1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Abul Fazl

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ABUL FAZL, wazir and historiographer of the great Mogul emperor, Akbar, was born in the year A.D. 1551. His career as a minister of state, brilliant though it was, would probably have been by this time forgotten but for the record he himself has left of it in his celebrated history. The Akbar Nameh, or Book of Akbar, as Abul Fazl’s chief literary work, written in Persian, is called, consists of two parts—the first being a complete history of Akbar’s reign and the second, entitled Ain-i-Akbari, or Institutes of Akbar, being an account of the religious and political constitution and administration of the empire. The style is singularly elegant, and the contents of the second part possess a unique and lasting interest. An excellent translation of the Ain by Francis Gladwin was published in Calcutta, 1783–1786. It was reprinted in London very inaccurately, and copies of the original edition are now exceedingly rare and correspondingly valuable. It was also translated by Professor Blockmann in 1848. Abul Fazl died by the hand of an assassin, while returning from a mission to the Deccan in 1602. The murderer was instigated by Prince Selim, afterwards Jahangir, who had become jealous of the minister’s influence.