Arthashastra Date Outline Introduction The History of Arthashastra Its translation The books of Arthashastra The king Analysis of the contents of the Arthashastra and their relevance today Conclusion Introduction It refers to an old treatise from India on economic policy and military strategy…
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That is why, over two thousand four hundred years ago, Kautilya authored this historic publication. Through the authorship of the Arthashastra, he enabled the inception of the Gupta Dynasty. Since then, the Arthashastra has stood the test of time and has passed the test of credibility. This man, through his writing, demonstrated vision and foresight. If we share from the wisdom that Kautilya embodied, we will be enriching ourselves. This paper is going to address the following issues concerning the Arthashastra, they are, the authorship, translation of the title, books of Arthashastra, the Rajarshi, maintenance of law and order, wildlife and forests and finally the economic ideas in the Arthashastra. The History of Arthashastra Its origin It is believed that the Arthashastra was written in the period around 2nd century BC. This is according to R.P. Kangle on his writing about the Kautilya Arthashastra. However, the current content that we know may have been edited and condensed in the 2nd century A.D. This explains why some affinities and references in it may be anachronistic for the fourth century BC. Other scholars hold the belief that it was authored in the 7th century BC. There had been claims that the Arthashastra had been authored by two different people, namely, Kautilya and Chanukah.1 However, these claims tend to de disapproved by the fact that the treatise ends with the following words. “This Sastra has been made by him from whom intolerance (of misrule) quickly rescued the scriptures and the science of weapons and the earth which had passed to the Nanda ‘king.” From that statement by Thomas R. Trautmann, it can easily be deduced that Kautilya and Chanukah are the same person, because Chanukah was mandated with mentorship to Chandragupta Maurya. This however did not eliminate the controversy over Kautilya’s sole authorship of the Arthashastra. In a nut shell, as regards its authorship, most scholars agree that it happened between the 7th century BC and 4th century AD. However, it became influential in the 12th century when it became influential, when it disappeared. It was then discovered in 1904 and published in 1909. The first English translation was published nearly a hundred years ago. Its translation The Arthashastra has had different translations done by various scholars including A.L. Basham, D.D. Katsambis, G.P. Singh and Roger Boesche. Each of these has accorded the publication a different title although with closely related meaning. According to Boesche, the Arthashastra is “a book of political realism, analyzing how the political world does work and not very often stating how it should work, a book that frequently discloses to a king what calculating and sometimes brutal measures he must carry out to preserve the state and the common good.” One reason why this scholar defined this publication in such a manner was because of the argument in it that described how an efficient and solid economy can be managed. In it, the ethics of economics and the duties and obligations of a king are clearly stipulated. The Arthashastra dealt with a wide range of issues regarding the running of a kingdom. It laid out the policies of administration, the redistribution of wealth, handling of the natural resources, taking good care of animals, medicine and the important of medicine on society. The books of Arthashastra According to Rangareajan, the Arthashastra is divided into 15 books. They are named as follows: concerning the Discipline,
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