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Mughal magician aladin. Image by Andrew Atkinson (2009; all rights reserved)
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mugh-al : the legend of a court magician in the retinue of Mughal Emperor Akbar who had more to him than met the eye.
mugh-alis taking place as a series of actions and public experiencesresponding to a range of contexts.
mugh-alis alive eventdevised and improvised by fabled conjurer and sleight-of hand virtuosoaladin. mugh-al : magic, subterfuge and metaphor.
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"The inhabitants of [Bengal] are a
race good looking and addicted to the practice of magic. The wonders [they
perform] are beyond the power of expression.
"In short, the marvels of their sorceries… are beyond
"Their extraordinary performances are beyond description
"There are besides troops of astonishing sorcerers, cunning
jugglers, wonder-working magicians, and conjurers of such sleight of hand,
performing such extraordinary feats that not the vulgar alone, but the acutest
minds are deceived into a belief in their miraculous powers.
"[He] performs wonderful feats of legerdemain and by his
dexterous conjuring deceives the eye."
Ain-i-Akbari | Akbar-namah | The official history and administrative
report of the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar | Written by Abu’l Fazl, leading
courtier and most trusted confidant of Akbar | c.1596-1604 | Translated from
"At this period a prevalent report was spread, and generally
believed, that Akbar had the power of reducing forts by the art of necromancy,
and that magicians accompanied him for that purpose."
Tarikh-i-Farishta | History
of the Rise of Mohammedan Power in India
| Written by Muhammad Qazim Farishta | c.1590-1620 | Translated from the