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05/04/2024 - Publication Announcement

Imperial Historiography and the Creation of Persian Scholarship on India. The Ā’īn-i Akbarī of Abū al-Fażl (d.1602)

Proceedings of the 6th Perso-Indica Conference

Satoshi Ogura - Fabrizio Speziale, eds., Imperial Historiography and the Creation of Persian Scholarship on India. The Ā’īn-i Akbarī of Abū al-Fażl (d.1602), supplement du Journal of Asian and African Studies, n. 3, 2024.

The Ā’īn-i Akbarī is a voluminous work dealing with the institutions (ā’īn) of the Mughal Empire under the reign of Akbar. The text contains an extensive description of Hindu culture and society seen through the eyes of a Muslim writer and is a unique work in the history of Persian textual culture that deals with the intellectual and natural environment of India. Abū al-Fażl was among the Muslim writers of his time that possessed the most accurate knowledge of Hindu culture. His encyclopedic treatise covers a broad range of fields including the geography of South Asia, the Mughal army, the economy of the Empire, the agriculture and fauna, the calendars, Hindu intellectual traditions, religious beliefs, literature, biographies of notable persons, and more. The Ā’īn-i Akbarī is a crucial work for understanding the political, economic, and intellectual history of Mughal India, and it exerted a vast influence over later historians and writers in India until the colonial period. Although the Ā’īn-i Akbarī has attracted the attention of many scholars, many features of this text and its overall structure deserve more detailed study. The sixth Perso-Indica conference aimed to bring together researchers examining the wide-ranging descriptions contained in the Ā’īn-i Akbarī from novel perspectives.

This volume gathers the essays presented at the sixth conference of the Perso-Indica project, which was held on March 9th–10th, 2019, at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA) at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

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