The Hollow Crown: Ethnohistory of an Indian Kingdom

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A pioneering piece of ethnohistory, The Hollow Crown uses a variety of interdisciplinary means to reconstruct the sociocultural history of a warrior polity in south India between the fourteenth and the twentieth centuries. Central to the book is the belief that comparative sociology has systematically denied the importance of the Indian state and obscured the political basis of Indian society by representing caste as fundamentally a religious system. In reconstructing the history of the polity that eventually became the colonial princely state of Pudukkottai, Dr Dirks therefore raises a whole series of issues concerning the methodologies of history and anthropology, the character of Tamil kingship and social organization, the relationship between politics and ritual, the impact of colonialism and 'modernization', and the dynamics of the whole last millennium of south Indian history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521053723
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/3/2007
  • Series: Cambridge South Asian Studies Series, #39
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of maps; List of tables; Preface; Glossary of terms; Map of the Madras Presidency, 1900; Map of Pudukkottai State; The Tondaiman line of Pudukkottai; Part I. Introduction: 1. The study of state and society in India; Part II. History and Ethnohistory: 2. The historical context of the old regime; 3. The discourse of kingship: representations of authority in the old regime; Part III. A Little Kingdom in the Old Regime: 4. Pudukkottai and the old regime: gift, order, and authority in a south Indian little kingdom; 5. The early history of the Pudukkottai region; 6. Tondaiman Raj: 1686-1801; Part IV. Social Relations of a Little Kingdom: 7. Royal Kallars; 8. Political hegemony and social relations: caste in Pudukkottai; 9. Temples and society; Part V. Colonial Mediations: Contradictions Under the Raj: 10. Agrarian rebellion? Last gasp of the old regime; 11. The colonization of the political order: land settlements, political intervention and structural change; 12. Temples and conflict: the changing context of worship; 13. The theatre state: princely politics in colonial south India; Part VI. Conclusion: 14. Ethnohistory and the Indian state; Appendix: land and privilege: inams in Pudukkottai; References; List of records and abbreviations; List of archives and record offices; Index.

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