Tobacco in India, also Maize

Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Mon Dec 15 16:40:29 UTC 1997

Some weeks ago there was a correspondence on the first evidence of
tobacco from India.  As far as I noticed there was no mention of P.K. Gode's
articles on the subject.  These are reprinted in his work Studies in Indian
cultural history, vol. 1, Hoshiarpur : Vishveshvaranand Vedic Research
Institute, 1961 (Vishveshvaranand Indological Series, 9), p. 410-438. For
those without access to this but with access to some of the journals of first
publication, I give the individual citations here:

References to tobacco in some Sanskrit works between A.D. 1600 and
1900. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 38, 225-232.

References to Tobacco in Marathi literature and records between A.D. 1600
and 1900.  Poona Orientalist, 20, 20-21.

A reference to tobacco in the poems of Sena Nhavi and its bearing on his
date (later than c. A.D. 1550).  Poona Orientalist, 22, no. 1-2, 37-39.

A history of tobacco in India and Europe between A.D. 1500 and 1800.
Bharatiya Vidya, 16, no. 1, 65-74.

In the last paper Gode cites Asad Beg's account of his ambassadorship
from Akbar to Bijapur  in 1604-1605, during which he brought back tobacco
and introduced Akbar to it. He also cites an article by Blockmann in Indian
Antiquary, 1, 164, which quotes the Bahar i-'ajam (c. 1760) quoting the
Ma'asir i-rahimi (a quick computer search finds nothing about either of
these works). to the effect that tobacco came from Europe to the Deccan
and was introduced to Upper India during the realm of Akbar.  (Could this
be based on the previous?)

Did the other American product maize get mentioned?  Gode also has an
article on this (op.cit, 283-294, originally published in Sen, Surendra Nath,
ed. Mahamahopadhyaya D. V. Potdar sixty-first birthday commemoration
volume, 14-25).  His earliest citation for maize in India is the Vaidyavata.msa
of Lolimbar-aja, who fl. between 1640 and 1710.

Allen Thrasher

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