Sources of Ancient Indian History (Part-2) for NTSE 2020

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Sources of Ancient Indian History: (Part-II) Types of Inscriptions (Indian History)

Eulogistic Inscription

  • These inscriptions contain the name and genealogy of the ruler concerned the other details as follows:

  • the earlier career of the king,

  • his military,

  • his political and administrative achievements,

  • the existence of contemporary states coming into conflict with him and the inter-state relations,

  • the administrative system,

  • the political ideals,

  • the personal accomplishments of the king,

  • his patronage and charity.

  • Eulogistic inscriptions can be subdivided into two parts: pure eulogy and eulogy mixed with other types.

Image Eulogistic Inscription

Image Eulogistic Inscription

Mixed Eulogy

  • The Nasik Cave inscriptions of Ushavadata

  • The Junagarh Rock inscription of Rudradaman I

  • The Mandasor Stone pillar inscription of Yashodharman

  • The stone inscription of Ishanvarman

  • The Aihole stone inscription of Pulakesin II

  • The Talagunda stone pillar inscriptions of Dantivarman

  • Mandasor stone inscriptions of the time of Kumaragupta II and Bandhuvarman

Votive or Dedicative Inscription

  • The dedicative inscriptions mostly deal with the installation of images and the construction of temples.

  • Reference may be made in this connection to the Mandasor inscription of the time of Kumaragupta II and Bhanduvarman and the Bhittari Pillar inscription of Skandagupta and the Aihole inscription of time of Pulakesin II.

  • The Besnagar Garuda Pillar inscription

Heliodorous Inscription

Image Heliodorous Inscription

Image Heliodorous Inscription

Donative Inscription

  • The donative inscriptions can be found in large numbers because many occasions offered themselves for this purpose to rulers and the subjects.

  • These inscriptions refer to the donations of caves or other building for the residence of ascetics and monks.

  • Some inscriptions refer to the donation of money in the form of a permanent endowment.

  • In some inscription, there is a reference to the donation of lands and villages to the monasteries, educational institutions and the Brahmans.

Image Donative Inscription

Image Donative Inscription

Commemorative Inscription

  • The commemorative inscriptions record important events such as events as birth, death etc.

  • For example: The Rummindei inscription of Ashoka is an example of commemorative inscription as it mentions that a huge stone pillar was erected and huge stone wall was constructed at the birthplace of Buddha.

  • A number of commemorative inscriptions have been found which refers to the Chalukyas of Kalyani, the Silaharas of Kolhapur, the Rashtrakutas and the Yadavas etc.

Literary Inscription

  • Some inscriptions contain dramatic works and poetic compositions.

  • They were primarily for literary purpose.

  • From the Mahanirvana Stupa at Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh was discovered a copper plate, containing 13 lines recoding the Udana Sutta of Buddha

Points to be Noted

  • Copper was the material which was commonly used for the writing of inscriptions.

  • A copper plate inscription was called Tamrapatta, Tamrapattra, Tamrasasana, Sasanapattra or Danapattra, according to its contents.











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