‘City of Gold’, ‘Urbs Prima in Indis’, ‘Maximum City’: no Indian metropolis has captivated the public imagination quite like Mumbai. The past decade has seen an explosion of historical writing on the city that was once Bombay. This book, featuring new essays by its finest historians, presents a rich sample of Bombay’s palimpsestic pasts. It considers the making of urban communities and spaces, the workings of power and the nationalist makeover of the colonial city. In addressing these themes, the contributors to this volume engage critically with the scholarship of a distinguished historian of this frenetic metropolis. For over five decades, Jim Masselos has brought to life with skill and empathy Bombay’s hidden histories. His books and essays have traversed an extraordinarily diverse range of subjects, from the doings of the city’s elites to the struggles of its most humble denizens. His pioneering research has opened up new perspectives and inspired those who have followed in his wake. Bombay Before Mumbai is a fitting tribute to Masselos’ enduring contribution to South Asian urban history.