The most significant of India's contributions of the civilization of the world was made in the ancient period. Unfortunately, the history of this glorious epoch, which is an interesting chapter in the annals of human civilization, was lost, and we have been reconstructing it on the basis of information gathered from various sources. Of these, epigraphy is the most important, since the major part of what we already know about ancient India is derived from the study of inscriptions.
In the present work, Professor D.C. Sircar deals with various problems relating to Indian epigraphy and it is expected to be useful to people interested in ancient Indian history in general and Indian inscriptions in particular. Some of the topics discussed herein are : inscriptions and their evidence, languages in which the inscriptions are written, writing materials, the preparation and pre-servation of documents, copperplate grants, stanzas on bhitmideina, Indian epigraphy abroad, systems of dating and the different eras, technical expressions including royal titles and official designations, taxes, land measures, nomenclature, etc.
There are thirty-six plates illustrating various types of epigraphically records.
DINESHCHANDRA SmcIR (1907-1985) was an epigraphist, historian, numis-matist and folklorist, known parti-cularly for his work deciphering inscriptions in India and Bangladesh. He was born to a family of Ayurvedic physicians at Krishnanagar. He graduated with Honours in Sanskrit in 1929 and obtained a First Class in his MA Examination in 1931 in Ancient Indian History and Culture with specialisation in Epigraphy and Numismatics from the University of Calcutta. He was the Chief Epigraphist, Arch-aeological Survey of India (1949-1962), Carmichael Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture, University of Calcutta, (1962-1972) and the General President of the Indian History Congress. In 1972, Sircar was awarded the Sir William Jones Memorial Plaque. He authored more than forty books both in English and Bengali. Some of his best-known books include: Select Inscriptions Bearing on Indian History and Civilisation (two volumes), Indian Epigraphical, Inscriptions of Asoka, Epigraphical Discoveries in East Pakistan, Journal of Ancient Indian History (Ed.) etc. He also edited Epigraphia Indica volumes XXVIII to XXXVI, three of them jointly and others independently.
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