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The Hollow Crown
Ethnohistory of an Indian Kingdom


Part of Cambridge South Asian Studies

  • Date Published: February 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521053723

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About the Authors
  • A pioneering piece of ethnohistory, The Hollow Crown uses a variety of interdisciplinary means to reconstruct the sociocultural history of a warrior polity in south India between the fourteenth and the twentieth centuries. Central to the book is the belief that comparative sociology has systematically denied the importance of the Indian state and obscured the political basis of Indian society by representing caste as fundamentally a religious system. In reconstructing the history of the polity that eventually became the colonial princely state of Pudukkottai, Dr Dirks therefore raises a whole series of issues concerning the methodologies of history and anthropology, the character of Tamil kingship and social organization, the relationship between politics and ritual, the impact of colonialism and 'modernization', and the dynamics of the whole last millennium of south Indian history.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521053723
    • length: 500 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of maps
    List of tables
    Glossary of terms
    Map of the Madras Presidency, 1900
    Map of Pudukkottai State
    The Tondaiman line of Pudukkottai
    Part I. Introduction:
    1. The study of state and society in India
    Part II. History and Ethnohistory:
    2. The historical context of the old regime
    3. The discourse of kingship: representations of authority in the old regime
    Part III. A Little Kingdom in the Old Regime:
    4. Pudukkottai and the old regime: gift, order, and authority in a south Indian little kingdom
    5. The early history of the Pudukkottai region
    6. Tondaiman Raj:
    Part IV. Social Relations of a Little Kingdom:
    7. Royal Kallars
    8. Political hegemony and social relations: caste in Pudukkottai
    9. Temples and society
    Part V. Colonial Mediations: Contradictions Under the Raj:
    10. Agrarian rebellion? Last gasp of the old regime
    11. The colonization of the political order: land settlements, political intervention and structural change
    12. Temples and conflict: the changing context of worship
    13. The theatre state: princely politics in colonial south India
    Part VI. Conclusion:
    14. Ethnohistory and the Indian state
    Appendix: land and privilege: inams in Pudukkottai
    List of records and abbreviations
    List of archives and record offices

  • Author

    Nicholas B. Dirks

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