Ancient India in Historical Outline

4th Revised Edition

D.N. Jha


Manohar Books, 2021

Language: English

246 pages

Price INR 175.00

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This is the fourth revised version of the book, which was first published in 1977. It surveys the major developments in India’s social, economic and cultural history up to the end of the ancient period and explains the rise and fall of empires with reference to their material bases. It pays special attention to elements of change and continuity and gives the lie to the view that Indian society has been stagnant and changeless, a view propagated by Western scholars in the heyday of British imperialism and which continues to be peddled ingeniously in our own times. It analyses the changing forms of exploitation and social tensions and the role of religion and superstition in curbing them. It also stresses the fact that the achievements of ancient India, remarkable though they were, cannot cover up the social and economic disparities which we have inherited from the past.

D.N. Jha

Dwijendra Narayan Jha (1940-2021), popularly known as D.N. Jha, was educated at the Presidency College, Calcutta, and Patna University where he taught history for more than a decade. He was professor of History at the University of Delhi until his retirement in 2005. He has authored several books including The Myth of the Holy Cow (London, 2002) and Rethinking Hindu Identity (London,2009) which have not gone well with India’s Right Wing establishment. Professor Jha was elected sectional President of Andhra Pradesh History Congress (1987) and General President, Punjab History Conference (1999). A UGC National lecturer (1984-5) and Honorary Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, he was secretary, Indian History Cogress (1986-9) which elected him its General President in 2005-6. A recipient of the prestigious H.K. Barpujari Award in 1995, he was honoured by the Asiatic Society of Calcutta in 2011 for his significant contributions. (2004).