18.2 – Cultural Blending: The Safavid Empire

Report
18.2 – Cultural Blending: The
Safavid Empire
Setting the Stage
• What is cultural blending?
• What trait of a society can prevent cultural
blending?
• What are some current examples of cultural
blending?
Patterns
• Cultural interaction =
exposure to ideas,
food, technology
• Crossroads, trade
routes, ports, &
borders = beginning
of mixture
• Beneficial to be open
and willing to adapt
• Cultural blending =
new patterns of
behavior
• Cultural change brought
about by:
–
–
–
–
Migration
Trade
Conquest
Religious freedom or
conversion
• Ex: Ottomans
– Surrounded = motivation
to take territory
– Location on trade route
= riches & contact with
many
– Interest in learning =
new ideas about art,
literature, etc.
Causes
Results
• Blending can lead to changes in
all aspects
• Language – characters from one
to another
– Chinese to Japanese
• Religion – Different traditions
w/in same religion
– Reformation
• Government – same
government, different
interpretations
– Democracy: Athens v. U.S.
• Ethnic Mixture – cultures mix
together
– Mestizos or Creoles in the
Americas
• Arts & Architecture – peoples
adapt styles of others
– Chinese artistic elements in
European paintings
• Fueled by need for territory
& alignment to Shi’a Islam
• Squeezed by Ottomans &
Mughals = need for
powerful army
• 1499-1501: Isma’il (12-14)
seizes Iran
– Takes the title of shah &
makes Shi’a the state religion
• Religious tyrant: Kills all
who don’t convert
– Actions lead to modern
border between Iraq & Iran
• Tahmasp (son) expands
empire to Caucasus &
Turkey
– Brings Christians into the
empire
Safavids
Golden Age
• 1587: Shah Abbas takes
the throne
• Issues reforms
– Limited the army’s power
by establishing an army of
Persians & Christians =
loyal to him
– Punishes corruption &
promotes by skill & loyalty
– Hires foreigners to
government positions
• Encouraged trade with
Christian Europe
• Built a new capital at
Esfahan = modern center
for learning
• Shah Abbas focused on
the arts
– Brought Chinese artisans
to Esfahan
– Produce vast amounts of
metalwork, paintings,
pottery, etc.
• Collaboration = blend of
Chinese & Persian ideas
• Interactions w/ the West
= demand for Persian
carpets
– Becomes a national
industry
– Huge source of wealth
– Artists sent to Italy to
adapt to European
demands
The Arts
Quick Decline
• Makes same mistake as
Suleyman I w/ his
successor
• Kills or blinded ablest
sons
• Safi takes Safavids down
the same path, but
quicker
• 1736: Nadir Shah Afshar
expands empire to India
– Cruel = assassinated by
own troops
• 1747: dies =
disintegration of the
empire

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