Gunpowder and Firearms: Warfare in Medieval India
Iqtidar Alam Khan
Oxford University Press, 2004 - History - 263 pages
Gunpowder is widely recognized as an important technological factor behind political and even social change. This book surveys the history of gunpowder and firearms in India, tracing their arrival in the thirteenth century from China and in the late fifteenth century from Europe and examining the role played by the Mongols and the Portuguese in this transmission. Alongside this narrative of the diffusion of firearms, the book looks at their impact on the nature of the regional states in the fifteenth century and on the Mughal empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The hypothesis of "gunpowder empires" advanced by Hodgson is tested by a study of the development of muskets and the increasing potency of musketry. The book goes on to consider the growing obsolescence of the Mughal firearms from the middle of the seventeenth century onwards, as seen in the failure of Mughal artillery against the Persians at Qandahar (1652-3) and Karnal (1739). Simultaneously, it examines the extent of the dissemination of muskets among peasant communities and relates this development to the growing militancy of certain sections of the rural population and the subsequent decline of the Mughal empire.
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Appearance of Gunpowder and Early Firearms
Gunpowder Artillery in India during
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