The Khalisah of Varamin

by Mansoureh Ettehadieh Nezam-Mafi
The Khalisah of Varamin
Mansoureh Ettehadieh Nezam-Mafi
International Journal of Middle East Studies
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Mansoureh Ettehadieh Nezam-Ma$


The history and development of land tenure in Iran have been affected by many factors, including climatic conditions, scarcity of water, lack of security, wide- spread tribalism, and legal and administrative confusion. In addition to limitations in resources, political instability in the premodern period molded systems of land tenure in Iran. Changes of dynasty were frequent and usually followed by the confiscation and redistribution of land. The Qajar dynasty (1788-1925), which came to power after a long period of anarchy and civil war, continued that general pattern. There were three classes of land ownership in Iran in this period:' waqfs (religious endowments), arbabi (land owned by large landlords), and khalisah (state-owned lands). This last category was composed of lands confiscated by the government as punishment for rebellion or failure to pay taxes. As land was often the only form of wealth landlords had, the threat of government confiscation was an instrument of control as well as a source of revenue for the state. The khdlijah were usually rented out on long-term leases or were granted as tuyiil, that is in lieu of services rendered or salaries deferred.2 The khalisah were also in some in- stances farmed directly by the government. These lands were cultivated by peas- ants under conditions similar to those of the arbabi lands. They were scattered throughout the country and were also subject to various local and regional varia- tions in agricultural taxes.

Information regarding the conditions of the khdlisah lands in the Qajar period is scarce and scattered in various sources. As a result, the few studies that have dealt with the subject of landownership in Iran have rarely referred to the khdli~ah lands. Ann Lambton's Landlords and Peasants in Persia, for example, briefly touches upon them, but only those in certain parts of the country.

The Siirat-i khalisah-i Tihran, the report on the khalisah of Tehran upon which this article is based, sheds light on some of the administrative problems of the khalisah, while providing valuable information on the living conditions of the peasantry near Tehran.' It contains a detailed account of the inhabitants, their ani- mals, and most important, the sums paid in cash and kind as taxes to the govern- ment. It elaborates on how produce was divided, based on the five factors (Cawdmil) of production. The date of this document is unclear, but it mentions the year pich yll (the year of the monkey) on a number of occasions so the date is most probably 1872-73,4 one year into the prime ministership of the reform- minded Mirza Husayn Khan Mushir al-Dawlah.

Mansoureh Ettehadieh Nezam-Mafi teaches history at Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.

O 1993 Cambridge University Press 0020-7438/93 $5.00 + .OO

The importance of khalisah lands to the government can be seen when it is placed in the general economic picture of Iran. In the year 1872-73, Tehran and central Iran were suffering from famine,5 and economic crisis which, coupled with the government's ancient cadastres, had thrown the taxation system into chaos. Matters had been further complicated by population growth in the capital-from around 15,000 in 1783 to 155,736 in 1870.6 The recurrence of famine in Tehran in 1860, 1870, 1872, and 1896 and the ensuing riots reinforced the importance of the khiili~ahlands around Tehran, for they could be relied upon as a source of flour for the capital.' The famine that began in 1870 lasted for two years, and about two million people are believed to have perished in The desperate conditions of the people of Tehran during the famine was exacerbated by steep rises in the price of staples. The price of bread, for example, "reached five or six thousand dinars, and people stole children, boiled them in pots, ate them and they even killed dogs and made a meal of them."9 In the winter of 1871, the price of bread rose fifteen- or sixteen-fold and the food situation became so desperate that help was sought from the Russian government.I0 It is from this period on that the government became preoccupied with the provision of bread for Tehran, efforts that became increas- ingly manifest in the collection of data on lands under its direct control. In fact, one comes across numerous references to "old rents" in the document under study, probably suggesting that the government was considering revising the tax system and preparing new cadastres.

Census preparation in Iran dates back to 1852 when the first census of the popu- lation of Tehran was taken during the tenure of Mirza Aqa Khan Nuri as prime minister." It is possible however that the idea had originated with Nuri's predeces- sor, the reform-minded and ill-fated Amir Kabir. A second attempt at gathering a census was made in 1860 but was abandoned halfway. Finally in 1869, Najm al- Mulk, a graduate of the modern school, the Dar al-Funun, prepared a census of Tehran.12

During the ministry of Mirza Husayn Khan Mushir al-Dawlah, a more general effort at administrative reform was undertaken. This effort included at its core the widespread collection of information in the form of a number of detailed censuses. Two councils set up in 1872 were charged with the implementation of these re- forms. One was the Council for Good Ordering (Majlis-i tanzimat-i hasanah). Under this council, an agency was set up in each province to supervise the administration of justice and the collection of taxes." As a result, a series of cen- suses collectively entitled the Nasiri collection (Majmucah-i niisiri) were prepared, which included detailed censuses of Tehran, Mashhad, Qazvin, Isfahan, and Qum. The second council set up according to the 1872 decree was the Council for the Ordering of Landed Estates (Majlis-i tartibat-i milkiyah). In its preamble it reiter- ated that initially only one province would be selected for the implementation of government reform. Under this plan, the authority of the governor would be cur- tailed and replaced by a council consisting of the governor, a finance officer (mustawfi), and officials from the army and the ministries of justice and foreign affairs. One of the duties of this council was the collection of extensive information about the villages in the particular province. Data were to be collected about the location and extent of cultivated versus fallow land, type of irrigation system, nature of land ownership, techniques of ploughing used, the amount of taxes received, and the number of officials residing in the province.

There are those who deny that this plan was ever actually implemented.I4 Skep- ticism notwithstanding, it is plausible that the collection of information about the khdlisah of Varamin was in some way connected to such a plan since most of the topics reported in the census report closely follow the directives of the council. The choice of Varamin for the study is also not surprising for a number of reasons. Varamin's proximity to Tehran had always made it prominent, for it could serve as the capital's granary.I5 The same proximity allowed the government to influence the affairs of the region and effect control over the area, something it could not readily achieve in the more distant provinces.16

As a rule, the taxes on the khiilisah lands were assessed globally for the whole province and then divided up locally." The rate of the tax and its composition var- ied from one province to another and even within a single province. Part of the tax was paid in kind and the remainder in cash. The cash payment included a poll tax and in some instances a tax on animals as well. According to one source, the poll tax assessed men at 4 qirGn, women and children at 2.25 qirdn.I8 The animals were also assessed, for example, cows at 0.75 qirhn and donkeys at 1 t~man.'~

According to another source, families were taxed as a unit at 1 tuman per family; their camels cost them 5 rialsz0 in taxes.21 Sheep would be taxed at 10 shdhiZ2 per head, and cows and donkeys fetched 25 shdhi per head.23 It must be pointed out that in the area under study villagers owned only a small number of animals. The average number of draft animals in the Varamin plain was 17 and the average number of sheep was 15.5. Curzon, commenting on the taxation system of the early Qajar period, mentions that the tax in kind first amounted to 10 percent and was later raised to 30 percent.

In general, the condition of these lands was deplorable. Lambton, for instance, mentions a report dated 1878 on Khwar and the district of Tehran that said that most of the villages of Khwar, whether owned by landlords or the state, were in decay. The report goes on to say that between the two, the condition of the land- lord-owned villages was far better than that of those owned by the go~ernment.~~

The contents of the document under study, the Siirat-i khdlisah-i Tihrhn, gener- ally confirm these assertions. The report attests to the general state of decay in the government-owned villages of Varamin. The report also alludes to the better con- ditions of these lands in previous decades. For example, about Shahr-i Tuqan the report says: "In the days of Haji Mirza Aghasi its return was 2,000 khar~dr,~~

but it is in ruins today." The village of Sacdabad-i Qushchi is mentioned as a prosper- ous village up until its qanht (underground water channel) was destroyed. Since river water could not accommodate the needs of the village, its inhabitants dis- persed and the village was abandoned. Milinah is mentioned as having been a pros- perous village forty years earlier, but in a state of ruin as of the date of the report.

The report also discusses the condition of public and private dwellings in the re- gion. In general, the bath houses and fortresses are described as being in ruins. Peas- ant dwellings are also described as in a state of disrepair, or, according to the compiler, they were often summer houses. In the fifteen instances where the tenant is mentioned by name, none are figures of importance, corroborating what Husayn Quli Khan Nizam al-Saltanah, a famous statesman of the epoch, had observed on the social status of khdli~ahholders, that "respectable people do not rent khiilis~h."~~

The general condition of the qaniit and government plans for their repair are other areas of concern. The report most often provides a figure for what the repairs would cost as well as a breakdown of the amount of water each qandt provides. Water is measured in sang, a unit of measurement subject to regional variations and based on time. According to Lambton, in the Tehran area, one sang equaled the amount of water that flowed through an aperture of 0.20 square meters at the rate of 1 meter per 3 second^.^' For the villages around Varamin mentioned in the report, functioning qanat provide in the range of 1 to 3 sang of water. The report reveals sporadic government attention to these deteriorating conditions. The gov- ernment's renewal projects were most often carried out halfheartedly or abandoned before they were finished. The report cites, for instance, that six or seven years past, the shah had passed through Milinah on a hunting expedition. Upon hearing that it was a khdli~ahvillage, he had ordered it repaired. Some repairs were subse- quently begun on the qanat, but were never completed.

Over time, the government had built some buildings such as warehouses and stables in these villages for its own use. It had on occasion also built houses for villagers. According to the report, nearly all of these buildings needed repairs. Ijdan, for instance, was known as "ruined Ijdan," but it was believed to be worth repairing. Rin and Bajak had no public baths or mosques, and the inhabitants were in difficulty. The government owned a roofless stable and warehouses there near the qanat and they could be repaired for village needs.

There are several instances in the report of confiscation of village lands or pro- duce by the peasants or local landlords. In Ahmadabad people had even taken over the lands belonging to the local shrine. Qavam al-Dawlah and the Wazir Daftar, landowners in the area, had confiscated 150 and 60 kharvar of the harvest of the village cluster of Baghchal-i Safar, respectively, and also 10 kharvdr of that of Dawudabad-i Kahrizak. The peasants in Mafinabad had taken 10 kharvar in the north of the same village.

The official responsible for the khdlisah of Varamin was Mirza Rida Sadiq al- Dawlah N~ri.~~

The document mentions several instances when he had attempted to develop the khdlisah. The overall impression, however, is one of general de- spair and chaos. Towards the end of Nasir al-Din Shah's reign, the government could no longer properly administer its landholdings. The decision to sell all gov- ernment landholdings with the exception of those in the vicinity of Tehran was subsequently made.

The wretched condition of the khdli~ahin this epoch was well known. There are numerous references to the ills of these villages in the autobiographies of Qajar dignitaries. Husayn Quli Khan Nizam al-Saltanah, a large landowner as well as a statesman, wrote of the khali~ah:"The government should rent the khali~ahfor long periods, about thirty years, to worthy and responsible people, so that they may improve them. This policy has two faults, however; for worthy, respectable individuals do not usually enter such deals. Secondly, no one believes in the per- petuation of the government's policies and would rather refrain from spending their money and time on a hopeless purpose. The people of Iran do not trust the continuation of the government's business. Another alternative would be to sell all the khdli~ahlands on condition that the taxes on them remain ~nchangeable."~~ Another prominent statesman, 'Abd Allah Mustawfi, was of the opinion that the undesirable condition of the khalisah, which necessitated their sale to the govern- ment's detriment, was the direct result of the mismanagement of Amin al-Sultan, the former prime minister.30

The stipulations concerning the khdlisah village in the south of Tehran between the years 1876 and 1946 has been discussed by Safinejad.3' His classification and conclusions are particularly relevant to the case of Varamin, and in fact his con- clusions corroborate the findings in this survey. According to Safinejad, the agri- cultural unit around Tehran known as a bunah was based on the division of labor and consisted of a number of peasants and their draft animals, a specific amount of land, and the necessary amounts of water for a period of one year in a single vil- lage. The number of bunah in each village therefore closely corresponded with the available amounts of land and water. Each bunah in turn was organized according to the five factors of production, and the crop was divided into five equal parts at harvest time. These five factors consisted of the immovable factors of land and water together with the movable factors of seed, draft animals, and labor.32 The immovable factors belonged to the landlord. In khali~ahlands, the landlord was invariably the tenant, while the man who owned the movable factors was the gdwband.33The former acted as mediator between the landlord and the peasants. In the event that he provided the movable factors, he took a larger share of the crop at harvest time. The cost of ploughing the land was calculated at 10 percent and sub- tracted from the sale price. The remainder was divided between the landowner and the peasants. If the bunah was a giiwbandi bunah, 19 percent of the share of draft animals belonged to the gdwband as he boundaries of the bunah were de- termined by its water and cultivated land holdings.35 The extent of the ploughed land in turn determined the number of animals. A yoke of oxen was the unit used for draft animals and the extent of the bunah was calculated according to the num- ber of oxen used. In most cases the bunah consisted of six pairs of oxen and as each pair needed a man to lead it, each bunah had six men attached to it. These men were the main members of the bunah and had a share in the harvest.36

The thirty-three villages of the khdli~ahof Varamin reviewed in this report are situated in the north and central parts of the Varamin plain. The compiler of the report states that he had gathered his data from the village elders and when neces- sary from the khiilisah registers. In the case of the village of Musiabad, he com- plains that the inhabitants had lied about their annual yield, declaring it below its real value, and he therefore had to consult the registers. The villages surveyed ranged in population from 100 inhabitants in the few smallest villages to 800 in- habitants in the largest. The majority (40%) of village populations ranged between 100 and 200. The survey also separates the taxes paid by the villages in cash from those paid in kind. The majority of the villages (sixteen of them), paid their taxes in cash, ranging from 100 tuman to 400 tuman. The rest paid up to 700 tuman (three villages). Taxes paid in kind took the form of grain and straw, and these ranged from the low amounts of 100 to 300 kharvdr in seventeen villages to 1,100 to 1,412 kharvar in the two largest villages. In nine cases the amount paid in cash

TABLE 1 Taxes in cash and in kind and the amount of seed planted

Taxes in Cash Taxes in Grain Taxes in Straw Seed Planted Village in Tuman in Kharvdr in Kharvdr in Kharvdr

Hisar Kalak Katalan Salihabad Sacdabad-i Qushchi Mahmudabad Filistan Bagh-i Khass Milinah Khalidabad Shahristan Hisarak & Ahanin Dawudabad-i Kahrizak Pu'inak Khayrabad Shahr-i Tughan Hasanabad Shamsabad Ijdan Yusufabad Ahmadabad Rinbajak Amrabad & Talibabad Kalcabbas

and in kind are The per capita taxes, in cash and in kind, paid on average in this survey are 5.6 and 7.8 tuman, respectively.

In Table 1, the amount of rent paid in cash and in kind relative to the amount of seed planted is calculated. The tax in kind was in the form of grain (composed of one-third barley and two-thirds wheat where the amount of land under wheat cul- tivation was twice that of barley), and straw. If we take the ratio of crop yield to be ten to one (this is the average amount of crop yield in Varamin even today), then the government took 42 percent of the grain produced and the same amount of straw. This figure differs from those of Curzon, who estimated the government's take at 20 percent to 30 percent.38 According to this same table, 10 percent of the crop was kept as seed, thus leaving 48 percent for peasant use. Calculating the price of one kharvdr of grain at about 3 tuman and of straw at 0.75 tuman, the average tax burden of the peasants can be calculated at around 20 percent of crop value.39

In Table 2, the amount of arable land to be cultivated and the corresponding amount of seed planted as well as the percentage of seed to land in the twenty-two villages under study is presented. Ploughed land was called bazrafshdn and was mea- sured according to the amount of seed planted in it. According to Safinejad, each kharvdr of bazrafshdn was the equivalent of one hectare of land.40 On average, a third of the land was cultivated, reflecting the binding constraints of the water supply.

TABLE 2 Bazrafshan and amount of seed planted and percentage of land under cultivation

Bazrafshsn Seed Planted Percentage of
Village in Kharvrir in Kharviir Land Cultivated
Hisar Kalak      
Sacdabad-i Qushchi      
Bagh-i Khass      
Hisarak & Ahanin      
Dawudabad-i Kahrizak      
Shahr-i Tughan      
Amrabad & Talibabad      

Table 3 shows the composition of the factors of production, 'awdmil, on the basis of their ownership-that is diwdni (government), arbiibi (tenant), raCyati (peasant), or gdwbandi.

In the twenty-six villages listed, most of the 'awdmil are provided by the gov- ernment, no doubt because of their proximity to Tehran more than any other fac- tor. According to Safinejad, 7.6 percent of the crop was set aside as the share of the ironmongers, the village headman (kadkhudd), the mullas, the cowhands, and other collective expenses of the bunah. The rest of the crop was divided into five parts to correspond to the five Cawdmilof production. At times, the seed for re- planting was set aside before the division of the crop. In that case, the crop would be divided into four parts (in Table 4, the seed has not been set aside). Calculating on the basis of a crop yield of ten to one, results listed in Table 4 are obtained.

The Siirat-i khdlisah-i Tihrdn, in addition to detailed statistical information, also provides us with a rare glimpse into the social conditions and outlook of the peas- ants living in these villages. For instance, "In the middle of Khalidabad, there is a mountain of refuse. It is so high that if you climb to the top, you can see all the sur- rounding houses. It is very useless and repugnant. No one wants to live in this vil- lage." People could not live in Bagh-i Khass for the same reason. Surkh-i Hisar obtained its water from the Jajimd river, and people had a very hard time bringing water to the village. When it rained heavily, the Jajirud flooded and ruined the

TABLE 3 Division of 'Awamil


SaCdabad 20 'Abbasabad 20 Surkh-i Hisar na Kabud Gunbad -Hisar Kalak 4 Katalan 7 Sacdabad-i Qushchi 8 Mahmudabad Filistan Bagh-i Khass Milinah Khalidabad Shahristan Hisarak & Ahanin 4 Mawsulabad Qu'inak -Zahirabad Dawudabad-i Kahrizak 20 Pu'inak 20 Rustamabad Khayrabad Khavah Shahr-i Tughan Hasanabad Kavirabad Shamsabad Ijdan Yusufabad Ahmadabad Rinbajak Amrabad & Talibabad

nearby lands. The inhabitants of Kabud Gunbad were famous as palm readers and traveled all over the country. In Sacdabad-i Qushchi, only one mulberry tree re- mained from the old village. Someone had cut one of its branches and had died soon after; no one dared cut the tree from then on so as to avoid the fate of that man. There were two shrines in the region, and they were visited by people from outside the area who attributed miracles to them. The fortresses (sing. qaPa) were gradually falling into disrepair. In addition, people found the fortresses too confi- ning and had begun living outside the walls, but this could also include the onset of safer times as well as a population in~rease.~'

That the condition of the khdli~ahlands varied with their geographical location is attested by the divergence in the opinions of the people who visited them. Mal- colm wrote in 1829 that crown lands were cultivated by the peasants on terms very favorable to the c~ltivator.~~

Stack disagreed in 1882, stating that "divan villages

TABLE 4 Share of 'Awamil according to number of villages

Number of Villages Share of Each %warnil in Kharviir
10 less than 100
6 less than 200
4 less than 300
1 less than 400
2 less than 500

seem to be more heavily assessed than the arbabi."43 Curzon observed in 1892 that contact between the state and its tenants seemed reasonably favorable to the lat- ter.44 These discrepancies can be attributed to variations in geographical location. In general, however, there seems to have been a consensus, confirmed by the re- port at our disposal, that the fortunes of the khdli~ahvillages were in decline by the end of the 19th century.

Skeptics remain, however. Nikki Keddie disagrees with Lambton, "Miss Lamb- ton believes that the control of landlords and fief holders over local land jurisdic- tion was the main cause of the decline, and does not stress the Western impact in this regard."45 There were undoubtedly a host of reasons for the decline of the khiilisah. One was pointed out by the British consul in Isfahan in 1899:

These lands [crown lands sold by the government for want of money] have been mostly bought by the rich nobles and the ulama who are able to store their grain and even buy the superfluity of the peasants. In the old days, the peasants paid into the government their rent in kind, it was resold at low rates and what grain the peasants held above their requirements for food and seed, they sold at the best price they could command in the open market, and therefore the price current in the bazaars was kept normal, whereas now the big grain-hold- ers are able to set price by holding up their grain. The peasants, in place of having an easy task-master in the state are now ground down to the very last penny by their landlord^.^'

Local variations notwithstanding, some of the conclusions derived from the Siirat-i khiilisah-i Tihriin can be applied to khdli~ahholdings countrywide. Gener- ally, these villages were in a state of ruin and decay. They suffered from underpop- ulation, water shortages, and a consequent low standard of living. Significantly, the government seems to have been aware of these conditions, judging by the efforts it made at data collection, of which this document is an example. The government's intention to ameliorate the situation, however, did not materialize as illustrated in the few aborted attempts at reform. At the end of Mirza Husayn Khan's short tenure in office, the conditions of the khiilisah remained largely unchanged. The problem of those villages in the vicinity of Tehran were finally put to rest in 1937 when they were all sold off.47


'see A. K. S. Lambton, Landlord and Peasant in Persia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1953). 2~bid., 147-50, 152-54.

3~hisarticle is based on a report which is entitled Scirat-i khiilisah-i Tihriin, but is in fact a census of Varamin, a district forty kilometers away from Tehran. The original copy of the report, numbered B469, is filed in the Astan-i Quds-i Radavi Library in Mashhad. The statistical data in this article are calculated from figures provided by the census.

4~ajarbureaucrats organized their financial records and tabulations according to Turkic practice. Fiscal years followed a twelve-year cycle in which each year was given the name of a particular ani- mal. Other pich y11 years during the reign of Nasir al-Din Shah were 1848-49, 1860-61, 1884-85, 1896-97. When the events of all these years were corroborated with the contents of the document, it became clear that the census was prepared in 1872-73.

'~h@iriitwa asniid-i Husayn Quli Khcin Niziim al-Sal!anah Miifi (The Memoirs and Documents of Husayn Quli Khan Nizam al-Saltanah Mafi), 2 vols., ed. M. Mafi, M. Ettehadieh (Nezam-Mafi), S. Sacdvandian, H. Rampisheh (Tehran, 1981). 1:24-25.

kharles Issawi, Economic History of Iran, 1800-1914 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971), 28-29. See also Amiir-i diir al-khiliifah-i Tihriin (Statistics of the District of Tehran), ed. S. SaCdvandian and M. Ettehadieh (Nezam-Mafi) (Tehran, 1989). 346.


Adamiyat, Andishah-i tarraqi wa hukiimat-i qiiniin: 'a~r-i Sipahsciliir (The Idea of Progress and

the Rule of Law: The Era of Sipahsalar) (Tehran, 1973). 120. '1bid. 9~.

H. Afdal al-Mulk, Afdal al-tawiirikh (The Best of Histories), ed. M. Ettehadieh (Nezam-Mafi) and S. SaCdvandian (Tehran, 1983), 287-88. Also see A. Mustawfi, Sharh-i zindagiini-'i man, yii tiirikh-i ijtimiici wa idiiri-'i dawrah-'i Qiijiir (The Story of My Life, or a Social and Bureaucratic His- tory of the Qajar Period), 3 vols. (Tehran, 1943), 1:110.

'O~ustawfi,Sharh-i zindagcini, 488.
"Amiir-i diir al-khiliifah, 36-340.
I21bid., 342-50.
"s. Sacdvandian, "DarBmadi bar jamCiyyat shinasi dar 'a~r-i QSjBr wa naaiij-e ihsa'iyyah-i I~fahan

dar 1287 HQ" (A Demographic Study of the Qajar Period and Results from the Isfahan Census of A.H. 1287) (M.A. thesis, Tehran University, 1988). I41bid.


Majlis-i awwal (Proceedings of the First Majlis), 4 Ramadan, A.H. 1325 (A.D. 1906).

341. "~fdal al-Mulk, Afdal, 287; Mustawfi, Sharh-i zindagiini, 488. I7~heplain of Varamin is situated between Lavasanat and Rey on the west, Garmsar and the Kavir

desert on the east. It has a dry, warm climate, and little rainfall due to its proximity to the desert. The northeastern part is partially desert, as it is situated below the mountain ranges and thus receives some precipitation. It has short winters, and the amount of rainfall on average is about 200 to 300 centime- ters a year. The south is much drier, and receives on average about 50 to 150 centimeters of rain. The villages situated in the north are more prosperous because they have the use both of the waters of the Jajirud, and of underground water. There is no dry farming in Varamin. See H. Salihi, "BarrasihB3i dar barah-'i Varamin wa masalah-i kish8warziyBnW (Studies on Varamin and Its Agricultural Problems)

(M.A. thesis, Azad University, 1988). Also, A. Azari, Jughriijyii-i tiirikhi-i Variimin (A Historical Ge-

ography of Varamin) (Tehran, 1969). passim. 18~ambton,Landlord, 165-70. '9~

qircin was one-tenth of a tuman which is the unit of account. For more information on the cur- rency of Iran, see Issawi, Economic History, 387.

20~lsoone-tenth of a tuman.


220ne-twentieth of a tuman.


N. Curzon, Persia and the Persian Question, 2 vols. (London: Frank Cass, 1966). 2:471.
24~ambton,Landlord, 152.
250nekharviir is equal to approximately 290 kilograms.
26~izamal-Saltanah, Khafircit, 89-90.
27~ambton,Landlord, 2 17.

Bamdad, Sharh-i hcil-i rijcil-i Iran (Biographies of the Iranian Dignitaries), 6 vols. (Tehran, 1979). 2:9-10. The details of the life and career of the Sadiq al-Dawlah are not provided in Bamdad's description. He does not mention the date Sadiq al-Dawlah was appointed as head of the khali~ahor

when this department was turned into a ministry.

29~izamal-Saltanah, Khrffirrft,89-90.

30~ustawfi,Sharh-i zindagani, 489.

3'~. Safinejad, Asnad-e bunahha-'i Shahr-i Rayy, Ghrfr, wa Fashrfpuyah (Documents of the Bunah of Shahr-i Rayy, Ghar, and Fashapuyah) (Tehran, 1988).

32~bid.,10-1 1.


pair of oxen working half a day ploughed a quarter hectare, enough for the planting of 21.5 man (3 kilograms) of seed; ibid., 19-20, 26.

34~bid., 14, 24.

35~ccordingto Safinejad, the best wheat was put aside for use as next year's seed, and the peasant who had produced it was given his share from other produce; ibid., 27.

36~hereis no mention of the new cash crops overtaking the Iranian export market, a fact that was gradually altering the entire agricultural structure of the economy. Cotton was one of the main crops widely planted in Varamin till about twenty years ago. There is no mention of cotton, nor of any cash crops in this report. It is possible that either cotton was counted as summer produce and not mentioned by name, or that it was not yet the important item it later became. It is, however, more likely that the government was intent on having grain planted in the villages it owned near Tehran. There is mention of rice being planted in these villages as a spring crop, but no rice is planted in Varamin today. For the division of spring and summer crop, see Safinejad, Asnad-i bunahha-'i, 33.

37~irJohn Malcolm is quoted in Lambton, Landlord, 279.

38~urzon,Persia, 2:471.

39~tis not possible to calculate the exact price of wheat, barley, or straw in one location in one year, and this rate has been taken by consulting prices cited by Issawi, Curzon, and M. Jamalzadah, Ganj-i shrfyigrfn(The Treasures of Shayigan), 2nd ed. (Tehran: 1984). 186. For the effects of inflation on the cost of living and its inclusion in the calculation of prices, see Issawi, Economic History, chap. 8.

401bid.. 31-32.

4'0ne of the fortresses, that of Iraj, was particularly notable. Curzon, too, had seen it on his travels and described it: "Scattered about the plain are other great Kalehs, or similar earthen fortresses, with towering walls of unbaked bricks fused into a mass as solid as cement and as perishable as stone . . . a third Kaleh, known as Kaleh-i Iraj [Raghes?], near the village of Jafirabad, encloses with a thick mud wall, fifty feet high, a space, according to Eastwick, of 1,800 yards by 1,500 or nearly a square mile. The date and era of these prodigious structures are unknown and disputed; there is no hazard in refer- ring to them as remote antiquity; but, whatever their age they recall a past when Persia was more pow- erful and more populous, even if less pacific or secure, than now; and their silent witness accentuates the pathos of the country's ruin," Curzon, Persia, 1:352-55.

42~.Malcolm, The History of Persia, From the Most Early Period to the Present Time, 2 vols. (Lon-

don: J. Murray, 1829). 2:337. 43~tackis quoted in Lambton, Landlord, 166. 44~urzon,Persia, 2:474. 45~ssawi,Economic History, 54. 46~bid. 47~ambton,Landlord, 426-28.

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