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Grant number like: FA-53036-07

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Stephen Frederic Dale
Ohio State University (Columbus, OH 43210-1132)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2007 – 9/30/2008

The Early Modern Islamic Empires: Ottoman Turks, Safavids of Iran, and Timurid-Mughals of India

This project is a comparative history of the Ottoman, Safavid and Timurid-Mughal Empires: a study of their common political and cultural heritage, their cultural ties and their distinct evolution as Muslim states. I am applying for an NEH fellowship to write a comparative history of the three great early modern Islamic empires: the Ottoman Turks (1300/1453-1922), the Safavids of Iran (1501-1722) and Timurid Mughals of Afghanistan and India (1526-1739/1857). These empires deserve to be the focus of a single, comparative study, as they were jointly represent the last great moment of Islamic civilization, a dynamic era in Islamic history that is too easily forgotten in the contemporary pre-occupation with fundamentalist Islamic theology and religiously sanctioned violence. These empires comprised the most militarily formidable, cultural sophisticated face the Islamic world presented to the outside world from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, and understanding them offers insight into the complex nature and vitality of pre-modern Islamic civilization, just as their collapse helps to explain the political and cultural despair felt by many contemporary Muslims in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. . . . I intend to write what the Russians term a "popular-scientific" book, an original interpretation intended for both academics and the educated public that will analyze the religious, political and cultural factors that shaped the character of these states, as was reflected in the policies of the rulers and exhibited in the art, architecture, literature and religious expressions they patronized. (Edited by staff)