Colloque : Turko-Mongol Rulers, Cities and City-Life in Iran and the neighboring countries’
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Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo
For nearly a millennium, Iran was ruled by Turkish or Mongol dynasties of nomadic origin. It is well known that the Mongol Ilkhans remained true to their nomadic ways, moving from one camp to another and living under tents. But elements of a nomadic way of life are also to be found, to various degrees, among all the other dynasties. The Saljuqs, the first Turkish dynasty of nomadic origin to have ruled over Iran, were not the Iranized kings sometimes described and they lived very far away from the cities they controlled. At the other end of the period, the Qajars, which cannot be considered as a nomadic dynasty, nonetheless used to leave Tehran in summer for greener places near Damavand.
To what extent the Turkish and Mongol princes who ruled the Middle East and Central Asia lived – or not – like their subjects? Some important research has already been done on this topic, in particular on the Ilkhans and the Safavids, but it remains sparse and isolated. This conference aims to give a more global view of the various types of relationship that the Turko-Mongol rulers had with cities and city life by bringing together specialists in various periods and of various disciplines (history, archaeology, history of art).
Among the themes of the conference that we wish to explore are: the type of lifestyle (itinerant or sedentary?) of the Turko-Mongol rulers and the role and importance of their ‘capital’; a place of power (palaces, gardens, mausoleums, fortresses, ordo, etc.); the changing relationship of the rulers towards cities and city-life.
The main area dealt with will be Iran (in the broader sense), but special consideration will also be given to the neighboring areas in Central Asia, Anatolia and the Arab world.
The conference is open to the public. The language of the conference is English. The proceedings will be published.