Into the Past
TWO MEDIEVAL GUILDS OF SOUTH INDIA by Meera Abraham Manohar Publications, New Delhi, 1988, 273 pp., 200
Sept-Oct 1988, volume 12, No 5

Of late, studies on socio-economic history of the peninsular India, especially of the regions that were under the Colas and later under the Vijayanagara rulers have received a great fillip with the adoption of new conceptual frameworks that were not employed by scholars till recently. Attempts made by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, Appadorai, B.A. Saletore, T.V. Mahalingam, Kenneth R. Hall and a few others to throw light on the socio-economic aspects of peninsular India during the medieval period have been re-examined by foreign scholars like Burton Stein and Naboru Karashima. A new emphasis has recently been laid on the study of agrarian economy and society of this region. Epigraphic sources are being tapped more fruitfully for this purpose in the absence of archival sources. Thus the works of Burton Stein and Karashima stand out as challenges for the Indian scholars to take up the study of peninsular India with the help of conceptual frameworks and sources that were not traditionally used in analysing the various aspects of history.

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