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Knowledge of the Art of Governance: The Mughal and Ottoman Empires in the Early Seventeenth Century

  • GAGAN D. S. SOOD (a1)

Abstract

This article seeks to reconstruct the prevailing concepts, images and principles that framed sovereign governance in the Mughal and Ottoman empires in the early seventeenth century. Little is known about the subject. To help fill the gap, two contemporaneous advice-to-kings treatises—one Mughal by ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq Dihlavī, one Ottoman by Koçi Bey—are analysed in juxtaposition. Such an analysis, never previously undertaken, is motivated and guided by a novel approach. In this approach, a model founded on near-universal conditions and problems is deployed within a regional perspective. The findings which result advance our understanding of the art of governance in the Mughal and Ottoman empires of the time. But they have a larger importance, too. They move us closer to achieving a break with the decline paradigm, whose logic still persists in mainstream interpretations. They also contribute to a more recent, and rapidly developing, interest in a region spanning much of South Asia and the Middle East that was formative for the global genesis of the modern world.

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Footnotes

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*

Earlier versions of this article have benefitted greatly from the considered views of Antony M. Best, Leonard Blussé, Scott A. Boorman, Paul Keenan, Paul M. Kennedy, Noémi Lévy-Aksu, Rudolph Matthee, Patrick K. O'Brien, Ronald C. Po, Padraic X. Scanlan, Chander Shekhar, David Stevenson and Raphaël Taylor. I appreciate their willingness to engage with my research, and urge me on.

**

A note on transliteration. This article is based on sources in Persian and Ottoman. Many of the same key terms are used in both. Within direct quotations, these terms are transliterated in the system for their source language alone. In the general reasoning, they are transliterated in the systems for both languages in the order Persian/Ottoman (e.g., ḥuqūq/ḥuḳūḳ). Where a term in the general reasoning is transliterated only once, this is either because it is found solely in that language in the sources examined or because its transliteration is the same in both systems. An exception is made for دولت due to the frequency with which this term figures in the article. To aid legibility, دولت in the general reasoning is transliterated in the Persian system alone (so daulat, not daulat/devlet). Within direct quotations, however, the rule above applies.

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References

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1 British Library, Delhi Persian 659b, ff. 12r, 1-13r, 7.

2 Koçi Bey Risâlesi (Konstantiniye, 1303 [1885]), pp. 8, 1–3, 6–13; 100, 8–10, 17.

3 Through a consideration of precolonial India, C. A. Bayly gives a stimulating account of the relationship between various kinds of knowledge and the art of governance in the prologue of his Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780–1870 (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 10–55.

4 The point is endorsed in all recent syntheses in the vein of world or global history. As an example, see Bayly, C. A., The Birth of the Modern World, 1780–1914: Global Connections and Comparisons (Oxford, 2004).

5 al-Azmeh, A., Muslim Kingship: Power and the Sacred in Muslim, Christian and Pagan Polities (London, 1997), p. viii. A partial exception to al-Azmeh's claim is scholarship on the history of Ottoman political thought and culture, discussed below.

6 For an up-to-date summary of the contributions by economic historians, see Roy, T. and Riello, G. (eds.), Global Economic History (London, 2019). The question of plural modernities has been debated most tellingly in several special issues: ‘Early Modernities’, Daedalus 127:3 (1998); ‘Multiple Modernities’, Daedalus 129:1 (2000); Modernity’, Journal of the Economic & Social History of the Orient 40:4 (2007); ‘Historians and the question of “modernity”’, American Historical Review 116:3 (2011). Current work on the history of empires in comparative perspective is represented by Alcock, S. E.et al. (eds.), Empires: Perspectives from Archaeology and History (Cambridge, 2001); Darwin, J., After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire (London, 2007); Stoler, A. L., McGranahan, C. and Perdue, P. (eds.), Imperial Formations (Oxford, 2007); Turchin, P., ‘A theory for formation of large empires’, Journal of Global History 4:2 (2009), pp. 191217; Burbank, J. and Cooper, F., Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference (Princeton, NJ, 2010).

7 Prominent here is histoire croisée and global microhistory, developments in which are detailed in Werner, M. and Zimmermann, B., ‘Beyond comparison: Histoire croisée and the challenge of reflexivity’, History & Theory 45:1 (2006), pp. 3050; Douki, C. and Minard, P., ‘Histoire globale, histoires connectées: un changement d’échelle historiographique?’, Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine 54-4bis:5 (2007), pp. 721; ‘Global history and microhistory’, Past & Present 242, Issue Supplement 14 (2019).

8 The promise of this incipient field can be gauged through Sartori, A., ‘The resonance of “culture”: Framing a problem in global concept-history’, 47:4Comparative Studies in Society & History (2005), pp. 676699; Iggers, G. G. and Wang, Q. E., A Global History of Historiography (London, 2008); Gommans, J. J. L., ‘Empires and emporia: The orient in world historical space and time’, Journal of the Economic & Social History of the Orient 53:1–2 (2010), pp. 318.

9 The two ends of the spectrum of views on these polities are typified by Frank, A. G., ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age (London, 1998) and Landes, D. S., Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some are so Rich and Some so Poor (London, 1998).

10 For influential accounts of past globalisations, see McNeill, J. R. and McNeill, W. H., The Human Web: A Bird's-Eye View of World History (New York, NY, 2003); Maier, C. S., Among Empires: American Ascendancy and its Predecessors (Cambridge, Mass., 2006); Osterhammel, J., The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century (translated by Camiller, P., Princeton, NJ, 2014 [2009]). It should be noted that the scholarly literature in this field remains dominated by historians who are specialists on European empires, the Western world and/or modern times. Specialists on one or another part of the premodern East are conspicuous by their absence. On this point, see Hopkins, A. G., ‘The historiography of globalization and the globalization of regionalism’, Journal of the Economic & Social History of the Orient 53:1 (2010), pp. 1936.

11 Polycentricism underpins all the major studies in global history to date. In addition to those already noted, they include V. Lieberman, Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830, vol. 1, Integration on the Mainland (Cambridge, 2003), vol. 2, Mainland Mirrors: Europe, Japan, China, South Asia, and the Islands (Cambridge, 2009); Parker, G., Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century (New Haven, NJ, 2013). Though the polycentric concept has a venerable lineage—it is core to scholarship going back generations, exemplified by luminaries such as Fernand Braudel, Shmuel N. Eisenstadt, Charles Tilly, Immanuel Wallerstein and Eric Wolf—the present generation’s novelty lies in the ambition to take seriously developments in various parts of the world, and not to prejudge the origins or aetiology of these developments.

12 The seminal works on these two frameworks are Jones, E. L., European Miracle: Environments, Economies, and Geopolitics in the History of Europe and Asia (3rd edition, Cambridge, 2003 [1981]) and Pomeranz, K., Great Divergence: Europe, China and the Making of the Modern World Economy (Princeton, NJ, 2000). Subsequent scholarship is surveyed, from different but complementary perspectives, in Bryant, J., ‘The West and the Rest revisited: Debating capitalist origins, European colonialism, and the advent of modernity’, Canadian Journal of Sociology/Cahiers canadiens de sociologie 31:4 (2006), pp. 403444 and Ghosh, S., ‘The “Great Divergence,” politics, and capitalism’, Journal of Early Modern History 18:6 (2014), pp. 143.

13 For further details, see Sood, G. D. S., ‘Circulation and exchange in Islamicate Eurasia: A regional approach to the early modern world’, Past & Present 212 (2011), pp. 113162.

14 Arguments in favour of this trend are presented in Lewis, M. W. and Wigen, K. E., Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography (Berkeley, CA, 1997); Ludden, D., ‘Presidential address: maps in the mind and the mobility of Asia’, Journal of Asian Studies 62:4 (2003), pp. 10571078; Bonine, M. E., Amanat, A. and Gasper, M. E. (eds.), Is There a Middle East? The Evolution of a Geopolitical Concept (Stanford, CA, 2012).

15 On the nineteenth-century historiographical roots of this paradigm and its enduring influence, see C. A. Bayly, ‘Religion, liberalism and empires: British historians and their Indian critics in the nineteenth century’ and Tezcan, B., ‘The New Order and the fate of the old - the historiographical construction of an Ottoman Ancien Régime in the nineteenth century’, in (eds.) Bang, P. F. and Bayly, C. A., Tributary Empires in Global History (Houndmills, 2011), pp. 2147, 74–95.

16 This matter is discussed in the introduction to Pollock, S. I. (ed.), Forms of Knowledge in Early Modern Asia: Explorations in the Intellectual History of India and Tibet, 1500–1800 (Durham, NC, 2011).

17 The historical scholarship on the Mughal side is so limited that there is no meaningful debate, and thus overviews, to speak of. For the most substantive and stimulating set of contributions, we have to go back some forty years to Richards, J. F. (ed.), Kingship and Authority in South Asia (Delhi, 1998 [1978]).

18 For a detailed account, see Yılmaz, H., ‘Osmanlı tarihçiliǧinde Tanzimat öncesi siyaset düşüncesine yaklaşımlar’, Türkiye Araştırmaları Literatür Dergisi 1:2 (2003), pp. 231298.

19 E.g. Lewis, B., ‘Ottoman observers of Ottoman decline’, Islamic Studies 1 (1962), pp. 7187; Fodor, P., ‘State and society, crisis and reform, in 15th-17th century Ottoman mirror for princes’, Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 40:2–3 (1986), pp. 217240.

20 E.g., Murphey, R., Exploring Ottoman Sovereignty: Tradition, Image and Practice in the Ottoman Imperial Household, 1400–1800 (London, 2008); Yılmaz, H., Caliphate Redefined: The Mystical Turn in Ottoman Political Thought (Princeton, NJ, 2018).

21 E.g., Howard, D., ‘Ottoman historiography and the literature of ‘decline’ in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’, Journal of Asian History 22:1 (1988), pp. 5276; Ferguson, H. L., The Proper Order of Things: Language, Power, and Law in Ottoman Administrative Discourses (Stanford, CA, 2018).

22 E.g., Abou-El-Haj, R. A., The 1703 Rebellion and the Structure of Ottoman Politics (Leiden, 1984); Tezcan, B., The Second Ottoman Empire: Political and Social Transformation in the Early Modern World (Cambridge, 2010).

23 For a good overview, see Quataert, D., ‘Ottoman history writing and changing attitudes towards the notion of “decline”’, History Compass (2003), pp. 19.

24 This research is critically surveyed in Ghosh, S., ‘How should we approach the economy of “early modern India”?’, Modern Asian Studies 49:5 (2015), pp. 16061656; Travers, R., ‘The eighteenth century in Indian history’, Eighteenth-Century Studies 40:3 (2007), pp. 492508; Mikhail, A. and Philliou, C. M., ‘The Ottoman empire and the imperial turn’, Comparative Studies in Society & History 54:4 (2012), pp. 721745; Hathaway, J., ‘Rewriting eighteenth-century Ottoman history’, Mediterranean Historical Review 19:1 (2004), pp. 2953; Stern, P. J., ‘History and historiography of the English East India Company’, History Compass 7:4 (2009), pp. 11461180.

25 Markiewicz, C. critically assesses the Europeanist orientation of Ottomanists in his ‘Europeanist trends and Islamicate trajectories in early modern Ottoman history’, Past & Present 239 (2018), pp. 265281.

26 The present interest in the reciprocal comparisons method is due to the debate over the Great Divergence. For details, see Wong, R. B., China Transformed: Historical Change and the Limits of European Experience (Ithaca, NY, 1997), pp. 17; Pomeranz, K., Great Divergence: Europe, China and the Making of the Modern World Economy (Princeton, NJ, 2000), p. 8; Wong, R. B., ‘Early modern economic history in the long run’, Science & Society 68:1 (2004), pp. 8090; Austin, G., ‘Reciprocal comparison and African history: Tackling conceptual eurocentrism in the study of Africa's economic past’, African Studies Review 50:3 (2007), pp. 128. The manner in which the method is implemented here by necessity differs from its formulation within the context of the Great Divergence debate. This is because the parallels and linkages between the Mughal and Ottoman polities of the time were of a much higher order compared to those prevailing between Europe and China.

27 In the conclusion below, I return to the issue of the category of regime to which the Mughal and Ottoman empires belonged.

28 E.g., Hodgson, M. G. S., Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization, 3 vols (Chicago, 1974); Alam, M. and Subrahmanyam, S., Indo-Persian Travels in the Age of Discoveries, 1400–1800 (Cambridge, 2007); Sood, G. D. S., India and the Islamic Heartlands: An Eighteenth-Century World of Circulation and Exchange (Cambridge, 2016).

29 E.g., al-Azmeh, A., Muslim Kingship: Power and the Sacred in Muslim, Christian and Pagan Polities (London, 1997); Moin, A. A., The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam (New York, 2012); Anooshahr, A., Turkestan and the Rise of Eurasian Empires: A Study of Politics and Invented Traditions (Oxford, 2018); Gommans, J. J. L., ‘The warband in the making of Eurasian empires’, in (eds.) Berkel, M. and Duindam, J., Prince, Pen, and Sword: Eurasian Perspectives (Leiden, 2018), pp. 297383.

30 E.g., Bulliet, R. W., The Camel and The Wheel (New York, 1990 [1975]); Chaudhuri, K. N., Asia Before Europe: Economy and Civilisation of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750 (Cambridge, 1990); Sood, G. D. S., ‘The informational fabric of eighteenth-century India and the Middle East: Couriers, intermediaries and postal communication’, Modern Asian Studies 43:5 (2009), pp. 10851116.

31 E.g., Berktay, H., ‘Three empires and the societies they governed: Iran, India and the Ottoman empire’, in (eds.) Berktay, H. and Faroqhi, S. N., New Approaches to State and Peasant in Ottoman History (London, 1992), pp. 247263; Robinson, F., The Mughal Emperors and the Islamic Dynasties of India, Iran, Central Asia, 1206–1925 (London, 2007).

32 E.g., Necipoğlu, G., ‘Framing the gaze in Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal palaces’, Ars Orientalis 23 (1993), pp. 303342; Blair, S. and Bloom, Jonathan, The Art and Architecture of Islam, 1200–1800 (New Haven, CT, 1994).

33 E.g., Robinson, F., ‘Ottomans-Safavids-Mughals: Shared knowledge and connective systems’, Journal of Islamic Studies 8:2 (1997), pp. 151184; Reichmuth, S., The World of Murtaḍa al-Zabīdī (1732–91): Life, Networks and Writings (Cambridge, 2009).

34 For details on the region’s environment as historically formative, see Gommans, J. J. L., ‘The silent frontier of South Asia, c. A.D. 1100–1800’, Journal of World History 9:1 (1998), pp. 123; Wink, A., ‘From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean: Medieval history in geographic perspective’, Comparative Studies in Society & History 44:3 (2002), pp. 416445; Tabak, F., The Waning of the Mediterranean, 1550–1870: A Geohistorical Approach (Baltimore, 2008).

35 A very recent plea for historical scholarship unshackled from “cognitive eurocentrism” is made in Drayton, R. and Motadel, D., ‘Discussion: The futures of global history’, Journal of Global History 13:1 (2018), pp. 121.

36 The need for models for credible analyses of this kind has long been recognised. From an earlier generation, see Owen, R., ‘Introduction [to part two]’, in (eds.) Naff, T. and Owen, R., Studies in Eighteenth Century Islamic History (Carbondale and Edwardsville, 1977), pp. 133151 and Abou-El-Haj, R. A., Formation of the Modern State: The Ottoman Empire, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries (2nd edition, Albany, NY, 2006 [1991]).

37 Mann, M. elaborates this point in arguing for “societies as organized power networks” in Sources of Social Power, vol. 1, A History of Power from the Beginning to A.D. 1760 (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 133.

38 For complex polities, the near-universal conditions of power are centralised institutions, a ruling ideology, indirect rule and plural populations.

39 For complex polities, the near-universal problems of power turn on loyalty, intelligence, chains-of-command, succession, revenue, rights, justice, dispute resolution, resource distribution, public works, population size, social welfare, reputation, security, livelihood, strangers, aliens, memory and unity.

40 The model outlined here is derived from a consideration of the character and trajectory of complex polities about which we possess recorded evidence. To that end, I have found particularly helpful Brown, D. E., Human Universals (New York, 1991); Christian, D., Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (Berkeley, CA, 2004); Crone, P., Pre-Industrial Societies (Oxford, 1989); Eisenstadt, Shmuel N., The Political Systems of Empires (New York, 1963); Finer, S. E., The History of Government from the Earliest Times, 3 vols (Oxford, 1997); Gellner, E., Plough, Sword and Book: the Structure of Human History (Chicago, 1988); Mann, M., Sources of Social Power, 4 vols (Cambridge, 1986–2013); Martin, J. L., Social Structures (Princeton, NJ, 2009); Unger, R. M., Plasticity into Power, vol. 3, Comparative-Historical Studies on the Institutional Conditions of Economic and Military Success (Cambridge, 1987).

41 Historians of the Ottoman empire, much more so than those of the Mughal empire, are in the fortunate position of having at their disposal a huge quantity of official records to have survived from the fifteenth century onwards. Such documentary riches have their own pitfalls, however, which are tellingly discussed in Berktay, H., ‘The search for the peasant in Western and Turkish history/historiography’, in (eds.) Berktay, H. and Faroqhi, S. N., New Approaches to State and Peasant in Ottoman History (London, 1992), pp. 109184.

42 Arjomand, S. A., ‘The salience of political ethic in the spread of Persianate Islam’, Journal of Persianate Studies 1:1 (2008), pp. 529.

43 L. Marlow, ‘Advice and advice literature’, in (eds.) K. Fleet et al., Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE (consulted online on 15 November 2018, http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_0026).

44 Sarkar, J., Mughal Administration (3rd edition, Calcutta, 1935), pp. 258261; Habib, I., The Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556–1707 (3rd edition, New Delhi, 2013 [1963]), pp. 468471; H. İnalcık, ‘Ḳānūnnāme’, in (ed.) P. Bearman, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition (consulted online on 15 November 2018, http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0440); Lowry, H. W., ‘The Ottoman Liva Kanunnamesi contained in the Defter-i Hakani’, Osmanlı Araştırmaları Dergisi 2 (1981), pp. 4374.

45 Kondo, O., The Early Modern Monarchism in Mughal India (With a Bibliographical Survey) (New Delhi, 2014 [2012]), pp. 231276; Faroqhi, S. N., Approaching Ottoman History: An Introduction to the Sources (Cambridge, 1999).

46 The scholarship based on such treatises is reviewed in Sariyannis, M., A History of Ottoman Political Thought up to the Early Nineteenth Century (Leiden, 2018).

47 For a useful description of these works, glossed as islahatnâmeler, see Yılmaz, C., ‘Osmanlı siyaset düşünçesi kaynakları ile ilgili yeni bir kavramsallaştırma: Islahatnâmeler’, Türkiye Araştırmaları Literatür Dergisi 1:2 (2003), pp. 299338.

48 Only four such treatises are known to have been written between the reign of Akbar (r. 1556–1605) and that of Aurangzeb (r. 1658–1707). Brief details on these are given in Alvi, S. S., Advice on the Art of Governance: Mauʾizah-i Jahāngīrī of Muḥammad Bāqir Najm-i Sānī: An Indo-Islamic ‘Mirror for Princes’ (Albany, NY, 1989), pp. 911, 29–30.

49 Richards, J. F., The Mughal Empire (Cambridge, 1993), p. 290.

50 Such an analysis could, of course, be extended by carrying out diachronic comparisons with earlier and later treatises in the same vein. Though that lies beyond the scope of this article, it is a desiderata for future research on the region's history.

51 On ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq's life, see Niẓāmī, K. A., Ḥayāt-i Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq Muḥaddith Dihlavī (Delhi, 1964); S. Kugle, ‘ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq Muḥaddith Dihlavī’, in (eds.) K. Fleet et al., Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE (consulted online on 18 November 2018, http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_24147). Though ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq's treatise is undated, it was most likely written and presented in the 1610s. Jahangir's accession in 1605 gives its dating a lower bound. As the treatise suggests that its author had never met Jahangir in person at the time of writing, an upper bound is provided by November 1619. That is when Jahangir received ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq at court, as recounted in his own memoirs, the Jahāngīrnāmah (The Jahangirnama: Memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India, translated, edited, and annotated by W. M. Thackston, New York, 1999, p. 316). Given these facts, it is probable Risālah-i nūriyyah was written in the years leading up to this audience, and perhaps even helped pave the way for it.

52 On Koçi Bey’s life, see M. Ç. Uluçay, ‘Koçi Bey’, İslam Ansiklopedisi (1954), pp. vi, 832–835; Ö. F. Akün, ‘Koçi Bey’, TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi, (2002), pp. xxvi, 143–148.

53 The immediate impact of their opinions as found in these treatises is a matter about which unfortunately we remain mostly in the dark. That there was interest in them is testified to by the existence of multiple manuscript copies of all or parts of the original treatises made in the seventeenth and later centuries. Furthermore, as the reasoning of the treatises remained well within the bounds of ‘safe criticism’ or, alternatively, ‘commanding right and forbidding wrong’, thereby expressing loyal opposition, the circle of prospective readers among the ruling elites was presumably maximised. For the registers in which loyal opposition could be aired, see R. Abou-El-Haj, A., ‘The expression of Ottoman political culture in the Literature of advice to princes (nasihatnameler), sixteenth to twentieth centuries’, in (eds.) Bhattacharya, R. K. and Ghosh, A. K., Sociology in the Rubric of Social Science: Professor Ramkrishna Mukherjee Felicitation Volume (New Delhi, 1995), p. 282; Sariyannis, M., ‘Ottoman ideas on monarchy before the Tanzimat reforms: Toward a conceptual history of Ottoman political notions’, Turcica 47:1 (2016): pp. 5961. On what the memorandum form taken by Ottoman advice-to-kings treatises implies about their readership, see Murphey, R., ‘The Veliyüddin Telhis: Notes on the sources and interrelations between Koçi Bey and contemporary writers of Advice to Kings’, Belleten 43 (1979), pp. 547571; Howard, D., ‘Genre and myth in the Ottoman advice for kings literature’, in Aksan, V. H. and Goffman, D., The Early Modern Ottomans: Remapping the Empire (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 150151.

54 I chanced upon this treatise while leafing through an unpublished catalogue that contained references to two eighteenth-century manuscripts held in the British Library. On further enquiry, these turned out to be slightly different copies of the original, early seventeenth-century Risālah-i nūriyyah, which no longer appears to be extant. For details on these copies (and a third, much later copy held in a collection in Peshawar, Pakistan), see the introduction (in Persian) to Shaykh ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq Muḥaddith Dihlavī, Risālalah-i nūriyyah-i sulṭāniyyah (introduced, edited and annotated by M. S. Akhtar, Islamabad, 1985). The analysis of this article is based on the earliest of the three known copies. This was made in 1736 and is today preserved in the British Library under the class mark Delhi Persian 659b. The reason for its selection is not because of its closeness in date to the original treatise but because it is the only copy to have been made before the devastation wrought on Delhi and the traditional Mughal heartlands by the military campaigns of Nādir Shāh and Aḥmad Shāḥ from the end of the 1730s through to the 1760s; the other copies were made after these events, and are thus less likely to be faithful to the original treatise.

55 For details on Risāle's manuscript copies and printings, as well its translations, see Çakmakcıoğlu, S. (ed.), Koçi Bey Risaleleri (Istanbul, 2008), pp. 1718. Due to lack of precision and inconsistences in the modern translations currently found in Russian, German, Hungarian and Turkish—modern translations into English or French have yet to appear—I base the analysis in the following section on my own translation of the well-known transcribed edition of the original treatise published in 1885 by Ebüzziya Tevfik. The modern scholarship on Koçi Bey and his Risāle is noted in Sariyannis, M., Ottoman Political Thought up to the Tanzimat: A Concise History (Rethymno, 2015), pp. 8485.

56 The most recent overviews are Lefèvre, C., Pouvoir impérial et élites dans l'Inde moghole de Jahāngīr (Paris, 2018); Tezcan, B., The Second Ottoman Empire: Political and Social Transformation in the Early Modern World (Cambridge, 2010).

57 There is an extensive body of scholarship on how the two empires addressed such problems from the perspective of the centre. Among Mughalists, this is primarily due to the remarkable feats of the ‘Aligarh School’ historians, whose leading and most fruitful proponent was Irfan Habib. As for Ottoman studies, the field has been blessed by a sizeable number of historians over the generations. The most seminal of those to have adopted a problems-oriented approach include Halil Inalcık, Mehmet Genç and Rifaʿat A. Abou-El-Haj.

58 British Library, Delhi Persian 659b (hereafter, ‘AH’), f. 14r, 1–3; Koçi Bey Risâlesi (Konstantiniye, 1303 [1885]) (hereafter, ‘KB’), pp. 63, 8–10.

59 AH, 22v, 11–12. Also see KB, 67, 7–9.

60 KB, 63, 10–11.

61 AH, 22v, 1–11.

62 AH, 22v, 13-23r, 3.

63 AH, 11r, 10–12. Also see KB, 39, 2–3; KB, 101, 8–10.

64 AH, 11v, 2–4; KB, 32, 7–8.

65 In ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq's Risālah-i nūriyyah, daulat is mentioned explicitly 18 times and salṭanat 24 times over 40 pages (20 folios). In Koçi Bey's Risāle, daulat is mentioned explicitly 85 times and salṭanat 24 times over 118 pages.

66 Despite the centrality of daulat and salṭanat to understandings of sovereign governance at the time, the modern scholarship on these as socio-political concepts is threadbare. What exists is of greatest value for its suggestive qualities. The main contributions include Savory, R., ‘The Safavid state and polity’, Iranian Studies 7:1–2 (1974), pp. 179212; Abou-El-Haj, R. A., ‘The nature of the Ottoman state in the latter part of the XVIIth century’, in (ed.) Tietze, A., Habsburgisch-osmanische Beziehungen (Vienna, 1985), pp. 171185; al-Azmeh, Muslim Kingship, pp. 110–113; Ali, M. Athar, ‘The state in Islamic thought in India’, in ibid., Mughal India: Studies in Polity, Ideas, Society and Culture (New Delhi, 2006), pp. 121124; Sigalas, N., ‘Devlet et etat: du glissement sémantique d'un ancien concept du pouvoir au début du XVIIIe siècle ottoman’, in (eds.) Grivaud, G. and Petmezas, S., Byzantina et Moderna: Mélanges en l'honneur d'Hélène Antoniadis-Bibicou (Athens, n.d. [2007]), pp. 385415; Sigalas, N., ‘Des histoires des Sultans à l'histoire de l'Etat. Une enquête sur le temps du pouvoir Ottoman (XVIe-XVIIIe siècles)’, in (eds.) Georgeon, F. and Hitzel, F., Les Ottomans et le temps (Leiden, 2011), pp. 99127.

67 AH, 12v, 5.

68 KB, 93, 12.

69 AH, 12v, 4.

70 KB, 10, 7.

71 AH, 11r, 6; 14v, 13.

72 For details on Ottoman usage of this expression, see Abou-El-Haj, ‘The nature of the Ottoman state’, pp. 173–174.

73 AH, 11r, 13; KB, 9, 9; KB, 85, 11; AH, 14r, 12; AH, 15r, 3.

74 AH, 11v, 5.

75 KB, 67, 16–68, 2; KB, 101, 10–11.

76 AH, 14r, 4–6.

77 KB, 103, 12–14.

78 KB, 116, 7–9.

79 AH, 10v, 1–2.

80 KB, 31, 12–32, 12; KB, 84, 4–88, 6; KB, 93, 3–96, 2; KB, 96, 7–99, 14.

81 AH, 25v, 4–10.

82 AH, 14v, 10; KB, 74, 9–10; KB, 103, 16–104, 1.

83 AH, 13r, 9; KB, 84, 8–9; KB, 18, 1–2.

84 AH, 12v, 1; KB, 38, 10–13; KB, 20, 14–15; KB, 27, 6–8; KB, 20, 12–13.

85 KB, 11, 10–12; AH, 15v, 11; KB, 71, 13–15.

86 KB, 59, 3; KB, 74, 10–11; KB, 75, 7–10.

87 AH, 21r, 5–6; AH, 25v, 7; KB, 101, 8–10; KB, 7, 1–4; KB, 102, 17–103, 4; KB, 8, 15–17; KB, 19, 6–8; KB, 31, 14–15; KB, 81, 1–3.

88 AH, 25v, 7–8; KB, 9, 8-9; KB, 31, 4–6.

89 AH, 17r, 11; KB, 71, 4–5.

90 AH, 15r, 9; AH, 15r, 3–5; AH, 17r, 11; KB, 9, 8–9; KB, 11, 14–15.

91 AH, 14r, 10–12; AH, 15r, 13; AH, 15v, 11–12; AH, 21r, 5–6; AH, 22r, 3–6; AH, 24v, 12–13; KB, 32, 11–12; KB, 50, 5–6; KB, 50, 16–51, 2; KB, 64, 7; KB, 116, 1–3.

92 AH, 11v, 2–4.

93 AH, 14r, 10-14v, 3.

94 KB, 67, 1–3. Also see KB, 101, 1–3; KB, 122, 1–4.

95 KB, 122, 15–124, 2.

96 AH, 10v, 7; KB, 16, 1–4. Also see AH, 10v, 12–13; AH, 19v, 12-20r, 1.

97 AH, 10v, 2–6; KB, 45, 16–17; KB, 56, 12; KB, 95, 16–17.

98 Contemporary understandings of religion among elites as being pragmatic, or even cosmopolitan, rather than bounded by the strictures of orthodox Sunni Islam are discussed in Alvi, S. S., ‘Religion and state during the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir (1605–27): Non-juristical perspectives’, Studia Islamica 69 (1989), pp. 95119; Alam, M., ‘Shariʿa and governance in the Indo-Islamic context’, in (eds.) Gilmartin, D. and Lawrence, B. B., Beyond Turk and Hindu: Rethinking Religious Identities in Islamicate South Asia (Gainesville, FL, 2000), pp. 216245; Alam, M., ‘Sharīʿa, akhlāq and governance’ in ibid., The Languages of Political Islam in India, 1200–1800 (Chicago, IL, 2004), pp. 2680; Ergene, B. A., ‘Qanun and Sharia’, in (eds.) Peters, R. and Bearman, P., The Ashgate Research Companion to Islamic Law (Farnham, Surrey, 2014), pp. 109121. More generally, see Smith, W. C., The Meaning and End of Religion: A New Approach to the Religious Traditions of Mankind (New York, 1963).

99 AH, 19v, 5–6. Also see AH, 20r, 7–11.

100 AH, 17r, 13-17v, 2; AH, 18r, 12–13; AH, 23r, 11; KB, 80, 14.

101 AH, 24r, 1–2; KB, 90, 3–4.

102 KB, 8, 15–17; KB, 103, 5; KB, 117, 14–15. Related stock expressions frequently encountered in Koçi Bey's treatise include ‘the glory of Islam’, ‘the sovereign of Islam’, ‘the army of Islam’, ‘the sword of Islam’, ‘the Islamic dominions’.

103 On the genealogy of these notions, see, for example, Lambton, A. K. S., ‘Justice in the medieval theory of kingship’, Studia Islamica 17 (1962), pp. 91119; İnalcık, H., ‘Kutadgu Bilig'de Türk ve İran siyaset nazariye ve gelenekleri’, in Arat, Reşit Rahmeti, Reşid Rahmeti Arat için (Ankara, 1966), pp. 259271; Ergene, B. A., ‘On Ottoman justice: Interpretations in conflict (1600–1800)’, Islamic Law & Society 8:1 (2001), pp. 5287; Ali, M. A., ‘Elements of social justice in medieval Islamic thought’, in ibid., Mughal India: Studies in Polity, Ideas, Society and Culture (New Delhi, 2006), pp. 129145.

104 AH, 14r, 10-14v, 2.

105 AH, 17r, 2–4. Also see AH, 9v, 11-10r, 10; AH, 10v, 13-11r, 1; AH, 21r, 7; KB, 8, 3–6; KB, 122, 15–123, 2.

106 This is in keeping with the widespread notion of ‘rational kingship’. For details, see al-Azmeh, Muslim Kingship, pp. 108–109, 128–131.

107 KB, 67, 7.

108 AH, 17r, 5–9.

109 KB, 111, 6–7. Also see KB, 74, 9–10; KB, 103, 16–104, 1; KB, 104, 14–17.

110 KB, 88, 4–6.

111 KB, 31, 3–4; KB, 35, 10–13; KB, 41, 7–9; KB, 73, 6–7; KB, 122, 15–123, 2.

112 KB, 11, 3–5; KB, 63, 14; KB, 111, 10; KB, 114, 9–20.

113 KB, 18, 1–2; KB, 19, 6–8; KB, 21, 18–22, 2; KB, 31, 14–15; KB, 81, 1–3.

114 AH, 14r, 12; AH, 17v, 7.

115 AH, 10v, 10–12.

116 AH, 15r, 1–2; AH, 14v, 10, 11.

117 The importance and meanings of order in the akhlāq/aḫlāḳ and naṣīḥat genres are discussed in Howard, ‘Genre and myth’, pp. 147, 154, 161–164.

118 AH, 14v, 7–8; AH, 15v, 10–12; KB, 8, 15–17; KB, 61, 8–9; KB, 73, 6–9; KB, 97, 2–3; KB, 102, 12–103, 2.

119 These notions have a venerable pedigree. A good account is given in al-Azmeh, Muslim Kingship, pp. 115–121.

120 AH, 11v, 7–8.

121 KB, 81, 12–17.

122 AH, 10v, 8–10.

123 KB, 72, 4–6.

124 KB, 8, 11–13; AH, 11v, 3–4.

125 AH, 25r, 1–9; AH, 25r, 11-25v, 4. Also see KB, 67, 9–10; KB, 116, 6–10.

126 AH, 11r, 2–3; AH, 14r, 1–2; KB, 103, 6–8; AH, 14r, 4; KB, 103, 12–14.

127 AH, 14r, 4–6.

128 KB, 119, 9–10.

129 AH, 13r, 10–11; AH, 15r, 1–2; AH, 25r, 8–10; KB, 42, 10–11; KB, 42, 16–17; KB, 43, 7–8; KB, 45, 14; KB, 57, 15–16; KB, 92, 14–15; KB, 118, 12–13; KB, 123, 16.

130 AH, 21r, 6; AH, 27v, 9; KB, 12, 13–14; KB, 66, 16–17.

131 AH, 13r, 8; KB, 9, 1–2; KB, 71, 2–3; KB, 74, 11–12; KB, 100, 14–15. Koçi Bey often juxtaposed reʿāyā and berāyā in a manner that suggests a pointed distinction between the two. Though barāyā/berāyā usually means people, or created beings in general, here the dominant meaning is in contrast to those who till the land. That underlies this article's gloss on the term as free individuals.

132 AH, 10v, 9–11; KB, 12, 13–14. Also see KB, 61, 16–62, 1.

133 KB, 62, 6–63, 12; KB, 98, 2–3; KB, 111, 14; KB, 121, 1–2.

134 AH, 10v, 8–9; AH, 21r, 7; KB, 9, 1–2.

135 KB, 9, 1–2. Also see KB, 42, 8–43, 8.

136 There is a notable difference in how the two authors referred to armies. Koçi Bey used leşker to refer exclusively to the armies of those he disapproved of, like the Celali rebels and the Austrian enemy. Otherwise, he used ʿasker. Ottoman and Islamic armies were thus termed by him ʿasker. Intriguingly, so was the army of ʿAbbās I, even though the Safavids were enemies of the Ottomans at the time. The reason is Koçi Bey's desire to convince his readers that the internal reforms undertaken by ʿAbbās I were worth emulating by the Ottomans. ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq made no such distinction; he used lashkar throughout in referring to armies, whether loyal or opposed to the Mughal regime.

137 KB, 9, 2–3.

138 Though many other previous and contemporary authors avowed a four-fold division of the body politic, views differed on the contents of the four divisions. These are discussed Sariyannis, M., ‘Ruler and state, state and society in Ottoman political thought’, Turkish Historical Review 4 (2013): pp. 100102, 107–111.

139 This is in keeping with the traditional notion of the ‘circle of justice’, which interestingly, though a widespread motif well before the seventeenth century, hardly appears as an expression in the treatises. For a general account, see Darling, L. T., A History of Social Justice and Political Power in the Middle East: The Circle of Justice from Mesopotamia to Globalization (New York, 2013).

140 AH, 18v, 5–10.

141 KB, 71, 4–7. Also see KB, 111, 4–15.

142 AH, 10v, 13-11r, 1.

143 AH, 11r, 2–5; AH, 28r, 4–5; KB, 88, 10–13. There is a brief but insightful discussion of these and related analogies in al-Azmeh, Muslim Kingship, pp. 119–120.

144 AH, 13r, 8–10.

145 KB, 111, 10–13.

146 KB, 103, 6–8.

147 AH, 25r, 8–10.

148 KB, 43, 4–8.

149 AH, 13r, 8–9; KB, 91, 13–14; AH, 25r, 12.

150 KB, 9, 4–5.

151 AH, 17v, 4–7. Also see AH, 18v, 5–10; KB, 71, 4–8.

152 AH, 13r, 8; KB, 89, 10.

153 KB, 115, 10–15.

154 KB, 61, 16–62, 1.

155 AH, 12r, 5–7.

156 KB, 20, 13; KB, 21, 9–10; KB, 28, 5; KB, 47, 14–15; KB, 50, 12; KB, 76, 7–9; KB, 90, 5–6; KB, 94, 16–17; KB, 27, 6–8; KB, 86, 4–5.

157 AH, 15v, 3–8. Also see AH, 21r, 5–7.

158 There is a possible link between ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq's notion of ittifāq and Nāṣir al-Dīn Ṭūsī's notion of maḥabbat (mutual love) as mechanisms for ensuring cooperation. For details, and further references, see Alam, M., ‘Sharīʿa, akhlāq and governance’ in ibid., The Languages of Political Islam in India, 1200–1800 (Chicago, 2004): p. 55.

159 KB, 71, 4–7.

160 AH, 20r, 7–9; KB, 44, 9–10; KB, 95, 9–10.

161 AH, 16r, 6-16v, 4; KB, 77, 7–12; KB, 101, 15–102, 11; KB, 122, 10–123, 2.

162 AH, 15v, 8–9.

163 AH, 15v, 9; AH, 16r, 2–3; AH, 16v, 5.

164 KB, 43, 9–10; KB, 65, 3–4; KB, 78, 13–79, 3; KB, 113, 12–15.

165 KB, 118, 16–119, 5.

166 AH, 15v, 10-16r, 1. Also see AH, 18v, 5–10.

167 For a general discussion, see Richards, John F., ‘The formulation of imperial authority under Akbar and Jahangir’, in (ed.) Richards, J. F., Kingship and Authority in South Asia (Delhi, 1998 [1978]), pp. 285326; Findley, C. V., ‘Political culture and the great households’, in (ed.) Faroqhi, S. N., The Cambridge History of Turkey, vol. 3, The Later Ottoman Empire, 1603–1839 (Cambridge, UK, 2006), pp. 6580.

168 AH, 25v, 4–5; AH, 12r, 6–7; AH, 12v, 11; AH, 26r, 1; AH, 20r, 10–13; AH, 27v, 3.

169 KB, 7, 9–13; KB, 9, 13–15; KB, 33, 16–17; KB, 11, 10–12; KB, 12, 3–4; KB, 31, 4–5; KB, 32, 12–14; KB, 59, 4–7.

170 KB, 47, 2–3; KB, 47, 15–16; KB, 48, 4–5; KB, 76, 4–10; KB, 121, 12–16.

171 AH, 14v, 4–8.

172 AH, 14v, 10–11; KB, 35, 10–13; KB, 51, 5–6; KB, 64, 7–8; KB, 71, 15–16; KB, 100, 16.

173 E.g., AH, 14v, 6; KB, 71, 9.

174 E.g., AH, 28r, 10; KB, 56, 13; KB, 71, 15; AH, 28r, 11; KB, 35, 10–13; KB, 101, 2–3; AH, 14v, 6; KB, 72, 9–10; KB, 75, 2–4; KB, 91, 13–17; KB, 112, 16–17.

175 AH, 18r, 1–3; KB, 49, 15–50, 3; KB, 68, 11–12; KB, 80, 12–14; KB, 95, 5–9; KB, 114, 17–115, 10.

176 KB, 70, 8–9; KB, 80, 9–14; KB, 95, 5–14; KB, 97, 13–15; KB, 100, 13–14. Abou-El-Haj has a stimulating commentary on the meaning and function of beytü’l-māl at the time in his ‘The nature of the Ottoman state’, pp. 180–182. For an influential account of changes to the Ottoman revenue system in the seventeenth century, see İnalcık, H., ‘Military and fiscal transformation in the Ottoman empire, 1600–1700’, Archivum Ottomanicum 6 (1980), pp. 283337.

177 AH, 23r, 7-23v, 1.

178 AH, 28v, 9-29r, 4; KB, 11, 6–10.

179 AH, 25v, 13-26r, 2; KB, 20, 14–15. On the qualities desired of ruling elites, see Richards, J. F., ‘Norms of comportment among Imperial Mughal officers’, in (ed.) Metcalf, B. D., Moral Conduct and Authority: The Place of Adab in South Asian Islam (Berkeley, 1984), pp. 255289; Abou-El-Haj, R. A., ‘The Ottoman nasihatname as a discourse over “morality”’, in (ed.) Temimi, A., Mélanges Professeur Robert Mantran (Zeghouan, 1988), pp. 1730; O'Hanlon, R., ‘Manliness and imperial service in Mughal north India’, Journal of the Economic & Social History of th Orient 42:1 (1999), pp. 4793; Sariyannis, M., ‘The princely virtues as presented in Ottoman political and moral literature’, Turcica 43 (2011), pp. 121144.

180 KB, 11, 10–12; KB, 12, 3–4; KB, 31, 4–6; KB, 32, 12–14; KB, 33, 16–34, 1; KB, 59, 4–7; KB, 89, 10–11. It may be worth exploring whether this antipathy mapped onto the normative distinction between the jurisdiction of nobles (imārat) and other jurisdictions, particularly that of merchants (tijārat) and of ministers (vizārat). For pointers, see Subrahmanyam, S., ‘On Imârat and Tijârat: Asian merchants and state power in the western Indian Ocean, 1400 to 1750’, Comparative Studies in Society & History 37:4 (1995), pp. 750780; Kinra, R., ‘Master and munshi: A Brahman secretary's guide to Mughal governance’, Indian Economic & Social History Review 47:4 (2010): pp. 551557.

181 AH, 20r, 10–13.

182 The manner in which Koçi Bey articulated the terms ehl and müstaḥıḳḳ suggests a close association between biological patrimony and institutionalised apprenticeship. While all human beings had certain rights (ḥuḳūḳ) or entitlements (istiḥḳāḳ) innate to them, as Koçi Bey conceptualised the matter, the aptitude of a given individual to acquire through training or education the specialised knowledge needed to execute properly a given office was shaped by the community from which he hailed (ehl, ṭāʾife). Communities were typically defined by lineage or ethnicity. These ideas defined how he addressed the succession problem in the Ottoman empire. The most complete analysis of the solutions to this and other problems in Koçi Bey's treatise is found in Abou-El-Haj, Formation of the Modern State.

183 AH, 25v, 10–12.

184 KB, 71, 8–11; KB, 90, 9–10; KB, 96, 11–13; KB, 97, 1–3; KB, 100, 12–17; KB, 117, 12–15.

185 KB, 11, 6–8; KB, 16, 4–16; KB, 94, 6–13.

186 AH, 11v, 10–11.

187 AH, 25r, 8–11. Also see KB, 9, 5–7.

188 AH, 25v, 4–10.

189 AH, 11r, 2–5.

190 AH, 27v, 11-28r, 1.

191 KB, 88, 10–13.

192 KB, 88, 15–16. Both Jahangir and Murad IV operated at a greater remove from the business of government than had been the norm under their more illustrious predecessors. This would quite plausibly have inclined the authors towards a talismanic interpretation of the ruler in their treatises. For the Ottoman side, see Fodor, P., ‘Sultan, Imperial Council, Grand Vizier: Changes in the Ottoman ruling elite and the formation of the grand vizieral telhis’, Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 47:1–2 (1994), pp. 6785.

193 E.g., AH, 13r, 9; KB, 103, 16–104, 1; KB, 73, 8–9.

194 AH, 15r, 1–2; KB, 11, 3–5.

195 AH, 23v, 3–5.

196 AH, 26r, 9.

197 AH, 15r, 3; AH, 22r, 2–3.

198 KB, 74, 16–75, 2.

199 KB, 88, 13–15.

200 AH, 20r, 13-20v, 12; AH, 27r, 7–13. Also see AH, 26r, 6–9; KB, 72, 17–73, 4.

201 KB, 10, 1–11, 2; KB, 94, 4–11.

202 AH, 21r, 8-24v, 11; AH, 23v, 2–11; AH, 25v, 10–12; AH, 27r, 13-27v, 4. There is a good account of earlier views on kingship in al-Azmeh, Muslim Kingship, pp. 108–109, 120–128.

203 AH, 22r, 2–6.

204 AH, 11r, 7–8; AH, 21r, 1–4.

205 AH, 9v, 11-10r, 6.

206 For a good one-volume account, see (eds.) Spooner, B. and Hanaway, W. L., Literacy in the Persianate World: Writing and the Social Order (Philadelphia, 2012). Also of value are Amanat, A. and Ashraf, A. (eds.), The Persianate World: Rethinking a Shared Sphere (Leiden, 2018); Green, N. (ed.), The Persianate World: The Frontiers of a Eurasian Lingua Franca (Oakland, 2019).

207 The classic work on this topic is Lambton, A. K. S., Landlord and Peasant in Persia: A Study of Land Tenure and Land Revenue Administration (original edition, 1953; revised edition, 1969; London, 1991).

208 E.g., Murphey, R., ‘Solakzade's Treatise of 1652: A Glimpse at operational principles guiding the Ottoman state during times of crisis’, in V. Milletlerarası Türkiye Sosyal ve İkitisat Tarihi Kongresi, Tebliğler (Ankara, 1990): p. 32.

209 The possibilities of research of this type are shown by Alam, M., The Languages of Political Islam in India, 1200–1800 (Chicago, 2004); Darling, L. T., ‘Political change and political discourse in the early modern Mediterranean world’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History 38:4 (2008), pp. 505531; Yavari, N., Advice for the Sultan: Prophetic Voices and Secular Politics in Medieval Islam (London, 2014).

210 For a stimulating typology of empires, see Münkler, H., Empires: The Logic of World Domination from Ancient Rome to the United States (Cambridge, 2007). There now exist several book-length studies of the Mughal and Ottoman empires in a comparative vein, most notably Dale's, S. F.The Muslim Empires of the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals (Cambridge, 2010) and Streusand's, D. E.Islamic Gunpowder Empires: Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals (Boulder, 2011). But the region qua region remains a desiderata in this literature.

211 The historical argument is expanded upon in a forthcoming essay, ‘From decline to colonialism, or an era of unscripted possibilities? Sovereign Governance in South Asia and the Middle East’.

212 This conception of polities with a region is adapted from Christian, Maps of Time, pp. 291–293.

213 On China, see Beasley, W. G. and Pulleyblank, E. G. (eds.), Historians of China and Japan (London, 1961); Bol, P. K., “This Culture of Ours”: Intellectual Transitions in T'ang and Sung China (Stanford, 1992); Robinson, D. M. (ed.), Culture, Courtiers, and Competition: The Ming court (1368–1644) (Cambridge, 2008). On Europe, see Ullmann, W., Law and Politics in the Middle Ages: An Introduction to the Sources of Medieval Political Ideas (London, 1975); Skinner, Q., The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, 2 vols (Cambridge, UK, 1978); Tuck, R., ‘History of political thought’, in (ed.) Burke, P., New Perspectives on Historical Writing (2nd edition, Cambridge, 2001 [1991]), pp. 218232; Weber, W., ‘“What a good ruler should not do”: Theoretical limits of royal power in European theories of absolutism, 1500–1700’, Sixteenth Century Journal 4:1 (1995), pp. 897915; Stuurman, S., ‘The canon of the history of political thought: Its critique and a proposed alternative’, History & Theory 39:2 (2002), pp. 147166.

214 For the socio-political importance of concepts in history, particularly for their bearing on the relationship between the future-oriented horizon of expectation and the past-oriented horizon of experience, see Koselleck, R.'s essays in his Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time (Cambridge, 1985; new edition, New York, 2004) and The Practice of Conceptual History: Timing History, Spacing Concepts (Stanford, 2002).

215 Those sampled include Habib, I., The Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556–1707 (3rd edition, London, 2013 [1963]); Raychaudhuri, T. and Habib, I. (eds.), Cambridge Economic History of India, vol. 1, c. 1200-c. 1750 (Cambridge, 1982); İnalcık, H. and Quataert, D. (eds.), Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1914 (Cambridge, 1994); Faroqhi, S. N. (ed.), Cambridge History of Turkey, vol. 3, The Later Ottoman Empire, 1603–1839 (Cambridge, 2006).

216 This echoes the famous plea made in Evans, P. B., Rueschemeyer, D. and Skocpol, T. (eds.), Bringing the State Back In (Cambridge, 1985).

217 Current thinking on the state and state systems in the period is surveyed in Vries, P. H. H., ‘Governing growth: A comparative analysis of the role of the state in the rise of the West’, Journal of World History 13:1 (2002), pp. 67138. It should be noted that the article's chief focus is on western Europe. For a more global perspective, see Pearson, M. N., ‘Merchants and states’, in (ed.) Tracy, J. D., The Political Economy of Merchant Empires: State Power and World Trade, 1350–1750 (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 41116.

218 As typical examples holding to these nostrums, see Turnaoǧlu, B., The Formation of Turkish Republicanism (Princeton, 2017); Alvi, S. S., ‘Religion and state during the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir (1605–27): Nonjuristical perspectives’, Studia Islamica 69 (1989): pp. 100105. Recently, however, a few tentative steps have been taken to move beyond such nostrums. Most noteworthy are Sigalas, N., ‘Devlet et etat: du glissement sémantique d'un ancien concept du pouvoir au début du XVIIIe siècle ottoman’, in (eds.) Grivaud, G. and Petmezas, S., Byzantina et Moderna: Mélanges en l'honneur d'Hélène Antoniadis-Bibicou (Athens, n.d. [2007]), pp. 385415; Sigalas, N., ‘Des histoires des Sultans à l'histoire de l'Etat. Une enquête sur le temps du pouvoir ottoman (XVIe-XVIIIe siècles)’, in (eds.) Georgeon, F. and Hitzel, F., Les Ottomans et le temps (Leiden, 2011), pp. 99127; Sariyannis, M., ‘Ruler and state, state and society in Ottoman political thought’, Turkish Historical Review 4 (2013), pp. 83117.

219 These points are elaborated in the discussion of Mughal and Ottoman historiography in the opening section of the article.

* Earlier versions of this article have benefitted greatly from the considered views of Antony M. Best, Leonard Blussé, Scott A. Boorman, Paul Keenan, Paul M. Kennedy, Noémi Lévy-Aksu, Rudolph Matthee, Patrick K. O'Brien, Ronald C. Po, Padraic X. Scanlan, Chander Shekhar, David Stevenson and Raphaël Taylor. I appreciate their willingness to engage with my research, and urge me on.

** A note on transliteration. This article is based on sources in Persian and Ottoman. Many of the same key terms are used in both. Within direct quotations, these terms are transliterated in the system for their source language alone. In the general reasoning, they are transliterated in the systems for both languages in the order Persian/Ottoman (e.g., ḥuqūq/ḥuḳūḳ). Where a term in the general reasoning is transliterated only once, this is either because it is found solely in that language in the sources examined or because its transliteration is the same in both systems. An exception is made for دولت due to the frequency with which this term figures in the article. To aid legibility, دولت in the general reasoning is transliterated in the Persian system alone (so daulat, not daulat/devlet). Within direct quotations, however, the rule above applies.

Knowledge of the Art of Governance: The Mughal and Ottoman Empires in the Early Seventeenth Century

  • GAGAN D. S. SOOD (a1)

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