The Hollow Crown

Ethnohistory of an Indian Kingdom

The Hollow Crown

A pioneering piece of ethnohistory, The Hollow Crown uses a variety of interdisciplinary means to reconstruct the sociocultural history of a warrior polity in south India between the fourteenth and the twentieth centuries. Central to the book is the belief that comparative sociology has systematically denied the importance of the Indian state and obscured the political basis of Indian society by representing caste as fundamentally a religious system. In reconstructing the history of the polity that eventually became the colonial princely state of Pudukkottai, Dr Dirks therefore raises a whole series of issues concerning the methodologies of history and anthropology, the character of Tamil kingship and social organization, the relationship between politics and ritual, the impact of colonialism and 'modernization', and the dynamics of the whole last millennium of south Indian history.

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