JBO'C's Historical Reference

Aga Muhammad Khan Qajar Shah of Persia

Aga or Agha Muhammad Khan founder of the Qajar Dynasty was born in Gorgon (Astrabad). He was Il Khan of the Qajar Turkmen Tribe. The Qajar were Qizilbash/Kizilbash Turkmen of the Southern Azeri group. The Qajar tribe were early supporters of Ismail Shah Safavi and the senior branch of the tribe received Gorgon/Astrabad as their fief. They received Astrabad as a strategic move to reinforce the eastern flank of the empire against the machinations of the Uzbek.

As a young child Agha Mohammad Khan was tortured and castrated by Adil Shah Afshar an ally of the Zands and his father was killed. Aga or Agha is a title that means eunuch.

In 1795 Qajar Aga Mohammed Khan moves north into the Caucasus to rescuer the form Safavid Khanates and kingdoms. He invaded the kingdom of Khartli (modern day Georgia) and ravages Tbilisi. He also secures khanates of Nakhichevan, Yerevan and Talish but fails to take Shusha.

In 1796 in response to the invasion of Khartli a Russian vassal state the Russian army invades Azerbaijan and Aga Mohammed Khan withdraws to Iran. In the same year Russian army withdrew from Azerbaijan on the death of Tsarine Catherine II.

1797 Second invasion of Aga Mohammed khan and his successor Baba Khan, fall of Shusha.

1797 New Russian Tsar Paul (Pavel I) decides to send troops to Azerbaijan

Aga Mohammed Khan and the Turkmen

"But in the last years of the century they incurred the enmity of the Persian ruler, Aga Mohammed Khan, not, indeed, through their marauding propensities so much as by an act of personal hostility. Although the Turkmen had been on sympathetic terms with Aga Mohammed and his father, they murdered the former's brother when he fled to them for refuge from the pursuit of Zuckee Khan, brother of the Shah Kurrum Khan (Kerim Khan Zand,). For that act Aga Mohammed resolved to exact the most ample reparation, and he accordingly collected a large army at Astrabad, in the neighborhood of which place the offending Turkmen dwelt. His operations were completely successful, and the Turkmen — who were probably Kerim Khan Zand, either Goklen or Yomut paid bitterly for their treachery. So severe were the retaliatory measures adopted by Aga Mohammed, and so resolutely did he carry out his plan of revenge, that the Turkmen were thoroughly cowed, and for a long time afterwards the frontier near Astrabad was more settled than it had ever been before since the days of Nadir Shah. Aga Mohammed carried a large number of prisoners into captivity, and in addition obtained hostages for the future behavior of the tribe."
Turkmen_by_Boulger_Part 2

The Qajars belonged to a Turkman tribe that held ancestral lands in present-day Azerbaijan, which was formerly part of Iran. In 1779, following the death of the Zand dynasty ruler of southern Iran, Agha Mohammad Khan, a Qajar leader, set out to reunify Iran.
According to Persepolis website, Agha Mohammad Khan established the Qajar dynasty by defeating numerous rivals and controlling all of Iran.
By 1794, he had eliminated all his rivals, including Lotf ’Ali Khan, the last of the Zand dynasty, and had reasserted Iranian sovereignty over the former Iranian territories in Georgia and the Caucasus. In 1796 he was formally crowned as shah and established his capital at Tehran, a village near the ancient city of Rey (now Shahr-e Rey).
Agha Mohammad was assassinated in 1797 and succeeded by his nephew, Fath Ali Shah.

These massive gold coins formed part of the indemnity of 5 krur or 2500000 tomans paid by Persia to the Russians under the Treaty of Turkmanchai, in 1828, following the disastrous war. None of these coins are believed to exist in Iran and all the presently recorded examples have emanated from Russia. 5 krur would have weighed just over two metric tons and contemporary reports state that it took some 1600 mules to carry the specie. The treaty also ceded the Khanates of Erivan and Nakhichvan to Russia in perpetuity as well as forbidding the Persians to have any armed vessels in the Caspian sea.
Six coin sets similar to the present one were presented by Czar Nicholas I to the Duchess of Anhalt-Dessau and Frederick VI of Denmark. The only set in a British institution is the Anhalt Dessau group, bequeathed to the Ashmolean Museum by Sir Bernard Eckstein in 1948 and recently displayed at the London exhibition of 'Royal Persian Painting: The Qajar Epoch, 1795-1925' (catalogue no. 100). It differs slightly from the present set in that the 10 tomans of AH 1210 is from Isfahan rather than Tehran.
On the death of Karim Khan in 1779, Agha Mohammad, Qajar chief of Astrabad was one of the contenders for the vacant throne. He escaped from imprisonment in Shiraz and fled to Mazandaran to gather his supporters. He was captured and later barbarously mutilated by Adil Shah. Afterwards he managed to rejoin his followers and ruled over parts of Persia until 1795 when he defeated Luft Ali Khan, last of the Zand shahs, at Kirman. From then on he was absolute master of the kingdom.
On the occasion of his coronation in 1796 he girded the sword consecrated at the tomb of the founder of the Safavid dynasty thus firmly pledging himself to uphold the Shi'ite faith. He was murdered in 1797 by his personal attendants - men who were under sentence of death but allowed to be at large. He was succeeded by his nephew Fath 'Ali Shah.
In spite of cruel and difficult times, Agha Muhammad founded a dynasty that was to rule Persia for a century and a quarter and he firmly established the Shi'ite faith as the official religion.
Agha Muhammad Khan Treaty of Turkmanchai Gold Coins

The Kajar Eunuch marched towards his prey (Lutf Ali Khan) by Shahr-i-Bobek and Mashiz, and constructed a fortified camp, which is still standing some three miles to the west of the city.

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