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Chapter 1: The Usages of War

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Chapter Summary

Ajanta was a "beneficiary" at certain points in its development of the incessant series of conflicts. It was war that caused its traumatic final fall, and at the same time preserved it for an amazed future. This chapter recognizes that the urgent inauguration of the Vakataka renaissance at Ajanta, starting in the early 460s, unquestionably depended upon peace. In the early 460s, although war was surely soon to come, the new emperor's world was blessed with peace. This is evident, because a startlingly ambitious "public works" project such as Ajanta's new development, and the rival undertakings at the similarly ambitious rock-cut site at Bagh, could never have taken place without the benefits of concord. This is the more true when the unprecedented surge of pious and prideful activity at Ajanta was initiated by the most important personages in the empire.

Keywords: Ajanta; Bagh Caves; Vakataka renaissance



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