Court Politics in the Vijayanagara Successor States, with Special Reference to Ikkeri

24 September 2021

This talk discusses court politics in several successor states of the Vijayanagara empire, focusing on the Nayaka court of Ikkeri (aka Keladi). The main question is whether these courts should be seen as static, harmonious and hierarchic pyramids (as the historiography usually portrays them) or rather, as dynamic, competitive and fluid arenas. To address this issue, we zoom in on mechanisms behind successions to the throne, the positions and powers of courtiers, and the use of court protocol and insult. These topics are analysed by combining Indian texts with records of the Dutch East India Company; both sets of sources either contradict, complement, or confirm one another.

Watch the video below.



Lennart Bes

Lennart Bes is an Indologist and historian studying political culture in south India. He teaches Asian history, Dutch overseas history, and archival studies at Leiden University... Read More