عنوان مقاله [English]
To get familiar with the way of governance in pre-modern Iran, it is necessary to know the successful and unsuccessful models of governance. Among the Iranian governments, the Safavid government has the merit of examining the successful and unsuccessful models of governance for many reasons. And among the Safavid rulers, Shah Abbas I is the most influential king in the history of Iran, since the court chroniclers have gone to extremes with the king of the time and what they say is what the ruler likes, the presence of non-court sources such as travelogues is useful for understanding the ruler's policies. Don García de Silva Figueroa, the Spanish ambassador to the court of Shah Abbas I, is a sharp and experienced person who held military and administrative positions in the Spanish government until the age of 60. This research aims to analyze Figueroa's data in his travelogue to answer the question, what was the political personality of Shah Abbas I from Figueroa's point of view?
Regardless of the shortcomings of Figueroa's travelogue, the abundance of data in this work about the political personality of Shah Abbas confirms that Figueroa's descriptions are relatively accurate and in line with reality and can correctly explain Shah Abbas' political achievements. In other words, it can be assumed that Figueroa's description of the political personality of Shah Abbas corresponds to the political achievements of Shah Abbas I.
In the Safavid era, travelogues have a special place among written sources, both in terms of number and volume of content. One of these travelogues is written by Don García de Figueroa, the Spanish ambassador. Figueroa's knowledge about the recent and distant history of Iran and his maturity in political and military fields has increased his ability to describe and analyze his observations. He has provided useful and important information about Shah Abbas I. Figueroa, while describing Shah's appearance in detail, also gives good information about Shah's clothes and lifestyle. In his entire travelogue, he mentions the political personality of Shah Abbas in more detail, so that through these data, one can understand the different dimensions of the Shah's behavior, speech, and thought. Figueira's information as the Spanish ambassador is very important about the special diplomatic etiquette of the court of the Shah of Iran. In his meeting with Shah Abbas, he mentions the friendly atmosphere of the Iranian court and writes that the Shah of Iran called the King of Spain a brother. In addition, Figuera praises the skill of the Shah of Iran in conducting negotiations, as well as the Shah of Iran's defense of the interests of Iranians and the Shah's frankness in pointing out the shortcomings of Spain in the continuation of relations between the two countries.
Material & Methods:
Don García de Silva Figueroa (December 29, 1550 – July 22, 1624) was a Spanish diplomat and the first Western traveler who purposefully studied the history of Iran in the new era, the Safavid era. He is a sharp and experienced personality who had military and administrative jobs in the Spanish government until the age of 60. This research is designed to analyze Figueroa's data in his travelogue to answer the question: What was the political personality of Shah Abbas I from Figueroa's point of view? What picture of the situation of Iran and Shah Abbas I have been presented by Figuera in his travel book? The method of this study is descriptive, analytical, and inferential based on Fiquera's historical writings.
Discussion of Results & Conclusions:
Investigations showed that Figueroa's reports about the characteristics of Shah Abbas I's political personality indicate that the achievements of Shah Abbas' period were largely derived from these characteristics.
Figueroa, along with the detailed description of the physical features of the Shah, has mentioned the political personality of Shah Abbas in various places in his travelogue, so that through these data, one can understand various aspects of the behavior, speech and political thought of Shah Abbas I. Figueroa has provided useful information about the etiquette of diplomacy in the Safavid court. While expressing the skills of Shah Abbas in carrying out negotiations, he mentioned the friendly atmosphere of meeting with the Shah of Iran and addressing the King of Spain as a brother, and at the same time, the Shah of Iran's frankness in defending the interests of Iran and pointing out the shortcomings of Spain.
Figueroa provides good information about internal politics and Shah Abbas's efforts to subjugate local rulers who did not have much credit for the central government. His reports about the religious policy and religious tolerance of the king, which led to commercial prosperity and economic prosperity in the country, are very important. Even though the Shah himself was a Shiite and a disciple of Hazrat Ali (AS), he had a peaceful attitude towards other religions and provided the necessary conditions and facilities for their movement and residence in Iran, therefore there were many merchants and clerics from different nations in the capital.
Another thing that was not unrelated to Shah Abbas's political positions and was considered a tool for his policies was Shah's war strategy and tactics. According to Figueroa's report, although Shah Abbas had equipped the Iranian army with new weapons, he made good use of the methods of his predecessors, such as the scorched earth method, the tactics of war and flight, and lightning attacks and retreats. In his opinion, the result was important. He used every method to gain points from an opponent like Osmani who had more military forces.