The Safavid Dynasty and Chronogram

Document Type : Research Article


Associate professor, Payame Noor Universiy, Tehran, Iran


Chronogram is the conversion of numbers and figures of history into letters, words and terms. Due to its development and growth, especially in the Safavid period, this technique has become a complex form and has gradually attracted politicians` attention and has been used directly in historical developments to prove their legitimacy, as well as their confrontation against their opponents. The use of the chronogram and the attempt to reconcile it with the rise of the Safavids, the accession of Shah Ismail, the formation of Shah Tahmasb's army, some of the Indian conquests during the reign of Shah Abbas and accession of Nader are some of these historical approaches which will be discussed in this study. In addition to stating a specific part of history, some of these chronograms, also indirectly reveal some hidden social and historical issues that can be used in historical analysis.



Today, historical sources are not the only direct and written sources. By approaching the views of some philosophers of history, such as Collingwood, anything can serve as a source of inspiration for the historian. "The task of a historian is to read, interpret and translate documents. Written works and anything left from a historical period, even a piece of pottery, can tell the historian as much as a historical reference book or more. (Collingwood, 1391: 17).

From this point of view, the chronogram is useful in historical assessments and arguments. Although it has had a literary status from the beginning and not been mentioned except in the discussions of literary techniques, other literary elements can also be a source of historical inference. For example, in the literary theories of recent decades, the term "narrative" refers not only to fiction but also to non-fiction narrative texts. From this point of view, Freud's case studies (his detailed reports of his patients and the process of their treatment) fall into the category of "narrative". Therefore, history is not a rigid and uniform category, which every historian records exactly like other ones” (Payandeh, 1392: 495-494).

Therefore, chronogram can also be used from a historical and historiographical perspective. In other words, in some original chronogram, there is another piece that helps the puzzle of historical research of that time. However, this is not easily possible. Chronogram is inherently a category of cryptographic and epistemological literature, and in some historical periods this tendency has been intensified. But first it must be recognized correctly and its evolution must be known and sometimes deciphered.

Over about nine hundred years, especially since Safavid times, chronogram has reached the point where it needs in-depth research to decipher and identify the context and reference and the following views can be effective in this regard. This is true about many instances of the original and professional histories of this period and could be the subject of more extensive research. In the following research, an attempt is made to provide a precise, comprehensive and complete definition of it.

This is not possible without examining and criticizing the existing definitions. Therefore, the historical aspect of this technique will be studied and by encoding some examples during the history of the last few centuries, the other dimensions of chronogram which are used in historical and social research will be shown. It should be noted that in this article, all the ancient evidence comes in almost the same old script so that the measurements do not go wrong.


Statement of purpose

The main purpose of this research is looking at the nature of chronogram and its evolution until it became a complex and enigmatic species in the tenth century, various Safavid historical uses of chronogram and their decipherment.


Research background

In scientific researches on chronogram, Nakhjavani (1343) with an extensive treatise on the chronogram, and Sadri (1378) with a treatise on comprehensive calculus in Persian poetry and the culture of symbolic expressions, and Khalesi Shirazi`s works (1385), as well as Dabir Siyaghi (1390). These have not dealt with the historical role of the chronogram.

Also articles by Sahab (1326), Rezvani (1341) and Mohit Tabatabai (1341) have dealt more with the evolution of the forms of chronogram.


Article definitions of history and their critique

Chronogram has not been properly defined even in some specialized sources (See, Khalesi Shirazi, 2006 and Dabir siyaghi, 2011). In articles, there is more of a description of the term than a definition. For example, there is: “Our ancestors have combined number with literature in order to be able to remember and not forget the eventful years with less suffering. In this way, they have placed soulless numbers in the heart of the poem and made them alive, making the task a little easier. That is to say, the year, month, and even the day of the incident have been placed in a stanza or a verse or a sentence in a beautiful way with a meaning appropriate to the incident, using the Abjad numerals or without using it, and they called it chronogram.” (Rezvani, 1341: 43). A point that should be mentioned is that although poetries are the object of chronogram mostly, it does not interfere in the definition of chronogram.

The most complete new research source defines chronogram as follows: chronogram means binding erroneous mathematical figures to Dari letters and expressing historical years in words, phrases and sentences, in order to preserve the correct record of the history of various events such as birth, death, marriage, conquest, defeat, and the establishment of religious or non-profit buildings, while maintaining the relevance of words and phrases to the original event, which has been one of the signs of Iranian intellectual and aesthetic manifestation and began around the fourth century AH and continues until today - although very pale and breathless - "(Navai, quoted in Sadri, 1378: B Introduction). Its use is not limited to recording history.

It has also been said that "chronogram" is a poem written by a poet in describing important events and events and interesting and recordable events such as the birth, marriage, death of great people and other subjects, and the date of its occurrence at the end. The article has mentioned "(Radfar, 1989: 2/965 quoted). This definition is not without its drawbacks. Because it is not only poetry that has been included in chronogram and as can be seen, it also has structural flaws.

The Persian encyclopedia states: "In rhetorical science, a word that is used in the history of an event such as the death of someone or the construction of a building and other than that, in a stanza or verse, in such a way that when the total number of letters is counted as a sentence” (Masahib, 1387: 2/2569). Although this definition is clear, it is not just a matter of adding up all chronogram, nor is it limited to poetry. “Proportion and taste” are also ignored in this definition.

The comprehensive definition is that chronogram / arithmetic / arithmetic is the conversion of different numbers and generally years of history, into letters, words, phrases and sentences and vice versa, in various forms without meaning, with meaning, in different ways Computation, such as addition, arrangement, etc., for identification, durability, encryption, aesthetics, and differentiation.


Sanctification of numbers and chronogram

One of the remarkable things about a chronogram is the aura of sanctity that sometimes surrounds this technique. It is quite clear that "magical thinking came everywhere before rational thinking and was sometimes its forerunner. That is why it is wrong to necessarily consider the two as opposites” (Maggie, 2007: 12).

 The idea that a number is sacred has older roots. It has been said, “It seems that this custom has remained from the beliefs of the superstitious people of Chaldea and Assyria. As the number thirteen now” (Etezadolsaltaneh, 1363: 116). For example, the number 360 veins is not mentioned in important ancient medical books such as Qanoon, “Zaxīre-ye-xārazmšāhīand“Hedāyat-al-Mota’lmin” for human beings. But it is in the beliefs of people and literature. Saadi also says in Bustan:


رگِ برتن است ای پسندیده خوی


زمینی درو سیصد و شصت جوی


"There is a lot of ambiguity and darkness about the arteries," Brown said. Of the red branches and twigs, in the case of the aorta, in the words of Thaudd, "no one knows anything but him who created them ... but they have said that their number is 360." This mysterious number, which is the result of multiplication by 12 and 30, is still very important in the beliefs of some Muslim sects, which call it “the total number of an object” (Brown, 1351: 66).

But in the case of the subject of history, the accidental symmetries of some of the names derived from its subjects gradually gave rise to the impression to the masses that there was a way beyond the material world and that it could not be the construction of the human mind. Random symmetries were not limited to the historiography. But in the world of numbers, this has always been the case. For example, “One of the strange things in the life of Mutasim Ballah is that many important matters in his life are related to the number 8, as he was the eighth Abbasid caliph and was born in 178 and died at the age of 48.” He was the eighth descendant of Harun Al-Rasheed and ruled for 8 years, 8 months and 8 days. He left behind 8 sons and 8 daughters and 8,000 dirhams and 18,000 donkeys. During his time, 8 wars took place and he died in the eighth month of Rabi al-Awal, and for this reason, the Arabs called him "Al-Thamman". (Jamalzadeh, 1384: 383).

Now, these accidents sometimes turned out to be accurate and surprising in some cases of this technique. For example, Hafez was buried in Mosalla and a poet sang:



چراغ اهل دانش خواجه حافظ 


که شمعی بود از نور تجلّی

چو در خاک مصلّی یافت منزل


بجو تاریخش از خاک مصلّی


Andxāk-e-Mosalla, the soil of Mosalla is equal to 791, which according to a tradition is the year of Khajeh's death. The power of some artisans and historians - especially from the Safavid period onwards and its peak during the Qajar period - amazes people so much that, as mentioned, the strange genius and mental power of some historians, in addition to spending time Making and finding these symmetries was unbelievable to the public. Some have come to believe that chronogram is a way to the Hereafter, while this assumption is completely false. The strange genius and mental power of some historians, in addition to the time they spent building and finding these symmetries, was unbelievable to the general public.

For example, Mohammad Sadegh Nategh Kashani (1235 AH) in 1218 AH sang a hymn for the porch of Hazrat Fatemeh Masoumeh with the praise of Fath Ali Shah, part of which can be found in the shrine. This poem has 62 verses and 124 stanzas, and all the stanzas have a chronogram and are equal to 1218. Interestingly, the word šast-va-do "sixty-two" means the number of verses, and the word yek sad va bist vačahār “one hundred and twenty-four” - that is, the number of syllables - all count as sentence 1218! (Jenab, 1385: 565; Mohit Tabatabai, 1341: 61 and also for other examples of see; Nakhjavani, 1343: Introduction; Sadri 1378: 110-115 and 143-189 and 201-204). At the beginning of this poem, every sentence that is written is in accordance with 1218. The name of this pot is “Miracle” with the following beginning:


این قبّه گلبنی است بزیور برآمده


یا پاک گوهری است پر از زیور آمده

این دوحه ایست کآمده از جنّت العلا


یا کوکبی است سعد و منوّر برآمده


(Nakhjavani, 1343: Y and also See, Nazmi, 1386: 5-700)


The Safavids and the chronogram

One of the Safavid actions for propaganda is taking a special advantage of the chronogram. Thus, this period can be considered as the culmination of the article on historiography and its promotion, and they have said that “apparently the initiator of such an initiative is [the speaker himself]” (Sadri, 1378: 105). Thus, the beginning of the thirteenth century cannot be considered the beginning of this stage because this Ode was written in 1218 AH and it should be said that this method had started much earlier than the thirteenth century and at least two centuries before him, there was a history of Ma’jizīye-sorāyī (Modarres Tabrizi, 1331: 4 / 154-157). Sayed Muhammad Sahab Isfahani (d. 1222 AH) - son of Hatef - in chronogram of gilding the tomb of Hazrat Abbas (AS) composed an ode in thirty verses, each stanza of which is chronogram. Mirza Ibrahim Rahi has also said an eighteen-bit piece in thirty-six articles of history in this regard (Ghamgin, 1328: 16).

Mirza Qasem Semnani, who is one of the poets of the time of Shah Abbas Thani (1010-42 AH), on the day when Shah forbade wine, after the conquest of Kandahar, he and his companions drank along the Helmand River, a letter containing two hundred and Twenty verses of the hymn from which each verse is from that date (see Jafarian, 1379: 1/6-385). Even before that, there is a long ode in hand, all the verses of which are equal to 984, which were composed for the enthronement of Shah Ismail II, and Mohtasham Kashani, at the same time, sang six quatrains of all history with the same number for him (Khalesi Shirazi, 2006: 67). Mohtasham himself stated that 1128 dates will be extracted from these six quatrains! As a result, it became popular and many memoirs and wars quoted it with surprise, including the war of Nizamuddin Ahmad Ghaffari Mazandarani in the 10th and 11th centuries.

Amin al-Din ZarkashDaqaq in the construction of the mansion of the minister of Yazd has composed a piece of history in twenty verses which contains all the forty verses of 1064 (Shamloo, 1374: 2 / 78-176). Has that all of it is equivalent to the date of 1080 AH (previous: 82). However, these symmetries and industries are centuries old.

It seems that one of the Safavids’ efforts was to encourage chronogram a lot, and chronogram composers sometimes encouraged this in some way and tried to make their desired history with sacred and idiomatic phrases and expressions and hadiths and Proverbs and rulings correspond, and hence, the suspicion was reinforced that it was an unseen inspiration and a source of pride for a person who himself was the subject of chronogram. However, from the Timurid period, phrases such as; Kalek Qada said and Hatef Ghaybi sang, in this chapter, he entered the poems of the article of history. (Although, depending on the type of the chronogram, some of the above roles can be considered in each of them, but in the Safavid`s chronograms, it seems that because the orientation of the message is to the audience, the cognitive role is in the priority of the creators of these messages; an audience made up of soldiers and people in religious and political transformation, the general public.

Among the people who in the Safavid period, by appealing to the calculation of sentences, gave special aspects to this adaptation of numbers with letters and numerical proportions, are the Noqtavieh and horoofieh sects so that they can make better use of this feeling of persuasion or exaggeration (Tabatabai, environment, 1341: 60; KhalesiShirazi, 1385: 33-28). Also, "Ismailis before Noqtavieh and horoofieh and Babieh and Bahaeieh after Noqtavieh have started similar enterprises" (Zakavati Qaragozlu, 1375: 39). But the root of this issue goes back to the founders and sultans of the early Safavid dynasty. We know that the Safavid dynasty faced two important and fundamental changes in history;

  1. A) Transformation of the Sufi skin board into the throne
  2. B) The recognition of the Shiite religion

Before Safavid times, the roots of Shi’ism in Iran are evident in the efforts of scholars such as Khajeh Nasir Tusi and his student Allameh Halli, and especially in the efforts of Seyyed Haidar Amoli (Corbin, 1971: 42). But some analysts, such as Hamed Elgar, believe that the early Safavid violence is a sign that its founders faced widespread opposition (Elgar, 1385: 286).

These unjustified changes alone were not something that would be easily accepted by the public. It was also accompanied by resistance and sometimes opposition from geniuses. Those who had the ability and courage did not accept. For example, Fazlullah Ibn Roozbehan Khanji criticized the Safavid rule and the kingdom of Shah Ismail I in ālamārāy-e-amini (Turkman, 1382: 16). The Safavids, on the other hand, although they could not persuade them, made plans for the public and resorted to various pretexts. Among these ways could be pointed out to utilizing common and respected beliefs in society and "interpreting some of the sayings of the ancients in the sense of predicting the Safavid monarchy" (Rahim Lou, 1370: 225).

Some of these possessions are known before the time of Shah Tahmasb (R, 984-930) (Ibn Bazzaz Ardebili, 1376: 20) and some even before the Safavids (Shafi’i Kadkani, 1383: 9-98). One of the most important documents and sources of Safavid is Safwa al-Safa.


Some examples of Safavid (and afterwards) conative chronograms

 1- A protesting chronogram narrator named Qazi Mosafer made the date of the accession of Shah Ismail I Safavid (reign 930-907) in the phrase Mazhab-e-Nāhaq “unjust religion” which is equivalent to 906 AH. So when he was sentenced to death and skinned, he falsely told the king: “The enemies have made a small change in it. I have said Mazhab-e-nāhaq"our religion is right!” (See, Nasrabadi, 1361: 472; and Sadri, 1378: 42). Some have written that Shah Ismail himself read it that way (Nakhjavani, 1343: 33-34); But there is no evidence for that. Shah Ismail also accepted and made the same phrase as a slogan and basically used this slogan to establish himself. (Hosseini Astarabadi, 1385: 931; Jafarian, 1379: 1/5 -64).

2- Shah Ismail had based the pillars of his government on the representation of Sahib al-Amr (AS), so the factors in the booksavāneh al-ayyān (1080) by manipulating the ode of Shah Nematullah Vali (832-731):

قدرت کردگار می بینم       حالت روزگار می بینم

And especially the verse:

نایب مهدی آشکار شود          بلکه من آشکار می بینم


They found the history of Esmail-e-hādī (231) equal to (nūn, alef-yā, bā )Nun-A-Ya- with (Nayeb) and said that he was his own (Farzam, 2001: 17-215). It should be noted that this ode has been distorted, corrected, deducted and added a lot over the centuries and has completely disappeared. Because the sects and parties, according to their private desires and intentions, have not refrained from illegally interfering in this poem, so much so that it is very difficult to recognize the original verses and distinguish them correctly from the wrong ones (Tabatabai, 1987: 2/1024; Farzam, 1374: 375) And these manipulations are still going on and perhaps no poem in the history of literature has been so ruined!

3- The history of "JameMofidi" has compared these verses with a strange calculation to 908 AH, referring to thetolō-e-āftāb-e-dolat-e-salātīn-e-safavī “sunrise of the government of the Safavid sultans” and has made it clear to himself that the deputy of Qaem Al-Muhammad is اسماعیل هادی/Ismail Hadi (See, MofidMostofi, 1340: 3 / 5-3).

Another manifestation of this confiscation in the historical article has been the “attempt of the Safavid ruling apparatus to destabilize and deify its political domination, as interpreted by some of the sayings of its predecessors in predicting the Safavid monarchy.” They are a verse from the Divan [attributed to] Imam Ali (A) regarding the signs of the advent of Sahib al-Zaman (A), namely they equate a verse of the Divan [attributed to] Imam Ali (A) regarding the signs of the advent of Sahib al-Zaman (A) according to the calculation of the sentence; «ماهواِلّاشاه اسماعیل بن حیدربن الجنید الموسوی» “He is not but” (Rahim Lu, 1370: 225).;

صَبّی مِنَ الصّبیان لا رأی عنده             و لا عنده جَدٌّ و لا هو یَعقل


4- One of the greatest conquests of Shah Ismail I is the conquest of Shibak Khan Uzbek in 916 AH. Shibak, who was a descendant of Genghis Khan, had emboldened a poet with courage and cruelty, and one of the events of his ten years in power was the invasion of Khorasan and the many murders and lootings and the ruthless treatment of the sons of Sultan Hussein Bayqara.

After defeating him, King Ismaeil, out of hatred for him, treated him in a strange way that will remain in the memory of history. At his command, the Sufis ate his body. Then he peeled off his skin and put straw in it, and sent it to the Ottoman Sultan Yazid Khan, with whom he had friendly relations due to his religious affiliation, to point a double arrow. Then he gilded his bowl and drank wine. This ugly act was not unprecedented in history, but his propaganda apparatus, in order to purify history, included it in the phrasefathšāh-e-dīn-panāh "conquest of Shah Din Din Panah". (Shamloo, 1371: 1 / 2- 941; Falsafi, 1375: 1/158; Hosseini Astarabadi, 1385: 50). This phrase is equivalent to 914, and is two years apart. But in the face of its impact, it was ignored.

  1. The date for the accession of Shah Tahmasp (reigned 984-930) the term "servant King T. province" «بندة شاه ولایت طهماسب» was created:

شرف بندگی شاه نجف                           یافته چون زبدایت طهماسب

نقش مهرش شده تاریخ جلوس                  «بندة شاه ولایت طهماسب»


(Turkman, 1344: 1/45; Masoom, 1351: 13; Parsadoost, 1391: 26). Since the result of phrase 931 is a year difference that due to the golden nature of this slogan, no one mentioned it and the king He was so pleased that he made it into a ring (Shamlou, 1371: 1/51). Other materials were also made, such as

“ ظلّ” (Hosseini Asarabadi, 1385: 53). But this phrase could help the Shah's propaganda goals better. The atmosphere of the text of بنده شاه ولایت طهماسب “Shah Tahmasb's servant” is indicative of Safavid history, and certainly the lord of opponents and rivals also observed certain proportions. As the date of death of Homayoun, the king of India during the reign of Shah Tahmasb, همایون پادشاه از بام افتاد  “Homayoun the king fell from the roof” which is equivalent to 962 AH (Parsadoust, 1391: 481).

6- Shah Tahmasb I, according to the narration of Rawdat al-SafaNasiri, “according to the blessed name of Amir al-Mu'minin Ali (AS)”, one hundred and fourteen thousand fodder-eating troops had joined him in Iran (Hedayat, 1339: 8/151). It should be noted that the name of Ali (AS) is equal to one hundred and ten, not one hundred and fourteen!

7- During the reign of Shah Tahmaseb, apart from the Imami Shiite religion, even other Shiite religions were restricted. Among the masses of people in northern Iran who had a Zaidi tendency, with the change of religion of Khan Ahmad Gilani - the ruler of that land - in 960 AH from Zaidi to Imami, were faced with these two paths. The history of the governing apparatus is also in Ray in a piece with the following beginning:

تا شد سعادت ابدی راهبر مرا


شد رهنمون به مذهب اثنی عشر مرا


Its chronogram was called «ترک طریق زید» "Leaving the Way of Zaid" which was equivalent to 960 and thus, Khan Ahmad hardly clashed with the Zaydis and they gradually converted to the Imamiyya religion. (Sotoudeh, 1377: 2/78 and Jafarian, 1379: 1/44).


سلطان کشور دین، طهماسب شاه عامل


سوگند داد توبه، خیل و سپاه دین را

تاریخ توبه دادن شد «توبة نصوحا»


سرّ الهی است این، منکر مباش این را


(Shamloo, 1371: 1/78; Turkman, 1334: 1/23 – 122; Masoom, 1351: 42, Nasrabadi, 1361: 547; VahidQazvini, 1383: 1/201; Jafarian, 1379: 1/377).

Shah Tahmasb sang this famous quatrain himself, after which he repented:


یک چند پی زمرّد سوده شویم


یک چند به یاقوت ترآلوده شدیم

آلوده گی یی بود به هر رنگ که بود


شستیم به آب توبه آسوده شدیم (Hedayat, 1339:8/151)


9- The most important foreign confrontation of the Safavids was the one with the Ottomans. From the Safavid point of view, the Iranian public hatred of the Ottoman sultans was very important. For example, when Sultan Salim died in 973 AH and was succeeded by his son Sultan Suleiman, Abdi BeykShirazi described the history of his accession as follows:

عثمانْ سنّی که شد سلیمانْش خطاب


بوبکر صفت شد، به عمر ماند اسباب

یعنی که سلیم بن سلیمان شد شاه


تاریخ جلوسش «عمر بن خطّاب»

(Jafariyan, 1379:1/67)


These disputes escalated to the point that in 976 Ma`soom Beig Safavi, the Shah's lawyer, was taken by surprise by a caravan of companions on the way to Mecca who had been helplessly disguised by Ottoman agents in Arab disguise, killing him with forty-eight men. The chronogram of his martyrdom made him مظلوم سربریده  “beheaded oppressor” who was very effective. (See; Shamloo, 1371: 1/89) in order to calculate, the oppressed “Mimمیم " must not be taken into account in order to be beheaded!

10- Of course, it can be guessed from the evidence that until years later, the hidden challenges of Tahmasb period continued. If the statement of some historians about the unnatural death of Shah Tahmasb and the action of Hakim Abu Nasr in combining poison with bath medicine is true, it should be noted that this sage is Gilani. It is also not unlikely that Haidar Mirza's mother had taken such an action. In any case, the chronogram of this event was made by Mirza Ehsani, as follows:


طهماسب شه آن تا جورِ دین پرور


در نهصد و سی نشست برجای پدر

هشتادو چهار سال بر حکم بزیست


فوتش طلب از «پانزدهم شهر صفر»


(Falsafi, 1375:1/36). The subtlety of this chronogram is that the fifteenth phrase of the city of zero, except for the code of the day and month of this event, is equal to 984 AH. But that propaganda feature is no longer included.

11- Shah Ismail II (reign 984-985), who did not rely on the throne of power for more than a few months and under the influence of his teacher - Mirza Makhdoom Sharifi - was reluctant to change his religion. The date of his accession and death, with a difference of one year, is stated as follows:


یکی بهر جاهش در اقلیم دهر


یکی بهر عزمش به ملک عدم

«شهنشاه روی زمین» گشت ثبت


«شهنشاه زیر زمین» شد رقم


Nasrabadi, 1361:8; Falsafi, 1375:1/56; parsadoost, 1381:69)

The first phrase is equivalent to his sitting 984 and the second is equivalent to his death 985, and the poet's hidden humor - Mir Haider Mamaei - is found underground in the emperor.

  1. The image of some other events of these days is also reflected in the brief phrases of the article of history. For example, the bloody invasion of Mashhad by Abdullah bin Iskandar Khan in 990 AH and the siege and the destruction of its beliefs and the order of massacre in this verse:

ز فتح خان اگر تاریخ خواهی


ز «قتل عام مشهد» می توان یافت


(Jafariyan, 1370:1/65-6)

13- Although the accession of Shah Abbas I or Kabir (reign 1066-996) was equated with the phraseعباس بهادرخان  “Abbas Bahador Khan” ie 996 (Turkman, 1382: 1/379), even the famous phraseظل الله  “Zal Allah” could not be suitable for such a purpose. As a result, one of the accountants found it in مروج مذهب  “The Promoter of Religion” and Mir Haider collected the enigma of all three in a verse:

تاریخ خرد، «مروّج مذهب» یافت


«ظل الله» و «عباس بهادر خان» هم


(-shamloo, 1371:1/129; Masoo, 1351:21; Falsafi, 1375:1/134)

14- The conquest of the strong fort of Lar is another case in point. This fort, which was famous among the common people, was invincible four thousand years ago due to the spell cast by the ancient scientists there by the order of Shah Abbas I and was captured by Allah Verdi Khan - Amir al-Amra of Persia - with fifteen thousand soldiers. Lar province was a heritage and the rulers considered themselves to be of the Milad Gorgin race.

Therefore, the date of its conquest was included in the phrase "«طلسم کیانی شکست» Kiani`s spell failed" which was equivalent to 1010 (Turkman, 1382: 121).

Shah Abbas I conquered the castle of Ganjeh in 1014 and the musicians extracted the date of the phrase "«درمحرّم گنجه از عباس شد»  Dar Muharram Ganjehaz Abbas shod" which was neither a good phrase for the slogan nor was it correct because it is equivalent to 1015 (Shamloo, 1371: 185/1). In Khaqani's stories, it is basically mentioned under 1004 AH! It should be noted here that there are many such flaws in stories. The date of the conquest of Shamakhi fort is equal to 1015 AH. (Shamloo, 1371: 1/186).

15- Shah Abbas took the castle of Ganja from Mohammad Pasha, the Ottoman general, and commanded the killing of its captives in the year 1015 (Turkman, 1382: 2/747), but this chronogram became its cover, and a poet named Zia said:

منّت خدای را که زاقبال بی زوال


ملک زمین و زمان در فراخی است

از بس که نصرت از پی نصرت همی رسد


تاریخ فتح گنجه «کلید شماخی» است


-(Shamloo, 1371:1/186; Masoom, 1351:49; Falsafi, 1375: 2/174)

Nizamuddin Ahmad Qazvini, alias Sharmia, who lived in Abbasabad, Isfahan, is another creator of this article of history in this period.

16- Also, when Pir Ahmad Ahmad could not force Naqtawi to repent and cut him to pieces with sword in his own hand. Mirza Aboutaleb covered the tile with this phrase immediately: «منکرِرسالت» “denying the mission” which is equivalent to the history of this horrible scene:

چون منکر رسالت، بود آن شقیّ، از آن رو


تاریخ قتل آن سگ، شد «منکر رسالت»


(Falsafi, 1375:2/414-16)

The phrase منکر رسالت  denying the mission is equivalent to 1001, which is the date of this strange event.

17- Sheikh Baha'i also included the article on the history of the festival in 1018 “«علی ببخشد»  Ali Bebakhshad” which is a phrase that shows the turbidity of the sheikh from the wind and the joy of the Shah and those around him on the occasion of victory.

Sheikh's problem was that this celebration took place in Muharram and apparently the clergy were dissatisfied, but no one could oppose the Shah, and it lasted eleven days! (Falsafi, 1375: 2/290).

Tolerance and patience of the sheikh in the court are evident from this chronogram. The Shah also supported him as much as he could, and mourned after the sheikh`s death in 1029; افسر فضل اوفتاد. بی سرو پا گشت شرع (Shamloo, 1371:1/203). F should be removed from the word “ فضلfazl” and r from “شرع Shar’”. The sum of the remaining letters is 1030.

18- One of the poets of Shah Safi's time (reign 1052-1038), baayandr, who was one of the «حاشیه نشینان بساط عزّت »"marginalized people of honor", repeatedly offered the interpretation of “ظلّحق the shadow of truth” in his poems as the chronogram of Safi's accession (Shamloo, 1371: 1/10- 209;  Massom, 1351: 25). This phrase is equivalent to 1038 AH and was also used in coinage.

Also, the conquest of Yerevan Castle in 1044 was equated with کلب علی خان لار “Kalb Ali Khan Lar”  because it was simultaneously handed over to Kalb Ali Khan, the ruler of Lar, so that the ancient Safavid slogan, “کلب علی Kalb Ali” to play a role in it (see; Shamloo, 1371: 1 / 41- 240). This slogan continued and the date of birth of Shah Abbas II, that was born in his time, was also equivalent to “کلب آستان امیرالمؤمنین Kalb -e- Astan Amir Al-Momenin”  (vaaleh Qazvini, 1380: 368 and Shamloo, 1371: 1/215) which was equivalent to 1042.

First, great Shah Abbas named himself the Kalb -e- Astan Ali or Velayat and his poets had found it equal to 1011 AH. It seems that names like کلب علی Kalbaali have become common since then.

  1. At the end of Shah Safi's reign, this kind of sanctification continued, and even a high-ranking poet such as Sa'ib, who, according to the owner of Qesas al-Khaqani, was considered a Khaqani of the Safavid era, calculated his death "Aah of the shadow of God «آهازظلحق»." Sa'ib has used the interpretation of God's shadow in other positions to justify the Safavid monarchy, and this was one of them:

«ظل حق» چون بود سال شاهی اش، سال رحیل


گشت «آه از ظل حق» تاریخ آن عالی تبار


"This is one of the most common interpretations ever used for the customary justification of monarchy. Among the public, it has had a full influence and has always been considered "(Jafarian, 1379: 1/487). The date of the enthronement of Shah Abbas II was also obtained as ظل معبود  “the shadow of the god” and engraved on the coins and a poet said:

جدّ و پدر و تو راست سال تاریخ           ظلّ لله  و ظلّ حق و ظلّ معبود


1052   1038  990

Nasrabadi, 1361:548)


20- According to Shamloo, the Ghezelbash armies of Shah Abbas II (reign 1077-1057), when conquering the fort and the constellation of forty Laki ornaments/ چهل زینتة لکی in India in 1059 AH, found زُبُر the zobor or the initial part of the letters of the phrase «هندیان واجب القتل»"Indians must be killed" with بینات bayyenāt (next part) of the letters of the phrase «یتعذّبون بقدراعمالهم» "they are tormented as much as their deeds" equal; which is the number 693. The author has recorded the number of enemy casualties as 239 and said that it is equal to the calculation of the combination of «سگان جهنمی» “hell dogs” and other amazing calculations! (See; Shamloo, 1374: 1 / 70-466; Sadri, 1378: 45). Therefore, it is conceivable what a sensory and cognitive role it has created for the attackers and what a propaganda effect it has had in motivating them to take further action.

It should be noted that the calculation of rhetoric (zobor and bayyenat) is not a normal task that comes from the public or the army. For example, when they said that the name of Muhammad is equal to "Islam", only "-ایم" in "میم", "ا-" in "حاء" and "ال" in "دال" was calculated to be 132, and this was a more complex calculation in compound expressions. Zobor in "الف" is "ا" and in "جیم" is "ج". According to the above, Zobor, is the first letter of the name of the letter, and bayyenat is its remnant, and found his way from جفر/ jafr's science to the calculations of the chronogram. In his most famous juridical book, namely  جامع عباسی"Jaame` Abbasi", Sheikh Baha'i, has equated the composition of شاه عباس"Shah Abbas" with bayyenat of the phrase «خلّدالله ملکه» which is equivalent to 439 .

That is, even such characters in their spare time made examples of it and others benefited from it. The conquest of Herat and the conquest of Kandahar also have different chronograms, and Sa'ib, as the king of poets, has a chronogram with 78 verses only in the conquest of Kandahar (Sa'ib, 1370: 670-570-3567). But none of them was as useful as «دست ولایت مدد نمود» which is equivalent to 1059. (vaalehQazvini, 2001: 477).

Another poet in this conquest created a stimulating chronogram which, through tamarind, reflects a manifestation of the Safavid's expansionist aspirations:

دم تیغ شه و سر خرّم


هر دو درهند می‌رسند به هم


If we add the letter "t" ""تfrom the word "tigh""تیغ" and the letter "kh""خ" from the word "khorram" "خرّم" with India, we get the equivalent of 1059. (Shamloo, 1371: 1/426, Masoom, 1351: 60 and Nasrabadi, 1378: 2/693).

The reflection of these feelings, when it reached its peak, appeared in a text that is included in Al-Khaqani's stories and can be read once without numbers:

«عاق (= 171) و عاصی (= 171) ارمنی (= 301 ) و کافر( = 301 ) که صباح (= 101) و مسا (= 101) و هجر  (= 208) و درد (= 208) و مرض (= 1040) و غم ( = 1040) دعوی (=90) ملک (=90) بر زبان (=60) ایشان بود همه (= 50) و کل (=50) از روی محبت ( = 450) و مودت ( = 450) حکم شاهزاده را مستحب ( = 510) و سنت ( = 510) شمرده خصوصاً کور بی ننگ ( = 358) راجة جیوسنگ ( = 358) که آن بنگی (= 82) ملحد   (= 82) و محمودی ( = 108) که عقرب ( = 372) کاشان ( = 372) عصر خود بود و پیری (= 222) و بی عقلی (= 222) او را دریافته بود . خواب (= 609) و راحت (= 609) را ازعشق (= 470) دوست (= 470) حرام خود کرده. مست طافح  (= 598) شرانگیزی (= 598) گردیده درعالم (= 141 ) فانی (= 141)» . (شاملو، 1371:  1 / 478).


سلطان جهان که خاطرش بی غم باد


پیوسته بهار دولتش خرّم آباد

تاریخ جلوسش از خرد جستم گفت


خالی زکسوف ، نیرّ اعظم  باد

نیرّ اعظم = 1271 وکسوف = 166     1105 = 166 – 1271


Some historians believe the reason for the collapse of Safavid dynasty during the reign of Shah Sultan Hussein, is the regression of this dynasty due to the strengthening of ignorance and blind prejudice in its foundations. They assume that: "Superstitious and ascetic affairs rose so high and intellectual affairs and deeds in accordance with wisdom and prudence in affairs, did not exist and were destroyed ... For the reasons and proofs of the Qur'anic verses, he explicitly ruled that the glorious dynasty of the Safavid kings would undoubtedly reach the emergence of Ghaem al-Muhammad, generation after generation. Due to these rulings, they became strong-hearted and relied on them and renounced statehood (Asef, 1379: 85).

23- Immediately after the Safavids, one of these phrases was " الخیر فی ما وقع Al-Khair Fi Ma Waqa" which was chosen by one of the historians of Nader Shah (assassination of 1160 AH) named Mirza Ghavam Qazvini to skillfully sit on the throne. This sitting took place in 1148 and the phrase was so strong that it was struck on coins (Nakhjavani, 1343: 49) and a poet placed it in a verse like this:

بریدند شاهان ز شاهی طمع


به تاریخ«الخیر فی ما وقع»


(sadri, 1378:93)

However, considering that "Lل" and "Laلا" do not make any difference in the calculation, "another subtle member of the Iranian society, with a slight change in it, turned the chronogram into" لا خیر فی ما وقع La kheiro fi Ma Vaqeh "and thus, he declared that there was (and is) never good (خیر kheir) in this event, and in other words, the Iranian society does not accept it [...]. Another poet among the people changed that poem based on the feelings of the people, as follows:

بریدیم از مال و از جان طمع


به تاریخ لاخیر فی ما وقع»

(Navayi, 1382:3)

The author of Rostam al-Tawarikh narrates this story with a slight difference and inversion (see: Asif, 1379: 82-181).

Sadri has called this a kind of chronogram "generalization with verbal ambiguity or a kind of reading" (Sadri, 1378: 41). Because the word history can be read in two ways and two meanings it can be obtained without any change in the sum of its numerical equivalents.



Chronogram is one of the literary techniques that has been created for various reasons such as preservation of numbers and figures, cryptography and has undergone strange changes in its historical movement.

The peak of the development of this art is from the Safavid period onward, which this dynasty and sects such as Noqtavieh and Horoofieh, the dynasties after and Babieh in later periods, used it to prove the legitimacy and justification of their historical possessions.

The Safavids, needed excuses to prove their legitimacy due to the obvious changes in the documents of lineage and religion , and therefore, using special tables, made great efforts to reconcile historical events with sacred phrases and they succeed. On the other hand, the opposition has made similar efforts in the silence.

 During the reign of Afshar and Nader and the Qajar dynasty, this technique was confiscated. In some of these chronograms, there is an ambiguity that can be deciphered to make the creator's hidden voice behind the event.

Asef, Mohammad Hashem (1379). Rostam al-tavārīkh. Ed. A. Alizādeh. Tehran: Ferdows
Brown, E (1351). Islamic Medical. 3rd ed. Trans: M. RajabNiya. Tehran: Ketāb.
Collingwood. R.G (1391). The Idea Of History. 2nded. Trans: AbdolrezaSalarBehzadi. Tehran: Ney.
Corbin, H. (1971). Prolegomena to SayyidHaydarAmuli, Jamical-asrarwamabacal-anwar. Freiburg.
Crystal, David. (1992). An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages. Oxford: Black Well.
Dabirsiyaqi. Mohammad (1390). Chronogram. Qazvin: Sāyegostar.
Elgār, Hāmed (1385). »Safaviyeh and Tashayyo’«. The book of articles on Esfahan in Iranian Studies. Ed. Ranata Hold. Trans: MohammadtaqiFeramarzi. Tehran: Academy of Arts.
EtezadalSaltaneh (1363). Fetne-ye-Bāb. 3rd Ed. Notes: A. Navāyi. Tehran: Bābak.
Alsafi, Nasrollāh (1375). Zindagāni-ye-ShāhAbbās-I Awal. Vol. 3rd. Tehran: Elmi.
Farzām, Hamid (1390). Religious Politics in Safavid Administration. Tehran: University Publication.
Ghamgin, mohammadKazem (1328). Divān. ItroductionJalāledinHomāyi. Esfahan: Sepehr.
Hedāyat, RezānQli khan (1339). RozatolSafā-ye- Nāseri. Tehran: Markazi and pirooz and Khayyam.
Hoseiniastarābadi, SayyidHosein (1385).Tārīkh-e-Soltāni from sheikh Safi to Shah Safi. Tehran: Elmi.
Ibn BazzāzArdebili (1376). Safvat-al-safā. G. Tabātabāyi Majid. Tehran: Zaryāb.
Jafarian, Rasool (1379). Safavid Dynasty within religious cultural and political arenas. Qom: The research Institute Of Howzah and University.
Jamalzadeh, M.A. (1384). KashkoolJamāli. Tehran: Sokhan
Jenab. M.S.A (1385). The Men and Celebrations of Esfahan. Esfahan.
KhalesiShirazi A. (1385). Chronogram. Tehran: Mā.
Maggi, B. (1386). The Story of P:hilosophy. Trans: H. kāmšād. Tehran: Ney.
Masoom, Mohammad (1351). Tārīkh-e-Salātīn-e-Safaviyeh. Ed.: Sayyid Hasan Abedi. Tehran: Bonyād-e-Farhang-e- Iran.
MohitTabatabayi. M (1341). »The history of Chronogram«. Persian Journal of Yaqmā. 15. No. 2. Pp 56-71.
Mosāheb. Q (1387). Persian Enclopedia. 5th Ed. Tehran: Amir Kabir.
Mufid.Mustowfi, Mohammad (1340). Jāme’ Mufidi. Ed.: IrajAfshar. Tehran: Asadi.
Nakhjavani. H (1343). Mavād-al-Tavārikh. Tehran: Adabiyyeh.
Nasrābādi, Mirza Mohammad Tāher (1361). Tzakere-ye-Nasrābādi. Ed. By VahidDastgerdi. Tehran: Forūqi.
Nazmi-ye- Tabrizi, A (1386). DevistSokhanwar (A Literary Biography of 200 Poets).4th Ed. Tabriz: yārān.
Parsadoust, manochehr (1381). Shah Esmāil II. Tehran: SahāmiEntešār Co.
Radfar. A (1368). A Glossary of Literary Terms. Tehran: Etelā’āt.
Rahimlou, Yousef (1370). »Samples of The Spiritual Pleas In Safavid Politics«.Yādnāme-ye-MirzāJa’farSoltān al-korrai. Tabriz University Publications.
Rezvani, M.E (1341). »TheHistory of Chronogram«. Persian Journal of Yaqmā. 15. No. 1. Pp 43-46.
Sadri, Mehdi (1378). Hesāb-e-JommalInPersian Poetry and AGlossary Of Symbolic Terms. Tehran: Našr-e-dānešgāhi.
Sa’ib, MirzāMohammadali (1370). Dīvān. Ed. By M. Qahreman. 6th Vol. Tehran: Elmi and farhangi.
Shafi’Ikadkani, Mohammadreza (1377). »Another Side Of Mohammad Crypto Glossary«. In Memory Of Iraj. Vol. 2nd. Ed. M. Bagherzadeh. Tehran: Toos.
Shamloo, Valiqoli (1374). Qesās-al-khāqāni. Ed. by H. sādātNāseri. Tehran: FarhangwaEršādEslāmī.
Sotoudeh, Manoochehr (1377). From Astara to Astarābād. Tehran: AnjomanAsārwaMafākher.
Vāez-e-qazvini, Mohammadrafi’ (1359). Divan. Ed. by H. SādātNāseri. Tehran: Elmi.
Vahid-e-qazvini, MirzāTāher (1383). Ālamārāy-e-abbāsi. Ed. by Saeid Mohammad sadeq. Tehran: Institute for Humanities and cultural studies.
Zakāvatiqarazgozlu, Alireza (1375). »Noqtaviyeh In History and Litt«.Persian Journal Ma’arey. 38. No: 2. Pp. 152-162.