Vanina Eugenia

Medieval Indian Mindscapes: Space, Time, Society, Man

New Delhi , 2012, 336 p.

The book is the English version of the author’s monograph written in Russian in 2007. The work focuses on how Indians in precolonial times perceived their world. It compares the specific features of their ‘mental programmes’ with that of their counterparts in other premodern societies. While analysing the importance of space in the medieval world view, the book discusses how medieval Indians comprehended their territories and the landscape as ‘their own’ vis-à-vis the ‘alien’ space; the development of territorial-cultural and ter-ritorial-political identities, and knowledge about other lands and peoples. In a discussion of medieval temporality, the book also studies the ways of perceiving and reckoning time, attitudes to the historical past and the manifold ways of recording it. A special chapter on ‘Society’ deals with socio-ethical values and behavioral stereotypes of major estate and caste groups like the feudal landlords, priests and officials, merchants and craftsmen, peasants and the lower castes in villages. The book also has a chapter on the medieval Indian perception of Man, his appearance and peculiarities as they pertained to the age; behavior, social status, and the steady development of individuality. “Medieval Indian Mindscapes” will be of interest to medievalists as well as general readers, keen to know more about the dynamics of pre-modern history and culture.

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