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State and Government in Ancient India

State and Government in Ancient India

Specifications

Item Code: NAD239

by A.S.Alterkar

Paperback (Edition: 2009)

Motilal Banaridass Publications Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN 9788120810082

Size: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Pages: 420
Weight of the Book: 467 gms
Price: $25.00   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 10th Oct, 2012

Description

Back of the Book

Influences of Ancient Hinduism on Early Christianity

This is a work about influences and what “influences” means. Following an analysis of this elusive concept, A. L. Herman presents compelling evidence that the following hypothesis is testable, defendable, and probably true: that the Indus Valley religion with its Savior-God, Dionysos (2500-1800 B.C.E.), significantly influenced Greek religion with its Savior-God, Dionysos (1450 B.C.E. —300 C.E.), which, in turn influenced the early Christian religion with its Savior-God, Jesus of Nazareth (50-300 C.E.), such that it can be meaningfully claimed that the religion of the Indus Valley civilization probably influenced early Christianity.

Dharma (Sources of Ancient Indian Law Series )

This is the first scholarly book devoted to the study of the term dharma within the broad scope of Indian cultural and religious history. Most generalizations about Indian culture and religion upon close scrutiny turn out to be inaccurate. An exception undoubtedly is the term dharma. This term and the notions underlying it clearly constitute the most central feature of Indian civilization down the centuries, irrespective of linguistic, sectarian, or regional differences. The nineteen papers included in this collection deal with many significant historical manifestations of the term dharmna. These studies by some of the leading scholars in the respective fields both present a more nuanced picture of the semantic history of dharma by putting contours onto the flat landscape we have inherited and spur further studies of this concept.

About the Book

The present work by a well- known authority on Ancient India deals in a comprehensive manner with the ancient Hindu political ideas, theories and ideals and describes the different features and aspects of the ancient Indian administration in its numerous branches. It is based not merely on a study of the different Smith books and Arthaãstra works in Sanskrit, which give us the theoretical picture, but it also utilizes fully all the data bearing on the subject available in Vedic and classical literature, Buddhist and Jain works, ancient books on history and accounts of foreign travelers and historians. Rich material supplied by inscriptions has been fully tapped and the discerning critic will not be unwilling to concede that no previous work on the subject attempts to give such a comprehensive synthesis of the divergent data supplied by theoretical and literary works on the one hand and by inscriptions and purely historical records on the other. The material has been arranged chronologically and also province-wise, whenever it was possible to do so. In each chapter, attempt has been made to trace the development of political theories and institution from age to age, though the material in some cases was not quite sufficient to do so.

Preface to the Third Edition

The work has been carefully revised and also enlarged when its third edition was prepared. Apart from the minor additions, made almost in all chapters, new sections have been added in Chap. XVI on North Indian Administration in the post-Harsha period and South Indian Administration in the first millennium of the Christian era. The problem of the date of the Sukranui has been now discussed in detail in Chap. I and the contribution of some medieval works like the Mãnasollasa has been indicated. The question of the influence of religious and philosophical thought on the Ancient Indian Polity has been briefly discussed in Chap. III. The chapter on the kingship now discusses in clear-cut sections the position and status of the king in the early (i.e. before 500 B.C.) and later periods. Asoka’s innovations in the administration are clearly brought out in Chap. XV.

It is hoped that in its third edition, the State and Government in Ancient India will be found to be as useful and comprehensive a work as a book of 400 pages can possibly become. The numerous footnotes giving original passages and others giving references to original sources will be found to be very useful by students who desire to pursue their studies further in the field. It is hoped that the general reader, the student and the research worker will all find the work authoritative comprehensive and stimulating.

Preface To The First Edition

There are a number of books already in the field, dealing with some -of the aspects of Ancient Indian Polity, but’ a comprehensive work, explaining succinctly the Hindu political ideas, theories and ideals and describing the different features and aspects of the ancient Indian administration in its numerous branches is still a desideratum. The l) resent work attempts to supply this need. It may not l)e inopportune to draw the reader’s attention to some of its special features. It is based not merely on a study of the different Smriti books and Artha. ãstra works in Sanskrit, which give us the theoretical picture, but it also utilizes fully all the data bearing on the subject available in Vedic and classical literature, Buddhist and Jam works, ancient books on history and accounts of foreign travelers and historians. Rich material supplied by inscriptions has been fully tapped and the discerning critic villa not is unwilling to concede that no previous work on the subject attempts to give such a comprehensive synthesis of the divergent data supplied by theoretical and literary works on the one hand and by inscriptions and purely historical records on the other. The material has been arranged chronologically and also province-wise, whenever it was possible to do so. In each chapter, attempt has been made to trace the development of political theories and institutions from age to age, though the material in some cases was not quite sufficient to do so.

The opening chapter gives a survey of the Literature on Polity, tries to settle the chronology of the principal works of this branch and seeks to account for the relative paucity of books of real merit in later times. The next two chapters (Chap. H and III) deal with the origin of the State, describe its different types and take a stock of the ancient Indian speculations about the nature, aims and functions of the State. Wherever possible comparison is made with similar theories advocated in the West in ancient, medieval and modern times. The question as to how far the State of ancient India can be called theocratic has also been discussed at some length. The next chapter, Chap. IV, discusses the relationship between the State and the Citizen. How far the foreigners were differentiated from the citizens, how far the latter formed a monogamous group, how far there existed equality of all before the law, are some of the questions discussed in this chapter.

After thus discussing the main political theories in Chaps. II-IV, the book proceeds to describe the structure of the administration in ancient India. Chapter V deals with the Kingship; it describes its evolution from prehistoric times, discusses when and how far it was elective and when, how, why and to what extent divinity began. to be associated with it. The different checks upon the king’s powers are enumerated and their adequacy is critically examined.

Chapter VI deals with the Republics in Ancient India. When, how and where they came in existence, how far they were democratic in the modern sense of the term, what were the different types of their constitution, what were the relations between the Executive and the Central Assembly, when and why the republics declined and disappeared are some of the topics dealt with in this chapter. It is hoped that the reader will find a good deal of this chapter substantially new.

Chapter VII deals with the powers and functions of the Central Assembly or Popular Parliament. It shows how this institution existed in the Vedic times and gradually disappeared in the later period, when the state began to become more and more extensive. It is shown at the end that the Paris and the Jainabad’s mentioned in the literature and inscriptions of the post-Maryann period do not denote any popular assemhues or parliaments.

Chapters VIII and IX deal with the machinery of the Central Executive. Chapter VIII deals with the evolution of the Ministry and the powers it exercised in the administration. Chapter IX describes the working of the Secretariat and of the various departments of the Central Government. Data scattered over a number of ‘Vi1i works and inscriptions have been correlated in order to give a detailed and synthetic account which will be found to be substantially new and original.

Chapters X and XI describe the Provincial, Divisional, District, Town and Village Government. Here also the evidence of the theoretical works is checked and supplemented with that of inscriptions scattered over the different provinces. As far as possible, an attempt is made to give developments in their chronological order; where possible, as in the case of the village councils, provincial variations in their constitution and functions are also indicated.

Chapter XII deals with Revenue and Expenditure. Principles of taxation have been discussed and the various aspects of the land tax have been extensively considered. The question of the ownership of land has been critically examined. Taxes on commerce and industry have also been considered. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the items of State expenditure. Epigraphically sources have supplied rich material for this chapter.

Chapter XIII deals with the Inter-State Relations both in times of peace and war and also discusses in details the relations between the suzerain and his feudatories.

The various chapters of the book isolate the different links of the administrative machinery like the king, the ministry, the secretariat and discuss their origin and trace their development during the different periods. This treatment is no doubt very useful and it enables the reader t trace the origin and development of the different institutions very clearly. It however does not give the picture of the whole administrative machinery from age to age.

This is attempted in the concluding chapter, which first gives a survey of the administration from age to age and then gives a general estimate of ancient Indian polity and its achievements. Lessons suggested by this general survey and the critical estimate are also stated at the end, so that they may be useful to us for the present as well.

The book is mainly a research work, which documents all important statements it makes and seeks to throw fresh light on several important and obscure points. The subject matter, however, has been presented in a manner calculated to be attractive and intelligible to the general reader as well. It is therefore hoped that the book will appeal both to the general reader and the scholar, as was the case with my books on Education in Ancient India, and Position of Women in Hindu civilization.

The book is supplied with a detailed bibliography in Appendix I. Appendix H gives a chronological table of authors, kings and dynasties arranged alphabetically with a view to help the general reader. Appendix III gives an exhaustive Index.

The hearty reception that was extended to the flirty edition of the State and Gouerinnetzt in Patient India showed that the observation made in the preface of its first edition that A comprehensive work explaining succinctly the Hindu political ideas, theories and ideals and describing the different features and aspects of the ancient Indian administration in its numerous branches was still a desideratum’ was fairly correct. While preparing this second edition an effort has been made to make the work as cornprclicnsive as possible by adding several new sections and chapters to it. Attention may be drawn to the following new features I the present edition:—

(1) A section has been added to Chap I explaining the precise scope and meaning of the terms like the R4a.Jstrn, Dandaniti and Arthasastra used to denote the political science. The chapter now contains a more exhaustive discussion of the problem of the authenticity of the Arthaidstra of Kauilya and gives a critical discussion of the value of the different sources (If ancient Indian polity.
(2) Chap. II contains a new section on the city states.
(3) In chap. III a section has been added on the distribution of functions and the vesting of the sovereignty.
(4) Chap. XII, dealing with Judicial Administration, is a new feature of this edition.
(5) Chap. XIV dealing with Interstate Relations now includes a discussion of the Masqat/a theory, so frequently referred to by -the ancient political writers.
(6) ‘I’ve last chapter of the first edition on Historical Survey and Estimate has now act expanded into three separate chapters. The historical survey in the first edition was rather brief, extending over seven pages only. It has now been made fairly exhaustive and covers 45 pages.

This subject has now separate sections dealing with
(i) Administration in the Vedic period.
(2) Administration in the Age of the Later Sixth its .Did flr5hmaäzs.
(3) Administrati0fl during c. Go B. C. to 325 B. C.
(4) Administration in the Maryann Age.
(5) Administration during the Dark Period, 200 B. C. 300 A. D.
(6) Administration during the Gupta period.
(7)Administration under Harshavardhana.
(8) Administration under the Räshtraküas.

The second edition will thus give to the reader not only an idea of the origin and development of the several concepts and Institutions of the Ancient Indian polity, but would put before him a concrete picture of the administration as a whole, as it was functioning and developing lit the successive periods of Incident Indian History from the Vedic age to about 00() A. D.

Central Estimate now forms a separate chapter. The last me (XVII), in the book. Sonic changes had to be made in this chapter also, especially in those portions of it that dealt with the is on which modern India can learn from the ancient Indian polity. The original book was written when the Princely Order firmed an effective part 0f the modern Indian Polity and the constitution of the Indian Republic had not been finalized. Some changes bad to be made in the light of the new developments during the last six years.

This new, revised and enlarged edition of State and Gomenmeal Ancient India will be found to be as comprehensive as a book of 375 pages can be reasonably expected to be. It is hoped that it will appeal as an authoritative book both to the general reader as well as to the University student and teacher.

Contents

Preface to different editions vii
Abbreviations xiv
Scheme of Transliterationxv
Chapter I : Name, History and Sources of the Science of Polite1
Chapter II : Origin and Types of the State26
Chapter III : Nature, Aims and Functions of the State42
Chapter IV : State and Citizen64
Chapter V : Kingship75
Chapter V : Republics109
Chapter VII : Central Assembly139
Chapter VIII : Ministry !160
Chapter IX: Secretariat and Departments187
Chapter X : Provincial, Divisional, District and Town Administration208
Chapter XI : Village Administration225
Chapter XII : Judicial Administration245
Chapter XIII: Income and Expenditure262
Chapter XIV : Inter-state Relations291
Chapter XV : Historical Survey of Administrations, Part l309
Chapter XVI : Historical Survey of Administrations,Part II 334
Chapter XVII : Estimate of Ancient Indian Polity377
Appendix 1 : Bibliography391
Appendix II : Chronological Table of Authors,Kings, Periods, etc. 394
Appendix III : Subject Index397
Errata Addenda405
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