Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Morrill Hall, 404
The tenth and eleventh centuries witnessed a precipitous surge in maritime commercial links between the coastal regions of India and China. The networks of Muslim merchants were intimately involved in these commercial activities. These traders also participated in the diplomatic exchanges, often representing Indian polities at the Song court in China. The role of Muslim traders and court officials in such exchanges expanded over the next two-three centuries. This presentation focuses on three episodes to demonstrate the important role of Muslim traders, officials, and preachers in linking India and China between the tenth and fourteenth centuries. The first focuses on the role of Muslim traders in the commercial and diplomatic exchanges between the Chola court in southern India and Song China. The second episode deals with the defection of a Muslim official from the Ma’bar polity to Yuan China. The third examines the writings of Ibn Battuta on the Islamic connections between the Delhi Sultanate and the southern coastal region of Yuan China.