[INDOLOGY] [Publication Announcement] Śrīvara's Kashmir under Šāhmīrī Rule

Walter Slaje walter.slaje at gmail.com
Sat Jan 1 05:13:06 UTC 2022

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to bring a new publication to your attention (in Sanskrit and

Walter Slaje, Śrīvara: Kaschmir unter den Šāhmīrīden. Śrīvaras *Jaina- *und
*Rājataraṅgiṇī*, A.D. 1451–1486. Vier zeitgeschichtliche Herrscherviten
eines indo-persischen Sultanats. Mit annotierter Übersetzung neu

Halle 2022. 618 pp.  138,00 € (ISBN 978-3-86977-252-3)

Studia Indologica Universitatis Halensis | Volume 20

[Śrīvara’s Kashmir under Šāhmīrī Rule (*Jaina*- and *Rājataraṅgiṇī*, A.D.
1451–1486). Four Contemporary Rulers’ Biographies of an Indo-Persian

Śrīvara served at the courts of the four Šāhmīrī Sulṭāns Zayn al-ʿĀbidīn,
Ḥaydar Šāh, Ḥasan Šāh and Maḥmūd Šāh until 1486, when Fatḥ Šāh took power
for the first time. Holding this office since 1459, Śrīvara concentrated on
writing the history he had personally witnessed. Unlike his predecessors
Kalhaṇa and Jonarāja, who had completed the history of Kashmir in
retrospect and continued it up to their respective times, Śrīvara, as a
contemporary historian, was left with only occasional retrospective
additions going back to 1451.

His account, written as an eyewitness, is characterised by a remarkably
detailed density that hardly leaves out any aspect of his coeval horizon of
observation and reflection on everyday Kashmiri culture, court life,
politics, religion and society. This includes, among others, extremes of
refined drinking culture and wild boozing, of charity and unspeakable
cruelty, of public impalements and spring festivals among dance, music,
song and fireworks, observations of bravery, cowardice and betrayal,
Śrīvara’s criticism of hunting, his criticism of Muslim inhumation, etc.

The consolidation of the religious and political influence of a group of
Sayyids, who had migrated from Baihaq in Iran under earlier Šāhmīrī Sulṭāns
such as Sikandar, and the dynamics triggered by their attempts under Ḥasan
Šāh and Maḥmūd Šāh to participate in the reign, culminated in a devastating
civil war between factions mainly consisting of indigenous Kashmiris (
*kāśmīrika*) and those siding with the immigrants from abroad (*paradeśīya*,
*vaideśika*). These events are of particular research interest for tracing
the historical ramifications of the Islamisation process in Kashmir. In
terms of richness of detail of everyday culture also in its material
aspects, Śrīvara’s work is by far the most abundant source on Indo-Persian
rule in early modern India and the living conditions under omnipresent
threats of famines, natural disasters and warfare.

The Sanskrit texts of Śrīvara’s *Jaina*- and *Rājataraṅgiṇī*s have been
newly established and are accompanied by an annotated German translation on
facing pages. Indexes to names, titles and toponyms provided with
geographic coordinates conclude the volume.

Details and orders at:


Link to the series:


With all good wishes for a happy, healthy

and academically rewarding New Year,

Walter Slaje
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