The present volume that I offer to (I hope) an indulgent readership contains papers that in their original from
appeared in different journals or collaborative volumes. They have this in common that they deal with various
aspects of the economic life and institutions of Mughal India. Since they appeared at various times, I found it
necessary, before their inclusion in this volume, to revise them carefully and update the references; I have also
taken the liberty of making changes and additions to take into account new questions and fresh evidence. The
result is that in many cases the chapters in this volumes are practically new versions of the original papers; even
the titles of some have been modified. In the Introduction I have endeavoured to focus attention on some larger
issues of debate.
The opportunity has been taken to make spellings of names and terms as uniform as possible. For diacritical
marks the system followed in Steingass's Persian-English Dictionary has been adopted with a few changes
introduced for reasons of simplification.
Professor Irfan Habib has been liberal with guidance, advice and encouragement (including the encouragement
to differ!). I have, throughout the preparation of the original papers and in the course of their revision for this
volume, obtained unstinted help from the members of the staff of the library of the Department of History (AMU)
at all odd times. I am especially grateful to Mr. Arshad Ali, Mr. Bansi Dhar Sharma and Mr. Salman Ahmad.
The processing of the text has been carried out under the aegis of the Aligarh Historians Society, mainly by Mr.
Muneer Uddin Khan. Mr Sajid Islam has also borne part of the burden.
It was good to work with Oxford University Press again. It has been a special pleasure to have worked with the
editorial team at the Oxford University Press.
From the Jacket
India in the Seventeenth century was one of the great economic powers of the world a position it later lost
following the British conquest and the European Industrial Revolution. Bringing together four decades of
intensive research, this unique collection examines the functioning of the economy within the political framework
provided by the Mughal Empire.
Shireen Moosvi studies specific issues like state revenues, prices, interest rates, and maritime economy, using
much new source material. She explores areas that have received little attention in the literature on Mughal
history ecology and settlement pattern, vital statistics as well as work and gender.
In the introduction, the author discusses issues widely debated among the historians of Mughal India.
Wide-ranging and comprehensive, this book is essential reading for teaches, scholars, and students of Mughal
history. General readers keen to know what India was like before British rule will also find the book interesting.
About the Author
Shireen Moosvi is Professor at the Centre of Advanced Study in History, Aligarh Muslim University
where she has been teaching since 1970. She is a leading member of what is now known as the Aligarh school
of historians who aim at combining critical rigour with evolving vision of History.
With a background in both statistics and history, she has worked with primary documents for her with primary
documents for her wide-raging researches in economic and social history of Mughal India. Her book Economy
of the Mughal Empire, c.1995 a Statistical Study (OUP, 1987) is an attempt at quantitative analysis of Mughal
economy, while Episodes in the Life of Akbar (1994) brings history to life by giving extracts from contemporary
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