The only extant treatise on statecraft from classical India, the Arthsastra is an invaluable resource for understanding ancient South Asian political thought; it also provides a comprehensive and unparalleled panoramic view of Indian society during the period between the Maurya (320-185 BCE) and Gupta (320-497 CE) empires. This volume offers modern English translations of key selections, organized thematically, from the Arthasastra . A general Introduction briefly traces the arc of ancient South Asian history, explains the classical Indian tradition of statecraft, and discusses the origins and importance of the Arthasastra . Thorough explanatory essays and notes set each excerpt in its intellectual, political, and cultural contexts.
Patrick Olivelle is Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Religions and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin. Mark McClish is Assistant Professor of Religion at Birmingham-Southern College.
Introduction; Authorship & Date: The Canakya Legend, The Composer of the Arthasastra: the Historical Kautilya, Date & Location of the Arthasastra; Historical Context: The Indus Valley Period, The Vedic Period, The Classical Period; Arthasastra: Text & Tradition: The Concept of "artha", The Genre of Sastra, The Tradition of Statecraft, Structure & Style of the Text; The World of the Arthasastra: Kingship & Royal Authority, Ruling a Kingdom, The King's Administration, The Layout of the Kingdom, Society, Religion & Ethics, Conquest & Success. The Arthasastra -- How to be Good King; The Kingdom; Central Administration; The Judiciary; Internal Security & Suppression of Criminal Activities; Foreign Affairs; War; Index of Passages.