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On the Origins of Global History

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Sanjay Subrahmanyam

On the Origins of Global History

Inaugural Lecture delivered on Thursday 28 November 2013

Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Traduction de Liz Libbrecht

Note de l’auteur

This lecture picks up threads from two of my earlier essays: “On world historians in the sixteenth century”, Representations, vol. 91, no. 1, 2005, pp. 26-57, doi: 10.1525/rep.2005.91.1.26, and “Intertwined histories: Crónica and Tārīkh in the sixteenth-century Indian Ocean world”, History and Theory, vol. 49, no. 4, 2010, pp. 118-145, doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2303.2010.00563.x.

Texte intégral

1Mr Administrateur,
Dear Colleagues,
Dear Friends, some of whom have travelled far to be here,

2Ellorukkum vaṇakkam – Greetings to all.

3The Collège de France has been known to welcome foreigners. Yet most of them have been scientists, philologists, literary specialists and even philosophers. In this relatively cosmopolitan context, history has tended to be an exception. The great historical tradition in this institution has remained essentially French, even if the subjects studied are at times widely diverse, from the circulation of books to climate and the environment, and from the history of horses to François Rabelais’s beliefs. That is why I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to the Faculty for deciding to depart from this tradition by inviting a foreign historian, known for his intellectual wanderlust, to sit at their table.

  • 1 Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence. China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy, P (...)
  • 2 Roger Chartier, “La conscience de la globalité (commentaire)”, Annales. Histoire, sciences sociales(...)

4It is surely no coincidence that a historian who is constantly travelling should be drawn to histories that are in movement, and which have the capacity to surprise. When I arrived in France for the first time twenty-five years ago for a month’s stay as a young visiting professor to deliver a few lectures on the history of the Portuguese Empire in Asia, I never imagined that I would one day stand here before you. At the time I could barely speak French. For the surprising turn that things have taken, I wish above all to thank Roger Chartier. He was master of ceremonies and, like me, a participant at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales on 10 May 2000 when – with Serge Gruzinski – we embarked on a bold enterprise that – provocatively, needless to add – we called “Penser le monde, xve-xviiie siècles”. That daylong event left its mark on all of us, even if we all went our own intellectual ways afterwards. Some of the participants preferred the well-trodden path of comparative history, which in recent years has spawned some fertile projects such as that of the “Great Divergence” to explain why and how Western Europe in the modern era distinguished itself materially from the rest of the world and especially from China and India.1 Others, as Roger Chartier pointed out in his essay “La conscience de la globalité” written and published for that occasion, have taken, or rather resumed, “the routes of the high seas” and especially the methodological path of “connected histories”, which is the title of an essay that I published in 1997.2

  • 3 Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Writing history ‘backwards’: Southeast Asian history (and the Annales) at the (...)

5Two names associated with the teaching of history at the Collège de France were mentioned repeatedly during that day in May 2000. The first – to which I will revert – may seem surprising: it is that of the orientalist and millenarian Guillaume Postel, professor at the Collège royal in the mid-sixteenth century. As we know, Postel had a heretical reputation during his lifetime already, and it is certainly no coincidence that he retained his position at the Collège royal for only five years, from 1538 to 1543. Unsurprisingly, the second name is that of Fernand Braudel, Lucien Febvre’s successor as Chair of “The History of Modern Civilization” at the Collège de France from 1950 to 1972. We analysed several of his writings: the great work on the Mediterranean that made his reputation in France and abroad, and the three volumes of Civilisation matérielle, économie et capitalisme: xve-xviiie siècle, published in 1979. His last book, L’Identité de la France, was not included, for obvious reasons. We were all indebted to Braudel because each of us, in our own way, had learned from him how to approach the history of empires and their rivalry in the modern age, how to address problems related to market networks and their dynamism, and how to deal with the complex relations between “worlds”, “nations”, and “regions”. One of his closest disciples, my friend and mentor Denys Lombard, wanted to rethink the history of the “South-East Asian Mediterranean” based on Braudel’s conception of space in the 1980s. Yet when he used the term global history, as he did in the sub-title of his magnificent book Le Carrefour javanais, the meaning was a “total history”, intended to cover the political, social, economic and cultural aspects of a region.3

  • 4 See Sanjay Subrahmanyam, “Notes on Circulation and Asymmetry in two Mediterraneans, c. 1400-1800” i (...)
  • 5 Nathan Wachtel, “La vision des vaincus: la conquête espagnole dans le folklore indigène”, Annales. (...)
  • 6 Joseph Héliodore Sagesse Vertu Garcin de Tassy, Histoire de la littérature hindouie et hindoustani (...)

6However, despite everything we owe to Braudel’s work, it seems obvious to me that there was a real problem of asymmetry in his conception of space. As he perceived it, the Mediterranean was above all a sea seen from the north, based on European and often Christian sources and perspectives.4 When he ventured further afield, into the waters of the Indian Ocean for example, the asymmetry was even more glaring. In 1967 Nathan Wachten had already drawn historians’ attention to the importance of the “vanquished’s point of view” in the American context of conquest.5 The points of view of the Ottomans, the Mughals of India and of the Chinese were however likewise neglected in a certain style of “world history”, despite the fact that they were far from vanquished in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This was the result of two complementary processes. On the one hand, there was indifference to certain histories. The history of Mughal India, and more broadly of Muslim India, received hardly any attention from French scholars throughout the twentieth century. The names of scholars such as Garcin de Tassy (1794-1878) were almost entirely forgotten6, and the major works in this field were never translated into French nor studied. The cases of China and the Ottoman Empire, on the other hand, were very different. Notwithstanding the existence of a significant French tradition in both these fields, it was essentially a matter of a lack of communication between intellectual traditions. Exotic knowledge, so to speak, had difficulty moving from the senzala of the destitute to the casa grande – the manor house of general knowledge.

  • 7 C. M. Naim, “Syed Ahmad and his two books called Asar-al-Sanadid”, Modern Asian Studies, vol. 45, n (...)

7Why this difficulty? To embark on more wide-ranging reflection on this issue, we would need to go back to a distant past, that is, the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In so doing, I also revert to the question raised by Roger Chartier in his above-cited text. “To think the world”, he wrote, “but who thinks it? Men of the past or historians of the present?” My answer is: both, and the latter often through the former. To better understand how a global history is constructed, both in the present and in the past, we have to highlight a fact that may seem obvious. History is first and foremost a self-centred narrative. The “self” of history is the family, the clan, the ethnic group, then the town, the homeland or the home region, and finally – especially from the eighteenth century – the nation-state. History is thus the Siamese twin of memory, carefully guarded like a serpent’s treasure. It is also constantly seen to play on, and sometimes against, memory. The result is a history that is often written in a solemn style, one that is moralizing and therefore rarely ironical, which takes it upon itself to “shape good citizens” or loyal patriots. If the historian who takes this road is not cautious enough, he or she can easily become the strident spokesperson of a group or an ideological standpoint, in other words, of an “identity”. In this framework, concepts that are actually quite distinct are easily confused, such as “history” and “heritage”. The problem is evidenced even with such great intellectuals as Syed Ahmad of Delhi, who wrote the Āsār us-Sanādīd in the mid-nineteenth century to celebrate the traces left by “erstwhile heroes” in his beloved city.7

8Yet even a selfish history has to acknowledge the existence of the Other. How can the history of Florence be written without Pisa, that of the Khazars without the Russians, or that of France without Germany? Going beyond mere acknowledgement is however not as easy as it may seem. Practising genuine “xenology” in the set framework of one’s own history is more an ideal than a reality. How many French historians spend their time reading texts, not to mention archives, in German? And how many Indian historians have a respectable knowledge of Sri Lanka’s history? Yet forms of xenology have existed in historians’ work for a very long time. Historians of the Mediterranean like to cite the case of Polybius, and those of Ancient China readily refer to Sima Qian. These are contrasting characters in many respects. Polybius was a Greek who lived in the second century bce, under Roman domination. As the heir of Thucydides and Herodotus, he was often deemed to have less talent than his predecessors, even if his reputation has had noteworthy ups and downs. Skilled in the use of both the sword and the pen, he participated in campaigns that ensured Roman hegemony over Carthage and other rivals. It was precisely this Roman hegemony that he took as an object of analysis, dissecting it with tools consisting essentially of “Greek notions and references”. Polybius thus put himself in a somewhat strange position, somewhere between the vanquished and the victors, yet trying to depart from the strictly binary schema that opposes “Us” and the “Barbarians”. To cite François Hartog’s analysis:

  • 8 François Hartog, Évidence de l’histoire: ce que voient les historiens, Paris, Éditions de l’EHESS, (...)

Seeing history from Rome, [Polybius] endeavoured to understand what had happened; not only how the Greeks had been vanquished – which would at best be a question of “partial” or local history –, but how the Romans had conquered the world. Seeing from Rome and seeing like Rome. In this like lies the entire historiographic operation and all the ambiguity of his position … Hence, both the theoretical and practical solution that Polybius finally found was the sunopsis, the very point of view of Fortune.8

  • 9 Siep Stuurman, “Common Humanity and Cultural Difference on the Sedentary-Nomadic Frontier: Herodotu (...)

9This exercise can be seen as “the first universal history”, but Polybius’ universe was hardly any bigger than the Roman world. The term universal qualifies his methods, not his geographic coverage. The Chinese historian of the Western Han dynasty, Sima Qian, was born when Polybius was already about sixty. Like his Greek counterpart, he participated in the Emperor Wu’s military campaigns against the Xiongnu in Central Asia. His main work, Shiji, spans almost two thousand years of Chinese history and records traces of his own travels during his imperial career, both within the kingdom and beyond. Sima Qian had been employed by the government as an astrologer, librarian, and adviser, like his father before him, but his history can hardly be considered as official. He lived in times of upheaval, due to radical changes in material conditions coming mainly from the west, and therefore had a difficult career in which he was imprisoned and even castrated for his political loyalties. Sima Qian’s intention was however not to write an openly controversial history; he remained loyal to the essence of imperialism. With great finesse he practised polyphony, thus enabling widely diverse actors to find their voice in his history. One of the most striking examples is the eunuch Zhonghang Yue, sent by the Emperor Wen to the Xiongnu for diplomatic negotiations in around 170 bce. Zhonghang betrayed his master, entered the service of the Xiongnu and subsequently became an influential political actor in their society. In Sima Qian’s account, the eunuch played a strange part: on the one hand, he explained to the “Barbarians” that it would be a mistake to become Chinese, as their lifestyle corresponded perfectly to their own environment; on the other, he explained to the Chinese who were passing through, just how poorly they had understood and judged the Xiongnu and their culture. Here, “xenology” almost turns into a kind of “barbarophilia”, while retaining a perspective in which the Han Empire has to continue to exist as the axis around which the world revolves. Perhaps less complex in its cultural and political geometry than Polybius’s cultural and political schematization and “absolute point of view”, Sima Qian’s text offers us a different starting point for tracing the genealogies of the idea of universal history.9

  • 10 Chase F. Robinson, Islamic Historiography, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • 11 André Miquel, La Géographie humaine du monde musulman jusqu’au milieu du xie siècle, 4 vols., The H (...)

10These genealogies were certainly rendered more complicated by the fact that Polybius, often cited by Cicero and by Titus Livius (or Livy), subsequently slipped into relative oblivion for several centuries, before being rediscovered during the Renaissance. Sima Qian, on the other hand, was soundly established in the Pantheon of great writers and stylists, adored not only by generations of historians who succeeded him in China and in the sinicized world, but also by all sorts of other intellectuals. In the twelfth century the Korean historian Kim Bu-sik drew on Sima Qian’s writings for his own historiographic model. That is not however the main point I wish to make. These two examples suffice to show that universal history, one which is capable of integrating – or, in certain cases, accomplishing the sunopsis of – two or more histories, and thus going beyond an egocentric history, stretches back quite far in time. Forms of universal history were practised throughout the Middle Ages, often in relation to the established models mentioned above. It would be legitimate to classify part of Isidore de Séville’s encyclopaedic work, at the turn of the sixth century, in this category. It so happens that Isidore’s dates coincide almost perfectly with those of the Prophet Muhammad’s life, at the other end of the Mediterranean. This is indeed a passing on of the historiographic baton. At the end of the first millennium of the Christian era, the tradition of universal histories was consolidated by the emergence of a new historiographic tradition associated with Islam and expressed initially in Arabic, although it drew on more ancient Greek and Syriac sources. Abu Ja‘far al-Tabari, a great ninth- and early-tenth-century scholar from Baghdad, is often considered as the most important name marking the origins of this tradition of the tārīkh, which are related to epistemological preoccupations defined in the framework of the establishment of reliable chains for the transmission of the Prophet’s traditions (the hadīths).10 The tārīkhs were mainly concerned with Muslim history, but they granted a fair amount of importance to pre-Islamic history, often starting with the creation of the world. With Muslim expansion westwards towards the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula, and eastwards towards Persia and India, they were also obliged to account for those other peoples and their histories. One of the most famous examples of “xenologic” knowledge produced in the Abbasid caliphate is the Kitāb al-Hind (or The Book of India), written by the Khorezmian intellectual Abu Raihan al-Biruni, born half a century after Tabari’s death. Biruni had accompanied Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna, a powerful conqueror, on his raids in India and had thus learned about the world of the northern Indian Brahmans. His text is a strange mix of ethnographic knowledge (the fruit of his conversations with the Indian elite) and written knowledge painstakingly acquired, especially in Sanskrit. While this was clearly an intellectual tour de force, one has to remember that it was simply one element in the grand edifice of Arab xenology at the time. A more complete overview can be found in André Miquel’s authoritative work in four volumes, La Géographie humaine du monde musulman jusqu’au milieu du xie siècle.11

  • 12 Julie Scott Meisami, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century, Edinburgh, Edinburgh (...)
  • 13 For an overview of these tests, see Sunil Kumar, The Emergence of the Delhi Sultanate, 1192-1286, N (...)

11The eleventh-century Ghaznavid court, which was the context in which Biruni wrote his text, was the cradle of a decisive change in Muslim historiography. Alongside Biruni, Sultan Mahmud also supported the production of a founding text in Persian, the Shāhnāma (or The Book of Kings) by Firdausi, who wanted to harness and rehabilitate Iran’s pre-Islamic past. It was likewise at the Ghaznavid court that later in the same century Abu’l Fazl Baihaqi wrote the Tārīkh-i Mas‘ūdī, one of the first major Persian Islamic chronicles.12 Although Firdausi’s work was strictly speaking less a historical text than an epic, it did significantly influence subsequent historiographic production. The rapid growth of this Perso-Islamic movement exacerbated tensions between the Arabic and Persian historiographies. Since the time of al-Bal’ami’s first translations of Tabari into Persian, the Arabic historians had always claimed that the Persians tended to be unorthodox and to over-embellish their versions. Yet it seems that, from Baihaqi, Persian historiographic production has prevailed in the Eastern Muslim world, even though Arabic maintained its predominance in certain parts of western India. The establishment of the Delhi sultanate in around 1200 enhanced the importance of this Indo-Persian historiography, evidenced in texts such as Hasan Nizami’s Tāj al-Ma’asir and Minhaj-i Siraj Juzjani’s Tabaqāt-i Nāsirī, both of which were compiled in the thirteenth century.13

12The reader of these texts produced in the cities of northern India conquered by the Turkish dynasties is however often struck by a lack of openness towards the non-Muslim parts of the sub-continent. The spirit of the texts differed considerably from those of Biruni, and they primarily related the Muslim community’s life from the inside, along with the tensions between various clans and ethnic groups. Juzjani, for instance, put down his rather summary judgements of the Mongols precisely because they were perceived as a threat to the Muslim community’s survival. In other words, these authors tended to cultivate a “history of the self”, even in a situation where they were surrounded by a population, whose customs and beliefs differed substantially from their own. The exception, in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, was the brilliant polyglot Amir Khusrau Dehlavi, even though he used epics and poetry rather than chronicles to record his xenological reflection. In the west, in the Iranian world, the situation appears to have been very different. While the border warlords were relatively effective in defending the Delhi sultanate against the Mongols, the remains of the Abbasid caliphate collapsed under the Chinggisid onslaught in 1258. Once he was established in Baghdad, the Mongol sovereign Hülegü, grandson of Genghis (or Chinggis) Khan, and his successors of the Ilkhanid dynasty, promoted a policy of acculturation between languages, religions and customs. The court spoke a mix of Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Mongolian, and sometimes even a bit of Chinese. In the 1290s the sovereign, Ghazan Khan, decided to convert to Islam but maintained a degree of tolerance for Christians and Buddhists. It was during his reign that the chronicler Rashid al-Din Fazlullah Hamadani started his masterpiece, the Jāmi‘ al-Tawārīkh (“The Compendium of Histories”), completed in the 1310s under Ghazan Khan’s successors.

  • 14 Jean Aubin, Émirs mongols et vizirs persans dans les remous de l’acculturation, Paris, Association (...)
  • 15 Translator’s note: this is our translation of Étienne de Quatremère’s French translation.

13Rashid al-Din, known as “the hakīm”, was a complex character. Probably a convert to Islam, he played a major role at the court for almost two decades before being executed in August 1318. Jean Aubin, a great authority on Iranian history, literature and languages, has described him as an “éminence grise who preferred not to take on the title of vizier, and whose problems started when he finally accepted it”.14 As a historian who also belonged to the “vanquished” (like Polybius), Rashid al-Din readily showered praise on his victors. Of Genghis Khan, he wrote (I am citing Étienne Quatremère’s translation)15:

  • 16 Étienne Quatremère, ed. and trans., Histoire des Mongols de la Perse par Raschid-Eldin. Texte persa (...)

To the entire universe he gave the same countenance, to all hearts the same sentiments [jahān rā yak rū’ī wa dil-hā rā yak rā’ī]; he purified the territory of empires by delivering them from the domination of perverted usurpers, from the oppression of bold enemies.16

14His text, richly illustrated in Ilkhanid workshops, was often considered as a luxury item and prestigious gift, even after his death. It is clearly another example of a “universal” history, although this time of a history whose horizons stretched from China to Europe. At the heart of it we find the Mongols, whose history and traditions were familiar to Rashid al-Din, partially owing to the work of predecessors such as ‘Ata Malik Juvaini. This knowledge was the result of a process of acculturation that had started in the first half of the thirteenth century, even before the fall of Baghdad. The following is another citation from Jean Aubin’s analysis:

  • 17 Aubin, Émirs mongols, pp. 25-26.

When Ögedei [d. 1241] manifested his interest in ad limina visits, the notables of Persian Iraq hastened to follow those of Khorasan on the road to Mongolia. The upper classes and members of the chancellery grasped the advantages of speaking the language of the new masters and of knowing Uyghur writing. At Qazvin, it was the elite who went to learn the Mongol language and culture in Ögedei’s entourage, from which they derived positions and favours. Malik Iftikharuddin Bakri Qazvini, who became one of the foreign private tutors of Möngke [Kubilai Khan’s brother], brilliantly translated the Kalīla wa Dimna into Mongol, and the Sindbād nāma into Turkish … Thus, well before Hülegü’s arrival in Iran, the official context for the new dynasty was prepared.17

  • 18 Francis Richard, Splendeurs persanes: manuscrits du xiie au xviie siècle, Paris, Bibliothèque natio (...)
  • 19 David Morgan, “Persian perceptions of Mongols and Europeans”, in Stuart B. Schwartz (ed.), Implicit (...)

15But behind the Mongols was China, which “was a constant attraction in Persia, much before the Mongol period”, according to art historians. They however also acknowledged that “the Ilkhanid period simply saw the phenomenon take on new proportions” with the “regular importation, by land or sea, of Chinese objects (cloth and porcelain), or exchanges of embassies”.18 The constant coming and going between the Ilkhanid world and that of the Yuan Dynasty in China is fairly well known, especially thanks to Marco Polo, and the Jāmi‘ al-Tawārīkh manuscripts retain a strong Chinese influence in their form and partially in their content. The other part of Rashid al-Din’s text concerns Europe, the world of the “Franks”. It was added later, under the reign of Öljeitü, Ghazan Khan’s brother and successor, and comprises two sections: a political and geographical description of Europe, and a chronological account. For the latter, Rashid al-Din drew essentially on the writings of the Dominican bishop Martin of Troppau (or Martinus Polonus), while for the former his sources seem to be primarily oral, that is, news brought by merchants and diplomats. When carefully rereading this “History of the Franks”, David Morgan, a historian of the Mongols has noted that “Rashid al-Din deliberately chose not to pay too much attention to Europe … [because he gives us] many far more complete descriptions of other non-Muslim societies such as those of India, China and the pre-Islamic Mongols”.19 The chronicler was nevertheless scrupulous in his presentation of the Francs’ institutional and political system, and he offers us other fascinating bits of information such as the large number of students in Paris and the absence of snakes in Ireland. In a sense, we can say that Rashid al-Din failed to grasp the opportunity to go beyond texts such as the Hudūd al-‘ālam (“The Limits of the World”) written in Persian in around 980, when describing Western countries. He does nevertheless offer us a classical example of the limits of universal history as it was practised in the early fourteenth century.

  • 20 John E. Woods, “The rise of Tīmūrid historiography”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 46, no.  (...)
  • 21 Muhammad ibn Khawandshah ibn Mahmud, Tārīkh-i rauzat al-safā fī sīrat al-anbiyā’ wa’l-mulūk wa’l-kh (...)
  • 22 Geoff Wade, Southeast Asia in the “Ming shi-lu”. An Open Access Resource, http://www.epress.nus.edu (...)

16Several significant historiographic changes occurred during the fifteenth century. In the Persian Islamic world, this was the age of the “Timurid historiographic revolution” – as John Woods has phrased it – which spawned a series of works written mainly in the city of Herat towards the end of the century. The most famous of these was by Mir Muhammad ibn Sayyid Burhan al-Din Khawand Shah (better known as Mir Khwand), and was written in the Sultan Husain Baiqara’s flourishing Timurid court. The text, entitled Tārīkh-i Rauzat us-Safā’ fī Sīrat al-Anbiyā’ wa’l-Mulūk wa’l-Khulafā’20, is an encyclopaedic volume containing not only a history of pre-Islamic Iran but also a detailed history of the prophets (anbiyā’), caliphs (khulafā’) and kingdoms of the Muslim world until the end of the fifteenth century.21 Later, the Rauzat us-Safā’ (Garden of Purity) was to play a significant role and to become a model at the Mughal court in India. Elsewhere in Asia, changes were directly due to the expanding horizons of geographical knowledge. In the fifteenth century we see the transformation of a large part of Chinese xenology, as a result of the Ming dynasty’s maritime expeditions in the Indian Ocean during the first third of the century. New perspectives were brought back on India, South-East Asia and the Islamic world, while during the same period diplomatic exchanges with the Timurid world enabled the Ming to update their view of Central Asia. Parts of this knowledge were incorporated into the Ming Shilu, the “Veritable Records of the Ming Dynasty”.22

  • 23 Fernão Lopes, Chrónica de El-Rei D. João I, edited by Luciano Cordeiro, Lisbon, Bibliotheca de Clás (...)
  • 24 Gomes Eanes de Zurara, Chrónica do descobrimento e conquista de Guiné, escrita por mandado de elre (...)

17To understand the emergence of a new global history that departs from the tradition of universal history, in the context of early modernity, we need however to start at the other end of Eurasia. The Kingdom of Portugal was founded between the early eleventh and the mid-thirteenth centuries, in a complex process that is often summed up in the simplifying term reconquista. Until the beginning of the fifteenth century, the Portuguese historiographic tradition remained relatively scant. It was only with the consolidation of the new Avis dynasty that significant work emerged. The first influential chronicler was Fernão Lopes, author of the Crónica de Dom João I. Lopes boasted in his text about his “great vigilance and diligence in reading a huge number of books, originally from diverse languages and lands [grandes volumes de livros, e desvairadas linguagens, e terras], including public writings from several archives”.23 Actually, he seems to have relied more on oral accounts, even though he was the official archivist (or guarda-mor). Lopes nevertheless showed particular concern for the issue of what he called “affection” (afeição), that is, a bias against objectivity, for instance in the context of conflicts between Portuguese and Castillians. According to him, a good historian should not be blinded by his affection for his homeland to the extent of denigrating other participants and their points of view. One of his successors, Gomes Eanes de Zurara, went even further by evoking the importance, for the historian, of listening to other voices (outras vozes), even those of people “outside of [his] religion” (fora de nossa ley). This was particularly strange in that it appeared in a discussion on the African slave trade carried out by the Portuguese. In practice, Zurara’s approach is nevertheless somewhat disappointing. In an essay on the founding of the city of Ceuta in North Africa, he cited legends “related by Abilabez, a very learned man [grande doutor] among the Moors”. Yet these legends are nowhere to be found in the famous writings of the great North African Sufi Sidi Abi al-‘Abbas al-Sabti. Zurara therefore seems to have misused his name and authority to enhance the credibility of his own text.24

  • 25 Marcel Bataillon, “L’arabe à Salamanque au temps de la Renaissance”, Hespéris, no. 21, 1935, pp. 1- (...)
  • 26 António Alberto Banha de Andrade, João de Barros: Historiador do pensamento humanista português d (...)

18Zurara wrote at a time when the Portuguese were still limited to the Mediterranean and Atlantic contexts. A quarter of a century after his death in 1474, they started to explore countries located on the coast of the Indian Ocean, from East Africa up to China. Being small in numbers they were unable to envisage a massive conquest of this vast world, but nonetheless maintained the ambition of an epistemological conquest, that is, of putting the space of their explorations into a narrative revolving around their homeland. The Portuguese, and more generally all Iberians, were however limited by their weaknesses when it came to xenology. Since the thirteenth century they had practised a form of deliberate amnesia, even with regard to Islamic knowledge. Marcel Bataillon has written of how: “Renaissance Spain was both the country in the best position to become a breeding ground for students of Arabic language and literature, and the country least inclined to play that part”.25 This was especially true in the Portuguese case. It was moreover the main challenge of the Portuguese historian João de Barros (1496 to 1570), who was appointed as King John III’s official chronicler.26 In his work Da Ásia, Barros followed Livy’s model as regards the form, but faced a problem of content. His text commenced as follows:

When he first appeared in the land of Arabia in around the year of grace 593, Muhammad, the formidable anti-Christ, aroused so much fury with his sword and the flame of his infernal sect, through his captains and caliphs, that within the space of a hundred years they conquered all Arabia, a part of Syria, Persia and Asia and, in Africa, all of Egypt beyond and below the Nile.

  • 27 João de Barros, Da Ásia, reprint, Lisbon, Livraria Sam Carlos, 1974; Década II, Book IV, Chapter 4, (...)
  • 28 Id., Da Ásia, Década II, Book II, Chapter 2, pp. 107-108.

19According to Barros, the rise of Islam was thus the main context within which one had to situate Portuguese expansion. But in a country that at the time had none of the major texts on the subject, how could the history of Muslim expansion and of Islamic influence in the Indian Ocean be analysed? Barros had never been a traveller, yet he did have the advantage of being the feitor of the Casa da Índia, which was responsible for the Portuguese Crown’s trade relations with Asia. This post enabled him to start building up a xenological collection. He bought not only texts and manuscripts in Asia, but also slaves who could help him to read them. Although Barros’s collection has disappeared, we know that he did manage to obtain texts in Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, Persian and Kannada. He described one of them as “life in Persian of Tamerlan”, probably the Zafar Nāma by Yazdi or some other Timurid chronicler.27 Barros explains that for the political history of the Ormuz kingdom, he used “the chronicles of its kings, which were translated into Persian for us” (as Chronicas dos Reys delle, que nos foram interpretadas de Persico28). The text that played a crucial role for Barros and that he mentions from the first page, however, was the one that he simply called Tarigh, or “the General Chronicle of the Persians”. Based on the indications he left us, we can at least identify this text: it was the Rauzat al-Safā’ of Mir Khwand, put together in Herat in the late fifteenth century.

  • 29 George Huppert, The Idea of Perfect History: Historical Erudition and Historical Philosophy in Rena (...)

20In my opinion it would be an exaggeration to define João de Barros as one of the “pioneers of Orientalism”, as some have tried to do. It is nevertheless surprising to note how rarely his name arises in the discussion on European fifteenth-century historiography, which refers all too often to Giovio or Guicciardini, or to Jean Bodin, Étienne Pasquier and Henri La Popelinière. Barros – no doubt imperfect in his humanism and marked by an anti-Semitism typical of his circles – is in my mind important for three reasons at least: his openness towards non-European historical sources; his wish to depart from a universal history symmetrical in form, in favour of a global and cumulative history built around connections; and the fact that his work allowed for syntheses on a larger scale, like Damião de Góis’s and the bishop Jerónimo Osório’s histories. Barros was unquestionably less accomplished from a philosophical and epistemological point of view than the Italian and French authors whom I have just mentioned. Yet La Popelinière, author of L’Idée de l’histoire accomplie, who supported the thesis that “history worthy of the name must be general”, found the history of France sufficiently general for his liking. In a famous letter dated January 1604, addressed to Joseph Scaliger, he expressed interest in exotic lands, but lands perceived essentially through travel accounts such as those of Marco Polo and of Ludovico di Varthema.29 The idea of reading and digesting Muslim and Persian authors such as Yazdi or Mir Khwand, and then of integrating their texts into his own historical vision, would probably have been strange to him.

  • 30 Dieter Henrich, Konstellationen: Probleme und Debatten am Ursprung der idealistischen Philosophie ( (...)
  • 31 António Galvão, Tratado dos Descobrimentos, edited by Visconde de Lagoa, Porto, Livraria Civilizaçã (...)

21The difficulty is understandable. Barros’s methods were problematical, including in the eyes of some of his contemporaries, for he had little means of checking the Muslim accounts that he cited. Even though he was translated into Italian, his own text, Da Ásia, could not have had much impact outside the sixteenth-century Iberian world. In the world of the Castilian chroniclers it was however probably widely read and valued. Bartolomé de las Casas, for example, cites it numerous times, and the mid-sixteenth-century Portuguese likewise eagerly read their foreign counterparts. Thus, from a historiographic point of view, sixteenth-century Portuguese and Spaniards formed a single “constellation”, as the German philosopher Dieter Henrich has put it.30 They read one another’s works, they inspired one another, and sometimes they made an effort to synthesize their work and thus to go beyond the famous Tordesillas line separating their two expanding empires. In the first half of the century the Spaniards were clearly in the lead, especially with the publication of Fernández de Oviedo’s Historia General de las Indias, followed by that of López de Gómara in 1552, and several others. We see that even a mediocre Portuguese author like António Galvão was familiar with some of these works when he wrote his Tratado dos Descobrimentos – which studies both the Ancients and the Moderns – in the early 1560s.31 Galvão also drew on both Barros’s and Castanheda’s chronicles in Portugal. Yet, despite some common aspects, the potential gap between the two historiographic undertakings is noteworthy. The Spaniards relied either on oral information, or on hybrid texts produced by “natives”, often under the supervision of missionaries. In contrast, the most scholarly Portuguese in Asia knew that they were faced with autonomous written cultures with a massive literary production. The central problem they encountered in their attempts to write a history of Portuguese Asia was basically a matter of translation and philology.

  • 32 See Jurgis Elisonas’ analysis, “An Itinerary to the Terrestrial Paradise. Early European Reports on (...)

22But how was one to distinguish truth from falsehood, authentic knowledge from invented or fake knowledge? After all, until the end of the eighteenth century such leading scholars as Samuel Johnson suspected that the Indo-Persian chronicles, like Muhammad Qasim Firishta’s Gulshan-i Ibrāhīmī, were nothing but last-minute fabrications. The question arose suddenly with regard to Japan, a mythical country in the East for Europeans, with which the Portuguese eventually established direct contact in the 1540s. News arrived in Europe fairly quickly through Portuguese Jesuits and traders, of whom the most well-known were Jorge Álvares and Nicolò Lancillotto. Their main “native” informer was a Japanese merchant, Yajirō. The exact content of what Yajirō recounted has been debated ever since, as Bernard Frank reminded us in his Inaugural Lecture delivered in 1980.32 But as early as the sixteenth century, European intellectuals’ interest in Japan started to grow, stimulated largely by the Japanese version of Buddhist religious practices presented in these texts. One of the scholars with the greatest thirst for information was Guillaume Postel, who at the time had left not only the Collège du Roy but also the Society of Jesus, due to a “difference of opinion” (diversidad de juizios), as Ignatius of Loyola discreetly put it. In his text Des merveilles du monde, published in 1553, Postel cited texts on Japan as well as the most recent knowledge on America, for example Oviedo’s chronicle. However, he led the texts wherever he wanted them to go, practising a form of exegesis that tended to discredit the century’s new knowledge. He systematically turned material from far away against the Europeans and “the bad and dissolute life in the West”, as we see in one of the last passages of his opuscule:

For it is in this that we see the mightiest power of God ever possible; that, by having let the name of His son fall into such oblivion there [in Japan and China] that it is not known at all, He has kept the Orient in such deeds of righteousness that there is no life more perfect. Contrariwise we see in the Occident, where the dominance of the Evangelical doctrine reigns as much as it is possible today, that next to nothing has remained of the true purity of Christian deeds or perfections except in ceremonies, so much so that Occidental life is a scandal in the eyes of the whole world, and primarily with regard to the ecclesiastic princes and judges, who ought to be answerable for the Saintliness of their office.33

23But shortly afterwards opinions swung round, and the idea that Japan or China could be heaven on earth no longer garnered enthusiasm. During the following century opinions and knowledge on Japan remained relatively unstable in the West, despite the wealth and complexity of established contacts.

  • 34 A. R. Venkatachalapathy, “Triumph of Tobacco: The Tamil Experience”, in Jean-Luc Chevillard and Eva (...)

24Even though it played an essentially secondary role in Postel’s writings (as in Scaliger’s), there is no doubt that the central objective fact from the point of view of a “global history” at the turn of the sixteenth century was the gradual integration of America with Eurasia and Africa. This had severe consequences for the indigenous American population, but it was nevertheless an essential stage in the transition towards a real “awareness of globality” (to use once again Roger Chartier’s phrase). Should this question be treated in relation to current debates on globalization and its origins, proposed by the theoreticians of the world-system on the one hand and neoliberal economists of the National Bureau of Economic Research on the other? Personally, I remain sceptical as to the usefulness of the concept of “globalization” and of any such magic potion with a strong teleological content. Be that as it may, everywhere the question of the paesi nuovamente ritrovati (the Italians’ phrase), or of the yeni dünya (the Turkish expression) arose in the sixteenth century, for several reasons. The products of the New World – chillies, sweet potatoes and tobacco first, but also gold and silver – were introduced as far afield as India and China, where they triggered debates on their effects, both marvellous and harmful. In the far south of the Tamil country, an eighteenth-century poet known by his pen name Sini Cakkarai Pulavar went so far as to devote an entire book, Pukaiyilai viṭu tūtu, to praising tobacco.34 Even the humble turkey was welcomed at the Mughal court during Emperor Nur-ud-Din Jahangir’s reign, although admittedly with moderate success in Indian cuisine. In West Africa the consequences were felt in another way as well, for the new emerging colonial societies were built partly on the African slave trade set up initially by the Portuguese on the coast of Guinea and via the Cape Verde Islands.

  • 35 Pál Ács, “Pro Turcis and Contra Turcos: Curiosity, scholarship and spiritualism in Turkish historie (...)
  • 36 Vernon J. Parry, Richard Knolles’ History of the Turks, published by Salih Özbaran, Istanbul, Econ (...)
  • 37 Yosef ha-Kohen, Sefer ha-Indi’ah ha-hadashah, edited by Moshe Lazar, Lancaster (Calif.), Hotsa’at L (...)

25This rapidly evolving reality was first documented through ethnographic description followed by compilation, as we see in Giambattista Ramusio’s famous text Delle navigationi e viaggi. Until the mid-sixteenth century, the instability of the epistemological situation was a problem in real efforts to synthesize information. But when Galvão’s Tratado dos Descobrimentos was published in 1563 it was generally believed that the limits of the world were henceforth known, and that the globe (a redondeza in Portuguese) could legitimately be considered as a historical object. To reach that stage, it was necessary to go through a significant but as yet poorly analysed stage in which historiographies were clearly “in conversation”. As an illustration, take the case of the Ottoman Empire. From the end of the sixteenth century, and certainly from 1453, the Ottomans were part of the main preoccupations of their European neighbours, but no real effort had been made to study their history through their own chronicles and historiographic traditions. The first major breakthrough came from the German humanist Hans Löwenklau (or Johannes Leunclavius) who, shortly before his death, published the Annales Sultanorum Othmanidarum, in 1588, then the Historiae Musulmanae Turcorum, de monumentis ipsonum exscriptae, in 1591.35 Löwenklau had been a diplomat in the Ottoman Empire where he had made contact with a certain Tarjuman Murad, who was originally a Hungarian renegade called Balázs Somlyai. With his help, he worked on a number of texts in Ottoman Turkish, including the Codex Hanivaldanus, based largely on the chronicle of Mehmed Neşri, Kitāb-i Cihān numā. Moreover, with his own knowledge of Ottoman Turkish, Löwenklau was able to check at least partly the translation of this text. The famous text by Richard Knolles, The Generall Historie of the Turkes, published in 1603, owes much to Löwenklau, as Knolles had no direct access to Ottoman sources.36 Of particular interest is the symmetrical effect, for at the same time – or a few years earlier – intellectuals of the Ottoman court took an interest in Spanish and Italian writings on the conquest of America, and wrote a text entitled the Tārīh-i Hind-i Gharbī (The History of East India) based largely on the work of Oviedo, Gómara and Peter Martyr. To complete the picture, note that a Jewish intellectual at the time, Yosef ha-Kohen, also undertook a Hebrew translation of Gómara’s chronicle, while comparing the fate of Jews in Spain with that of the Indians in the Americas.37

  • 38 Richard L. Kagan, Clio and the Crown: The Politics of History in Medieval and Early Modern Spain, B (...)
  • 39 Paulina Kewes, Ian W. Archer and Felicity Heal (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed’s Chronicles(...)
  • 40 Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, “Southeast Asia as Seen from Mughal India: Tahir Muhammad’s (...)
  • 41 Corinne Lefèvre, “The Majālis-i Jahāngīrī (1608-1611): Dialogue and Asiatic otherness at the Mughal (...)

26In other words, the circulation of texts and material during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries produced a conjuncture that opened a range of possibilities for historical production. In his recent book Clio and the Crown, the American historian Richard Kagan provides an overview of medieval Spain and early modernity, ranging from simple chorographs to an all-encompassing imperial chronicle by Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas.38 As regards Elizabethan England, there is a sharp contrast between the very national history of Raphael Holinshed, and the global view of Richard Hakluyt or even Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the World, a text that was still incomplete when the author was executed in 1618.39 For a final example, I wish to revert to a context that is very familiar to me, that of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century Mughal Empire. There are a number of historiographic possibilities available to us. First, the Akbar Nāma, a great text written by Shaikh Abu’l Fazl, which starts with the creation of the world and is then limited to the classical dynastic history of the Timurid sultans in India. Second, the chronicle of Muhammad Qasim Firishta, which was produced outside the Mughal Empire but drew on Mughal and earlier texts to give a regional history of the Indian sub-continent under Muslim domination. Third, there is a highly personal and secret text by Maulana ‘Abdul Qadir Badayuni, in which a sceptical view of the mystical and political claims of the Mughal sovereigns is evident. Finally, the Tārīkh-i Alfī, a millennial Islamic chronicle written by several authors. To these four texts we can easily add ten others, sometimes written from the point of view of the Afghans vanquished by the Mughals, and sometimes expressing the grievances of the Central Asian elite who were disappointed by the unstable behaviour of their Mughal masters. But there are two other texts that attest to a broader ambition. The one, entitled Rauzat ut-Tāhirīn (The Garden of Purity), was probably a veiled reference to Mirkwond’s Rauzat us-Safā’. Its author, Tahir Muhammad Sabzwari, had been an administrator and diplomat who had headed a mission to the Portuguese in Goa.40 This explains his keen interest not only in the history of Burma and Indonesia, but also in the political problems of Iberia triggered by King Dom Sebastião’s death in 1578. The other text is even more interesting, as its author was Maulana ‘Abdus Sattar ibn Qasim Lahauri, a close collaborator of the Jesuits at the court of the Mughal emperors Akbar and Jahangir. As with some of his counterparts in Japan, his close relations with the Jesuits ended up breeding hostility in him towards the Society. He was nevertheless able to write his text Samarat al-Falāsifa or Ahwāl-i Firangistān based partially on the writings that he had received from them in Latin, which he mastered.41 The “xenological” tradition that he initiated continued at the Mughal court, for the ambassador sent to India by William III, Sir William Norris, was exposed by senior Mughal courtiers due to his contradictory accounts of the Glorious Revolution.

  • 42 Peter Hanns Reill, The German Enlightenment and the Rise of Historicism, Berkeley, University of Ca (...)

27It is time perhaps to essay some conclusions. As you know, global history is at the centre of a number of controversies, in this country and abroad. It is sometimes thought of as nothing more than a desire by American academic imperialism to destroy the good old (European) tradition of national history and to replace it by an imperial and imperialist perspective. English-speaking authors have often imagined that the subject was invented in the first half of the twentieth century by such authors as Arnold Toynbee and Oswald Spengler, and then generalized by the following generation. Other historians of ideas have more ambitiously wanted to swim against the tide up to the end of the eighteenth century, by taking cases such as that of August Ludwig Schlözer, known for his contributions to the Weltgeschichte.42 This type of history was considered as a product of the thinking of the German and Scandinavian Aufklärer and of their exceptional opening onto the world. It is therefore no coincidence that the rapid growth in the past three decades of postcolonial movements – which are often fiercely hostile to the Enlightenment and its intellectual heritage, and confuse the ideas of Schlözer and Hegel – has created tension around the status of global history.

28What I have wanted to show here is a part of the long and slow evolution of global history as a minority tendency, or Oppositionswissenschaft, or more modestly as a kind of underground Bièvre in contrast with the more visible Seine of national and imperial history. Research and teaching on the global history of early modernity are actually not unprecedented, either in France or even at the Collège de France, even though the subject has not always been formally identified as such. As I have endeavoured to explain, the field has a fairly complex and varied genealogy, but to my mind it is important, from the outset, to rule out the idea that it is largely a field where synthesis always prevails, rather than first-hand research on archives and texts. This means that it is impossible to write a global history from nowhere or – as some have proposed – by adopting an “extraterrestrial” perspective. Like any historian, I remain attached to particular places and spaces, and my knowledge is the direct product of training in the reading of texts, archives and images. But these materials are not limited to a national space, and it has always seemed somewhat artificial to me to identify myself simply as a historian of India, Portugal or the British or Dutch Empires, as I have sometimes been compelled to do. It turns out that in today’s world there is growing interest and curiosity in this type of history, although I am firmly convinced that it is destined not to replace the history made on a regional, national or continental scale, but rather to complete it. I am also convinced that new synergies can be found by combining these historical varieties under the same roof.

29Thank you for your patience and your attention.

I am particularly grateful to my friends Maurice Kriegel and Claude Markovits for their help in preparing this Inaugural Lecture.

Notes

1 Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence. China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy, Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 2000; Jean-Laurent Rosenthal and Roy Bin Wong, Before and Beyond Divergence: The Politics of Economic Change in China and Europe, Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard University Press, 2011.

2 Roger Chartier, “La conscience de la globalité (commentaire)”, Annales. Histoire, sciences sociales, vol. 56, no. 1, 2001, pp. 119-123, doi: 10.3406/ahess.2001.279936. Sanjay Subrahmanyam, “Connected Histories: Notes towards a reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia”, Modern Asian Studies, vol. 31, no. 3, 1997, pp. 735-762, doi: 10.1017/S0026749X00017133.

3 Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Writing history ‘backwards’: Southeast Asian history (and the Annales) at the crossroads, Studies in History, vol. 10, no. 1, 1994, pp. 131-145, doi: 10.1177/025764309401000106.

4 See Sanjay Subrahmanyam, “Notes on Circulation and Asymmetry in two Mediterraneans, c. 1400-1800” in Claude Guillot, Denys Lombard and Roderich Ptak (eds), From the Mediterranean to the China Sea, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz Verlag, 1998, pp. 21-43.

5 Nathan Wachtel, “La vision des vaincus: la conquête espagnole dans le folklore indigène”, Annales. Économies, sociétés, civilisations, vol. 22, no. 3, 1967, pp. 554-585, doi : 10.3406/ahess.1967.421550.

6 Joseph Héliodore Sagesse Vertu Garcin de Tassy, Histoire de la littérature hindouie et hindoustanie, 2nd ed., 3 vols., Paris, A. Labitte, 1870-1871.

7 C. M. Naim, “Syed Ahmad and his two books called Asar-al-Sanadid”, Modern Asian Studies, vol. 45, no. 3, 2011, pp. 669-708, doi: 10.1017/S0026749X10000156.

8 François Hartog, Évidence de l’histoire: ce que voient les historiens, Paris, Éditions de l’EHESS, coll. “Cas de figure”, 2005, p. 112.

9 Siep Stuurman, “Common Humanity and Cultural Difference on the Sedentary-Nomadic Frontier: Herodotus, Sima Qian and Ibn Khaldun” in Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori (eds), Global Intellectual History, New York, Columbia University Press, 2013, pp. 33-58.

10 Chase F. Robinson, Islamic Historiography, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

11 André Miquel, La Géographie humaine du monde musulman jusqu’au milieu du xie siècle, 4 vols., The Hague, Mouton et Cie, 1967; reprint Paris, Éditions de l’EHESS, 2001-2002.

12 Julie Scott Meisami, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1999.

13 For an overview of these tests, see Sunil Kumar, The Emergence of the Delhi Sultanate, 1192-1286, New Delhi, Permanent Black, 2007.

14 Jean Aubin, Émirs mongols et vizirs persans dans les remous de l’acculturation, Paris, Association pour l’avancement des études iraniennes, 1995, p. 84.

15 Translator’s note: this is our translation of Étienne de Quatremère’s French translation.

16 Étienne Quatremère, ed. and trans., Histoire des Mongols de la Perse par Raschid-Eldin. Texte persan, publié, traduit en français: Accompagnée de notes et d’un mémoire sur la vie et les ouvrages de l’auteur, reprint, Amsterdam, Oriental Press, 1968, pp. 62-63.

17 Aubin, Émirs mongols, pp. 25-26.

18 Francis Richard, Splendeurs persanes: manuscrits du xiie au xviie siècle, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, 1997, p. 36.

19 David Morgan, “Persian perceptions of Mongols and Europeans”, in Stuart B. Schwartz (ed.), Implicit Understandings: Observing, Reporting and Reflecting on the Encounters between Europeans and Other Peoples in the Early Modern Era, New York, Cambridge University Press, 1994, p. 213.

20 John E. Woods, “The rise of Tīmūrid historiography”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 46, no. 2, 1987, pp. 81-108.

21 Muhammad ibn Khawandshah ibn Mahmud, Tārīkh-i rauzat al-safā fī sīrat al-anbiyā’ wa’l-mulūk wa’l-khulafā’, ed. Jamshid Kiyanfar, 10 vols., Tehran, Asatir, 1380/2001. For translations, see The Rauzat-us-safa, or Garden of purity/by Muhammad bin Khāvendshāh bin Mahmūd, commonly called Mirkhond, translated from the original Persian by E. Rehatsék, edited by F.F. Arbuthnot (originally published by London, Royal Asiatic Society, 1891-94), Delhi, Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Delli, 1982.

22 Geoff Wade, Southeast Asia in the “Ming shi-lu”. An Open Access Resource, http://www.epress.nus.edu.sg/msl.

23 Fernão Lopes, Chrónica de El-Rei D. João I, edited by Luciano Cordeiro, Lisbon, Bibliotheca de Clássicos Portuguezes, 1897, p. 17.

24 Gomes Eanes de Zurara, Chrónica do descobrimento e conquista de Guiné, escrita por mandado de elrei D. Affonso V, published by Visconde da Carreira and Visconde de Santarém, Paris, J. P. Aillaud, 1841. For a discussion on this author, see Luís Filipe Barreto, “Gomes Eanes de Zurara e o problema da Crónica da Guiné”, Studia, no. 47, 1989, pp. 311-369.

25 Marcel Bataillon, “L’arabe à Salamanque au temps de la Renaissance”, Hespéris, no. 21, 1935, pp. 1-17.

26 António Alberto Banha de Andrade, João de Barros: Historiador do pensamento humanista português de quinhentos, Lisbonne, Academia Portuguesa da História, 1980.

27 João de Barros, Da Ásia, reprint, Lisbon, Livraria Sam Carlos, 1974; Década II, Book IV, Chapter 4, pp. 412-413.

28 Id., Da Ásia, Década II, Book II, Chapter 2, pp. 107-108.

29 George Huppert, The Idea of Perfect History: Historical Erudition and Historical Philosophy in Renaissance France, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1970, pp. 194-197.

30 Dieter Henrich, Konstellationen: Probleme und Debatten am Ursprung der idealistischen Philosophie (1789-1795), Stuttgart, Klett-Cotta, 1991.

31 António Galvão, Tratado dos Descobrimentos, edited by Visconde de Lagoa, Porto, Livraria Civilização, 1944; for a commentary, see Sanjay Subrahmanyam: “As quarto partes vistas das Molucas: Breve re-leitura de António Galvão”, in Scarlett O’Phelan Godoy and Carmen Salazar-Soler (eds), Passeurs, mediadores culturales y agentes de la primera globalización en el Mundo Ibérico, siglos xvi-xix, Lima, Instituto Riva-Agüero, 2005, pp. 713-730.

32 See Jurgis Elisonas’ analysis, “An Itinerary to the Terrestrial Paradise. Early European Reports on Japan and a Contemporary Exegesis”, Itinerario, vol. 20, no. 3, 1996, pp. 25-68, doi: 10.1017/S016511530000396X.

33 Henri-Bernard Maître, “L’orientaliste Guillaume Postel et la découverte spirituelle du Japon en 1552”, Monumenta Nipponica, vol. 9, nos. 1-2, 1953, pp. 83-108, p. 107, doi : 10.2307/2382891.

34 A. R. Venkatachalapathy, “Triumph of Tobacco: The Tamil Experience”, in Jean-Luc Chevillard and Eva Wilden (eds), South-Indian Horizons: Felicitation Volume for François Gros, Pondichéry, Institut français de Pondichéry and École francaise d’Extrême-Orient, 2004, pp. 635-641.

35 Pál Ács, “Pro Turcis and Contra Turcos: Curiosity, scholarship and spiritualism in Turkish histories by Johannes Löwenklau (1541-1594)”, Acta Comeniana, no. 25, 2011, pp. 25-45. Marie-Pierre Burtin, “Un apôtre de la tolérance. L’humaniste allemand Johannes Löwenklau, dit Leunclavius (1541-1593?)”, Bibliothèque d’humanisme et Renaissance, vol. 52, no. 3, 1990, pp. 561-570. Tijana Krstić, Contested Conversions to Islam. Narratives of Religious Change in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2011, pp. 98-109.

36 Vernon J. Parry, Richard Knolles’ History of the Turks, published by Salih Özbaran, Istanbul, Economic and Social History Foundation of Turkey, 2003.

37 Yosef ha-Kohen, Sefer ha-Indi’ah ha-hadashah, edited by Moshe Lazar, Lancaster (Calif.), Hotsa’at Labirintos, 2002; see also Chimalpahin’s Conquest: A Nahua Historian’s Rewriting of Francisco López de Gómara’s “La Conquista de México”, edited and translated by Susan Schroeder, Anne J. Cruz, Cristián Roa-de-la-Carrera and David E. Tavárez, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2010.

38 Richard L. Kagan, Clio and the Crown: The Politics of History in Medieval and Early Modern Spain, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

39 Paulina Kewes, Ian W. Archer and Felicity Heal (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Holinshed’s Chronicles, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013. Nicholas Popper, Walter Ralegh’s “History of the World” and the Historical Culture of the Late Renaissance, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2012.

40 Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, “Southeast Asia as Seen from Mughal India: Tahir Muhammad’s ‘Immaculate garden’ (c. 1600)”, Archipel, no. 70, 2005, pp. 209-237, doi: 10.3406/arch.2005.3979.

41 Corinne Lefèvre, “The Majālis-i Jahāngīrī (1608-1611): Dialogue and Asiatic otherness at the Mughal court”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, vol. 55, nos. 2-3, 2012, pp. 255-286, doi: 10.1163/15685209-12341236.

42 Peter Hanns Reill, The German Enlightenment and the Rise of Historicism, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1975, pp. 85-88.

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