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One of the first Western works on the Mughal Empire

[DE LAET, Johannes].
De imperio magni Mogolis sive India vera commentarius.
Leiden, Bonaventura Elzevier, 1631. 24mo (10.5 x 5.5 cm). With an engraved title-page by Cornelis Claesz. Duysend and a full-page botanical woodcut. Contemporary mottled calf, gold-tooled spine.
€ 750
First edition, one of the two simultaneously published issues, of a compilation of texts devoted to the Mughal Empire, assembled by the Dutch geographer Johannes de Laet (1581-1649), director of the Dutch West India Company (WIC). At the time of publication, it was one of the few books on the Mughal Empire available to the public, and definitely the best. In contains ten texts, most of them not mentioning the author. The first describes the Mughal Empire and its topography, the second its climate and flora. The following chapters deal with the empire's population; political and civil structure; court; coins; wealth; and warfare. The ninth text is an extract from Garcia de Orta's Colóquios dos simples e drogas da India. The book closes with a history of India, a conclusion and an index.
With a stamp on the engraved title-page, some brown spots. Binding rubbed along the extremities. Overall in good condition.
Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay XXII (1969), p. 192; A.L. Srivastava, Society and culture in 16th century India (1973), p. 338; STCN 832850462.
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Related Subjects:

Asia  >  India & Ceylon
History, law & philosophy  >  History
Middle east & islamic world  >  South and Southeast Asia