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

The good news is that I actually feel OK today for the first time since the flu hit last weekend. Since it’s my birthday on Sunday, I’m going to give myself a couple more days to recover and, barring any setbacks, we’ll be back to normal operations on Monday. Meanwhile, here’s today’s history post and a reminder that in a little over a week we’re going to be moving everything over to Substack, so please head over there and sign up today! I’ll be posting more reminders in the coming days.

Anyway, the Peacock Throne was lost to history sometime after 1739, which is coincidentally when it was also lost to the Mughals and was carted off by Nader Shah (d. 1747), the founder of Iran’s Afsharid dynasty. Following the Battle of Karnal in February of that year, when the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah (d. 1748) surrendered his army and his empire to Nader, the Iranians continued on to Delhi and set up in the Mughal capital. Now, Nader had promised Muhammad Shah that he could continue being the Mughal Emperor, and had said that all he wanted was to restore the traditional friendship between the Mughals and the Safavids (Nader was not a Safavid, but he portrayed himself as that dynasty’s heir). Of course, Muhammad Shah wouldhave to acknowledge Nader as his overlord and, why, yes, Nader wouldlike to stay in Delhi for a few days, thanks for asking, and while he was there he figured he might as well mint some new coins in his name, and have the Friday prayer said in his name, no big deal, it’s just a formality, you know how it is.

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

Author: DWD

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