January 12th, 2012
Episode 177 of 515 episodes
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Safavid Dynasty, rulers of the Persian empire between the 16th and 18th centuries. At the peak of their success the Safavids ruled over a vast territory which included all of modern-day Iran. They converted their subjects to Shi'a Islam, creating the religious identity of today's Iran, and their capital Isfahan became one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Robert Gleave, Professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Exeter; Emma Loosley, Senior Lecturer at the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures at the University of Manchester and Andrew Newman, Reader in Islamic Studies and Persian at the University of Edinburgh.