The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art and Culture

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The Mughal Empire was the most powerful Islamic empire in the history of India, and it has lived for centuries in the Western imagination as a wonderland of unimaginable treasures, symbolized most clearly by the breathtaking beauty of the Taj Mahal. This richly illustrated cultural history dispels the air of exoticism and mystery with which Westerners have often viewed the Mughals, but in doing so The Empire of the Great Mughals reveals that the cultural and artistic achievements of the Mughal Empire are no less astonishing when viewed in the cold light of historical fact.

Ranging from the founding of the empire in 1526 through its absorption into the British Empire in 1857, The Empire of the Great Mughals explores all aspects of the culture of this mighty civilization. Annemarie Schimmel paints a detailed picture of life at court, particularly for women, and the fine gradations of rank and status in the strictly hierarchical Mughal society. She details the interplay of the various religions, languages, and literatures of the era and the role played by imperial patronage in the creation of Mughal artwork, especially the creation of the Taj Mahal, built as a mausoleum for the wife of the emperor Shah Jahan. Throughout, Schimmel shows how a clear aesthetic sensibility permeated every aspect of Mughal court culture through which the Mughals attempted to bring all facets of life into harmony.

Infused with illustrations depicting the greatest works of Mughal art and architecture, The Empire of the Great Mughals is an incomparable portrait of a refined society whose achievements still inspire awe and admiration today.
 

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User Review  - gottfried_leibniz - LibraryThing

This book by Annemarie Schimmel gives an excellent outline on Culture of Mughals, Religion and ethos of Kings. I really enjoyed this book, because I learnt interesting details about the Mughals. I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gottfried_leibniz - LibraryThing

This book by Annemarie Schimmel gives an excellent outline on Culture of Mughals, Religion and ethos of Kings. I really enjoyed this book, because I learnt interesting details about the Mughals. I ... Read full review

Contents

Editorial Notes
9
Prologue
15
Historical Introduction
21
At Court
65
The Empire
81
Religion
107
Women at Court
143
The Imperial Household and Housekeeping
167
The Life of a Mirza
225
The Arts
263
Epilogue
299
Glossary
323
Bibliography
331
Photographic Acknowledgements
343
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Annemarie Schimmel (1922-2003) was professor of Indo-Muslim Culture at Harvard University and the University of Bonn as well as the author of many books. She was consultant in the Islamic Department of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, for more than ten years.

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