Nakhichevan Khanate

The Nakhichevan Khanate (Persian: خانات نخجوان, romanizedKhānāt-e Nakhchevān; Azerbaijani:ناخچیوان خانلیغی,Naxçıvan xanlığı; Armenian: Նախիջեւանի խանութիւն, romanizedNaxijewani xanowt'iwn) was a khanate[5] that was established in Afsharid Persia in 1747.

Khanate of Nakhchivan
خانات نخجوان
ناخچیوان خانلیغی
The Nakhichevan and Erivan khanates, c.1800.
The Nakhichevan and Erivan khanates, c.1800.
Under Iranian suzerainty[1]
Common languagesPersian (official)[2][3][4]
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Afsharid Iran
Armenian Oblast Coat of arms of Armyanskaya Oblast.JPG

The territory of the khanate corresponded to most of the present-day Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and Vayots Dzor Province of present-day Armenia. It was named after its chief settlement, the town of Nakhchivan.[6]


Until the demise of the Safavid Empire, Nakhchivan remained as an administrative jurisdiction of the Erivan Province (also known as Chokhur-e Sa'd).[7] Shortly after the recapture of Yerevan in 1604 during the Ottoman–Safavid War of 1603–1618, then incumbent king (shah) Abbas I (r. 1588–1620) appointed as its new governor Cheragh Sultan Ustajlu, who, after his brief tenure, was succeeded by Maqsud Sultan.[8] Maqsud Sultan was a military commander who hailed from the Kangarlu branch of the Ustajlu tribe, the latter being one of the original Qizilbash tribes that had supplied power to the Safavids since its earliest days.[9][8] The Kangarlu were described by J. M. Jouannin as “a small tribe established in Persian Armenia on the shores of the Aras".[10] Later that year, as Ottoman forces threatened the area during the same war, Shah Abbas ordered Maqsud Sultan to evacuate the entire population of the Nakhchivan region (including the Armenians of Jolfa, who, in the following year, were transplanted to Isfahan) to Qaraja Dag (Arasbaran) and Dezmar.[10] Persian rule was interrupted by Ottoman occupation between 1635-1636 and 1722–1736. It officially became a full functioning khanate during the Afsharid dynasty. Initially the territory of Nakhchivan was part of the Erivan Khanate, but later came to be ruled by a separate khan.[11]

The palace of the khans of Nakhchivan

During the Russo-Persian War of 1804–1813, in 1808 Russian forces under general Gudovich briefly occupied Nakhchivan, but as a result of the Treaty of Gulistan it was returned to Persian control.[12]

During the Russo-Persian War of 1826–1828, in 1827 Abbas Mirza appointed Ehsan Khan Kangarlu as commander of Abbasabad, a fortress of strategic importance for the defense of the Nakhchivan khanate.[13] After heavy losses in an attempt to take the fortress by escalade on July 14, the Russians mounted a siege. Ehsan Khan secretly contacted the Russian commander, General Paskevich, and opened the gates of the fortress to him on 22 July 1827. With the Treaty of Turkmenchay, in 1828 the khanate became a Russian possession and Ehsan Khan was rewarded with the governorship,[13] conferred the rank of major-general of the Russian army and the title of campaign ataman of the Kangarlu militia.[14]

The abolition of the khanateEdit

In 1828 the khanates of Erivan and Nakhchivan were dissolved and their territories united to form the Armenian Oblast ("Armianskaia Oblast"). In 1840 that province was dissolved and its territory incorporated into a larger new province, the Georgia-Imeretia Governorate ("Gruziia-Imeretiia"). This new division did not last long – in 1845 a vast new territory called the Caucasian Territory ("Kavkazskii Krai") or Caucasian Viceregency ("Kavkazskoe Namestnichestvo") was created, in which the former Armenian Province formed part of a subdivision named the Tiflis Governorate. In 1849 the Erivan Governorate was established, separate from the Tiflis Governorate. It included the territory of the former Nakhchivan khanate, which became the province's Nakhchivan uyezd.[15]

After the dissolution, the khans of Nakhchivan took the Russified surname Khan Nakhchivanski, and the men of its family traditionally entered the Russian public services, chiefly the army. The family remained very wealthy, were the biggest landowners in the district, and continued to exercise enormous influence over the rest of the Muslim community.[16] Six Khans Nakhchivanski became generals in the Russian tsarist, Soviet and Iranian armies.

Two sons of Ehsan khan - Ismail khan and Kalbali khan - were generals in the Russian army and were awarded orders of Saint-George IV degree for their actions in battle. A son of Kalbali khan, Huseyn Khan Nakhchivanski, was a prominent Russian military commander and adjutant general of the Russian Emperor, and his nephews, Jamshid Khan and Kalbali, were generals in the Soviet and Iranian armies respectively.[17]


The rulers were:[18]


  1. ^ Bournoutian, George A. (2016). The 1820 Russian Survey of the Khanate of Shirvan: A Primary Source on the Demography and Economy of an Iranian Province prior to its Annexation by Russia. Gibb Memorial Trust. p. xvii. ISBN 978-1909724808. Serious historians and geographers agree that after the fall of the Safavids, and especially from the mid-eighteenth century, the territory of the South Caucasus was composed of the khanates of Ganja, Kuba, Shirvan, Baku, Talesh, Sheki, Karabagh, Nakhichivan and Yerevan, all of which were under Iranian suzerainty.
  2. ^ Swietochowski, Tadeusz (2004). Russian Azerbaijan, 1905-1920: The Shaping of a National Identity in a Muslim Community. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0521522458. (...) and Persian continued to be the official language of the judiciary and the local administration [even after the abolishment of the khanates].
  3. ^ Pavlovich, Petrushevsky Ilya (1949). Essays on the history of feudal relations in Armenia and Azerbaijan in XVI - the beginning of XIX centuries. LSU them. Zhdanov. p. 7. (...) The language of official acts not only in Iran proper and its fully dependant Khanates, but also in those Caucasian khanates that were semi-independent until the time of their accession to the Russian Empire, and even for some time after, was New Persian (Farsi). It played the role of the literary language of class feudal lords as well.
  4. ^ Homa Katouzian, "Iranian history and politics", Published by Routledge, 2003. pg 128: "Indeed, since the formation of the Ghaznavids state in the tenth century until the fall of Qajars at the beginning of the twentieth century, most parts of the Iranian cultural regions were ruled by Turkic-speaking dynasties most of the time. At the same time, the official language was Persian, the court literature was in Persian, and most of the chancellors, ministers, and mandarins were Persian speakers of the highest learning and ability."
  5. ^ William Bayne Fisher, Peter Avery, Ilya Gershevitch, Gavin Hambly, Charles Melville. The Cambridge History of Iran: From Nadir Shah to the Islamic Republic. Cambridge University Press, 1991. ISBN 0521200954, 9780521200950
  6. ^ Hewsen, Robert H. Armenia: a Historical Atlas. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2001, map 149.
  7. ^ Floor 2008, p. 171.
  8. ^ a b Floor 2008, p. 248.
  9. ^ Oberling 2010.
  10. ^ a b Oberling, P. "Kangarlu". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  11. ^ Bournoutian, George A. (1992). The Khanate of Erevan Under Qajar Rule, 1795–1828. p. 32.
  12. ^ (in Russian) Записки о службе генерал-фельдмаршала графа И. В. Гудовича, составленные им самим
  13. ^ a b Ekbal, Kamran. "ʿAbbāsābād". Encyclopædia Iranica. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  14. ^ (in Russian) Иванов Р. Н. Именем Союза Советских… Жизнь и гибель комбрига Нахичеванского. — М.: Герои Отечества, 2007.
  15. ^ Hewsen, Robert H. (2001). Armenia: a Historical Atlas. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. p. 173. ISBN 0226332284.
  16. ^ Villari, Luigi (1906). Fire and Sword in the Caucasus. London: T. F. Unwin. pp. 266–268. ISBN 0-7007-1624-6.
  17. ^ Иванов Р. Н. (2007). Именем Союза Советских… Жизнь и гибель комбрига Нахичеванского. (in Russian). Moscow: Герои Отечества. OCLC 351718188.
  18. ^ Azerbaijani Soviet Encyclopedia, Baku, 1983, vol. 7, p. 176
  19. ^ George A. Bournoutian (1998). Russia and the Armenians of Transcaucasia, 1797-1889. p. 516. ISBN 1568590687.
  20. ^ Martijn Theodoor Houtsma; et al. (eds.). "Nakhcuwan". Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill. OCLC 8096647.


See alsoEdit

39°12′00″N 45°30′00″E / 39.2000°N 45.5000°E / 39.2000; 45.5000