Political History of Ancient India (1938)


Political History of Ancient India (1938)


Title: Political history of ancient India, from the accession of Parikshit to the extinction of the Gupta dynasty.

Author: Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri

Publisher: University of Calcutta Press, 1938. Very scarce.

Condition: Hardcover, white cloth, some wear and fraying overall, some soiling, internally very good.

From the preface to the first edition of 1923:

he object of the following pages is to sketch the
political history of Ancient India from the accession
of Parikshit to the extinction of the Gupta Dynasty.
The idea of the work suggested itself many years ago
from observing a tendency in some of the current books
to dismiss the history of the period from the Bharata
war to the rise of Buddhism as incapable of arrangement
in definite chronological order. The author’s aim has
been to present materials for an authentic chronological
history of Ancient India, including the neglected Post-
Bharata period, but excluding the Epoch of the Kanauj
Empires which properly falls within the domain of the
historian of Mediaeval India.

The volume now offered to the public consists of two
parts. In the first part an attempt has been made to
furnish, from a comparison of the Vedic, Epic, Puranic,
Jaina, Buddhist and secular Brahmanical literature,
such a narrative of the political vicissitudes of the Post-
Parikshita-pre-Bimbisarian period as may not be less
intelligible to the reader than Dr. Smith’s account of the
transactions of the Post-Bimbisarian age It has also
been thought expedient to append, towards the end of
this part, a short chapter on kingship in the Brahmana-
Jataka period. The purpose of the second part is to
provide a history of the period from Bimbisara to the
Guptas which will be, to a certain extent, more up to date,
if less voluminous, than the classic work of Dr. Smith.

The greater part of the volume now published was
written some years ago, and the author has not had
the opportunity to discuss some of the novel theories
advanced in recent works like The Cambridge History of
India, and Mr. Pargiter’s Ancient Indian HUtorioal

The writer of these pages otters his tribute of respect
to the Hon’ble Sir Asutosh Mookerjee for providing
opportunities for study which render it possible for a
young learner to carry on investigation in the subject
of his choice. To Professor D. R. Bhandarkar the
author is grateful for the interest taken in the prog
of the work. His acknowledgments are also due to
Messrs. Girindramohan Sarkar and Rameschandra
Raychaudhuri for their assistance in preparing the
Indexes. Lastly, this preface cannot be closed without a
word of thanks to Mr. A. C. Ghatak, the Superintendent,
for his help in piloting the work through the Press.

H. C. R.

July 16, 1923.