The Mongol invasion of Iran in the 13th century was a catastrophic event for all its inhabitants. For the persian Ismaili in particular, it put an end to their political aspirations and independent existence for many centuries. It has been held by many historians that subsequent to the fall of the central Ismaili fortress of Alumut to the Mongols, the community was virtually extripated from the region and its institutional network dismantled until its revival in the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty. Such an expansive view of post-Alumut Ismailism is questioned by this study which examines the poetic writings of Nizari Quhistani, one of the Ismaili authors who survived the Mongol invasion. The evidence of his writings demonstrate that while the Ismaili community was seriously impaired, its organizational structure and internal coherence were in no means decimated but continued to operate in different forms through the Mongol period of Persian history.
Nadia Eboo Jamal received her doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Literature from New York University, and is a specialist in Iranian history and culture in the period of Mongol rule.
Acknowledgements xi Chronological Table xiii Introduction xxv 1 Boyhood 1 2 Divertissements 25 3 Flagellation and Aphrodisiacs 46 4 Madame de Montreuil's Revenge 62 5 Prime of Libertine Life 77 6 Imprisonment and Escape 94 7 Victimizer as Victim 106 8 Birth of a Middle-Aged Writer 124 9 Bastille 142 10 Revolution 171 11 Degrees of Terror 189 12 The New Justine and Juliette 202 13 Prison and Asylum 215 14 A Negative Strain 226 Bibliography 239 Index 244