South India under the Cholas

South India Under the Cholas by Y. Subbarayalu

This book explores different aspects of state-society interactions in medieval south India under the reign of the Cholas. Divided into two parts-Epigraphy and History, and State and Society-the first provides an in-depth analysis of Tamil epigraphy and inscriptions. While interpreting inscriptional terminology, it discusses the socio-economic milieu, merchant guilds, and other sociological aspects. The next section traces the evolution of the medieval state, economy, and society. It discusses land surveys, Chola revenue system and sale deeds, and property rights. The author examines, in detail, the emergence of new organizations like Urar, Nattar, and Periyanattar, and maritime trade guilds, and social classes like landholders, cultivators, slaves, and the left and right hand divisions. The introduction contextualizes these essays in current research scenario and historiography and also provides a brief overview of the evolution of the Chola state and society.

OUP India c. 272 pages | 13 tables, 5 maps | 215x140mm

978-0-19-807735-0 | Hardback | 22 December 2011

For a review by of Subbarayalu’s book by the historian R. Champakalakshmi in The Hindu (24/04/2012), read here.

For a review by of Subbarayalu’s book by the historian Kesavan Veluthat in Frontline (11-24/02/2012), read here.

Table of content:

Part I: Epigraphy and History
1: Tamil Epigraphy: Past and Present
2: The Social and Economic Milieu of the Pulangurichi Inscriptions
3: The Merchant Guild Inscription at Barus in Sumatra
4: Sociological Aspects of the Personal Names and Titles
5: Interpreting Inscriptional Terminology

Part II: State and Society
6: Measurement and Classification of Land
7: An Overview of the Chola Revenue System
8: Quantifying Land Revenue of the Chola State
9: Sale Deeds and Property Rights
10: Urar, Nattar, and Periyanattar
11: Alunganam and Mulaparudai: Two Early Village Bodies
12: Landholders, Cultivators, and Slaves
13: Social Change and the Right and Left Hand Divisions
14: Anjuvannam: A Maritime Trade Guild of Medieval Times
15: Erivirapattinam: Warriors and the State
16: The Chola State
17: Characterizing the Chola State

Appendices
Index.

How do you destroy Indian history?

“Our past is being moth-eaten” article by Dinyar Patel

Dinyar Patel, a Ph.D. candidate from the Department of History of Harvard University, published an article in The Hindu (19/04/2012) on the alarming situation in Indian archives.

“India’s archives and libraries are in a state of ruin. We would lose our history and heritage if the government does not act to save them. […] India is a country that is justifiably proud of its illustrious past. But this pride does not always translate into proper custodianship and preservation. Most Indians would cringe at how sources of Indian history are treated in government institutions. In spite of the plethora of capable administrators and skilled archivists in this country, many institutions do not follow clear, up-to-date, and verifiable standards for document preservation.”

Read more here.