In ancient India, learning and literature flourished at different levels and concerned almost all broad disciplines of knowledge. One such stream was historiography as we find a rich tradition of history-writing maintained over the centuries. This book examines the evolution of the tradition of historiography from the Vedic times to the 12th century ad, arguing against an oft-held belief that ancient Indians lacked a sense of chronology and history.
Here, Dr. G. P. Singh highlights the contributions of ancient India to historiography through a critical study of literary works authored by eminent scholars and writers of the past that contain historical writing. Based on research for over two decades, the work elaborately studies Vedic, Epic and Puranic traditions, Buddhist and Jain historiography, historical references and details in the dramas of Kalidasa and Visakhadatta, and historical writing in South India. It pays special attention to writing of historical biographies, chronicles and vamsavalis. It discusses how various religious and other texts throw light on the political and social fabric of different periods and their economic condition and cultural milieu. It frequently refers to the views of modern scholars on various aspects of the historical writings. It looks into the value of the historical writings, the historical conditions under which they were written and the purpose for which written, their language and style, and their immediate impact and influence on writing in later times.The volume will offer fresh approaches to studying ancient Indian historiography and new bases of research on the subject for historians and scholars.