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The History of Akbar, Volume 7

The History of Akbar, Volume 7

Abu'l-Fazl

Edited and translated by Wheeler M. Thackston

ISBN 9780674244160

Publication date: 01/05/2021

The exemplar of Indo-Persian history, at once a biography of Emperor Akbar and a chronicle of sixteenth-century Mughal India.

Akbarnāma, or The History of Akbar, by Abu’l-Fazl (d. 1602), is one of the most important works of Indo-Persian history and a touchstone of prose artistry. Marking a high point in a long, rich tradition of Persian historical writing, it served as a model for historians across the Persianate world. The work is at once a biography of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556–1605) that includes descriptions of political and martial feats and cultural achievements, and a chronicle of sixteenth-century India.

The seventh volume details the twenty-ninth to thirty-eighth years of Akbar’s reign, including accounts of the marriage of his son and heir Salim (Jahangir); conquests of Swat, Orissa, Kashmir, Sind, and the Saurashtra Peninsula; the pacification of Bengal; and the emperor’s visits to Kashmir, the Punjab, and Kabul.

The Persian text, presented in the Naskh script, is based on a careful reassessment of the primary sources.

Praise

  • Of all the great monarchs to have ruled over India—a land whose history is richer and more turbulent than that of almost any other—the one who most retains our modern-day attention is Akbar, Mughal emperor from 1556 to 1605…[The History of Akbar] includes accounts of his court and his governance, as well as of the wars, alliances and intrigues of his time…Thackston’s translation is the first complete rendition into English of Abu’l-Fazl’s Persian text since Henry Beveridge, a British orientalist and imperial civil servant, completed his version in 1921…Thackston’s English is modern and…[his] translation…is impressively meticulous.

    —Tunku Varadarajan, Wall Street Journal

Author

  • Wheeler M. Thackston is retired Professor of the Practice in Persian and Other Near Eastern Languages at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 800 pages
  • 5-1/4 x 8 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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