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Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape

Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India

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Elizabeth A. Cecil

In Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape: Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India, Elizabeth A. Cecil explores the sacred geography of the earliest community of Śiva devotees called the Pāśupatas. This book brings the narrative cartography of the Skandapurāṇa into conversation with physical landscapes, inscriptions, monuments, and icons in order to examine the ways in which Pāśupatas were emplaced in regional landscapes and to emphasize the use of material culture as media through which notions of belonging and identity were expressed. By exploring the ties between the formation of early Pāśupata communities and the locales in which they were embedded, this study reflects critically upon the ways in which community building was coincident with place-making in Early Medieval India.

How the Brahmins Won

From Alexander to the Guptas

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Johannes Bronkhorst

This is the first study to systematically confront the question how Brahmanism, which was geographically limited and under threat during the final centuries BCE, transformed itself and spread all over South and Southeast Asia. Brahmanism spread over this vast area without the support of an empire, without the help of conquering armies, and without the intermediary of religious missionaries. This phenomenon has no parallel in world history, yet shaped a major portion of the surface of the earth for a number of centuries. This book focuses on the formative period of this phenomenon, roughly between Alexander and the Guptas.

Harima Fudoki

A Record of Ancient Japan Reinterpreted, Translated, Annotated, and with Commentary

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Edwina Palmer

Harima Fudoki, dated to 714CE, is one of Japan’s earliest extant written records. It is a rich account of the people, places, natural resources and stories in the Harima region of western Japan. Produced by the government as a tool for Japan’s early state formation, Harima Fudoki includes important myths of places and gods from a different perspective to the contemporaneous ‘national’ chronicles. This document is an essential primary source for all who are interested in ancient Japan.
In this new critical edition, Palmer draws upon recent research into the archaeology, history, orality and literature of ancient Japan to reinterpret this hitherto little-known document. Palmer’s insightful commentary contextualizes the Harima tales for the first time in English.