Writing the Mughal World

Studies on Culture and Politics

Author: Muzaffar Alam,Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231158114

Category: History

Page: 516

View: 3340

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Between the mid-sixteenth and early nineteenth century, the Mughal Empire was an Indo-Islamic dynasty that ruled as far as Bengal in the east and Kabul in the west, as high as Kashmir in the north and the Kaveri basin in the south. The Mughals constructed a sophisticated, complex system of government that facilitated an era of profound artistic and architectural achievement. They promoted the place of Persian culture in Indian society and set the groundwork for South Asia's future development. In this volume, two leading historians of early modern South Asia present nine major joint essays on the Mughal Empire, framed by an essential introductory reflection. Making creative use of materials written in Persian, Indian vernacular languages, and a variety of European languages, their chapters accomplish the most significant innovations in Mughal historiography in decades, intertwining political, cultural, and commercial themes while exploring diplomacy, state-formation, history-writing, religious debate, and political thought. Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam center on confrontations between different source materials that they then reconcile, enabling readers to participate in both the debate and resolution of competing claims. Their introduction discusses the comparative and historiographical approach of their work and its place within the literature on Mughal rule. Interdisciplinary and cutting-edge, this volume richly expands research on the Mughal state, early modern South Asia, and the comparative history of the Mughal, Ottoman, Safavid, and other early modern empires.

Writing the Mughal World

Studies on Culture and Politics

Author: Muzaffar Alam,Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023152790X

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 7549

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Between the mid-sixteenth and early nineteenth century, the Mughal Empire was an Indo-Islamic dynasty that ruled as far as Bengal in the east and Kabul in the west, as high as Kashmir in the north and the Kaveri basin in the south. The Mughals constructed a sophisticated, complex system of government that facilitated an era of profound artistic and architectural achievement. They promoted the place of Persian culture in Indian society and set the groundwork for South Asia's future development. In this volume, two leading historians of early modern South Asia present nine major joint essays on the Mughal Empire, framed by an essential introductory reflection. Making creative use of materials written in Persian, Indian vernacular languages, and a variety of European languages, their chapters accomplish the most significant innovations in Mughal historiography in decades, intertwining political, cultural, and commercial themes while exploring diplomacy, state-formation, history-writing, religious debate, and political thought. Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam center on confrontations between different source materials that they then reconcile, enabling readers to participate in both the debate and resolution of competing claims. Their introduction discusses the comparative and historiographical approach of their work and its place within the literature on Mughal rule. Interdisciplinary and cutting-edge, this volume richly expands research on the Mughal state, early modern South Asia, and the comparative history of the Mughal, Ottoman, Safavid, and other early modern empires.

Writing Self, Writing Empire

Chandar Bhan Brahman and the Cultural World of the Indo-Persian State Secretary

Author: Rajeev Kinra

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520961684

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 394

View: 1533

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A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s new open access publishing program for monographs. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. Writing Self, Writing Empire examines the life, career, and writings of the Mughal state secretary, or munshi, Chandar Bhan “Brahman” (d. c.1670), one of the great Indo-Persian poets and prose stylists of early modern South Asia. Chandar Bhan’s life spanned the reigns of four different emperors, Akbar (1556-1605), Jahangir (1605-1627), Shah Jahan (1628-1658), and Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir (1658-1707), the last of the “Great Mughals” whose courts dominated the culture and politics of the subcontinent at the height of the empire’s power, territorial reach, and global influence. As a high-caste Hindu who worked for a series of Muslim monarchs and other officials, forming powerful friendships along the way, Chandar Bhan’s experience bears vivid testimony to the pluralistic atmosphere of the Mughal court, particularly during the reign of Shah Jahan, the celebrated builder of the Taj Mahal. But his widely circulated and emulated works also touch on a range of topics central to our understanding of the court’s literary, mystical, administrative, and ethical cultures, while his letters and autobiographical writings provide tantalizing examples of early modern Indo-Persian modes of self-fashioning. Chandar Bhan’s oeuvre is a valuable window onto a crucial, though surprisingly neglected, period of Mughal cultural and political history.

The Mughal World

Life in India's Last Golden Age

Author: Abraham Eraly

Publisher: Penguin Books India

ISBN: 9780143102625

Category: Mogul Empire

Page: 420

View: 1229

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It Is Hard To Imagine Anyone Succeeding More Gracefully In Producing A Balanced Overview Than Abraham Eraly William Dalrymple, Sunday Times, London In The Mughal World Abraham Eraly Continues His Fascinating Chronicle Of The Grand Saga Of The Mughal Empire. In Emperors Of The Peacock Throne He Gave Us The Story Of The Lives And Achievements Of The Great Mughal Emperors; In This Book, He Looks Beyond The Momentous Historical Events To Portray, In Precise And Vivid Detail, The Agony And Ecstasy Of Life In Mughal India. Combining Scholarly Objectivity With Artful Storytelling The Author Presents A Lively Panorama Of The Mughal World Emperors And Nobles At Work And Play; Harem Life; The Profligacy And Extravagance Of The Ruling Class Juxtaposed With The Stark Wretchedness Of The Common People. Meticulously Researched And Lucidly Narrated The Mughal World Offers Rare Insights Into The State Of The Empire S Economy, Religious Policies, The Mughal Army And Its Tactics, And The Glories Of Mughal Art, Architecture, Literature And Music.

Culture of Encounters

Sanskrit at the Mughal Court

Author: Audrey Truschke

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231540973

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 1300

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Culture of Encounters documents the fascinating exchange between the Persian-speaking Islamic elite of the Mughal Empire and traditional Sanskrit scholars, which engendered a dynamic idea of Mughal rule essential to the empire's survival. This history begins with the invitation of Brahman and Jain intellectuals to King Akbar's court in the 1560s, then details the numerous Mughal-backed texts they and their Mughal interlocutors produced under emperors Akbar, Jahangir (1605–1627), and Shah Jahan (1628–1658). Many works, including Sanskrit epics and historical texts, were translated into Persian, elevating the political position of Brahmans and Jains and cultivating a voracious appetite for Indian writings throughout the Mughal world. The first book to read these Sanskrit and Persian works in tandem, Culture of Encounters recasts the Mughal Empire as a polyglot polity that collaborated with its Indian subjects to envision its sovereignty. The work also reframes the development of Brahman and Jain communities under Mughal rule, which coalesced around carefully selected, politically salient memories of imperial interaction. Along with its groundbreaking findings, Culture of Encounters certifies the critical role of the sociology of empire in building the Mughal polity, which came to irrevocably shape the literary and ruling cultures of early modern India.

The Mughal State, 1526-1750

Author: Muzaffar Alam,Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Publisher: OUP India

ISBN: 9780195652253

Category: History

Page: 548

View: 1081

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The Mughal state, has, ever since its existence, exercised a compelling effect on observers. Debates have rage concerning its character and on the nature of the Mughal state. This book brings together some of the key interventions in these debates.

Literacy in the Persianate World

Writing and the Social Order

Author: Brian Spooner,William L. Hanaway

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 1934536563

Category: History

Page: 456

View: 1579

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Persian has been a written language since the sixth century B.C. Only Chinese, Greek, and Latin have comparable histories of literacy. Although Persian script changed—first from cuneiform to a modified Aramaic, then to Arabic—from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries it served a broader geographical area than any language in world history. It was the primary language of administration and belles lettres from the Balkans under the earlier Ottoman Empire to Central China under the Mongols, and from the northern branches of the Silk Road in Central Asia to southern India under the Mughal Empire. Its history is therefore crucial for understanding the function of writing in world history. Each of the chapters of Literacy in the Persianate World opens a window onto a particular stage of this history, starting from the reemergence of Persian in the Arabic script after the Arab-Islamic conquest in the seventh century A.D., through the establishment of its administrative vocabulary, its literary tradition, its expansion as the language of trade in the thirteenth century, and its adoption by the British imperial administration in India, before being reduced to the modern role of national language in three countries (Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan) in the twentieth century. Two concluding chapters compare the history of written Persian with the parallel histories of Chinese and Latin, with special attention to the way its use was restricted and channeled by social practice. This is the first comparative study of the historical role of writing in three languages, including two in non-Roman scripts, over a period of two and a half millennia, providing an opportunity for reassessment of the work on literacy in English that has accumulated over the past half century. The editors take full advantage of this opportunity in their introductory essay.

The Last Mughal

The Fall of Delhi, 1857

Author: William Dalrymple

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408806886

Category: History

Page: 608

View: 7307

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On a dark evening in November 1862, a cheap coffin is buried in eerie silence. There are no lamentations or panegyrics, for the British Commissioner in charge has insisted, 'No vesting will remain to distinguish where the last of the Great Mughals rests.' This Mughal is Bahadur Shah Zafar II, one of the most tolerant and likeable of his remarkable dynasty who found himself leader of a violent and doomed uprising. The Siege of Delhi was the Raj's Stalingrad, the end of both Mughal power and a remarkable culture.

Taj Mahal

Author: Elizabeth Mann

Publisher: Mikaya Press

ISBN: 1931414440

Category: Mogul Empire

Page: N.A

View: 4674

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The well-illustrated story of the building of the Taj Mahal, one of the world's most beautiful monuments, and the Mughal dynasty in India whose 5th emperor built it.

A Short History of the Mughal Empire

Author: Michael H Fisher

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857729764

Category: Architecture

Page: 288

View: 7938

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The Mughal Empire dominated India politically, culturally, socially, economically and environmentally, from its foundation by Babur, a Central Asian adventurer, in 1526 to the final trial and exile of the last emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar at the hands of the British in 1858. Throughout the empire's three centuries of rise, preeminence and decline, it remained a dynamic and complex entity within and against which diverse peoples and interests conflicted. The empire's significance continues to be controversial among scholars and politicians with fresh and exciting new insights, theories and interpretations being put forward in recent years. This book engages students and general readers with a clear, lively and informed narrative of the core political events, the struggles and interactions of key individuals, groups and cultures, and of the contending historiographical arguments surrounding the Mughal Empire.

Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Author: Ruby Lal

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393635406

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 2921

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Four centuries ago, a Muslim woman ruled an empire. When it came to hunting, she was a master shot. As a dress designer, few could compare. An ingenious architect, she innovated the use of marble in her parents’ mausoleum on the banks of the Yamuna River that inspired her stepson’s Taj Mahal. And she was both celebrated and reviled for her political acumen and diplomatic skill, which rivaled those of her female counterparts in Europe and beyond. In 1611, thirty-four-year-old Nur Jahan, daughter of a Persian noble and widow of a subversive official, became the twentieth and most cherished wife of the Emperor Jahangir. While other wives were secluded behind walls, Nur ruled the vast Mughal Empire alongside her husband, and governed in his stead as his health failed and his attentions wandered from matters of state. An astute politician and devoted partner, Nur led troops into battle to free Jahangir when he was imprisoned by one of his own officers. She signed and issued imperial orders, and coins of the realm bore her name. Acclaimed historian Ruby Lal uncovers the rich life and world of Nur Jahan, rescuing this dazzling figure from patriarchal and Orientalist clichés of romance and intrigue, and giving new insight into the lives of women and girls in the Mughal Empire, even where scholars claim there are no sources. Nur’s confident assertion of authority and talent is revelatory. In Empress, she finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography that awakens us to a fascinating history.

Emperors of the Peacock Throne

The Saga of the Great Mughals

Author: Abraham Eraly

Publisher: Penguin Books India

ISBN: 9780141001432

Category: India

Page: 555

View: 3486

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A Stirring Account Of One Of The World S Greatest Empires In December 1525, Zahir-Ud-Din Babur, Descended From Chengiz Khan And Timur Lenk, Crossed The Indus River Into The Punjab With A Modest Army And Some Cannon. At Panipat, Five Months Later, He Fought The Most Important Battle Of His Life And Routed The Mammoth Army Of Sultan Ibrahim Lodi, The Afghan Ruler Of Hindustan. Mughal Rule In India Had Begun. It Was To Continue For Over Three Centuries, Shaping India For All Time. In This Definitive Biography Of The Great Mughals, Abraham Eraly Reclaims The Right To Set Down History As A Chronicle Of Flesh-And-Blood People. Bringing To His Task The Objectivity Of A Scholar And The High Imagination Of A Master Storyteller, He Recreates The Lives Of Babur, The Intrepid Pioneer; The Dreamer Humayun; Akbar, The Greatest And Most Enigmatic Of The Mughals; The Aesthetes Jehangir And Shah Jahan; And The Dour And Determined Aurangzeb.

Aurangzeb

The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King

Author: Audrey Truschke

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 1503602591

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 5626

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The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir is one of the most hated men in Indian history. Widely reviled as a religious fanatic who sought to violently oppress Hindus, he is even blamed by some for setting into motion conflicts that would result in the creation of a separate Muslim state in South Asia. In her lively overview of his life and influence, Audrey Truschke offers a clear-eyed perspective on the public debate over Aurangzeb and makes the case for why his often-maligned legacy deserves to be reassessed. Aurangzeb was arguably the most powerful and wealthiest ruler of his day. His nearly 50-year reign (1658–1707) had a profound influence on the political landscape of early modern India, and his legacy—real and imagined—continues to loom large in India and Pakistan today. Truschke evaluates Aurangzeb not by modern standards but according to the traditions and values of his own time, painting a picture of Aurangzeb as a complex figure whose relationship to Islam was dynamic, strategic, and sometimes contradictory. This book invites students of South Asian history and religion into the world of the Mughal Empire, framing the contemporary debate on Aurangzeb's impact and legacy in accessible and engaging terms.

Europe’s India

Words, People, Empires, 1500 - 1800

Author: Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674972260

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 4022

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When Portuguese explorers first arrived in India, the maritime passage initiated an exchange of goods as well as ideas. European ambassadors, missionaries, soldiers, and scholars who followed produced a body of knowledge that shaped European thought about India. Sanjay Subrahmanyam tracks these changing ideas over the entire early modern period.

Visions of Mughal India

An Anthology of European Travel Writing

Author: Michael Fisher

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 9781845113544

Category: History

Page: 219

View: 2676

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The Mughal Empire, which conquered and ruled virtually all of today's India, Pakistan and Bangladesh over several centuries, created one of the richest and most colourful of all historical eras. Peoples of different cultures - including Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and others, originating from Iran, Central Asia, Europe, and South Asia itself - worked, traded and travelled throughout the Empire, contributing to its dynamism and power. A few of the Europeans who began criss-crossing the roads of Mughal India wrote, in the forms of diaries, letters and travelogues, about the people and lands they encountered. This illuminating and carefully chosen anthology contains a collection of among the best writings by European travellers from England, Italy, Russia, France, Spain and Portugal as they journeyed the length and breadth of the Empire over a 200 year period (1471-1671). Their experiences and observations form fascinating and informative visions of travel and life in India during this period and provide invaluable contributions to our understanding of life at the time.

The Millennial Sovereign

Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam

Author: A. Azfar Moin

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231504713

Category: Religion

Page: 368

View: 4818

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At the end of the sixteenth century and the turn of the first Islamic millennium, the powerful Mughal emperor Akbar declared himself the most sacred being on earth. The holiest of all saints and above the distinctions of religion, he styled himself as the messiah reborn. Yet the Mughal emperor was not alone in doing so. In this field-changing study, A. Azfar Moin explores why Muslim sovereigns in this period began to imitate the exalted nature of Sufi saints. Uncovering a startling yet widespread phenomenon, he shows how the charismatic pull of sainthood (wilayat)—rather than the draw of religious law (sharia) or holy war (jihad)—inspired a new style of sovereignty in Islam. A work of history richly informed by the anthropology of religion and art, The Millennial Sovereign traces how royal dynastic cults and shrine-centered Sufism came together in the imperial cultures of Timurid Central Asia, Safavid Iran, and Mughal India. By juxtaposing imperial chronicles, paintings, and architecture with theories of sainthood, apocalyptic treatises, and manuals on astrology and magic, Moin uncovers a pattern of Islamic politics shaped by Sufi and millennial motifs. He shows how alchemical symbols and astrological rituals enveloped the body of the monarch, casting him as both spiritual guide and material lord. Ultimately, Moin offers a striking new perspective on the history of Islam and the religious and political developments linking South Asia and Iran in early-modern times.

The World of Persian Literary Humanism

Author: Hamid Dabashi

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674067592

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 346

View: 5102

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Humanism has mostly considered the question “What does it mean to be human?” from a Western perspective. Dabashi asks it anew from a non-European perspective, in a groundbreaking study of 1,400 years of Persian literary humanism. He presents the unfolding of this vast tradition as the creative and subversive subconscious of Islamic civilization.

India and the Islamic Heartlands

An Eighteenth-Century World of Circulation and Exchange

Author: Gagan D. S. Sood

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107121272

Category: History

Page: 353

View: 5207

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Gagan Sood recaptures a vanished and forgotten world that spanned India and the Islamic heartlands in the eighteenth century.

Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World

Author: Ruby Lal

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521850223

Category: History

Page: 241

View: 6160

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In a fascinating and innovative study, first published in 2005, Ruby Lal explores domestic life and the place of women in the Mughal court of the sixteenth century. Challenging traditional, orientalist interpretations of the haram that have portrayed a domestic world of seclusion and sexual exploitation, the author reveals a complex society where noble men and women negotiated their everyday life and public-political affairs in the 'inner' chambers as well as the 'outer' courts. Using Ottoman and Safavid histories as a counterpoint, she demonstrates the richness, ambiguity and particularity of the Mughal haram, which was pivotal in the transition to institutionalisation and imperial excellence.