The Empires of the Near East and India

Source Studies of the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal Literate Communities

Edited by Hani Khafipour

Columbia University Press

The Empires of the Near East and India

Pub Date: January 2019

ISBN: 9780231174374

672 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $50.00£40.00

Pub Date: January 2019

ISBN: 9780231174367

672 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $150.00£116.00

Pub Date: January 2019

ISBN: 9780231547840

672 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $49.99£40.00

The Empires of the Near East and India

Source Studies of the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal Literate Communities

Edited by Hani Khafipour

Columbia University Press

In the early modern world, the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal empires sprawled across a vast swath of the earth, from the Himalayas to the Mediterranean. These three polities each encompassed a wide range of cultural and religious diversity, and interactions among the varied communities both within and across the empires contributed greatly to their flourishing. Yet present-day Anglophone scholarship and teaching with emphasis on the earlier periods of Islamic civilization tends to examine the empires in isolation and overlook their connected histories.

This volume is a comprehensive sourcebook of newly translated texts from the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal empires of the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries, accompanied by scholarly essays, that aims to provide a new model for the study and teaching of the early modern history of the Near East and India. In thematically organized sections, it presents texts that represent particular voices and experiences from each of the three empires. With a wide range of source material spanning literature, philosophy, religion, politics, and visual art, the volume sheds light on the many dimensions of the intertwined histories of these interconnected literate communities engaged in the religious, political, and cultural debates of their time. Texts investigate such varied topics as conversion in Safavid Iran; the politics of Ottoman imperial conquests; mystical piety at the Mughal court of India; occult sciences such as letter divination and astrology; and struggles for succession to the imperial throne. The readings include translator’s notes, and each translation is preceded by a short essay providing the historiographical context for the source.
The Empires of the Near East and Asia provides, really for the first time, a body of early modern primary sources from the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal contexts in translation. A variety of types of text are provided, from poetry to judicial rulings, and the translations are readable while maintaining the flavor of the original Arabic, Persian, or Ottoman Turkish. This will prove a valuable resource for those of us who teach any or all of these imperial histories. Michael Talbot, University of Greenwich

About the Author

Hani Khafipour is assistant professor of teaching Iranian history and culture at the University of Southern California—Los Angeles.