with Ebba Koch
British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS) Seminar Series
Wednesday 19 October, 2022, 5:00pm (GMT)
The lecture introduces Professor Ebba Koch’s new book The Planetary King: Humayun Padshah: Inventor and Visionary on the Mughal Throne which attempts to form a more holistic picture of the second Mughal padshah than the decontextualized perspectives offered so far. It sheds light on the career of Humayun (1508–1556) and his many contributions to architecture, art, science, and literature besides his role in laying the foundation for a Mughal ruling ideology. He was the widest travelled Mughal emperor, his journeys and campaigns took him from his birthplace Kabul to India, during his exile to Iran, and again to Kabul from where he reconquered Delhi. In Iran he left an inscription at Turbat-i Shaikh Jam, stopped at Mashhad and Sultanniya, where he bemoaned his fate in the great mausoleum of Öljaitü, hunted with Shah Tahmasp near Takht-i Sulaiman, and visited Tabriz and Ardabil where he made donations to the tombs of Shaikh Safi al-Din and Shah Ismai`l. But even before Humayun visited Iran he had reached far back into its mythical past to create in Hindustan a theatre of kingship in the style of the Shahnama kings.