Kautiliya Arthasastra Revisited

Kautiliya Arthasastra Revisited

Product ID: 17345

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Author: Surendra Nath Mital
Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 147
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-87586-03-6


n this book S.N. Mittal examines in detail and refutes the views held by many scholars that the text of Kautiliya Arthasastra was not written by a single author and that the date of its composition cannot be attributed to a single century.

The book has been primarily written as a reply to T.R. Trautmann's Kautilya and the Arthasastra, in which he tried to prove, with the help of statistics, that the Arthasastra was a compilation of writings by three or four authors, edited by Kautilya. This view was based on an analysis of the frequency of the use of ca (and) and va (or) in different portions of the Arthasastra. Trautmann also seems to have used this argument to maintain that the Arthasastra was composed sometime after the second century.

Mittal tries to show, through his own collection of statistics, that Trautmann's thesis is misconceived and that va was more frequently used in those portions of the text where the subject treated is primarily political, and ca was more frequently used where the discussion is primarily theoretical, and so this difference in the frequency of use of va and ca does not indicate different authors. Mittal asserts that the Arthasastra was written by Kautilya in the fourth century BC, as is generally supposed, and not in the third century AD, a view propounded by some western as also some Indian scholars who wrote in the 1920s and 1930s.




I. Date of Arthasastra:

1. Traditional opinion.

2. Views of Jolly, Keith and Winternitz.

II. A study of Trautmann's statistical analysis:

1. Preliminary objections.

2. Examination of statistical conclusions of Trautmann.

3. Other deficiencies of the theory.

4. Trautmann's arguments against Kautilya's authorship of Arthasastra.