Daily Life in Ancient India From Approximately 200 BC to AD 700

Item Code: IDD838
Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Jeannine Auboyer
Language: English
Edition: 1994
ISBN: 8121506328
Pages: 359 (B & W illus: 31)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0" X 6.0"
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Book Description
About the Book:

This magnum opus of Jeannine Auboyer refashions an ancient India which is not so very different from the one that we know today, a country made simultaneously of theories, principles and realities, in which the human presence is constantly visible throught he tangle of rules and rites. According to the author, though India has not produced true chronicles in the Western sense of the word, still the readers may be assured that in most everyday aspect India conforms to the image of itself that it has transmitted to us over the centuries which is an arresting one because of its multiple facets. The volume introduces the Indian life in terms of the geographical and historical background, the social structure and its religious principles, the political and administrative structure, economics and everyday life; individual and collective existence with reference to the background to regular life, the importance of religion, the individual and the family, and the monastic and ascetic life; and royal and aristocratic existence in view of urban elitism and styles, royal environment and the imperial pomp. Based on a whole series of technical or descriptive texts, storied monuments, the discoveries or archaeological excavations, numismatics, epigraphy and, in addition, contemporary chronicles by the foreigners, this well-documented volume deals brilliantly both with the traditional character of Indian civilization and with its changing patterns taking into consideration an exceptionally lengthy period, almost a thousand years, to give a necessary breadth of detail to the understanding of various historical processes through which the social fabric of India was characterized.

About the Author:

Jeannine Auboyer was the Chief Curator at Museee Guimet, Paris.




  1. The Geographical and Historical Background

  2. The Social Structure and its Religious Principle
    The brahmans
    The warrior-nobles
    The vaisyas
    The servile class
    The 'outcastes'
    The 'mixed' class
    The slaves

  3. The Political and Administrative Structure
    The State and the King
    The administrative organization of the kingdom
    Ministers and public officials
    Law and justice, crime and punishment

  4. Economics and Daily Life
    Agriculture and stock farming
    Routes and caravans
    Merchant shipping and port facilities
    Product, exports, imports
    The manual crafts
    Hunting and fishing
    The guilds
    State resources and monopolies
    Money, wages and the cost of living


  1. The Background to Daily Life
    The capital, the towns and the villages
    The rituals of construction
    The home and its furnishings
    Religious structures and sacred spots

  2. The Importance of Religion in Daily Life
    Seasonal rituals and festivals
    Popular cults, magic and superstitions

  3. The Individual and the Family
    Pregnancy and birth; infancy
    The brahmanic initiation
    Student life and teaching methods
    Betrothal and marriage
    Family life and its conventions
    The rites and customs of daily and family life
    The cares of life; debts, sickness
    Death and funeral ceremonies
    Widowhood, sati
    Inheritance and rights of succession

  4. Monastic and Ascetic Life
    The two final stages of life
    Buddhist laity and priesthood; monasteries
    The Jains


  1. City Life and fashionable Existence
    The daily routine of a young man of fashion
    Love and courtesans; prostitution and the criminal classes
    Games and gaming
    Fashionable arts, plays, sports and diversions

  2. Royal Existence and its Environment
    The royal palaces and its inhabitants
    Life in the royal harem
    The king's day

  3. The Public Life of the King : Imperial Pomp
    Royal processions and pilgrimages
    War and victory
    Solemn and imperial rites



Chronological Table



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