Warfare in Pre-British India – 1500BCE to 1740CE: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Warfare in Pre-British India – 1500BCE to 1740CE

1st Edition

By Kaushik Roy


258 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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This book presents a comprehensive survey of warfare in India up to the point where the British began to dominate the sub-continent. It discusses issues such as how far was the relatively bloodless nature of pre-British Indian warfare the product of stateless Indian society? How far did technology determine the dynamics of warfare in India? Did warfare in this period have a particular Indian nature and was it ritualistic? The book considers land warfare including sieges, naval warfare, the impact of horses, elephants and gunpowder, and the differences made by the arrival of Muslim rulers and by the influx of other foreign influences and techniques. The book concludes by arguing that the presence of standing professional armies supported by centralised bureaucratic states have been underemphasised in the history of India.

Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1. From Tribe to Kingdom: Chariots and Transformation of Warfare in South Asia, 1500 BCE-300 BCE 2. Theory and Practice of Warfare in the Maurya and Gupta Empires: 300 BCE-500 CE 3. Theory and Practice of Warfare from Post Gupta Era to the Beginning of Islamic Intrusion in South Asia: Circa 500 CE to 1000 CE 4. Horses and Government under the Sultans: 700 CE-1500 CE 5. Horses, Guns and Warfare in South Asia: 1500-1740 6. Naval Warfare in Pre-modern South Asia Conclusion

About the Author

Kaushik Roy is Guru Nanak Professor in the Department of History at Jadavpur University, India and Global Fellow at PRIO, Norway

About the Series

Asian States and Empires

The importance of Asia will continue to grow in the twenty-first century, but remarkably little is available in English on the history of the polities that constitute this critical area.  Most current work on Asia is hindered by the extremely limited state of knowledge of the Asian past in general, and the history of Asian states and empires in particular.  Asian States and Empires is a book series that will provide detailed accounts of the history of states and empires across Asia from earliest times until the present.  It aims to explain and describe the formation, maintenance and collapse of Asian states and empires, and the means by which this was accomplished, making available the history of more than half the world’s population at a level of detail comparable to the history of Western polities.  In so doing, it will demonstrate that Asian peoples and civilizations had their own histories apart from the West, and provide the basis for understanding contemporary Asia in terms of its actual histories, rather than broad generalizations informed by Western categories of knowledge.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies