Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300

Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300

Paperback

By (author) Romila Thapar

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 586 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 229mm x 36mm | 794g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520242254
  • ISBN 13: 9780520242258
  • Sales rank: 362,048

Product description

"Early India" represents a complete rewriting by Romila Thapar of her classic work, "A History of India" (the first volume in the Penguin History of India series), thirty-five years after it was first published. Thapar has incorporated the vast changes in scholarly understanding and interpretation of Indian history that have occurred during her lifetime to revise the book for a new generation of readers. This new work brings to life thousands of years of history, tracing India's evolution before contact with modern Europe was established: its prehistoric beginnings; the great cities of the Indus civilization; the emergence of mighty dynasties such as the Mauryas, Guptas, and Cholas; the teachings of the Buddha; the creation of heroic epics such as "the Mahabharata" and "the Ramayana"; and, the creation of regional cultures. Thapar introduces figures from the remarkable visionary ruler Ashoka to other less exemplary figures. In exploring subjects as diverse as marriage, class, art, erotica, and astronomy, Thapar provides an incomparably vivid and nuanced picture of India. Above all, she shows the rich mosaic of diverse kingdoms, landscapes, languages, and beliefs.

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Author information

Romila Thapar is Professor Emeritus in History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. In 1983 she was elected General President of the Indian History Congress and in 1999 a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. She is the author of Asoka and the Decline of the Mauryas; Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations; History and Beyond; Sakuntala: Texts, Readings, Histories; Cultural Pasts: Essays in Early Indian History; and Somanatha : the Many Voices of a History (2004).

Review quote

"One of the world's most eminent historians of India, Thapar gives us a thoroughly revised edition of her authoritative general history. This one contains the accumulated research of the last thirty years and includes richly textured accounts of life in ancient India. Like its predecessor, this is indispensable reading for anyone interested in India's long and complex history."

Back cover copy

"Romila Thapar is the most eminent Indian historian. This superb book is not only the basic history of how India came to be and an introduction to how the writing of history takes shape, but also, not the least, a deconstruction of the historical myth and inventions on which is based the present intolerant and exclusivist Hindu nationalism. It is essential reading today."--Eric Hobsbawm"One of the world's most eminent historians of India, Thapar gives us a thoroughly revised edition of her authoritative general history. This one contains the accumulated research of the last thirty years and includes richly textured accounts of life in ancient India. Like its predecessor, this is indispensable reading for anyone interested in India's long and complex history."--Thomas R. Metcalf, Professor of History and Sarah Kailath Professor of Indian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of "A Concise History of India"Incorporating newer findings, methods, and interpretations, this thorough and outstandingly written addition to the author's highly acclaimed "History of India, Volume One manifests her long and distinguished service to the study of Indian history. Thapar's skillful analysis of how India's past has been interpreted not only brings greater clarity to the understanding of contemporary India, but also contributes usefully to a broader study of history and historiography."--Peter L. Schmitthenner, Associate Professor of History, Virginia Tech