Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Chaldiran (1514)

Today is the anniversary of a battle that had far-reaching implications for the Middle East, but that gets relatively little recognition if you’re not a specialist in either Ottoman or Safavid history. I happen to know a bit about both (though I wouldn’t call myself a specialist in…well, anything, come to think of it), so… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Chaldiran (1514)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Chaldiran (1514)

Today is the anniversary of a battle that had far-reaching implications for the Middle East, but that gets relatively little recognition if you’re not a specialist in either Ottoman or Safavid history. I happen to know a bit about both (though I wouldn’t call myself a specialist in…well, anything, come to think of it), so… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Chaldiran (1514)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Chaldiran (1514)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
Today is the anniversary of a battle that had far-reaching implications for the Middle East, but that gets relatively little recognition if you’re not a specialist in either Ottoman or Safavid history. I happen to know a bit about both (though I wouldn’t call myself…

Today in Middle East history: a couple of greatest hits

There’s nothing like recycling material when you’re taking a break, am I right? Today is the (likely) anniversary of the appointment of Umar b. al-Khattab as the second Caliph in 634. Umar succeeded the departed Abu Bakr, who died on August 22. Umar’s caliphate saw caliphal armies defeat both of the great empires of the… Continue reading Today in Middle East history: a couple of greatest hits

How sectarianism matters and how it doesn’t

I wanted to flag this piece in the Washington Post from a week and a half ago because I think it’s always important to counter the notion that Islamic sectarianism is all you need to know to explain the current situation in the Middle East. It’s written by Nick Danforth, a grad student at Georgetown,… Continue reading How sectarianism matters and how it doesn’t

Tod-uh, Yesterday in Middle East History: Shah Tahmasb’s birthday

Shah Tahmasb I, who ruled Safavid Iran from 1524 all the way to 1576, was born (probably; the farther you go back the more variability there is in converting dates from one calendar to another) on February 22, 1514, which would have made him a cool 501 years old yesterday if he’d stuck around this… Continue reading Tod-uh, Yesterday in Middle East History: Shah Tahmasb’s birthday

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Chaldiran (1514)

Today is the anniversary of a battle that had far-reaching implications for the Middle East, but that gets relatively little recognition if you’re not a specialist in either Ottoman or Safavid history. I happen to know a bit about both (though I wouldn’t call myself a specialist in…well, anything, come to think of it), so… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Chaldiran (1514)