The Gupta Empire describes the material and moral progress which India had achieved during the paramount sovereignty of the Gupta emperors in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. It traces the origin and rise of the ruling family to Srigupta (A.D. 240-280) and concludes with the reign of Kumaragupta III (A.D. 543). It discusses the spirit of the age and the various trends in the sphere of religion, economy, society, education, administration, art and architecture. It seeks to bring together all the facts and data derivable from different sources—literary, epigraphic and numismatic, the accounts of foreign visitors, particulary of the Chinese pilgrim Fahien who has left a detached and valuable record of India's civilization during the reign of Chandragupta II. Herein we get an accurate picture of India's golden age, the growth of her various institutions, her activities of expansion, colonization and her intercourse with Indonesia, China and other countries. The work is divided into sixteen chapters. It has an index of proper names and an addenda on the hoard of new Imperial Gupta coins discovered at Bayana in Bharatpur. The work is very intersting and instructive and designed to meet the requirements of the academic student of history and general reader alike.
RADHA KUMUD MOOKERJEE (1884-1964), was an Indian historian and a noted Indian nationalist during the period of British colonial rule. Mookerjee obtained a doctorate from the University of Calcutta in 1905 and joined the newly established National Council of Education, teaching at the Bengal National College. After 1915, he embarked on a series of tenures at universities in Benares, Mysore, and Lucknow. He was an advocate of the notion of Greater India in which Indian merchants and adventurers with huge fleets brought Indians to Southeast Asia and became the foundation of kingdoms in that region. Such theories have been largely discredited by modern scholarship in the Southeast Asia region. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1957 for his contribution to Public Affairs. Some of his published books include Indian Shipping: A History of Seaborne Trade and Maritime Activity of the Indians from the Earliest Times (1912), Ancient Indian Education: Brahmanical and Buddhist (1947), reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass (1960), Men and Thought in Ancient India (1912), reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass (1996), The Fundamental Unity of India, A History of India. Chandragupta Maurya and His Times, and Early History of Kausambi.
This work was written in the last days of my teaching at the Lacknow 'University and suggested by its needs. Its title indicates its scope and limits. It deals only with imperial Gupta history, and not with that of the later Guptas.It seeks to bring together in a concise and condensed form all the facts and data which are derivable from different sources, literary, epigraphic or numismatic, but are treated in separate specialised works. It will thus be found useful to both students and teachers of its subject, who will find in one handy_ volume all its materials collected and utilised. A special feature of the work is its account of the moral and material progress of the country achieved in the spacious times of the Gupta Emperors, and of the various institutions, social, economic, and administrative in which that progress was embodied. It gives a picture of India's civilization in some of her best days, the days of national freedom and planning, of the beginnings of her expansion, and intercourse with Indonesia and China It is hoped that it will thus have a larger and more general appeal beyond the narrow circle of academic students of history. Another special feature of the work is its Illustrations, some of which, especially those of coins, are based on line-drawings to bring out more clearly their details which arc somewhat obscure or defaced in the originals. The Illustrations will thus serve as useful aids to the study of the coins. Some of the line-drawings I owe to the distinguished Artists, Messrs. panda Lai Bose, Asit Kumar Haldar, and P. Neogy, to whom I am grateful. There have been at places repetitions of the same material where it had to be presented from different points of view, and in its various aspects. Such repetitions have not been ruled our. The method of transliteration adopted in the work is shown in die following examples : Krishna, Vamsa, Lichchhavi. The publication has been delayed by the prevailing difficulties of printing, and by my deputation by Government to an FAO Conference at Washington (U.S.A.) in October 1946.
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