Abbas II°

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ABBAS II ° (reigned 1642–1666), son of Shah Ṣāfi; regarded, like his great-grandfather *Abbas i, as an able administrator and builder. Abbas ii treated any kind of malfeasance with severe punishment. Iranian sources picture him as generally tolerant in religious matters, possibly because he allowed members of the Catholic orders in his empire freedom of action. This tolerance may have to do with his policy of establishing friendly relations with European states in order to win allies against Iran's most formidable enemy, the Ottoman Empire. He died at the age of 36 from alcoholism and syphilis. His cruel treatment of the Jews and forced conversions in many cities of Iran are narrated by *Babai ben Lutf of Kashan, who probably witnessed them. He reported a wave of forced conversions to Islam between 1656 and 1662, after which, however, many Jews returned to Judaism.


Emad al-Dawla Mirza Mohammad Taher Vahid Qazvini, 'Abbās-Nāmeh (ed., E. Dehqan, 1950); A. Netzer, "Redifot u-Shemadot be-Toledot Yehudei Iran ba-Me'ah ha-17," in: Peʿamim, 6 (1980), 32–56; V.B. Moreen, Iranian Jewry's Hour of Peril and Heroism (1987); H. Levy, Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran (1999), 302 ff.

[Amnon Netzer (2nd ed.)]