In Command in Copper, I study the circulation of expressions and practices across the Indian ocean world. I analyze inscriptions in Sanskrit and Old Javanese languages to explore how Indic discourses and documentary practices were transformed as they travelled across the Indian Ocean space, from southern India to Java. I contend that languages and ideas acquired new forms and expressions along with documentary and donative practices and emerged through the particularities of place across the eastern Indian Ocean from Prambanan in central Java to Nagarjunakonda in southern India.

Through a study of inscriptions, I explore how interests of political elites converged across the Indian Ocean through documentary practices, imaginations of rule, and techniques of dominance. At the same time, I highlight the specificities of places and languages to understand the emergence of new idioms for staking claims over territories and people.