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Type of Item
Memoirs of Babur
This book is a lithograph edition of the Persian translation of Bāburnāmah (Memoirs of Babur), the autobiography of Ẓahīr al-Dīn Muḥammad Bāburshāh (1483–1530), the first Mughal emperor of India. Bāburnāmah originally was written in Chagatai Turkish and was translated into Persian during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar. The translation was undertaken by Bairam Khan (died 1561), an Afghan bureaucrat and military commander who served under Emperor Humayun and who was briefly appointed regent over his successor, Emperor Akbar, when Akbar was a child. This book was printed ...
The War of Kabul and Kandahar
Muḥārabah-ʼi Kābul va Qandahar (The war of Kabul and Kandahar) is an account of the First Afghan War (1839–42) by Munshi ʻAbd al-Karīm, an associate of Shāh Shujāʻ, the emir of Afghanistan. Mawlawī Muḥammad ʻAbd al-Karīm was an Indo-Persian historian from Lucknow, India, who was active in the mid-19th century. He was a prolific munshi (writer, secretary, and language teacher) and translator. He rendered into Persian from Arabic such works as Tārīkh al-Khulafā (History of the Caliphs), by al-Sūyūtī (1445–1505) and a history of Egypt by Ibn Iyās ...
Chilzina, or the Forty Steps
This photograph of the Chilzina and the "Forty Steps" is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Chilzina is a chamber carved from the mountain rock that was part of the old citadel of Kandahar, built by the first Mughal emperor, Ẓahīr al-Dīn Muḥammad Bābur (1483–1530), in the early 16th century. Inside the chamber near the summit, reached by forty steps, are Persian inscriptions detailing Bābur's conquests in India and elsewhere in Asia. A battle between Amir ...
The Book Known as “The Sulṭānī History”
Tārīkh-i Sulṭānī (The Sulṭānī history) is a historical study of the Afghan people and the rulers of Afghanistan from the beginnings of Islam to the mid-19th century. The work was published as a lithographic print in Bombay (present-day Mumbai) in 1881. This copy has been rebound, with “Ṣaḥāfī Sulṭān Muḥammad, Kabul" gold-stamped on the back cover. The title page and pages 3−4 are damaged and repaired with no loss of text. The last page (page 291) has been repaired and missing text added in ink in a later hand ...
History of Nadir Shah Afshar
Waqiat-i Nadiri (literally “Events of Nadir”) is a historical manuscript that chronicles the political and military career of Nādir Shāh, who was born in 1688 and rose to power in Iran during the 1720s; he became shah in 1736. He is known as a military warrior famous for his campaigns in Iran, Afghanistan, northern India, and Central Asia. He was assassinated by his officers in June 1747. The name of the author of this work, Mohammad Mahdi Munshi ibn Mohammad Nasir (also seen as Mahdī Khān Astarābādī), appears on page ...
The Rising of the Propitious Twin Stars, and the Amalgamation of the Oceans
This manuscript is volume one of Matla us-Sadain wa Majma ul-Baahrain (The rising of the propitious twin stars and the amalgamation of the oceans) by 'Abd al-Razzāq Kamāl al-Dīn ibn Isḥāq al-Samarqandī (1413−82). The book offers a semi-official account of the political history of the late Mongol khanates and Timurid polities in the Caucasus, Iran, Khorasan, and Mawarannahr. Volume one documents the period from 1316, when Abu Said Bahadur Khan, the last great Mongol khan, came to power in Persia, to the death in 1405 of Timur, founder of ...
Annotated ʻĀlamgīrī Jottings
This lithographic book, published in 1875 in Lahore, present-day Pakistan, is a volume of letters written by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1618–1707, reigned 1658–1707) to his sons, daughter, friends, and ministers. It also includes jottings, as in an occasional journal, on events and other things that caught his attention. The marginal printed notes were added by an unknown person and probably postdate the work itself. After imprisoning his father, Emperor Shah Jahan, and killing his brothers, Aurangzeb crowned himself emperor of India and assumed the title ʻĀlamgīr (meaning ...
History of the Pashtuns
Tawarikh-e Khurshid-e Jahan (literally, Histories of the sun of the world) is primarily a history of Afghan Pashtun (or Pashton) ancestry. It describes Afghan Pashtun genealogies, the various lineages, and the many political events, wars, and polities, such as the Safavid and Mughal dynasties in Khorasan and India, with which the Pashtuns have historically been identified. The book is arranged in four sections. Section one is a detailed list of contents. Section two begins with a preface containing the names of the author, patron, and contributor and proclaims that the ...
History of the Afghans
The History of the Afghans, published in English in 1829, is the first history of the Afghan people translated from a non-Western language to appear in a European language. The original work was composed in Persian, in 1609-11, by Neamet Ullah (active 1613-30) in the court of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569-1627). Ullah based his work on material compiled by Hybet Khan, an attendant of the Afghan General Khan Jahan Lodi. The translation is by the German philologist and Orientalist Bernhard Dorn (1805-81), who worked from a copy of the ...
Memoirs of Babur
Recognized as one of the world’s great autobiographical memoirs, the Bāburnāmah is the story of Zahīr al-Dīn Muhammad Bābur, who was born in 1483 and ruled from the age of 11 until his death in 1530. Babur conquered northern India and established the Mughal Empire (or Timurid-Mughal Empire). Originally from Fergana in Central Asia, Babur descended on his father’s side from Timur (Tamerlaine) and on his mother’s from Chingiz (Ghengis) Khan. Babur wrote his memoir in Chagatai, or Old Turkish, which he called Turkic, and it was ...
Emperor Aurangzeb at the Siege of Golconda, 1687
This gouache painting was created by an unknown Indian artist sometime in the mid-to-late 18th century, but it depicts an earlier event: the siege of the city of Golconde in south-central India by the last great Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb (reigned 1658–1707). Golconde was famous for its fort, palaces, factories, and ingenious water-supply system, as well as the legendary wealth from the city’s diamond mine. Aurangzeb was Sunni, while the rulers of the Deccan were Shia who accepted the suzerainity of the shah of Persia and resisted Mughal expansionism ...
The Drama of Akbar
Muḥammad Ḥusain Āzād (also called Ehsan Azad, circa 1834–1910) was a successful Urdu poet and a writer of vivid prose, particularly in his historical writing. He was born in Delhi, where his father, Muhammad Baqir, edited the first Urdu newspaper, Delhi Urdu Akhbar. Muhammad Baqir’s involvement in the Uprising of 1857 (also known as the Sepoy Rebellion) led to his execution by the British. His son moved to Lahore several years later, where he taught Arabic at Government College and was subsequently professor of Urdu and Persian at ...