07 November, 2012

Social and Cultural History of the Punjab : Prehistoric, Ancient and Early Medieval

Social and Cultural History of the Punjab : Prehistoric, Ancient and Early Medieval

By- J.S. Grewal

The ‘Punjab’ of this book is a metaphor for the geographical region surrounded by the Himalayas, the Great Indian Desert, the Aravali Hills and the river Jamuna. During a period of about 4000 years up to ad 1000, the cultural boundaries of this region did not coincide with its geographical boundaries and there were sub-regional differences as well. There was a great deal of interaction with the outside world and between sub-regions. The socio-cultural dynamics of the region are well reflected in the different periods of its history.

Seen from the regional angle, the Harappan civilization reveals sub-regional diversities and continuation in a rural setting. The Rigvedic culture appears to be a regional rather than an ethnic articulation. The formation of states within the region and its incorporation in empires set the stage for trade and urbanization, and for new socio-cultural formations. For the first time the great importance of Buddhism in the region gets underscored. Gradually, however, it was replaced by Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism.

Changes in religious history are related to the changing contexts of polity and economy in their bearing on the social order, languages, literature and the arts. The book should be of equal interest to the student, the professional historian and the general reader.

J.S. Grewal, formerly Professor of History and then Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, is an eminent historian of the Punjab, and of medieval and modern Indian history in general.

ISBN  978-81-7304-565-3   2004   186p.   Rs.465/Pounds 35

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