Chapter

The Epic Hero: Seventeenth-Century Sources for the Heroic Legends of Shivaji

James W. Laine

in Shivaji

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195141269
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849543 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195141269.003.0003
The Epic Hero: Seventeenth-Century Sources for the Heroic Legends of Shivaji

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Before Shivaji's mother passed away, she envisioned that Shivaji would someday attain the status of chatrapati. Shivaji' birth and early childhood could therefore be characterized as worshipful and intimate. Another significant event in establishing an accurate account about Shivaji's life includes Shivaji's coronation. As Shivaji was crowned chatrapati of a Hindu kingdom through an orthodox lustration ceremony that revived traditions of royal Hindu culture, he searched for other ways that involve ancient symbols of kingship in which he can further exercise his military and political power. Although this chapter contains accounts of his life and death, the chapter mainly examines the following tales that portray Shivaji as one who is of noble birth and one who is supported by divine forces in battling demonic enemies: the killing of Afzal Khan (1659), the raid on Shaista Khan (1663), the escape from Agra (1666) and the conquest of Simhagad (1670).

Keywords: Shivaji; birth; death; coronation; chatrapati status; kingship; Afzal Khan; Shaista Khan; Agra; Simhagad

Chapter.  10271 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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