SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute

Right and Wrong Gupta Genealogies: How to Make Sense of Non-epigraphical Historiography of South Asian Dynasties

Prof Max Deeg (Cardiff)

Date: 15 March 2018Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 15 March 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Friends House, Euston Rd, NW1 2BJ Room: Kathleen Lonsdale Boardroom

Type of Event: Workshop


Due to the scarceness of other sources "hard" South-Asian history is often constructed from epigraphic and archaeological material (and their match or mismatch). But what to do with the other sources that do not necessarily confirm the information found in inscriptions and extracted from material remains of the past, or belonging to very different genres of historiographical writing? In this talk the epigraphical evidence from the Gupta period will be brought into communication with the records of the dynasty found in Buddhist material such as the Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa and the Chinese Buddhist travelogues. The focus will be on the foundation story of Nālandāmahāvihāra and its relation to various Gupta kings. The aim is not to give a concrete (historical) answer to the question posed above but is an attempt to (re)contextualize these sources in relation to the "hard" material and emphasis their value in the exploration of cultural history instead of just dismissing them as "unhistorical".


Registration is required of all participants.

Organiser: SOAS University of London

Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7879 4892/3

Sponsor: European Research Council