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Timurid Custom and Chinggisid Law: Continuity and Innovation

A CISA and Central Asia Initiative Seminar

Monday, February 09, 2009
12:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Timurid custom, usually referred to as the törä of Temür, derived from the Chinggisid yasa but it also differed from it in ways that reflected the growing acculturation of the Timurid dynasty in fifteenth-century Iran and Central Asia. The presentation will discuss the salient features of the Timurid törä and the reasons for its importance in the light of new research findings regarding Timurid origins and the organization of the Timurid polity. It will also investigate the extent to which Timurid customary practices were observed in the Timurid successor state of the Mughals in India.

About the Speaker

Maria Subtelny is Professor of Persian and Islamic Studies in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. She received her PhD (1979) from Harvard University and has been teaching at the University of Toronto for over twenty-five years. Her most recent publications include Timurids in Transition: Turko-Persian Politics and Acculturation in Medieval Iran (Leiden: Brill, 2007) for which she received the 2008 Houshang Pourshariati Iranian Studies Book Award; and the chapter on “Tamerlane and His Descendants: From Paladins to Patrons” in volume 3 of the forthcoming New Cambridge History of Islam. Other publications of interest to South Asianists are her “Babur’s Rival Relations: A Study of Kinship and Conflict in 15th-16th Century Central Asia” (Der Islam), “The Timurid Legacy: A Reaffirmation and a Reassessment” (Cahiers d’Asie Centrale), “The Symbiosis of Turk and Tajik” (in Central Asia in Historical Perspective), “Mirak-i Sayyid Ghiyas and the Timurid Tradition of Landscape Architecture” (Studia Iranica), “A Late Medieval Persian Summa on Ethics: Kashifi’s Akhlaq-i Muhsini” (Iranian Studies), and “The Binding Pledge (möchälgä): A Chinggisid Practice and Its Survival in Safavid Iran” (in New Perspectives on Safavid Iran).


Sponsor(s): Asia Institute, Center for India and South Asia, Program on Central Asia

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