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The Politics of Trade in Safavid Iran
Silk for Silver, 1600-1730


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The Politics of Trade in Safavid Iran
Silk for Silver, 1600-1730

by Rudolph P. Matthee (Author)
David Morgan (Series Edited)



ISBN: 9780521028448


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This book considers the economic, social and political importance of the silk trade in Safavid Iran.

Using a wide range of archival and written sources, Rudi Matthee considers the economic, social and political networks established between Iran, its neighbours and the world at large, through the prism of the late Safavid silk trade. In so doing, he demonstrates how silk, a resource crucial to state revenue and the only commodity to span Iran's entire economic activity, was integral to aspects of late Safavid society, including its approach to commerce, export routes and, importantly, to the political and economic problems which contributed to its collapse in the early 1700s. In a challenge to traditional scholarship, the author argues that despite the introduction of a maritime, western-dominated channel, Iran's traditional land-based silk export continued to expand right up to the end of the seventeenth century. The book makes a major theoretical contribution to the debates on the social and economic history of the pre-modern world.


ISBN 521028442
ISBN13 9780521028448
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Format Paperback
Publication date 01/06/2006
Pages 316
Weight (grammes) 470
Published in United Kingdom
Height (mm) 228
Width (mm) 152

Notes on transliteration
List of abbreviations
1. The Iranian silk trade: from the Silk Road to the Safavids
2. Procedures, logistics, finances
3. Shah 'Abbas I and the Safavid political economy: territorial expansion, anti-Ottoman diplomacy, and the politics of silk
4. Government control and growing competition: the silk export monopoly and the advent of the European maritime companies
5. The complications of privatization: from the abolition of the silk export monopoly to the peace of Zuhab, 1629-1639
6. Conflict and reorientation: silk to silver, 1640-1667
7. Renewed regulation and the rise of the Russian connection, 1660s-1690s
8. Contraction and continuity, 1690-1730