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The book is a compilation of the lectures given by Romila Thapar. The book contains viewpoints of the writers like Durkhim and Weber and has elements taken from mythology as well. There is a growing interest in the philosophy of history and it informs about the idea of interpreting the role of historical consciousness.
The book studies the history during the time of Mauryas. The book based on the Shilalekh of Ashoka describes about the finest period of ancient Indian history. The book gives the readers an entire new angle of looking at Mauryans. This book also describes about the various effect of Buddhism . A must for the students of Research in Indian History.
The book is a review of the Mauryas Reign in India. 40 years after writing about the fall of Ashoka and Mauryas, Romila Thapar and other historians have done an extensive research. The reconstruction of the time goes on in the two lectures given in the book.
The claim, often made, that India--uniquely among civilizations--lacks historical writing distracts us from a more pertinent question, according to Romila Thapar: how to recognize the historical sense of societies whose past is recorded in ways very different from European conventions. In "The Past Before Us," a distinguished scholar of ancient India guides us through a panoramic survey of the historical traditions of North India. Thapar reveals a deep and sophisticated consciousness of history embedded in the diverse body of classical Indian literature. The history recorded in such texts as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata is less concerned with authenticating persons and events than with presenting a picture of traditions striving to retain legitimacy and continuity amid social change. Spanning an epoch of nearly twenty-five hundred years, from 1000 BCE to 1400 CE, Thapar delineates three distinct historical traditions: an Itihasa-Purana tradition of Brahman authors; a tradition composed mainly by Buddhist and Jaina scholars; and a popular bardic tradition. The Vedic corpus, the epics, the Buddhist canon and monastic chronicles, inscriptions, regional accounts, and royal biographies and dramas are all scrutinized afresh--not as sources to be mined for factual data but as genres that disclose how Indians of ancient times represented their own past to themselves.
A classical book written on the different explanations of Ancient Indian History. The writer takes reference from various authentic sources and presents a well balanced description of the society of the ancient India.
The figure of Sakuntala appears in many forms throughout South Asian literature, most famously in the Mahabharata and in Kalidisa's fourth century Sanskrit play, Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection. In these two texts, Sakuntala undergoes a critical transformation, relinquishing her assertiveness and autonomy to become the quintessentially submissive woman, revealing much about the performance of Hindu femininity that came to dominate South Asian culture. Through a careful analysis of sections from Sakuntala and their various iterations in different contexts, Romila Thapar explores the interaction between literature and history, culture and gender, that frame the development of this canonical figure and a distinct conception of female identity.
An extension of the work of the writer in Narratives and the making of History. It gives an in depth knowledge of the inter-conflict of Turkish and Persian sources. Some have called this work even as Rashoman syndrome.
The book contains lectures of Heras Memorial lecture series on state and dynasties in ancient india. The lectures were given by Romila Thapar in February 1980 at St Xaviers college. In these lectures the nature of Indian society in the first millenium BC has been highlighted.