The Birth of Arthashastra: Ancient Handbook of Science of Politics in India, and Those Who Wielded It

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The Birth of Arthashastra: Ancient Handbook of Science of Politics in India, and Those Who Wielded It

The Birth of Arthashastra: Ancient Handbook of Science of Politics in India, and Those Who Wielded It

In 1904, a copy of an ancient book which had been lost for more than 1400 years was discovered in India. A modest book written on palm leaves, its outward appearance was proven to be deceiving as the book contained surprisingly detailed information on how an effective government should be run, treating wide-ranging topics from war, diplomacy, law, taxation, agriculture, how to manage secret agents, when it is useful to violate treaties, even when to kill family members.

It was a copy of a book that was written by Kautilya (350-275 BCE), a minister of the Mauryan empire. Called Arthashastra, commonly translated as “The Science of Material Gain”, the book is a major classic of diplomacy even to this day. Within this category, it is one of the most complete works of antiquity. 

The Arthashastra.

The Arthashastra. (CC BY-SA 4.0)


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