عنوان مقاله [English]
Nowadays, the direct and written titled sources are not the only resources of history. According to some historian-philosophers such as Collingwood, any object can be regarded as an inspirational source for a historian; he asserts that the historian’s job is to read, interpret, explain and translate the documentation from written works or anything left over from a historical period. In Collingwood’s opinion, a piece of clay can inform the historian as much as a reference book of history, or sometimes even more (Collingwood, 2012: 17).
From this point of view, chronogram is of foremost benefit in historical calculations and arguments. Apparently, it has always been literally important, though it has been mentioned only in literary technique topics. Furthermore, other literary elements can also in some ways be the source of historical deduction. For instance, in the literary theories of the last decade, the term "narrative" refers not only to fiction and imaginative literature but also to non-fiction narrative texts. From this perspective, Freud's case studies (his detailed reports of his patients and their treatment process) fall into the “narrative” category. Hence, history is not a solid, rigid, and invariant category, so that every historian would record it exactly like others (Payandeh, 2013: 494 -495).
Therefore, chronogram can also be used historically and historiographically. In other words, at least in some authentic chronograms, there is another thing that contributes to the puzzle of the historical research of that time. Of course this is not simply possible. Chronogram is inherently a kind of coded literature, and this tendency has been intensified in some historical periods. But, it must first be understood correctly and its variations should be recognized and sometimes it needs to be decoded. Accordingly, one of the options that can help this debate is the code switching theory. Code switching is a sociolinguistic phenomenon which has been defined as the use of more than one languages, dialects or linguistic varieties that a speaker speaks during a conversation or presentation of a work, and its form of application is dependent on such factors as the identity of the audience, the subject matter, and the situation in which the speech flows (crystal, 1992: 69). Nevertheless, this is itself related to the theory of communication which is proposed by some of the later scholars in formalism, such as Roman Jacobson in the Moscow linguistic society, known as Moscow Linguistic Circle, founded in 1915. Having mastery of numerous other schools of structuralism, and considering his various trips to Prague, Sweden and the United States, and the development of his point of view, Jacobson presented his most important views on identifying the communicative components and their real and virtual applications.
Accordingly, in any verbal communication the addresser sends a message to the addressee. This message implies a context or a reference, and is understood by a code. In the final stage, this code requires the contact or the material space of communication and the context in which the message is transmitted. Each of these six parts can be the dominant part in communication (see Eagleton, 2011: 135; Tadih, 2011:47; Bateni, 1975: 21-120; and Makarik, 2009:176).
In its nine-hundred background, the chronogram has come to be such that, in particular, since Safavid, there is a need for in-depth research for decoding and recognizing the context and reference, and this can be effective in this regard. This is at least true for many instances of authentic and professional chronograms of this period, and can be the subject matter of further research. The present article aims to first provide an accurate, comprehensive and complete definition of it. This is not possible without reviewing and criticizing the existing definitions. Hence, a short but transient review of the historical course of this technique will be carried out; afterwards, by switching the code of some examples of it during the past few decades, another dimension of these chronograms is depicted which is used in historical and social studies. It should be noted that, in this paper, all of the old evidence is roughly the same as the old one, so that the calculations do not go wrong.
An overview of the nature of chronogram and its development until becoming a complex and mysterious form in the tenth century, the diverse historical Safavid uses of it and its code-switching are the main issues of this research.
In scientific research on chronogram, Nakhjavani (1924), in his extensive essay on chronograms, and Sadri (1999), in his works, To Catch a Glimpse Into Persian Poetry and the Encyclopedia Of Mysterious Expressions, and Khalesi Shirazi (2006), as well as Dabir Siaghi (2011) have not addressed the historical role of chronogram, although being the only detailed works that have been presented.
Also the works of Sahab (1947), Rezvani (1962) and Mohit Tabatabai (1962) have mainly dealt with the evolution of the chronogram forms.
Anyhow, chronogram is one of the literary techniques created for various reasons, including the preservation of numbers, codification, etc., and has strangely developed in its historical course. The greatest evolution of this technique happened since the Safavid period; this dynasty and such sects as Noghtaviyeh and Horufiyeh, the subsequent dynasties, and later Babiyeh used chronogram to prove their legitimacy and justify their historical manipulations. Safavids, due to the obvious manipulations and changes in the documents of descent and religion, needed some proofs to prove their legitimacy and, therefore, using special tables, made great efforts to symmetrize the historical events with sacred words, and they succeeded. However, the opposition has also made such efforts hidden. In the period of Afshar and the accession of Nadir Shah and Qajar dynasty, this technique had also been utilized for “begging the question”. In some of these chronograms, there is an ambiguity that can be understood by code-switching. Some of the evidences and examples of this research have been extracted from the primary sources of Safavid era.