Iranian King of Kings
Iranian Sultan of Sultans
Shahanshah of Iran and Ruler of Persia
Powerful like Jamshid, flag of Fereydun and wise like Darius
Padishah of Iran
Uzun Hassan as depicted in this European illustration.
|Reign||Amed: 1453 – 1471
Tabriz:1471 – January 6, 1478
|Predecessor||Jahangir bin Ali
Qilich Arslan bin Ahmed
|Successor||Sultan Khalil bin Uzun Hasan|
Halima Begum aka Martha
|Dynasty||Aq Qoyunlu dynasty|
|Father||Ali bin Qara Yoluq Osman|
Uzun Hasan or Hassan (1423 – January 6, 1478) (Azerbaijani: اوزون حسن , Uzun Həsən; Turkish: Uzun Hasan, where uzun means "tall"; Persian: اوزون حسن) was a sultan of the Aq Qoyunlu dynasty, also known as the White Sheep Turkomans. Hassan was ruler of (western) Iran which included also parts of present-day Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia between 1453 and 1478.
Timur appointed his great-grandfather, Kara Yülük Osman, as a governor of Diyarbakır (in modern-day Turkey), with the cities of Erzincan, Mardin, Roha (or Urfa), and Sivas. Later, Persia was divided between two Timurid rulers, Jahan Shah of Kara Koyunlu (the Black Sheep Turkoman) and Uzun Hasan. After twenty years of fighting, Uzun Hasan eventually defeated Jahan Shah in a battle near the sanjak of Çapakçur in present day eastern Turkey on October 30 (or November 11), 1467. Upon the defeat of the latter, another Timurid ruler, Abu Sa'id Mirza, answered Jahan Shah's son's request for aid, taking much of Jahan Shah's former land and going to war with Uzun Hasan despite the latter's offers of peace. Uzun Hasan then ambushed and captured Abu Sa'id at the Battle of Qarabagh, whereupon he was executed by Yadgar Muhammad Mirza, a rival.
In 1463, the Venetian Senate, seeking allies in its war against the Ottomans, sent Lazzaro Querini as its first ambassador to Tabriz, but he was unable to persuade Uzun Hassan to attack the Ottomans. Hassan sent his own envoys to Venice in return. In 1471, Querini returned to Venice with Hazzan's ambassador Murad. The Venetian Senate voted to send another to Persia, choosing Caterino Zeno after two other men declined. Zeno, whose wife was the niece of Uzun Hassan's wife, was able to persuade Hassan to attack the Turks. Hassan was successful at first, but there were no simultaneous attack by any of the western powers.
In 1473, Giosafat Barbaro was selected as another Venetian ambassador to Persia, due to his experience in the Crimean, Muscovy, and Tartary. Although Barbaro got on well with Uzun Hassan, he was unable to persuade the ruler to attack the Ottomans again. Shortly afterwards, Hassan's son Ogurlu Mohamed, rose in rebellion, seizing the city of Shiraz.
After yet another Venetian ambassador, Ambrogio Contarini, arrived in Persia, Uzun Hassan decided that Contarini would return to Venice with a report, while Giosafat Barbaro would stay. Barbaro was the last Venetian ambassador to leave Persia, after Uzun Hassan died in 1478. While Hassan's sons fought each other for the throne, Barbaro hired an Armenian guide and escaped.
According to Contarini, ambassador to Uzun Hassan's court from 1473 to 1476, "The king is of a good size, with a thin visage and agreeable countenance, and seemed to be about seventy years old. His manners were very affable, and he conversed familiarly with every one around him; but I noticed that his hands trembled when he raised the cup to his lips." His name means "tall" and Contarini reported that he was also "very lean".
Contarini also wrote, "The empire of Uzun-Hassan is very extensive, and is bounded by Turkey and Caramania, belonging to the Sultan, and which latter country extends to Aleppo. Uzun-Hassan took the kingdom of Persia from Causa, whom he put to death. The city of Ecbatana, or Tauris, is the usual residence of Uzun-Hassan; Persepolis or Shiras ..., which is twenty-four days journey from thence, being the last city of his empire, bordering on the Zagathais, who are the sons of Buzech, sultan of the Tartars, and with whom he is continually at war. On the other side is the country of Media, which is under subjection to Sivansa, who pays a kind of yearly tribute to Uzun-Hassan. It is said that he has likewise some provinces on the other side of the Euphrates, in the neighbourhood of the Turks. The whole country, all the way to Ispahan... is exceedingly arid, having very few trees and little water, yet it is fertile in grain and other provisions.
"His eldest son, named Ogurlu Mohamed, was much spoken of when I was in Persia, as he had rebelled against his father. He had other three sons; Khalil Mirza, the elder of these was about thirty-five years old, and had the government of Shiras. Jacub beg, another son of Uzun-Hassan, was about fifteen, and I have forgotten the name of a third son. By one of his wives he had a son named Masubech, or Maksud beg, whom he kept in prison, because he was detected in corresponding with his rebellious brother Ogurlu, and whom he afterwards put to death. According to the best accounts which I received from different persons, the forces of Uzun-Hassan may amount to about 50,000 cavalry, a considerable part of whom are not of much value. It has been reported by some who were present, that at one time he led an army of 40,000 Persians to battle against the Turks, for the purpose of restoring Pirameth to the sovereignty of Karamania, whence he had been expelled by the infidels.
Marriage and children
Uzun Hassan had seven sons: Mirza Khalil, Yaqub, Maqsud, Ughurlu Muhammad, Yusuf Beg, Masih Beg and Zegnel. In 1458 Uzun Hassan married Theodora Megale Komnene, the daughter of Emperor John IV of Trebizond, better known in histories as Despina Khatun. Their daughter Halima married Haydar Safavi Sultan and became the mother of Shah Ismail I of Safavid.
M‘uizz al-Din Jihangir ibn ‘Ali ibn Qara Yülük
|Ruler of the Aq Qoyunlu
Sultan Khalil bin Uzun Hasan
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- H.R. Roemer, "The Safavid Period", in Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. VI, Cambridge University Press 1986, p. 339: "Further evidence of a desire to follow in the line of Turkmen rulers is Ismail's assumption of the title 'Padishah-i-Iran', previously held by Uzun Hasan."
- V. Minorsky, "The Aq-qoyunlu and Land Reforms (Turkmenica, 11)", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 17 (1955), pp. 449-462: "There still remain many interesting and important problems connected with the emergence in the 14th century of the Turkman federations of the Qara-qoyunlu (780-874/1378-1469) and Aq-qoyunlu (780-908/1378-1502). The roots of the Persian risorgimento under the Safavids (1502-1722) go deep into this preparatory period. "
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- Mehmed the Conqueror & His Time, Franz Babinger, Trans. Ralph Manheim, Princeton University Press; 1992, p.306  ISBN 0-691-01078-1
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- Mehmed the Conqueror & His Time, Franz Babinger, Trans. Ralph Manheim, Princeton University Press; 1992, p.322  ISBN 0-691-01078-1
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