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The Imperial Guptas and Their Times
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The Imperial Guptas and Their Times
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Introduction

There is a hardly any period in Indian history that has engaged so much attention of scholars as the Gupta age and yet, what is known about it is not free from inaccuracy, inadequacy and controversy. The period still tempts scholars to fresh enquiries into the realm of the unknown and reevaluation of the known. It is with this two-fold object of unfolding a broader vision of history and reassessing the accumulated knowledge in a proper perspective that an objective enquiry into this 'classical' phase of Indian history has been ventured upon.

A task like this is beset with problems of great magnitude. The field, treaded upon, has already been traversed by the 'giant' historians of the present and preceding centuries. The data, whether archaeological or literary, are inadequate and vague, and, more often than not, dubious and contrary in nature. These not-too-satisfactory data are further too widely scattered to be studied in their originals even by a widely traveled investigator. Moreover, there remains the constant danger of being swayed by the infatuating professed idealism in the assessment of a historical phenomenon and deduction of a generalization to the detriment of an objective or rational approach.

The present work embodies the author's investigation, carried on strictly in consonance with the aforesaid aims and objectives, into six puzzling problems of the history of the Imperial Guptas, including the homeland of the imperial Guptas, Gupta-Licchavi entente cordiale, Kacha issue, genealogy and chronology of the Later Imperial Guptas, disintegration of the Gupta empire and agrarian relations.

In writing this monograph the author, more often than not, was overwhelmed with joy to see how deeply he owed his gratitude to his illustrious teachers like Professor D.C. Sircar, Professor N.N. Das Gupta, Professor B.C. Sen and Professor S. Chattopadhyaya who kindly taught him the lessons of Indian history. Alas! None of these revered scholars is with us at present to appreciate the merit of the work, if there be any, or to point out its limitations, which, I am sure, are quite numerous. To Professor R.S. Sharma he is indebted for the stimuli his learned writings evoke. The author is sincerely thankful to Shri Shakti Malik for the interest he has taken in publishing this work. He is, likewise, thankful to his wife Malabika, daughter Paramita and son Dipankar for their forbearance in keeping him at bay from the worries of a practical householder.

 

About the Book

There is hardly any period in Indian history that has engaged so much attention of scholars as the Gupta age and yet, what is known about it is not free from inaccuracy, inadequacy and controversy. The period still tempts scholars to fresh enquiries into the realm of the unknown and re-evaluation of the known. It is with this two-fold object of unfolding a broader vision of history and reassessing the accumulated knowledge in a proper perspective that an objective enquiry into this 'Classical' phase of Indian history has been ventured upon.

A task like this is beset with problems of great magnitude. The field, treaded upon, has already been traversed by the 'giant' historians of the present and preceding centuries. The data, whether archaeological or literary, are inadequate and vague, and, more often than not, dubious and contrary in nature. These not-too-satisfactory data are further too widely scattered to be studied in their originals even by a widely traveled investigator. Moreover, there remains the constant danger of being swayed by the infatuating professed idealism in the assessment of a historical phenomenon and deduction of generalization to the detriment of an objective or rational approach.

The present work embodies the author's investigations, carried on strictly in consonance with the aforesaid aims and objectives, into six puzzling problems of the history of the imperial Guptas, including the homeland of the imperial Guptas, Gupta-Licchavi entente cordiale, Kacha issue, genealogy and chronology of the Later Imperial Guptas, disintegration of the Gupta empire and agrarian relations.

 

About The Author

Dilip Kumar Ganguly, born in 1939 at Kirtipasha in Barisal district, now in Bangladesh, took Master's degree from Calcutta University, standing first in Class I in order of merit. He joined Visva-Bharati University as a Lecturer in the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology in 1963. He took his doctorate from the same University in 1970, and the same year he was awarded the Premchand Raychand Scholarship of Calcutta University. He was subsequently awarded the Most Medal for his researches on ancient Indian administration. He was appointed Reader in Visva-Bharati University in 1979 and nominated Visiting Professor in Sambalpur University, Orissa, in 1986.

Among his important publications are: The Historical Geography and Dynastic History of Orissa (Calcutta, 1975), Aspect of Ancient Indian Administration (New Delhi, 1979) and History and Historians in Ancient India (New Delhi, 1984).

 

Contents

 

  Introduction xi
1. THE HOMELAND OF THE IMPERIAL GUPTAS 1-25
1. The statement of the problem 1
2. The Puranic Account 1
3. The Analysis of the Puranic Account 2
4. Findings of the Puranic Account 5
5. Some Controversial Passages and their Interpretation 5
6. The Account of the Bhavisyottara Purana 6
7. The Testimony of Kau-fa-kau-sang-chuen 7
8. Identification of Che-li-ki-to 7
9. Conflicting Translations and Interpretations 9
10. Corroborative Value of the Taisho Edition 11
11. Location of the China Temple 11
12. Reconciliation between the Puranic and Chinese Account 12
13. Formulation of the Working Hypothesis 12
14. The Theory of the Allahabad Origin of the Gupta Kingdom 13
15. The Theory of the Mathura-Ayodhya Homeland 17
16. Conducive Geographical Factors 19
II. THE GUPTA-LICCHAVI ENTENTE CORDIALE 26-51
1. The statement of the Problem 26
2. Different Categories of Data and their Evaluation 26
3. Contributory Factors to the Formation of the Gupta-Licchavi Entente 28
4. Nature, Tenure and Effects of the Alliance 31
5. Candragupta I-Kumaradevi Coins and the Question of their Attribution 36
6. Interpretation of the Obverse device 46
7. Identity of the Goddess on the Reverse 48
III. THE KACA PROBLEM 52-73
1. The Statement of the Problem 52
2. Description of Coins 52
3. M.J. Sharma on the Attribution of the Kaca Coins 53
4. Theory of Kaca's Identity with Ramagupta 54
5. View Equating Kaca with Ghatotkaca 56
6. Kaca and Samudragupta Identified 57
7. Kaca Identified with a Rebel Brother of Samudragupta 61
8. Commemoration Theory of R.D. Banerji 66
9. Kaca Identified with an Interloper 66
10. Conclusion 67
IV. GENEALOGY AND CHRONOLOGY OF THE LATER IMPERIAL GUPTAS 74-107
1. Skandagupta and Purugupta 74
2. Kumaragupta of the Sarnath Inscription 82
3. Identity of Prakasaditya 89
4. Budhagupta 92
5. Vainyagupta 94
6. Bhanugupta 97
7. Narasimhagupta 98
8. Kumaragupta III 100
9. Visnugupta 100
10. The Question of the Existence of Candragupta III 101
V. THE DISINTEGRATION OF THE GUPTA EMPIRE 108-135
1. The Statement of the Problem 108
2. The Gupta Kingdom from C. A.D. 450 to C. A.D. 467 108
3. Emergence of Independent States in Gujarat and Malwa 112
4. Ascendancy of New Powers in the West 113
5. Huna Menace 116
6. Rise of Yasodharman 119
7. Emergence of the Maukharis and the Later Guptas 121
8. The last Phase of Gupta Rule 122
9. The Causes of the Decline of the Gupta Kingdom 124
VI. AGRARIAN RELATIONS IN THE GUPTA KINGDOM 136-168
1. Ownership of Land 136
2. Royal Prerogative Rights 147
3. Land Revenue Officials 152
4. The Crown Land 152
5. The Brahmin Landholders 153
6. Other Landowning Communities 156
7. Sharecroppers and Agricultural Labourers 156
8. Agricultural Slaves 158
9. Revenue-Payee Royal Officials 159
10. Absence of Large Farmers 160
11. Conclusions 160
  Bibliography 169
  Index 181

 

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The Imperial Guptas and Their Times

Item Code:
IDK714
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1987
Publisher:
ISBN:
8170172225
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8.5" X 5.5"
Pages:
196
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weight of book 334 gms
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Introduction

There is a hardly any period in Indian history that has engaged so much attention of scholars as the Gupta age and yet, what is known about it is not free from inaccuracy, inadequacy and controversy. The period still tempts scholars to fresh enquiries into the realm of the unknown and reevaluation of the known. It is with this two-fold object of unfolding a broader vision of history and reassessing the accumulated knowledge in a proper perspective that an objective enquiry into this 'classical' phase of Indian history has been ventured upon.

A task like this is beset with problems of great magnitude. The field, treaded upon, has already been traversed by the 'giant' historians of the present and preceding centuries. The data, whether archaeological or literary, are inadequate and vague, and, more often than not, dubious and contrary in nature. These not-too-satisfactory data are further too widely scattered to be studied in their originals even by a widely traveled investigator. Moreover, there remains the constant danger of being swayed by the infatuating professed idealism in the assessment of a historical phenomenon and deduction of a generalization to the detriment of an objective or rational approach.

The present work embodies the author's investigation, carried on strictly in consonance with the aforesaid aims and objectives, into six puzzling problems of the history of the Imperial Guptas, including the homeland of the imperial Guptas, Gupta-Licchavi entente cordiale, Kacha issue, genealogy and chronology of the Later Imperial Guptas, disintegration of the Gupta empire and agrarian relations.

In writing this monograph the author, more often than not, was overwhelmed with joy to see how deeply he owed his gratitude to his illustrious teachers like Professor D.C. Sircar, Professor N.N. Das Gupta, Professor B.C. Sen and Professor S. Chattopadhyaya who kindly taught him the lessons of Indian history. Alas! None of these revered scholars is with us at present to appreciate the merit of the work, if there be any, or to point out its limitations, which, I am sure, are quite numerous. To Professor R.S. Sharma he is indebted for the stimuli his learned writings evoke. The author is sincerely thankful to Shri Shakti Malik for the interest he has taken in publishing this work. He is, likewise, thankful to his wife Malabika, daughter Paramita and son Dipankar for their forbearance in keeping him at bay from the worries of a practical householder.

 

About the Book

There is hardly any period in Indian history that has engaged so much attention of scholars as the Gupta age and yet, what is known about it is not free from inaccuracy, inadequacy and controversy. The period still tempts scholars to fresh enquiries into the realm of the unknown and re-evaluation of the known. It is with this two-fold object of unfolding a broader vision of history and reassessing the accumulated knowledge in a proper perspective that an objective enquiry into this 'Classical' phase of Indian history has been ventured upon.

A task like this is beset with problems of great magnitude. The field, treaded upon, has already been traversed by the 'giant' historians of the present and preceding centuries. The data, whether archaeological or literary, are inadequate and vague, and, more often than not, dubious and contrary in nature. These not-too-satisfactory data are further too widely scattered to be studied in their originals even by a widely traveled investigator. Moreover, there remains the constant danger of being swayed by the infatuating professed idealism in the assessment of a historical phenomenon and deduction of generalization to the detriment of an objective or rational approach.

The present work embodies the author's investigations, carried on strictly in consonance with the aforesaid aims and objectives, into six puzzling problems of the history of the imperial Guptas, including the homeland of the imperial Guptas, Gupta-Licchavi entente cordiale, Kacha issue, genealogy and chronology of the Later Imperial Guptas, disintegration of the Gupta empire and agrarian relations.

 

About The Author

Dilip Kumar Ganguly, born in 1939 at Kirtipasha in Barisal district, now in Bangladesh, took Master's degree from Calcutta University, standing first in Class I in order of merit. He joined Visva-Bharati University as a Lecturer in the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology in 1963. He took his doctorate from the same University in 1970, and the same year he was awarded the Premchand Raychand Scholarship of Calcutta University. He was subsequently awarded the Most Medal for his researches on ancient Indian administration. He was appointed Reader in Visva-Bharati University in 1979 and nominated Visiting Professor in Sambalpur University, Orissa, in 1986.

Among his important publications are: The Historical Geography and Dynastic History of Orissa (Calcutta, 1975), Aspect of Ancient Indian Administration (New Delhi, 1979) and History and Historians in Ancient India (New Delhi, 1984).

 

Contents

 

  Introduction xi
1. THE HOMELAND OF THE IMPERIAL GUPTAS 1-25
1. The statement of the problem 1
2. The Puranic Account 1
3. The Analysis of the Puranic Account 2
4. Findings of the Puranic Account 5
5. Some Controversial Passages and their Interpretation 5
6. The Account of the Bhavisyottara Purana 6
7. The Testimony of Kau-fa-kau-sang-chuen 7
8. Identification of Che-li-ki-to 7
9. Conflicting Translations and Interpretations 9
10. Corroborative Value of the Taisho Edition 11
11. Location of the China Temple 11
12. Reconciliation between the Puranic and Chinese Account 12
13. Formulation of the Working Hypothesis 12
14. The Theory of the Allahabad Origin of the Gupta Kingdom 13
15. The Theory of the Mathura-Ayodhya Homeland 17
16. Conducive Geographical Factors 19
II. THE GUPTA-LICCHAVI ENTENTE CORDIALE 26-51
1. The statement of the Problem 26
2. Different Categories of Data and their Evaluation 26
3. Contributory Factors to the Formation of the Gupta-Licchavi Entente 28
4. Nature, Tenure and Effects of the Alliance 31
5. Candragupta I-Kumaradevi Coins and the Question of their Attribution 36
6. Interpretation of the Obverse device 46
7. Identity of the Goddess on the Reverse 48
III. THE KACA PROBLEM 52-73
1. The Statement of the Problem 52
2. Description of Coins 52
3. M.J. Sharma on the Attribution of the Kaca Coins 53
4. Theory of Kaca's Identity with Ramagupta 54
5. View Equating Kaca with Ghatotkaca 56
6. Kaca and Samudragupta Identified 57
7. Kaca Identified with a Rebel Brother of Samudragupta 61
8. Commemoration Theory of R.D. Banerji 66
9. Kaca Identified with an Interloper 66
10. Conclusion 67
IV. GENEALOGY AND CHRONOLOGY OF THE LATER IMPERIAL GUPTAS 74-107
1. Skandagupta and Purugupta 74
2. Kumaragupta of the Sarnath Inscription 82
3. Identity of Prakasaditya 89
4. Budhagupta 92
5. Vainyagupta 94
6. Bhanugupta 97
7. Narasimhagupta 98
8. Kumaragupta III 100
9. Visnugupta 100
10. The Question of the Existence of Candragupta III 101
V. THE DISINTEGRATION OF THE GUPTA EMPIRE 108-135
1. The Statement of the Problem 108
2. The Gupta Kingdom from C. A.D. 450 to C. A.D. 467 108
3. Emergence of Independent States in Gujarat and Malwa 112
4. Ascendancy of New Powers in the West 113
5. Huna Menace 116
6. Rise of Yasodharman 119
7. Emergence of the Maukharis and the Later Guptas 121
8. The last Phase of Gupta Rule 122
9. The Causes of the Decline of the Gupta Kingdom 124
VI. AGRARIAN RELATIONS IN THE GUPTA KINGDOM 136-168
1. Ownership of Land 136
2. Royal Prerogative Rights 147
3. Land Revenue Officials 152
4. The Crown Land 152
5. The Brahmin Landholders 153
6. Other Landowning Communities 156
7. Sharecroppers and Agricultural Labourers 156
8. Agricultural Slaves 158
9. Revenue-Payee Royal Officials 159
10. Absence of Large Farmers 160
11. Conclusions 160
  Bibliography 169
  Index 181

 

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