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How India Clothed the World

The World of South Asian Textiles, 1500-1850


Edited by Giorgio Riello and Tirthankar Roy

Cloth has always been the most global of all traded commodities. It is an illuminating example of the circulation of goods, skills, knowledge and capital across wide geographic spaces. South Asia has been central to the making of these global exchanges over time. This volume presents innovative research that explores the dynamic ways in which diverse textile production and trade regions generated the ’first globalization’. A series of experts connect this global commodity with the dramatic political and economic transformations that characterised the Indian Ocean in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Collectively, the essays transform our understanding of the contribution of South Asian cloth to the making of the modern world economy.

The Paippalādasaṃhitā of the Atharvaveda

A New Edition with Translation and Commentary


Arlo Griffiths

This work presents a new edition of two kāṇḍas ("books") of the Paippalādasaṃhitā, generally considered to be among the most important Vedic texts, yet still only partially available in published form. In so doing, it aims to provide a model for future first and new editions of other kāṇḍas. The edition constituted in this work is a new edition, that constitutes a major improvement on the editio princeps, including dozens of improved readings, providing a more methodical presentation of the transmitted manuscript evidence, and based on a more representative sample of manuscripts. General editorial deliberations are laid down in an elaborate Introduction, which explains and justifies the methodology that has been adopted; specific editorial problems are addressed in an elaborate philological commentary. All passages edited or cited in the commentary have been translated. The work is completed with a complete index verborum to the two edited kāṇḍas and an index locorum of Paippalādasaṃhitā passages cited in the commentary.

Kuladatta's Kriyāsaṃgrahapañjikā

A Critical Edition and Annotated Translations of Selected Sections


Ryugen Tanemura

A critical edition and annotated translations of selected sections.


Theo Damsteegt

The Present Tense in Modern Hindi Fiction contributes to the interpretation of Hindi prose by analysing the use of the present tense in over 250 texts. While sketching the history of the present tense in Hindi fiction, the book focuses primarily on the narrative techniques that invite its use, such as interior monologue, free indirect discourse, consonant psycho-narration, and camera eye. Moreover, it offers a fresh interpretation of the two types of present tense found in Hindi. The indexes of authors, titles, and analytical concepts provide easy access to the analyses.

The book will also be of interest to scholars studying the use of the present tense in modern fiction worldwide. The present tense is used more widely in Hindi than in languages such as English, and some trends that are also found in the literatures of other languages (such as the occurrence of the present tense in internal sensory focalisation) are more clearly visible in Hindi fiction. More importantly, a new explanation of present-tense passages is proposed which can also be applied elsewhere. Insight into this technique, referred to as Internal Focalisation of Awareness, leads to a better understanding of present-tense texts.

The Vedas

Texts, Language and Ritual


Edited by Jan Houben and Arlo Griffiths

Based on papers from the Third International Vedic Workshop, held in Leiden in 2002, this volume explores the texts, language and ritual of the The Vedas – one of the oldest elaborate corpuses of texts in any human language. The research presented not only shares a common subject area viz. Vedic texts and the language and ritual reflected in these, but also in acceptance of the importance of the philological method in dealing with these texts, where possible supplemented by what is now known as “Vedic fieldwork” – the study of Vedic rituals in South Asia who continue and renew the ritual tradition in which they were born.

André Wink

In this volume, André Wink analyzes the beginning of the process of momentous and long-term change that came with the Islamization of the regions that the Arabs called al-Hind—India and large parts of its Indianized hinterland. In the seventh to eleventh centuries, the expansion of Islam had a largely commercial impact on al-Hind. In the peripheral states of the Indian subcontinent, fluid resources, intensive raiding and trading activity, as well as social and political fluidity and openness produced a dynamic impetus that was absent in the densely settled agricultural heartland. Shifts of power occurred, in combination with massive transfers of wealth across multiple centers along the periphery of al-Hind. These multiple centers mediated between the world of mobile wealth on the Islamic-Sino-Tibetan frontier (which extended into Southeast Asia) and the world of sedentary agriculture, epitomized by brahmanical temple Hinduism in and around Kanauj in the heartland. The growth and development of a world economy in and around the Indian Ocean—with India at its center and the Middle East and China as its two dynamic poles—was effected by continued economic, social, and cultural integration into ever wider and more complex patterns under the aegis of Islam.

Please note that Early medieval India and the expansion of Islam 7th-11th centuries was previously published by Brill in hardback (ISBN 90 04 09249 8, still available).

André Wink

During the early medieval Islamic expansion in the seventh to eleventh centuries, al-Hind (India and its Indianized hinterland) was characterized by two organizational modes: the long-distance trade and mobile wealth of the peripheral frontier states, and the settled agriculture of the heartland. These two different types of social, economic, and political organization were successfully fused during the eleventh to thirteenth centuries, and India became the hub of world trade. During this period, the Middle East declined in importance, Central Asia was unified under the Mongols, and Islam expanded far into the Indian subcontinent. Instead of being devastated by the Mongols, who were prevented from penetrating beyond the western periphery of al-Hind by the absence of sufficient good pasture land, the agricultural plains of North India were brought under Turko-Islamic rule in a gradual manner in a conquest effected by professional armies and not accompanied by any large-scale nomadic invasions. The result of the conquest was, in short, the revitalization of the economy of settled agriculture through the dynamic impetus of forced monetization and the expansion of political dominion. Islamic conquest and trade laid the foundation for a new type of Indo-Islamic society in which the organizational forms of the frontier and of sedentary agriculture merged in a way that was uniquely successful in the late medieval world at large, setting the Indo-Islamic world apart from the Middle East and China in the same centuries.

Please note that The Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest, 11th-13th Centuries was previously published by Brill in hardback (ISBN 90 04 10236 1, still available).

In Praise of Holy Men

Hagiographic Poems by and about Harirām Vyās


Heidi Pauwels

This book is a contribution to understanding the formation of religious communities as revealed by the rhetoric of hagiographical works. It studies how religious groupings legitimize themselves by affiliation with holy men, and how they go about “magining” this affiliation in songs and stories in praise of holy men.

The focus of the book is on the influential North Indian Krishna bhakti (devotional) movement of Hinduism and its multiple hagiographical strategies. It presents a case study of hagiographical works by and about Harirām Vyās, a sixteenth-century Hindu holy man or bhakta. The book includes a new scholarly edition and first-time translation of an important set of poems by Vyās in praise of several holy men, including the famous Kabīr. It also provides an edition and translations of selected hagiographical material about Vyās himself. The analysis of this little-studied material has implications for the history of Krishna devotion in particular and Hindu devotion in general, and has broader relevance for the history and phenomenology of religion.


Gudrun Bühnemann

Volume I: The Pantheon of the Mantramahodadhi focuses on the iconography of 108 deities described in the sixteenth-century Mantramahodadhi, which addresses topics related to Tantra, and specifically mantraśāstra, like the function and structure of the deity descriptions ( dhyāna) and the interpretations given to the iconographic attributes. All the deities are presented separately and each entry includes the Sanskrit text in transliteration, a literal translation and notes on the iconography, including information from other Sanskrit texts. With line drawings.
Volume II: The Pantheons of the Prapañcasāra and the Śāradātilaka compares for the first time deity descriptions extracted from different printed editions of two earlier texts, the anonymous Prapañcasāra (c. 10th century) and the Śāradātilaka (c. 10th-11th centuries). The Sanksrit text is presented with a literal translation and remarks on the iconography. A new edition and translation of important chapters (cosmogony and yoga) of the Śāradātilaka is included as appendix. With illustrations.

Kāvya in South India

Old Tamil Caṅkam Poetry


Herman Tieken

Old Tamil Caṅkam poetry consists of eight anthologies of short poems on love and war, and a treatise on grammar and poetics. The main part of this corpus has generally been dated to the first centuries AD and is believed to be the product of a native Tamil culture.

The present study argues that the poems do not describe a contemporary society but a society from the past or one not yet affected by North-Indian Sanskrit culture. Consequently the main argument for the current early dating of Caṅkam poetry is no longer valid. Furthermore, on the basis of a study of the historical setting of the heroic poems and of the role of Tamil as a literary language in the Caṅkam corpus, it is argued that the poetic tradition was developed by the Pāṇṭiyas in the ninth or tenth century.

This volume deals with the identification of the various genres of Caṅkam poetry with literary types from the Sanskrit Kāvya tradition. Counterparts have been found exclusively among Prākrit and Apabhraṁśa texts, which indicate that in Caṅkam poetry Tamil has been specifically assigned the role of a Prākrit. As such, the present study reveals the processes and attitudes involved in the development of a vernacular language into a literary idiom.