The elephant and the ass : Jesuit mission and political advice between Europe and Mughal India at the turn of the seventeenth century
Title: The elephant and the ass : Jesuit mission and political advice between Europe and Mughal India at the turn of the seventeenth century
Author: ZVER, Uros
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2018
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
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?
Defence date: 28 September 2018; Examining Board: Professor Jorge Flores, EUI (Supervisor); Professor Stéphane Van Damme, EUI; Professor Jos Gommans, Leiden University; Professor Joan-Pau Rubiés, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Type of Access: embargoedAccess