Greater Magadha

Studies in the Culture of Early India


Greater Magadha, roughly the eastern part of the Gangetic plain of northern India, has so far been looked upon as deeply indebted to Brahmanical culture. Religions such as Buddhism and Jainism are thought of as derived, in one way or another, from Vedic religion. This belief is defective in various respects. This book argues for the importance and independence of Greater Magadha as a cultural area until a date close to the beginning of the Common Era. In order to correct the incorrect notions, two types of questions are dealt with: questions pertaining to cultural and religious dependencies, and questions relating to chronology. As a result a modified picture arises that also has a bearing on the further development of Indian culture.

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Biographical Note

Johannes Bronkhorst, Ph.D. (1979) University of Poona, doctorate (1980) University of Leiden, is Professor of Sanskrit and Indian studies at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). He has published extensively on Indian thought in its various manifestations.

Review Quotes

'Professor Bronkhorst's book is a valuable contribution that will stimulate debate among scholars and students and encourage them to re-examine ideas about the nature of Early Indian culture that are often taken for granted.'
Richard Fynes, De Montfort University, Leicester, Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. 1:1

'[…] this book provides a thought provoking interpretation of the early history of India. It is meticulously researched, well written, well argued, and ampy annotated book. […] rich and rewarding.'
K.T.S. Sarao, Orientalische Literaturzeitung 103/2 (2008)


All those interested in Indian studies (history, religion, archaeology, etc.), religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

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