in the records of the second millennium.
experience. Rulers commissioned dynastic chronicles, courtiers wrote
biographies, and writing history became part of cultural politics. The
brightest stars in medieval history, however, are individuals who used the
word ‘sultan’. It was, in fact, a title for many rulers, but broadly it denotes a
kind of personal identity that came to be shared by many people of
importance, because the sultan became an ideal type, or cultural model, for
patriarchs wielding power in society.
   REPLACEMENT OF CARVED INSCRIPTIONS BY PEN-
                      AND-INK MANUSCRIPTS
 New societies were born and old ones changed along the coastal areas and
 in the inland interior regions. The most dramatic events happened in
 hundreds of urban sites, large and small, lying along routes between
 Central Asia and the Indian Ocean. These happenings are known to us in
 new kinds of documentation. In the medieval centuries, pen-and-ink
 manuscripts gradually replaced carved inscriptions and other old sources
 like architecture and oral texts as records of history. However, inscriptions
 also reflect a shift in the essence of texts, which suggests an important
 feature of social change. Individuals become more prominent.
Meaning and Connotation of the ‘Sultan’ What did it mean to be a
sultan? In the Quran, this Arabic word means a man with spiritual power.
Mahmud of Ghazni was the first man to be styled ‘sultan’ by contemporaries.
    • The title appears to have been popular first among the Turks. Seljuq
        dynasties ruling Palestine and Persia in Mahmud’s day were the first
        to use it routinely, and later, Ottoman Turks made it famous in
        Europe. When the Caliph started conferring the title, it spread quickly
        among Muslim rulers and changed along the way.
    • In the Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi, Ziauddin Barani said: “History is the
        knowledge of the annals and traditions of prophets, caliphs, sultans
        and great men of religion and government.” By this time, sultans had
        illustrious company.
    • The greatest sultans in South Asia were Mughal emperors who
        adopted Persian imperial