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Evolution of Historiographical Tradition in Ancient and Medieval India

by: G.P. Singh

This volume attempts to present a systematic and comprehensive history of historical writing in ancient and medieval India. It discusses the beginnings of historical tradition, Buddhist and Jain traditions of historiography, writing of historical biography, chronicles, va§÷àvalã, and the tradition of historical writing in all states of India.

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ISBN: 9788124605561
Year Of Publication: 2011
Edition: 1st
Pages : xvii, 574 p.
Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23
Weight: 1000

Overview

In India, historical writing was a tradition that evolved in different ways in the ancient, medieval and modern periods of history. Several traditions of historiography evolved during the centuries. This volume is an attempt to present a systematic and comprehensive history of historical writing in ancient and medieval India based on many original sources and works written in the modern times.
A well-researched, painstaking study, the book broadly discusses the beginnings of historical tradition, Buddhist and Jain traditions of historiography, and writing of historical biography, chronicles, vamsavali and other historical works, as well as the tradition of historical writing in South India. One of its main concerns is to bring out the contributions of people of different religions to the evolution of the tradition of historiography. It sheds light on the historical and semi-historical works of ancient and medieval historians of Indians to dispel the argument that ancient Indians had no tradition of historiography. It shows that ancient Indians had indeed a clear conception and perception of history, taking history as the soul of the nation. It states that conscious of the fact that the culture and civilisation of a country got reflected through its history, they took pains to preserve the historical records of the past.
The book will prove extremely useful to fill the vacuum existing in our knowledge about historians and historiography in ancient and medieval India.

Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Book One
Introductory
1.1. Purpose, Scope, Method and Utility of the Work
1.2. Nature of Historiography, Schools of Historical Thought and Writing, and Forms and Kinds of History
1.3. Changing Approaches to Indian Historiography
Book Two
The Beginnings of Historical Tradition
Preliminary Remarks
2.1. The Itihasa-Purana Tradition and Its Impact on Historiography
2.2. The Vedic Tradition
Rigvedic History
Historical Value of the Rigveda: General Views
2.3. The Epic Tradition
History in the Epics
Historical Value of the Epics: A Critical Assessment
2.4. The Puranic Tradition
Antiquity and Historicity of the Puranas
Puranic History (Puranic Tradition of Historiography)
Book Three
Buddhist and Jaina Tradition of Historiography
General Remarks
3.1. Buddhist Historiography
3.2. Jaina Historiography
Book Four
The Tradition of Writing Historical Biography
Introductory Remarks
4.1. Historical Biographies
4.2. A Critical Evaluation of Biographical Writings
Book Five
The Tradition of Writing Chronicle,
Vamshavali and Other Historical Works
General Remarks
5.1. Chronicles, Vamshavalis and other Historical Works of Northern India
Kashmir
Punjab
Sindh
Rajasthan
5.2. Chronicles and Other Historical Works of Western India
Gurjaradesha (Gujarat)
Maharashtra
5.3. Chronicles, Vamshavalis and Other Works of Eastern India
Orissa
Bengal
Assam
Manipur
Tripura
Book Six
The Tradition of Historical Writing in South India
Preliminary Remarks
6.1. Historical Writing in Tamiladesha
6.2. The Tradition of Historiography in Karnatadesha
6.3. Historical Writing in Andhradesha
6.4. Historiography in Kerala
Book Seven
Chronological Tradition
Prefatory Remarks
7.1. The Puranic Tradition of Chronology
7.2. Chronological System in the time of Candragupta Maurya
7.3. The Buddhist Tradition of Chronology
7.4. The Jaina Tradition of Chronology
7.5. Eras and Their Historical and Chronological Significance
Conclusions and Observations
General Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
avatar-author
1942
G.P. Singh, Prof. of History at the University of Manipur, Imphal, has researched different aspects of ancient Indian history and culture over the past three decades. He has contributed numerous papers to national and international journals. His works that include The Kiratas in Ancient India: A Historical Study of their Life, Culture and Civilisation; Political Thought in Ancient India; Early Indian Historical Tradition and Archaeology; Republics, Kingdoms, Towns and Cities in Ancient India; and Ancient Indian Historiography, have won the acclaim of scholars in the field. In 1989, Dr. Singh was elected the Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, London. He has been recently nominated a member of Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi.
Books of G.P. Singh