The Iranian History 1721 AD


1721 Tabriz earthquake

Apr, 26, 1721 AD

Satellite view of Tabriz city, the sharp trace of North Tabriz Fault is obvious in northern boundary
of the city that oriented in NW-SE trend. Historical Earthquakes of NTF (1042, 1721, 1780 A.C) considered as characteristic earthquake of this fault.(Scientific Information Database) - Tabriz is situated in an active tectonic region of Azerbaijan, a sub province of Central Iran seismic province and surrounded by several active and hazardous faults that most of them especially NTF has experienced several catastrophic historical earthquakes. Seismic & tectonic investigations show a major seismic gap around Tabriz city in the instrumental period. The average Focal depth of earthquakes in the region is 20km, representing shallow earthquake sources for the region. Hazard analyses were performed with probabilistic approach. Seismic zonation is performed in Arc GIS environment by merging tectonic and seismological features layers.
The 1721 Tabriz earthquake occurred on April 26th, with an epicenter near Southeast the city of Tabriz, Iran at approximately 7:00 in the morning, one and a half hours after sunrise. In Tabriz itself the shock ruined about three quarters of the houses. Many prominent mosques and schools in the city were destroyed, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of people. Internal evidence suggests that the heaviest destruction occurred within a zone that extended from near Tabriz to the southeast, through Shebli and beyond Qara Baba.
The shock triggered many rock-falls and was associated with a fault break that extended for at least fifty kilometers, from Tekmeh Dash to near Tabriz. The break through Shebli was still visible in 1809, and parts of the fault trace that seems to be connected with this earthquake can be seen today on the ground. The shock seems also to have been strongly felt in the Qazvin region and was followed by many strong aftershocks.
The total number of casualties caused by the earthquake is between 8,000 and 250,000; it was most likely approx. 80,000. At the time that it occurred, the earthquake was popularly interpreted as an omen of misfortune, or a demonstration of Godly wrath. The destruction that the earthquake caused was a significant factor in the successful Ottoman takeover of Tabriz in 1722, as well as contributing to Tabriz's economic difficulties during that period. It also caused the destruction of some of the city's significant historical monuments. Accounts of the earthquake are often confused with descriptions of the 1727 Tabriz earthquake.
There is a notable discrepancy in the mortality figures however, with Mallet giving 8,000 dead as a low figure and Sanioddoleh reporting 250,000 killed. A more credible figure of 80,000 killed in this earthquake is given by a later writer, who derives his figure from a more original and reliable source. (Updated: Oct, 27, 2012)

Massacre Of Shiites In Shamakhi

Aug, 18, 1721 AD

Ashraf Hall Isfahan Roof DecorationA rebel chieftain who was held captive in the citadel of Darband was released after the Afghan attack, hoping that the people of Daghestan would come to the help of the Shah. But things went awfully wrong and the released chieftain and his allies in Daghestan took Shamakhi by storm and massacred thousands of Shiites.
Shamakhi was a commercial city in Azerbaijan which used to be a residence for Shirvan rulers. By this time, everyone was aware of the weaknesses of the Persian ruler Sultan Hossein and his court. Iran was in the middle of several revolts while foreign enemies were getting prepared to invade the country. The Ottomans already sent troops to the region with the pretext of protecting their subjects. Russians meanwhile, under Peter I found the condition very favorable as Iran territories could be occupied while the claim was made to fight enemies of Russia and Iran. According to Russian intelligence at the time, who had several spies in the region; Sultan Hossein and his court could neither understand nor control the raging storm they were caught in. This turmoil was the climax of a series of disturbances in Azerbaijan, Khorasan, Daghestan and almost every other part of the empire that needed some attention, though the Shah and his court were only kept busy in harems boiling with opium and alcohol.
While the Safavid empire was breaking up, the French were mediating a deal between Ottomans and Russians to divide Iran. Ottomans now saw Iran as a Turkish possession while the Russians called the Caspian sea, a Russian lake. The French mediation led to conclusion of a treaty between Russia and Ottomans, dividing the north-western area of Iran between the two empires. The Ottomans took Azerbaijan and most of Transcaucasia while the Russians took Caspian provinces of Iran. In May 1724, Tsar wrote to his commander in Rasht, asking him to invite Christians to settle in Guilan and Mazandaran while quietly diminishing the number of Muslims as much as possible. They were also very active in creating Shiite-Sunni conflicts that battered both Iran and the Ottoman Empire for a long time.
In Guilan, one of the consequences of occupation was that many of those who were involved in the production of silk fled the province and the industry never revived again. (Updated: Sep, 1, 2008)

English-Persian Glossary
  • Ottoman Empire : امپراتوري عثماني دَوْلَتِ عَلِيّه? عُثمَانِيّه
  • Sultan Hossein : سلطان حسين(شاه حسين صفوي) Media_Files
  • Transcaucasia : قفقاز جنوبي
  • Sanioddoleh : صنيع الدّوله(Sanioldoleh)
  • Caspian Sea : درياي کاسپين Media_Files
  • Tekmeh Dash : تيكمه داش(Takmeh Dash)
  • Mazandaran : مازندران(Tabarestan) طبرستان، تپورستان Media_Files
  • Azerbaijan : آذربايجان(Atropatene) Media_Files
  • Qara Baba : قره‌ بابا(Karababa)
  • Daghestan : داغستان(Dagestan, Daghistan)
  • Shamakhi : شماخي(Shemaghi) شماقي Media_Files
  • Khorasan : خراسان(Khorassan) Media_Files
  • Shirvan : شيروان(Shervan,Sherwan) شروان Media_Files
  • Ottoman : عثماني(Osmani) Media_Files
  • Persian : فارسي(Farsi,Parsi) ايراني پارسي Media_Files
  • Darband : دربند Media_Files
  • Caspian : کاسپين(Caspian Sea, Mazandaran, Khazar Sea) بحر خزر، درياي مازندران Media_Files
  • Russian : روسي Media_Files
  • Safavid : صفوي Media_Files
  • Russia : روسيه Media_Files
  • Sultan : سلطان(Soltan) Media_Files
  • Tabriz : تبريز(Tebriz) Media_Files
  • Qazvin : قزوين(Ghazvin, Caspian) کاسپين Media_Files
  • French : فرانسوي Media_Files
  • Mallet : مالت
  • Shebli : شبلي
  • Guilan : گيلان
  • Shiite : شيعه(Shia, Shi'a) Media_Files
  • Sunni : سني(Sonni)
  • Rasht : رشت Media_Files
  • Tsar : تزار امپراتور روسيه‌
  • Iran : ايران Media_Files
  • Shah : شاه پادشاه‌ Media_Files

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