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After he started the work in the translations were trickling out in prints in fascicles. The first eight fascicles were published in as the first volume. The second volume with seven fascicles and the third one with fourteen fascicles along with index came out in succession. Beveridge ultimately completed his translation in It took some more time for correction, revision, preparation of List of Contents, Abbreviations and Additional Errata and Addenda to the index.
But thereafter the publication was delayed for several reasons. It was, however, the initiative of Dr Baini Prashad to complete the work and to publish the volume finally in The present three volumes are the reprints of our earlier publication under Bibliotheca Indica Series. It covers the period from to AD. The introduction, various explanatory notes etc. I hope that the scholarly world will find the reprinted volumes helpful, handy and worthy of preservation.
Preface to the first volume When the Asiatic Society of Bengal did me the honour of inviting me to translate the Akbarnama, I replied that I doubted my ability to make a complete translation, and suggested that I might edit the manuscript version by Lieutenant Chalmers.
I soon found, however, that the translation was too abridged to be made the basis of my work, and that it was necessary to execute a new version. The reader may judge of the extent to which abbreviation has been carried, when I state that the Chalmers MS. The task of translation has occupied me several years, and the work has not been very congenial, for Abul Fazl is not an author for whom one can feel much sympathy or admiration. He was a great flatterer and unhesitatingly suppressed or distorted facts.
His style too, seems—at least to "Western eyes—to be quite detestable, being full of circumlocutions, and both turgid and obscure. He is often prolix, and often unduly concise and darkly allusive. His one merit—and it is one which he specially claims for himself—is his laboriousness. His work also has the imperishable merit of being a record by a contemporary, and by one who had access to information at first hand.
I regret that the work of translation has not devolved upon a better Persian scholar than I am. I have endeavoured to do my best, and I have sought assistance in many quarters. Beames, Mr. G, Ellis of the British Museum, Mr. Irvine and Mr. I am also indebted for much literary assistance to my elder brother, Mr. David Beveridge. There are, I am sure, many mistakes in my translation and notes, but there would have been many more but for the assistance of my friends.
I regret that I have been obliged to make two long lists of Errata and Addenda. In part this has been due to the translations being made in England and printed in India, and in part to increase of knowledge. Hence they have often made mistakes in the names of persons and places. They have also no explanatory notes. In their preface they are severe upon the Lucknow edition. No doubt that edition has many faults, but it was the first in the field, and it is on the whole a creditable monument of the enterprise of the publisher, Munshi Newal Kishor, and of the liberality of the Maharajah of Patiala.
The editor, Maulvi Sadiq Ali, also deserves honourable mention. He has added numerous notes, and though many of these are trivial, yet there are also many which are really enlightening.
Since completing the translation, I have seen a remarkable MS. I have given an account of this MS. S, has taken a long time.
Beveridge completed the translation, and the last fascicle was issued in He also prepared the Index and passed Introduction, Errata and Addenda to the volume and a Prefatory Note were completed before the death of the author in What was left to be accomplished was the correction, revision and printing of pp.
Unfortunately this was not done due to a variety of causes, the most serious of which was a period of quiescence which occurred in the activities of the Society during this time. Thanks, however, to the initiative of Dr. Baini Prashad the incomplete portion of the work was taken up this year and the volume has now been completed. The work of Mr. Das, the press clerk, who laboured very hard to see it through the press, deserves special mention. It is hoped that the reading public, while forgiving the delay of this publication, will appreciate the great erudition and care bestowed on it by Mr.
Introduction I have at last finished the translation of the historical part of the Akbarnama. It has occupied me, with occasional in- terruptions, for over twenty years, and I must confess that the work has not been always congenial.
In fact, I must say that I began it with a feeling of aversion. I had the idea that Abu-I- Fazl was a rhetorician and a shameless flatterer. And I admit that the feeling still remains.
I must also say that his style, especially in the later volumes, is tortuous and obscure. Left to himself, he may have adopted s. But I must go on to say that his indomitable industry and his accuracy wherever he was not, from prudential motives, suppressing the truth, have at length overcome me and 1 save him with greater feelings of respect than I began with.
After all, when everything has been said that can be said against AbuFazl, should we not be grateful to him for his book? If he had not given so many years of nights and days to his task, where would we have looked for knowledge of many important facts of Indian history?
I believe that I am indebted to my learned friend Dr. Hoernle, C. He it was who, as Philological Secretary of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, set me on a task for which I, a poor opsimath, was very imperfectly fitted. I hope I have improved as I went on, but the want of early training in scholarship can never be made good.
Since I finished the translation, I have been engaged in making the Index. Norton, the Indian Barrister, might remain a costly tool without a handle. So, I have begun it and have nearly got to the end of the letter M which is by far the biggest letter in an index to a Muhammadan work. I have also made a list of Errata and Addenda. I am sorry that they are so many and so important, but it is satisfactory that I have found them and acknowledged them. I do not think that it would repay any one to read through my translation of the Akbarnama, and I very much doubt if any one will do so.
I think the world. What I would recommend is that somebody should abridge the book. He might also omit the strings of names, the discussion about comets and a digression, in the third volume, into Persian History. He might also cur- tail occasional verbiage.
I am too old and feeble for such work and shall only say "Exoriare aliquis nostris e vocibus auctor. Very seldom does he make an interesting remark. He seldom tells a story with out spoiling it. But I have treated of this matter in a paper published in the J. XIV, , Ii. It is gross, but it is not unnatural, and is in part the result of an honest hero—worship. We must remember the position of the two men. Akbar was emperor of India and a very remarkable man. He had raised Abu-l-Fazl and his family from indigence and obscurity to affluence and power.
It must also be borne in mind that Akbar was the elder of the two men. Akbar therefore was in the position of an elder brother. It is also well- known that all crientals used to believe, and probably do so still, in mystics and fanatics.
Believers should therefore retain one of their sons in that condition. Contents Volume III.
AKBARNAMA BOOK IN ENGLISH PDF
Tojazahn He might also cur- tail occasional verbiage. October Learn how and when to remove this template message. I have endeavoured to do my best, and I have sought assistance in many quarters. Return to Book Page. Foreword by the General Secretary v-vi 3.
Mughal Emperor Akbar crossing the river at night. It also produces rich details about the traditions and culture of the people living in India. It is famous for its rich statistical details about things as diverse as crop yields, prices, wages and revenues. I know not whether the love of my native land has been the attracting influence or exactness of historical research and genuine truthfulness of narrative He also gives several Indian accounts of geography, cosmography, and some tidbits on Indian aesthetic thought. Most of this information is derived from Sanskrit texts and knowledge systems. Many of the orthodox Muslims thought that the Hindus were guilty of two of the greatest sins, polytheism and idolatry.