Don Juan of Persia

Uruch Beg Bayad (also spelled Oruch or Oruj), later known by his baptized name of Don Juan (1560–1604) was a late 16th and early 17th century Iranian figure in Iran and Spain. He is also known as Faisal Nazary. A native of Iran, and from the Bayat Qizilbash clan,[1][2]. In 1599 Shah Abbas I sent an envoy to Europe headed by the English traveler Anthony Shirley and Hossein Ali Beg Bayat. Uruch Beg Bayat as a cousin of the latter was part of the delegation. The envoy was equipped with letters to rulers of the Kingdoms of Spain, England, Scotland, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Tsardom of Muscovy and the Republic of Venice. In Astrakhan, the envoy merged with the Shah's previously sent delegation to Tsar Boris Godunov, led by Pir-qoli Beg. At the tsar's insistence, the delegation bypassed Poland–Lithuania and via the port of Arkhangelsk, sailing around Scandinavia, reached the port of Emden and from there Prague in October 1600. In 1601, the envoy reached Rome, and later that year reached Spain, where it was welcomed by King Philip III in Valladolid. As a result of internal disputes, some of the messengers remained in Spain and received baptism, among them Uruch Beg Bayat. Hossein Ali Beg Bayat continued his route to Iran through Lisbon and Goa in 1602.[3]

First edition of a diary written by Don Juan of Persia, the secretary in the company of Sir Anthony Sherley, from their 1599-1602 Persian embassy to Europe. With the substantial help of his mentor, Alfonso Remón, he translated the text into Castilian, amplified its contents with references to scholarly sources, and published the work in 1604 as the Relaciones de Don Juan de Persia. All traces of the Persian “original” have been lost.

In Spain Uruch Beg Bayat, under the new name of Don Juan de Persia wrote an account of Iran, his involvement there with Shah Abbas I, and his journey to Spain in the Persian embassy to Europe (1599–1602). He was killed in 1604 during a street fight.

Don Juan was the son of Sultan Ali Beg, who was the brother of the Iranian ambassador Hossein Ali Beg Bayat.


  1. ^ Fisher; et al. (1986). The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 6. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 387. ISBN 978-0521200943.
  2. ^ Blow, David (2009). Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. I.B.Tauris. p. 61. ISBN 978-0857716767. (...) and another Bayat noble, Uruch Beg, who acted as first secretary.
  3. ^ Kołodziejczyk, Dariusz (2017). The Relations of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with Safavid Iran and the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin in the light of archival documents. Warsaw. p. 70.