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Traders and Poets at the Mrauk-U Count Commerce and Cultural Links in Seventeenth-Century Arakan

 Category: Culture, History  Publisher: Thibout d'Hubert; Jacques P. Leider  Published: 31 May 2011  Tags: ArakanArakan KingdomRohingya |  Download

From 1580 to the early 1640s, the kingdom of Arakan was an aggressively expansive polity in the Eastern Indian Ocean whose very existence depended on constant warfare against its immediate neighbors, the Mughal emperors and the Burmese kings. At the same time, trade thrived and a culturally diverse society flourished at the kingdom’s capital until the late seventeenth century. While focusing on the commercial network and the presence of Bengali poets at the Mrauk-U court, the paper faces the apparently contradictory fact that trade and cultural flowering were dependent on the results of Arakan’s war-driven policies.