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  • Author or Editor: Bhaswati Bhattacharya x
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Abstract

Historical evidence points to the existence of Armenians in India in small numbers at least since the sixteenth century. Beginning with the Portuguese in that century, Europeans entered the spheres of Euro-Asian and intra-Asian trade in an increasing volume. Armenian contact with India received a boost following the settlement of a large number of Armenians in New Julfa that coincided with the coming of the European companies in India. The arrival of the Europeans opened up various possibilities for the Armenians. Consequently, Armenian trade, based to a great extent on various forms of community-based network and partnership, was not 'exclusive' in nature. In their social life too Armenians formed part of the pluralistic Christian community in India. Les données historiques suggèrent l'existence en Inde d'un petit nombre d'Arméniens depuis le XVIe siècle. A partir de l'arrivée des Portugais à cette époque, les Européens ont développé les échanges avec l'Asie et en ont pénétré de plus en plus le commerce intérieur. Les contacts des Arméniens avec l'Inde ont connu une rapide expansion à la suite de l'établissement d'un nombre important d'entre eux à New Julfa, dans la mouvance de l'arrivée des compagnies européennes qui leur offraient des possibilités variées. De ce fait, le commerce arménien, largement fondé sur diverses formes de réseaux et de partenariats internes à leur communauté, n'était pas de nature « exclusive » . Dans leur vie sociale, aussi, les Arméniens étaient partie prenante de la communauté chrétienne indienne, pluraliste.

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
In: Circumambulations in South Asian History

Abstract

This paper argues that “insider” material, preserved by the Armenians in the archives of the cathedral in New Julfa presents, by virtue of its logic, a one-sided, consensual picture. “Outsider” material contests this view and highlights the underlying conflicts of interest that even existed among the core members of the network. The picture that emerges from this study points to a more dynamic, complex structure in which the multiple interests of individual members of family firms, kin, and community members in different capacities were grafted into one. Loopholes in the system were visible as early as the 1720s, long before the center at New Julfa collapsed. Les archives arméniennes ont été conservées dans la cathédrale de la Nouvelle Julfa. Ces sources “internes” présentent, selon nous, une image partiale de consensus. L'examen minutieux des sources “externes” par contre fait ressortir des conflits d'intérêts même entre les grands négociants du réseau arménien. Ces documents-là attestent des structures complexes plus dynamiques. Dans ce cadre s'inscrivaient les multiples intérêts des membres individuels de la firma familiale, des parents, et des membres de la communauté. Et les faiblesses du système sont déjà perceptibles dans les années vingt du XVIIème siècle, bien avant l'effondrement de son centre à la Nouvelle Julfa.

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Abstract

Currently, there are different claimants for the honor of inventing the zero as a digit, a part of the decimal system. These claims are made on the basis of evidence found in one particular country. None of the claims have, however, been able to convincingly rule out the rival claims. This chapter suggests that research along the terms of cross-cultural history and or connected history linking the threads of information coming from different civilizations regarding the knowledge of the zero may yield a different, border-crossing biography of the zero.

In: The Origin and Significance of Zero

Abstract

We believe ourselves to be the most astute men that one can encounter, and the people here surpass us in everything. And there are Moorish merchants worth 400,000 to 500,000 ducats. And they can do better calculations by memory than we can do with the pen. And they mock us, and it seems to me that they are superior to us in countless things, save with sword in hand, which they cannot resist.

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient