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Royal Messages by the Wayside – Historical Geography of the Asokan Edicts
Royal Messages by the Wayside – Historical Geography of the Asokan Edicts
Description
From the Jacket

This book discusses the geographical implication of the locations of the Asokan edicts and is based on field studies of many of these locations. The Asokan studies have largely been based, since their inception, on the issues of language, script and grammar, and one hopes that the studies of this kind, which are important ingredients of Asokan scholarship, will continue to be undertaken. However, textual scholarship or grammatical rules do not necessarily lead by themselves to historical or geographical knowledge. By studying in detail the geographical locations of the Asokan edicts, the present book has tried to understand some of the geopolitical factors operative in Mauryan India. It has also tried to identify ancient Tosali and the place where the battle for Kalinga was likely to have taken place. Two more major places which have been identified are Isila and Suvarnagiri. Among other things, it has argued that the Mauryan art, instead of being so-called ‘imperial’ and ‘courtly’, was much more broad-based than is thought and effectively foreshadowed some basic elements of the later ‘Sunga art’.

Dilip K. Chakrabarti is Emeritus Professor of South Asian Archaeology at Cambridge University and in fact, the first person to hold and personal chair in the field of ancient Indian history and archaeology at this university. He was awarded Hony. D. Litt by the M.J.P. University, Bareilly and S.C. Chakrabarti medal by the Asiatic Society, Kolkata. He received Gurudev Ranade book prize of the Indian Archaeological Society for his book The Oxford Companion to Indian Archaeology.

Preface

This book discusses the geographical implications of the locations of Asokan edicts and is based on field-studies of many of these locations. The Asokan studies have largely been based since their inception on the issues of language, script and grammar, and one hopes that the studies of this kind, which are important ingredients of Asokan scholarship, will continue to be undertaken. However, textual scholarship and grammatical rules do not necessarily lead by themselves to historical or geographical knowledge. By studying in detail the geographical locations of the Asokan edicts, the present book has tried to understand some of the geopolitical factors operative in Mauryan India. This has also tried to identify ancient Tosali and the place where the battle for Kalinga was likely to have taken place. Among other things, this has argued that the Mauryan art, instead of being so-called ’imperial’ and ’courtly’, was much more broad-based than is thought and effectively foreshadowed some basic elements of the later ’Sunga art'.

Dr. RN. Singh of Banaras Hindu University, who was a Smuts Visiting Fellow at Cambridge in 2009-2010, kindly, obtained for me a copy of a paper on Magan Diwana hill near Ahraura. Dr. Rakesh Tewari kindly sent me photographs of the Surya image from Khairadih which still bears traces of being sculpted out of a Mauryan column. Dr. Tewari obtained these photographs from the Lucknow museum which owns their copyrights. He was also kind enough to read some portions of the manuscript.

This book is dedicated to Mr. Kishore Kumar Lahiri and his wife, Professor Nayanjot Lahiri. On two occasions in the 1980s, they financially supported my Union Territory of Delhi and Chhotanagpur exploration works. In the mid-1980s, when I was subjected to unwarranted and vicious attacks by a section of my colleagues in the work-place, they were steadfast in their support for me. When, several years later, I faced a similar situation in a different work-place, Mr. Lahiri, advocate, Supreme Court of India gave me the benefit of his legal assessment. I must also put on record that they have been remarkably hospitable to me and my family during our stays in Delhi since 1990.

Beyond the personal level, this dedication is also in acknowledgement of the significance of Professor Nayanjot Lahiri’s The Archaeology of Indian Trade Routes up to c. 200 Bc: Resource Use, Resource Access arid Lines of Communication (Delhi 1992) in Indian archaeology. A work of dependable and well-assimilated scholarship, the book has built up a full picture of how raw materials of all types were procured and traded throughout the sub-continent and how the lines of their movement conformed to some of the arterial routes of Indian history. Her analysis, although not based on any laboratory work, will stand the test of time.

Contents

Preface vii
List of Illustrations xiii
1. Introduction 1
I The Purpose of the Present Volume 1
II Aspects of Asokan Studies 2
III The Scope of the Present Volume 9
2. The Minor Rock Edicts 12
I The Sasaram-Ghurhupur/ Basaha-Ahraura Sector 12
I.1 Sasaram 14
I.2 Ghurhupur/Basaha 19
I.3 Ahraura 24
II Rupnath 25
III Panguraria 26
IV Gujarra 30
V Bahapur/Srinivaspuri, Delhi 30
VI. Bairat 31
VII. The Southern Minor Rock Edicts 32
VII.1 Nittur, Udegola, Maski 32
VII.2 Brahmagiri, Siddapur, Jatinga Ramesvar 34
VII.3 Yerragudi and Rajula Mandagiri 36
VII.4 Observations on the Locations of the Southern MREs 37
VIII Manema desa, Suvarnagiri and Isila 39
3. The Fourteen Major Rock Edicts and the Two Separate Edicts 42
I The Contents of the Fourteen Edicts 42
II. The Findspots of the Major Rock Edicts and the Significance of their Locations 48
II.1 Shahbazgarhi 48
II.2 Mansehra 50
II.3 The Historical-Geographical Significance of the Locations of Shabazgarhi and Mansehra Rock Edict Sites 51
II.4 Girnar 53
II.5 Kalsi 57
II.6 Soprara 59
II.7 Sannati62
II.8 Yerragudi/Erragudi 66
II.9 Dhauli 66
II.10 Jaugada 67
II.11 The Identification of Tosali 67
II.12 The Significance of the Locations of Dhauli and Jagada 71
III The Separate Edicts 72
IV The Related Historical and Geographical Issues 73
V. Where Did the Battle of Kalinga Take Place? 74
V.1 The Epigraphic Context74
V.2 The Location of Kalinga75
V.3 Possible Place of the Kalinga Battle 81
4. The Edicts From Vidarbha, Bairat (Calcutta – Bairat or Bhabru Edict), Afghanistan and the Northwest, and the Barabar Hills 83
I Vidarbha 83
I.1 The Inscription from Deotek in the Chandrapur District 83
I.2 The Untraceable Edict, Possibly from Ghugus, in the Chandrapur District85
I.3 Comments on the Vidarbha Finds 85
II Calcutta-Bairat 86
III Afghanistan 89
III.1 Shah-i-Kuna or Old Kandahar89
III.1.1 Kandahar Graeco-Aramaic Bilingual Inscription 89
III.1.2 Kandahar Greek Inscription 90
III.1.3 Kandahar Aramaic Inscription91
III.2 Lamghan/Pul-i-Darunta93
III.2.1 Lamghan Sultan Baba Ridge Inscription 93
III.2.2 Lamghan Sam Baba Ridge Inscription 94
III.2.3 The Third Asokan Inscription (in Aramaic) from Laghman 94
IV The Taxila Pillar Inscription in Aramaic 95
V The Buner/Takhti-i-Bahi Stone Slab Inscribed in Asokan Brahmi 96
VI. Barabar Hills 97
5. The Seven Pillar Edicts and Various Related Issues 98
I The Contents of the Seven Pillar Edicts (after Hultzsch 1925) 100
I.1 Pillar Edicts I-V 100
I.1.1 Notes on the Birds, Fishes and Animals Mentioned in PE V 101
I.2 Pillar Edicts VI-VII 104
II The Locations of Asokan Pillars in the Accounts of Fa-Xian and Xuang-Xang (Hiuen-Tsang) 106
II.1 The Testimony of Fa-Xian 106
II.2 The Testimony of Xuang-Xang 106
III Asokan Pillars and Bell-Capitals 108
III.1 Pataliputra109
III.2 Kolhua 109
III.3 Lauriya Araraj 110
III.4 Lauriya Nandangarh110
III.5 Rampurva111
III.6 The Historical-Geographical Significance of the Locations of the Kolhua, Lauriya Araraj, Lauriya Nandangarh and Rampurva Pillars 113
IV The Patliputra-Mahasthangarh Alignment and Sikligarh Pillar 116
V Rummindei, Nigliva and Gotihawa 117
V.1 Rummindei or Lumbini 117
V.2 Nigliva/Nigali Sagar 121
V.3 Gotihawa/Gutiva 122
V.4 Observations on the Archaeological Contexts of Rummindei, Nigliva and Gotihawa123
VI The Bell-capital of Bansi and the Pillar of Bhagalpur 126
VII Ayodhya127
VIII Varanasi: Lat Bhairo 128
IX Sarnath 129
IX.1 A Second Pillar at Sarnath (?) 131
X Prahladpur 132
XI Belkhara (Ahraura) 133
XII Bakraur 134
XIII Bhuvanesvara: Bhaskaresvara and Ramesvara Temples 135
XIV Allahabad 135
XIV.1 The Queen’s Edict (after Hultzsch 1925, pp. 158-59)137
XIV.2 The Kausambi Edict (after Hultzsch 1925, pp. 159-160) 138
XV Kausambi Pillar 138
XVI Deur Kothar 139
XVII Sanchi 140
XVIII Udayagiri (Gwalior Museum) 142
XIX Bhopal (?) 142
XX Sodanga (Ujjayini) 142
XXI Amaravati 143
XXII Sankisa 144
XXIII Delhi-Topra and Delhi-Meerat 145
XXIV Hissar and Fatehabad 146
6. Summary and Discussion 148
I Minor Rock Edicts 151
II Major Rock Edicts and Separate Edicts 155
III Miscellaneous Edicts from Vidarbha, Bairat, Afghanistan and the Northwest, and the Barabar Hills 160
IV Pillar Edicts 162
V Historical-Geographical World of Mauryan India 165
Bibliography 167
Index 177

Royal Messages by the Wayside – Historical Geography of the Asokan Edicts

Item Code:
NAB763
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Edition:
2011
ISBN:
9788173054112
Size:
10.0 inch X 7.5 inch
Pages:
200
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From the Jacket

This book discusses the geographical implication of the locations of the Asokan edicts and is based on field studies of many of these locations. The Asokan studies have largely been based, since their inception, on the issues of language, script and grammar, and one hopes that the studies of this kind, which are important ingredients of Asokan scholarship, will continue to be undertaken. However, textual scholarship or grammatical rules do not necessarily lead by themselves to historical or geographical knowledge. By studying in detail the geographical locations of the Asokan edicts, the present book has tried to understand some of the geopolitical factors operative in Mauryan India. It has also tried to identify ancient Tosali and the place where the battle for Kalinga was likely to have taken place. Two more major places which have been identified are Isila and Suvarnagiri. Among other things, it has argued that the Mauryan art, instead of being so-called ‘imperial’ and ‘courtly’, was much more broad-based than is thought and effectively foreshadowed some basic elements of the later ‘Sunga art’.

Dilip K. Chakrabarti is Emeritus Professor of South Asian Archaeology at Cambridge University and in fact, the first person to hold and personal chair in the field of ancient Indian history and archaeology at this university. He was awarded Hony. D. Litt by the M.J.P. University, Bareilly and S.C. Chakrabarti medal by the Asiatic Society, Kolkata. He received Gurudev Ranade book prize of the Indian Archaeological Society for his book The Oxford Companion to Indian Archaeology.

Preface

This book discusses the geographical implications of the locations of Asokan edicts and is based on field-studies of many of these locations. The Asokan studies have largely been based since their inception on the issues of language, script and grammar, and one hopes that the studies of this kind, which are important ingredients of Asokan scholarship, will continue to be undertaken. However, textual scholarship and grammatical rules do not necessarily lead by themselves to historical or geographical knowledge. By studying in detail the geographical locations of the Asokan edicts, the present book has tried to understand some of the geopolitical factors operative in Mauryan India. This has also tried to identify ancient Tosali and the place where the battle for Kalinga was likely to have taken place. Among other things, this has argued that the Mauryan art, instead of being so-called ’imperial’ and ’courtly’, was much more broad-based than is thought and effectively foreshadowed some basic elements of the later ’Sunga art'.

Dr. RN. Singh of Banaras Hindu University, who was a Smuts Visiting Fellow at Cambridge in 2009-2010, kindly, obtained for me a copy of a paper on Magan Diwana hill near Ahraura. Dr. Rakesh Tewari kindly sent me photographs of the Surya image from Khairadih which still bears traces of being sculpted out of a Mauryan column. Dr. Tewari obtained these photographs from the Lucknow museum which owns their copyrights. He was also kind enough to read some portions of the manuscript.

This book is dedicated to Mr. Kishore Kumar Lahiri and his wife, Professor Nayanjot Lahiri. On two occasions in the 1980s, they financially supported my Union Territory of Delhi and Chhotanagpur exploration works. In the mid-1980s, when I was subjected to unwarranted and vicious attacks by a section of my colleagues in the work-place, they were steadfast in their support for me. When, several years later, I faced a similar situation in a different work-place, Mr. Lahiri, advocate, Supreme Court of India gave me the benefit of his legal assessment. I must also put on record that they have been remarkably hospitable to me and my family during our stays in Delhi since 1990.

Beyond the personal level, this dedication is also in acknowledgement of the significance of Professor Nayanjot Lahiri’s The Archaeology of Indian Trade Routes up to c. 200 Bc: Resource Use, Resource Access arid Lines of Communication (Delhi 1992) in Indian archaeology. A work of dependable and well-assimilated scholarship, the book has built up a full picture of how raw materials of all types were procured and traded throughout the sub-continent and how the lines of their movement conformed to some of the arterial routes of Indian history. Her analysis, although not based on any laboratory work, will stand the test of time.

Contents

Preface vii
List of Illustrations xiii
1. Introduction 1
I The Purpose of the Present Volume 1
II Aspects of Asokan Studies 2
III The Scope of the Present Volume 9
2. The Minor Rock Edicts 12
I The Sasaram-Ghurhupur/ Basaha-Ahraura Sector 12
I.1 Sasaram 14
I.2 Ghurhupur/Basaha 19
I.3 Ahraura 24
II Rupnath 25
III Panguraria 26
IV Gujarra 30
V Bahapur/Srinivaspuri, Delhi 30
VI. Bairat 31
VII. The Southern Minor Rock Edicts 32
VII.1 Nittur, Udegola, Maski 32
VII.2 Brahmagiri, Siddapur, Jatinga Ramesvar 34
VII.3 Yerragudi and Rajula Mandagiri 36
VII.4 Observations on the Locations of the Southern MREs 37
VIII Manema desa, Suvarnagiri and Isila 39
3. The Fourteen Major Rock Edicts and the Two Separate Edicts 42
I The Contents of the Fourteen Edicts 42
II. The Findspots of the Major Rock Edicts and the Significance of their Locations 48
II.1 Shahbazgarhi 48
II.2 Mansehra 50
II.3 The Historical-Geographical Significance of the Locations of Shabazgarhi and Mansehra Rock Edict Sites 51
II.4 Girnar 53
II.5 Kalsi 57
II.6 Soprara 59
II.7 Sannati62
II.8 Yerragudi/Erragudi 66
II.9 Dhauli 66
II.10 Jaugada 67
II.11 The Identification of Tosali 67
II.12 The Significance of the Locations of Dhauli and Jagada 71
III The Separate Edicts 72
IV The Related Historical and Geographical Issues 73
V. Where Did the Battle of Kalinga Take Place? 74
V.1 The Epigraphic Context74
V.2 The Location of Kalinga75
V.3 Possible Place of the Kalinga Battle 81
4. The Edicts From Vidarbha, Bairat (Calcutta – Bairat or Bhabru Edict), Afghanistan and the Northwest, and the Barabar Hills 83
I Vidarbha 83
I.1 The Inscription from Deotek in the Chandrapur District 83
I.2 The Untraceable Edict, Possibly from Ghugus, in the Chandrapur District85
I.3 Comments on the Vidarbha Finds 85
II Calcutta-Bairat 86
III Afghanistan 89
III.1 Shah-i-Kuna or Old Kandahar89
III.1.1 Kandahar Graeco-Aramaic Bilingual Inscription 89
III.1.2 Kandahar Greek Inscription 90
III.1.3 Kandahar Aramaic Inscription91
III.2 Lamghan/Pul-i-Darunta93
III.2.1 Lamghan Sultan Baba Ridge Inscription 93
III.2.2 Lamghan Sam Baba Ridge Inscription 94
III.2.3 The Third Asokan Inscription (in Aramaic) from Laghman 94
IV The Taxila Pillar Inscription in Aramaic 95
V The Buner/Takhti-i-Bahi Stone Slab Inscribed in Asokan Brahmi 96
VI. Barabar Hills 97
5. The Seven Pillar Edicts and Various Related Issues 98
I The Contents of the Seven Pillar Edicts (after Hultzsch 1925) 100
I.1 Pillar Edicts I-V 100
I.1.1 Notes on the Birds, Fishes and Animals Mentioned in PE V 101
I.2 Pillar Edicts VI-VII 104
II The Locations of Asokan Pillars in the Accounts of Fa-Xian and Xuang-Xang (Hiuen-Tsang) 106
II.1 The Testimony of Fa-Xian 106
II.2 The Testimony of Xuang-Xang 106
III Asokan Pillars and Bell-Capitals 108
III.1 Pataliputra109
III.2 Kolhua 109
III.3 Lauriya Araraj 110
III.4 Lauriya Nandangarh110
III.5 Rampurva111
III.6 The Historical-Geographical Significance of the Locations of the Kolhua, Lauriya Araraj, Lauriya Nandangarh and Rampurva Pillars 113
IV The Patliputra-Mahasthangarh Alignment and Sikligarh Pillar 116
V Rummindei, Nigliva and Gotihawa 117
V.1 Rummindei or Lumbini 117
V.2 Nigliva/Nigali Sagar 121
V.3 Gotihawa/Gutiva 122
V.4 Observations on the Archaeological Contexts of Rummindei, Nigliva and Gotihawa123
VI The Bell-capital of Bansi and the Pillar of Bhagalpur 126
VII Ayodhya127
VIII Varanasi: Lat Bhairo 128
IX Sarnath 129
IX.1 A Second Pillar at Sarnath (?) 131
X Prahladpur 132
XI Belkhara (Ahraura) 133
XII Bakraur 134
XIII Bhuvanesvara: Bhaskaresvara and Ramesvara Temples 135
XIV Allahabad 135
XIV.1 The Queen’s Edict (after Hultzsch 1925, pp. 158-59)137
XIV.2 The Kausambi Edict (after Hultzsch 1925, pp. 159-160) 138
XV Kausambi Pillar 138
XVI Deur Kothar 139
XVII Sanchi 140
XVIII Udayagiri (Gwalior Museum) 142
XIX Bhopal (?) 142
XX Sodanga (Ujjayini) 142
XXI Amaravati 143
XXII Sankisa 144
XXIII Delhi-Topra and Delhi-Meerat 145
XXIV Hissar and Fatehabad 146
6. Summary and Discussion 148
I Minor Rock Edicts 151
II Major Rock Edicts and Separate Edicts 155
III Miscellaneous Edicts from Vidarbha, Bairat, Afghanistan and the Northwest, and the Barabar Hills 160
IV Pillar Edicts 162
V Historical-Geographical World of Mauryan India 165
Bibliography 167
Index 177
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