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The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline

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Illustrations Preface The Historical Perspective Primitive Life & Prehistory The First Cities The Aryans From Tribe to Society State & Religion in Greater Magadha Towards Feudalism Index


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Illustrations Preface The Historical Perspective Primitive Life & Prehistory The First Cities The Aryans From Tribe to Society State & Religion in Greater Magadha Towards Feudalism Index

54 review for The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    Back in the nineties I was befriended by an Indian couple studying in the area and living here in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. The wife, a student of cultural anthropology at the University of Chicago, recommended Kosambi's Ancient India as a good introduction to a subject I knew little about, noting that he was a bit of a Marxist. What I found most interesting, even inspiring, about this readable text was his exposition of the birth and growth of Buddhism. Back in the nineties I was befriended by an Indian couple studying in the area and living here in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. The wife, a student of cultural anthropology at the University of Chicago, recommended Kosambi's Ancient India as a good introduction to a subject I knew little about, noting that he was a bit of a Marxist. What I found most interesting, even inspiring, about this readable text was his exposition of the birth and growth of Buddhism.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Blessy Abraham

    Is it possible to be so bored with a book that you are glad when you are finally done with it. I found reading DD Kosambi's The Culture and Civilization of Ancient India, a huge trial. I was genuinely surprised at my disinterest as this is not thick book and has fairly interesting ideas. Moreover any book on India antiquity is always exciting to read. So I guess I was slightly surprised by how much I wanted this book to get over. Personally for me, this is not one of those books that has survive Is it possible to be so bored with a book that you are glad when you are finally done with it. I found reading DD Kosambi's The Culture and Civilization of Ancient India, a huge trial. I was genuinely surprised at my disinterest as this is not thick book and has fairly interesting ideas. Moreover any book on India antiquity is always exciting to read. So I guess I was slightly surprised by how much I wanted this book to get over. Personally for me, this is not one of those books that has survived the tides of time (It was written in 1965). The author presents some interesting ideas about equating caste with various class groups but does not expound in detail about his views. Mostly his focus is on how Brahmins shaped and directed the caste structures by assimilating non-Vedic tribal groups within the new order, and how this led to the rise of new class structures. All of these based Kosambi's reading of textual and epigraphic evidence. Though this is meant to be a more deeper take on structural transformations occurring in Ancient India, it is still weird how much of an inert role Kosambi gives to the role of other caste groups whose everyday lives is now much better understood through new and better understanding of archaeological evidence. I guess this is why it feels so extremely weird to read Kosambi's book in present times as one can feel how much the studying and research of Indian prehistory and antiquity has changed. This also makes the book extremely hard to relate and it seems more interesting to explore the intellectual world of DD Kosambi that brought forth some of his interesting concepts. Nonetheless I had one big issue with the book. Kosambi has the strangest ideas about present and ancient tribal groups. Though he admits 'race' to be a construct, he has absolutely no problem in using racial categories to stereotype tribals as people who have chosen to remain out of the civilizing process and remain prehistoric in mentality. One can certainly feel the influence on colonial understandings of tribal groups in India, greatly influencing Kosambi's own ideas. #ddkosambi

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rajesh Rajamohan

    Kosambi brings a lot of light onto the suffocatingly mute history of 5000 years of human experience in subcontinent. He draws an outline from ancient cave dwellers to the tribes and then to feudal communities thriving even now across the land in the speculative language of a doubter. I will use his template to get a sense of human landscape over the ages. Hopefully there will be more and more serious research and analysts to discover the Indian mind which had been lost in the several dark ages be Kosambi brings a lot of light onto the suffocatingly mute history of 5000 years of human experience in subcontinent. He draws an outline from ancient cave dwellers to the tribes and then to feudal communities thriving even now across the land in the speculative language of a doubter. I will use his template to get a sense of human landscape over the ages. Hopefully there will be more and more serious research and analysts to discover the Indian mind which had been lost in the several dark ages befallen on it. contd...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    Kosambi provides a beautiful outline and seeks to tell the stories of the common man. He is magnificently blunt in many areas, and he really focuses on the cultural and religious flow of pre-Feudal India. What is also noteworthy is that he bases everything on physical evidence or proper conjecture thereof. It is also wonderful that he is not shy to provide sweeping analysis and make some generalizations that help succinctly explain ancient India. I would definitely recommend this book to anybody Kosambi provides a beautiful outline and seeks to tell the stories of the common man. He is magnificently blunt in many areas, and he really focuses on the cultural and religious flow of pre-Feudal India. What is also noteworthy is that he bases everything on physical evidence or proper conjecture thereof. It is also wonderful that he is not shy to provide sweeping analysis and make some generalizations that help succinctly explain ancient India. I would definitely recommend this book to anybody and truly appreciate the accurate, thoughtful, and beautifully written history Kosambi has provided us.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zahen Khan

    Kosambi's historiography is a bit outdated, but his perspective is insightful and somewhat balanced. The book ascribes to Aryan Invasion Theory, which has since been debunked. There are also hints of an anti-India colonial narrative, which Kosambi does well to temper but nevertheless surfaces on occasion. For example, he characterizes the Arthashastra as an amoral, if not immoral, political treatise, when in fact the text is strongly normative, setting it apart from both The Prince and The Art of Kosambi's historiography is a bit outdated, but his perspective is insightful and somewhat balanced. The book ascribes to Aryan Invasion Theory, which has since been debunked. There are also hints of an anti-India colonial narrative, which Kosambi does well to temper but nevertheless surfaces on occasion. For example, he characterizes the Arthashastra as an amoral, if not immoral, political treatise, when in fact the text is strongly normative, setting it apart from both The Prince and The Art of War.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Suresh Nair

    A very objective book on ancient India it deals with the many facets of a civilization in a clear narrative. The standard stages of man's progress from primitive states to later stages are explained in a scholarly fashion yet not making the narrative heavy. The author clearly intends to convey the subject to the maximum readers and not just to the specialists of history and social sciences. It is a must read for every Indian. A very objective book on ancient India it deals with the many facets of a civilization in a clear narrative. The standard stages of man's progress from primitive states to later stages are explained in a scholarly fashion yet not making the narrative heavy. The author clearly intends to convey the subject to the maximum readers and not just to the specialists of history and social sciences. It is a must read for every Indian.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hem Prakas

  8. 4 out of 5

    Subhadip

  9. 5 out of 5

    N

  10. 5 out of 5

    Richa

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paloli

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heena Mehra

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sagnik Saha

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gunjan

  15. 4 out of 5

    Palak Mathur

  16. 5 out of 5

    the.little.did.i.know

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ayyapparaj

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rameshwar

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wafa Khan

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vimal

  21. 4 out of 5

    readerswords

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sheikh Tajamul

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ritika

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sambuddha Biswas

  25. 4 out of 5

    Arya

  26. 4 out of 5

    Armando Gomes

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sankar Raj

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amaresh Chitrakavi

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dhruv

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bill Tucker

  31. 5 out of 5

    Sivamaniyan

  32. 4 out of 5

    Tonyot

  33. 4 out of 5

    aswin

  34. 4 out of 5

    Ankitha

  35. 5 out of 5

    Abhishek Shandilya

  36. 4 out of 5

    Arunvithi Chaturvedi

  37. 5 out of 5

    Girish

  38. 4 out of 5

    Janki

  39. 4 out of 5

    Krishna Kumar

  40. 5 out of 5

    Sumeet

  41. 5 out of 5

    Gautam Varma

  42. 4 out of 5

    Neha Bansal

  43. 4 out of 5

    Ravi

  44. 5 out of 5

    Aayush Kumar

  45. 5 out of 5

    Sriram Jupudi

  46. 5 out of 5

    Selva

  47. 4 out of 5

    Ram

  48. 4 out of 5

    Prasad Hassan

  49. 5 out of 5

    Shilpa

  50. 5 out of 5

    Asmaa Eissa

  51. 4 out of 5

    Jitendra Desai

  52. 5 out of 5

    Shebaz

  53. 4 out of 5

    Prabhu Rajan

  54. 5 out of 5

    Murali Krishna Chaitanya Podile

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