Ideology and the State

Romila Thapar

in From Lineage to State

Published in print October 1991 | ISBN: 9780195626759
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080656 | DOI:
Ideology and the State

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)


Show Summary Details


This chapter tries to differentiate the state from government and society, and aims to show how the formation of the state affected the government and society. It also considers the traditional theories regarding the Origins of the government in Buddhist and Vedic sources. The origins and evolution of the government are first discussed, followed by the seven elements that are said to constitute the state. The discussion then reveals that the state also controlled the access to resources, most especially the forests. Taxes and the notion of authority are studied as well. Several texts, including the Purānic texts, the Mahabharata, and the Rāmāyana, are used to provide a description of the transition from non-state to state and the changes that occurred. It is noted that the Rāmāyana is considered as a statement that is in favour of the monarchical state. The chapter discusses Buddhist historical traditions and their links with the itihasa-purana tradition. It also explores the history of Magadha as narrated in Buddhist chronicles like Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa.

Keywords: state; government; monarchical state; Mahabharata; Rāmāyana; Dipavamsa; Mahavamsa; Buddhist sources; Vedic sources; taxes

Chapter.  17011 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.