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Idea of Ancient India: Essays on Religion, Politics, and Archaeology

by Upinder Singh SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Pub Date:
02/2016
ISBN:
9789351506461
Format:
Hbk 484 pages
Price:
AU$126.00 NZ$129.57
Product Status: Title is Print on Demand - May take 4 weeks
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This book engages with some of the most important issues, debates, and methodologies in the writings of ancient Indian history. Thematically structured into four sections,it critically addresses how the material remains of India’s early past were discovered and understood in colonial and post-colonial times.   


 


The first section highlights the importance of a thorough empirical approach for understanding the process of social history and early medieval state formation. The second connects ancient and modern India, based extensively on archival sources. The third and fourth sections emphasize the important issue of ancient Indian intellectual history, underlining the significance of reconstructing the intellectual landscape of ancient India through a sensitive yet critical historicization of its texts and inscriptions.

Introduction
I. CONTEXTUALIZING INSCRIPTIONS
Sanchi: The History of the Patronage of an Ancient Buddhist Establishment
Nagarjunakonda: Buddhism in the 'City of Victory'
Cults and Shrines in EarlyHistorical Mathura (c. 200 BC to AD 200)
EarlyMedieval Orissa: The Data and the Debate
II. ARCHAEOLOGISTS AND THE MODERN HISTORIES OF ANCIENT SITES
Archaeologists and Architectural Scholars in 19th-Century India
Amaravati: The Dismembering of the Mahacaitya (1797–1886)
Buddhism, Archaeology, and the Nation: Nagarjunakonda (1926–2006)
Exile and Return: The Reinvention of Buddhism and Buddhist Sites in Modern India
III. THE INTERSECTION OF POLITICAL IDEAS AND PRACTICE
Governing the State and the Self: PoliticalPhilosophy and Practice in the Edicts of Asoka
Politics, Violence, and War in Kamandaka'sNitisara
The Power of a Poet: Kingship, Empire, and War in Kalidasa'sRaghuva?sa
IV. LOOKING BEYOND INDIA TO ASIA
Gifts fromOther Lands: Southeast Asian ReligiousEndowments in India
Politics, Piety, and Patronage: The Burmese Engagement withBodhgaya
Index

Along with temporal flexibility, singh at the end of the book, gives us her view that in order to provide a more complete way of understanding India’s past there is a necessity of expanding our spatial horizon. In other words, her conviction is that linking India to the wider networks and connections of the history of Asia is a must,

Professor and Head, Department of History, University of Delhi