[INDOLOGY] question about loans of grain in the Arthashastra

Reich, James David jreich at pace.edu
Thu Oct 14 14:53:49 UTC 2021

Dear colleagues,

I am forwarding this question on behalf of a friend who is not on this list. Any help you can give would be much appreciated.

Arthashastra 3.11.4 speaks about ????????????, interest on ????? (grains), but it is not clearly exactly what is being said.  Some translators believe that the AS is saying that a grain loan has to be paid at harvest, others seem to say that it can be paid at harvest-time, but it need not be.  Another aspect is whether post-harvest, the grain loan automatically converts into a money loan or doesn't. It is not clear if the motivation for grain loans is similar to that of money loans (i.e. business) or perhaps they are considered to be loans made out of compassion. Does anybody know of other places in the shastric or other literature where the treatment of grain loans is discussed?

Best wishes,
James Reich


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