Look Inside. Both an official chronicle and the highly personal memoir of the emperor Babur — , The Baburnama presents a vivid and extraordinarily detailed picture of life in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India during the late-fifteenth and early-sixteenth centuries. This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition includes notes, indices, maps, and illustrations. Wheeler M. Thackston, Jr.
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The Original Mogul
As their most recent translator declares, "said to 'rank with the Confessions of St. Augustine and Rousseau, and the memoirs of Gibbon and Newton,' Babur's memoirs are the first--and until relatively recent times, the only--true autobiography in Islamic literature. After being driven out of Samarkand in by the Uzbek Shaibanids, he ultimately sought greener pastures, first in Kabul and then in northern India, where his descendants were the Moghul Mughal dynasty ruling in Delhi until The memoirs offer a highly educated Central Asian Muslim's observations of the world in which he moved. There is much on the political and military struggles of his time but also extensive descriptive sections on the physical and human geography, the flora and fauna, nomads in their pastures and urban environments enriched by the architecture, music and Persian and Turkic literature patronized by the Timurids.
Edited and translated by Wheeler M. New York: Oxford University Press. IN the month of Ramadan in the year [June ], in the province of Fergana, in my 12th year I became king," Babur, then the emperor of Hindustan, writes in the early 16th century. He goes on to describe Fergana, the region just south of the Syr Darya river in Central Asia, as "situated on the edge of the civilized world. From his obscure base in Fergana, the young Babur set out to conquer Samarkand, the splendid city that had been the capital of his great-great-great-grandfather, Timur, also known as Tamerlane, the terrifying would-be world conqueror.
It is written in the Chagatai language , known to Babur as " Turki " meaning Turkic , the spoken language of the Andijan - Timurids. His vivid account of events covers not just his own life, but the history and geography of the areas he lived in as well as the people with whom he came into contact. The book covers topics as diverse as astronomy, geography, statecraft, military matters, weapons and battles, plants and animals, biographies and family chronicles, courtiers and artists, poetry, music and paintings, wine parties, historical monument tours as well as contemplations on human nature. Though Babur himself does not seem to have commissioned any illustrated versions, his grandson began as soon as he was presented with the finished Persian translation in November The first of four illustrated copies made under Akbar over the following decade or so was broken up for sale in Some 70 miniatures are dispersed among various collections, with 20 in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.