These four books are on seemingly discrete and different aspects of early Indian history, yet they are interconnected. Historiography links many facets, concerned as it is with interpretations of the past. In recent years historical interpretation has drawn on other disciplines and this is evident in Interpreting Early India. The subject is history, but the discussions in this work move beyond history to provide a glimpse of explorations of new historical territories relating to early India. Time, it is argued in Time as a Metaphor of History, is an essential component of a historical perspective. Societies have varying forms of time, depending on function and perceptions. Conventional attempts to assign these particular forms of time- either cyclical or linear- have now been questioned. The most meaningful understanding of time and history is to view time at the intersection of the cyclic and the linear within the same society. Cultural Transaction suggests alternative ways of assessing the early Indian tradition. Using more recent concepts of culutre and tradition, it distances itself from the static notion of fixed traditions and exclusive high cultures.
From Lineage to State discusses the history of north India from about 1000 to 400BC. Moving away from the conventional treatment of this period, it attempts to locate the processes of state formation and social configuration. The evidence, both literary and archeological, is linked, using a comparative framework, with studies of similar societies from other sources in order to suggest a mutlifaceted reconstruction of this history.
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(216mm x 137mm x 27mm)
Publisher: OUP India
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Author Biography - Romila Thapar
Romila Thapar has taught Ancient Indian History at London University, Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is currently Emeritus Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is the author of several books among which are Cultural Pasts, Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, History of India and Ancient Indian Social History.