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The Elephant and the Ass. Jesuit Mission and Political Advice between Europe and Mughal India at the Turn of the Seventeenth Century

Dates:
  • Fri 28 Sep 2018 10.00 - 12.00
  Add to Calendar 2018-09-28 10:00 2018-09-28 12:00 Europe/Paris The Elephant and the Ass. Jesuit Mission and Political Advice between Europe and Mughal India at the Turn of the Seventeenth Century

This thesis explores the history of cross-cultural political advice in India. Specifically, it deals with the encounter between Indo-Persian and Jesuit ideas of kingship at the court of the Mughal emperor at the turn of the seventeenth century. The main question underlying this work concerns how political ideals were communicated in a globalising world. It takes as its starting point the entangled world of a Spanish Jesuit who was sent to convert the Mughal Emperor of India in 1595 and produced a political manual written in Persian, commissioned by his royal Muslim host. The thesis uses a contextual reading of that manuscript, left untranslated and unexamined for centuries in European libraries, to argue that more than religious rivalry, shared political language shaped the way empires interacted in the early modern period. Underlying this research is also a critical intervention into questions about scales of historical analysis: how do micro-histories from early-modern empires help fabricate, or turn upside down, our ideas of long-term or wide-scale phenomena such as the gestation of political ideas and ideologies?

Sala dei Levrieri - Villa Salviati- Castle DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala dei Levrieri - Villa Salviati- Castle

This thesis explores the history of cross-cultural political advice in India. Specifically, it deals with the encounter between Indo-Persian and Jesuit ideas of kingship at the court of the Mughal emperor at the turn of the seventeenth century. The main question underlying this work concerns how political ideals were communicated in a globalising world. It takes as its starting point the entangled world of a Spanish Jesuit who was sent to convert the Mughal Emperor of India in 1595 and produced a political manual written in Persian, commissioned by his royal Muslim host. The thesis uses a contextual reading of that manuscript, left untranslated and unexamined for centuries in European libraries, to argue that more than religious rivalry, shared political language shaped the way empires interacted in the early modern period. Underlying this research is also a critical intervention into questions about scales of historical analysis: how do micro-histories from early-modern empires help fabricate, or turn upside down, our ideas of long-term or wide-scale phenomena such as the gestation of political ideas and ideologies?


Location:
Sala dei Levrieri - Villa Salviati- Castle

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Thesis defence

Supervisor:
Jorge Flores (European University Institute)

Co-Supervisor:
Stéphane Van Damme (EUI and Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris)

Defendant:
Uros Zver (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)

Contact:
Fabrizio Borchi (EUI - Department of History and Civilization) - Send a mail

Examiner:
Jos Gommans
Prof. Juan Pau Rubies (ICREA, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

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