A Truthful History





Soon after Kerim Khan's death Aqa Muhammad Khan ran away fromShiraz and appeared among his tribesmen. He believed, the time of his reign had alreadycome. So he occupied the regions of Araq and in 1785/1201 came to the throne of shahs inTehran and made it the seat of his kingdom, Dar-al-Khalafe. Soon afterwards heattacked Azerbaijan and occupied the territories on the southern bank of the Arax. Then hecrossed it and although tried hard to conquer the regions of Talish, Lenkoran, and Erevan, he failed. Meanwhile he sent [Ibrahim Khan] khala't and a sword offering himto submit. As a result, formal relations were established between them.

(93a) The same year Aqa Muhammad Khan returned from Azerbaijan topunish his enemies: to suppress the rebellion roused in Fars and Kerman.

This was the time when hostility was opened between him and IbrahimKhan. After the suppression of the revolts risen in those regions and their subjugation, in 1793/1209 he [Aqa Muhammad] again invaded Azerbaijan with an innumerable army andconsiderable preparations to conquer Georgia, Talish, and Erevan. He sent his brotherAli-qoli, the Commander-in-Chief of his forces, to occupy Erevan. He himself withthe troops of Araq, Fars, Khorasan and Azerbaijan, came to the fortress Shushi and stoppedat a place called Nabat-khan or Yurt-shah, which is located between [the villages]Avetaranots and Shushikend. He made fortifications around his camp, the ruins of which arestill seen. Then laid siege to the fortress Shushi.

Herakl, the Vali of Georgia, Muhammad Khan, the governor ofErevan, Mustoufi Khan, the ruler of Talish entered into alliance with Ibrahim on notsubmitting to the rule of Aqa Muhammad Khan as well as helping one another to fightagainst him in case of need.

Shortly afterwards, Ibrahim Khan had some of his tribes moved toGeorgia and some to Shirvan, to Mustoufi Khan. Others, with the Karabagh countrymen, sought refuge in the highlands and other inaccessible places. A part of them settled downin the fortress [of Shushi], where a number of cavalry and infantry warriors with theirpreparations gathered from the tribes and villages ready to fight.

On the whole, the cruel Aqa Muhammad Khan stayed in the vicinity ofShushi with his army for 33 days. He sent messengers and mediators to Ibrahim Khan tryingto persuade him and the inhabitants of Karabagh to obey him. However, all his persuasionsand dreadful menaces were useless.

Aqa Muhammad. ordered to fire from his flame-throws and cannons, bombard the people of Shushi, and attack it from four sides. They started a fierce battle.

Most part of Aqa Muhammad Khan's army consisted of the tofangchis of Mazandaran, called Karachukha. Their guns were without steels, they had only a flintand a slowmatch fastened to it, with the help of which the gun fired.

The battle was under way from the six o'clock in the morning untilthe sunset. The guns and cannons fired like lightening, and nobody deviated from thefight. Hillocks were formed from the heaps of dead bodies and rivers of blood flew. TheKarabagh inhabitants both Moslems and Armenians stood firmly against the sea of [enemy]army and fought courageously accomplishing feats and fearless deeds. A great number ofpeople both men and women were slain savagely from cannon bombs. There were innumerousdeaths in Aqa Muhammad Khan's army warriors, too.

(94b) Aqa Muhammad Khan saw, that in spite of his great efforts, thefire of Nemrut caused no harm to Ibrahim Khalil Khan. The latter like Abraham (Ibrahim)Khalil [of Bible] was not afraid of its conflagration and even enjoyed it, fancying thehot coals and the cannon fire a nice valley for him. Though he tried hard and did hisutmost in fighting, the collapse of his army was evident: they were not strong enough towithstand the hard blows and brave strikes of Karabagh warriors. Mostly they were slain, the rest depressed and defeated. Karabagh inhabitants went on striking, robing, andskirmishing with them.

Aqa Muhammad Khan realized, did he proceed with the war, his army wouldbe dispersed and he would suffer a complete defeat. Therefore, he held counsel with hisnoblemen and army commanders, afterwards ordering to withdraw:

-Foreseeing wisely the end of affairs, we'd better stop on thehalfway of misfortune, or else soon nobody will remain alive.

At that time Javad Khan of Ganje and Melik Mejnun of Jraberd, who hadleft Ibrahim Khan and joined Aqa Muhammad Khan, said to him:

-You hadn't any success in capturing the fortress Shushi and ifyou return without achieving your aim, the people of Iran will rebel (95a) and youwon't be able to reign any more. The way out is to march on Tiflis, plunder it andtake a great number of prisoners in order to raise the spirit of the army, so that itcould fight when needed.

Aqa Muhammad Khan took their counsel and declared about his newmilitary operation in Tiflis, Georgia.