Bihishtābād

The History, Art and Architecture of the Mughal Empire

Assignment 4

The Encyclopedia Britannica contains an extensive series of articles on the significance of the Mughal Empire, though the accompanying bibliography has not been updated in recent years. It includes overview articles on the establishment of the empire as well as subsequent reigns of individual emperors, highlighting a variety of political, cultural and religious topics.

A more up-to-date reference, though more limited in scope, is the Encyclopaedia Iranica, which includes numerous articles on Iranian culture on the Indian Subcontinent, including on Mughal architecture, Indo-Persian historiography, and important personalities from the empire, such as individual emperors, men of letters and religious personalities.

Among more specialized reference works, the most comprehensive series dealing with ‘modern’ Indian history in the English language is The New Cambridge History of India. Of the 23 volumes it contains, three are dedicated specifically to the Mughals: Vol. 1.3. (Mughal and Rajput Painting by Milo Cleveland Beach), Vol. 1.4. (Mughal Architecture by Catherine Asher) and Vol. 1.5. (The Mughal Empire by John F. Richards). These volumes provide a good introduction into the respective areas. Vol. 1.5. offers an overview of the empire generally, as well as a bibliographical guide for further reading, organized according to individual topics.

As an overview, the abovementioned Vol. 1.4. on Architecture was preceded by another volume that remains a definitive reference for Mughal architecture, namely Ebba Koch’s Mughal Architecture: An Outline of its History and Development (1526–1858)Vol. 1.5. was followed by Annemarie Schimmel’s overview The Empire of the Great Mughals – History, Art and Culture.

An Indian analogue to ‘Western’ scholarship on Mughal architecture can be found in R. Nath’s History of Mughal Architecture in four volumes.


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