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Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History

 
Romila Thapar (Author)
Synopsis In 1026, Mahmud of Ghazni raided the temple of Somanatha. The history of this raid and subsequent events at the site have been reconstructed in the last couple of centuries largely on the basis of the Turko-Persian sources. There were other sources that also refer to events at Somanatha throughout a period of almost a thousand years, but these have rarely been quoted when reconstructing this history. Until very recent times, there were few attempts to either juxtapose or integrate these other texts in order to arrive at a more complete understanding of the history of Somanatha. Such sources include local Sanskrit inscriptions, biographies of kings and merchants written from a Jaina perspective, epics of Rajput-Turkish relations composed at various Rajput courts, popular narratives of the activities of pirs and gurus, all of which, in some way, have a bearing on the history of Somanatha. This book is an attempt to draw together these many voices, to view the sources comparatively, but above all to place each narrative in a historical context. This also involves exploring why a particular, and often distinctive, perspective was adopted by each. It suggests a different history of Somanatha from the one that has been projected through the last two centuries. In underlines the significance of examining the historical perceptions of how authors present events, both in the narratives written in the past and in the interpretations of past events in present times.
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About the author
In the spotlight

Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar was born in India in 1931 and comes from a Punjabi family, spending her early years in various parts of India. She took her first degree from Punjab University and her doctorate from London University. She was appointed to a Readership at Delhi University and subsequently to the Chair in Ancient Indian History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where she is now Emeritus Professor in History. Romila Thapar is also an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and has been Visiting Professor at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania as well as the College de France in Paris. In 1983 she was elected General President of the Indian History Congress and in 1999 a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. Among her publications are Ashoka and the Decline of the Mauryas, Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations, From Lineage to State, History and Beyond, Sakuntala: Texts, Readings, Histories and Cultural Pasts: Essays on Indian History as well the children's book Indian Tales.

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Bibliographic information

Title Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History
Author Romila Thapar
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0670049824
length xii+260p.
Subjects History