Unwanted Neighbours: The Mughals, the Portuguese, and Their Frontier Zones

ISBN : 9780199486748

Jorge Flores
288 Pages
148 x 224 mm
Pub date
Oct 2018
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In December 1572 the Mughal emperor Akbar arrived in the port city of Khambayat. Having been raised in distant Kabul, Akbar, in his thirty years, had never been to the ocean. Presumably anxious with the news about the Mughal military campaign in Gujarat, several Portuguese merchants in Khambayat rushed to Akbar's presence. This encounter marked the beginning of a long, complex, and unequal relationship between a continental Muslim empire that was expanding into south India, often looking back to Central Asia, and a European Christian maritime empire whose rulers considered themselves 'kings of the sea'.

By the middle of the seventeenth century, these two empires faced each other across thousands of kilometres from Sind to Bijapur, with a supplementary eastern arm in faraway Bengal. Focusing on borderland management, imperial projects, and cross-cultural circulation, this volume delves into the ways in which, between c. 1570 and c. 1640, the Portuguese understood and dealt with their undesirably close neighbours-the Mughals.


Note to the Reader
List of Abbreviations
1. Un-neighbourly Empires
2. Chessboard Politics between Central Asia and the Arabian Sea
3. Gujarat: Borderland Experiments I
4. Gujarat: Borderland Experiments II
5. The Deccan Wall
6. Bengal, an Eastern 'Far West'
About the Author

About the author: 

Jorge Flores was educated at the University of Lisbon and the New University of Lisbon, Portugal. He is professor of early modern global history at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. In 2004 he co-curated (with Nuno Vassallo e Silva) the exhibition 'Goa and the Great Mughal' for the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon. He is the author of several books and articles that explore the social and cultural history of the early modern Portuguese Empire in Asia, especially in South Asia and the Central Indian Ocean. Most recently, he has published The Mughal Padshah: A Jesuit Treatise on Emperor Jahangir's Court and Household (2016). Flores is currently preparing the companion volume of Unwanted Neighbours , tentatively titled The Accidental Persianate State: Political Communication between Portuguese Goa and Mughal India.

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