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Intermediate Realms of Law: Corporate Groups and Rulers in Medieval India

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The laws of corporate groups such as merchants, traders, religious specialists, soldiers, etc. are examined on the basis of both the normative Hindu legal texts and epigraphical sources from various parts of India. Other recent studies arguing that medieval India experienced an increasing integration of polity and society over larger core areas are corroborated from the perspective of law and legal institutions. Methodological and theoretical propositions are also raised to argue that Hindu legal texts, known as Dharmaśastra, are essential to any history of law and society in medieval India, but only when their nature and purpose are properly understood. Les lois des corps sociaux, comme les marchands, les négociants, les experts religieux, ou les soldats, sont examinées d'après les textes normatifs du droit hindou ancien, et aussi selon des sources épigraphiques venant des diverses régions de l'Inde. D'autres études récentes qui affirment que l'Inde médiévale a connu une intégration croissante entre régime et société dans des domaines centralisés plus étendus sont ici con firmées par le biais du droit et des institutions légales. Des arguments méthodologiques et théoriques sont aussi soulevés pour soutenir que les textes légals hindous, connus sous le nom de Dharmaśastra, sont fondamentals à toute histoire du droit et de la société dans l'Inde médiévale, mais seulement quand leur nature et leur objet sont bien compris.


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