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Ancient India: From the Origins to the XIII Century AD

Marilia Albanese (Author)
Synopsis The west has been fascinated with India since contact between the two was first made and its reactions have differed depending on the circumstances of history and the setting. The complex and, in some ways, contradictory Indian civilisation has been both an object of great interest and violent criticism. Impartial scientific observation of the country and its people has only been a recent development and still today expectations, prejudices and clich?s colour the outsider’s approach. The past still plays an important role in India and so knowledge of its ancient civilisation contributes to a better understanding of the present of this, one of the world’s largest countries. For five thousand years India has undergone constant transformation and this extraordinary continuity, almost unique in the world, is what strikes the student of its culture most forcibly. In an attempt to paint this immense geographical and temporal picture, the book has been divided into three sections: the first discusses the main events in the history of the sub-continent from the 3rd millennium BC until the arrival of the Moslems in the 12th c. AD; the second describes daily life, the social and political structures, village and city life, arts and aesthetics, the world of the sacred and the Indian approach to religion; and the third section provides a series of itineraries of the traveller to discover and enjoy some of the country’s most important artistic and religious sites. A set of superb photographs supported by short but exhaustive captions introduces the reader to a world of refined beauty that often veils allusions to an esoteric level of meaning. The text is supplemented by colour tables, drawings and black and white maps.
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About the author

Marilia Albanese

Marilia Albanese graduated with honours in Sanskrit and Indology at the department of Classical Literature at the Catholic University in Milan in June 1976 and, during the same period, studied a diploma in Hindi and Indian Culture. She is a teacher of Indian Culture at the Civic School of Oriental Cultures and Languages in Milan and Director of the Lombardy section of the Is.I.A.O. Since the end of the 1970’s she has been in charge of teaching Indian culture at a number of training schools for yoga teachers, a subject on which she has published several books. She has made many study trips to India, sometimes at the invitation of the Indian government, and has participated in various work projects, the last of which was a documentary series for Swiss television on the condition of women in India. Her studies of Indian civilization and its diffusion have also taken her to Sri Lanka and Indochina. As a freelance journalist, she is heavily involved in conferences and writes for several specialized weekly publications. She is the author of articles, essays and books and, for White Star Publications, has contributed to Splendours of the lost civilizations (1998), The great treasures: the goldsmith’s art from ancient Egypt to the 20th century (1998), The world’s greatest royal palaces (1999) and Northern India, guide to the archaeological sites (1999).

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Bibliographic information

Title Ancient India: From the Origins to the XIII Century AD
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Om Publications
Language: English
isbn 8187107057
length 296p., Maps; Tables; Plates; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 37cm.