Ancient Indian social history : some interpretations by Romila Thapar

By Romila Thapar

A set Of Papers That translates Afresh, recognized evidence concerning the Early interval Of Indian heritage as much as the top Of the 1st Millennium advert. The Papers speak about a number of linked issues resembling Society And faith, Social class And Mobility And The examine Of local historical past. an invaluable Reference booklet For Postgraduate scholars Of historical past.

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9 By the middle o f the first millennium, tribal egalitarianism had surrendered to the evolution of a system o f government that, whether oligarchic or monarchical, was explained as concerning itself with the problems o f social disharmony, the need for authority, and the justification for revenue collection. The Buddhist theory emphasized the perfection o f society in the pre-government age, thus implying that government had becume an unfortunate necessity,10 through the diffusion o f social disharmony resulting from family 46 Ancient Indian Social History discord and private property.

Metaphysical thought certainly contributes to the ethos of a society, but this contribution becomes fairly diluted by the time it reaches the concrete reality of a legal code. The second and more significant aspect of the study is provided by the Law Books themselves which draw a more distinct picture of the legal framework. However, reliance even on such definite sources is not with­ out its dangers. The Law Books are both a reflection of early Indian society as well as attempts at working out what was believed to be a perfect social system.

The origin and development of caste was not controlled by the brahmans. The latter were merely shrewd enough to realize that they could use the existing system to their own benefit. In accordance with their own vision of society they enunciated laws on caste. These laws were by and large observed by the upper castes and were familiar in areas where orthodoxy played an authoritarian role. Elsewhere and amongst the lower castes, custom and usage made a substantial contribution to the formulation o f laws.

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Ancient Indian social history : some interpretations by Romila Thapar
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