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Journal 3 Continuity and Change in Asia

Journal 3 Continuity and Change in Asia - Journal Part...

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Journal Part Three: Change and Continuity in Asia 1. Akbarnama  2. Letter to Shah Ismail of Persia  3. “On Strange Tales” and “On Merchants”  4. Common Sense Teachings for Japanese Children and Greater  Learning for Women  5. Some Observations on Merchants  _______________________________________________ _ 1. Akbarnama  Abul Fazl  Background to the Document Assisting Akbar in formulating and carrying out his largely successful policies of state was Abul Fazl (1551¿1602), the emperor's chief advisor and confidant from 1579 until Abut Fazl's assassination at the instigation of Prince Salim, the future Emperor Jahangir (r. 1605¿1627). Abul Fazl's death cut short his composition of the Akbarnama, a gigantic, laudatory history of Akbar's distinguished ancestors and the emperor's own reign. Before he was murdered, Abul Fazl carried his history to Akbar's forty-sixth year, creating a work universally regarded as one of the masterpieces of Mughal literature. These thousands of pages of elegant Persian prose and poetry provide surprisingly few references to Akbar's or even India's relations with Europeans, or Faringis (Franks), as they were called at the Mughal court. This silence speaks eloquently of the level of early Mughal concern with these foreigners. The following excerpts constitute the work's major references to Europeans in India. Henry Beveridge, trans., The Akbar Nama of Abu-l-Fazl, 3 vols. (New Delhi: Ess Ess Publications, 1902-1939), vol. 1, pp. 37, 207, 322-323, 368-370, 410-411. 45
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Primary Source Document THE SIEGE OF SURAT One of the occurrences of the siege[1] was that a large number of Christians came from  the port of Goa[2] and its neighborhood to the foot of the sublime throne, and were  rewarded by the bliss of an interview. Apparently they had come at the request of the  besieged in order that the latter might make the fort over to them, and so convey  themselves to the shore of safety. But when that crew saw the majesty of the imperial  power, and had become cognizant of the largeness of the army, and of the extent of the  siege-train they represented themselves as ambassadors and performed the  kornish. [3]  They produced many of the rarities of their country, and the appreciative Khedive[4]  received each one of them with special favor and made inquiries about the wonders of  Portugal and the manners and customs of Europe. It seemed as if he did this from a desire  of knowledge, for his sacred heart is a storehouse of spiritual and physical sciences. But  his...soul wished that these inquiries might be the means of civilizing this savage race.[5] THE COMMODITIES OF GOA One of the occurrences was the dispatch of Haji Habibu-llah Kashi to Goa. At the time  when the country of Gujarat became included among the imperial dominions, and when 
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