In 1597–98, Isfahan became the new capital of Iran when Shah ‘Abbas I (r. 1587–1629) moved the Safavid government there as part of his larger plan to lift the country from the slump into which it had fallen. In order to revive the national economy, ‘Abbas courted foreign traders and made commercial agreements with several European nations. He increased carpet and textile production in state workshops and settled 300 Chinese potters and their families in Iran to capitalize on the vogue for Chinese ceramics. He then relocated the Armenians from the city of Julfa, who controlled much of the Persian end of a bustling international silk trade, to a neighborhood in Isfahan called New Julfa and gave them the monopoly on silk exports. ‘Abbas also created a new standing army which halted the encroachments of the Mughals and the Ottomans and restabilized the country’s territories.
Book condition: goodPublisher : The Asia Society; distributed by New York Graphic Society [Greenwich, Conn; illustrated edition (January 1, 1973