This magnum opus of Jeannine Auboyer refashions an ancient India which is not so very different from the one that we know today, a country made simultaneously of theories, principles and realities, in which the human presence is constantly visible throught he tangle of rules and rites. According to the author, though India has not produced true chronicles in the Western sense of the word, still the readers may be assured that in most everyday aspect India conforms to the image of itself that it has transmitted to us over the centuries which is an arresting one because of its multiple facets. The volume introduces the Indian life in terms of the geographical and historical background, the social structure and its religious principles, the political and administrative structure, economics and everyday life; individual and collective existence with reference to the background to regular life, the importance of religion, the individual and the family, and the monastic and ascetic life; and royal and aristocratic existence in view of urban elitism and styles, royal environment and the imperial pomp. Based on a whole series of technical or descriptive texts, storied monuments, the discoveries or archaeological excavations, numismatics, epigraphy and, in addition, contemporary chronicles by the foreigners, this well-documented volume deals brilliantly both with the traditional character of Indian civilization and with its changing patterns taking into consideration an exceptionally lengthy period, almost a thousand years, to give a necessary breadth of detail to the understanding of various historical processes through which the social fabric of India was characterized.
About the Author:
Jeannine Auboyer was the Chief Curator at Museee Guimet, Paris.
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