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Rolf Bauer

The Peasant Production of Opium in Nineteenth-Century India is a pioneering work about the more than one million peasants who produced opium for the colonial state in nineteenth-century India. Based on a profound empirical analysis, Rolf Bauer not only shows that the peasants cultivated poppy against a substantial loss but he also reveals how they were coerced into the production of this drug. By dissecting the economic and social power relations on a local level, this study explains how a triangle of debt, the colonial state’s power and social dependencies in the village formed the coercive mechanisms that transformed the peasants into opium producers. The result is a book that adds to our understanding of peasant economies in a colonial context.

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Swarupa Gupta

In Cultural Constellations, Place-Making and Ethnicity in Eastern India, c. 1850-1927, Swarupa Gupta outlines a fresh paradigm moving beyond stereotypical representations of eastern India as a site of ethnic fragmentation. The book traces unities by exploring intersections between (1) cultural constellations; (2) place-making and (3) ethnicity.
Centralising place-making, it tells the story of how people made places, mediating caste / religious / linguistic contestations. It offers new meanings of ‘region’ in Eastern Indian and global contexts by showing how an interregional arena comprising Bengal, Assam and Orissa was forged.
Using historical tracts, novels, poetry and travelogues, the book argues that commonalities in Eastern India were linked to imaginings of Indian nationhood. The analysis contains interpretive strategies for mediating federalist separatisms and fragmentation in contemporary India.

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Ghulam A. Nadri

In The Political Economy of Indigo in India, 1580-1930: A Global Perspective Ghulam A. Nadri explores the dynamics of the indigo industry and trade from a long-term perspective and examines the local and global forces that affected the potentialities of production in India and elsewhere and caused periods of boom and slump in the industry. Using the commodity chains conceptual framework he examines the stages in the trajectory of indigo from production to consumption.
Nadri shows convincingly that the growth or decline in indigo production and trade in India was a part of the global processes of production, trade, and consumption and that indigo as a global commodity was embedded in the politics of empire and colonial expansion.

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.

The Mughal Padshah

A Jesuit Treatise on Emperor Jahangir’s Court and Household

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Jorge Flores

In The Mughal Padshah Jorge Flores offers both a lucid English translation and the Portuguese original of a previously unknown account of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-1627). Probably penned by the Jesuit priest Jerónimo Xavier in 1610-11, the Treatise of the Court and Household of Jahangir Padshah King of the Mughals reads quite differently than the usual missionary report. Surviving in four different versions, this text reveals intriguing insights on Jahangir and his family, the Mughal court and its political rituals, as well as the imperial elite and its military and economic strength. A comprehensive introduction situates the Treatise in the ‘disputed’ landscape of European accounts on Mughal India, as well as illuminates the actual conditions of production and readership of such a text between South Asia and the Iberian Peninsula.

Annexation and the Unhappy Valley

The Historical Anthropology of Sindh’s Colonization

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Matthew A. Cook

Annexation and the Unhappy Valley: The Historical Anthropology of Sindh’s Colonization addresses the nineteenth century expansion and consolidation of British colonial power in the Sindh region of South Asia. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach and employs a fine-grained, nuanced and situated reading of multiple agents and their actions. It explores how the political and administrative incorporation of territory (i.e., annexation) by East India Company informs the conversion of intra-cultural distinctions into socio-historical conflicts among the colonized and colonizers. The book focuses on colonial direct rule, rather than the more commonly studied indirect rule, of South Asia. It socio-culturally explores how agents, perspectives and intentions vary—both within and across regions—to impact the actions and structures of colonial governance.

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Edited by Kenneth G. Zysk

In The Indian System of Human Marks, Zysk offers a literary history of the Indian system of knowledge, which details divination by means of the marks on the bodies of both men and women. In addition to a historical analysis, the work includes texts and translations of the earliest treatises in Sanskrit. This is followed by a detailed philological analysis of the texts and annotations to the translations.
The history follows the Indian system’s evolution from its roots in ancient Mesopotamian collections of omen on the human body to modern-day practice in Rajasthan in the north and Tamilnadu in the south. A special feature of the book is Zysk’s edition and translation of the earliest textual collection of the system in the Gargīyajyotiṣa from the 1st century CE. The system of human marks is one of the few Indian textual sources that links ancient India with the antique cultures of Mesopotamia and Greece.

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Melia Belli Bose

In Royal Umbrellas of Stone: Memory, Politics, and Public Identity in Rajput Funerary Art, Melia Belli Bose provides the first analysis of Rajput chatrīs ("umbrellas"; cenotaphs) built between the sixteenth to early-twentieth centuries. New kings constructed chatrīs for their late fathers as statements of legitimacy. During periods of political upheaval patrons introduced new forms and decorations to respond to current events and evoke a particular past. Offering detailed analyses of individual cenotaphs and engaging with art historical and epigraphic evidence, as well as ethnography and ritual, this book locates the chatrīs within their original social, political, and religious milieux. It also compares the chatrīs to other Rajput arts to understand how arts of different media targeted specific audiences.

Herrschergenealogie und religiöses Patronat

Die Inschriftenkultur der Rāṣṭrakūṭas, Śilāhāras und Yādavas (8. bis 13. Jahrhundert).

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Annette Schmiedchen

In Herrschergenealogie und religiöses Patronat, Annette Schmiedchen analyses some 250 inscriptions from the time of the early medieval royal dynasties of the Rāṣṭrakūṭas, Śilāhāras, and Yādavas, who reigned in central India from the 8th to the 13th centuries. The information derived from copper-plate charters and stone inscriptions primarily consists of genealogies of the ruling kings as well as of data regarding their religious foundations and endowments and the donations of other members of society.
Annette Schmiedchen shows how genealogical accounts were modified to legitimize individual claims to power, and she convincingly proves that the 10th and 11th centuries were a period of religious change, which witnessed a shift in patronage patterns and a closer link between Vedic Brahmanism and Hindu temple worship.

The Skandapurāṇa Volume IIb

Adhyāyas 31-52. The Vāhana and Naraka Cycles

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Edited by Hans Bakker, Yuko Yokochi and Peter Bisschop

Skandapurāṇa IIb presents a critical edition of Adhyāyas 31-52 from the Skandapurāṇa, with an introduction and English synopsis. The text edited in this volume includes central myths of early Śaivism, such as the destruction of Dakṣa's sacrifice and Śiva acquiring the bull for his vehicle. Also included is an extensive description of the thirteen hells (Naraka).