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Karin Quade-Reutter

“...Denn sie haben einen unvollkommenen Verstand”: Herrschaftliche Damen im Grossraum Iran in der Mongolen- und Timuridenzeit (ca. 1250-1507). Aachen, Shaker Verl., 2003, XXV, 631 p. [“… puisque leur intelligence est limitée” : femmes de pouvoir dans le Grand Iran (?) à l’époque mongole et timouride]

Compte-rendu réalisé par Christoph Werner

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1This book presents a monumental effort to cover history of women from the elite strata of Iranian Mongol and Timurid society in an almost encyclopaedic approach. Sifting through a wide range of mainly Persian historical writings, Quade-Reutter proposes a prosopographic analysis of influential “ladies” and the extent of their power and rule. The arrangement and structure is basically chronological-dynastic-geographic following the major existing chronicles, both universal and local. The larger first part is devoted to the Mongol period (Kirman and the Qara-Khita’i, Turkan-Khatun, Bibi Turkan and Padishah Khatun; Fars with Turkan and Abish Khatun; Baghdad Khatun, wife of Abu Sa‘id), the second part deals with women from the Timurid court.

2The presentation is very source-oriented and includes narratives and summaries, often with full quotations or large paraphrases. In its detailed approach it surpasses by far Lambton’s work on ruling women in Medieval Persia (1988), however, the analytical level could be higher and presents few assessments that strike as particularly innovative. That classical Persian historiography has a misogynist touch (hence the book’s title: “... since their understanding is limited”) is well known and that Mongol and Turkic societies were more favourable to women, as well. The small print, footnotes running up to no. 2706 and subheadings numbered 2.3.4.1.3.5, make orientation inside the book rather arduous. The enormous worth of the present work, however, lies in the abundant wealth of documentation that it has to offer, together with the detailed index, the numerous maps and tables. It serves as an important key to what Persian historiography has to say about women in Mongol and Timurid society and hopefully will be the basis for further studies.

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Christoph Werner. Karin Quade-Reutter, « “...Denn sie haben einen unvollkommenen Verstand”: Herrschaftliche Damen im Grossraum Iran in der Mongolen- und Timuridenzeit (ca. 1250-1507). Aachen, Shaker Verl., 2003, XXV, 631 p. [“… puisque leur intelligence est limitée” : femmes de pouvoir dans le Grand Iran (?) à l’époque mongole et timouride] », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 26 | 2005, document 205, mis en ligne le 08 décembre 2005, consulté le 21 octobre 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/2687

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