Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | History of Shah Esmāʿil | tāriḵ-e jahāngushā'i-ye ḵāqān-e ṣāḥibibqirān

Manuscript L, folio 247v

While the Ottomans and Safavids Draw Up Forces at Čālderān Esmāʿil Hunts Quail

Date of this event: 920/1514.
While his troops were taking up their stations for the battle of Čālderān, Shah Esmāʿil went off to hunt quail, and returned to the battlefield after the fighting had started. Eskandar Monshi implies that the shah did so because he was bored or disinterested in the lengthy order of battle, but the text to this manuscript cites a different reason for his action, namely to display his power before the opposition.

The painting portrays the Safavid forces on the right, as represented by six mounted qezelbāš emirs carrying standards, and on the left facing them are five mounted ottomans that include Sultan Selim himself in the upper left. The ground slopes upward to a ragged ridge near the top, and partially concealed behind this ridge in the upper right is Shah Esmāʿil, his left arm outstretched and a falcon perched thereon. The shah is accompanied by a ǧāzi who holds the staff of a standard and observes the shah. On the crest of the opposite slope sit six quail, soon to be the prey of Esmāʿil’s falcon

Painting: 16.5 x 12.0 x cm. One line of text above and below the painting. Frame encloses painting and text; four standards protrude beyond the frame on each side into the left and right margins respectively. Minor smears in several places. Unsigned.

Painting references:

Text X-references:
See Savory, SA_1979, p.69 for this event in the History of Shah ʿĀbbās.

Robert Eng
Last updated: November 24, 2010


Photo: © The British Library, London