Libmonster ID: SE-415

Princeton-Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005. 346 p.*

Judging by the title of the paper, Rudolph Mattei, Doctor of Oriental History at the University of Delaware (USA), it may seem that it is far from a scientific study related to the history of Iran in the Safavid period. However, a careful introduction to


* R. Mattei. In the pursuit of pleasure. Drugs and stimulants in Iranian history. 1500- 1900. Princeton-Oxford: Ed. Princeton University Press, 2005, 346 p.

page 187


the book leads the reader to the conclusion that he has before him a serious work covering the economic and trade issues of the development of Iranian society and neighboring states in the XVI-XIX centuries. The author examines the facts of the first appearance of Chinese and Indian tea, African coffee, opium from India and South Asia in Iran, the spread and peculiarities of tobacco cultivation, examines various aspects of Iran's trade with Russia, the range and supply routes of goods, primarily tea, opium, coffee, wine, alcoholic beverages from Europe to Iran and other countries. go back.

R. Mattei used archival documents from the national archives of the Netherlands, Austria, Iran, Belgium, the Cambridge Library, the British National Library, the French Foreign Affairs Archive, the Iranian Majlis Library, as well as notes of travelers and envoys published by V. Baker (1876), D. Barbosa (1918), J. Basset (1886), G. Bernardino (1953), M. Dubex (1841), Ed. Estwick (1864), J. Chardin (1810-1811) and a 10-volume edition under ed. Inna Bahdiyants (2002), G. Fowler (1841), Isabella Beard (1891), A. Conolly (1834), J. Tournefort (1717), J. B. Tavernier (1712), H. Vambery (1876), A. Bayao (1923) and others. From the works of Russian scientists, R. Mattei used the publications of F. Mattei. Bakulin (1877,1878), I. N. Berezin (1852), P. P. Bushev (1976, 1978, 1987), N. G. Kukanova (1977, 1987), F. Kotov (1958), F. Beneveni (1986), as well as studies by I. P. Petrushevsky and A.M. Petrov in English. The author literally pieced together material describing Safavid Iran in the style of "Everyday Life and customs of the era". It must be recognized that the pastime, leisure, entertainment of people of a particular period give no less evidence of the era for the researcher than historical battles and exploits of military leaders.

The monograph consists of 10 chapters divided into two parts, an extensive bibliography, indexes of names and toponyms. The first chapter contains an overview of the historical development of Iran under the Safavids and Qajars from the beginning of the XVI to the beginning of the XX century. R. Mattei notes (p. 41) that, according to the famous book of the vassal of the Ghaznavids Emir Kay-Kabus "Qabus-nam", the use of alcoholic beverages was widely accepted at the court of this dynasty already in the XI century. Mawdud and Mas'ud used them quite a bit. The historian Abu-l-Fazl Bayhaki in his" History of Mas'ud " also confirms the fact of the irrepressible use of wine by these sultans [Bayhaki, 1969, p. 130, 136, 218-220]. However, in my opinion, the significant use of wine at the Ghaznavids ' Sultan's court does not at all indicate the spread of alcohol among the urban inhabitants or peasants.

In another place (p. 9), the author says that, according to the testimony of foreign travelers and historians, in the XVI-XVII centuries. There were about 10 thousand prostitutes in Isfahan (as for the province and small cities of Iran, no figures are given on this issue). It seems that this would make up no more than 3% of the total number of women in a city of 600,000 [Darhuhaniyan, 2000, p. 60-61; Barthold, 1971, p. 172-175]. Such a figure hardly indicates a noticeable phenomenon, although it is interesting for the researcher in social terms.

Three chapters of the monograph tell about wine, winemaking and the culture of the feast (bazm), adopted at the Safavid court and continued under the Qajars until the beginning of the XX century. Judging by the above data, the culture of feasting in Iran developed under the strong influence of Georgia and Armenia, and the best Georgian wines were brought to the Iranian capital and the cities of Tavriz, Rasht, Ardabil, Anzeli, Kerman, Hamadan, Rey (Tehran), Maragu primarily by Armenian merchants from New Julfa (pp. 67-68). which Abbas the Great relocated from Armenia in 1602-1605. Shahanshah himself often attended weddings, baptisms, and the feast of water consecration among the Armenians of New Julfa and in other places where Christians lived, and at the same time consumed wine [Zachary Kanakertsi, 1968, p. 4]. 45 - 47, 63, 64, 134].

In the Iranian feast, there were clear ethical standards (urf), which were considered indecent to violate, and, as in the Georgian and Armenian feast, the order of making toasts, the right to be the first to say a particular toast, was strictly regulated. The author correctly noted the strong influence of Georgian and Armenian cultural traditions in these manifestations.

Georgia had a high reputation as a "country of wine". It is known that the winemaking culture in Georgia, as well as in Armenia, dates back several millennia. Georgians and Armenians were popular at the Safavid court not only as lovers of drinking, making a meaningful toast, and having fun [Gorgijanidze Parsadan, 1990, p. 96, 123], but also as people who had a special reverence for the wine-making culture. R. Mattei cites the testimonies of missionaries, travelers, and historians who observed the Georgians and the Armenians at the sha court-

page 188


khanshahs in the XVI-XVIII centuries (pp. 43,178-179,261). Especially interesting are the descriptions of unknown authors from papal embassies and travelers from Spain, Italy, Germany, and France. And the Russian embassies to Iran left colorful descriptions of receptions at the court of Shah Abbas the Great [Bushev, 1987, p. 218].

R. Mattei clearly traced the administrative features of the Iranian governing bodies: if in Armenia, Iranian Azerbaijan, Shirvan, Ganja, Shakki, Maragha, Khoy, Talish, Gilan and other provinces, the shahanshahs appointed beglyarbeks as a rule from the nobility of nomadic Turkic tribes, then in Eastern Georgia, Khuzestan, Kurdistan from the XVII to the XIX centuries.) were appointed from among the representatives of local dynasties. According to the author, this was due to the established tradition. Tradition may have had an effect on this, but I would argue that in the case of Eastern Georgia, the shah was forced to appoint the first vali - the Georgian king Rostom (1632-1658) - not from a good life, "according to tradition", but only after a persistent and long struggle of the Georgian people and the Bagrationi royal family with attempts to change the name of the country. liquidation of the tsarist throne in Georgia [Beradze and Smirnova, 1988, pp. 72-73. 96; Gabashvili, 1958, pp. 353-388].

As the book notes, Georgians and Armenians played an "increasing and decisive role" in the Safavid administration in the 17th and 18th centuries (pp. 43, 68-69), but their conversion to Islam was a prerequisite. "Georgians were particularly well-suited to the Iranian society of the highest nobility and accepted Islam painlessly. They did it willingly and with apparent pleasure, " the author writes (pp. 42-43). He cites izvestia X. Vamberi that an Armenian Pashayan opened an alcohol club in Isfahan and taught visitors (mainly converted Georgians living in Iran and Armenians from New Julfa) the rules of table behavior (p. 187-188).

According to R. Mattei, the ruler of Fars, Allahverdi Khan, did much for the successful adaptation of the Armenians forcibly resettled to Isfahan from New Julfa (p. 23,197). His successful son, Imam Quli Khan, not only promoted the monopoly trade in silk by Armenian merchants, but also tried to transfer to them the trade in other goods, including transit goods (coffee, tea, opium, tobacco), with which caravans mainly crossed the southern, coastal provinces of Iran.

As for the term "Georgia", which is mentioned more than 40 times by the author as a country dependent on Iran in the XVI-XVIII centuries, let me clarify that we can only talk about Eastern Georgia, or the kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti. The Safavid state, much less the Qajar state, had no influence from Iran, no appointment of rulers, no significant trade ties or any economic interests in Western Georgia. The Kingdom of Imereti, the principalities of Mingrelia, Guria, and Abkhazia had been under Turkish influence since 1555, after the Treaty of Amasi with Iran, and it was very difficult for Iranian influence or trade to penetrate here during this period.

The situation is similar with the term "Armenia", which appears in the text more than 60 times. R. Mattei everywhere speaks of it as a single country, while after 1555 Armenia is clearly divided into two parts - Western (Turkish) and Eastern (Iranian before 1828).

The monograph also contains the term "Eastern Anatolia". The author actually uses it instead of the well - known name "Turkish Armenia" in our historiography (pp. 21, 23, 259-260). The study mainly analyzes the material about Armenian trade and wholesale merchants from Julfa, Ordubad, Yerevan, Gyumri, and Karabakh, i.e. it concerns Eastern Armenia or the Beglyarbek Khanate of Yerevan and the Nakhichevan and Karabakh khanates as part of the Safavid and Qajar monarchies before the beginning of the XIX century, when Russia, having established itself in Eastern Georgia in the first half of the 19th century, was able to In 1801, it annexed Karabakh in 1804 (Iran recognized this fact only when signing the Gulistan Treaty in 1813), and in 1827 it annexed the Yerevan and Nakhichevan Khanates, which was recognized by Iran with the conclusion of the Turkmanchay Treaty of 1828 [Azatyan, 2000, pp. 18-21].

R. Mattei notes that "as early as 1862, there were about 50 thousand Iranians living in Transcaucasia who were engaged in trade" (p. 259). But according to the Tiflis province, in the mid-50s of the XIX century there were only 984 Iranian subjects engaged in trade [Ducroisy, 1853, p. 410-416; Statistics..., 1854, p. 299], and in 1891 there were 561 Iranian subjects engaged in trade [Tiflis Province, 1893, pp. 24-25]. The main trade with Russia and Europe for Iran in 1846-1883 took place through the Tiflis customs and the ports of Batumi, Poti, and Sukhumkale [Makarov, 1884, p. 156; Kondratenko, 1904, p. 141-145; Acts of KAK, vol. XI, 1888, N 591; vol. XII, 1904, N 520, 525, 526].

page 189


Vodka began to be imported to Iran from Russia in the second half of the XVIII and especially in the middle of the XIX century. 80% of those who drank alcohol in Tehran, Tavriz, Gilan, and Mazandaran, 70% in Southern and Central Iran, and 40% in the provinces bordering Turkey (Iraq) and India (Balochistan) drank it at the end of the 19th century (pp. 187-189). Vodka was brought to Iran by Armenian merchants from the Volga region, St. Petersburg and Moscow. As for sugar, the author of the monograph notes that until the 1840s, Russia was one of the main consumers of Javanese sugar, which Iran sold here in transit, but already in the 1850s, due to a sharp increase in its production in Russia itself, it began to sell sugar to Iran.

There are also some inaccuracies in the work. Thus, R. Mattei notes that the Russian diplomat A. S. Griboyedov was "stabbed to death by the Persians" (p. 189) in 1828, while his murder took place in 1829. The author reports that 50 thousand "Iranian subjects" lived in Transcaucasia in the 1860s, but "Iranian subjects" - this is not the same as "Iranians". In the XIX century. Tens of thousands of Armenians lived and migrated from Iran in the Caucasus, and sometimes they did not re-register their transfer to Russian citizenship for decades. They traded and traveled all over Transcaucasia, even to Central Russia and Moscow, and no one was interested in their citizenship. But by the 1890s, many Armenians, due to the bureaucratic difficulties of continuing to engage in trade within the Russian Empire, were registering their Russian citizenship. This led to a sharp reduction in the number of Iranian subjects in Transcaucasia by the beginning of the 20th century [First General Census..., 1905, vol. 69, p. XII]: in 1897, there were only 8,142 Iranian subjects in all settlements of Transcaucasia, including 6,108 men and 2,034 women.

In conclusion, R. Mattei thoroughly analyzed the transit trade through the ports of the Black Sea (mainly on the Georgian coast), the importance of the opium trade for Iran itself, and the production and sale of tobacco. Despite the author's many years of research, after reading the reviewed work, one gets the impression that it is necessary to continue the study of the same issues already in the XX century.

list of literature

Azatyan G. G. Fateful agreements. Yerevan: Ed. Nation. Acad. Russian Academy of Sciences (NAS), 2000.

Akty, sobrannye Kavkazskoi Arkheograficheskoi Komissii (KAK) [Acts collected by the Caucasian Archeographic Commission (KAK)]. Tiflis, Vol. XI, 1888; Vol. XII. 1904.

Bayhaki Abu-l-Fazl. History of Mas'ud (1030-1041) / Trans. and comments by A. K. Arends, Moscow: Vostochnaya litra Publ., 1969.

Barthold V. V. Sochineniya T. VII [Works of Vol. VII]. Moscow: Vostochny lit-ra, 1971.

Beradze G. G., Smirnova L. P. Materials on the history of Iranian-Georgian relations in the early 17th century. Tbilisi: Metsniereba (Science) Publ., 1988.

Bushev P. P. History of embassies and diplomatic relations of the Russian and Iranian states in 1586 -1612. lit-ra, 1987.

Gabashvili V. N. Georgian feudal system of the XVI-XVII centuries. Tbilisi: Ed. IV of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR, 1958 (in Georgian).

Gorgijanidze Parsadan. Sakartvelos tskhovreba (History of Georgia). Translated by R. K. Kiknadze. Tbilisi: Metsniereba (Science) Publ., 1990.

Ducroisy And. About foreign trade of the Transcaucasian region / / Caucasian Calendar. Tiflis, 1853.

Zachary Kanakerzi. Chronicle / Trans., preface. and comments by M. O. Darbinyan-Melikyan, Moscow: Eastern Literature, 1969.

Kondratenko K. M. Brief information about the Russian-Persian trade / / Caucasian Calendar. Tiflis, 1904.

Makarov A. Zakavkazye v torgovom otnoshenii [Transcaucasia in trade relations]. Russian Bulletin, vol. 169, Moscow, 1884.

The First General Population Census of the Russian Empire. Troinitsky N. A. LXIX. Tiflis Province, vol. 69, St. Petersburg, 1905.

Statistics of the Transcaucasian region / / Caucasian Calendar, Tiflis, 1854.

Tiflis province // Caucasian Calendar. Tiflis, 1893.

Darhuhaniyan Harut. Tarikh-i Julfa-yi Isfahan / Transl. L. G. Minasian and M. Firaydani. Isfahan, 1379/2000.


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