Journal of history of Iran)

Document Type : review paper


When writing history, one has essentially to avoid using concepts and terms anachronistically. Some historians and history scholars, intentionally or unintentionally, do this and put in use the newly generated terms and titles to refer to old times; hence, distorting historical facts. Historians of the Safavid period were accustomed to this phenomenon. Using the term “Kizilbash” for the events of first decades of the Safavid era by the historians of post-Isma’il I period, has led to misunderstanding of social and political history of that time. “Kizilbash,” was a contradictory term in that period. This term, being pejorative, had no legitimacy among Iranians. So, it was not accepted and put into use by them. The coinage and use of this term generated a sphere of hostility between Iranians and their neighbor states. This article, based on historical method of research and primary sources, aimed to investigate the “Kizilbash” phenomenon, as the core of this hostile sphere, to find out the causes and roots of the problem. Findings asserted that “Kizilbash” was a term derogatorily applied by safavids’ enemies. So, Shah Isma’il I and his statesmen did not use it. This term, for the first time, was appeared in Habib Al-siyar which began to be written at 927 AD and was finished after Shah Isma’il I’s death in 930 AD.