The Imperial Guptas and Their Times

The Imperial Guptas and Their Times

The Imperial Guptas and Their Times

The Imperial Guptas and Their Times

Synopsis

There is a hardly any period in Indian history that has engaged so much attention of scholars as the Gupta age and yet, what is known about it is not free from inaccuracy, inadequacy and controversy. The period still tempts scholars to fresh enquiries into the realm of the unknown and reevaluation of the known. It is with this two-fold object of unfolding a broader vision of history and reassessing the accumulated knowledge in a proper perspective that an objective enquiry into this 'classical' phase of Indian history has been ventured upon.

A task like this is beset with problems of great magnitude. The field, treaded upon, has already been traversed by the 'giant' historians of the present and preceding centuries. The data, whether archaeological or literary, are inadequate and vague, and, more often than not, dubious and contrary in nature. These not-too-satisfactory data are further too widely scattered to be studied in their originals even by a widely traveled investigator. Moreover, there remains the constant danger of being swayed by the infatuating professed idealism in the assessment of a historical phenomenon and deduction of a generalization to the detriment of an objective or rational approach.

The present work embodies the author's investigation, carried on strictly in consonance with the aforesaid aims and objectives, into six puzzling problems of the history of the Imperial Guptas, including the homeland of the imperial Guptas, Gupta-Licchavi entente cordiale, Kacha issue, genealogy and chronology of the Later Imperial Guptas, disintegration of the Gupta empire and agrarian relations.

In writing this monograph the author, more often than not, was overwhelmed with joy to see how deeply he owed his gratitude to his illustrious teachers like Professor D.C. Sircar, Professor N.N. Das Gupta, Professor B.C. Sen and Professor S. Chattopadhyaya who kindly taught him the lessons of Indian history. Alas! None of these revered scholars is with us at present to appreciate the merit of the work, if there be any, or to point out its limitations, which, I am sure, are quite numerous. To Professor R.S. Sharma he is indebted for the stimuli his learned writings evoke. The author is sincerely thankful to Shri Shakti Malik for the interest he has taken in publishing this work. He is, likewise, thankful to his wife Malabika, daughter Paramita and son Dipankar for their forbearance in keeping him at bay from the worries of a practical householder.

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