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A Comprehensive History of Ancient India
A Comprehensive History of Ancient India
Description
Introduction:

This book is primarily meant for the general public and the students, who desire to understand the history and culture of their country. The history of our country is vast and varied because of its subcontinental, geographical dimension; and, multilingual, multiregional and multifaceted cultural traits. Above all, it is the continuity of human developments from time immemorial, which has earned for Indian history a distinctive characteristic of its own, acknowledged by the rest of the world.

History is the true story of mankind. It is not what the historians would like to make of it, but, what the ancient artifacts, remains and relics, the medieval literature and acceptable accounts, and the modern recorded source-material in abundance, would suggest. A modern historian need not undergo the difficulties which the famous Greek historian of fifth century B.C., Herodotus, acknowledged as the "Father of History" had to face. While trying to write true history with the noblest of intentions, he was obliged to depend on much of what was later ascertained as 'gossips'.

Today a historian is far away from the days of the "Father of History". Interdisciplinary approach to knowledge, and scientific facilities and techniques to reach the actualities have enabled a modern historian to understand and present real facts as different from subjective opinions.

The nineteenth century British historian, Thomas Carlyle, propounded a theory that "History is the essence of numerous biographies. If one wants to know the meaning of history, let him look into the lives of great men." He might have been partly correct. Yet, the historian of today rightly tries to lay greater emphasis on the history of the ordinary people who constitute the society at large and represent the economic and cultural life of the country in its full shape. They were the real makers of the creative ethos of the country, which makes future generations proud of their past.

The authors of this work are not concerned with or influenced by the so-called ideological divides in the name of history. Depiction of the socio-economic and cultural developments in India, within the framework of political condition of different ages, has been the primary concern.

Though a general work, encompassing historical, cultural, economic, political, and administrative features from ancient to modern times, this book is none the authentic and authoritative. Furthermore, while the history of the land has been highlighted as of necessity, yet India has not been treated in isolation but in the context of her relation with the other countries, far and near. The imprints of India's religio-cultural heritage, as well as commercial enterprises beyond the Himalayas, in Central Asian regions and across the seas in South-East Asian countries, are portrayed in proper perspective.

A Comprehensive History of Ancient India is the product of a joint venture undertaken by a group of historians who do not go by conformist views but by critical, objective and analytical assessment of events and developments, in accordance with the methodical discipline of scientific research. Not elaborate but abridged, the book touches upon essential aspects of the Indian life in order to present a picture of the country in its long evolutionary as well as timely revolutionary phases in its phenomenal existence.

About the Authors:

P.N. Chopra, Ph.D., is the Chief Editor of the Collected Works of Sardar Patel. He has been the Editor of Indian Gazetteers published by the Ministry of Education, Government of India. Besides being the editor of many book projects, he is also author/editor of more than forty authoritative works on Indian history and culture. These included History of South India, Some Aspects of Society and Culture Under the Mughals, A Century of Indian National Congress, and biographies of Maulana Azad and Sardar Patel.

B. N. Puri, D. Phil. (Oxon), was Professor Emeritus, University of Lucknow. He has published about thirty works on Indian history and culture. Professor Puri was associated with the UNESCO sponsored project on Central Asia. A specialist in ancient Indian history, his works on Kanishka and Central Asia are regarded as most authoritative.

M. N. Das, Ph.D., (London), D. Litt, formerly Vice-Chancellor, Utkal University, is a renowned historian and has published over twenty-five authoritative works on Indian history, which include India Under Morley and Minto, Indian National Congress versus the British and Mountbatten and Independence of India.

A. C. Pradhan, Ph.D., is Professor, Department of History, Utkal University. His published works include Emergence of the Depressed Classes, Nationalist Movement in a Regional Setting: Rise of Congress to Power in Orissa (1920-34).

CONTENTS

Introductionv
Chapter 1.Geographical Factors and Indian History1
The Land and the People. Role of the Deccan. Extreme South. Absence of Political Unity. India and its Cultural Unity. Role of Foreigners
Chapter 2.Indus Civilisation8
Geographical Features and Expansion. Origin. Characteristic Features. Mohenjo-Daro. Harappa. Chanhu-Daro. Kalibangan. Lothal. Indus Valley People and their Culture. The Age. The End.
Chapter 3.Vedic Age23
Age of the Rig Veda. Rig Vedic India. Later Vedic Phase. Life in the Rig Veda. A Resume. Pre-Buddhist India.
Chapter 4.Pre-Mauryan Period37
Jainism and Mahavira. Buddha and Buddhism. Gosala and Other Thinkers. Social and Economic Conditions. Monarchical States and Republics. Monarchical Kingdoms. Other Kingdoms. From Disintegration to Integration.
Chapter 5.India, Persia and Greece53
Achaemenian Hold. Persian Influence on Indian Art and Religion. Alexander's Invasion. Indian Powers. Rise of Magadhan Imperialism. India in Early Greek Writings. Impact of Foreign Invasions.
Chapter 6.Mauryan Empire65
Chandragupta Maurya - Early Life. Conquests and Consolidation. Mauryan Empire. Chandragupta's Rule and Kautilya. Bindusara. Ashoka. Ashoka's Successors. Decline of the Mauryan Empire. Mauryan Art. A General Review.
Chapter 7.From the Sungas up to Kushanas (2nd Century B.C.-IST Century A.D.)89
Sungas: Pushyamitra and His Dynasty. Kanvayanas. Dynasties of the Gangetic Plain. Punjab and the Indo-Greeks. Andhras. Society and Culture. Religion. Art and Architecture. Literature. A Review.
Chapter 8.Beginnings of South Indian History104
Tamil Kingdom. Andhras. Kalingas. Deccan Kingdoms. Southern India and Her External Relations. Southern India and Aryan Culture.
Chapter 9.Sakas, Pahlavas and Kushanas114
Sakas and Yueh-Chih. Pahlavas in India - Gondophares and Successors. Kushanas. India and Central Asia. India and South-East Asia. An Assessment.
Chapter 10.Gupta Age144
Imperial Guptas - Samudragupta and His Conquests. Ramagupta and Chandragupta II. Kumaragupta and His Successors. Contemporary Political Powers. Administration. Society. Economy. Education and Literature. Art and Religion. Religion. India and South-East Asia. An Assessment.
Chapter 11.Post-Gupta Period (A.D. 500-750)174
Political States. Harshavardhana and His Contemporaries. India and the Outside World. Chalukyas of Badami. Pallavas. Pallava-Chalukya Conflict. Society and Religion in the South. Art and Architecture. Administration. Arabs in India. Science of Technology. Education and Learning. A Review.
Chapter 12.Early Medieval India194
Kashmir and Kanauj. Gurjara-Pratihara - Bhoja and Mahendrapala. Later Pratiharas. Gahadvalas. Palas-Dharmapala and Devapala. Senas. Rashtrakutas. Later Chalukyas and Cholas. Cholas. Rajputs. Chandellas. Paramaras. Kalachuris. Chahamanas. Shahis and Ghaznavis. A Resume.
Chapter 13.Polity, Administration and Economy212
Monarchs and Feudal Lords. Bureaucracy in the North. The Rashtrakuta Officials. Early Chalukyas and Administrative Set-up. The Village Assemblies Under the Cholas. Administration Under the Early Pandyas. Economy Based on Agriculture. Trade. Guilds. Commerce. Imports and Exports.
Chapter 14.Society, Religion, Philosophy, Literature and Art222
Hindu Social Stratification. Education. Religion. Philosophy. Literature. Art and Architecture.
Chapter 15.Indian Cultural Expansion237
Sailendra Empire. India, Central Asia and China.
Bibliography250
Genealogical Tables256
Maps265
Index271

A Comprehensive History of Ancient India

Item Code:
IDJ432
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2003
ISBN:
8120725042
Size:
8.5" X 5.5"
Pages:
284
Price:
$16.50   Shipping Free
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Introduction:

This book is primarily meant for the general public and the students, who desire to understand the history and culture of their country. The history of our country is vast and varied because of its subcontinental, geographical dimension; and, multilingual, multiregional and multifaceted cultural traits. Above all, it is the continuity of human developments from time immemorial, which has earned for Indian history a distinctive characteristic of its own, acknowledged by the rest of the world.

History is the true story of mankind. It is not what the historians would like to make of it, but, what the ancient artifacts, remains and relics, the medieval literature and acceptable accounts, and the modern recorded source-material in abundance, would suggest. A modern historian need not undergo the difficulties which the famous Greek historian of fifth century B.C., Herodotus, acknowledged as the "Father of History" had to face. While trying to write true history with the noblest of intentions, he was obliged to depend on much of what was later ascertained as 'gossips'.

Today a historian is far away from the days of the "Father of History". Interdisciplinary approach to knowledge, and scientific facilities and techniques to reach the actualities have enabled a modern historian to understand and present real facts as different from subjective opinions.

The nineteenth century British historian, Thomas Carlyle, propounded a theory that "History is the essence of numerous biographies. If one wants to know the meaning of history, let him look into the lives of great men." He might have been partly correct. Yet, the historian of today rightly tries to lay greater emphasis on the history of the ordinary people who constitute the society at large and represent the economic and cultural life of the country in its full shape. They were the real makers of the creative ethos of the country, which makes future generations proud of their past.

The authors of this work are not concerned with or influenced by the so-called ideological divides in the name of history. Depiction of the socio-economic and cultural developments in India, within the framework of political condition of different ages, has been the primary concern.

Though a general work, encompassing historical, cultural, economic, political, and administrative features from ancient to modern times, this book is none the authentic and authoritative. Furthermore, while the history of the land has been highlighted as of necessity, yet India has not been treated in isolation but in the context of her relation with the other countries, far and near. The imprints of India's religio-cultural heritage, as well as commercial enterprises beyond the Himalayas, in Central Asian regions and across the seas in South-East Asian countries, are portrayed in proper perspective.

A Comprehensive History of Ancient India is the product of a joint venture undertaken by a group of historians who do not go by conformist views but by critical, objective and analytical assessment of events and developments, in accordance with the methodical discipline of scientific research. Not elaborate but abridged, the book touches upon essential aspects of the Indian life in order to present a picture of the country in its long evolutionary as well as timely revolutionary phases in its phenomenal existence.

About the Authors:

P.N. Chopra, Ph.D., is the Chief Editor of the Collected Works of Sardar Patel. He has been the Editor of Indian Gazetteers published by the Ministry of Education, Government of India. Besides being the editor of many book projects, he is also author/editor of more than forty authoritative works on Indian history and culture. These included History of South India, Some Aspects of Society and Culture Under the Mughals, A Century of Indian National Congress, and biographies of Maulana Azad and Sardar Patel.

B. N. Puri, D. Phil. (Oxon), was Professor Emeritus, University of Lucknow. He has published about thirty works on Indian history and culture. Professor Puri was associated with the UNESCO sponsored project on Central Asia. A specialist in ancient Indian history, his works on Kanishka and Central Asia are regarded as most authoritative.

M. N. Das, Ph.D., (London), D. Litt, formerly Vice-Chancellor, Utkal University, is a renowned historian and has published over twenty-five authoritative works on Indian history, which include India Under Morley and Minto, Indian National Congress versus the British and Mountbatten and Independence of India.

A. C. Pradhan, Ph.D., is Professor, Department of History, Utkal University. His published works include Emergence of the Depressed Classes, Nationalist Movement in a Regional Setting: Rise of Congress to Power in Orissa (1920-34).

CONTENTS

Introductionv
Chapter 1.Geographical Factors and Indian History1
The Land and the People. Role of the Deccan. Extreme South. Absence of Political Unity. India and its Cultural Unity. Role of Foreigners
Chapter 2.Indus Civilisation8
Geographical Features and Expansion. Origin. Characteristic Features. Mohenjo-Daro. Harappa. Chanhu-Daro. Kalibangan. Lothal. Indus Valley People and their Culture. The Age. The End.
Chapter 3.Vedic Age23
Age of the Rig Veda. Rig Vedic India. Later Vedic Phase. Life in the Rig Veda. A Resume. Pre-Buddhist India.
Chapter 4.Pre-Mauryan Period37
Jainism and Mahavira. Buddha and Buddhism. Gosala and Other Thinkers. Social and Economic Conditions. Monarchical States and Republics. Monarchical Kingdoms. Other Kingdoms. From Disintegration to Integration.
Chapter 5.India, Persia and Greece53
Achaemenian Hold. Persian Influence on Indian Art and Religion. Alexander's Invasion. Indian Powers. Rise of Magadhan Imperialism. India in Early Greek Writings. Impact of Foreign Invasions.
Chapter 6.Mauryan Empire65
Chandragupta Maurya - Early Life. Conquests and Consolidation. Mauryan Empire. Chandragupta's Rule and Kautilya. Bindusara. Ashoka. Ashoka's Successors. Decline of the Mauryan Empire. Mauryan Art. A General Review.
Chapter 7.From the Sungas up to Kushanas (2nd Century B.C.-IST Century A.D.)89
Sungas: Pushyamitra and His Dynasty. Kanvayanas. Dynasties of the Gangetic Plain. Punjab and the Indo-Greeks. Andhras. Society and Culture. Religion. Art and Architecture. Literature. A Review.
Chapter 8.Beginnings of South Indian History104
Tamil Kingdom. Andhras. Kalingas. Deccan Kingdoms. Southern India and Her External Relations. Southern India and Aryan Culture.
Chapter 9.Sakas, Pahlavas and Kushanas114
Sakas and Yueh-Chih. Pahlavas in India - Gondophares and Successors. Kushanas. India and Central Asia. India and South-East Asia. An Assessment.
Chapter 10.Gupta Age144
Imperial Guptas - Samudragupta and His Conquests. Ramagupta and Chandragupta II. Kumaragupta and His Successors. Contemporary Political Powers. Administration. Society. Economy. Education and Literature. Art and Religion. Religion. India and South-East Asia. An Assessment.
Chapter 11.Post-Gupta Period (A.D. 500-750)174
Political States. Harshavardhana and His Contemporaries. India and the Outside World. Chalukyas of Badami. Pallavas. Pallava-Chalukya Conflict. Society and Religion in the South. Art and Architecture. Administration. Arabs in India. Science of Technology. Education and Learning. A Review.
Chapter 12.Early Medieval India194
Kashmir and Kanauj. Gurjara-Pratihara - Bhoja and Mahendrapala. Later Pratiharas. Gahadvalas. Palas-Dharmapala and Devapala. Senas. Rashtrakutas. Later Chalukyas and Cholas. Cholas. Rajputs. Chandellas. Paramaras. Kalachuris. Chahamanas. Shahis and Ghaznavis. A Resume.
Chapter 13.Polity, Administration and Economy212
Monarchs and Feudal Lords. Bureaucracy in the North. The Rashtrakuta Officials. Early Chalukyas and Administrative Set-up. The Village Assemblies Under the Cholas. Administration Under the Early Pandyas. Economy Based on Agriculture. Trade. Guilds. Commerce. Imports and Exports.
Chapter 14.Society, Religion, Philosophy, Literature and Art222
Hindu Social Stratification. Education. Religion. Philosophy. Literature. Art and Architecture.
Chapter 15.Indian Cultural Expansion237
Sailendra Empire. India, Central Asia and China.
Bibliography250
Genealogical Tables256
Maps265
Index271
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