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The Kautiliya Arthasastra

S.R. Goyal (Author)
Synopsis The present monograph the Kautiliya Arthasastra: Its Author, Date and Relevance for the Maurya Period throws much new light on the problems connected with the study of the Arthasastra. Its author Professor S.R. Goyal believes that Vishnugupta Kautilya who wrote the Arthasastra was different from Chanakya and that the former was a staunch Brahmana while the latter was a Jaina by faith. This separation of the individualities of Chanakya and Kautilya makes its necessary to study the Arthasastra afresh. Professor Goyal has also for the first time suggested the need of determining the inner chronology of the Arthasastra which implies that the problem of the date of Kautilya should not be confused with the date of the material used by him much of which could have come down to him from earlier times. In the light of these suggestions the author has studied afresh several aspects of the Arthasastric material, specially those connected with the religious condition, state capitalism, law of succession, provision for emergency taxes, administrative terms, numismatic data, etc. His suggestion that the history of the meaning of the term mahamatra proves almost indubitably that the Arthasastra was composed in the post-Maurya period, is of great interest. The comparison of Kautilya with Megasthenes on the one hand and with Machiavelli on the other is on new lines and is bound to suggest fresh ideas to the researchers.
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About the author

S.R. Goyal

Professor S.R. Goyal is the retired Professor and Head, Department of History, J.N.V. University, Jodhpur. Described as ‘one of the five best recent historians of ancient India’ by Professor David N. Lorenzen, the great Mexican Orientalist, Professor Goyal combines all the qualities associated with scientific scholarship. He has authored more than thirty voluminous works and over 150 research papers which cover so diverse fields as political history, religious history, literature, biographies, numismatics and epigraphy. He was honoured with the General Presidentship of the Silver Jubilee Congress of the Epigraphical Society of India held at Udupi in 1999 and was elected the Honorary Fellow of the Soceity. His doctoral thesis, A History of the Imperial Guptas (1967), was acclaimed as ‘the best analysis of the Gupta period which I have ever read’ by Professor A.L. Basham (National Professor of Australia) and as ‘imaginative’, ‘well-written’ and ‘a model of historiography’ by Professor Eleanor Zelliot (Minnesota, U.S.A.). The various theories propounded in it are described by Professor R.C. Majumdar as ‘deserving very careful consideration’. Among his other major works are included three corpus-like volumes on ancient Indian inscriptions, two volumes respectively on Kautilya and Megasthenes, a three volume authoritative study of ancient Indian history in about two thousand pages, a three volume study of ancient Indian numismatics, and four volumes on great rulers of ancient India. Professor Goyal is deeply involved with the study of the history of Indian religions. He has published two volumes entitled A Religious History of Ancient India (Vol. I, 1984; Vol. II, 1986), Harsha and Buddhism (1986) and A History of Indian Buddhism (1987). All these works of his have been highly acclaimed and admired both in India and abroad. Professor Goyal has been honoured with several Festschrifts, including Reappraising Gupta History for S.R. Goyal (ed. By Professor B.Ch. Chhabra et al) and S.R. Goyal: His Multidimensional Historiography (ed. By Professor Jagannath Agrawal and Dr. Shankar goyal). A four volume Festschrift in his honour entitled Sriramabhinandam (Reconstructing Indian History for S.R. Goyal) has recently been published).

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Bibliographic information

Title The Kautiliya Arthasastra
Author S.R. Goyal
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2000
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
length xvi+188p., Bibliography; Index; 23cm.