The Mughal Empire is paradigmatic in many of its formulations, and it is epitomised in the persons of its first six padshahs or emperors. The Great Mughals, Grao Mogor, Grand Mogul, Großmogul or Groote Mogul, as the padshahs were known in Europe, have been considered as paragons of rulership. In critical appraisals, which were the prevailing view in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, they were the quintessential Oriental despots, held up as a warning to those rulers in Europe with similar aspirations. One thinks here especially of Francois Bernier's letters of the Mughal court to his French contacts which included Colbert, the minister of Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715). In more sympathetic (and more recent) eyes, such as those of the world-traveller, philosopher and enthusiastic inter-culturalist Count Hermann Keyserling, who was in India in 1911, they were “the grandest rulers brought forth by mankind”. Keyserling came to this conclusion because the Mughals “combined in their personalities so many divers talents: they were men of action, refined diplomats, experienced judges of the human psyche, and at the same time aesthetes and dreamers”. He felt that such a “superior human synthesis” (grossartige Menscheitsynthese) had not shown itself in any European king. Here I discuss to what extent the emperor Jahangir fulfilled Francis Bacon's ideal of the perfect ruler.