2004 年 113 巻 9 号 p. 1491-1527
The aim of the paper is to reveal the specific features of Shah 'Abbas I's policy towards the Caucasus and, using the description provided in newly discovered third volume of Afzal al-tavarikh of Fazil Khtuzani, to reconsider the 'slave soldiers' paradigm. Shah 'Abbas I tried to reinforce Safavid central authority through his policy towards the Caucasus. However, this policy did not lead simply to the enslavement of the indigenous population and the formation of a Caucasian slave army, as it has been previously supposed. The Caucasians joined the Safavid court in various ways, for example as war captives, political refugees and hostages, through marriage for political reasons, and through forced migration, and by paying annual tribute. These activities motivated the Caucasians to build an immigrant society which was put directly under Safavid imperial rule. The gholams were a new ruling elite selected among these new comers to Safavid society. Shah 'Abbas naturally recognized the importance of the social networks and individual connections among the Caucasians. Given 'Abbas's deliberate policy, it was only natural that the ethnic and national ties usually remained in tact, or were renewed and modified, instead of being erased. This is clearly one point that has usually been neglected,in the research on slave soldiers or foreign elites. Shah 'Abbas tried to reorganize the regional order in his favor. So the fate of Caucasian courtier elites was connected with his policy. In other words, the activities of the converted elites were influenced by the local political climate of the Caucasus. The old theory of slave soldiers is a one-sided view regarding them as absolute slaves cut off from their national network and identity. However, the Safavid foreign elite actually moved between the two cultures, taking active part in both. We see two faces of the Safavid gholams : as Safavid courtier elites and as representatives of the Caucasian immigrant society. Expansion of Safavid courtier power was realized after absorption of 'foreign' Caucasians and careful management of their ethno-social tensions. But stresses of assimilation and dissimilation reached to the top when 'Abbas I married his granddaughter to Georgian vdli-king Simon II. Large-scale revolt broke out. The paradoxical character of the Caucasus as a land both foreign and intimate to Safavid royals continued into next decade.