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Law And The Social Order In India Before The Muhammad An Conquests

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Chapter Summary

The centuries which are best documented are not those about which most has been written from the jurisprudential point of view. Far more has been written about the law and society of the sūtras and the early smṛtis than about the era of the great commentaries and primary treatises, and the well-known works of N. C. Sen-Gupta and S. C. Banerji illustrate the general position. For the historian of Indian society period between about 800 and 1200 of the era is particularly rich in that the interpretations of the jurists can be related, positively and negatively, to the other evidence, and it is possible, even without the comprehensive and exhaustive researches into the jurists' opinions which still have to be compiled, to assess how far, custom and classical jurisprudence (the dharma-sastra) differed, what were the early relations between them, and, consequently, what in reality the jurists were attempting to achieve.

Keywords: (the dharma-sastra); classical jurisprudence; Indian society; law; sūtras; smṛtis



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