Romila Thapar

in From Lineage to State

Published in print October 1991 | ISBN: 9780195626759
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080656 | DOI:

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

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


Show Summary Details


This chapter summarizes the shift of the early Indian societies into states, taking into consideration the information that can be found in early texts. It examines the traditional concepts in terms of their own evolution, and looks at the changes that occurred as a result of this transition. It stresses that although these changes are not considered universal, they were still big enough to affect the overall system of the societies. The discussion looks at the question of class antagonism, as well as the patterns followed by state formation. Land ownership, peasant economy, and the transition from a lineage to a monarchical state are examined in the chapter. The chapter concludes that state formation in early Indian history can be viewed as a transitory process, from social formations (or lineage systems) to those that are dominated by state systems; however since the nature of the domination does not fall into any of the existing models, a fresh reworking of the dynamics is required.

Keywords: early Indian societies; early texts; traditional concepts; class antagonism; state formation; land ownership; peasant economy; social formations; state systems

Chapter.  8031 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.