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Singh, Ram Chandra Prasad (1957) Kingship in Northern India, (cir. 600 A.D.-1200 A.D.). PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The present work is a study of kingship in its different aspects in Northern India from A.D. 600 to 1200. After a brief introduction the thesis considers the complications of the Sanskrit word rajya which has been generally accepted as meaning State; it is here suggested that the word stands for monarchical government. An examination of the concept of Indian kingship and its comparison with the doctrines of Dante follow. Several doctrines of the origin of kingship existed in Early India, but only the doctrines of divine and magical origin appear to have survived in our period. An analysis of the available materials shows that the divinity of the king was both claimed and recognised. It is shown in the fourth chapter that the typical ruler of our period possessed political, economic, social, religious, judicial and military powers and acted independently of his councillors. These characteristics of Indian kings are comparable with those of the absolute monarch of Aristotle. Therefore it is contended that absolute monarchy prevailed in our period. In the fifth chapter the royal duties both in theory and practice are dealt with, and we show that the performance of these duties depended upon the character of the king. The chapter concludes by demonstrating that there was no effective check on the negligent king. Chapter six is devoted to the study of the problem of the ultimate ownership of land, and on the evidence of literary, epigraphic and foreign accounts it is suggested that the king was looked on as the owner of the soil. Our final chapter deals with the foreign relations of the king. It is shown that friendly and peaceful relations with other kings were often advocated in theory, but in fact the policy of 'blood and iron' dominated international affairs. In the conclusion we compare Indian kingship with that of Islam, and consider its possible contribution to the weak resistance of the Hindus to the Muslim invaders.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:18

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