Nader Shah

Nader Shah Afshar (Persian: نادر شاه افشار‎; also known as Nader Qoli Beyg نادر قلی بیگ or Tahmāsp Qoli Khan تهماسپ قلی خان) (August 1688[5] – 19 June 1747) was one of the most powerful Iranian rulers in the history of the nation, ruling as Shah of Iran (Persia) from 1736 to 1747 when he was assassinated during a rebellion. Because of his military genius[14] as evidenced in his numerous campaigns throughout Middle East, Caucasus, Central and South Asia, such as the battles of Herat, Mihmandust, Murche-Khort, Kirkuk, Yeghevard, Khyber Pass, Karnal and Kars, some historians have described him as the Napoleon of Persia, Sword of Persia,[15] or the Second Alexander. Nader Shah was an Iranian who belonged to the Turkmen Afshar tribe of Khorasan in northeastern Iran,[16] which had supplied military power to the Safavid dynasty since the time of Shah Ismail I.[17]

Nader rose to power during a period of chaos in Iran after a rebellion by the Hotaki Pashtuns had overthrown the weak Shah Sultan Husayn, while the arch-enemy of the Safavids, the Ottomans, as well as the Russians had seized Iranian territory for themselves. Nader reunited the Iranian realm and removed the invaders. He became so powerful that he decided to depose the last members of the Safavid dynasty, which had ruled Iran for over 200 years, and become Shah himself in 1736. His numerous campaigns created a great empire that, at its greatest extent, briefly encompassed what is now part of or includes Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the North Caucasus, Iraq, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Pakistan, Oman and the Persian Gulf, but his military spending had a ruinous effect on the Iranian economy.[18]

Nader idolized Genghis Khan and Timur, the previous conquerors from Central Asia. He imitated their military prowess and—especially later in his reign—their cruelty. His victories during his campaigns briefly made him West Asia's most powerful sovereign, ruling over what was arguably the most powerful empire in the world,[19] but his empire and the Afsharid dynasty he founded quickly disintegrated after he was assassinated in 1747.[20] The turning point in his military career started from his second and third campaigns against the by then revolting Lezgians, as well as other ethnic groups of Dagestan in the northwestern parts of his domain. Nader Shah has been described as "the last great Asiatic military conqueror".[21]

Nader Shah Afshar
Portrait of Nader Shah
Shah of Persia
Reign8 March 1736–20 June 1747[2]
Coronation8 March 1736[3]
PredecessorAbbas III
SuccessorAdil Shah
Born6 August 1698,[4] or 22 November 1688[5]
Dargaz, Persia[6]
Died20 June 1747[7] (aged 48, or 58)
Quchan, Persia
Queen and regentRazia Begum Safavi
DynastyHouse of Afshar
FatherEmam Qoli
ReligionPersonally irreligious[8][9]
Born Twelver Shia Muslim[10]
Officially Ja'fari school of Shia Islam[11][12][13]
Nader Shah Afshar's signature
Military career
Battles/warsCampaigns of Nader Shah

Early life

Nader Shah was born in the fortress of Dastgerd[6] into the Qereqlu clan of the Afshars, a semi-nomadic Turkic Qizilbash pastoralist tribe settled in the northern valleys of Khorasan, a province in the northeast of the Iranian Empire.[22] His father, Emam Qoli, was a herdsman who may also have been a coatmaker.[23]His family lived nomadic way of life. Nader was a long-waited son in his family[24].

At the age of 13, his father died and Nader had to find a way to support himself and his mother. He had no source of income other than the sticks he gathered for firewood, which he transported to the market. Many years later, when he was returning in triumph from his conquest of Delhi, he led the army to his birthplace and made a speech to his generals about his early life of deprivation. He said, "You now see to what height it has pleased the Almighty to exalt me; from hence, learn not to despise men of low estate." Nader's early experiences did not, however, make him particularly compassionate toward the poor. Throughout his career, he was only interested in his own advancement. Legend has it that in 1704, when he was about 17, a band of marauding Uzbek Tartars invaded the province of Khorasan, where Nader lived with his mother. They killed many peasants. Nader and his mother were among those who were carried off into slavery. His mother died in captivity. According to another story, Nader managed to convince turkmens promising help in future, Nader returned to the province of Khorasan in 1708[24].

Fall of the Safavid dynasty

Nader grew up during the final years of the Safavid dynasty which had ruled Iran since 1502. At its peak, under such figures as Abbas the Great, Safavid Iran had been a powerful empire, but by the early 18th century the state was in serious decline and the reigning shah, Sultan Husayn, was a weak ruler. When Sultan Husayn attempted to quell a rebellion by the Ghilzai Afghans in Kandahar, the governor he sent (Gurgin Khan) was killed. Under their leader Mahmud Hotaki, the rebellious Afghans moved westwards against the shah himself and in 1722 they defeated a force at the Battle of Gulnabad and then besieged the capital, Isfahan.[25] After the Shah failed to escape or to rally a relief force elsewhere, the city was starved into submission and Sultan Husayn abdicated, handing power to Mahmud. In Khorasan, Nader at first submitted to the local Afghan governor of Mashhad, Malek Mahmud, but then rebelled and built up his own small army. Sultan Husayn's son had declared himself Shah Tahmasp II, but found little support and fled to the Qajar tribe, who offered to back him. Meanwhile, Iran's imperial neighboring rivals, the Ottomans and the Russians, took advantage of the chaos in the country to seize and divide territory for themselves.[26] In 1722, Russia, led by Peter the Great and further aided by some of the most notable Caucasian regents of the disintegrating Safavid Empire, such as Vakhtang VI, launched the Russo-Iranian War (1722-1723) in which Russia captured swaths of Iran's territories in the North Caucasus, South Caucasus, as well as in northern mainland Iran. This included mainly, but was not limited to, the losses of Dagestan (including its principal city of Derbent), Baku, Gilan, Mazandaran, and Astrabad. The regions to the west of that, mainly Iranian territories in Georgia, Iranian Azerbaijan, and Armenia, were taken by the Ottomans. The newly gained Russian and Turkish possessions were confirmed and further divided amongst themselves in the Treaty of Constantinople (1724).[27]

Fall of the Hotaki dynasty

Nader Shah Statue in Mashhad
Statue of Nader Shah at the Naderi Museum

Tahmasp and the Qajar leader Fath Ali Khan (the ancestor of Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar) contacted Nader and asked him to join their cause and drive the Ghilzai Afghans out of Khorasan. He agreed and thus became a figure of national importance. When Nader discovered that Fath Ali Khan was in treacherous correspondence with Malek Mahmud and revealed this to the shah, Tahmasp executed him and made Nader the chief of his army instead. Nader subsequently took on the title Tahmasp Qoli (Servant of Tahmasp). In late 1726, Nader recaptured Mashhad.[28]

Nader chose not to march directly on Isfahan. First, in May 1729, he defeated the Abdali Afghans near Herat. Many of the Abdali Afghans subsequently joined his army. The new shah of the Ghilzai Afghans, Ashraf, decided to move against Nader but in September 1729, Nader defeated him at the Battle of Damghan and again decisively in November at Murchakhort, banishing the Afghans from Iranian soil forever. Ashraf fled and Nader finally entered Isfahan, handing it over to Tahmasp in December. The citizens' rejoicing was cut short when Nader plundered them to pay his army. Tahmasp made Nader governor over many eastern provinces, including his native Khorasan, and married him to his sister. Nader pursued and defeated Ashraf, who was murdered by his own followers.[29] In 1738 Nader Shah besieged and destroyed the last Hotaki seat of power at Kandahar. He built a new city near Kandahar, which he named "Naderabad".[30]

First Ottoman campaign and the regain of the Caucasus

نادر شاه
Painting of Nader Shah

In the spring of 1730, Nader attacked Iran's archrival the Ottomans and regained most of the territory lost during the recent chaos. At the same time, the Abdali Afghans rebelled and besieged Mashhad, forcing Nader to suspend his campaign and save his brother, Ebrahim. It took Nader fourteen months to crush this uprising.

Baghavard 2 001sdf
The Battle of Yeghevārd was one of Nader's most tactically impressive triumphs in his military career.

Relations between Nader and the Shah had declined as the latter grew jealous of his general's military successes. While Nader was absent in the east, Tahmasp tried to assert himself by launching a foolhardy campaign to recapture Yerevan. He ended up losing all of Nader's recent gains to the Ottomans, and signed a treaty ceding Georgia and Armenia in exchange for Tabriz. Nader, furious, saw that the moment had come to ease Tahmasp from power. He denounced the treaty, seeking popular support for a war against the Ottomans. In Isfahan, Nader got Tahmasp drunk then showed him to the courtiers asking if a man in such a state was fit to rule. In 1732 he forced Tahmasp to abdicate in favour of the Shah's baby son, Abbas III, to whom Nader became regent.

Nader decided, as he continued the 1730-35 war, that he could win back the territory in Armenia and Georgia by seizing Ottoman Baghdad and then offering it in exchange for the lost provinces, but his plan went badly amiss when his army was routed by the Ottoman general Topal Osman Pasha near the city in 1733. Nader decided he needed to regain the initiative as soon as possible to save his position because revolts were already breaking out in Iran. He faced Topal again with a larger force and defeated and killed him. He then besieged Baghdad, as well as Ganja in the northern provinces, earning a Russian alliance against the Ottomans. Nader scored a great victory over a superior Ottoman force at Baghavard and by the summer of 1735, Iranian Armenia and Georgia were his again. In March 1735, he signed a treaty with the Russians in Ganja by which the latter agreed to withdraw all of their troops from Iranian territory,[31][32] those which had not been ceded back by the 1732 Treaty of Resht yet, resulting in the reestablishment of Iranian rule over all of the Caucasus and northern mainland Iran again.

Nader becomes Shah of Iran

Nader suggested to his closest intimates, after a great hunting party on the Moghan plains (presently split between Azerbaijan and Iran), that he should be proclaimed the new king (shah) in place of the young Abbas III.[33] The small group of close intimates, Nader's friends, included Tahmasp Khan Jalayer and Hasan-Ali Beg Bestami.[33] Following Nader's suggestion, the group did not "demur", and Hasan-Ali remained silent.[33] When Nader asked him why he remained silent, Hasan-Ali replied that the best thing for Nader to do would be assembling all leading men of the state, in order to receive their agreement in "a signed and sealed document of consent".[33] Nader approved with the proposal, and the writers of the chancellery, which included the court historian Mirza Mehdi Khan Astarabadi, were instructed with sending out orders to the military, clergy and nobility of the nation to summon at the plains.[33] The summonses for the people to attend had gone out in November 1735, and they began arriving in January 1736.[34] In the same month of January 1736, Nader held a qoroltai (a grand meeting in the tradition of Genghis Khan and Timur) on the Moghan plains. The Moghan plain was specifically chosen for its size and "abundance of fodder".[35] Everyone agreed to the proposal of Nader becoming the new king, many—if not most—enthusiastically, the rest fearing Nader's anger if they showed support for the deposed Safavids. Nader was crowned Shah of Iran on March 8, 1736, a date his astrologers had chosen as being especially propitious,[36] in attendance of an "exceptionally large assembly" composed of the military, religious and nobility of the nation, as well as the Ottoman ambassador Ali Pasha.[37]

Religious policy

Nader shah and his sons
Nader Shah and two of his sons

The Safavids had introduced Shi'a Islam as the state religion of Iran. Nader was probably brought up as a Shi'a [38] but later espoused the Sunni[39] faith as he gained power and began to push into the Ottoman Empire. He believed that Safavid Shi'ism had intensified the conflict with the Sunni Ottoman Empire. His army was a mix of Shi'a and Sunni (with a notable minority of Christians) and included his own Qizilbash as well as Uzbeks, Afghans, Christian Georgians and Armenians,[40][41] and others. He wanted Iran to adopt a form of religion that would be more acceptable to Sunnis and suggested that Iran adopt a form of Shi'ism he called "Ja'fari", in honour of the sixth Shi'a imam Ja'far al-Sadiq. He banned certain Shi'a practices which were particularly offensive to Sunnis, such as the cursing of the first three caliphs. Personally, Nader is said to have been indifferent towards religion and the French Jesuit who served as his personal physician reported that it was difficult to know which religion he followed and that many who knew him best said that he had none.[42] Nader hoped that "Ja'farism" would be accepted as a fifth school (mazhab) of Sunni Islam and that the Ottomans would allow its adherents to go on the hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca, which was within their territory. In the subsequent peace negotiations, the Ottomans refused to acknowledge Ja'farism as a fifth mazhab but they did allow Iranian pilgrims to go on the hajj. Nader was interested in gaining rights for Iranians to go on the hajj in part because of revenues from the pilgrimage trade.[18] Nader's other primary aim in his religious reforms was to weaken the Safavids further since Shi'a Islam had always been a major element in support for the dynasty. He had the chief mullah of Iran strangled after he was heard expressing support for the Safavids. Among his reforms was the introduction of what came to be known as the kolah-e Naderi. This was a hat with four peaks which symbolised the first four caliphs.[18][36]

In 1741, eight Muslim mullahs and three European and five Armenian priests translated the Koran and the Gospels. The commission was supervised by Mīrzā Moḥammad Mahdī Khan Monšī, the court historiographer and author of the Tarikh-e-Jahangoshay-e-Naderi (History of Nadir Shah's Wars). Finished translations were presented to Nāder Shah in Qazvīn in June, 1741, who, however, was not impressed.

Invasion of the Mughal Empire

A Nawab of Awadh, Lucknow, India. 19th century
Afsharid forces negotiate with a Mughal Nawab.
Kheibar pass 001
The flank march of Nader's army at Battle of Khyber pass has been called a "military masterpiece" by the Russian general & historian Kishmishev

In 1738, Nader Shah conquered Kandahar, the last outpost of the Hotaki dynasty. His thoughts now turned to the Mughal Empire based in Delhi. This once powerful Muslim state to the east was falling apart as the nobles became increasingly disobedient and local opponents such as the Sikhs and Hindu Marathas of the Maratha Empire were expanding upon its territory. Its ruler Muhammad Shah was powerless to reverse this disintegration. Nader asked for the Afghan rebels to be handed over, but the Mughal emperor refused. Nader used the pretext of his Afghan enemies taking refuge in India to cross the border and invade the militarily weak but still extremely wealthy far eastern empire,[43] and in a brilliant campaign against the governor of Peshawar he took a small contingent of his forces on a daunting flank march through nearly impassable mountain passes and took the enemy forces positioned at the mouth of the Khyber Pass completely by surprise, utterly beating them despite being outnumbered two-to-one. This led to the capture of Ghazni, Kabul, Peshawar, Sindh and Lahore. As he moved into the Mughal territories, he was loyally accompanied by his Georgian subject and future king of eastern Georgia, Erekle II, who led a Georgian contingent as a military commander as part of Nader's force.[44] Following the prior defeat of Mughal forces, he then advanced deeper into India, crossing the river Indus before the end of year. The news of the Iranian army's swift and decisive successes against the northern vassal states of the Mughal empire caused much consternation in Delhi, prompting the Mughal ruler, Muhammad Shah, to raise an army of some 300,000 men and march to confront Nader Shah.

Karnal battle based on Axworthy's interpretation
At the Battle of Karnal, Nader crushed an enormous Mughal army six times greater than his own

Despite being outnumbered by six to one, Nader Shah crushed the Mughal army in less than three hours at the huge Battle of Karnal on 13 February 1739. After this spectacular victory, Nader captured Mohammad Shah and entered Delhi.[45] When a rumour broke out that Nader had been assassinated, some of the Indians attacked and killed Iranian troops; by midday 900 Iranian soldiers had been killed.[46] Nader, furious, reacted by ordering his soldiers to sack the city. During the course of one day (March 22) 20,000 to 30,000 Indians were killed by the Iranian troops and as many as 10,000 women and children were taken as slaves, forcing Mohammad Shah to beg Nader for mercy.[47][46]

In response, Nader Shah agreed to withdraw, but Mohammad Shah paid the consequence in handing over the keys of his royal treasury, and losing even the fabled Peacock Throne to the Iranian emperor. The Peacock Throne, thereafter, served as a symbol of Iranian imperial might. It is estimated that Nader took away with him treasures worth as much as seven hundred million rupees. Among a trove of other fabulous jewels, Nader also looted the Koh-i-Noor (meaning "Mountain of Light" in Persian) and Darya-ye Noor (meaning "Sea of Light") diamonds. The Iranian troops left Delhi at the beginning of May 1739, but before they left, he ceded back to Muhammad Shah all territories to the east of the Indus which he had overrun.[48] The booty they had collected was loaded on 700 elephants, 4,000 camels, and 12,000 horses.[46] The plunder seized from India was so much that Nader stopped taxation in Iran for a period of three years following his return.[49] Many historians believe that Nader attacked the Mughal Empire to, perhaps, give his country some breathing space after previous turmoils. His successful campaign and replenishment of funds meant that he could continue his wars against Iran's archrival and neighbour, the Ottoman Empire,[50] as well as the campaigns in the North Caucasus. Nader also secured one of the Mughal emperor's daughters, Jahan Afruz Banu Begum, as a bride for his youngest son.

North Caucasus, Central Asia, Arabia, and the second Ottoman war

Silver coin of Nader Shah, minted in Dagestan, dated 1741/2 (left = obverse; right = reverse)

Coin of Nader Shah, minted in Daghestan (Dagestan). Obverse
Coin of Nader Shah, minted in Daghestan (Dagestan). Reverse

The Indian campaign was the zenith of Nader's career. Afterwards he became increasingly despotic as his health declined markedly. Nader had left his son Reza Qoli Mirza to rule Iran in his absence. Reza had behaved highhandedly and somewhat cruelly but he had kept the peace in Iran. Having heard rumours that his father had died, he had made preparations for assuming the crown. These included the murder of the former shah Tahmasp and his family, including the nine-year-old Abbas III. On hearing the news, Reza's wife, who was Tahmasp's sister, committed suicide. Nader was not impressed with his son's waywardness and reprimanded him, but he took him on his expedition to conquer territory in Transoxiana. In 1740 he conquered Khanate of Khiva. After the Iranians had forced the Uzbek khanate of Bukhara to submit, Nader wanted Reza to marry the khan's elder daughter because she was a descendant of his hero Genghis Khan, but Reza flatly refused and Nader married the girl himself.[51]

Kars 1745
The Battle of Kars (1745) was the last major field battle Nader fought in his spectacular military career

Nader now decided to punish Daghestan for the death of his brother Ebrahim Qoli on a campaign a few years earlier. In 1741, while Nader was passing through the forest of Mazanderan on his way to fight the Daghestanis, an assassin took a shot at him but Nader was only lightly wounded. He began to suspect his son was behind the attempt and confined him to Tehran. Nader's increasing ill health made his temper ever worse. Perhaps it was his illness that made Nader lose the initiative in his war against the Lezgin tribes of Daghestan. Frustratingly for him, they resorted to guerrilla warfare and the Iranians could make little headway against them.[52] Though Nader managed to take most of Dagestan during his campaign, the effective guerrilla warfare as deployed by the Lezgins, but also the Avars and Laks made the Iranian re-conquest of the particular North Caucasian region a short lived one; several years later, Nader was forced to withdraw. During the same period, Nader accused his son of being behind the assassination attempt in Mazanderan. Reza Qoli angrily protested his innocence, but Nader had him blinded as punishment, and ordered his eyes to be brought to him on a platter. When his orders had been carried out, however, Nader instantly regretted it, crying out to his courtiers, "What is a father? What is a son?"[50] Soon afterwards, Nader started executing the nobles who had witnessed his son's blinding. In his last years, Nader became increasingly paranoid, ordering the assassination of large numbers of suspected enemies.

With the wealth he gained, Nader started to build an Iranian navy. With lumber from Mazandaran, he built ships in Bushehr. He also purchased thirty ships in India.[18] He recaptured the island of Bahrain from the Arabs. In 1743, he conquered Oman and its main capital Muscat. In 1743, Nader started another war against the Ottoman Empire. Despite having a huge army at his disposal, in this campaign Nader showed little of his former military brilliance. It ended in 1746 with the signing of a peace treaty, the Treaty of Kerden, in which the Ottomans agreed to let Nader occupy Najaf.[53]

Domestic policies

Nader changed the Iranian coinage system. He minted silver coins, called Naderi, that were equal to the Mughal rupee.[18] Nader discontinued the policy of paying soldiers based on land tenure.[18] Like the late Safavids he resettled tribes. Nader Shah transformed the Shahsevan, a nomadic group living around Azerbaijan whose name literally means "shah lover", into a tribal confederacy which defended Iran against the neighbouring Ottomans and Russians.[54][55] In addition, he increased the number of soldiers under his command and reduced the number of soldiers under tribal and provincial control.[18] His reforms may have strengthened the country, but they did little to improve Iran's suffering economy.[18]

Death and legacy

Nadir Shah
A Western view of Nader in his later years from a book by Jonas Hanway (1753). The background shows a tower of skulls.[56]
Nader Shah Jewels 3 - edited
Nader Shah's dagger with a small portion of his jewelry. Now part of the Iranian Crown Jewels.

Nader became increasingly cruel as a result of his illness and his desire to extort more and more tax money to pay for his military campaigns. New revolts broke out and Nader crushed them ruthlessly, building towers from his victims' skulls in imitation of his hero Timur. In 1747, Nader set off for Khorasan, where he intended to punish Kurdish rebels. Some of his officers and courtiers feared he was about to execute them and plotted against him, including two of his relatives: Muhammad Quli Khan, the captain of the guards, and Salah Khan, the overseer of Nader's household. Nader Shah was assassinated on 20 June 1747,[7] at Quchan in Khorasan. He was surprised in his sleep by around fifteen conspirators, and stabbed to death. Nader was able to kill two of the assassins before he died.[57]

The most detailed account of Nader's assassination comes from Père Louis Bazin, Nader's physician at the time of his death, who relied on the eyewitness testimony of Chuki, one of Nader's favourite concubines:

Around fifteen of the conspirators were impatient or merely eager to distinguish themselves, and so turned up prematurely at the agreed meeting place. They entered the enclosure of the royal tent, pushing and smashing their way through any obstacles, and penetrated into the sleeping quarters of that ill-starred monarch. The noise they made on entering woke him up: ‘Who goes there?’ he shouted out in a roar. ‘Where is my sword? Bring me my weapons!’ The assassins were struck with fear by these words and wanted to escape, but ran straight into the two chiefs of the murder-conspiracy, who allayed their fears and made them go into the tent again. Nader Shah had not yet had time to get dressed; Muhammad Quli Khan ran in first and struck him with a great blow of his sword which felled him to the ground; two or three others followed suit; the wretched monarch, covered in his own blood, attempted – but was too weak – to get up, and cried out, ‘Why do you want to kill me? Spare my life and all I have shall be yours!’ He was still pleading when Salah Khan ran up, sword in hand and severed his head, which he dropped into the hands of a waiting soldier. Thus perished the wealthiest monarch on earth.[14][46]

After his death, he was succeeded by his nephew Ali Qoli, who renamed himself Adil Shah ("righteous king"). Adil Shah was probably involved in the assassination plot.[31] Adil Shah was deposed within a year. During the struggle between Adil Shah, his brother Ibrahim Khan and Nader's grandson Shah Rukh and almost all provincial governors declared independence, established their own states, and the entire Empire of Nader Shah fell into anarchy. Oman and the Uzbek khanates of Bukhara and Khiva regained independence, while the Ottoman Empire regained the lost territories in Western Armenia and Mesopotamia. Finally, Karim Khan founded the Zand dynasty and became ruler of Iran by 1760. Erekle II and Teimuraz II, who, in 1744, had been made the kings of Kakheti and Kartli respectively by Nader himself for their loyal service,[58] capitalized on the eruption of instability, and declared de facto independence. Erekle II assumed control over Kartli after Teimuraz II's death, thus unifying the two as the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, becoming the first Georgian ruler in three centuries to preside over a politically unified eastern Georgia,[59] and due to the frantic turn of events in mainland Iran he would be able to maintain its autonomy until the advent of the Iranian Qajar dynasty.[60] The rest of the Iranian territories in the Caucasus, comprising modern-day Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Dagestan broke away into various khanates. Until the advent of the Zands and Qajars, its rulers had various forms of autonomy, but stayed vassals and subjects to the Iranian king.[61] In the far east, Ahmad Shah Durrani had already proclaimed independence, marking the foundation of modern Afghanistan. Iran finally lost Bahrain to House of Khalifa during Invasion of Bani Utbah in 1783.

Nader Shah was well known to the European public of the time. In 1768, Christian VII of Denmark commissioned Sir William Jones to translate a Persian language biography of Nader Shah written by his Minister Mirza Mehdi Khan Astarabadi into French.[62] It was published in 1770 as Histoire de Nadir Chah.[63] Nader's Indian campaign alerted the British East India Company to the extreme weakness of the Mughal Empire and the possibility of expanding to fill the power vacuum. Without Nader, "eventual British [in India] would have come later and in a different form, perhaps never at all - with important global effects".[64]

See also


  1. ^ Ernest Tucker (15 August 2006), "NĀDER SHAH", Encyclopædia Iranica (Online ed.), ISSN 2330-4804
  2. ^ Michael Axworthy's biography of Nader, The Sword of Persia (I.B. Tauris, 2006), pp. 165, 279
  3. ^ Michael Axworthy's biography of Nader, The Sword of Persia (I.B. Tauris, 2006), pp. 165
  4. ^ Michael Axworthy's biography of Nader, The Sword of Persia (I.B. Tauris, 2006), p. 17
  5. ^ a b Nader's exact date of birth is unknown but August 6 is the "likeliest" according to Axworthy p.17 (and note) and The Cambridge History of Iran (Vol. 7 p.3); other biographers favour 1688.
  6. ^ a b "The Cambridge History of Iran Volume 7".
  7. ^ a b "AFSHARIDS".
  8. ^ Lockhart, Laurence, "Nadir Shah: A critical study based mainly upon contemporary sources", London, Luzac & Co, 1938, p.278
  9. ^ Michael Axworthy's biography of Nader, The Sword of Persia (I.B. Tauris, 2006), pp. 168-170
  10. ^ Michael Axworthy's biography of Nader, The Sword of Persia (I.B. Tauris, 2006), p. 34
  11. ^ Michael Axworthy's biography of Nader, The Sword of Persia (I.B. Tauris, 2006), pp. 164, 176, 177, 187, 236, 258
  12. ^ Tucker, Ernest, "Nadir Shah and the Ja'fari Mazhab reconsidered", in Iranian Studies, vol. 27, 1-4 (1994), 163-179.
  13. ^ Tucker, Ernest, "Nadir Shah's quest for legitimacy in post-Safavid Iran", University Press Florida, 2006
  14. ^ a b The Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant "Nader commanded the most powerful military force in Asia, if not the world"
  15. ^ Axworthy p. xvii
  16. ^ Michael Axworthy's biography of Nader, The Sword of Persia (I.B. Tauris, 2006), pp. 17–19: "His father was of lowly but respectable status, a herdsman of the Afshar tribe ... The Qereqlu Afshars to whom Nader's father belonged were a semi-nomadic Turcoman tribe settled in Khorasan in north-eastern Iran ... The tribes of Khorasan were for the most part ethnically distinct from the Persian-speaking population, speaking Turkic or Kurdish languages. Nader's mother tongue was a dialect of the language group spoken by the Turkic tribes of Iran and Central Asia, and he would have quickly learned Persian, the language of high culture and the cities as he grew older. But the Turkic language was always his preferred everyday speech, unless he was dealing with someone who knew only Persian."
  17. ^ Stephen Erdely and Valentin A. Riasanovski. The Uralic and Altaic Series, Routledge, 1997, ISBN 0-7007-0380-2, p. 102
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Ernest Tucker (March 29, 2006). "Nāder Shāh 1736-47". Encyclopædia Iranica.
  19. ^ Modern Conflict in the Greater Middle East: A Country-by-Country Guide page : 84 "Under its great ruler and military leader Nader Shah (1736-1747), Persia was arguably the world's most powerful empire"
  20. ^ The Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  21. ^ Cambridge History of Iran Vol.7, p. 59
  22. ^ Axworthy pp. 17–18
  23. ^ Axworthy p. 17
  24. ^ a b Axworthy 2006.
  25. ^ "An Outline of the History of Persia During the Last Two Centuries (A.D. 1722-1922)". Edward G. Browne. London: Packard Humanities Institute. p. 30. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  26. ^ This section: Axworthy pp. 17–56
  27. ^ Houtsma, M. Th.; van Donzel, E. (1993). E. J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936. BRILL. p. 760. ISBN 90-04-08265-4.
  28. ^ Axworthy pp. 57–74
  29. ^ Axworthy pp. 75–116
  30. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica
  31. ^ a b Elton L. Daniel, "The History of Iran" (Greenwood Press 2000) p. 94
  32. ^ Lawrence Lockhart Nadir Shah (London, 1938)
  33. ^ a b c d e Fisher et al. 1991, pp. 34.
  34. ^ Fisher et al. 1991, pp. 36.
  35. ^ Fisher et al. 1991, pp. 35.
  36. ^ a b This section: Axworthy pp.137-174
  37. ^ Fisher et al. 1991, pp. 34-36.
  38. ^ Axworthy p.34
  39. ^ The Afghan Interlude and the Zand and Afshar Dynasties, Kamran Scot Aghaie, The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History, ed. Touraj Daryaee, (Oxford University Press, 2012), 316.
  40. ^ "The Army of Nader Shah" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  41. ^ Steven R. Ward. Immortal, Updated Edition: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces Georgetown University Press, 8 jan. 2014 p 52
  42. ^ Axworthy p.168
  43. ^ Raghunath Rai. "History". p. 19 FK Publications ISBN 8187139692
  44. ^ David Marshall Lang. Russia and the Armenians of Transcaucasia, 1797-1889: a documentary record Columbia University Press, 1957 (digitalised March 2009, originally from the University of Michigan) p 142
  45. ^ "An Outline of the History of Persia During the Last Two Centuries (A.D. 1722-1922)". Edward G. Browne. London: Packard Humanities Institute. p. 33. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  46. ^ a b c d William Dalrymple, Anita Anand (2017). Koh-i-Noor. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 52–60.
  47. ^ Axworthy p. 8
  48. ^ Axworthy, Michael (2010). Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant. I.B. Tauris. pp. 212, 216. ISBN 978-0857733474.
  49. ^ This section: Axworthy pp.1–16, 175–210
  50. ^ a b The Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  51. ^ Svat Soucek, a history of inner asia page 195: in 1740 Nadir Shah, the new ruler of Iran, crossed the Amu Darya and, accepting the submission of Muhammad Hakim Bi which was then formalized by the acquiescence of Abulfayz Khan himself, proceeded to attack Khiva. When rebellions broke out in 1743 upon the death of Muhammad Hakim, the shah dispatched the ataliq’s son Muhammad Rahim Bi, who had accompanied him to Iran, to quell them. Mohammad hakim bi was ruler of the khanate of bukhara at that time Archived 2015-06-10 at the Wayback Machine
  52. ^ Spencer C. Tucker. "A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East" p 739
  53. ^ This section: Axworthy pp. 175–274
  54. ^ Floor, Willem. Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 119, No. 3. (Jul. - Sep., 1999), p. 543. Book review of Richard Tapper's Frontier Nomads of Iran: A Political and Social History of the Shahsevan.
  55. ^ Daniel, Elton L. The History of Iran. Greenwood Publishing Group: 2000. p. 90.
  56. ^ Axworthy p. 273
  57. ^ "History of Iran: Afsharid Dynasty (Nader Shah)".
  58. ^ Ronald Grigor Suny. "The Making of the Georgian Nation" Indiana University Press, 1994. ISBN 978-0253209153 p 55
  59. ^ Yar-Shater, Ehsan. Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. 8, parts 4-6 Routledge & Kegan Paul (original from the University of Michigan) p 541
  60. ^ Fisher et al. 1991, p. 328.
  61. ^ Encyclopedia of Soviet law By Ferdinand Joseph Maria Feldbrugge, Gerard Pieter van den Berg, William B. Simons, Page 457
  62. ^ "SIR WILLIAM JONES (174... - Online Information article about SIR WILLIAM JONES (174..."
  63. ^ Axworthy p.330
  64. ^ Axworthy p.xvi


Further reading

  • Lawrence Lockhart Nadir Shah (London, 1938)
  • Ernest Tucker, Nadir Shah's Quest for Legitimacy in Post-Safavid Iran Hardcover 150 pages (4 October 2006) Publisher: University Press of Florida Language: English ISBN 0-8130-2964-3
  • Michael Axworthy, Iran: Empire of the Mind: A History from Zoroaster to the Present Day (Paperback) ISBN 0-14-103629-X Publisher Penguin 6 November 2008

External links

Nader Shah Afshar
Qereqlu clan
Cadet branch of the Afshar tribe
Born: 22 November 1688 Died: 19 June 1747
Iranian royalty
Preceded by
Abbas III
Shah of Persia
8 March 1736 – 19 June 1747
Succeeded by
Adel Shah Afshar
Regnal titles
New title Regent of Persia
7 September 1732 - 7 March 1736
Title next held by
Reza Qoli Mirza Afshar
Political offices
Preceded by
Mohammad Ali KhanQoullar-Aqasi
Premier of Persia
1729 - 7 March 1736
Title next held by
Mirza Ali Akbar Shirazi
Military offices
Unknown Qurchi-bashi
1729 - 7 March 1736
1931 in Afghanistan

The following lists events that happened during 1931 in Afghanistan.

King Nader Shah further consolidates his position, and continues to bring the country into a more settled state, as is noted by traders at the end of the year. Relations with foreign powers continue to be friendly, but the immigration of Europeans is not encouraged, and only a small number of European advisers are retained in the country. King Nadir devotes special attention to the reorganization of the army and the control of the national finances.

Abbas III

Abbas III (January 1732 – February 1740) (Persian: شاه عباس سوم‎) reigned 1732–1736; was a son of Shah Tahmasp II and Shahpuri Begum of the Safavid dynasty. After the deposition of his father by Nader Khan (the future Nader Shah) the infant Abbas was appointed nominal ruler of Iran on 7 September 1732. Nader Khan, who was the real ruler of the country, assumed the positions of deputy of state and viceroy. Abbas III was deposed in March 1736, when Nader Khan had himself crowned as Nader Shah. This marked the official end of the Safavid dynasty. Abbas was sent to join his father in prison in Sabzevar, Khorasan.In 1738, Nader Shah set out on campaign to Afghanistan and India, leaving his son Reza Qoli Mirza to rule his realm in his absence. Hearing rumours that his father had died, Reza made preparations for assuming the crown. According to the most "authoritative account", Mohammed Hosein Khan Qajar, who had been entrusted with supervising Abbas and his father in captivity, warned Reza that the townspeople of Sabzevar would rise up in revolt, free Tahmasp II and place him on the throne again on hearing the news of Nader's death. Reza gave Mohammed Hosein orders to execute Tahmasp and his sons to forestall this. Mohammed Hosein strangled Tahmasp, cut the young Abbas down with his sword and had his brother Esmail killed too. According to Michael Axworthy, the dating of these events is speculative, but they probably took place in May or June 1739. Other sources (Encyclopaedia Iranica, Lockhart) prefer 1740.

Afshar people

The Afshar, also spelled Awshar or Afşar, are one of the Oghuz Turkic peoples. These originally nomadic Oghuz tribes moved from Central Asia and initially settled in what is now Iranian Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Republic, Eastern Turkey. Later some of them were relocated by the Safavids to Khurasan, Kerman and Mazandaran. Today, they are variously grouped as a branch of the Azerbaijanis[1] and Turkmens or Turkomans.

Afshars in Iran remain a largely nomadic group, with tribes in central Anatolia, northern Iran, and Azerbaijan. They were the source of the Afsharid, Karamanid dynasties, Baku Khanate, Zanjan Khanate and Urmia Khanate.

Nader Shah, who became the monarch of Iran in 1736, was from the Qirkhli (Persian: قرخلو‎) tribe of Afshar.Afshars in Turkey mostly live in Sarız, Tomarza and Pınarbaşı districts of Kayseri province, as well as in several villages in Adana, Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep provinces.

Afsharid dynasty

The Afsharid dynasty (Persian: افشاریان‎) were members of an Iranian dynasty that originated from the Turkic Afshar tribe in Iran's north-eastern province of Khorasan, ruling Persia in the mid-eighteenth century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the brilliant military commander Nader Shah, who deposed the last member of the Safavid dynasty and proclaimed himself Shah of Iran.

During Nader's reign, Iran reached its greatest extent since the Sassanid Empire. At its height it controlled modern-day Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan Republic, parts of the North Caucasus (Dagestan), Afghanistan, Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan, and parts of Iraq, Turkey and Oman. After his death, most of his empire was divided between the Zands, Durranis, Georgians, and the Caucasian khanates, while Afsharid rule was confined to a small local state in Khorasan. Finally, the Afsharid dynasty was overthrown by Mohammad Khan Qajar in 1796, who would establish a new native Iranian empire and restore Iranian suzerainty over several of the aforementioned regions.

The dynasty was named after the Turcoman Afshar tribe from Khorasan in north-east Iran, to which Nader belonged. The Afshars had originally migrated from Turkestan to Azerbaijan (Iranian Azerbaijan) in the 13th century. In the early 17th century, Shah Abbas the Great moved many Afshars from Azerbaijan to Khorasan to defend the north-eastern borders of his state against the Uzbeks, after which the Afshars became native to those regions. Nader belonged to the Qereqlu branch of the Afshars.

Battle of Karnal

The Battle of Karnal (24 February 1739), was a decisive victory for Nader Shah, the founder of the Afsharid dynasty of Persia, during his invasion of the Mughal dynasty. Nader's forces defeated the army of Muhammad Shah within three hours, despite being heavily outnumbered (six-to-one), paving the way for the Persian sack of Delhi. The engagement is considered the crowning jewel in Nader's military career as well as a tactical masterpiece. The battle took place near Karnal, 110 kilometres (68 mi) north of Delhi, India.The battle was the culminating point of Nader Shah's invasion of the Mughal Empire. After his conquest of eastern Afghanistan and invasion via Kabul and Peshawar, Nader led his forces south towards the Mughal capital. At Delhi Muhammad Shah gathered an extremely large force with which he marched north before his cumbersome army ground to a halt at Karnal. Nader gave battle and won a crushing victory. In the negotiations following the catastrophic defeat, Muhammad Shah agreed to pay a large indemnity in exchange for maintaining his imperium over his lands. Nader however, forced the Mughal emperor to submit utterly and marched him to his capital, Delhi, where the Mughal treasury was plundered. An uprising against Nader's soldiers by Delhi's citizens ended in a bloody massacre where the entire city was sacked and looted. The enormous plunder gained in Delhi caused Nader to issue an imperial decree removing all taxes for a total of three years. The Persian army soon after departed leaving behind 30,000 dead. Muhammad Shah was also forced to concede all his lands west of the Indus which were annexed by Nader Shah.

As a result of the overwhelming defeat of the Mughal Empire at Karnal, the already declining Mughal dynasty was critically weakened to such an extent as to hasten its demise. It is also possible that without the ruinous effects of Nader's invasion of India, European colonial takeover of the Indian subcontinent would have come in a different form or perhaps not at all.

Battle of Kars (1745)

The Battle of Kars (August 19, 1745) was the last major engagement of the Ottoman-Persian War. The battle resulted in the complete and utter destruction of the Ottoman army. It was also the last of the great military triumphs of Nader Shah. The battle was in fact fought over a period of ten days in which the first day saw the Ottomans routed from the field, followed by a series of subsequent blockades and pursuits until the final destruction of the Ottoman army. The severity of the defeat, in conjunction with the debacle near Mosul, ended any hopes Istanbul had entertained for a military victory in the war and forced them to enter negotiations with a significantly weaker position than they would otherwise have occupied.

Battle of Yeghevārd

The Battle of Yeghevārd, also known as the Battle of Baghavard or Morad Tapeh, was the final major engagement of the Perso-Ottoman War of 1730–1735 where the principal Ottoman army in the Caucasus theatre under Koprulu Pasha's command was utterly destroyed by only the advance guard of Nader's army before the main Persian army could enter into the fray. The complete rout of Koprulu Pasha's forces led to a number of besieged Ottoman strongholds in the theatre surrendering as any hope of relief proved ephemeral in light of the crushing defeat at Yeghevārd. One of Nader's most impressive battlefield victories, in which he decimated a force four or five times the size of his own, it helped establish his reputation as a military genius and stands alongside many of his other great triumphs such as at Karnal, Mihmandoost or Kirkuk.

Campaigns of Nader Shah

The campaigns of Nader Shah or Naderian Wars were a series of conflicts fought in the early to mid-eighteenth century throughout Central Eurasia primarily by the Iranian conqueror Nader Shah. His campaigns originated from the overthrow of the Iranian Safavid dynasty by the Hotaki Afghans. In the ensuing collapse and fragmentation of the empire after the capture of the Iranian capital of Isfahan by the Afghans, a claimant to the Safavid throne, Tahmasp II, accepted Nader (who was no more than a petty warlord in Khorasan) into his service. After having subdued north-west Iran as well as neutralising the Abdali Afghans to the east as well as turning Tahmasp II into a vassal, Nader marched against the Hotaki Afghans in occupation of the rest of the country. In a series of incredible victories the Afghans were decimated and Tahmasp II returned to the throne as a restored Safavid monarch.

In the aftermath of the Safavid restoration Nader campaigned in the western and northern reaches of the empire to regain territory lost to the Ottomans and Russians. After a bitter war lasting five years Nader had managed to restore the western frontier of Iran as well as reimposed Iranian suzerainty over most of the Caucasus. The legitimacy which his astonishing military achievements brought him allowed a bloodless coup against the Safavid monarchy in which he had the unanimous support of the Iranian ruling elite. Nader Shah's first campaign as the monarch of the newly established Afsharid dynasty was the subjugation of Afghanistan in its entirety. The result of the annexation of Afghanistan by Nader's empire was that he now had a direct path to the invasion of Mughal India. In one of his most extraordinary campaigns he crossed the Khyber pass with only 10,000 men and subsequently descended down into the Mughal heartland where he engaged the Mughal army and despite being outnumbered six to one, crushed his foes in little over three hours. After he had made the Mughal emperor his vassal and marched to Delhi he looted the city and massacred its population after they revolted against his occupation.

Nader's return to the empire signaled new wars in the central Asian regions. Nader expanded Iranian hegemony in central Asia to such extents that they surpassed even the old Iranian empires of the Sassanids. At this juncture however Nader was beset by ever worsening mental health as he slowly deteriorated into insanity and paranoia. His subsequent campaigns against the Lezgis in the northernmost reaches of the Caucasus proved to be less successful and his siege of Baghdad was lifted prematurely due to an uncharacteristic lethargy in Nader's generalship. As Nader continued ruinous policies against the inhabitants of the empire and brutal suppression of dissent he alienated many of his subordinates and close associates. He had his heir's eyes gouged out in a fit of delusional paranoia and declared many of his loyal subjects as traitors and rebels, forcing them to erupt in rebellion against him.

Nader's last years are characterised by wandering his own empire in a series of barbaric campaigns in which rebellions were put down in the most brutal and cruel manner. One of his very last major battles was a battle near Kars against the Ottomans where he annihilated the Ottoman army sent against him prompting Istanbul to seek terms of peace. He was finally assassinated by a faction of his officers in his own tent. The death of Nader spelt the beginning of an extremely troubled and bloody chapter in Iranian history were continuous civil war engulfed the nation for over half a century before the establishment of the Qajar dynasty under Agha-Mohammad Khan Qajar.

Hotak dynasty

The Hotak dynasty (Pashto: د هوتکيانو ټولواکمني‎) was an Afghan monarchy of the Ghilji Pashtuns, established in April 1709 by Mirwais Hotak after leading a successful revolution against their declining Persian Safavid overlords in the region of Loy Kandahar ("Greater Kandahar") in what is now southern Afghanistan. It lasted until 1738 when the founder of the Afsharid dynasty, Nader Shah Afshar, defeated Hussain Hotak during the long siege of Kandahar, and started the reestablishment of Iranian suzerainty over all regions lost decades before against the Iranian archrival, the Ottoman Empire, and the Russian Empire. At its peak, the Hotak dynasty ruled briefly over an area which is now Afghanistan, Iran, western Pakistan, and some parts of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

In 1715, Mirwais died of a natural cause and his brother Abdul Aziz succeeded the monarchy. He was quickly followed by Mahmud who ruled the empire at its largest extent for a mere three years. Following the 1729 Battle of Damghan, where Ashraf Hotak was roundly defeated by Nader Shah, Ashraf was banished to what is now southern Afghanistan with Hotak rule being confined to it. Hussain Hotak became the last ruler until he was also defeated in 1738.

Military of the Afsharid dynasty of Persia

The military forces of the Afsharid dynasty of Persia had their origins in the relatively obscure yet bloody inter-factional violence in Khorasan during the collapse of the Safavid state. The small band of warriors under local warlord Nader Qoli of the Turkomen Afshar tribe in north-east Iran were no more than a few hundred men. Yet at the height of Nader's power as the king of kings, Shahanshah, he commanded an army of 375,000 fighting men which constituted the single most powerful military force of its time, led by one of the most talented and successful military leaders of history.After the assassination of Nader Shah at the hands of a faction of his officers in 1747, Nader's powerful army fractured as the Afsharid state collapsed and the country plunged into decades of civil war. Although there were numerous Afsharid pretenders to the throne, (amongst many other), who attempted to regain control of the entire country, Persia remained a fractured political entity in turmoil until the campaigns of Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar in towards the very end of the eighteenth century reunified the nation.

Mohammed Nadir Shah

Muhammad Nadir Shah (Pashto: محمد نادر شاه‎, Persian: محمد نادر شاه‎ – born Muhammad Nadir Khan; 9 April 1883 – 8 November 1933) was King of Afghanistan from 15 October 1929 until his assassination in November 1933. Previously, he served as Minister of War, Afghan Ambassador to France, and as a general in the military of Afghanistan. He and his son Muhammad Zahir Shah, who succeeded him, are part of the Musahiban.

Muhammad Shah

Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad Shah (Persian: ناصرلدین محمد شاه‎) (born Roshan Akhtar (Persian: روشن اختر‎)) (7 August 1702 – 16 April 1748) was Mughal emperor from 1719 to 1748. He was son of Khujista Akhtar, the fourth son of Bahadur Shah I. With the help of the Sayyid brothers, he ascended the throne at the young age of 17. He later got rid of them with the help of Asaf Jah I – Syed Hussain Ali Khan was murdered at Fatehpur Sikri in 1720 and Syed Hassan Ali Khan Barha was fatally poisoned in 1722. Muhammad Shah was a great patron of the arts, including musical, cultural and administrative developments. His pen-name was Sada Rangila ("ever joyous") and he is often referred to as "Muhammad Shah Rangila", also sometimes as "Bahadur Shah Rangila" after his grand father Bahadur Shah I.Although he was a patron of the arts, Muhammad Shah's reign was marked by rapid and irreversible decline of the Mughal Empire. The Mughal Empire was already decaying, but the invasion by Nader Shah of Persia and the subsequent sacking of Delhi, the Mughal capital, greatly accelerated the pace. The course of events not only shocked and mortified the Mughals themselves, but also other foreigners, including the British.

Nader's Central Asian Campaign

During the mid-eighteenth century the Persian empire of Nader Shah embarked upon the conquest and annexation of the Khanates of Bukhara and Khiva . The initial engagements were fought in the late 1730s by Nader Shah's son and viceroy Reza Qoli Mirza who gained a few notable victories in this theatre while Nader was still invading India to the south. Reza Qoli's invasions of Khiva angered Ilbars khan, the leader of Khiva. When Ilbars threatened to make a counter-attack Nader ordered hostilities to cease despite his son's successes and later returned victoriously from Delhi to embark on a decisive campaign himself.

After annexing Khiva he executed Ilbars and replaced him with Abu ol-Fayz Kha, who Nader considered to be more accepting of Nader's overlordship. The conflict resulted in the most overwhelming Persian triumph against the khanates of Central Asia in modern history and with the admixture of his previous annexation in northern India, Nader's empire in the east surpassed all other Iranian empires before it, all the way back to the Sassanians and Achaemenids of antiquity.

Nader's Dagestan campaign

Nader's Dagestan campaign, refers to the campaigns conducted by the Persian Empire (under the Safavid and Afsharid dynasty) under the ruling king Nader Shah between the years 1741 and 1743 in order to fully subjugate the Dagestan region in the North Caucasus Area. The conflict between the Persian Empire & the Lezgins and a myriad of other Caucasian tribes in the north was intermittently fought through the mid-1730s during Nader's first short expedition in the Caucasus until the very last years of his reign and assassination in 1747 with minor skirmishes and raids. The incredibly difficult terrain of the northern Caucasus region made the task of subduing the Lezgins an extremely challenging one. Despite this Nader Shah gained numerous strongholds and fortresses from the Dagestan people and pushed them to the very verge of defeat. The Lezgins however held on in the northernmost reaches of Dagestan and continued to defy Persian domination.

The conflict was fought over many years and only included a few years of actual hard fighting, usually when Nader himself was present, but otherwise consisted of skirmishes and raids throughout. The majority of the Persian casualties were from the extremity of the weather as well as the outbreak of disease, all of which combined with the indomitable will of the Lezgins to wage an insurgency and retreat to their distant strongholds when threatened with a pitched battle made the entire war a quagmire for Nader's forces. Ultimately the Lezgins who had held on in the northern fortresses marched south upon hearing of Nader's assassination and reclaimed most of their lost territories as the Persian empire crumbled.

In 1741, an attempt was made on Nāder’s life near Darband. When the would-be assassin claimed that he had been recruited by Reza Qoli, the shah had his son blinded in retaliation, an act for which he later felt great remorse. Marvi reported that Nāder began to manifest signs of physical deterioration and mental instability. Finally, the shah was forced to reinstate taxes due to insufficient funds, and the heavy levies sparked numerous rebellions.

Nader Shah's invasion of the Mughal Empire

Emperor Nader Shah, the Shah of Persia (1736–47) and the founder of the Afsharid dynasty of Persia, invaded the Mughal Empire, eventually attacking Delhi in February 13 ,1739. His army had easily defeated the Mughals at the battle at Karnal and would eventually capture the Mughal capital in the aftermath of the battle.Nader Shah's victory against the weak and crumbling Mughal Empire in the far East meant that he could afford to turn back and resume war against Persia's archrival, the neighbouring Ottoman Empire, but also the further campaigns in the North Caucasus and Central Asia.

Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I

Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan Siddiqi Bayafandi (20 August 1671 – 1 June 1748) was a nobleman of Indian and Turkic descent and the founder of the Asaf Jahi dynasty. He established the Hyderabad state, and ruled it from 1724 to 1748. He is also known by his titles Chin Qilich Khan (awarded by emperor Aurangzeb in 1690–91), Nizam-ul-Mulk (awarded by Farrukhsiyar in 1713) and Asaf Jah (awarded by Muhammad Shah in 1725).

Ottoman–Persian War (1743–1746)

The Ottoman–Persian War of 1743–1746 was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Afsharid dynasty of Iran.

Topal Osman Pasha

Topal Osman Pasha (1663–1733) was an Ottoman military officer and administrator. A capable man, he rose to the rank of beylerbey by the age of 24 and served as general against the Venetians and the Austrians and as governor in several provinces. His career eventually brought his appointment to the position of Grand Vizier in 1731–32. After his dismissal, he was sent to a provincial governorship, but was soon recalled to lead the Ottoman troops in the Ottoman–Persian War of 1730–35. He succeeded in defeating Nader Shah and saving Baghdad in 1732, but was decisively beaten and fell in the Battle of Kirkuk (1733) where he clashed with Nader for a second time, the next year.

Withdrawal through Andalal (1741)

The Withdrawal through Andalal by the Persian army under Nader Shah took place after he broke off the siege of the last Lezgian fortress in order to return to Derbent for winter quarters. His withdrawal came under heavy raids by the Lezgians. However, there is no mention of any pitched battle around Andalal, or anywhere else during the withdrawal, in any of the primary or secondary material in the established historiography of Nader's Campaigns.

Rulers of the Afsharid dynasty (1736–1796)

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