Archive for May, 2013

King, Sufi and Messiah: A Mughal Emperor of India and his Tomb — The Case of Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar

Uros Zver

University of Vienna
21. Mai 2013 | 9 Uhr | FG 1 (Gelände Helios Klinikum), Raum 121


Descended from the Central-Asian conquerors Timur and Chengis Khan, the Mughals invaded and ruled India for more than three centuries before their exile in 1857. Under their patronage, the subconti­nent in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries experienced a cosmopolitan Golden Age of flourishing arts and sec-tarian non-discrimination, most fa­mously embodied in the progressive Emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605).


The mas­terpieces of Mughal imperial tomb ar­chitecture, which include the Taj Mahal, served as accessible blueprints of an ideology of rulership, yet the unconven­tional style of Akbar‘s tomb presents a confounding semantic puzzle that has defied explanation. What can the final resting place of one of the most celebra­ted Islamic rulers of the early-modern world tell us about the nature and cross-cultural connections of Mughal impe-rial identity?