KAZERUN ii. History

KAZERUN

ii. History 

According to legend, Kazerun resulted from the merging of the three villages Nurd, Darist (Darbast, Daris), and Rāhbān (Rāhšān), which had been built by the mythical king Ṭahmuraṯ on the subterranian water channels (qanāt) of the same names that supplied the city with water (Ebn al-Balḵi, p. 145; Zarkub, p. 28; Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi, pp. 125-26; tr., p. 125; Le Strange, Lands, p. 266; Ṯawāqeb, p. 55). According to another account, Ṭahmuraṯ built Darist and Rāhbān and merged them into a town called Nurd or the Old City (Balad-al-ʿAtiq, Šahr-e Kohna), which was originally a village located to the south of Shaikh Abu Esḥāq’s hospice (rebāṭ; Maḥmud b. ʿOṯmān, p. 30). The city is referred to as Kazerun by Muslim geographers (Eṣṭaḵri, p. 139; Ebn Ḥawqal, p. 289; Moqaddasi, p. 433; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 55-56, quoting Yāqut, Maḥmud b. ʿOṯmān, and Zarkub).

The Sasanian king Šāpur I (r. 240-70, CE) made these three villages a dependency of Bišāpur, the city he had founded in the vicinity. They were transformed into a town by Firuz/Pērōz (r. 459-84) and later enlarged by his son and successor Kawād/Qobād (r. 488-531; Ebn al-Balḵi, p. 145; Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi, pp. 125-26; tr., p. 125; Zarkub, p. 28). The decline of Bišāpur (Sābur in Arabic sources), by the end of 4th/10th century, promoted Kazerun as one of the main cities of Šāpur Ḵorra, an administrative division of Fars (Estaḵri, p. 127; Ebn Ḥawqal, p. 281; Moqaddasi, pp. 433-34; Schwarz, p. 33; Ṯawāqeb, p. 58). Moqaddasi refers to it as the Damietta of Persia (Demyāṭ al-Aʿājem), a commercial center and also important for its linen (kattān) production. The Buyid ʿAżod-al-Dawla had a great house built there for the merchants. The town was famous for its variety of dates called jilān and its cotton fabrics (karbās). Houses were like palaces, all provided with gardens. The mosque crowned a hillock; the bazaar and merchant houses lay below (Eṣṭaḵri, p. 153; Moqaddasi, pp. 433-34; Schwarz, pp. 33-34, quoting Eṣṭaḵri, Moqaddasi, and Yāqut; Le Strange, Lands, p. 266; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 59-60).

With good climatic conditions, its proximity to the Persian Gulf, and important commercial trade with neighboring and faraway countries, Kazerun was spared the political instability of Fars (Aigle, 1997, p. 237). However, the region was raided by Abu Saʿd (Abu Saʿid) Šabānkāraʾi. In 495/ 1101-2, he burnt and sacked the cities of Šāpur (which had retained some importance), Kazerun, and Nowbandajān (Nowbanjān). In 502/ 1108-9, Atābak Jalālal- Din Čāvli, the Saljuqid governor of Fars, eliminated Abu Saʿd and had the city rebuilt; but traces of devastation remained, particularly in Nowbandajān, which had been burned and every house there destroyed by the order of Abu Saʿd. Šāpur never recovered, and Kazerun emerged as the capital city of the province (Ebn al-Balḵi, p. 146: Zarkub, pp. 30, 61-63; Fasāʾi, I, p. 268; Le Strange, Lands, p. 264; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 44-47). The initial devastations of the Mongol invasions spared Fars and Kazerun. However, when the Atābak Saljuqšāh, pursued by Hulāgu’s troops, entrenched himself at Kazerun, he was captured and killed at Nowbandajān (663/ 1264), and part of the population of Kazerun was massacred (Šabānkāraʾi, pp. 186-87; Fasāʾi, I, pp. 264-66; Ṯawāqeb, p. 249). From 677/ 1278-9 on, Fars was subject to recurrent Nigudari Mongol attacks, and particularly in the Kazerun area in 699/ 1299-1300 (Fasāʾi, I, pp. 285-86; Aubin, 1969, pp. 85-86; Ṯawāqeb, p. 249). In the struggles that followed the death of the Mozaffarid Shah Šojāʿ (786/ 1384-5), the region of Kazerun suffered devastation again (Fasāʾi, I, pp. 318-19; Ṯawāqeb, p. 250). Fars and Kazerun were spared further destruction during the competing Timurid, Qara Qoyunlu, and Aq Qoyunlu dynasties of the 15th century (Ṯawāqeb, pp. 250-53).

In his conquest of Fars, Shah Esmāʿil I Ṣafawi, fearing the influence of the Sunni preachers (ḵaṭibān) of Kazerun, ordered them to be killed with their families. This was accompanied by a massacre of 4,000 persons and the destruction of the tombs of Sunni shaikhs in the region (Jahāngošā-ye Ḵāqān, pp. 187-88; Fasāʾi, I, p. 370; Aubin, 1959, p. 58). The shah is said to have extracted twelve great sufis from their tombs and burned their bodies (Aigle, 1995, p. 205). The governorship of Kazerun and Fars was then entrusted to Elyās Beg (Kačal Beg) Ḏu’l-Qadr, and Fars remained in Ḏu’l-Qadr hands until the appointment, in 1004/ 1595, of Allāhverdi Khan as governor (Fasāʾi, I, pp. 370, 439; Ṯawāqeb, p. 253). From about 1000/ 1591-2, Shah ʿAbbās entrusted the governorship of the region of Kazerun to Ḵᵛāja Pir Bodāq Afšār. This position was retained by his family for about 250 years (Fasāʾi, I, p. 438, II, pp. 1440-42; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 254-55).

In the aftermath of the Safavids, Kazerunis participated in the struggles between contending powers. Kazerun was raided and pillaged in 1165/ 1751 by ʿAli-Mardān Khan Baḵtiāri (Mirzā Moḥammad Kalāntar, pp. 44-45; Perry, p. 30; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 257-58). In the battle of Kamārej (1168/ 1754), Karim Khan Zand set up his headquarters in Kazerun to fight his various opponents. ʿAliqoli Khan Kazeruni and his allies evacuated the town, but the remaining population of Kazerun was massacred by Āzād Khan Afḡān's troops for having sheltered the Zands (Perry, pp. 57-59, 118). ʿAliqoli Khan, a loyal follower of Jaʿfar Khan Zand, was treacherously imprisoned by the latter. This led to Jaʿfar Khan’s murder by his own courtiers in 1204/ 1789 (Perry, p. 299; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 260-61). Kazerun notables sided with Ḥāji Ebrāhim against Loṭf-ʿAli Khan Zand, who defeated them (1206/ 1791-92), blinded Reżāqoli Khan Kazeruni and his son ʿAli-Naqi Khan, and kept about 2,000 prisoners in the Kazerun fortress (Fasāʾi, II, p.1442; Ḵubnaẓar, p. 76; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 262-63). ʿAbbāsqoli Khan, son of ʿAli-Naqi Khan, governed Kazerun until 1260/ 1844-45. He was the last governor of the Kazeruni Afšār line. Thereafter Kazerun governors were appointed by the governor of Fars (Moḥammad- Jawād Behruzi, pp. 288-89; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 264-65).

In June 1824, a severe earthquake shook the rural areas (dehestān) of Kamārej, Šāpur, and Kazerun (Ambraseys and Melville, p. 57, with map). Kazerun was plundered by Wali Khan, the head of the Mamasani tribe, in 1251/ 1835-36. Eventually he was captured and sent to Tehran and then Tabriz, where he and members of his family died (Fasāʾi, I, pp. 768-71).

European travelers on Kazerun. From late Safavid times, European travelers provided valuable information on Kazerun (variously spelled) and its region. For Jean Baptiste Tavernier (1664), “Cazeroon” was a small town very badly built with a wretched caravansary. He notes the construction of bridges and roads to Shiraz by “Ali Couli Khan,” governor of Shiraz, and the presence of Jewish artisans in the silk industry (I, p. 158). William Francklin (1787) notes that “Kazeroon, by its remains, appears formerly to have been a city of considerable note, and in size little inferior to Shirauz.” He also mentions “the great quanties of opium” that were produced but not used as an article of trade (p. 256). Edward Waring (1802) admires the well-cultivated valleys, reports on a site called Fort of the Jews and the remains of a canal three miles from Kazerun, and says that many parts of the town were in ruins (pp. 21-27).

With the development of Bušehr as the main commercial port of Iran, the transit road connecting Bušehr to Shiraz and Isfahan via Kazerun was used by a growing number of European travelers, mostly British. Most of them were fascinated by the Tang-e Čowgān Sasanian rock reliefs and particularly by the statue of Šāpur I in a cave. Already mentioned by Moqaddasi (pp. 444-45) and by Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi (pp. 126-27; tr., p. 126), it was abundantly described by travelers (see Curzon, II, pp. 218- 20; see below for his sketchy references). They report on the difficult access to the cave and the decayed condition of Kazerun and its region due to permanent insecurity caused by nomads, mainly the Mamasanis.

James Morier (1808) estimated Kazerun’s population to be 4,000 houses. For John Macdonald Kinneir (1810) “Kazeroon was almost entirely depopulated during the last civil wars, and the number of its inhabitants” did not “exceed three or four thousand” (p. 65). Referring to an unspecified manuscript, he mentions “a celebrated idol [i.e., Šāpur I’s statue], which its votaries used to anoint with oil; but of such an image there are no traces remaining” (p. 67). Morier, in his Second Journey (1811) in the company of William Ouseley, reports mainly on Šāpur’s ruins, the rock reliefs, and his failure to get access to the cave. His report is completed by Ouseley, who provides the first view of the broken statue, which was discovered and drawn by Major Stone, who was sent to Iran with Ouseley to train the Persian army. James Buckingham (1816) notes the former importance of “Kauzeroon,” the ruins, and “some vestiges of a wall with round towers in some places,” the only remarkable building being the residence of the governor Kāẓem Khan. He estimated Kazerun’s population to be about 600 Muslim families, “all Sheeahs,” and 40 Jewish ones (peddlers between Bušehr and Shiraz; Buckingham, 1971, pp. 325-26, 329). He provides a view of Kazerun and also notes that the main occupation of the wealthier Muslims was “the purchase and sale of horses for the Indian market, and raising a cross-breed between the Turcoman and Arab race,” called “Kauzerooni” horses (Buckingham, 1971, pp. 325-26, 329-30). John Johnson (1817) also gives a view of Kazerun and a drawing of the broken statue with measurements of the pieces (pp. 42, 47). William Ainsworth (1836) finds Kazerun “a pleasant, clean-looking town … a delightful spot of hospitable and kindly treatment.” Impressed by the gardens and “long straight avenues of orange trees,” he was affected by “a violent shock of an earthquake from the northeast”—a recurrent phenomenon there. He remarks on “a rude sculpture representing Taïmur Khan” (at Pol-e Ābgina on the road south of the city; Ainsworth, pp. 135- 37), that is, Prince Teymur Mirzā, who was exiled with two brothers to Ottoman territory in 1836 (Wright, pp. 87-101).

Charles Texier (1839) proposed, with drawings, a reconstruction of the statue (II, pp. 146-51). Bode (1840) abundantly describes the Kazerun region, the cave, and the statue (II, pp. 203-30). Eugène Flandin (1841) found Kazerun poorly populated, with some Armenian and Jewish families. The lodging provided to the French mission, in a beautiful garden, was going to ruin. Insecurity and poverty were everywhere. He arranged a trip to Bišāpur to study and draw the reliefs and ruins (II, pp. 248-79; Flandin and Coste, Planches I, pl. 45 map, pls. 46-53) and the statue of Šāpur I—the latter after painfully climbing up to the cave (II, pp. 276-78; Planches I, pl. 54). In connection with researches about Bišāpur, from 1935 on, Roman Ghirshman published valuable data on the cave and the statue. These are all cited by G. R. Garosi, together with other studies, notably those of Ernst Herzfeld. Garosi gives further details about the statue (carved out of a stalagmite, p. 8), its proposed date (p. 28), and the possible function of the statue and the cave as a place of worship of the sovereign (pp. 30-38). Details about the cave, the statue, and its badly done “restoration” in 1957 are given by Moḥammad- Jawād Behruzi (pp. 258-79; see also Moḥammad- Taqi Moṣṭafawi, pp. 121-29).

For Arthur de Gobineau (1855), Kazerun was a “little paradise,” although much decayed, its population being at the most four to five thousand souls (by hearsay). He appreciated the friendly welcome given by the officials and the official host (mehmāndār), made abundant ethnical remarks, and noted the ugly, low-relief represention of “Tymour-Khan” (I, pp. 161-77). Pierre Loti (1904) praised the beauty of the gardens and deplored the bad lodging he was given there (pp. 45-49).

The history of Kazerun from the last decades of the 19th century onward has been shaped mainly by events that impacted Fars province generally (see FARS iv).

Religion, society and notables. From the early Islamic period, mosques were built in the main cities of Šāpur Ḵorra, which included Šāpur, Kazerun, Nowbandagān, and a few other places (Ṯawāqeb, pp. 111-12). However, with its Sasanian vestiges and the remnant Zoroastrian proclivities of its population, the region remained thinly Islamized until the 4th/10th century, as is shown by the life of Abu Esḥāq Kāzaruni (963-1033). Descended from Zoroastrian ancestors, Abu Esḥāq met with opposition from both Zoroastrians and Muslims in the matter of building a mosque. However, he succeeded in converting to Islam Zoroastrians, Christians, and Jews (Maḥmud b. ʿOṯmān, ed. Meier, pp. 26-30; Aigle, 1995, pp. 191-93). As elsewhere in Iran, with the spread of Sufism, the foundation of Sufi centers (ḵānaqāh), religious hostels (rebāṭ), and mausoleums (boqʿa) was accompanied by the building of mosques, seminaries (madrasa), and public amenities, such as bazaars, hospices (ḵān), and caravansaries (Ṯawāqeb, pp. 77-81, 111-19).

According to early Islamic geographers, Šāpur was known for its mint. Under the Ommayads, Arab-Sasanian copper coins were minted both at Bišāpur and Kazerun, written kʾclwnʾ (Gyselen, pp. 83, 117-44, 160-61, 165- 67). From ʿAbbasid times Kazerun was known as a mint city (dār-al-żarb; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 108-10). The Abu Esḥāq mint was located in Kazerun, the shaikh’s name being used “in lieu of the city name proper on extensive coinage during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries” (Album, p. 69). The great old bazaar at Kazerun is said to have inspired the planning of the splendid roofed Bāzār-e Wakil in Shiraz (Ṯawāqeb, p. 63, quoting Salāmi Kāzaruni). Some authors, while praising the physical beauty and strength of its people and the achievements of their notables, convey a negative opinion about their morals (Ṯawāqeb, pp. 94-96). Like the majority of Iranians, they were following the Shafeʿite school of Sunnism before their forced conversion to Imami Shiʿism by Shah Esmāʿil Ṣafawi, who executed the Sunni preachers of the area (Jahāngošā-ye Ḵāqān; Fasāʾi, I, p. 370).

Salmān-e Fārsi, also known as Salmān-e Pāk, is said to have been born in Dašt-e Aržan, a dependency of Kazerun located on the road from Shiraz. Salmān, considered as the prototype of Persian converts, was from a Zoroastrian family and had first converted to Christianity. It is said that, because of him, the Prophet granted special favors to his family (Fasāʾi, II, pp. 1437-38; Forṣat, II, p. 440; Buckingham, 1971, p. 318; Moḥammad- Jawād Behruzi, pp. 146-47, 176-77, see also the Introd.).

Kazerun “has always been a source of learned men and a mine of theologians” (Haft eqlim I, p. 177). Important families of sayyids, shaikhs, theologians, Afšār notables, men of letters, and merchants were natives of Kazerun (see Fasāʾi, II, pp. 1438-49; Moḥammad- Jawād Behruzi, pp. 161-236; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 82-94). Abu Esḥāq Kāzaruni, the eponymous founder of the Kāzaruniya Sufi order, had many followers, particularly in Fars and abroad among merchants and overseas traders. The most prominent shaikh after him was Amin-al-Din Moḥammad Baliāni (d. 745/ 1349), the reformer of the Kāzaruniya. The prosperity of Kazerun was then flourishing, as attested by the numerous constructions and foundations set up by Amin-al-din (Aigle, 1997, pp. 252 ff.; Ṯawāqeb, pp. 141-43). Another prominent Kāzaruni figure was ʿAllāma Jalāl-al-din Moḥammad Davāni (d. 908/ 1502), a leading theologian, philosopher, and jurist, and a poet. He was born at Davān but spent most of his life in Shiraz. Abu Esḥāq is buried in his ḵānaqāh in Kazerun, Amin-al-din in his ḵānaqāh at Baliān, and Davāni near the tomb of Shaikh ʿAli Davāni at Davān (Fasāʾi, II, p. 1440; Moḥammad- Taqi Mostawfi, pp. 110-11, 390-93). Many other sanctuaries and mausoleums are to be found in the šahrestān (Ṯawāqeb, pp. 114-18).

Bibliography:

A valuable study on the sub-provincial unit (šahrestān) and the city is Moḥammad- Jawād Behruzi’s Šahr-e sabz. Jahānbaḵš Ṯawāqeb provides the most comprehensive monograph. However, he uses primary and secondary sources exclusively in Persian (tr. from Arabic and European sources). For the original Arabic texts of early geographers, see: Barbier de Meynard, pp. 472-73; Paul Schwarz, Iran I, pp. 30-36; Guy Le Strange, Lands, pp. 262-68 (early Arabic and Persian sources). Most important information may be drawn from Fasāʾi’s Fars-nāma.

Keith Edward Abbott: see Abbas Amanat. Denise Aigle, “Un fondateur d’ordre en milieu rural: Le Cheikh Abu Ishaq de Kazerun,” in idem, ed., Saints orientaux, Paris, 1995, pp. 181-209.

Idem, “Le soufisme sunnite en Fars: Sayh Amin al-din Balyani,” in idem, ed., L’Iran face . la domination mongole, Bibliothèque iranienne 45, Tehran, 1997, pp. 231-60.

William Ainsworth, A Personal Narrative of the Euphrates Expedition, 2 vols, London, 1888, II, pp. 135-37.

S. Album, “Studies in Ilkhanid History and Numismatics I: A Late Ilkhanid Hoard (743/ 1342),” Studia Iranica 13/1, 1984, pp. 49-116, esp. p. 69.

Abbas Amanat, ed., Consul Abbott on the Economy and Society of Iran 1847-1866, London, 1983.

Jean Aubin, “Etudes safavides I: Shah Esmāʿīl et les notables de l’Iraq persan,” JESHO 2/1, 1959, pp. 37-81.

Idem, “L’ethnogénése des Qaraunas,” Turcica 1, 1969, pp. 65-94.

Charles A. Barbier de Meynard, Dictionnaire, historique et littéraire de la Perse et des contrées adjacentes extrait de Moʿjem el-Bould.n de Yaqout, Paris, 1861.

Moḥammad- Jawād Behruzi, Šahr-e sabz yā šahrestān-e Kazerun, Shiraz, 1967.

C. A. Baron de Bode, Travels in Luristan and Arabistan, 2 vols, London, 1845, II, pp. 203-30.

James S. Buckingham, Travels in Assyria, Media and Persia, 2nd ed., London, 2 vols, 1830, II, pp. 63-97, pl. after p. 78; repub. in one volume, London, 1971, pp. 313-30.

Jean Calmard, “Kāzarūn,” in EI2 IV, 1978, pp. 850-51.

George N. Curzon, Persia and the Persian Question, 2 vols., London, 1966, II, pp. 205- 8.

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Eugène N. Flandin and Pascal-Xavier Coste, Perse ancienne, Planches, 4 vols, Paris, 1851, I, pls. 44-54.

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John John- son, A Journey from India to England through Persia, London, 1818, pp. 41-52: statue, p. 42; Kazerun, p. 47.

Masʿud Kayhān, Joḡrāfiā-ye mofaṣṣal-e Irān, 3 vols., Tehran, 1931-32, II, pp. 227-30 John Macdonald Kinneir, A Geographical Memoir of the Persian Empire, London, 1813; repr., New York, 1973, pp. 64-67.

Ḥasan Ḵubnaẓar, Jānešinān-e Karim Ḵān Zand, Freiburg, 1974.

A. K. S. Lambton, Landlord and Peasant in Persia, London and New York, 1953; tr. Manučehr Amiri, as Mālek wa zāreʿ dar Irān, Tehran, 1960. Pierre Loti, Vers Ispahan, Paris, 1904, pp. 45-49.

Maḥmud b. Oṯmān, Ferdaws al-moršediya fi asrār al-ṣamadiya, ed. Fritz Meier, as Die Vita des Scheich Abū Ishāq al-Kāzarūnī, Istanbul, 1943; repr., Leipzig, 1948; ed. Iraj Afšār, Tehran, 1954.

M. M. Maẓlumzāda, Āšpazi dar farhang-e mardom-e Kāzerun, Tehran, 2004.

Mirzā Moḥammad Kalāntar, Ruz-nāma-ye Mirzā Moḥammad kalāntar-e Fārs, ed. ʿAbbās Eqbāl, Tehran, 1983.

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Idem, A Second Journey through Persia Armenia and Asia Minor to Constantinople between the Years 1810 and 1816, London, 1818.

Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfi, Nozhat al-qolub, ed. Guy Le Strange, Leiden and London, 1915; tr. idem, as Nuzhat-al-Qulūb, Leiden and London, 1919.

Moḥammad- Taqi Mostafawi, Eqlim-e Pārs, Tehran, 1964, pp. 108 ff. and index.

William Ouseley, Travels in Various Countries of the East, 3 vols., London, 1819-23, I, pp. 271-302, pls. XVI, XIX (statue).

Rapport du Minist.re de l’Intérieur sur le Fars, Tehran, 1913, pp. 118 ff.

Moḥammad b. ʿAli Šabānkāraʾi, Majmaʿ al-ansāb, ed. Mir Hāšem Moḥaddeṯ, Tehran, 1984.

Mohammad-ʿAli Khan Sadid-al-Salṭana, Safar-nāma-ye Sadid-al-Salṭana, ed. Aḥmad Eqtedāri, Tehran, 1983, pp. 33-40, 612-13.

Moḥammad- Reżā Ṣadr-al-Sādāt Salāmi Kāzeruni, Aṯār al-Reżā dar tāriḵ wa joḡrāfiā-ye Kāzerun wa Širāz, ed. Zahrā Ḵošbuʾi and Musā Moṭahharizāda, Tehran, 2002.

Jahānbaḵš Ṯawāqeb, Joḡrāfiyā-ye tāriḵi-e Bišāpur wa Kāzerun, Tehran, 2006.

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Charles Texier, Description de l’Arménie, la Perse et la Mésopotamie, 2 vols., Paris, 1842-52, II, pls. 146- 51.

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(Jean Calmard)

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With good climatic conditions, its proximity to the Persian Gulf, and important commercial trade with neighboring and faraway countries, Kazerun was spared the political instability of Fars.