A People’s History of India 3

The Vedic Age

Irfan Habib, Vijay Kumar Thakur

The Vedic Age completes the first set of three monographs in the People’s History of India series. It deals with the period c.1500 to c. 700 bc, during which it sets the Rigveda and the subsequent Vedic corpus. It explores aspects of geography, migrations, technology, economy, society, religion, and philosophy. It draws on these texts to reconstruct the life of the ordinary people, with special attention paid to class as well as gender. In a separate chapter, the major regional cultures as revealed by archaeological evidence are carefully described. Much space is devoted to the coming of iron, for the dawn of the Iron Age –though not the Iron Age itself – lay within the period this volume studies. There are special notes on Historical Geography, the caste system (whose beginnings lay in this period) and the question of Epic Archaeology. A special feature of this monograph is the inclusion of seven substantive extracts from different sources, which should give the reader a taste of what these texts are like.


"…Habib and Thakur have drawn the most reasonable inferences about the origins of our civilization." – The Statesman

Irfan Habib

Irfan Habib is Professor Emeritus of History at the Aligarh Muslim University. He is the author of The Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556–1707 (1963, revised edition 1999), An Atlas of the Mughal Empire (1982), Essays in Indian History: Towards a Marxist Perception (1995), Medieval India: The Study of a Civilization (2007), Economic History of Medieval India, 1200–1500 (with collaborators, 2011) and Atlas of Ancient Indian History (with Faiz Habib, 2012). He has co-edited The Cambridge Economic History of India, Vol. I, UNESCO’s History of Humanity, Vols. 4 and 5, and UNESCO’s History of Central Asia, Vol. 5. He is the General Editor of the People’s History of India series. He has published two monographs on modern Indian economic history and a study of certain aspects of the National Movement.

Other books by Irfan Habib