By Andre Wink
Generally considered as the best of the Mughal emperors, Jalal ad-Din Akbar (1542-1603) used to be a powerful army tactician and renowned demagogue. Ascending to the throne on the age of 13, he governed for part a century, accelerated the Mughal empire, and left in the back of a legacy to rival his notorious ancestor Chinggis Khan. This lucid biography offers glimpses into Akbar's lifestyle and highlights his contribution to new tools of imperial keep watch over.
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Extra resources for Akbar (Makers of the Muslim World)
Manucci observed in 1700 that “it is now nineteen years that he [Aurangzeb] has been in camp without effecting anything against that rebellious people, the Marathas . . Owing to the immense expenditure forced upon him, and because the revenue-payers did not pay with the usual promptitude, he was obliged at Aurangabad to melt down all his household silver ware” (Manucci, II, 239). Much of the imperial traveling of Mughal times was prompted by the desire to keep recalcitrant officers – or brothers – on the side of loyalty, in other words to keep aspiring rebels from gaining too much traction in the areas of India yet to be subdued (or unsubduable) and thereby acquiring the ability to turn against the emperor.
32 AKBAR KABUL, THE NORTH-WEST FRONTIER, AND THE “GREAT GAME” OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY The control of Kabul and the North-West Frontier of the subcontinent became a second, almost lifelong preoccupation for Akbar. Yet Kabul – like Qandahar or “Zabulistan” – belonged to the Mughal dominion of India from its inception, whereas the lands beyond the Panjshir pass across the Hindu Kush mountains, comprising Balkh and often Badakhshan, belonged to the Uzbek dominion of Central Asia. Until 1585 Akbar’s half-brother Mirza Muhammad Hakim retained the Kabul throne with the help of the Panjab troops.
A confidential aide to the emperor would then administer poison to the cuffs and hood of a robe of honor that would be given to such suspected courtiers – it was a gift they could not refuse. Or Akbar gave the poison to them with his own hands, in a folded betel-leaf – another honor that could not be turned down in open court. FROM CHINGIS KHAN TO AKBAR: THE RISE OF MUGHAL CIVILIZATION IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY By the second half of the sixteenth century the emerging Mughal nobility was beginning to turn its back on the last remains of the legacy of its nomadic Mongol ancestors.
Akbar (Makers of the Muslim World) by Andre Wink