Archive for the ‘The Wonder that was India’ Category

The Wonder that was India
Publisher: Grove Press | ISBN: B000RPRW0Y | edition 2000 | PDF | 568 pages | 11,2 mb

“From the primitive village cultures in the secluded valleys of the Brahui Hills to the great cities built in the Indus basin by the mysterious Harappa people; from the coming of the charioteering Aryans a thousand years later to the intellectual and spiritual ferment of the Age of the Buddha, and the later incursions of the Muslims — the entire sweep of India’s rich history unfolds before the reader’s eyes in this survey of encyclopedic scope.

It offers and all-around view of Indian culture, its political life through the ages, its cults and doctrines, its social structures, arts, languages and literature, all within the covers of a single volume.

Basham’s picture of everyday life in ancient India — of early Ayran dice games and Dravidian bull fights, of Indian erotic life and marriage customs — is drawn with an intimacy and love of detail which will delight the general reader no less than the specialist.

He relates the class, the family and the individual to the complex structure of early Indian society and, in a detailed treatment of the religions of India, includes all the minor sects which splintered off Hinduism and Buddhism.

Whether he writes of the sensual vitality of Indian painting, discusses the subtle and complex cross rhythms of an Indian raga, or talks about the melodrama and pathos of the ancient Sanskrit theater, Basham’s approach is always balanced and illuminated by comparisons with relevant non-Indian cultures and events. A wide-ranging discussion of language and literature in India contains many original translations from the classical languages and numerous summaries of the great works of Indian poetry and prose.

The 12 appendices following the text deal with topics not usually found in similar books: astronomy, medicine, the calendar, weight, measures and –in an especially interesting essay — the origin of the gypsies.

A pictorial record of ancient India is offered in the more than 200 half-tone illustrations…and in the numerous line drawings and maps.

The book is fully indexed. ”

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