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In the Presence of PowerCourt and Performance in the Pre-Modern Middle East$
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Maurice Pomerantz and Evelyn Vitz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479879366

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479879366.001.0001

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Maydān-i Naqsh-i Jahān

Maydān-i Naqsh-i Jahān

The Safavid Isfahan Public Square as “A Playing Field”

(p.42) 3 Maydān-i Naqsh-i Jahān
In the Presence of Power

Babak Rahimi

NYU Press

This chapter points to the ways that Safavid rulers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries created public “gaming” spectacles in their public square, called the “Image of the World.” Rahimi argues that this urban space was used as a ritual site wherein the king, his court, aristocrats, diplomats, travelers, and the population of the city of Isfahan could engage in communal play. Rahimi argues that this square in both joyful celebrations and solemn moments (such as the commemorations of al-Muḥarram) served as a vital performative space for the Safavid state.

Keywords:   Safavid, public ceremonies, naqsh-i jahan, Isfahan

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