By D.D. Kosambi

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Baskets, leather containers, pottery mark stages in food preservation which ultimately led to barter, production of a surplus, and commodity production — in short, to a new social organization. 3 The most striking feature of primitive life is its immense variety in details. Every group has its own distinct language sometimes spoken by no more than a few dozen families. There are no words for general ideas. There may be no word for ‘animal’ though each type that is to be distinguished (say by colour) in the group’s special animal has its own distinct name.

These books offer a good list of source materials, and bibliography. W. Ruben’s Einftihrung in a. ” 2. An excellent translation with very useful notes was made by M. , London 1900). NOTES TO CHAPTER I 15 3. F. E. Pargiter : The purana text of the dynasties of the Kali age (Oxford, 1913), one of the most valuable puranic studies, collating the available information and analysing it. The puranas themselves await critical editions, particularly the unwieldy Bhavi$ya Purana. 4. See V. V. Mirashi’s report in the ABORl 23, 1942, 291-301.

In fact, the Punjab had gone through a cycle of urban civilization and decay, the Gangetic basin saw theological controversies and the rise of great empires, when the most primitive societies were the rule in the Indian peninsula. ’ Pre-class society was organised, when we can begin to speak of society at all, into tribes. Birth alone did not qualify the individual for full membership; some sort of initiation ceremony was necessary when the person came of age. For the tribesman, society as such began and ended with his tribe ; members of other tribes were hardly recognized as human-; at least, killing a stranger or robbing him was often a duty, not a crime as it would have been with a fellow-tribesman.

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An Introduction to the Study of Indian History by D.D. Kosambi


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