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Connected Histories: Notes towards a Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Affiliation:
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Extract

The majority of Japanese even today believe that the politico-cultural universe of the Edo period was fundamentally determined by the closure of the country. They also think that the opening of Japan can be reduced to the development of exchanges with the West, following the birth of the Meiji regime. It is hard for them to imagine that Japan developed in relation with other Asian countries, since they are hardly used to appreciating Asian cultures.

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Articles
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1997

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References

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6 Cf. the relatively recent, important, work on Timur by Manz, Beatrice Forbes, The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane (Cambridge, 1989).Google Scholar

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22 Cited in Parker, Geoffrey, Philip II, 3rd ed. (Chicago, 1995), xvi. The letter is dated December 1574.Google Scholar

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24 In this context, we may note that the social, ideological and political ramifications of the important Mahdawi movement in sixteenth-century northern India will be discussed in the forthcoming work of Derryl Maclean, Waiting for the End of the World.

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28 See, for example, Kagan, Richard L., Lucrecia's Dreams: Politics and Prophecy in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Berkeley, 1990);Google Scholarand earlier, Weinstein, Donald, Savonarola and Florence: Prophecy and Patriotism in the Renaissance (Princeton, 1970).Google Scholar

29 For the best discussion to date of early sixteenth-century Iran, see Aubin, Jean, ‘L'avènement des Safavides réconsideré’, Moyen Orient et Océan Indien 5 (1988), 1130.Google ScholarMy discussion of Isma'il, Shah draws liberally on this extensive, and very welldocumented, essay. But, see also several of the essays in Calmard, Jean (ed.), Études safavides (Paris-Teheran, 1993).Google Scholar

30 Cf. Minorsky, V., ‘The Poetry of Shâh Ismâ'îl I’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 10, 4 (1942), 1006a–53a;Google Scholarfor other verses, see also Gandjei, Tourkhan, Il Canzoniere di Shâh Ismâ'îl (Naples, 1959).Google Scholar

31 For a brief overview of this reign, and an attempt to rehabilitate the reputation of this ruler, see Mazzaoui, Michel M., ‘The Religious Policy of Shah Isma'il II’, in Mazzaoui, M. M. and Moreen, Vera B. (eds), Intellectual Studies on Islam: Essays Written in Honour of Martin B. Dickson (Salt Lake City, 1990), 4956.Google Scholar

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33 Indeed, my discussion here draws largely on Babayan, Kathryn, ‘The Waning of the Qizilbâsh: The Temporal and the Spiritual in Seventeenth-Century Iran’ (Princeton University, Ph.D. dissertation, 1993).Google Scholar

34 Babayan, , ‘The Waning of the Qizilbâsh’, 4864.Google Scholar

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36 The Dârâb Nâma in question is by ibn, Abu Tahiral-Tarsusi, Hasan Musa, British Museum, London, MSS. Or. 4615;Google Scholar two paintings representing the swallowing of Shah Ardashir by a dragon, and the island of Nigar are reproduced in Welch, Stuart Cary, Imperial Mughal Painting (London, 1978), 4851.Google Scholar

37 Cf. in this context, Valensi, Lucette, Venise et la Sublime Porte: La naissance du despote (Paris, 1987), 5970.Google Scholar

38 I have closely followed the summary in Mirza, Mohammad Wahid, The Life and Works of Amir Khusrau (Delhi, 1935), 200–1;Google Scholarbut, see also Gaeffke, Peter, ‘Alexander and the Bengali Sufis’, in Entwistle, Alan W. and Mallison, Françoise (eds), Studies in South Asian Devotional Literature, Research Papers, 1988–1991 (New Delhi, 1994), 275–84,Google Scholarbasing himself on the text in Sharif, Ahmad (ed.), Alâûl viracita Sikandarnâma (Dhaka, 1977).Google Scholar

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40 Cf. in this context, Seneviratne, H. L., Rituals of the Kandyan State (Cambridge, 1978), for an exploration of Buddhist rituals around the sacred tooth relic at Kandy, and its relations to state-building.Google ScholarAlso, Godakumbara, C. E., ‘Relations between Burma and Ceylon’, Journal ofthe Burma Research Society 44, 2 (1966), 145–62,Google Scholarand most recently, Raymond, Catherine, ‘Étude des relations religieuses entre le Sri Lanka et l'Arakan du XIIe au XVIIIe siècle: Documentation historique et évidences archéologiquesJournal Asiatique 283, 2 (1995), 469501.Google Scholar

41 Goldstone, Jack A., Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World (Berkeley, 1991).Google Scholar

42 Cf. Perlin, Frank, Unbroken Landscape: Commodity, Category, Sign and Identity: Their Production, Strengths and Knowledge from 1500 (Aldershot, 1994).Google Scholar

43 For the most thought-provoking piece in the collection, see brief essay by Steensgaard, Niels, ‘The Seventeenth Century Crisis and the Unity of Eurasian History’, Modern Asian Studies 24, 4 (1990), 683–97.Google ScholarIt is curious that what inspired this ‘revisionist’ wave in early modern Asian studies was the singularly inconclusive, and at times positively woolly-headed, debate on seventeenth-century Europe, for which see Parker, Geoffrey and Smith, Lesley M. (eds), The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century (London, 1978).Google Scholar

44 For one detailed case-study, see Phillips, Carla Rahn, Ciudad Real, 1500–1750: Growth, Crisis and Readjustment in the Spanish Economy (Cambridge, Mass., 1979), 71–5, passim. The ‘bureaucratic elite’ of the area is shown to have invested in land, taking advantage of distress sales by small landholders.Google Scholar

45 For an excellent (albeit uneven) collection of papers on these questions, see Schwartz, Stuart (ed.), Implicit Understandings: Observing, Reporting, and Reflecting on the Encounters between Europeans and Other Peoples in the Early Modern Era (New York, 1994).Google Scholar

46 Cf. in this context, the pertinent comments in Ludden, David, ‘History Outside Civilization and the Mobility of South Asia’, South Asia (n.s.) 17, 1 (1994), 123.Google Scholar

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