In India, historical writing was a tradition that evolved in different ways in the ancient, medieval and modern periods of history. Several traditions of historiography evolved during the centuries. This volume is an attempt to present a systematic and comprehensive history of historical writing in ancient and medieval India based on many original sources and works written in the modern times.
A well-researched, painstaking study, the book broadly discusses the beginnings of historical tradition, Buddhist and Jain traditions of historiography, and writing of historical biography, chronicles, vamsavali and other historical works, as well as the tradition of historical writing in South India. One of its main concerns is to bring out the contributions of people of different religions to the evolution of the tradition of historiography. It sheds light on the historical and semi-historical works of ancient and medieval historians of Indians to dispel the argument that ancient Indians had no tradition of historiography. It shows that ancient Indians had indeed a clear conception and perception of history, taking history as the soul of the nation. It states that conscious of the fact that the culture and civilisation of a country got reflected through its history, they took pains to preserve the historical records of the past.
The book will prove extremely useful to fill the vacuum existing in our knowledge about historians and historiography in ancient and medieval India.
The author, Dr G.P. Singh, is Emeritus Professor of History, University of Manipur, Imphal. He is a former Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, London and has been associated with the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. He has authored a number of works on Indian history, historiography and culture. Some of his prestigious works include Early Indian Historical Tradition and Archaeology; Facets of Ancient Indian History and Culture: New Perception; Ancient Indian Historiography: Sources and Interpretations; Republics, Kingdoms, Towns and Cities in Ancient India; Historicity of Rama and Krsna: Literary, Historical, Archaeological and Scientific Perspectives and Historical Researches into some Aspects of the Culture and Civilisation of North-east India.
THERE was, of course, continuity in the tradition of historical writing in India, but the trend of its evolution in ancient, medieval and modern periods was different from each other. Several traditions of historiography evolved in our country during the periods.
The object of this volume is to present a systematic and comprehensive history of historical writing in ancient and medieval India based on original sources and modern works. Some portions of my earlier work, Ancient Indian Historiography: Sources and Interpretations, have been reproduced in the volume with modifications and additions in the light of my further study and research in the subject and connected with further details of historiography in medieval India so as to provide a coherent/cohesive picture of the subject. An attempt has been made as far as possible to disentangle legends from authentic history.
The present work is an outcome of my research carried out over the past two decades in the subject. It is for the readers to judge as to how far I have succeeded in achieving my object.
I would like to express my indebtedness to all those scholars whose works I have utilised in this volume.
This work will, I believe, be of immense use to those interested in the study of the evolution of Indian historiography.
The subject dealt with here is vast and complicated. I am, however, conscious of the limitation of my knowledge of it.
The present author craves the readers' indulgence for any deficiencies or discrepancies that may be discernible to their eyes, although no pains have been spared to make the presentation of the subject accurate and perfect.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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