Drawing on textual and archaeological sources, most of the essays in this edition are on the early history of India upto the end of the first millennium A.D., suggesting some fresh interpretations of the data.
This revised edition has four new essays. The tradition of historical writing that earlier received little attention is now becoming a subject of interest in relation to pre-modern India. The cliche that Indian civilization lacked a sense of history is open to question and is discussed more fully in one of these essays. The functions of institutions associated with the presentation of history, such as museums are considered in another essay. A further discussion relates to the need for the historian to be aware of the political exploitation of history. The final essay reminds us of the debate generated by such a threat in recent years.
This seminal work by one of India’s most eminent historians will be of invaluable use to scholars interested in the study of ancient societies, tradition and culture in the context of social formations, and broadly history.
Acknowledgements / vii
Introduction to the Second Edition / ix