[Topic wise IAS Ancient Indian History Question Bank (1979-2015)]: (1) Sources

Sources: Archaeological sources: Exploration, excavation, epigraphy, numismatics, monuments Literary sources: Indigenous: Primary and secondary; poetry, scientific literature, literature, literature in regional languages, religious literature. Foreign accounts: Greek, Chinese and Arab writers.
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1.  “Ancient Indians had no taste for historiography; their scholars cared more for religious, spiritual and philosophical studies. Indian historiography is essentially an Islamic heritage.” Comment upon this statement with special reference to the contemporary writers and their works which help us in the reconstruction of history of the early medieval period of Indian history. [1996, 60m]

2. Assess the pattern of settlement, economy, social organization and religion of India during 2000 to 500 BC from archaeological evidences. [2003, 60m]

3. Discuss the changing approaches to the study of early Indian history. [2006, 60m]

4. “Reconstruction of Early Indian history is hardly possible without the help of inscriptions and coins.” Discuss. [2007, 60m]

5. In what ways are the accounts of the Graeco Romans and the Chinese helpful in reconstructing the social history of India? How far is their information corroborated by other Contemporary sources? [2009, 60m]

6. What light do early inscriptions and literature throw on the status of women in politico socio-economic spheres? [2010, 60m]

7.   On  the  basis  of  contemporary  sources  assess  the  nature  of  banking  and  usury  in ancient India. [2013, 15m]

8. Evaluate  the  ownership  of  land  in  ancient  India  on  the  basis  of  literary  and epigraphic sources. [2013, 15m]

9. “While  using  the  accounts  of  foreign  writers,  historians  must  distinguish  between statements  based  on  hearsay  and  those  grounded  in  perceptive  observations.” Elaborate with examples. [2014, 15m]

10.  How far can the ancient Indian Sruti literature be used as historical sources? [2015, 15m]

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