nl en

Gunpowder empires


Admission requirements



William H. McNeill, the godfather of World History, used the term ‘gunpowder empire’ to refer to the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires (ca. 1450-1800). These empires attained a high level of power and flourished culturally, at the same time that European merchant companies established themselves in Asia. However, historiography on these empires has often been concerned with their decline. In this literature seminar we will explore these empires, analyzing comparative works on all three, ‘new narratives’ and the role of women in these Islamic polities.

Course objectives



See here.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

To be announced.



Reading list

  1. Douglas E. Streusand, Islamic gunpowder empires: Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals (Boulder 2010)
  2. Stephen F. Dale, The muslim empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals (Cambridge 2010)
  3. Andrew J. Newman, Safavid Iran. Rebirth of a Persian empire(LondOn 2006)
  4. Caroline Finkel, Osman’s dream. The story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923 (London 2006)
  5. Ruby Lal, Domesticity and power in the early Mughal world (Cambridge 2005)
  6. Robert D. Kaplan, Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power (New York 2010)


via uSis.

Contact information

E-mail: Mw.dr. E.M. Geevers