The Afshar Dynasty


The Afshars are Turkoman and originate in the plains of Central Asia. Forced to move form their traditional homelands by the Mongols, they settled in Azerbaijan and Persia during the late 12th and early 13th centuries. They rose in importance during the struggles between Shah Tahmasp II Safawi and the Afghan invaders. One of their leaders, Nadir Quli Beg Afshar, was instrumental in restoring Tahmasp to the throne. However, finding himself master of Persia after the defeat of the Ghilzais, he soon arranged for the deposition of his liege lord. He first assumed the Regency of the Kingdom, but soon tired of these responcibilities. He deposed his charge and assumed the crown himself. He changed the state doctrine to Shi’a, from Sunni in 1736. Better known to history as Nadir Shah, he commenced on a campaign of conquest which brought him all of Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Kashmir, Bokhara and Khiva, as well as his greatest prize, Delhi. He was able to exact a huge tribute from the Mogul Emperor, including the famous Peacock throne and Koh-i-Noor diamond. In later years he became mentally unstable and was assassinated in 1747. His death heralded a decline in the fortunes of the dynasty. Howver, they continued to hold sway at Khorasan until the final deposition of the blind Shah Shahrukh, by Aga Muhammad Khan-e Qajar in 1796. The latter inflicted a series of cruel tortures and indignities upon the former Shah, in an attempt to exact the whereabouts of the crown jewels. He finally succumbed when capped with a crown of molten gold. Aga Muhammad alsoarranged for the body of Nadir Shah to be exhumed and reburried under the threshold of his new palace at Teheran. He took pleasure in walking upon the remains of the conqueror of the world.

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Copyright©Christopher Buyers
* Although this work relates the life story of an undoubted fraud, several pieces of information supplied by him to his interviewer can be corroborated from other contemporary and legitimate sources. Consequently, one cannot entirely dismiss everything he had to say. At the very least, he appears to have had a remarkably intimate knowledge of the Afshar Royal House, even though he himself was certainly not the Prince Nadir Mirza, son of Shahrukh Shah, he claimed to be. Details of the family originating from him, but unverified by other evidence, I include in these pages with the proviso of a question mark next to same.

Dr Morris Bierbrier, FSA.
Hooman Zalpour.


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Copyright© Christopher Buyers, August 2000 - January 2016