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Shah Ismail

(d. 1524)


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(d. 1524)

Founder of the Persian Safavid dynasty in 1501. Self-proclaimed reincarnation of Ali, spirit of Jesus and al-Khidr, and Hidden Imam of Shii tradition. Claimed status as both shah and messiah to legitimate rule. Used a combination of militance and millenarianism to expand the Safavid empire. Established Twelver/Ithna Ashari Shiism as the state religion of Iran.

Subjects: Islam.


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