Today in South Asian history: Nader Shah sacks Delhi (1739)

The story of the late middle/early modern Islamic world is dominated by the three so-called “Gunpowder Empires“–the Ottomans with their vast empire circling the Mediterranean; the Safavids in Iran and, at various times, parts of the Caucasus and Central Asia; and the Mughals in South Asia. They’re called “gunpowder empires” because two former University of Chicago professors, Marshall Hodgson and William McNeil, dubbed them so back in the 1970s.

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