Framing the Mahabharata

Against the Evolution of Early South Asian Society

Book Description

It all probably was a tale.
However, serious research does identify some events, from about a thousand years before the Common Era, that qualify as the bases of the epic's plot. Apparently, collective memory evolved significantly through the centuries before their stories, legends, and allegories took the forms that we know from the epic today.
And yet, even if no set of historical events can be found to correspond with epic episodes, its many stories, legends, and allegories nevertheless conform to themes that were at one time authentic. In other words, whether or not epic episodes were historical, the ideas and concepts they represent were.
It is with these ideas and concepts that Framing the Mahabharata weaves the pattern of South Asian society as it evolved through the cusp of the Bronze and Iron Ages, developing motifs we are familiar with today. Against this pattern, it reconstructs the military tactics, technology and sociology that marked the interplay of nomadic and sedentary folks, most poignantly depicted in the career of war-chariotry.

About the Author

Saikat Bose is an obsessive student of history and mythology to the exclusion of more profitable engagements, in the pursuit of which he enthusiastically neglects everything and ignores everyone. He likes to study, discuss, and, where possible, harangue hapless individuals who he has successfully button-holed, on, the nature of military activities in South Asia and the world. His passion of trying to give life to military episodes is stoked by his twenty years of experience in one of the most prestigious regiments of the Indian Army, and supported by his interest in comparative religion, travel, and battlefield archaeology.

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