The Persianate Intelligentsia in Precolonial India

Kaveh Yazdani


In 2008, Jamil Ragep assumed that less than 5% of the available scientific writings in Arabic and Persian had been studied so far. According to Sheldon Pollock, there are some 30 million Indian language manuscripts scattered around the world that “represent the merest fraction of what must have been once produced.” Hence, at present, it is obviously impossible to draw a comprehensive picture of the state of middle modern (c. 1500-1800)3 Central, West and South Asian, as well as North African, scientific, technological and intellectual developments. Nonetheless, enough evidence has been assembled so far to declare that the culture, science, technology and history of ideas of these areas were far from being stagnant.