This book has gone over an almost dizzying array of locales and historical figures, moreover one of great variety and scope. One of the points that comes out strongly in the preceding pages is the interplay between the perspectives of connected histories, on the one hand, and compared history, on the other. As Subrahmanyam (1997) has pointed out in a well-known essay, compared history presupposes a disconnection right from the start. This statement reminds an anthropologist of the background to a good deal of discussions about “cross-cultural encounters” and “cross-cultural comparisons.” To give one example that might help as an illustration of the complexity involved here, when Orta, described in the previous chapter, meets the Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar in the Deccan, an ally of the Portuguese in Goa, and discusses Avicenna’s work with him, an author Orta had probably first studied at a couple of universities he may have attended in Spain decades earlier, and who was besides the best-known medieval philosopher in the Mediterranean as well as in the Middle East, in fact, as far as Central Asia and even, as it turns out, the Deccan, in this case were Orta and the Nizam Shah participating in a “cross-cultural encounter” or, perhaps, in an event arising out of connected histories, spanning the length and breadth of the medieval and early modern world in Eurasia and the Mediterranean?
KeywordsIndian Ocean Preceding Page Hindu Temple Connected History Ocean Choice
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