This classic provides a comprehensive account of the hstory of the Mauryas with a special emphasis on the reign and activities of Aśoka. It examines the sources, socio-economic conditions, administration, Dhamma, foreign relations, and the decline of the Mauryas. This edition comes with a new Pre-word which updates research on the subject.
This book is a concise collection of lectures which discuss the nature of early Indian society during the mid-first millennium BC and relate it to the ancient Indian historical tradition in its earliest forms. It also looks at the particular character of social formations, their genesis, and continuity as part of the later Indian social landscape. Examining the social and political formulations of the period, this volume analyses the transformation of lineage-based societies into state formulations. It considers the migration and arrival of the monarchies in the middle Ganga valley, where the evolution of these societies resulted in the formation of a state. It provides insights into environmental influences on settlements, the particularities of caste, the role of rituals, and the interaction of ideology with these changes. The volume presents an account of the interplay of a range of variables in state formation.
The claim that India--uniquely among civilizations--lacks historical writing distracts us from a more pertinent question: how to recognize the historical sense of societies whose past is recorded in ways very different from European conventions. Romila Thapar, a distinguished scholar of ancient India, guides us through a panoramic survey of the historical traditions of North India, revealing a deep and sophisticated consciousness of history embedded in the diverse body of classical Indian literature. The history recorded in such texts as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata is less concerned with authenticating persons and events than with presenting a picture of traditions striving to retain legitimacy amid social change. Spanning an epoch from 1000 BCE to 1400 CE, Thapar delineates three strains of historical writing: an Itihasa-Purana tradition of Brahman authors; a tradition composed mainly by Buddhist and Jaina monks and scholars; and a popular bardic tradition. The Vedic corpus, the epics, the Buddhist canon and monastic chronicles, inscriptional evidence, regional accounts, and literary forms such as royal biographies and drama are all scrutinized afresh--not as sources to be mined for factual data but as genres that disclose how Indians of ancient times represented their own past to themselves.
In a series of candid conversations, Romila Thapar, a widely read, discussed, and cited historian of our times, muses on a range of issues that impact history writing in modern India. Apart from exploring Thapar’s far-reaching influence as an authority on the history of early India, Talking History examines themes such as the function of a historian, the centrality of historical research and evidence, oriental despotism, the ongoing conflict with religious fundamentalists, and the polymorphous structure of Hinduism. Anecdotal and vibrant, each of these accounts reveals a rare understanding of history as a dialogue between the past and the present. The latest book in the series of Ramin Jahanbegloo’s interviews with prominent intellectuals who have influenced modern Indian thought, Talking History traces Romila Thapar’s journey as a historian and a public intellectual, and gives an insight into the ideas that have shaped her work.
La importancia de este primer tomo (el segundo es de la autoría de Thomas George Spear) radica en que, aplicando métodos modernos de análisis, nos ofrece una visión más objetiva de cuándo y cómo se fue conformando este país. Este recorrido abarca de los años 3000 a.C., con las culturas preindoeuropeas, a 1526 d.C., cuando se inicia el contacto con los musulmanes.
In this book, Romila Thapar examines the link between time and history through the use of cyclic and linear concepts of time. While the former occurs in a cosmological context, the latter is found in familiar historical forms. The author argues for the existence of historical consciousness in early India, on the evidence of early texts. This is the Hindi edition translated from English.