The book presents a comprehensive acccount of the politico-economic history of Bengal, from AD 1205 to 1576. It has made extensive use of coins and epigraphs to interpret and substantiate the historical narrative culled out from the contemporaneous chronicles and travelogues.
The first six chapters trace the political history. The topics like the date of Bakhtiyar Khalji's conquest of Bengal; the rule of the Governors and later of the independent Sultans; Bengal's relations with the neighbouring kingdoms; and its role in the regional politics and economy in different phases of history, have been discussed in the light of some hitherto untapped historical material. The debate of Bengal's isolation from the north and south India has also been revisited.
The seventh chapter traces the administrative hierarchy, power and functions of the state functionaries while in the eighth chapter the economy of the region, inter-local, coastal and foreign trade as well as the currency pattern have been described.
The entire narrative is enriched by a corpus of rare coins spread over 32 plates. Two appendices, the first giving the revised chronology of the rulers of Bengal, and the second listing the mint towns, together with thematic maps, make the book a veritable reference work for medieval Indian history and numismatics.
About the Author:
Dr. Syed Ejaz Hussain teaches History in Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan.
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