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Trade in Early India

Ranabir Chakravarti (Editor)
Synopsis This collection of fifteen essays and extracts by some of the leading scholars of early Indian history underlines the significance of trade in the social, political, economic, and cultural development of the subcontinent. The essays cover the period from the third millennium BC to c. AD 1300. They reflect the changing perspectives, methodologies, and approaches to the study of early Indian trade. The contributors focus on not only trade and economic activities but also consider allied social and political developments such as agriculture, urbanization, state formation, mediums of exchange (including coins), and cultural exchanges. The essays span a long chronological period and they also cover a wide methodological and historiographical spectrum. The selections included here cast a new light on many old debates on the nature of early Indian society and economy, challenging the reader to reassess received wisdom and stereotypes. In his introduction, the editor provides a useful overview of the historiography of early Indian trade. He examines the existence of different levels of exchange-related activities, trade being only one among these. He discusses the social attitude to trade and traders in early India. Trade, traders, and trade centres are not perceived as undifferentiated categories but are treated in the light of the changes and continuity in early Indian history. However, the editor does not argue for the linear development of economic life, which supposedly moved from simple exchange to complex marketplace trade. He places the long and well-established tradition of India’s maritime trade in the broader context of the Indian Ocean network".
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About the author

Ranabir Chakravarti

Ranabir Chakravarti , Professor of Ancient History, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, specializes in the social and economic history of early India, with a particular interest in India’s maritime trade in the Indian Ocean during the AD 1500-period. His publications include A Sourcebook of Indian Civilization, Hyderabad, 2000 (one of the Associate Editors), Trade in Early India (edited), New Delhi, 2001, Trade and Traders in Early Indian Society, New Delhi, 2007, (second ed.) and Indo-Judaic Studies in the Twenty-first Century: A View from the Margins, (one of the Editors) New York, 2007. A regular contributor to international research journals, Chakravarti has also authored/edited three books in Bangla.

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Bibliographic information

Title Trade in Early India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195647955
length 140+18p., 22cm.
Subjects History