Originally published in 2007, this fascinating work is based on detailed and sensitive readings of travel accounts in Persian, dealing with India, Iran and Central Asia between around 1400 and 1800. The first comprehensive treatment of this neglected genre of literature (safar nama), it links the Mughals, Safavids and Central Asia in a crucial period of transformation and cultural contact. The authors' close reading of these travel accounts help us enter the mental and moral worlds of the Muslim and non-Muslim literati who produced these valuable narratives. These accounts are presented in a comparative framework, which sets them side by side with other Asian accounts, as well as early modern European travel narratives, and opens up a rich and unsuspected vista of cultural and material history. This book can be read for a better understanding of the nature of early modern encounters, but also for the sheer pleasure of entering a new world.
• The first comprehensive treatment of early modern Indo-Persian travel accounts • Compares Persian accounts with other Asian and early modern European travel narratives • A major contribution to the literature of cultural contact in the early modern world
1. Introduction: the travel account from Beijing to the Bosphorus; 2. From Timur to the Bahmanis: fifteenth-century views; 3. Courtly encounters; 4. An ocean of wonders; 5. When hell is other people; 6. An eastern mirror; 7. The long road to rum; 8. On early-modern travel.