The volume is a collection of papers on certain aspects of Indian history, historiography and culture. The papers are fundamental, insightful and path- breaking to some extent. Combining literary, archaeological, scientific and other perspectives, they cover a range of subjects stretching from ancient to modern India. The volume deals with the Greek historians, the Indian epic and Parasitic tradition of historiography, colonial and cultural expansion of the Aryans, the early history of north-west India, society, trade and commerce in ancient India, economic, political and cultural contacts of India with other parts of Asia in ancient and medieval periods, and the 1857 War of Independence in India. It takes up some very interesting and new subjects like role of Brähmanas in the anti- Alexander movement in north-west India and the concept of national integration in ancient India. It explores the sources of history of Uttar Pradesh and the antiquity of Ayodhya and historicity of Rama in an interesting study.
The volume will be of immense use to historians and scholars of philosophy.
The author, Dr GP Singh, is former Professor of History. University of Manipur. Imphal. He is a four Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, London and has been associated with the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. He has authored a number of works on Indian history, historiography and culture. Some of his prestigious works induce Early Indian Historical Tradition and Archaeology; Facets of Ancient Indian History and Culture: New Perception; Ancient Indian Historiography: Sources and Interpretations; and Historical Researches into some Aspects of the Culture and Civilizations of North-east India.
India’s is the longest literary tradition in mankind’s history that began with Rgveda composed in the second millennium BCE. These hymns, carefully handed down by word of mouth n: generations, were collected and arranged after a zinnias. Equal in antiquity are the Puritans which, some Say, are 108 in numbers, but 18 are regarded as the principal. Its antiquity apart, Indian literary tradition is immense with endless possibilities for research and re-interpretations. Though this vast literature cannot be called historiography contemporary yardsticks, these time-honored sources — Vedic Samhitas, epics, Puranas, etc. — have greatly helped historiographers in building up India’s ancient past.
Together with the Hindu scriptures, the Buddhist and Jaina wits as well tell us fascinating stories of development of these editions and their impact on India’s history in the first two millennia CE.
This volume is a collection of some of my papers, written curing the past three decades on certain aspects of Indian story, historiography, and philosophy of history, and which have appeared in reputed journals and publications. Most of has papers relate to ancient Indian history and culture which as been the main field of my study and research, and these re put together in one volume with the object of making all the material embodied in it easily accessible to the readers.
The papers contained in this book cover varied subjects such as ancient India as depicted in Greek and Assyrian literature; the role of brabmanas in anti-Alexander movement (c. 325 BCE); the cultural expansion of the Aryans outside India; a comparative study of the national philosophy of Veda Vyasa, Manu and Kautilya; concepts of variia and jati in Jaina and Buddhist traditions; national integration, trade and commerce in ancient India; invasions and conquest of north-east India by Indian kings; politico-cultural relations of Tibet and Myanmar (Burma) with Bihar; tribal-Mughal conflicts in northeast India; and medieval Indian society and culture. A paper of topical interest — antiquity of Ayodhya and historicity of Rama — is also included in this volume.
This volume is a collection of some of my papers written during past three decades on certain aspects of Indian history, historiography, and philosophy of history published in Journals, books, etc. Most of the papers included in the volume ekes to ancient Indian history and culture which has been the main field of my study and research. I have put them together in one volume with the object of making all the material embodied in it easily accessible to the readers. I believe they will be useful to them.
I crave the readers’ indulgence for all the errors that may be discernible to their eyes.
The author and the publisher would like to thank the editors and publishers of the journals and books for permission granted for inclusion in this volume of the papers published in them as shown below:
“Was Herodotus of Greece the Father of History?” Adhyayana, Journal of the Bharatiya Itihasa Adhyayan Sarhsthan, Allahabad, 1993.
“A New Approach to the Study of Historical Data in the Epic and Puraiic Literature on Ancient India”, Proceedings of the UGC-sponsored National Seminar on History and Literature, 9-11 February, 1991, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar (Gujarat).
“The PurAnic Tradition of Historiography in India”, The Indian Historical Review, Published by the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, in 2004. (The paper has also been published in Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the International Association of Historians of Asia, 18-22 December, 2002, University of Dhaka, Published in 2004.) “The Fundamental Aspects of Ancient Indian Culture and Civilization”, An Introduction to General Foundation Course, ed. I.R. Babu Singh, Published by Manipur University (MU), Imphal, in 1999.
“Sources of the History of Uttar Pradesh (Ancient Period)”, Sources of the History of India, vol. II, ed. S.P Sen, Institute of Historical Studies, Calcutta, 1979.
“The Dionysiaka: A Classical (Greek) Source of History of Ancient India”, Shodhak, A Journal of Historical Research, Jaipur, Published in 1999
“The Colonial and Cultural Expansion of the Aryans Outside India as Gleaned from the Vedic Literature”, Journal of the Department of History, MU, Imphal, 1987.
“Antiquity of Ayodhya and Historicity of Rãma: Literary, Archaeological and Scientific Perspectives”, Krishna-abhinandana (B. Krishna Shastri Felicitation Volume): History, Culture and Archaeological Studies, ed. P. Chenna Reddy, New Delhi, 2008. “Veda Vyasa, Manu and Kauilya: A Comparative Study of their National Philosophy in Historical Perspective”, Journal of the Department of History, MU, Imphal, 1986. “The Concepts of Vari:ia and Jäti in the Jaina and Buddhist Traditions”, Adhyayana, Journal of the Bharatiya Itihãsa Adhyayan Sathsthan, Allahabad, 1997.
“Medieval Indian Society and Culture”, An Introduction to General Foundation Course, ed. I.R. Babu Singh, MU, Imphal, 1999.
Development of Trade and Commerce in Southern India the (13 to 15 Centuries): Travellers Accounts (Persian, Arabic, Russian and Italian Sources)”, Shodhak, A Journal of Historical Research, Jaipur 1997.
“Development of Trade and Commerce in Northern and Eastern India in the l6 and 17th Centuries from the Narratives of the Travellers”, Shodhak, A Journal of Historical Research, Jaipur, 1998.
“The Annals of Tribal-Mughal Conflicts in North-East India during the Reign of Jehangir (1605—1627)”, Journal of Indian History, Trivandrum, 1981.
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