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Early India Historical Probings (Essays in Honour of Professor S. R. Goyal on His 85th Birthday)

Early India Historical Probings (Essays in Honour of Professor S. R. Goyal on His 85th Birthday)
Item Code: NAK222
Author: Shankar Goyal
Publisher: Kusumanjali Book World, Jodhpur
Language: English
Edition: 2015
Pages: 295 (6 Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
weight of the book: 550 gms
About the Book

Early India: Historical Probings certainly owes a great deal to whom it seeks to felicitate. Professor S.R. Goyal's reputation lies in the undoubted superiority of his works on early Indian history. As a mark of respect and affection for this Grand Old Man, who will enter into 85 years of his life in the early next year, a few of his friends, which include not only some of the best minds of the Indological world such as Professors Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, R. Champakalakshmi, Kumkum Roy, Samaresh Bandyopadhyay, D.N. Tripathi, U.P. Arora, I.M. Rai, T.S. Ravishankar, Vinita Parihar and D.P. Dubey, but also some young talent working on early India, such as Drs. Nanditha Krishna, Neekee Chaturvedi and Meghna Vig, decided to put together a volume of essays in his honour. The intrinsic merit of these essays, the wide range of topics they cover within a broad framework of early India including political history, society, economy, religion, art and culture, the questions they raise and the facts they uncover make this a valuable collection in itself - of interest to any reader of history. The work also contains an Introduction on Professor S.R. Goyal's approach to history and his contribution to the study of ancient Indian history. This is no mean tribute and may as such be regarded as a evidence of the greatness of the man in whose honour it seeks to perpetuate through the present work. It is sincerely hoped that it will be found extremely useful in serious historical analysis of the Indian past.

About the Editor

Dr. Shankar Goyal (b. 1959) is one of the well-known authorities on ancient Indian history and historiography. His major works include Recent Historiography of Ancient India, Marxist Interpretation of Ancient Indian History, Contemporary Interpreters of Ancient India, Ancient India: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Harsha: A Multidisciplinary Political Study and 175 Years of Vakataka History and Historiography His books and many articles brought him recognition from scholars such as R. N. Dandekar, G. C. Pande, R. S. Sharma, Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar, A. M. Shastri, Bardwell L. Smith (Minnesota, U.S.A.), Walter M. Spink (Michigan, U.S.A.), Maurizio Taddei (Napoli, Italy), P. K. Mitra (Rajshahi, Bangladesh) and others. In 2009 he presided over the Cultural History Section of the XXIX Annual Session of the South Indian History Congress and in 2012 was elected General President of the xxxii Annual Congress of the Epigraphical Society of India. He has also delivered some prestigious endowment lectures. In December, 2012 he visited China, the land of the famous Chinese pilgrim Yuan Chwang, which is close to his heart. Again, he has been to Australia in December, 2013 and to the United States of America and Canada in June, 2014. Recently, he has been invited by the Organising Committee of the 16th World Sanskrit Conference, 2015, Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, to participate in the deliberations of their Epigraphy Section to promote Indian epigraphical studies on the world forum.

Dr. Goyal did his graduation from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, post- graduation from the prestigious Deccan College, Pune, Ph.D. on Main Trends in Indian Historiography Since Independence and D . Litt. on Political History as an Integral Study of Political Life and Institutions: A Multi- disciplinary Approach to Harsha and His times, both from the University of Jodhpur, Jodhpur, where he is presently working in the Department of History.


Professor S. R. Goyal's Approach to History and His Contribution to Ancient India


In recent decades the popularity of the political history is declining very fast in India as well as in other countries. Therefore, in order to revitalize their discipline some political historians, both in India and the West, are pleading that the concept of political history itself should be modified. They argue that now historians should cease to give emphasis only on the 'deeds' and 'dates' of the kings and should make a study of the political aspect of society their basic concern. In other words, they should give emphasis on 'how' and 'why' instead of only 'when' and 'what'. For this a study of the political events and institutions against various factors-religious, economic, social, etc.-is vital. This is what they call 'integral political history' or 'new political history'. It need not only be a study of! the basic sources with a new angle but also a multidisciplinary approach to the political life of society and state; In India Professor S.R. Goyal has been pleading for the adoption of this approach for several decades and now he is being supported by numerous others.? This Introduction seeks to show what has he done to give a new definition and meaning to political history, specially of ancient India, and what has been his contribution to the discipline.


Dr. S.R. Goyal (b. 1932) is the former Professor and Head, Department of History, JNV University, Jodhpur. Described as 'one of the five best recent historians of ancient India' by Professor David N. Lorenzen, the great Mexican Orientalist, Professor Goyal combines all the qualities associated with scientific scholarship. He has authored about forty-five works, most of them quite voluminous, and over 175 research paper which cover so diverse fields as political history, religious history literature, biographies, numismatics and epigraphy. He was honoure with the General President ship of the Silver Jubilee Congress of the Epigraphical Society of India held at Udupi in April, 1999 and was elected the Honorary Fellow of the Society. He also presided over the 90th Annual Conference of the Numismatic Society of India which was held at Santiniketan (West Bengal) on 1st to 3rd December, 2006. He was also invited to be the General President of the 2006 Annual Session of the Indian History and Culture Society held at Gwalior which he could not accept because of the clash of dates.

Professor Goyal's doctoral thesis, A History of the Imperial Guptas (Allahabad, 1967), was acclaimed as 'the best analysis of the Gupta period which I have ever read' by Professor A. L. Bashar (National Professor of Australia) and as 'imaginative', 'well-written' an 'a model of historiography' by Professor Eleanor Zelliot (Minnesota U.S.A.). The various theories propounded in it are described b Professor R.C. Majumdar as 'deserving very careful consideration Among his other major works are included three 'corpus-Iike volume on ancient Indian inscriptions, a monograph on the recently found ancient Indian inscriptions, a three volume study on ancient Indian numismatics two volumes respectively on Kautilya and Megasthenes, a volume on the literary chronology of ancient India, a volume on the birth and early growth of Indian society, two bulky volumes on ancient Indian religions a three volume study on Indian Buddhism, a monograph on Srarnanism a three volume study on Hinduism, a volume on the Vakataka-Gupta relations, a three volume study on ancient Indian history in about two thousand pages and four volumes on great rulers of ancient India.

Professor Goyal has been honoured with many festschrifts including Reappraising Gupta History for SR. Goyal (eds. Professor B.Ch. Chhabra et al) and S.R. Goyal: His Multidimensional Historiography (eds. Professor Jagannath Agrawal and Or. Shankar Goyal) publisher in 1992 sometime in his sixtieth year. A four volume festschrift in about two thousand pages in his honour entitled Sriramabhinandanar. (Reconstructing Indian History for SR. Goyal) was published in 2003. Again, a two volume thematic felicitation volume entitled Investigating, Indian Society and Indian Society: The Regional Contours was also brought out in his honour recently in 2013 on the completion of hi eighteenth year. It contains the articles of such eminent historians a Professors G.C. Pandey, R.S. Sharma, Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib R. Champakalakshmi, Kumkum Roy and kesavan veluthat, undoubtedly some of the best minds of the Indological world.


The position which S. R. Goyal enjoys in the Indian historical world today largely depends on his integral or holistic approach to history, specially political history, which he has been propagating for about half a century. When one goes through his writings explaining and elaborating his approach to history, one cannot but admire his courage and conviction-courage because he has sought to propagate an approach which is different from the approach of most established historians of the country and also from the approach of the Marxist historians who have emerged as the dominant group in the recent decades; and conviction because it developed gradually in course of his own academic journey and is based on sound reasoning and personal experiences as a historian with manifold interests. On many a problems he has come to conclusions which are radically at variance from the generally accepted views of other historians, but he has always shown courage to put his suggestions before the historical world candidly though usually with such force of rigorous logic that even those who fail to agree with him frankly admit that he has put up a case which demands serious consideration.


Publishers' Prefacevii
Introduction Shankar Goyalxvii
1Art and Religion1
2Cultural Transformation: Reading the Archaeological Evidence on the Proto-Historic to Early Historic in South India18
3Economic Ideas and Institutions in ancient India: A Historiographical Approach36
4Recovering Ordinary Lives: Revisiting the Therigatha65
5Forms of Subordination, Repression and redressed Reflected in the Jataka Tales80
6Early Buddhist attitude Towards Women: A Critique96
7Alexander the Great and the Simplification of the Political map of North-Western India: An Investigation106
8Bactria in Early Greek Accounts141
9Persian Impact on Nanda-Mourya Imperialism and culture: An Analysis155
10Mauryan Administration: an Analysis193
11Some Thoughts on the Variant Narratives about canakya207
12Raktamala Copper-plate Grant of [the Gupta] Era 180217
13A Note on the Gupta Administration226
14Asvamedha Sacrifice as Gleaned from Inscriptions229
15The icon of Kamakshi240
16The Medieval Factor in Indian Art248

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