This book presents a comprehensive survey of warfare in India up to the point where the British began to dominate the sub-continent. It discusses issues such as how far was the relatively bloodless nature of pre-British Indian warfare the product of stateless Indian society? How far did technology determine the dynamics of warfare in India? Did warfare in this period have a particular Indian nature and was it ritualistic? The book considers land warfare including sieges, naval warfare, the impact of horses, elephants and gunpowder, and the differences made by the arrival of Muslim rulers and by the influx of other foreign influences and techniques. The book concludes by arguing that the presence of standing professional armies supported by centralised bureaucratic states have been underemphasised in the history of India.
Table of Contents
Preface Introduction 1. From Tribe to Kingdom: Chariots and Transformation of Warfare in South Asia, 1500 BCE-300 BCE 2. Theory and Practice of Warfare in the Maurya and Gupta Empires: 300 BCE-500 CE 3. Theory and Practice of Warfare from Post Gupta Era to the Beginning of Islamic Intrusion in South Asia: Circa 500 CE to 1000 CE 4. Horses and Government under the Sultans: 700 CE-1500 CE 5. Horses, Guns and Warfare in South Asia: 1500-1740 6. Naval Warfare in Pre-modern South Asia Conclusion
Kaushik Roy is Guru Nanak Professor in the Department of History at Jadavpur University, India and Global Fellow at PRIO, Norway