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Sara Mirahmadi

External PhD candidate

S. Mirahmadi MA
+31 71 527 2918

Sara Mirahmadi is teacher and PhD candidate at the Institute for Area Studies.

More information about Sara Mirahmadi

Summary of the PhD Research:

Global Ambitions: The Seljuqs and Ilkhanids in Konya and Tabriz

            The end of the tenth and beginning of the eleventh century was the starting point for the originally nomadic Turkic ruling dynasties to expand their dominance to a vast area containing the Middle East, Anatolia and Central Asia. Two remarkable Turkic dynasties were the Seljuqs and the Mongolian Ilkhanids who not only did change the form of governance in their area of dominance, but also brought a different way of life and culture into the lands they had conquered.

            Similarly to their peers, these two dynasties required a powerful convincing imperial ideology to rule over their non-Turkic subjects which demonstrates itself in every aspect of their rule, including culture and cultural productions. Hence, in this project I will investigate their imperial ideologies by examining two main primary sources as examples of  cultural production related to them, namely Rāḥat al-Ṣudūr concerning the Seljuq era and Jāmi’al-Tavārīkh on the Ilkhanid era. Other forms of cultural production, such as architecture and paintings, which have been partly preserved in the margins of Jāmi’al-Tavārīkh’s Persian and Arabic manuscripts, are going to be studied as well. Konya has been elected to be the basis of an architectural survey for the Seljuq era and Tabriz for the Ilkhanid era.

Working on the most significant examples of cultural production of each era, the research seeks to indicate how the imperial ideology has been constructed in these two literary works and how the idea of imperial ideology connects to their nomadic past. Furthermore, this research aims to offer new insights into the foundations of their legitimacy and the possible relations between the latter and their imperial ideology.

(My Research is a part of a bigger project titled “Turks, texts and territory: Imperial ideology and cultural production in Central Eurasia”. For more information on this, see:

https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/research/research-projects/humanities/turks-texts-and-territory )

Research Interests:

  • Iran in the Middle Ages (Ghaznavids, Seljuqs and Ilkhanids)
  • Ancient Iran (Achaemenids, Seleucids, Arsacids and Sasanids)
  • Persian Language and Literature


  • 2008-2012: B.A in Persian literature and linguistics
    University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  • 2010-2014: B.A in History
    University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  • 2014-2016: M.A in History of Ancient Iran
    University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Honors and Awards:

  • 2008: Winner of the gold medal in the National Olympiad of Literature and Linguistics. (Ranked 1st among 25000 participants)
  • 2008: Granted acceptance to University of Tehran as a reward of winning the national gold medal.
  • 2009: Granted double major study as a reward of being an “exceptional talents”
  • 2009: Granted the fellowship of Iranian Young Scholars Club
  • 2010-2014:  Granted the annual top student scholarship of History program at University of Tehran four years in a row
  • 2014:  Graduated with honor as the top student in History, University of Tehran 
  • 2014: Ranked 2nd among the nation in the entrance exam of History   graduate programs. 
  • 2008-2014: Recognized as a member of the Iranian National Elites Foundation.
  • 2008-2014: Recognized as an “Exceptional Talent” at University of Tehran

External PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies


  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • Geen relevante nevenwerkzaamheden
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