In this engaging narrative the author provides a comprehensive and accessible account of the history of early India. Beginning with a discussion on frameworks of the writing of history the book sheds light on the origins and growth of civilizations, empires, and religions. It covers the geographical, ecological, and linguistic backgrounds, and looks at specific cultures of the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Vedic periods, as well as at the Harappan civilization.
The author discusses the rise of Jainism and Buddhism, Magadha and the beginning of territorial states. The period of Mauryas, Central Asian countries, Satvahanas, Guptas, and Harshavardhana are also analyzed. He highlights important phenomena such as the varna system, urbanization, commerce and trade, developments in science and philosophy, and cultural legacy. He also examines the process of transition from Ancient to Medieval India and addresses topical issues such as the origin of the Aryan culture.
This insightful and lucidly written book, by one of the best-known scholars of ancient India, will be indispensable for students and teachers of ancient Indian history courses.
'The narrative is highly readable, demarcating the major periods of social formation, political and cultural evolution, underlying which is a judicious use of all available sources and their relative importance for each period.' -R . Champakalakshmi, Economic and Political Weekly
R. S. Sharma R.S. Sharma is Professor Emeritus, Patna University, and the Founder Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research.