Shahrokh Mirza Afshar, better known by his dynastic name of Shahrokh
Shah (Persian: شاهرخ: also spelled
Shah Rokh) (c.
1734–1796), was a king of the
Afsharid dynasty and a contemporary of
the Zand kings.
Shahrokh Mirza was the son of Reza Qoli Mirza Afshar, who was the son
of the powerful Iranian shah Nader
Shah (r. 1736-1747), who had
briefly carved what was arguably the most powerful empire at the time.
Shahrokh's mother was the Safavid princess Fatimeh Sultan Begum, who
was the daughter of the Safavid shah
Sultan Husayn (r. 1694–1722),
thus making Shahrokh part of the Safavid royal family.
Shahrokh was elected by the nobles following the assassination of
Ebrahim Afshar in 1748. Shahrokh's son Nader Mirza Afshar, became the
prince of Khorasan. Shahrokh made
Mashhad the capital of his kingdom.
He was a contemporary of Mirza Mohammad, who was the son of shah
Suleiman I's daughter and a clergyman. Encouraged by the nobles, he
came to believe he was the true heir to the throne. Thus he captured
and blinded Shahrokh capitalizing on the popular dissatisfaction with
Shahrokh's rule, partly owing to the conduct of his Georgian favorite
Rasul Beg, who scandalized
Mashhad by making free with the harem of
his master. In 1749, during a struggle for power, the son of the
Khan of Tabriz,
Azad Khan Afghan, began a campaign for independence
which removed the province of Azerbaijan from Iran, while in the west
the Qajar tribe led by
Mohammad Hassan Khan
Mohammad Hassan Khan took over the region of
Soleyman II was captured and blinded by the followers of
Shahrokh, subsequent to which Shahrokh was reinstated as Shah.
In 1760, when
Karim Khan took control of Iran, he did not try to
depose Shahrokh out of respect for Nader; however, the realm of
Shahrokh was reduced to the province of Khorasan.
When the Qajar ruler Agha Mohammad
Shah reached Mashhad, Shahrokh,
along with a prominent mujtahid named Mirza Mahdi, went to the Qajar
encampment. There they were warmly received by Agha Mohammad Shah's
nephew Hossein Qoli Khan. Shortly afterwards, Agha Mohammad Shah
sent a force of 8,000 soldiers under Suleiman Khan Qajar, followed by
Mirza Mahdi, to conquer
Mashhad and affirm its citizens of the Shah's
generosity. A day later, Agha Mohammad Shah, followed the customary of
the famous Iranian shah Abbas I the Great, and entered
Mashhad by foot
as a pilgrim to the Imam Reza shrine, whilst being teary eyed and
kissing the ground. His pilgrimage continued for 23 days, where he
seemed to be unaware of the politics of the country.
However, things quickly instantly changed after that—Agha Mohammad
Shah ordered the digging up of Nader Shah's corpse, and had it sent to
Tehran, where it was reburied alongside
Karim Khan Zand's corpse. He
then forced Shahrokh to give any riches that originally belonged to
Nader Shah. Shahrokh vowed that he did not possess any more of
Nader Shah's riches. Agha Mohammad Shah, ruthless and revengeful, and
with an desire for treasures, disbelieved him, and had him hurt
severely to confess the hidden locations of the last gems that he had
passed down to him from his grandfather—Shahrokh, however, refused
to speak. However, he eventually confessed the locations of the
gems. Shahrokh was sent to
Mazandaran with his family, but died at
Damghan due to the injuries he had suffered by his torturers.
^ Lang, David Marshall (1957), The Last Years of the Georgian
Monarchy, 1658-1832, p. 148. Columbia University Press
^ a b c Hambly 1991, p. 130.
^ Axworthy 2009, p. 144.
Perry, John (1991). "The Zand dynasty". The Cambridge History of Iran,
Vol. 7: From Nadir
Shah to the Islamic Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press. pp. 1–63. ISBN 9780521200950.
Perry, John R. (1983). "Abu'l-Fath Khan Bakhtiari". Encyclopaedia
Iranica, Vol. I, Fasc. 3. p. 285.
Hambly, Gavin R.G (1991). "Agha Muhammad Khan and the establishment of
the Qajar dynasty". The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 7: From Nadir
Shah to the Islamic Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
pp. 104–144. ISBN 9780521200950.
Shah of Persia (1st time)
Suleiman II of Persia
Suleiman II of Persia
Shah of Persia (2nd time)
Karim Khan Zand
Azerbaijan (as part of Persia)
Azad Khan Afghan
Mazandaran (as part of Persia)
Mohammad Hasan Khan
Mohammad Hasan Khan Qajar
Soleyman II Safavi
Ruler of Khorasan
Agha Mohammad Khan
Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar
Rulers of the
Afsharid dynasty (1736–1796)
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