Mirza Mehdi Khan Astarabadi

Mirza Mehdi Khan Astarabadi

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Mirza Mehdi Khan Esterabadi (Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

: میرزا مهدی خان استرآبادی) "Etemad-ed-Dowleh" "Monshi-ol-Mamalek"
(born and died in the 18th century) was the chief secretary, historian, biographer, advisor, strategist, friend and confidant of King Nadir Shah Afshar, it was him who wrote and accepted the different decisions and files related to the Empire.


Mirza Mehdi Khan, son of Mohammad Nassir, spent his young life in Ispahan where he frequented the Royal Court during the Safavid period. During the reign of the last Safavid King, the Afghans attacked Iran. When military chief Nader Shah expelled the Afghans, Mirza Mehdi Khan supported him in the Safavid court.

Mirza Mehdi was named private secretary, historian, and strategist of the imperial court at the time Nader Shah became emperor of Iran (Persia) and became Nader Shah Afshar (1736-1747).

In 1747, Mirza was sent as an ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. However, when he learned about the death of Nader Shah, he was forced to go back to Iran.


He was the author of historical books such as Tarikh-e-Jahangoshay-e-Naderi (History of Nadir Shah's Wars), which is a book studied in the Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 and has this presentation : « Tarikh-i Nadiri. A history of Nadir shah Afshar, who ruled Iran from 1736 to 1747, written in Persian by Mahdi Khan Astarabadi (d. 1759), his secretary and court historian ». This book was also the object of research in 1996 by United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

. Mirza Mehdi Khan also wrote "Dareh Nadareh" and "A Persian Guide to the Turkish Language" in 1759 with an introduction of Sir Gerard Clauson
Gerard Clauson
Sir Gerard Leslie Makins Clauson was an English civil servant, businessman, and Orientalist best known for his studies of the Turkish language....

In 1768, King Christian VII of Denmark visited England. He took with him the book of Nader Shah, written by Mirza Mehdi Khan and asked Sir William Jones
William Jones (philologist)
Sir William Jones was an English philologist and scholar of ancient India, particularly known for his proposition of the existence of a relationship among Indo-European languages...

 (1746-1794), orientalist and specialist in the history of old India, to translate it into French. This, in turn, led to the publication of the book, "Histoire de Nader Chah", in 1770.


In 1719, the Ghilzai Afghans
Ghilzai are the largest Pashtun tribal confederacy found in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are also known historically as Ghilji, Khilji, Ghalji, Ghilzye, and possibly Gharzai...

 of Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

,rebelled against the Safavid shah of Persia and invaded the capital Isfahan. They deposed Sultan Husayn,the reigning Shah of the Safavid dynasty in 1722. Their ruler, Mahmoud Afghan
Mir Mahmud Hotaki
Shah Mahmud Hotaki, , also known as Mahmud Ghilzai , was an Afghan ruler of the Hotaki dynasty who defeated and overthrew the Safavid dynasty to become the king of Persia from 1722 until his death in 1725.He was the eldest son of Mirwais Hotak, the chief of the Ghilzai-Pashtun tribe of Afghanistan,...

 (±1699-1725), murdered a large number of Safavid Princes, hacking many of them to death by his own hand. After he had invited the leading citizens of Esfahan to a feast and massacred them there, his own supporters assassinated Mahmoud in 1725. His cousin, Ashraf
Ashraf Khan
Shah Ashraf Hotaki, , also known as Ashraf Ghilzai , son of Abdul Aziz Hotak, was the fourth ruler of the Hotaki dynasty. An Afghan from the Ghilzai Pashtuns, he served as a commander in the army of Shah Mahmud during their conquest of the Persia Empire...

 (±1700-1730), took over and married a Safavid princess.

At first, Nader fought with the Afghans against the Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

 until they withheld him further payment. In 1727 Nader offered his services to Tahmasp II
Tahmasp II
Tahmasp II was one of the last Safavid rulers of Persia . Tahmasp was the son of Husayn , the Shah of Iran at that time. When Husayn was forced to abdicate by the Afghans in 1722, Prince Tahmasp wished to claim the throne. He fled to Tabriz where he established a government...

 (±1704-1740), heir to the Safavid dynasty. Nader started the reconquest of Persia and drove the Ghilzai's out of Khorasan. The Ghilzai's suffered heavy losses, but before they fled Ashraf massacred an additional 3000 citizens of Esfahan. Most of the fleeing Afghans were soon overtaken and killed by Nader's men, while others died in the desert. Ashraf himself was hunted down and murdered.

By 1729 Nader had freed Persia from the Hotaki
The Hotaki were an Afghan tribe and dynasty that ruled over Afghanistan, most of Iran, and northwestern parts of Pakistan from 1722 to 1729, after defeating the Persian Safavid dynasty. The Hotaki dynasty was founded in 1709 by Mirwais Hotak, chief of the Ghilzai Pashtuns of Kandahar who led a...

Afghans. Tamasp II was crowned Shah, although he was little more than a figurehead. While Nader was putting down a revolt in Khorasan, Tamasp moved against the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 Turks, losing Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 and Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

. Enraged, Nader deposed Tamasp in 1732 and installed Tamasp's infant son, Abbas III (1732-1740), on the throne, naming himself regent. Within two years Nader recaptured the lost territory and extended the Empire at the expense of the Turks and the Russians.

In 1736, Nader evidently felt that his own position had been established so firmly that he no longer needed to hide behind a nominal Safavid Shah and ascended the throne himself. In 1738 he invaded Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

, captured Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

 and marched on to India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. He seized and sacked Delhi and, after some disturbances, he killed 30000 of its citizens. He plundered the Indian treasures of the Moghal Emperors, taking with him the famous jewel-encrusted Peacock Throne and the Koh-i Noor diamond. In 1740 Nader had Tamasp II and his two infant sons put to death. Then he invaded Transoxiana
Transoxiana is the ancient name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgystan and southwest Kazakhstan. Geographically, it is the region between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers...

. He resumed war with Turkey in 1743. In addition, he built a navy and conquered Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 and its main capital the city of Muscat
Muscat, Oman
Muscat is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. As of 2008, the population of the Muscat metropolitan area was 1,090,797. The metropolitan area spans approximately and includes six provinces called wilayats...


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