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Title: The political history of Northern India before and during the reign of Harsa (cir. A.D. 550-650)
Author: Devahuti
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1956
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We commence our work with an appreciation of the important indigenous and foreign sources on our subject - the works of Bana and Hsuan-tsang. Chapter two deals with the rise and growth of some important kingdoms of the period, those of the Later Guptas, the Maukharis, the Maitrakas and Sasanka, with whom the Vardhanas came into conflict to gain the supremacy of northern India. Chapter three traces the early history of the Kings of Sthaanvisvara, giving an account of Prabhakaravardhana's campaigns, the short career of Rajyavardhana, and Harsa's succession to the throne of his paternal kingdom. The next chapter discusses Harsa's achievements and set-backs in the military sphere, indicating the varying degrees of control he exercised over the different parts of his extensive empire. Chapter five, on Harsa's administration, first briefly traces the development of some important political concepts which gave to medieval Indian institutions their distinctive character. It then attempts to fill in some details in the structure, built with the help of contemporary sources, of the administrative machine, as it may have been at work in Harsa's reign. The last chapter, material for which has been obtained almost entirely from the Chinese original sources, gives an account of the diplomatic exchanges between Harsa and the T'ang emperor T'ai Tsung, as well as a glimpse of the disorderly conditions that developed soon after Harsa's death, in a part of the country which was once under his supremacy. Questions relating to the Harsa era and Harsa's coins are examined in two appendices, while a third gives the text and translation of Harsa's Madhuban copperplate. A map is appended showing India in the age of Harsa.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral