled to the region just before the ascend of the Safavids) , the envoy García de Silva y Figueroa (d. 1624), the 17th c. explorer Pedro Teixera, and representatives of the  Carmelite brothers were some of the most  distinguished Iberian visitors to Persia.  Some of those travelers have left written testimonies that have survived until the present time. The goal of the present paper is to highlight their significance and to analyze the knowledge they bring us

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Historical Memory
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