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Book reviews : ROMILA THAPAR, From Lineage to State, Social Formations in the Mid-First Millennium B.C. in the Ganga Valley, Bombay, etc., Oxford University Press, 1984, 189 pp., Rs. 110

Book reviews : ROMILA THAPAR, From Lineage to State, Social Formations in the Mid-First Millennium B.C. in the Ganga Valley, Bombay, etc., Oxford University Press, 1984, 189 pp., Rs. 110

Abstract

Book reviewsROMILA THAPAR, From Lineage to State, Social Formations in the Mid-First Millennium B.C. in the Ganga Valley, Bombay, etc., Oxford University Press, 1984, 189 pp., Rs. 110 SAGE Publications, Inc.1985DOI: 10.1177/001946468502200314 J.C.Heesterman Ancient India of the first millennium B.c. has been unkind to the present-day historian. We have to wait till the third century B.C. for a spectacular outburst of clearly datable documentation-Asoka's inscriptions which show us a full-blown empire in the Mid-Ganga Valley. But after that the inscriptional record sags again into a scatter of local or regional events and dynasties which cannot even be easily dated. It is not that ancient India has not left us any records. There is in the first place the extensive corpus of Vedic texts. Then we have the older parts of the Buddhist and Jain canons. And finally there is the slow but steady growth of archaeological evidence (ably summarised by the author, especially pp. 71 ff.). However, these three sources do not easily dovetail. The Vedic texts on the one hand and the Buddhist and Jain canons on the other are worlds apart. While the Veda focuses on cattle-keeping warriors and their horse-drawn chariots, the Buddhist and Jain
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