About the Book:
The task of reconstructing the history of ancient India is beset with enormous difficulties compared with writing the history of ancient Greece, Rome or China. Whereas in these instances the historian safely relies on some genuine historical texts, reflecting the twofold principle of narration and inquiry, in the history of the contemporary and earlier periods, the historian working on ancient Indian history, handicapped by the absence of such texts, is forced to rest content with whatever information is obtainable from literature, coins, monuments, sculpture and archeological explorations and excavations.
The historical information thus derived is not only meager but also biased and contrary in nature, and as such the history of any part of ancient India complied on the basis of such materials can hardly attain the desired level of excellence in point of accuracy, acumen and arrangement of historical phenomena in proper time and space.
The problems arising from the limitations of his source materials are great and varied, and yet the historian can hardly afford to neglect his data, however inadequate, disjointed and incoherent they may be.
The key to writing the history of ancient India lies in the proper processing, assessment and understanding of data and in formulating concepts and generalizations underlying the body of data. It is around the source materials, their merits, demerits and some allied problems that the present work revolves.
About the Author:
Dilip Kumar Ganguly, born in 1939 at Kirtipasha in Barisal district, now in Bangladesh, took a Master's degree from Calcutta University, standing first in Class I in order of merit. He joined Visva Bharati University as a lecturer in Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archeology on 1963. He took his doctorate from the same university in 1970, and the same year he was awarded the Premchanda Raychand Scholarship of Calcutta University. He was subsequently awarded the Mount medal for his researches on ancient Indian Administration. In 1979 he was appointed a reader in Visva Bharati University and is at present head of its Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture sand Archeology. Among his important publications are The Historical Geography and Dynastic History of Orissa (Calcutta, 1975 ) and Aspects of Ancient Indian Administration (New Delhi, 1979).
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