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LUCIS Lecture | Islam in Central Asia

The Shaibanids between Timur and Chinggis Khan: Visual Dilemmas

  • Charles Melville
Tuesday 7 May 2019
University Library
Witte Singel 27
2311 BG Leiden

The Shaibanid dynasty in Transoxiana succeeded the Timurids whom they displaced in a series of victories and following the capture of Herat in 1507 were heirs to much of the political and cultural legacy of their predecessors. The main basis for their claim to legitimate rule, however, derived from their Chinggisid pedigree, which could not be claimed by Timur and his successors. This lecture will review the historiographical aspects of this double identity and particularly the way it is reflected in the few illustrated chronicles produced under the early Shaibanids.

About Charles Melville

B.A. in Arabic & Persian (Cambridge, 1972), M.A. in Islamic History (London SOAS, 1973), and PhD on “The historical seismicity of Iran” (Cambridge, 1978). He returned to Cambridge in 1984 and became Professor of Persian History in 2008. He is President of the British Institute of Persian Studies (British Academy) and director of the Cambridge Shahnama Project. Recent publications include “The demon Barkhiyas at the well of Bizhan. Two versions”, in Shahnama Studies III, Leiden, 2018, and “The Shahnameh in India: Tarikh-i Dilgusha-yi Shamshir Khani”, in The Layered Heart: Essays on Persian Poetry, Washington DC, 2018 and “Visualising Tamerlane: history and its image”, Iran, 2019. He currently has a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship for a project on ‘The illustration of history’.

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