ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY BOOKS
The Society has a flourishing publications programme. RAS Fellows enjoy a thirty percent discount on all publications in the Royal Asiatic Society series: please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Francis Robinson, CBE, DL, Royal Holloway, University of London (Chair)
Professor Tim Barrett, SOAS, University of London
Dr Barbara Brend, Royal Asiatic Society
Dr Evrim Binbas, Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies, University of Bonn
Professor Anna Contadini, SOAS, University of London
Professor Michael Feener, National University of Singapore
Dr Gordon Johnson, University of Cambridge
Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, Royal Asiatic Society
Professor David Morgan, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr Alison Ohta, Director, Royal Asiatic Society
Submit a Proposal
The RAS welcomes proposals and click here for advice on how to submit.
THE IBRAHIM PASHA OF EGYPT FUND
The Royal Asiatic Society also publishes the Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt Fund series. Established in 2001 by Princess Fazilé Ibrahim, the series encourages the growth and development of Ottoman studies internationally by publishing documents and manuscripts of historical importance from the classical period up to 1839, with transliteration, full or part translation and scholarly commentaries.
Guidelines for submissions can be found here. Book proposals for either series should be submitted to email@example.com. You can view details of our most recent publications here.
Princess Fazilé Ibrahim, Founder
Professor Francis Robinson, CBE, DL, Royal Holloway, University of London (Chair)
Dr Evrim Binbaş, Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies, University of Bonn
Professor Edhem Eldem, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul
Dr Colin Heywood, SOAS, University of London
Professor Cemal Kafadar, Harvard University
Dr Claudia Romer, University of Vienna
Professor Michael Ursinus, Heidelberg University
Books Published by the Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt Fund:
Ottoman Explorations of the Nile: Evliya Çelebi’s ‘Matchless Pearl These Reports of the Nile’ map and his accounts of the Nile and the Horn of Africa in The Book of Travels
Robert Dankoff, Nuran Tezcan, Michael Sheridan (Gingko, 2018)
Grievance Administration (Şikayet) in an Ottoman Province: the Kaymakam of Rumelia’s ‘Record Book of Complaints’ of 1781–1783
Michael Ursinus (RoutledgeCurzon, 2005)
ISBN 10: 0415358876 ISBN 13: 9780415358873
The Kaymakam of Rumelia’s ‘Record Book of Complaints’ of 1781-1783
An Ottoman Protocol Register
Edited with an Introduction and annotations by Hakan T. Karateke
Containing Ceremonies from 1736 to 1808: Beo Sadaret Defterleri
350 in Prime Ministry Ottoman State Archives, Istanbul
[Published in collaboration with the Ottoman Bank Museum, 2007]
Forthcoming Books from the Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt Fund:
A Study of the Early Ottoman Peloponnese in the Light of an Annotated edition princeps of the TT10-1/14662 Ottoman Taxation Cadastre (ca. 1460-1463)
Georgios C. Liakopoulos
The following titles have recently been published by the Royal Asiatic Society:
Islamic Law and Society in Iran: A Social History of Qajar Tehran
Nobuaki Kondo, Routledge (2017)
Anglo-Indians and Minority Politics in South Asia
Race, Boundary Making and Communal Nationalism
U. E. Charlton-Stevens, Routledge (2017)
Anglo-Indians are a mixed-race, Christian and Anglophone minority community which arose in South Asia during the long period of European colonialism. An often neglected part of the British Raj, their presence complicates the traditional binary through which British imperialism is viewed – of ruler and ruled, coloniser and colonised.
The book analyses the processes of ethnic group formation and political organisation, beginning with petitions to the East India Company state, through the Raj’s constitutional communalism, to constitution-making for the new India. It details how Anglo-Indians sought to preserve protected areas of state and railway employment amidst the growing demands of Indian nationalism. Anglo-Indians both suffered and benefitted from colonial British prejudices, being expected to loyally serve the colonial state as a result of their ties of kinship and culture to the colonial power, whilst being the victims of racial and social discrimination. This mixed experience was embodied in their intermediate position in the Raj’s evolving socio-racial employment hierarchy. The question of why and how a numerically small group, who were privileged relative to the great majority of people in South Asia, were granted nominated representatives and reserved employment in the new Indian Constitution, amidst a general curtailment of minority group rights, is tackled directly. Based on a wide range of source materials from Indian and British archives, including the Anglo-Indian Review and the debates of the Constituent Assembly of India, the book illuminatingly foregrounds the issues facing the smaller minorities during the drawn out process of decolonisation in South Asia. It will be of interest to students and researchers of South Asia, Imperial and Global History, Politics, and Mixed Race Studies.
Refugees and the Politics of the Everyday State in Pakistan
Resettlement in Punjab, 1947-1962
Elisabetta Iob, Routledge (2017)
The Partition of India in 1947 involved the division of two provinces, Bengal and the Punjab, based on district-wise Hindu or Muslim majorities. The Partition displaced between 10 and 12 million people along religious lines.
This book provides a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the resettlement and rehabilitation of Partition refugees in Pakistani Punjab between 1947 and 1962. It weaves a chronological and thematic plot into a single narrative, and focuses on the Punjabi refugee middle and upper-middle class. Emphasising the everyday experience of the state, the author challenges standard interpretations of the resettlement of Partition refugees in the region and calls for a more nuanced understanding of their rehabilitation. The book argues the universality of the so-called ‘exercise in human misery’, and the heterogeneity of the rehabilitation policies. Refugees’ stories and interactions with local institutions reveal the inability of the local bureaucracy to establish its own ‘polity’ and the viable workability of Pakistan as a state. The use of Pakistani documents, US and British records and a careful survey of both the judicial records and the Urdu and English-language dailies of the time, provides an invaluable window onto the everyday life of a state, its institutions and its citizens.
A carefully researched study of both the state and the everyday lives of refugees as they negotiated resettlement, through both personal and official channels, the book offers an important reinterpretation of the first years of Pakistani history. It will be of interest to academics working in the field of refugee resettlement and South Asian History and Politics.
British artists and commentators in the late 18th and early 19th century encoded the twin aspirations of progress and power in images and descriptions of Southeast Asia’s ruined Hindu and Buddhist candis, pagodas, wats and monuments. To the British eye, images of the remains of past civilisations allowed, indeed stimulated, philosophical meditations on the rise and decline of entire empires. Ruins were witnesses to the fall, humbling and disturbingly prophetic, (and so revealing more about British attitudes than they do about Southeast Asia’s cultural remains). This important study of a highly appealing but relatively neglected body of work adds multiple dimensions to the history of art and image production in Britain of the period, showing how the anxieties of empire were encoded in the genre of landscape paintings and prints.
Women in Mongol Iran: The Khatuns, 1206-1335
Bruno De Nicola, Edinburgh University Press with the RAS
Bruno De Nicola investigates the development of women’s status in the Mongol Empire from its original homeland in Mongolia up to the end of the Ilkhanate of Iran in 1335. Taking a thematic approach, the chapters show a coherent progression of this development and contextualise the evolution of the role of women in medieval Mongol society. The arrangement serves as a starting point from where to draw comparison with the status of Mongol women in the later period. Exploring patterns of continuity and transformation in the status of these women in different periods of the Mongol Empire as it expanded westwards into the Islamic world, the book offers a view on the transformation of a nomadic-shamanist society from its original homeland in Mongolia to its settlement in the mostly sedentary-Muslim Iran in the mid-13th century.
Constructing Islam on the Indus
Hasan Ali Khan, Cambridge University Press, India
The period of Middle Eastern history between the collapse of the Mongol Ilkhanate in 1335 and the rise of Timur (Tamerlane) at the end of the fourteenth century is commonly seen as a tumultuous time of political breakdown and disorder. This book helps to make sense of this confusing period by tracing the origins, history and memory of the Jalayirid dynasty, a family that succeeded the Mongol Ilkhans in Iran and Iraq in the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries and claimed to be the rightful heirs of the Chinggisid Mongols. The story of how the Jalayirids came to power is illustrative of the political dynamics that shaped much of the Mongol and post-Mongol period in the Middle East.
Urbanisation is rapidly changing the geographic and social landscape of India, and indeed Asia as a whole. Issues of collective violence, urban poverty and discrimination become crucial factors in the redefinition of citizenship not only in legal terms, but also in a cultural and socio-economic dimension. While Indian cities are becoming the centres of a culture of exclusion against vulnerable social groups, a long-term perspective is essential to understand the patterns that shaped the space, politics, economy and culture of contemporary metropolises.
This book takes a critical, longer-term view of India’s economic transition. The idea that urban growth goes hand in hand with the modernisation of the country does not account for the fact that increasingly higher portions of the urban population are comprised of lower-income groups, casual labourers and slum dwellers. Using the case study of Ahmedabad, this book investigates the history of city and of its people over the twentieth century. It analyses the contrasting relationship between urban authorities and the inhabitants of Ahmedabad and examines instances of antagonism and negotiation – amongst people, groups and between the people and the public authority – that have continuously shaped, transformed and redefined life in the city.
This book offers an important tool for understanding the bigger context of the conflicts, the social and cultural issues that accompanied the broader process of urbanisation in contemporary India. It will be of interest to scholars of Urban History, studies of collective violence and South Asian Studies.
Robert Morrison and the Protestant Plan for China
Christopher Daily (Hong Kong University Press, 2013)
“This carefully researched study is bound to become a landmark in the history of China, Britain, and the relations between the two countries.”
T. H. Barrett, Research Professor of East Asian History, SOAS, University of London.
“Through a brilliant analysis of hitherto unexplored archival material, Christopher Daily offers important new insights into Robert Morrison’s missionary career at the gates of the Chinese Empire. This eminently readable book demonstrates with great clarity how the implementation of the Gosport ‘mission template’ was religiously observed by Morrison in an exceedingly hostile environment.”
R. G. Tiedemann, Professor of Chinese History, Shandong University
This book critically explores the preparations and strategies behind this first Protestant mission to China, and demonstrates the many ways in which Morrison’s influential mission must be seen within the historical and ideological contexts of British evangelism. The result is this new interpretation of the beginnings of Protestant Christianity in China.
For more than four centuries Macau was the centre of Portuguese trade and culture on the South China Coast. Until the founding of Hong Kong and the opening of other ports in the 1840s, it was also the main gateway to China for independent British merchants and their only place of permanent residence. Drawing extensively on Portuguese as well as British sources, The British Presence in Macau traces Anglo-Portuguese relations in South China from the first arrival of English trading ships in the 1630s to the establishment of factories at Canton, the beginnings of the opium trade, and the Macartney Embassy of 1793. Longstanding allies in the West, the British and Portuguese pursued more complex relations in the East, as trading interests clashed under a Chinese imperial system and as the British increasingly asserted their power as “a community in search of a colony”.
“Heywood gives us a unique opportunity, and reveals himself to be a particularly masterful guide in unlocking the background of Paul Wittek’s intellectual process”
Kaya Sahin, Assistant Professor of History, Indiana University, USA.
“… almost as important as the publication of the original. Heywood has produced an outstanding, erudite work in commenting on Wittek’s life and career”
Kemal H Karpat, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
Paul Wittek’s The Rise of the Ottoman Empire was first published by the Royal Asiatic Society in 1938. This reissue of the text brings together material which is now almost inaccessible. An introduction by Colin Heywood sets Wittek’s work in its historical and historiographical context, for the benefit of those students who were not privileged to experience it first hand.
Paul Wittek (1894-1978) was one of the leading Ottoman historians of his generation, and became the first holder of the Chair of Turkish at the University of London. Colin Heywood taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he took courses with Wittek in the 1950s.
Vol. 1. published by Routledge
Vol. 2. published by Cambridge University Press, Foundation Books
Vol. 3. published by Cambridge University Press, Foundation Books
These volumes contain a copy of the original text of the Cheitharon Kumpapa , the Court Chronicle of the Kings of Manipur, which is authorised by the Palace, and the English translation from the original composed in archaic Manipuri script (Meetei Mayek). Explanatory notes and a glossary complement this interesting source of information. The text will be useful for those readers engaged in social anthropology, religious history, archaeology, human geography and linguistics.
“Quoting extensively from every available source, including family papers, and weaving a dense network of information, while remaining readable and jargon free, this relatively concise but extremely thorough study captures in judicious detail the way in which knowledge for its own sake grew out of knowledge required to rule Bengal.”
For thirty years in India at the cusp of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Henry Thomas Colebrooke was an administrator and scholar with the East India Company. The Making of Western Indology explains and evaluates Colebrooke’s role as the founder of modern Indology.
Highlighting how his unprecedented familiarity with a broad range of literature established him as the leading scholar of Sanskrit and president of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta, it shows how Colebrooke went on to found the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and set standards for western Indology. Written by renowned academics in the field of Indology, and drawing on new sources, this biography is a useful contribution to the reassessment of Oriental studies that is currently taking place.
Through essays and case studies of medical modernization, this volume particularly calls into question the categorization of ‘Western’ and ‘non-Western’ medicine and challenges the idea that modern medicine could only be developed in its Western birthplace and then imported to and practised as such to the rest of the world. Against a concept of a ‘project’ of modernization at the heart of the history of modern medicine in non-Western countries, the chapters of this book describe ‘processes’ of medical development by highlighting the active involvement of local elements. The book’s emphasis is thus on the ‘modernization’ or ‘construction’ of modern medicine rather than on the diffusion of ‘modern medecine’ as an ontological entity beyond the West.
Exploring violent confrontation between the state and the population in colonial and post-colonial India, this book is both a study of the many techniques of colonial coercion and state violence and a cultural history of the different ways in which Indians imbued practices of punishment with their own meanings and reinterpreted acts of state violence in their own political campaigns.
Hindi Poetry in a Musical Genre: Thumri Lyrics
Lalita du Perron (Routledge)
This book examines Thumri Lyrics, a major genre of Hindustani music, from a primarily linguistic perspective. On a cultural level, it discusses the interface between devotional and secular poetry. Furthermore, it explains the impact of social and political change on the musical liife of North India. Well-written and thoroughly researched, this book is a valuable contribution to the field of South Asian studies.
This is a new and engaging examination of the emergence of a Muslim women’s movement in India. The state of Bhopal, a Muslim principality in central India, was ruled by a succession of female rulers throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, most notably the last Begam of bhopal, Nawab Sultan Jahan Begam. Siobhan Lambert-Hurley puts forward the importance for early Muslim female activists to balance continuity and innovation.
This work puts forward a critical re-examination of the key Indian concepts of painting described in the Sanskrit treatises, called citrasutras. In an in-depth and systematic analysis of the texts on the theory of Indian painting, it critically examines the different ways in which the texts have been interpreted and used in the study of Indian painting, and suggests a new approach to reading and understanding their concepts.
The 1930s to 1950s witnessed the rise and dominance of a political culture across much of North India which combined unprecedented levels of mobilization and organization with an effective de-politicization of politics. The scope and arguments of this book make an innovative contribution to the historiography of modern South Asia, by focusing on the middle-class milieu which was the epicentre of this new political culture.
Placing Iran’s ‘tribal problem’ in its historical context, Tribal Politics in Iran provides an overall assessment of the impact of this crucial period on the character of tribe-state relations in Iran to the end of Pahlavi rule and in the Islamic Republic. It analyzes the political and socio-economic factors undermining tribal politics under the regime of Reza Shah, and examines the division which took place regarding the ‘tribal problem’.
Anglo-Iranian Relations since 1800
Vanessa Martin (Ed.) (Routledge)
With contributions from renowned experts in the field, this book provides an excellent background to the history of Anglo-Iranian relations. Focusing on Iran’s political and economic relationship with Britain and issues of strategic sensitivity, the book also illuminates British relations with society and the state and describes the interaction between various representatives and agents of both countries.
This is the first work to examine systematically the British occupation of Indonesia after the Second World War. The occupation by British-Indian forces between 1945 and 1946 bridged the gap between the surrender of Japan and the resumption of Dutch rule, and this book is a reappraisal of the conduct on the ground of that British Occupation. Contrary to previous studies, it demonstrates that occupation was neither exclusively pro-Dutch nor pro-Indonesian; nor was it the orderly affair portrayed in the official histories. Richard McMillan draws upon a wide range of sources previously unavailable to scholars – such as recently declassified government papers and papers in private archives; he has also carried out revealing interviews with key players.
The ‘Record Book of Complaints’, from the office of the governor-general (beylerbey) of Rumelia, is an exceptional manuscript of the Ottoman archive. It offers a unique insight into the experience of Ottoman administration in the most important province of Ottoman Europe, Rumelia. For the first time, this important document has been translated into English and its original facsimile is reproduced. Additionally, the author provides a concise introduction to the historical context of the Record Book of Complaints. This book is the first volume to appear in the Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt series, a sub-series of the Royal Asiatic Society Books series.
Muslims in India today are responding to the challenge of religious pluralism in a variety of ways. This book explores the attempts being made by scholar-activists and Muslim organisations to develop new understandings of Islam to relate to people of other faiths and to the modern nation-state, and to deal with issues such as democracy and secularism. It examines how a common predicament, characterised by a sense of siege and the perception of being an oppressed minority, is producing new expressions of Islam, some of which seek to relate to non-Muslims in terms of confrontation, and others which call for dialogue, reconciliation and inter-faith harmony.
Brian Houghton Hodgson lived in Nepal from 1820 to 1843, during which time he wrote and published extensively on Nepalese culture, religion, natural history, architecture, ethnography and linguistics. Contributors from leading historians of Nepal and South Asia, and from specialists in Buddhist studies, art history, linguistics, ornithology and ethnography, critically examine Hodgson’s life and achievement within the context of his contribution to scholarship. Many of the drawings photographed for this book have not previously been published.
This famous work from the Royal Asiatic Society is an indispensable tool for all serious students of Persian literature, history and culture, and a welcome companion to Persian literature in its most glorious period. This volume is the second, revised edition of three parts published in 1992 and 1994.
This book investigates how the material culture of South Indian courts was perceived by those who lived there in the pre-colonial period. Howes peels away the standard categories used to study Indian palace space, such as public/private and male/female, and replaces them with indigenous descriptions of space found in court poetry, vastu shastra and painted representations of courtly life. Set against the historical background of the events which led to the formation of the Ramnad Kingdom, the Kingdom’s material circumstances are examined, beginning with the innermost region of the palace and moving out to the Kingdom via the palace compound itself and the walled town which surrounded it. An important study for both art historians and South India specialists. The volume is richly illustrated in colour.
This is the first major study of provincial history in the Qajar period. Drawing extensively on unpublished Iranian and British documents, it explores the history of Mazandaran, a province in the Caspian region, during 1848-1914, when the province as a part of Iran was exposed to the policies of rival great powers, particularly Tzarist Russia. While showing socio-economic characteristics of Mazandaran and its potential for development, the book examines in detail the transformation of the traditional provincial community and economy in the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Now back in print, having been unavailable for many years, this is one of the most important contributions to Turkic and Mongolic linguistics, and to the contentious ‘Altaic theory’. Proponents of the theory hold that Turkish is part of the Altaic family, and that Turkish accordingly exists in parallel with Mongolic and Tungusic-Manchu. Whatever the truth of this theory, Gerard Clauson’s erudite and vigorously expressed views, based as they were on a remarkable knowledge of the lexicon of the Altaic languages and his outstanding work in the field of Turkish lexicography, continues to command respect and deserve attention.
Investigates how women, religion and culture have interacted in the context of 19th and 20th century Iran, covering topics as seemingly diverse as the social and cultural history of Persian cuisine, the work and attitudes of 19th century Christian missionaries, the impact of growing female literacy, and the consequences of developments since 1979.
The tea ceremony and the martial arts are intimately linked in the popular and historical imagination with Zen Buddhism, and Japanese culture. They are commonly interpreted as religio-aesthetic pursuits which express core spiritual values through bodily gesture and the creation of highly valued objects. Ideally, the experience of practising the Zen arts culminates in enlightenment. This book challenges that long-held view and proposes that the Zen arts should be understood as part of a literary and visual history of representing Japanese culture through the arts. Cox argues that these texts and images emerged fully as systems for representing the arts during the modern period, produced within Japan as a form of cultural nationalism and outside Japan as part of an orientalist discourse. Practitioners’ experiences are in fact rarely referred to in terms of Zen or art, but instead are spatially and socially grounded. Combining anthropological description with historical criticism, Cox shows that the Zen arts are best understood in terms of a dynamic relationship between an aesthetic discourse on art and culture and the social and embodied experiences of those who participate in them.
Hiroyuki Mashita (Ed.) ()
This collection of classic works, originally published under the auspices of the Royal Asiatic Society, includes an introduction by Professor Edmund Bosworth, and a preface by Professor Anthony Stockwell. Primary texts include works by F. Rosen, W.F. Thompson, C.E. Sachau, R.A. Nicholson, W.H.T. Gairdner, W.M. Miller and J. Robson, spanning over 100 years of oriental scholarship.
Ahmed ibn Mohammed al Makkari (2002)
This is the original History of the Mohammedan Dynasties of Spain reprinted from the first edition of 1840-43. A masterpiece of typography in its own right, it is an early, ingenious and fascinating history of Muslim Spain. One hundred and fifty years on, it represents the foundations of our modern understanding of a great civilisation, and a fresh and vibrant introduction to the history of the time.
Shot’ha Rust’haveli Rusthaveli, M. S Wardrop ()
This romantic epic is said to have been in a unique manner the book of a nation for 700 years. This is a reprint of the 1912 translation.
B. W Robinson ()
Raymond Head ()
The Royal Asiatic Society: Its History and Treasures
Simon Digby, Stuart Simmonds ()
Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari, J Cameron ()
Al-Kitab Al-Aqdas or The Most Holy Book
E. Elder, Mirza Husayn, W. McE. Miller ()
Arab Navigation in the Indian Ocean before the Portuguese
G. R Tibbetts ()
The Baluchi Language
J. H Elfenbein ()
Burzoy’s Voyage to India and the Origin of the Book of Kalilah Wa Dimnah
François de Blois ()
The Cambodian Version of the Ramayana
Kuoch Haksrea, Jeanne Jacob, Reamker (Ramakerti) Reamker ()
A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions
H. E Richardson ()
Guide to the Romanization of Burmese
John Okell ()
Ibn Al-Jazzar on Forgetfulness and Its Treatment
G. Bos ()
Julfar, An Arabic Port
J. Hansman ()
Nagaur: Sultanate and Early Mughal History and Architecture of the District of Nagaur, India
M. Shokoohy, N. H Shokoohy ()
A Pilgrimage to Lalish
C. J Edmonds (2004)
A Study of the Arabic Texts Containing Material on South-East Asia
G. R Tibbetts ()
A Study of the Gujarati Language in the XVth Century
T. N Dave ()
Tibetan Literary Texts and Documents Concerning Chinese Turkistan: Volume 4: Addenda and Corrigenda
Royal Asiatic Society ()
Two Prakrit Versions of the Manipati-carita
R. Williams ()
Vicitrakaranikavadanoddhrta: A Collection of Buddhistic Legends
Hans Jorgensen ()