Ancient Indian social history : some interpretations by Romila Thapar

By Romila Thapar

A suite Of Papers That translates Afresh, identified evidence in regards to the Early interval Of Indian background as much as the top Of the 1st Millennium advert. The Papers talk about a number of linked issues akin to Society And faith, Social class And Mobility And The research Of local heritage. an invaluable Reference publication For Postgraduate scholars Of historical past.

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Stedman-Jones, ‘The Pathology of English History’, in The New L eft Review, p. 46 (1967). 21. Cunningham was appointed Archaeological Surveyor in 1892. It was, however, not until 1901 that the Archaeological Survey of India received a real boost owing to the interest of the then viceroy, Lord Curzon. 22. The Early History of the Dekkan ([Bom bay], 1894); A Peep into the Early History o f India (Bombay, 1920). 23. H. C. Raychaudhuri, The Political History of Ancient India (Calcutta, 1923); K. P.

The nationalist phase also saw considerable interest in the study of ancient Indian political theory. The dominant themes were the status and role o f the king, the channels o f political representation, the function of the bureaucracy, and the distribution o f power. The understanding o f the theory o f kingship in ancient India had been coloured in the Interpretations 21 nineteenth century by the concept o f the divinity o f kingship, based on the evidence from the Ancient Near East. This concept was rather arbitrarily extended to Indian kingship, together with the political corollary of a lack of representative institutions and the concentration of power with the king.

3 In time, the references to jana ( ‘tribe’ ) decreased and those to jâ ti increased, until in Buddhist literature jâ ti is Ethics, Religion, and Social Protest 43 used in the sense of caste, implying an endogamous kinship group, ranked in a list o f specialized occupations and service relationships reflecting an increase in social stratification. The bi-polarity of purity and pollution remained an import­ ant characteristic of the classification by varpja, but this classification was of a more theoretical kind involving initially four (brâhmana, ksatriya, vaiéya, and éüdra) and subsequently five (with the addition o f the pancamma or ‘untouchable’ ) groups in society, and eventually became more closely related to ritual than to social status.

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