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Ancient Indian Heritage Varahamihira's India ( In 2 Volumes)

 
Ajay Mitra Shastri (Author)
Synopsis Though the great worth of old texts as a source of cultural history is widely acknowledged, astrological writings are generally supposed to be deficient in this respect. The erroneousness of the notion will be best illustrated by a glance at the present work dwelling from this angle upon the priceless historical data enshrined in the treatises of Varahamihira, one of the most celebrated astronomers-astrologers that India is justly proud of. His writings afford precious information on practically every aspect of life one can think of and happen to contain the earliest extant datable treatment of several topics in the absence of earlier texts dealing with them which were eclipsed by the comprehensiveness of his works. The present book takes a critical view of all the information afforded by them objectively in a historical perspective, checking, corroborating and supplementing it from contemporary literary and archaeological sources and highlighting the antecedents and subsequent ramifications in many a case where found imperative. The topics dealt with include, inter alia, historical geography, iconography, idol worship. Indra's festival and other religious rituals and practices, varieties of necklaces, perfumery and other items of toilet and personal adornment comprehending hair-dyes, tooth-sticks, umbrellas, chowries and betel-chewing, agricultural and horticultural practices, gem industry and trade, role of astrology in everyday life, civil and religious architecture, plasters, sculpture, iconometry, earlier literature on a variety of topics much of which is now known only from Varahamihira's works, genesis of the name Varahamihira, Jovian cycles of twelve and sixty years, meteorology and rainfall, and location of sub-soil water-resources. Thus, this happens to be perhaps the only work presenting critically at one place so much information on so many diverse topics of interest to students of geography, religious history, cosmetics, jewel industry and trade, agriculture and horticulture, civil and religious architecture, meteorology and hydrology.
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About the author

Ajay Mitra Shastri

Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri (b. 1934), a reputed historian, epigraphist, numismatist and indologist, has retired recently as Professor of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology from Nagpur University. A former Editor of the Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, he is currently Editor of the Numismatic Digest. Formerly Chairman of the Indian Coin Society, he is now Vice-Chairman of the Epigraphical Society of India, Convener of the Inscriptions of India, Programme of the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, and Chairman of the Advisory Board (Ancient Period) and as such a member of the National Commission for History of Science, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi. Professor Shastri has been Sectional President of the Indian History Congress (1978), Andhra Pradesh History Congress (1980), Maharashtra Itihas Parishad (1986) and the All-India Oriental Conference (1994) and General President of the Numismatic Society of India (1981), Epigraphical Society of India (1987), Third International Colloquium of 'Coinage, Trade and Economy at the Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies, Nasik, Tamil Nadu Numismatic Society, Indian History and Culture Society (1991), the Vidvat Parishad of the Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti (1994), South Indian Numismatic Society (1997), Member of the History panel of the University Grants Commission (1980-82), UGC National Lecturer (1985) and UGC National Fellow (1987-89) and is currently UGC Emeritus Fellow. He has been felicitated by the Numismatic Society of India with its Akbar Silver Medal (1984) and Altekar Gold Medal (1995); presented with a plaque of honour by the Coin Study Circle, Calcutta (1989), a copper-plate by the Epigraphical Society of India (1992), James Campbell Memorial Gold Medal by the Asiatic Society of Bombey (1996), Jijamata Vidvat Puraskar of the Chhatrapati Pratishthan, Nagpur (1997) and honoured with a couple of festschrifts: one published from Indore (1988) and the other in two tomes from Delhi (1989). He has also delivered numerous prestigious endowment lectures.

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Bibliographic information

Title Ancient Indian Heritage Varahamihira's India ( In 2 Volumes)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1996
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 817305083X
length xxiv+266p.; xiv+267-573p., 25cm.
Subjects History