India's Ancient Past

India's Ancient Past

Product ID: 22768

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Author: R.S. Sharma
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 387
ISBN/UPC (if available): 019568785X


In this engaging narrative, R.S. Sharma provides a comprehensive and accessible account of the history of ancient India. India's Ancient Past traces the development of social formations, polities, and cultures in India from the emergence of the first human beings to the advent of the early medieval period. Beginning with a discussion on frameworks of the writing of history -- approaches, sources, and significance-the book sheds light on the origins and growth of civilizations, empires, and religions. It covers the geographical, ecological, and linguistic backgrounds, and looks at specific cultures of the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Vedic periods, as well as at the Harappan civilization.

The author discusses the rise of Jainism and Buddhism, Magadha and the beginning of territorial states, and the period of Mauryas, Central Asian countries, Satavahanas, Guptas and Harshavardhana. He highlights important phenomena such as the Verna system, urbanization, commerce and trade, developments in science and philosophy, and cultural legacy. He also examines the process of transition from ancient to medieval India and addresses topical issues such as the origin of the Aryan culture and the communal approach to history and historical construction.

The insightful and lucidly written book, by one of the best-known scholars of ancient India, is a wonderfully readable introduction to India's early history for students, tourists, and the interested general readers.




List of Plates

List of Maps

The Significance of Ancient Indian History

Modern Historians of Ancient India

Nature of Sources and Historical Construction

Geographical Setting

Ecology and Environment

The Linguistic Background

Human Evolution: The Old Stone Age

The Neolithic Age: First Food Producers and
Animal Keepers

Chalcolithic Cultures

Harappan Culture: bronze Age
Urbanization in the Indus Valley

Identity of Aryan Culture

The Age of the Rig Veda

The Later Vedic Phase:
Transition to State and Social Orders

Jainism and Buddhism

Territorial States and the Rise of Magadha

Iranian and Macedonian Invasions

State Structure and the Varna System
In the Age of the Buddha

The Maurya Age

The significance of Maurya Rule

Central Asian Contact and Mutual Impact

The Satavahana Phase

The Dawn of History in the Deep South

Crafts, commerce, and Urban Growth
(200 BC –AD 250)

Rise and growth of the Gupta Empire

Life in the Gupta age

Spread o civilization in Eastern India

Harsha and His Times

Brahmanization, Rural Expansion, and
Peasant Protest in the Peninsula

Developments in Philosophy

Cultural Interaction with Asian Countries

From Ancient to Medieval

Sequence of Social Changes

Legacy in Science and Civilization

Chronology of Literary Sources