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Studies in Ancient Indian : A Social History of the Lower Order Dawn to c A D 600

Ram Sharan Sharma (Author)
Synopsis Sudras in Ancient India tries to show how the labouring class in ancient times came to be known as sudras. It explores their social and economic relations with the members of the higher varnas. It also tries to tackle several other problems: Was ancient Indian society a slave society? How far did the ritual status of the sudras correspond to their economic status? How did the vaisyas come to be reduced to the level of the sudras and the sudras placed on a par with the vaisyas? What accounts for the proliferation of the servile orders in Gupta and post-Gupta times? Why were social revolts comparatively absent in ancient India? Although the study hinges on the history of the sudras, it also works out a framework for the history of social differentiation and marks the main stages in the evolution of ancient Indian society. Since social history cannot be studied without appreciating material life at various stages, the impact of settled agricultural life, thriving trade, and land grants on the social formation has been examined and its implications for occupational and territorial mobility discussed. Comparisons have also been made with the developments in other ancient societies and also with tribal practices and institutions known to anthropology.
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About the author

Ram Sharan Sharma

R.S. Sharma is Professor Emeritus of History at Patna University. He has earlier taught at Delhi (1973-85) and Toronto Universities. He was also the first chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research.

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Bibliographic information

Title Studies in Ancient Indian : A Social History of the Lower Order Dawn to c A D 600
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 8120807065
length xix+384p., Append.; Bibliography; Index
Subjects History