Both an official chronicle and the highly personal memoir of the emperor Babur ( –), The Baburnama presents a vivid and. The Babur-nama in English. (Memoirs of Babur). Translated from the original Turki Text. OF. ZahiruM-din Muhammad Babur Padshah Ghazi. BY. ANNETTE. An elegantly produced modern translation is that by Wheeler M. Thackston, The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor (Washington, D. C., etc.
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As their most recent translator declares, “said to ‘rank with the Confessions of St. Augustine and Rousseau, and the memoirs of Gibbon and Newton,’ Babur’s memoirs are the first–and until relatively recent times, the only–true autobiography in Islamic literature. After thackstoon driven out of Samarkand in by the Uzbek Shaibanids, he ultimately sought greener pastures, first in Kabul and then in northern India, where his descendants were the Moghul Mughal dynasty ruling in Delhi until The memoirs offer a highly educated Central Asian Muslim’s observations of the world in which he moved.
There is much on the political and military struggles of his time but also extensive descriptive sections on the physical and human geography, the flora and fauna, nomads in their pastures and urban environments enriched by the architecture, music and Persian and Turkic literature patronized by the Timurids.
The selections here–all taken from his material on Fergana–have been chosen to provide a range of such observations from the material he recorded at the end of the s and in the first years of the sixteenth century. thackson
It should be of some interest to compare his description of Samarkand with that of the outsider, Clavijo, from a century earlier. London,but with substantial stylistic revision to eliminate the worst of her awkward syntax. I have chosen to use Beveridge’s indications of distances in miles rather than confuse the reader with the variable measure of distance provided in the original.
An elegantly produced modern translation is that by Wheeler M. I have consulted Thackston and occasionally used his readings and renderings of the place names where the Beveridge translation was obscure.
I would warn readers that my editing of the text has been done in some haste; further work would be needed to improve the style and standardize usages. Interspersed in the text are illustrations, some being contemporary views of places Babur describes; the others which may be enlarged by clicking on the thumbnails taken from the miniatures of an illustrated copy of the Baburnama prepared for the author’s grandson, the Mughal Emperor Akbar.
The title page is here on the right. It is worth remembering that the miniatures reflect the culture of the court at Delhi; hence, for example, the architecture of Central Asian cities resembles the architecture of Mughal India.
Timurid miniatures are among the greatest artistic achievements of the Islamic world in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The main sections of what follows may be accessed directly by clicking on them in the Table of Contents. Babur leaves Kesh and crosses the Mura Pass. Babur takes Samarkand by surprise, July 28, Ali-Sher Nawa’ithe famous poet.
The Baburnama – Babur (Emperor of Hindustan), Wheeler McIntosh Thackston – Google Books
Babur leaves SamarkandJuly Shabaq Shaibani Khan’s campaigns; winter conditions and mountain baburnaam. The acclaiming of the military standards according to Mongol tradition. Babur’s poverty in Tashkent. In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
In the month of Ramzan of the year June and in the twelfth year of my age, I became ruler in the country of Fergana. Fergana is situated in the fifth climate and at the limit of settled habitation. On the east it has Kashghar; on the west, Samarkand; on the south, the mountains of the Badakhshan border; on the north, though in former times there must have been towns such as Almaligh, Almatu and Yangi which in books they write Taraz, at the present time all is desolate, no settled population whatever remaining, because of the Moghuls and the Uzbeks.
Fergana is a small country, abounding in grain and fruits. It is girt round by mountains except on the west, i. The Saihun River commonly known as the Water of Khujand, comes into the country from the northeast, flows westward through it and after passing along the north of Khujand and the south of Fanakat, now known as Shahrukhiya, turns directly north and goes to Turkistan.
It does not join any sea but sinks into the sands, a considerable distance below [the town of] Turkistan. Fergana has seven separate townships, five on the south and two on the north of the Saihun. One of those on the south is Andijan, which has a central position and is the capital of the Fergana country. It produces much grain, fruits in abundance, excellent grapes and melons.
In the melon season, it is not customary to sell them out at the fields. There are no pears better than those of Andijan. It has three gates. Its citadel ark is on its south side. Water flows into it by nine channels, but, oddly, flows out by none.
Round the outer edge of the ditch runs a gravelled highway; the width of this highway divides the fort from the suburbs surrounding it. Andijan has good hunting and fowling; its pheasants grow so surprisingly fat that rumour has it four people could not finish one they were eating with its stew.
Andijanis are all Turks; everyone in town or bazar knows Thacksgon. The speech of the people resembles the literary language; hence the writings of Mir ‘Ali-sher Nawa’i, though he was bred and grew up in Hin Heratare one with their dialect. Htackston looks are common amongst them. The famous musician, Khwaja Yusuf, was an Andijani. The climate is malarious; in autumn people generally get fever.
Osh is southeast-by-east of Andijan and about 33 miles from it by road. It has a fine climate, an abundance of running waters and a most beautiful spring season. Many traditions have their rise in its excellencies. To the southeast of the walled town lies a symmetrical mountain, thackstom as the Bara Koh. On the top of this, Sultan Mahmud Khan built a retreat and lower down on its shoulder, in AHI built another with a porch.
Though his lies the higher, mine is the better placed, the whole of the town and the suburbs being at its foot. The Andijan torrent goes to Andijan after having traversed the suburbs of Osh. Orchards lie along both its banks; all the Osh gardens overlook it. Their violets are very fine; they have running waters and in spring are most gaburnama with the blossoming of many tulips and roses. Between this mosque and the town, a great main canal flows from the direction of the hill.
Below the outer court of the mosque lies a shady and delightful clover-meadow where every passing traveller takes a rest. It is the joke of the ragamuffins of Osh to let out water from the canal on anyone happening to fall asleep in the meadow. A very beautiful stone, with wavy red and white patterns, was found in the Bara Koh in ‘Umar Shaikh Mirza’s latter days. Knife handles, clasps for belts and many other things are made from it.
For climate and for pleasantness, no township in all Farghana equals Osh. Some 47 miles by road to the west of Andijan is Marghilan, a fine township full of good things. Its apricots and pomegranates are most excellent. One sort of pomegranate, they call the Great Seed ; its sweetness has a little of baburnwma pleasant flavour of an overripe apricot and it may be thought better than the Semnan pomegranate. They dry another kind of apricot and after stoning, stuff it with almonds.
They call it subhaniand it is very palatable. The hunting and fowling of Marghilan are good: Its people are Sarts, boxers babugnama are noisy and turbulent. Most of the noted bullies of Samarkand and Bukhara are Marghilanis. The author of the Hidayat was from Rashdin, one of the villages of Marghilan.
Another town is Isfara, in the hill-country more than 65 miles by road southwest of Marghilan. It has running waters, beautiful little gardens and many fruit-trees although for the most part, its orchards produce almonds. Its people are all Persian-speaking Sarts. In the hills some two miles to the south of the town, is a piece of rock, known as the Mirror Stone. It is some 10 arm-lengths long, as high as thacksgon man in parts, up to his waist in others. Everything is reflected by it as by a mirror.
The hill country of Isfara district has four subdivisions–one Isfara, one Vorukh, one Sokh and one Uchyar.
The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor
Another town is Khujand, miles by road to the west of Andijan and miles east of Samarkand. Khujand is one of the ancient towns among whose sons were Shaikh Maslahat and Khwaja Kamal.
Fruit grows well there; its pomegranates are renowned for their excellence. People talk of a Khujand pomegranate as they do of a Samarkand apple; just now however, Marghilan pomegranates are the ones in much demand. The walled town of Khujand stands on baburnmaa ground; the Syr Darya Saihun River flows past it on the north at the distance of about an arrow’s flight.
To the north of both the town and the river lies a mountain range called Manoghal. The hunting and fowling-grounds of Khujand are first-rate; white deer, buck and doe, pheasant and hare are all very thacksston.
The climate is very malarious; in autumn there is much fever. People fhackston it about that the very sparrows get fever and say that the cause of the malaria is the mountain range on the north i. Kand-i-badam Village of the Almond is a dependency of Khujand; though it is not a full-fledged township, it is close to one.
Its almonds are excellent, hence its name; they all are exported to Hormuz or to Hindustan. It is 18 miles east of Khujand. Between Kand-i-badam and Khujand lies the waste known as Ha Darwesh which is always very windy. Its violent, whirling winds continually strike Marghilan to the east and Khujand on its west. People say that some dervishes, encountering a whirlwind in this desert, lost one another and kept crying, “Hay Darwesh!
One of the townships on the north of the Syr-Darya is Akhsi. In books they write it Akhsikit, and for this reason the poet Asiruddin is known thackstonn Akhsikiti. After Andijan, no township in Fergana is larger than Akhsi, which is about 50 miles by road to the west of Andijan. The Syr-Darya flows below its walled town, which stands above a great ravine and uses the deep ravines in place of a moat.
When ‘Umar Shaikh Mirza made it his capital, he once or twice ordered other ravines be dug beyond the outer ones. In all Fergana no fort is so strong as Akhsi.