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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the book Dharma, Disorder and the Political in Ancient India: The Āpaddharmaparvan of the Mahābhārata and its chapters. The Āpaddharmaparvan (ĀDhP) is the second of three sub-sections of the twelfth book of the Mahābhārata (Mbh), called the Śāntiparvan, the 'book of peace'. Its thirty-nine chapters, numbering from 129 to 167 in the Critical Edition (CE) of the epic, are divisible into twenty-seven recognisable semantic units that, rather than amounting to a single, unified, statement on āpaddharma, reflect a diversity of approach to their organising theme, a diversity reflected in their polygeneric characteristics. A study of one of the Mbh's didactic corpora cannot ignore the problematisation of these corpora in modern scholarship on the Mbh.

Keywords: apaddharma; Āpaddharmaparvan; Mahābhārata; Santiparvan

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