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The Persian MirrorReflections of the Safavid Empire in Early Modern France$
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Susan Mokhberi

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190884796

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190884796.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 March 2021

The Absolutist Mirror

The Absolutist Mirror

(p.133) 7 The Absolutist Mirror
The Persian Mirror

Susan Mokhberi

Oxford University Press

The visit of Mohammad Reza Beg in 1715 raised connections between the Safavid and Bourbon crowns. After the death of Louis XIV, Persia took on a different meaning under the new French government, which distanced itself from depictions that could suggest Louis XIV as a despot. French literature broached the tensions inherent in the image of Persia as a civil yet despotic empire. Finally, the collapse of the Safavid Empire made positive associations with France harder to draw. Enlightenment authors, such as Montesquieu and Voltaire, discussed the breakdown of the Safavid Empire and the warning it suggested to the French monarchy.

Keywords:   Montesquieu, Voltaire, Mohammad Reza Beg, Louis XIV, despotism, Persia, Safavid Empire, siege of Isfahan, Shah Husayn

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