History is written for historians to understand. If Schleiman's Troy had 16 layers to it before finding virgin ground, so is history a layered version written by the State Historian for the Ruler. To be recorded as Official History. But, like the 20,000 people that may live in a crowd, history, such wise, has 20,000 versions. For each life is sacred. And each existence original.
The historical context of the ten given sources span from Africa to the Americas to China. In the 15th Century, this was right at the end of Umayyid rule, circa 1492 with the fall of Granada in Spain and the Mongol invasion in 1362 in Persia. In between in Europe, was the beginning of the Renaissance (1560). It was the end of the Dark Middle ages of the Occident and the beginning of the Dark Ages of the Orient.
The Mongols of Barbary were known to be the destroyers of the Earth. The came, they razed to the ground, they burned, pillaged, raped and went away. They never built. Except on two occasions: The Mughal Empire and the Ottoman Empire. It seems fascinating to contemplate the idea that when there is no civilization, then one deals in concepts. And these concepts act as pollinating grounds for further intellectual thought for these thoughts come from vast spaces and endless horizons. So it was that when the Mongols of Barbary decided to build, they did so based upon the freedom of intellectual thought and concept.
Akbar, the Mughal Emperor reigned 50 years and his time period in history is known as the 'golden age' of the Mughal Period of India. His son, Jahangir is quoted in the text given and he acceded his father to rule India between 1605-1627. At the same time as Akbar, Suleiman I (1520-1566) had ushered in the 'golden age' of the Ottoman Empire. Emperor Jahangir writes in the excerpt given of his accession to the throne, but also is included in this little vignette is some wisdom that he learned from his father, Akbar (translated from the Persian by Major David Price). The first five Mughal emperors were perhaps the most religious in virtue of rule. For even Ibn Khuldun, historian of Arab origin says that a dynasty begins to dissipate after the fourth generation for then only the pretensions of the age are left by virtue of being removed from the founder of the dynasty and the principles and values that he lives by.
Suleiman I's court is described by a Flemish nobleman acting as diplomatic courtier from the Austrian Empire, sent to the Ottoman ruler. The nobleman's name is Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq and his correspondence to a friend was later published as 'The Turkish Letters'(1555-1562). In these letters he describes and compares the strengths of the Ottoman army and the weaknesses of the Austrian/European army. (Daniell)
West of the Ottoman Empire is the Empire of Louis XIV who writes in his memoirs about the pomp and splendor required to include the local population in celebrations, especially mentioning one, 'The Carousel' (Campbell). At the same time, on a more serious note, his Finance Minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, 1680, is quoted, talking about the exactitude of extracting the 'taille' or land tax. (Mettan)
To the east of the Mughal Empire at this time reigns Emperor Kangxi (1671-1722) who writes in his 'Reflections' (Spence) how he must take certain measures to keep the scholar-official and tax payer in straight line by sometimes making a public display of his mistakes, either by exile or execution. The Chinese Civil Service has known to be in history one of the most rigorous and difficult of accomplishments. For without being a scholar, you could not compete for the exam. And you could not become a Scholar without the knowledge of at least 5,000 characters (ideograms), for Chinese script is not alphabetical like the Aramaic or the Cyrillic but ideographic, rather like Sanskrit.
These are the Rulers and Officials who are quoted. But apart from them are also quoted men of the cloth. For in the Middle Dark Ages, the priest, friar, or churchman was the only one who could read and write. It was a rite of the priesthood, for only then could you read the Bible, and then preach.
The two Friars (Brothers of the Priesthood) who are mentioned are Fray Bernadino de Sahagun, a Friar of the…