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Politics, Kingship, and Poetry in Medieval South India
Moonset on Sunrise Mountain


  • Date Published: February 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316623626

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About the Authors
  • In this compelling new study, Whitney Cox presents a fundamental re-imagining of the politics of pre-modern India through the reinterpretation of the contested accession of Kulottunga I (r.1070–1120) as the ruler of the imperial Chola dynasty. By focusing on this complex event and its ramifications over time, Cox traces far-reaching transformations throughout the kingdom and beyond. Through a methodologically innovative combination of history, theory and the close reading of a rich series of Sanskrit and Tamil textual sources, Cox reconstructs the nature of political society in medieval India. A major intervention in the fields of South Asian social, political and cultural history, religion and comparative political thought, this book poses fresh comparative and conceptual questions about politics, history, agency and representation in the pre-modern world.

    • Combines the evidence and methodology of social history with literary/cultural studies, providing a model for multidisciplinary scholarship
    • Introduces South Asian evidence into otherwise Eurocentric scholarly conversations
    • Reconstructs the nature of political society in medieval India
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'At once profoundly erudite, engaging to read, and methodologically innovative, Whitney Cox's book reveals the inner dynamics of the Chola state-system through a close study of one major king and fine-grained, sensitive readings of the inscriptions and literary classics that were produced at his court. In short: a remarkable book, rich in insight, about one of the most remarkable periods in South Asian history.' David Shulman, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

    'In what is essentially a biography of a great South Indian king, Whitney Cox tells a splendid tale, but one that challenges us as well. I cannot imagine a more welcome contribution to scholarship on the history of India - and indeed to much more (Indian literature, historiography, political theory …).' Leslie C. Orr, Concordia University, Montreal and author of Donors, Devotees and Daughters of God: Temple Women in Medieval Tamilnadu

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316623626
    • dimensions: 229 x 150 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 4 maps 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Note on the transliteration and presentation of texts
    1. Râjiga, before 1070
    2. Râjendracola, June 1070–May 1074
    3. Kulottunga: the King and the Poets, ca.1087–1115
    4. The Emperor of the Three Worlds and the Lord of the Little Shrine

  • Author

    Whitney Cox, University of Chicago
    Whitney Cox is an Associate Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. His principal interest lies in Sanskrit language and literature, pre-modern Tamil, and in the cultural, political and social history of far southern India. He has been a member of the Collegium of the Berlin-based Zukunftsphilologie project since 2011 and has held awards from Fulbright-Hayes, the British Academy, and the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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