teaching the Arthasastra

Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU
Wed Oct 19 13:42:23 UTC 2005

Probably Rangarajan's trans. in the Penguin Classics
series is the best for non-Indologists, though many
within the field consider his rearrangements of
the text unwarranted. J. Duncan Derrett's article
on "Social and Political Thought and Institutions,"
in Basham's _A Cultural History of India_ makes a
useful general introduction to the domain on behalf
of the general reader. Hartmut Scharfe, _Investigations in
Kautilya's Manual of Political Science_, 2nd ed. 1993,
is useful for probing more deeply, and Kangle's ed. and trans.
remains the best version overall. Zimmer's discussion in
_Philosophies of India_ is of course quite dated, but it makes
a good read, introduces aspects of the ancient Indian political
ethos accurately enough, and so may be recommended to arouse
student interest, though this perhaps applies more to undergrads
than to graduate students.

Matthew Kapstein

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