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The Imperial Stage . The Safavid Empire was established by Shah Ismail, who reigned from 1501 to 1524 AD. The Safavid Empire emerged in time of great conflict. Young Ismail had been driven into the swamps to avoid his family\'s enemies around the age of 7. Another 7 years later he confronted his f
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By: Alyssa Atkinson, Janna Browning,
Matt Salib, and Darryl Trickey
The Safavid Empire was established by Shah Ismail, who reigned from 1501 to 1524 AD. The Safavid Empire emerged in time of great conflict. Young Ismail had been driven into the swamps to avoid his family’s enemies around the age of 7. Another 7 years later he confronted his foes at the head of an army and claimed the Imperial Title of Shah.
The young ruler quickly was imposed as emperor at the head of his powerful army. He had a firm idea of what he wanted his empire to amount to, especially in his feeling about religion. He quickly imposed his ideals, sometimes through force, and did everything in his power to keep his empire tightly under his thumb.
Ismail’s religion created powerful enemies. The primary of these were the Sunni Ottomans. The Sunni Ottomans detested the Shiite Safavids and feared the spread of Safavid propaganda among the nomadic Turks in their own territory. When Selim the Grim (right) became a sultan, he launched a persecution of Shiites in the Ottoman empire and prepared for a full –scale invasion of Safavid territory.
On the plain of Chaldiran the qizilbash Calvary the fearlessly attacked the Ottoman line. They carried no firearms, for thought they knew about gunpowder technology, the saw the weapons as unreliable and unmanly. They Safavids suffered devastating casualties. The Ottomans lacked the resources to destroy the Safavid state entirely, and the two empires were caught in sporadic conflict for the next two years.
Women were given considerable freedom in the Islamic state of Safavid. While not equal to men, the women played a large and important role in society. They were given rights granted to most women years later. This was partially caused by the influence of the Quran, which stated that women shall be subordinate to men but treated with respect. However, the Safavid empire treated women better that many other Islamic states.
Then again, men expressed their dominance of women by forcing them to wear a veil in public and a heavy cloth that covered their entire body. This was extremely uncomfortable because temperatures exceeded 100 degrees. Therefore, women often chose to stay home because they were free to wear whatever they wanted.
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