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Chapter 9 - Statecraft, Law, and Religion in Ancient India

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 June 2019

Mark McClish
Affiliation:
Northwestern University, Illinois
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Summary

The conclusions of the last two chapters are placed here in the context of South Asian history more generally. In particular, this chapter concludes that the tradition of statecraft existed for centuries without any major influence from orthodox Brāhmaṇical theology, but that sometime in the early centuries of the Common Era this changed. The Arthaśāstra vividly captures this shift. The transformation of South Asian political thought is then mapped briefly in other areas and placed in context of the "Brāhmaṇical revival" of the second-fourth centuries CE and the onset of the "Sanskrit Cosmopolis" in the third century CE. The chapter concludes by arguing that changes in the statecraft tradition at the same time strongly suggest major cultural shifts in the period that brought Brāhmaṇical orthodoxy into the halls of power and centers of culture in the period.

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The History of the Arthasastra
Sovereignty and Sacred Law in Ancient India
, pp. 208 - 223
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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