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Politics, Kingship, and Poetry in Medieval South India
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    Orr, Leslie C. 2017. Women, Religion, and the Gift. Vol. 17, Issue. , p. 173.

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Book description

In this compelling new study, Whitney Cox presents a fundamental re-imagining of the politics of pre-modern India through the reinterpretation of the contested accession of Kulottunga I (r.1070–1120) as the ruler of the imperial Chola dynasty. By focusing on this complex event and its ramifications over time, Cox traces far-reaching transformations throughout the kingdom and beyond. Through a methodologically innovative combination of history, theory and the close reading of a rich series of Sanskrit and Tamil textual sources, Cox reconstructs the nature of political society in medieval India. A major intervention in the fields of South Asian social, political and cultural history, religion and comparative political thought, this book poses fresh comparative and conceptual questions about politics, history, agency and representation in the pre-modern world.


'At once profoundly erudite, engaging to read, and methodologically innovative, Whitney Cox's book reveals the inner dynamics of the Chola state-system through a close study of one major king and fine-grained, sensitive readings of the inscriptions and literary classics that were produced at his court. In short: a remarkable book, rich in insight, about one of the most remarkable periods in South Asian history.'

David Shulman - Hebrew University, Jerusalem

'In what is essentially a biography of a great South Indian king, Whitney Cox tells a splendid tale, but one that challenges us as well. I cannot imagine a more welcome contribution to scholarship on the history of India - and indeed to much more (Indian literature, historiography, political theory …).'

Leslie C. Orr - Concordia University, Montreal and author of Donors, Devotees and Daughters of God: Temple Women in Medieval Tamilnadu

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Annual Report on Epigraphy (later Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy)


Archeological Survey of India


Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient


Bulletin d’Études Indiennes


Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies


Contributions to Indian Sociology


Comparative Studies in Society and History


Epigraphia Carnatica


École française d’Extrême-Orient


Epigraphia Indica


Indian Antiquary


The Indian Economic and Social History Review


Institut Français de Pondichéry


Inscriptions (texts) of Pudukottai State


Journal of the Andhra Historical Research Society


Journal of the American Oriental Society


Journal of Asian Studies


Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient


Journal of Indian Philosophy


Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society


Journal of South Asian Studies


University of Madras Tamil Lexicon


Pondicherry Inscriptions


Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society (Bangalore)


South Indian Inscriptions


South Indian Temple Inscriptions


Tamiḻk kalvĕṭṭuc cŏllakarāti

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