In The Mughal Padshah Jorge Flores offers both a lucid English translation and the Portuguese original of a previously unknown account of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-1627). Probably penned by the Jesuit priest Jerónimo Xavier in 1610-11, the Treatise of the Court and Household of Jahangir Padshah King of the Mughals reads quite differently than the usual missionary report. Surviving in four different versions, this text reveals intriguing insights on Jahangir and his family, the Mughal court and its political rituals, as well as the imperial elite and its military and economic strength. A comprehensive introduction situates the Treatise in the ‘disputed’ landscape of European accounts on Mughal India, as well as illuminates the actual conditions of production and readership of such a text between South Asia and the Iberian Peninsula.
Jorge Flores (Ph.D. New University of Lisbon, 2005) is Professor of Early Modern Global History at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). He has published extensively on the social and cultural history of the Portuguese Empire in South Asia, 16th-17th centuries.
List of Illustrations
1. The Threads and Knots of an Unusual Jesuit Text
1.1. The Text: Outline and Profile
1.2. The Context: Mughal–Portuguese Relations
From Babur to Jahangir
The Early 1610s
1.3. The Authorship: Xavier or Pinheiro?
1.4. The Readership: The (at Least) Four Iberian Lives of the Treatise
Problems of Chronology and Transmission
How did a Manuscript Travel from Goa to Lisbon?
2. Reading the Treatise
2.1. The Jesuit Missionary as Political Observer (Actor, and Thinker)
2.2. The Mughal Padshah
Capital and Citadel, Family and Harem
An Emperor on Display and in Command
2.3. Jahangir by the Numbers
Figures, Lists, Archives
Household Expenses and Imperial Revenues
Mansabdars and Mansabs
2.4. Concluding Remarks
II. THE TEXT
1. The Manuscript: its Translation and Transcription
2. Text A: ANTT MS – Annotated English Translation: ‘Treatise of the Court and Household of Jahangir Padshah King of the Mughals, briefly addressing his kingdoms, and his treasures, and the great majesty and preeminence by which he is served in his court; his wives, children, and his chief captains’
3. Text B: ANTT MS – Portuguese Original: ‘Tratado da Corte, e Caza de Iamguir Pachá rey dos Mogores; Em que brevemente se trata dos Reinos que tem; e de seos Tizouros, e o grande estado e preheminencia com que se serve de suas portas para dentro; suas mulheres, filhos, e seos grandes capitais’
“The translation of the Portuguese manuscript into English is excellent and it will allow many scholars and students of Mughal India or the Jesuit missions in south Asia to explore a unique source. Together with the well-researched and stimulating introduction provided by Jorge Flores, this work will find a prominent place in the study of the Jesuit missions in the Mughal empire.”
João Vicente Melo, University of Liverpool, in: Journal of Jesuit Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3 (2017), pp. 529-531 [DOI: 10.1163/22141332-00403007-14]