The Safavid Dynasty  was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran, often considered the beginning of modern Iranian history. The Safavid shahs ruled over one of the Gunpowder Empires.

They ruled one of the greatest Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Iran, and established the Twelver school of Shia Islam as the official religion of the empire, marking one of the most important turning points in Muslim history.

  • The Safavid Empire lasted from 1501-1722
  • It covered all of Iran, and parts of Turkey and Georgia
  • The Safavid Empire was a theocracy
  • The state religion was Shi’a Islam
  • All other religions, and forms of Islam were suppressed
  • The Empire’s economic strength came from its location on the trade routes
  • The Empire made Iran a center of art, architecture, poetry and philosophy
  • The capital, Isfahan, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world
  • The key figures in the Empire were:
    • Isma’il I
    • Abbas I
  • The Empire declined when it became complacent and corrupt

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