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The History of Akbar, Volume 1

The History of Akbar, Volume 1

Abu'l-Fazl

Edited and translated by Wheeler M. Thackston

ISBN 9780674427754

Publication date: 01/06/2015

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 throughout the Persianate world. The work is at once a biography of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556–1605) that includes descriptions of his political and martial feats and cultural achievements, and a chronicle of sixteenth-century India.

The first volume details the birth of Akbar, his illustrious genealogy, and in particular the lives and exploits of his grandfather, Babur, and his father, Humayun, who laid the foundations of the Mughal Empire.

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

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

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