“Abbas I known as Abbas the Great: (1571-1629) Shah of Persia 1587-1629. Succeeding his father, Sultan Muhammad Shah, he strengthened the Savafid dynasty by expelling Ottoman and Uzbek troops and creating a standing army. He made Esfahan Persia’s capital, and under Abbas it became one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Persian artistic achievement reached a high point during his reign, when illuminated manuscripts, ceramics, and painting all flourished, and the Portuguese, Dutch, and English competed for trade relations with Persia. Tolerant in public life (he granted privileges to Christian groups) and concerned for his people’s welfare, his fear of personal security and ruthlessness led him to blind or execute many of his immediate family.”
Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.