Javad Khan

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Grave of Javad khan, Ganja, Azerbaijan

Jafar al-Javad Khan Ziyad oghlu Qajar (c. 1748 – 1804) was the last khan of Ganja khanate from 1786 to 1804.[1]


Javad Khan was a son of Shahverdi Khan and brother of Rahim Khan. Javad Khan succeeded his brother on Rahim Khan's deposition through Azerbaijan intervention in 1786. Alike the ruling Iranian dynasty of Turkic origin,[2][3][4][5][6] which ruled Persia (Iran) from 1785 to 1925.,[7][8] he was a member of the Qajar tribe.[9][10] With the accession to power, Javad Khan faced a threat from Georgia. In September 1787, a combined Georgia and Russian army under the command of Colonel Burnashev marched to Ganja, but the ongoing Russo-Turkish war forced the allies to withdraw. A fragile peace ensued and the Georgia king Erekle II granted Javad Khan control over Shamshadilu, but the khan of Ganja failed to bring the district into submission. In early 1789 Erekle II, now allied with Fath Ali Khan of Quba and Muhammad Hasan Khan of Shaki, attacked Ganja and Javad Khan had to abandon his capital without fighting. After three months, Fath Ali Khan died and Javad was able to resume his reign. His political orientation was pro-Iranian that brought him in conflict with Georgia and Russia. In 1795, Javad Khan of Ganja joined the Iranian expedition against Georgia. Erekle II retaliated by blockading Ganja in 1796, but the khan of Karabakh brokered peace. In September 1796 Ganja was temporarily occupied by the Russian general Valerian Zubov during his Persian Expedition of 1796.[1]

During the first Russo-Persian War (1804-1813), Ganja was considered by Russians as a town of foremost importance. General Pavel Tsitsianov approached Javad khan several times asking him to submit to Russian rule, but each time was refused. In November 1803, the Russian army moved from Tiflis and in December, Tsitsianov started the siege preparations. After heavy artillery bombardment, on January 3, 1804, Tsitsianov gave the order to attack the fortress.[11] During the fierce fighting, Armenians residing in the city open the gates of the castle and, as a results, the Russians were able to capture the fortress. Javad khan was killed,[11] together with his sons at war.

Some members of his family were able to escape to Tabriz, while others remained in Ganja. Javad Khan's descendants in the Russian empire bore the surname Ziatkhanov. Ismail Khan Ziatkhanov was a member of the First State Duma of the Russian empire, and later a prominent activist of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

Javad Khan's handwritten letter to Tsitsianov[edit]

Javad Khan's handwritten letter (or his Secretary) to Tsitsianov :


  1. ^ a b Akopyan, Alexander V (Autumn 2008). "Ganja Coins of Georgian Types, AH 1200–1205" (PDF). Journal of the Oriental Numismatic Society. 197 (Supplement: Caucasian Numismatics, Papers on the Coinage of Kartl-Kakheti (Eastern Georgia), 1744-1801): 47–52. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-11. 
  2. ^ "Genealogy and History of Qajar (Kadjar) Rulers and Heads of the Imperial Kadjar House". 
  3. ^ Cyrus Ghani. Iran and the Rise of the Reza Shah: From Qajar Collapse to Pahlavi Power, I.B. Tauris, 2000, ISBN 1-86064-629-8, p. 1
  4. ^ William Bayne Fisher. Cambridge History of Iran, Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 344, ISBN 0-521-20094-6
  5. ^ Dr Parviz Kambin, A History of the Iranian Plateau: Rise and Fall of an Empire, Universe, 2011, p.36, online edition.
  6. ^ Jamie Stokes, Anthony Gorman, Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East, 2010, p.707, Online Edition, The Safavid and Qajar dynasties, rulers in Iran from 1501 to 1722 and from 1795 to 1925 respectively, were Turkic in origin.
  7. ^ Abbas Amanat, The Pivot of the Universe: Nasir Al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy, 1831–1896, I.B.Tauris, pp 2–3; "In the 126 years between the fall of the Safavid state in 1722 and the accession of Nasir al-Din Shah, the Qajars evolved from a shepherd-warrior tribe with strongholds in northern Iran into a Persian dynasty.."
  8. ^ Choueiri, Youssef M., A companion to the history of the Middle East, (Blackwell Ltd., 2005), 231,516.
  9. ^ Bournoutian, George A. (1992). The Khanate of Erevan Under Qajar Rule: 1795-1828. Mazda Publishers. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-93921-4-181. Mohammad Hosein Khan of Erevan, Kalb 'Ali Khan of Nakhichevan, and Javad Khan of Ganje, all Qajars (...) 
  10. ^ Rezvani, Babak (2014). Conflict and Peace in Central Eurasia: Towards Explanations and Understandings. BRILL. p. 137. ISBN 978-9-00427-6-369. 
  11. ^ a b Swietochowski, Tadeusz (1995). Russia and Azerbaijan: A Borderland in Transition. Columbia University Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-231-07068-3. 
Preceded by
Rahim Khan
Khan of Ganja
Succeeded by
Russian conquest