The Pearl in its Midst: Herat and the Mapping of Khurasan (15th -19th Centuries) By
 Christine Nölle-Karimi
Publisher Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Pub Date 2014 Pub Location AT Isbn 9783700172024 Course(s)


This study is devoted to the city of Herat and its changing fortune within the eastern Iranian province of Khurasan in early modern and modern times. Based on Persian primary sources, it gauges the role of political developments and cultural memory in the shaping of spatial concepts and regional structures. As the capital of the Timurid Empire, Herat’s pivotal position reflected the political and spiritual centrality of an urban space embedded in a florescent agricultural and economic setting. Suffering a gradual decline in the subsequent centuries, the city receded to the sidelines of the historical narrative, a fact mirrored by a shift in focus in the sources from the local setting to larger strategic and ecological considerations pertaining to the province as a whole. Offering a long-term analysis of changing perceptions of power and space, this book provides the groundwork for a new understanding of the history of the region and its transition to modernity.