Yusuf Khan (Armenian)

Yusuf Khan (also spelled Yusof Khan), was a Safavid gholam and official of Armenian origin, who served as the governor of Astarabad (1604), Shamakhi (1610-?), and Shirvan (1610–1624) during the reign of king Abbas I (r. 1588–1629). Originally a Christian, Yusuf was first employed in the royal mews, and because of his apparent skill in handling and hunting birds and animals, he was soon given the rank of "master of the hunt" (mīr shekār-bāshi). Thereafter, he became governor of Shirvan and Shamakhi.

When Abbas I decided to marry his granddaughter to Semayun Khan (Simon II) in 1624, Yusuf Khan was ordered by Qarachaqay Khan, likewise of Christian Armenian origin and a childhood friend, to host the banquet in the first term of the wedding party.

Yusuf Khan was murdered on the orders of Murav Beg (Giorgi Saakadze), after the latter decided to conspire with the Georgian rebel leaders.


  • Allsen, Thomas (2006). The Royal Hunt in Eurasian History. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0812239263.
  • Blow, David (2009). Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King Who Became an Iranian Legend. I.B.Tauris. pp. 134, 176. ISBN 978-0857716767.
  • Floor, Willem M.; Faghfoory, Mohammad H. (2007). The Dastur Al-moluk: A Safavid State Manual, by Mohammad Rafi' al-Din Ansari. Mazda Publishers. pp. 187–188. ISBN 978-1568591957.
  • Floor, Willem M. (2008). Titles and Emoluments in Safavid Iran: A Third Manual of Safavid Administration, by Mirza Naqi Nasiri. Washington, DC: Mage Publishers. pp. 152–153, 278–279, 286. ISBN 978-1933823232.
  • Floor, Willem; Herzig, Edmund (2015). Iran and the World in the Safavid Age. I.B.Tauris. p. 484. ISBN 978-1780769905.
Preceded by
Hoseyn Khan Ziyadoghlu Qajar
Governor of Astarabad
Succeeded by
Fereydun Khan Cherkes
Preceded by
Ali Beg Ustajlu
Master of the hunt (mīr shekār-bāshi)
Succeeded by
Farhad Beg Cherkes
Preceded by
Zu'l Fiqar Qaramanlu
Governor of Shamakhi
Succeeded by
Allahverdi Khan (1704)
Preceded by
Zu'l Fiqar Qaramanlu
Governor of Shirvan
Succeeded by
Qazaq Khan Cherkes