The present work forms the tenth volume of an ambitious project of publishing all the important ancient Indian epigraphical records in twenty volumes, each containing carefully deciphered and critically edited text, with useful notes and full illustrations. The author has spared no pains in preparing this volume of great historical and epigraphical value. In each case, the preserved Sanskrit text of the inscription has been carefully examined and given as incorporating the emendations and suggestions by various earlier scholars. Bringing the work quite up-to-date and also including about half a dozen records not published or' popularized earlier, the author has given highly valuable and enlightening suggestions, improving the readings as well as meanings, and has even solved some old outstanding problems. He has brought out a very reliable text and in all cases of disputed readings and interpretations his viewpoint is indeed thorough and justified.
The plates accompanying the volume include almost each and every inscription and they are very useful, being excellently reproduced.
Dr. P. K. Agrawala is a well-known scholar of Indology working as a University Professor in the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology of the Banaras Hindu University, Varansi. His special field of investigation is Ancient Indian Art, Iconography and Religious thought.
The Gupta Period is supposed to be the golden period of the history of India in more senses than one. Literally also it is the golden period, because thousands of gold coins of this period, belonging mainly to some of the Gupta Emperors, have been discovered. They are kept in the museums at Calcutta, Patna, Varanasi, Lucknow, New Delhi, etc., and also in some private collections, in India and abroad.
A hundred years or so ago, very little was known of their genuine history. With the publication of Sir John Faithful Fleet in 1888 an outline of their history became known. It contained some stone inscriptions belonging to a few Gupta rulers. Later on quite a number of fresh discoveries, of both stone inscriptions and gold coins, were made. As a result thereof, the history of that period was amplified and to 'some extent modified as well. This will be apparent from the revised and enlarged volume of the Gupta inscriptions.
Epigraphy is supposed to be the life-blood of history. And it is best exemplified by the Gupta inscriptions. Their publications are mainly in the English language. Now that Hindi has become the national language of India and is widely known by the common people in India, there was a dire need of publicising those inscriptions in Devanagari. Luckily this need has been amply fulfilled by Dr. P. K. Agrawala by this Guptadhirajalekhamandala. He is to be congratulated for this enterprise.
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