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Historical Medieval Manuscripts

Saturday, June 06th, 2009 | Author:

One of the basic trait as well as strength shown by India was its willingness and inclination towards accepting multiple ethnic groups. Think about Arabs, Afghans, Aryans, Persians and you will find they all have been incorporated in Indian culture. The result was a truly ethnic and diverse country where each region has its own culture and yet as a combined whole, Indian thrives and shines. All the different cultures in India brought their own art and culture. Few of them particularly, Mughals were great patrons of art and literature. Mughals promoted arts in all forms and Hindu, Muslim as well as Persian artists thrived during Mughals reign.


Talking about Medieval manuscripts, Mughals produced illustrated manuscripts that were wonderfully calligraphed. Two of the best known manuscripts of the era were Akbarnama and Baburnama. Akbarnama as the name suggests is an illustrated manuscript of the life of Emperor Akbar. It is a wonderful chronicle of the history of Mughal Empire and the great events of the era. Written by Abul Fazl, the book has several paintings in typical miniature style. Baburnama gives us an insight of first Mughal emperor Zahiruddin Mohammad Babur. One of the most unique manuscripts, it is also termed as first real autobiography in Islamic literature.


The books is revealing in not only political and military sense but also talks about agriculture, hunting, flora and fauna. The illustrations were done in Persian miniature style. European culture also produced wonderful illustrated manuscripts during medieval era. Numerous manuscripts of the European era gave historians an insight into subjects as diverse as theology, music, poetry and architecture. The illustrated manuscripts of medieval era are no less than treasure trove of information about cultural, political and economical aspects.