[INDOLOGY] First female sovereign

Allen Thrasher alanus1216 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 27 15:06:18 UTC 2017

This is I know very late in this conversation, but female regents were standard in Rajput states, as I learned for the first time a few years ago at a symposium at the Library of Congress on Indian royal women.  If the heir was a boy, his mother became the regent while one of her brothers from her native state would come to assist her.  Were similar systems found in India earlier?
This raises an interesting issue with comparative implications.  As we know, some European policies allowed female inheritance of a throne and some did not.  E.g. France had the Salic late but the usual regent of a boy king was his mother, and the usual regent while the king was out of his kingdom was his wife.  Why in such cases were women considered competent in terms of skill, willpower, etc. to rule a state but not to inherit one? Because of the direct or symbolic association of rule with active, in-person miltary leadership in the field?
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android 
  On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 6:59 PM, Michael Slouber<Michael.Slouber at wwu.edu> wrote:   Thanks to all who responded about India’s first female sovereign.  I summarize the responses regarding queens who ruled in India before or contemporary to Razia Sultana: 
(counting regents)

1. Nāgānikā, 2nd century BC Satavahana empire

2. Prabhāvatī Gupta in the 4th--5th centuries, Vākāṭaka dynasty3. Kulaprabhāvatī, 5th century Cambodia (outside of the Indian subcontinent, but good to know)

(not counting regents)

1. Diddā, 10th—11th centuries Kashmir

2. Rudramā Devī, 13th Century, Kākatīya Dynasty

I also appreciate the references to O. von Hinueber’s book, which may refer to others.
Michael Slouber
Assistant Professor of South Asia
Department of Liberal Studies
Western Washington University


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