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Internet Indian History Sourcebook

This page is a subset of texts derived from the three major online Sourcebooks listed below, along with added texts and web site indicators. For more contextual information, for instance about Western imperialism, the Islamic world, or the history of a given period, check out these web sites.

Notes:

In addition to direct links to documents, links are made to a number of other web resources.

2ND
Link to a secondary article, review or discussion on a given topic.
MEGA
Link to one of the megasites which track web resources.
WEB
Link to a website focused on a specific issue.. These are not links to every site on a given topic, but to sites of serious educational value.

Contents


Indus Valley Cultures

General

Indus Valley

  • Image: Harrapan Seals [At Internet Archive, from CCNY]
  • WEB Harrapa [Website]
    The Indus valley culture which had some interaction with Mesopotamia.
  • WEB Harrapa Images [from the Indus Valley][At Then Again]
  • WEB Early India:
    Harappan (3000 - 1500 BC/BCE)/ Aryan (1500 - 600 BC/BCE)
    Links and guide to art objects of the period. [At Internet Archive]
  • 2ND S. Kalyanaraman: Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization (c. 3000 B.C.)  [At U Texas]

The Vedic Age

General

Aryans

There is now some significant opposition among some writers to the idea that there was ever an Aryan [i.e. Indo-European] movement into India. This opposition seems to derive, at least in part, from nationalist desires to claim "we were always here". The linguistic arguments for some common group which moved into both India, Iran, and Europe remain compelling.

  • The Laws of Manu, c. 1500 BCE, full text,  [At this Site]
  • The Laws of Manu, c. 1500 BCE, excerpts,  [At Internet Archive, from CCNY]
  • 2ND Languages and Vedas [At Friesian.com]
    Odd page, with odder organization, but useful maps and data on numbers of language speakers and migrations. Also contains info on the Vedas and Upanishads.
  • 2ND David Frawley: Myth of Aryan Invasion of India [At India Forum], a complete book, and  Myth of Aryan Invasion of India [At Hindunet] an article-length discussion.
    Frawley attacks 19th-century scholars such as Max Muller for bias, but seems unaware of his own problematic position. His argumentative strategies reek of special pleading.
  • 2ND Siddhartha Jaiswal: Arayan Invasion Theory: Revising History to Change the Future [At Internet Archive, from Stanford]
    A freshman college paper explaining why the theory is wrong. The  full title and the text are worth considering, though. The author objected to the theory because it "undermined my belief in my culture". This sort of solipsistic "history" seems to motivate much of the discussion about the "Arayan Invasion".
  • 2ND Richard Hooker: The Arayans [At WSU]
    A much more reliable account that the nationalist arguments above.

The Vedas


The Formation of Religious Traditions

General

The Hindu Tradition

Vasnaivism

Shaivism

Devotional Texts

Tantrism

  • WEB The Tantrik Homepage
    Includes links to other Tantric sites, as well as English translation of texts.

The Jain Tradition

Buddhism


Medieval India

General

The Mauryan Empire (321-185 BCE)

  • Image: Maurayan Empire Map c. 250 BCE [At WSU]
  • Kautilya: The Arthashastra, c. 250 BCE [At this Site]
    Extensive selections
  • Kautilya: The Arthashastra - On Gender Issues, c. 250 BCE   [At this Site]
  • Kautilya: The Arthashastra (3rd Cent. BCE) [At WSU]
    A treatise on government by the "prime minister" of India's first great emperor, Chandragupta Maurya.
  • Kautilya: The Arthashastra (3rd Cent. BCE) [At Internet Archive, from CCNY]
    Another selection.

Ashoka (c. 265-238 BCE; also given as c. 273-232 BCE)

Gupta Empire (320-550 CE)

Culture

  • Tales From Ancient India [At this Site]
  • Kalidasa (4th-5th C. CE?):  The Recognition of Sakuntala [At WSU]
    A text from the "greatest of all ancient Indian playwrights".
  • Kalidasa (4th-5th C. CE?):  Sakuntala Translated by Arthur W. Ryder (1914), full text. [At Sacred Texts]
  • Kalidasa (4th-5th C. CE?): Meghaduta or Clould Messenger [At Sacred Texts]
    Translated by Arthur W. Ryder (1914)
  • Kama Sutra, translated by Sir Richard Burton,  [At Sacred Texts]

Greek and Chinese Sources

General

Greek Sources

Chinese Sources


Muslim Era India

General

The Delhi Sultanate 1206-1526

Mughal India 1526-1761

Culture

  • Qawalli Music

The Marathas

  • WEB Shivaji on the Web [At Tripod]
    "Shivaji created a Nation. It was he who released forces that changed the political map of India in the eighteenth century. Within 50 years of the death of Aurangzeb, the Marathas had overrun the entire sub-continent of India and taken possession of a greater half of the country. It was only in 1803 that the sovereignity of India had passed to the British."

Sikhism

The Sikhs are an Indian people, defined by their religion, who emerged in India during the centuries of Muslim political power (which accounts for the placement of these texts in the Sourcebook).


The Western Intrusion

General

European Imperialism

British India


Indian Nationalism

General

The Indian National Congress

Gandhi

The Muslim League

  • WEB Jinnah [At Internet Archive, from Texas]
    Mostly pictures.

Independence


India Since Independence

General

International Issues

India

The Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty

Regionalism


Pakistan Since Independence

General

Pakistan


Bangladesh

General

The 1971 Conflict


Burma

General


Indian Genders and Sexualities

Women

Homosexuality: General

It has proved to be extraordinarily difficult to find much information about South Asian homosexuality.

Hindu

  • Ramakrishnan: "Bisexuality: identities, behaviors, and politics", Trikone April 1996 [At Internet Archive, from U Texas]
  • Vatsyayana: Kama Sutra, Part 2. Chap 9, 1883 trans. by Richard Burton. [At Bibliomania.com]
    On "Mouth Congress" and "different types of eunuchs".
  • The Vinaya [Buddhist Monastic Precepts]
  • WEB Shri Krishna as Kali and Lalita [At Shivashakti]
    Although the sexual relationships of Indian gods often follow heterosexual expectations, the individual God/dess may change form and be incarnate as another. This story could be read as gay, lesbian, or multiply transgendered.
  • WEB Tantrik Links [At Shivashakti]
    Tantricism was the "short path" to Enlightenment in Hinduism and Buddhism. Sexual ecstasy was a particularly important feature, often represented by heterosexual "yab-yum" figures.

Muslim

  • 2ND Richard Burton: Terminal Essay, from his edition of the Arabian Nights.
    Burton' compilation of data on variety of societies was meant to explain some of the stories in The Nights. In doing so, he provided first overview of Islamic homosexuality.

Further Resources on Indian History

As in a number of other historical areas, a  real problem with much of the online material on South Asian history is that it is presented with manifest nationalist (or other ideological bias). In reviewing many sites for this page, there seem to be a phenomenon of science and engineering graduate students setting up web sites on Indian or Islamic history/culture with virtually no regard for authenticity or historical method. [Imagine if history graduate students began setting up websites on chemical engineering based on their "feelings".] I have tried to indicate which sites are, in my opinion, reliable and which are not.

Other Resources


© This text is copyright. The specific electronic form, and any notes and questions are copyright. Permission is granted to copy the text, and to print out copies for personal and educational use. No permission is granted for commercial use.

If any copyright has been infringed, this was unintentional. The possibility of a site such as this, as with other collections of electronic texts, depends on the large availability of public domain material from texts translated before 1923. [In the US, all texts issued before 1923 are now in the public domain. Texts published before 1964 may be in the public domain if copyright was not renewed after 28 years. This site seeks to abide by US copyright law: the copyright status of texts here outside the US may be different.] Efforts have been made to ascertain the copyright status of all texts here, although, occasionally, this has not been possible where older or non-US publishers seem to have ceased existence. Some of the recently translated texts here are copyright to the translators indicated in each document. These translators have in every case given permission for non-commercial reproduction. No representation is made about the copyright status of texts linked off-site. This site is intended for educational use. Notification of copyright infringement will result in the immediate removal of a text until its status is resolved.

© Paul Halsall June-October 2000
Last updated March 13, 2007
halsall@fordham.edu