InVijay

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Katheriin Liibert ♥

♠ Original name ♣ Vijayanagara Empire ♥

♠ Alternative names ♣ ♥

♠ Peak Date ♣ 1505-1542 CE ♥ The realm reached its greatest extent and its rulers their greatest power under the dynasty of Tuluvas, who ruled the kingdom of Vijayanagara for a little less than four decades from 1505-1542[1].


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 1336-1646 CE ♥ The beginning point for the Vijayanagara kingdom is the founding of the fortified city on the Tungabhadra around 1340[2]. While there are disputes as to the details, most experts commonly agree that the fortified city of Vijayanagar was established in 1336[3][4][5]. Prior to that, there were incursions of soldiers serving the Khalji sultans of Delhi, which allegedly created the reasons and conditions for the new dynasty and city of Vijayanagara [6].

As a result of repeated invasions from Muslim states to the North and civil wars within, Vijayanagara authority was fragmented in the seventeenth century[7], leading to an imperial collapse[8]. In 1646, the Vijaynagar empire is finally conquered by the sultanates of Bijapur and Golconda. Many of the empire's largest vassal states immediately declare independence, so the territorial gains made by the sultanates are limited. Those vassals, Mysore, Keladi Nayaka, and the Nayaks and Nayakas of Chitradurga, Gingee, Madurai, and Tanjore, all become powerful states in southern India [9].

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ loose; confederated state; nominal ♥ loose: 1336-1509; confederated state: 1509-1565; nominal: 1565-1646 While there is some debate over whether to define the relations between local lordships and the Vijayanagara kings as feudal or other, but there is no doubt that the degree of centralization differed during various periods of the kingdom.

The early Vijayanagara kingdom was more a group of semi-autonomous states rather than a unified kingdom. Centralized authority was enhanced by the occasional appointment of non-kinsmen, including Brahmans, to important military commands, and even to governorships of one of the five core provinces in the center of the kingdom. But this was not the usual policy; most often sons of the king ruled for him[10].

Through most of the first dynasty, Vijayanagara kings were content to be conquerors whose conquests left the ancient Cholas and Panyas in their sovereign places, except that they were reduced by their homage to Vijayanagara. Until the early sixteenth century, the latter were ritual sovereigns everywhere outside their Deccan heartland; apart from occasional plundering forays, they were content with the homage of distant lords[11]. Krishnadevaraya (reigned 1509-29[12]) changed much of this. He replaced earlier royal predecessors by his own Brahmans and military commanders and charged his agents to extract money tribute from subordinate lords who had previously been required to pay nothing to Vijayanagara, merely to acknowledge the latter's hegemony in a number of symbolic ways[13].

Krishnadevaraya cast aside the ancient the ancient Chola and Pandya kings in the South and installed military commanders who not long after established centers of sovereignty opposed to its successors[14].

After the catastrophic sack of the capital of Vijayanagara in 1565, the kingdom saw a big decline in power, and a series of civil wars[15]. It was also during this time that the 'Nayaka kingdoms', which had emerged at the very zenith of the Vijayanagara monarchy (during the early 16th century; e.g. Mysore and Ikkeri), became increasingly independent and sought to avert the re-emergence of a strong Vijayanagara king capable of reducing their authority and territorial ambitions[16]. Thus, the level of the centralization of the kingdom post-1565 should be defined as 'nominal'.

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ none ♥ Independent polity.

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Delhi Sultanate ♥
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ cultural assimilation ♥ The origins of the first rulers of Vijayanagara are obscure and much debated, but it is clear that they were effective and creative military leaders who, after establishing their capital on the southern banks of the Tungabhadra River, rapidly expanded their territories to the south and resisted challenges from the north[17].
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ Mughal Empire ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ ♥
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ ♥ km squared.

♠ Capital ♣ Vijayanagara; Penukonda; Chandraigiri ♥ Vijayanagara: 1336-1565, Penukonda, Chandraigiri. The kingdom of Vijayanagara takes its name, 'City of Victory', from its capital on the Tungabhadra River[18]. The Vijayanagara capital was abandoned in 1565 following a major military defeat [19], the later imperial capitals were Penukonda and Chandragiri [20].


♠ Language ♣ Sanskrit; Telugu; Tamil; Kannada ♥ The Emprerors were patrons of all languages - Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada [21]. Kings of Vijayanagara were of four distinct ruling lineages. They differed in language and provenance, in their religious affiliations and even in where their capitals were[22].

General Description

The Vijayanagara Empire ruled over southern India: specifically, it comprised an area roughly equivalent to the modern-day Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.[23] This polity could be said to have been founded with the establishment of the fortified city of Vijayanagara itself in 1340, and it fragmented into many smaller polities roughly three hundred years later, due to both civil wars and incursions from Islamic polities to the North.[24] Under Vijayanagara rule, architecture flourished (many temples were built or rebuilt, and the first permanent non-religious buildings, including royal palaces, were constructed), trade and agriculture boomed, new towns were founded, and new notions of legal rights emerged.[25]

Population and political organization

As with most preceding South Indian polities, the Vijayanagara ruler sat at the top of both administrative and military hierarchies.[26] He was assisted at court by several ministers, and in the provinces by governors.[27]
Assuming that the entire population of the Indian subcontinent at this time equalled 150 million, it seems reasonable to estimate that the population of the Vijayanagara empire was about 25 million.[28] Burton Stein estimates that the city of Vijayanagara at its height in the 16th century had over 100,000 inhabitants,[29] while Carla Sinopoli believes the population could have been over 250,000.[30]

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Katheriin Liibert ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ [350,000-370,000] ♥ in squared kilometers. The realm can be defined by the provenance of royal inscriptions over some 140,000 square miles[31] (equal to 362,598 square km).

♠ Polity Population ♣ 25,000,000 ♥ People. The population of the peninsula south of the river Krishna may have been around 25 million, if the population of all of India was about the 150 million that has been estimated [32].

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ 100,000: 1337-1499 CE; [150,000-250,000]: 1500-1646 CE ♥

[100,000-250,000]: 1560 CE

By the early 1400s the fortified core of the city of Vijayanagara covered nearly 20 square km, and its population may have been as high as 100,000. By the time the Vijayanagara capital was abandoned in 1565 following a major military defeat, the city core extended over approximately 30 square km and its fortified hinterland was more than 400 square km in area. The city's population at that time is estimated to have exceeded 250,000 [33]. According to a different source, though, the city's population in the 16th century is described as "over 100,000" [34].

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ [3-4] ♥ levels.

1. Capital City, the City of Vijayanagar - encompassed by massive fortifications and was of enormous size. According to the accounts of foreign travelers to India during the 15th and 16th centuries, the circumference of the city was 60 miles, and it was a highly populous city [35]. According to another source, the city covered 10 square miles in 1500[36].

2. Provincial capitals - The Empire was divided into several principal provinces[37].
3. Town between provincial city and village? inferred
4. Village - Lowest territorial division in the Karnataka portion of Vijayanagara [38].


♠ Administrative levels ♣ [4-5] ♥ levels.

1. King [39].

_Central or court government_

2. Council of Ministers
The king also had a hierarchical central bureaucracy - he was assisted in the task of administration by a council of ministers, appointed by him, as well as by chief treasurer, custodians of the jewels, an officer who looked after the commercial interests of the State, the prefect of the police, the chief master of the horse etc[40].
2. Chief treasurer
Each viceroy was required to submit regular accounts of the income and expenditure of his charge to the central government[41]
3.
4.
5.
2. Custodian of the jewels
2. Prefect of the police
2. Chief master of the horse
2. Mahanayakacharya
The King maintained a link with the village administration through his officer called the Mahanayakacharya, who exercised a general supervision over it. [42].


_Provincial government_

2. Viceroy, nayaka or naik - in each province [43].
3. Civil (e.g. treasury), military, judicial officials at department head level inferred
Each viceroy exercised civil, military and judicial power within his jurisdiction, but he was required to submit regular accounts of the income and expenditure of his charge to the central government and render it military aid in times of need [44]
4. Accountant (income, expenditure, tax receipts etc) inferred
5. Assistant/scribe inferred
3. Village officers.
Villages were the lowest unit of local administration. Each village was a self-sufficient unit. The village assembly conducted the administration of the area under its charge (executive, judicial and police) through its hereditary officers like the senateova or the village accountant, the talara or the village watchman or commandant, the begara or the superintendent of forced labor, and others. These village officers were paid either by grants of land or a portion of agricultural produce. The King maintained a link with the village administration through his officer called the Mahanayakacharya, who exercised a general supervision over it. [45].
4. Senateova
4. Village accountant
4. talara (village watchman or commandant)
4. begara (superintendent of forced labor)


♠ Religious levels ♣ [0-2] ♥ levels.

There are no official hierarchies in Hinduism [46]. However, some would argue for the importance, at least for some branches of the religion, of the relationship between student and teacher or guru (e.g. [47]). Based on that viewpoint, it may not be entirely inappropriate to say that there is indeed a Hindu religious hierarchy, and that it is composed of two levels.

♠ Military levels ♣ [5-6] ♥ levels.

The rulers of Vijayanagara had a carefully organized military department, called Kandachara:

1. King

2. Commander-in-Chief
The military was under the control of the Dandanayaka or Nannayaka (Commander-in-Chief)[48]
3. Staff of minor officials -- same level is generals? are these the generals?
The Commander-in-Chief was assisted by a staff of minor officials[49].
3. Generals inferred
4. Officers inferred -- more than one level?
5. Individual soldier
The lowest level of the military was a soldier[50][51].


Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ present ♥ [52][53]

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ present ♥ [54][55]

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ present ♥ [56]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ present ♥ The King was assisted in the task of administration by a council of ministers, appointed by him, as well as by chief treasurer, custodians of the jewels, an officer who looked after the commercial interests of the State, the prefect of the police, the chief master of the horse etc[57].

♠ Examination system ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Merit promotion ♣ ♥ unknown

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ present ♥ E.g. buildings for minting money - there were many mints in the Vijayanagara kingdom, each provincial capital having its own[58].

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ present ♥ The only law of the land was based on traditional regulations and customs, strengthened by the constitutional usage of the country, and its observance was strictly enforced[59]. Vijayanagar rulers ‘tried to adhere to ancient practices of Hinduism through cultural revivalism’. The law was thus mainly based on traditional Hindu legal codes as well as some local customs. [60] [61]

♠ Judges ♣ present ♥ The King was the supreme judge, but there were regular courts and special judicial officers for the administration of justice[62]

♠ Courts ♣ present ♥ there were regular courts and special judicial officers for the administration of justice[63]

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ inferred present ♥ special judicial officers for the administration of justice[64]

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ present ♥ [65] In India open channels and pipes were widely used from the fifteenth century in urban settlements. The palace at Vijayanagara was fed this way by monsoon water. Other residents used wells, roadside wells, and also rainwater which was collected in tanks. [66] [67] [68]
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ inferred present ♥ Certainly used wells[69] which suggest that they may not have had supply system infrastructure. Pipes, cisterns etc. In India open channels and pipes were widely used from the fifteenth century in urban settlements. The palace at Vijayanagara was fed this way by monsoon water. Other residents used wells, roadside wells, and also rainwater which was collected in tanks. [70] [71] [72]
♠ markets ♣ present ♥ [73]
♠ food storage sites ♣ present ♥ [74]

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ present ♥ In the capital of Vijayanagara, there was a system of roads, many stone-paved[75].
♠ Bridges ♣ present ♥ [76]
♠ Canals ♣ present ♥ [77]
♠ Ports ♣ present ♥ The most important port was Calicut, and according to 'Abdur Razzaq, the Empire possessed 300 seaports[78].

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ ♥
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Written records ♣ present ♥ [79]
♠ Script ♣ present ♥
♠ Non-phonetic writing ♣ absent ♥
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ present ♥ Works in Sanskrit, Telugu [80].

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Calendar ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ present ♥ [81]
♠ Religious literature ♣ present ♥ [82]
♠ Practical literature ♣ present ♥ Works on music, dancing, drama, grammar, logic, etc [83].
♠ History ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Philosophy ♣ present ♥ Works on philosophy [84].
♠ Scientific literature ♣ ♥
♠ Fiction ♣ present ♥ [85]

Money

♠ Articles ♣ present ♥
♠ Tokens ♣ ♥ unknown. cowries?
♠ Precious metals ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Foreign coins ♣ present ♥ Foreign coins (such as the Portugese cruzado, the Persian dinar, and the Italian florin and ducat) were also in circulation in the coastal areas [86].
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ present ♥ The coinage of Vijayanagara Empire was of various types, both in gold and copper, and there was one specimen of silver coin [87].
♠ Paper currency ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Postal stations ♣ ♥ unknown
♠ General postal service ♣ ♥ unknown

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Katheriin Liibert; Enrico Cioni; Edward A L Turner ♥

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ inferred present ♥ Inferred from the presence of higher metals.
♠ Bronze ♣ inferred present ♥ Inferred from the presence of higher metals.
♠ Iron ♣ present ♥ The leather armour worn by soldiers was reinforced by iron plates [88].
♠ Steel ♣ present ♥ "Probably the faces of the [war elephants] were protected by steel plates." [89]

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ present ♥ "The Muhammadan soldiers carried 'shields, javelins and Turkish bows with many bombs and spears and fire missiles." [90]
♠ Atlatl ♣ absent ♥
♠ Slings ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Self bow ♣ present ♥ "The archers had bows plated with gold and silver." Bow type not specified. [91] According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar included archers and musketeers.[92]
♠ Composite bow ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Crossbow ♣ present ♥ "The hand crossbow was usd on Indian battlefields probably from the third century A.D. It was mainly used as an infantry weapon and occasionally as a cavalry weapon. A Sanskrit inscription at Avanthipuram, in South India, reads: '... Of him who has the name of Ananta impelled with speed and skillfully discharged from the machines of his bow fitted with the well stretched string....' Obviously, the machine referred to was a hand crossbow."[93]
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ present ♥ "On their walls were set up pasana-yantras or catapults which showered stones, clubs and battle-axes upon the enemy causing him much harm" [94].
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ present ♥ "Although the Raya had a corps of musqueteers in his army, and several cannon which he employed in his wars, the artillery did not play an important part in the battles." [95]
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ present ♥ [96] According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar included archers and musketeers.[97]

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Battle axes ♣ present ♥ [98]
♠ Daggers ♣ present ♥ Archers carried "daggers at their waist". [99] Razzak says soldiers in Kerala had a dagger and a cowhide shield.[100]
♠ Swords ♣ present ♥ According to Nikitin, in south India infantry had 'a shield in one hand and a sword in the other'.[101]
♠ Spears ♣ present ♥ "The Muhammadan soldiers carried 'shields, javelins and Turkish bows with many bombs and spears and fire missiles."
♠ Polearms ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Donkeys ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Horses ♣ present ♥ [102]
♠ Camels ♣ present ♥ [103]
♠ Elephants ♣ present ♥ [104]

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ present ♥ "But, while engaged in fighting they put on a kind of armour made of leather, which covered their body completely, leaving only the face and the feet." [105] According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar 'were all armed each after his own fashion, the archers and musketeers with their quilted tunics, and shield-men with swords and poignards in their girdles. Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered. Their horses were in full clothing. The men wore doublets, and had weapons in their hands. And on their heads were headpieces after the manner of their doublets, quilted with cotton.'[106] Razzak says soldiers in Kerala had a dagger and a cowhide shield.[107]
♠ Shields ♣ present ♥ "The Muhammadan soldiers carried 'shields, javelins and Turkish bows with many bombs and spears and fire missiles." [108] According to Nikitin, in south India infantry had 'a shield in one hand and a sword in the other'.[109] According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar 'were all armed each after his own fashion, the archers and musketeers with their quilted tunics, and shield-men with swords and poignards in their girdles. Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered. Their horses were in full clothing. The men wore doublets, and had weapons in their hands. And on their heads were headpieces after the manner of their doublets, quilted with cotton.'[110]
♠ Helmets ♣ present ♥ "Head-pieces" which protected the neck and the face were made of leather and iron. [111] Soldiers of the Vijayanagara c1400 CE used iron plates inside raw leather tunics and headpieces similar to helmets.[112] According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar 'were all armed each after his own fashion, the archers and musketeers with their quilted tunics, and shield-men with swords and poignards in their girdles. Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered. Their horses were in full clothing. The men wore doublets, and had weapons in their hands. And on their heads were headpieces after the manner of their doublets, quilted with cotton.'[113]
♠ Breastplates ♣ suspected unknown ♥ According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar 'Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered.'[114]
♠ Limb protection ♣ suspected unknown ♥ According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar 'Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered.'[115]
♠ Chainmail ♣ suspected unknown ♥ According to Nuniz, soldiers of Vijayanagar 'Their shields are so large that there is no need for armour to protect the body, which is completely covered.'[116]
♠ Scaled armor ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Laminar armor ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Plate armor ♣ present ♥ The leather armour worn by soldiers was reinforced by iron plates. [117]

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ present ♥
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ present ♥ Present since the beginning.[118]

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ present ♥ Domingo Paes commented of Indian rulers, such as that of the Vijayanagara: "if a city is stituated at the extremity of his territory he gives his consent to its having stone walls, but never the towns; so that they make fortresses of the cities but not the towns."[119]
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ present ♥ "Walls made out of earth, which are common in the south of India, appear to have been used at settlements of inferior status, while stone walls were constructed around settlements which exercised some level of authority over the surrounding area."[120]
♠ Ditch ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Moat ♣ present ♥ Certain types of forts "had deep moats around them which prevented the enemy from coming near the walls." [121]
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ present ♥ Stone walls were "permitted only in the case of places on the frontier" and the "most important forts in the interior".[122] "The one variety of monument which most significantly demonstrates the hierarchical arrangement of settlements under Vijayanagara's control is its walls. ... masonry was employed in the construction of walls at Vijayanagara. Mortar appears not to have been used, but other stone walls elsewhere on the site show evidence of once having been covered by a layer of plaster. Granite was cut into large rectangular blocks and was held in place by smaller pieces of cut stone. Although arches are found at the top of the structure, the actual gateway is held up by corbels which support a horizontal stone slab. This gateway represents a mere fragment of the once extensive network of stone walls which surrounded Vijayanagara duing the sixteenth century ..."[123]
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Fortified camps ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ present ♥ "Important forts like Vijayanagara had no less than seven walls of fortification." [124] "The palace was inside a walled compound which stood within a fortified city. Temples were also enclosed by walled compounds."[125]
♠ Long walls ♣ ♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥

Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ Katheriin Liibert ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ ♥
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ ♥
♠ Impeachment ♣ ♥

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ present ♥ Dynastic rule.

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ present ♥ “The magical power which pervaded the king at his consecration was restored and strengthened in the course of his reign by further rites, such as the ceremonial rejuvenation of the ‘’vajapeya’’ and the horse-sacrifice (‘’asvamedha’’, p. 42), which not only ministered to his ambition and arrogance, but also ensured the prosperity and fertility of the kingdom. Implicit in the whole brahmanic ritual was the idea of the king’s divine appointment, and though the rajasuya was replaced in later times by a simplified ‘’abhiseka’’, or baptism, the ceremony still had its magical flavour.” [126] The king was consecrated in a special ceremony in which he claimed a divine mandate; he was otherwise considered a god along with other Brahmans of the Hindu caste. [127]

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ present ♥ “Divinity was cheap in ancient India. Every brahman was in a sense a god, as were ascetics with a reputation for sanctity. Householders sponsoring and financing sacrifices were in theory raised to divinity, at least for the duration of the ceremony, while even sticks and stones might be alive with inherent godhead. Moreover the gods were fallible and capable of sin. If the king was a god on earth he was only one god among many, and so his divinity might not always weigh heavily upon his subjects.” [128]

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ absent ♥ Caste system. "There have been a number of attempts to underplay, to question, and to lampoon the hierarchical inequality and even the existence of the caste system. As we will also see it differs, in some degree, from region to region. However, the concepts of varna and, more importantly, jati lie at the heart of the caste system and they form an ideal core around which the complexity of detail and difference can then be erected. [...] Thus the four varnas are the Brahmins who represent priesthood and learning, the Kshatriyas who represent the warriors and kings, who protect the people, the Vaishyas who represent the people who engage in agriculture, farming and trade, and the Shudras who represent the servants who look after and serve the others. The Brahmins fulfil the function of the mouth, the Kshatriyas fulfil the function of the arms, the Vaishyas fulfil the function of the thighs, and the Shudras fulfil the function of the feet. The model is clearly a hierarchy but it is a complementary hierarchy and unity, wherein the different elements sustain one another. [...] In practice the key to the caste system are the sub-castes, or jatis. There are a great number of these in each varna, and in practice there is a hierarchy within each set so that only certain jatis can marry and eat with each other. Not all Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas or Shudras can marry or eat together. Those privileges are confined to a limited number of jatis within each varna. [...] Clearly there have been changes in the system over long centuries. Particular jatis have elevated themselves through economic means, through disputing status, through propaganda, through moving, through changing religion, and so on. But on the whole, over such a long period of time, the system has remained strong, especially in the villages. [...] The strength of the caste system has been enhanced by another principle emphasised by Dumont (1980) in his classical work entitled ‘’Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and its Implications’’. According to Dumont, in addition to the distinctions already outlined that fit varnas and jatis into hierarchies, another must be added. This distinction takes caste hierarchical divides beyond the kind of class distinctions found in eighteenth-century Britain or in the Ancien Regime in Europe, by stressing the opposition between purity and pollution. Caste difference, according to this classification, goes beyond class differences into this other realm of ritual purity and pollution. The Brahmins are the highest and purest varna, and the Dalits are the lowest, in that they are outside varna and are impure altogether. The other varnas rank in between. Pollution occurs in different ways. It occurs through bodily contact of one sort or another, with menstrual cycles, through birth and death, through emissions such as faeces, urine and saliva, and through contact with night-soil, dirty clothes, unswept rooms and so on. Thus marriage and sex have to function within the correct set of jatis in the correct varna. Polluting jobs such as laundering and sweeping are done by people of lower castes so that the blood of people of higher castes can remain ‘pure’. Equally menstrual activity among older women makes them more ‘impure’ than men or pre-menstrual virgins, and therefore women are more polluting than men. They will thus often live semi-separately while menstruating, during which time they will also avoid going to the temple and therefore ‘polluting’ the gods. Furthermore, untouchable Dalits were prohibited from entering many temples before the post-Independence freedom-of-temple-entry legislation and even now they are kept out of some temples in many villages. [...] It is also true to say that Dumont’s thesis suffers from exaggeration and other matters are important in discussing caste. Nevertheless, there is at least an element of truth in the notion that purity and pollution has relevance in any discussion of caste.” [129]

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ absent ♥ Caste system. "There have been a number of attempts to underplay, to question, and to lampoon the hierarchical inequality and even the existence of the caste system. As we will also see it differs, in some degree, from region to region. However, the concepts of varna and, more importantly, jati lie at the heart of the caste system and they form an ideal core around which the complexity of detail and difference can then be erected. [...] Thus the four varnas are the Brahmins who represent priesthood and learning, the Kshatriyas who represent the warriors and kings, who protect the people, the Vaishyas who represent the people who engage in agriculture, farming and trade, and the Shudras who represent the servants who look after and serve the others. The Brahmins fulfil the function of the mouth, the Kshatriyas fulfil the function of the arms, the Vaishyas fulfil the function of the thighs, and the Shudras fulfil the function of the feet. The model is clearly a hierarchy but it is a complementary hierarchy and unity, wherein the different elements sustain one another. [...]In practice the key to the caste system are the sub-castes, or jatis. There are a great number of these in each varna, and in practice there is a hierarchy within each set so that only certain jatis can marry and eat with each other. Not all Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas or Shudras can marry or eat together. Those privileges are confined to a limited number of jatis within each varna. [...] Clearly there have been changes in the system over long centuries. Particular jatis have elevated themselves through economic means, through disputing status, through propaganda, through moving, through changing religion, and so on. But on the whole, over such a long period of time, the system has remained strong, especially in the villages. [...] The strength of the caste system has been enhanced by another principle emphasised by Dumont (1980) in his classical work entitled ‘’Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and its Implications’’. According to Dumont, in addition to the distinctions already outlined that fit varnas and jatis into hierarchies, another must be added. This distinction takes caste hierarchical divides beyond the kind of class distinctions found in eighteenth-century Britain or in the Ancien Regime in Europe, by stressing the opposition between purity and pollution. Caste difference, according to this classification, goes beyond class differences into this other realm of ritual purity and pollution. The Brahmins are the highest and purest varna, and the Dalits are the lowest, in that they are outside varna and are impure altogether. The other varnas rank in between. Pollution occurs in different ways. It occurs through bodily contact of one sort or another, with menstrual cycles, through birth and death, through emissions such as faeces, urine and saliva, and through contact with night-soil, dirty clothes, unswept rooms and so on. Thus marriage and sex have to function within the correct set of jatis in the correct varna. Polluting jobs such as laundering and sweeping are done by people of lower castes so that the blood of people of higher castes can remain ‘pure’. Equally menstrual activity among older women makes them more ‘impure’ than men or pre-menstrual virgins, and therefore women are more polluting than men. They will thus often live semi-separately while menstruating, during which time they will also avoid going to the temple and therefore ‘polluting’ the gods. Furthermore, untouchable Dalits were prohibited from entering many temples before the post-Independence freedom-of-temple-entry legislation and even now they are kept out of some temples in many villages. [...] It is also true to say that Dumont’s thesis suffers from exaggeration and other matters are important in discussing caste. Nevertheless, there is at least an element of truth in the notion that purity and pollution has relevance in any discussion of caste.” [130]
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ absent ♥ Caste system. "There have been a number of attempts to underplay, to question, and to lampoon the hierarchical inequality and even the existence of the caste system. As we will also see it differs, in some degree, from region to region. However, the concepts of varna and, more importantly, jati lie at the heart of the caste system and they form an ideal core around which the complexity of detail and difference can then be erected. [...] Thus the four varnas are the Brahmins who represent priesthood and learning, the Kshatriyas who represent the warriors and kings, who protect the people, the Vaishyas who represent the people who engage in agriculture, farming and trade, and the Shudras who represent the servants who look after and serve the others. The Brahmins fulfil the function of the mouth, the Kshatriyas fulfil the function of the arms, the Vaishyas fulfil the function of the thighs, and the Shudras fulfil the function of the feet. The model is clearly a hierarchy but it is a complementary hierarchy and unity, wherein the different elements sustain one another. [...]In practice the key to the caste system are the sub-castes, or jatis. There are a great number of these in each varna, and in practice there is a hierarchy within each set so that only certain jatis can marry and eat with each other. Not all Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas or Shudras can marry or eat together. Those privileges are confined to a limited number of jatis within each varna. [...] Clearly there have been changes in the system over long centuries. Particular jatis have elevated themselves through economic means, through disputing status, through propaganda, through moving, through changing religion, and so on. But on the whole, over such a long period of time, the system has remained strong, especially in the villages. [...] The strength of the caste system has been enhanced by another principle emphasised by Dumont (1980) in his classical work entitled ‘’Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and its Implications’’. According to Dumont, in addition to the distinctions already outlined that fit varnas and jatis into hierarchies, another must be added. This distinction takes caste hierarchical divides beyond the kind of class distinctions found in eighteenth-century Britain or in the Ancien Regime in Europe, by stressing the opposition between purity and pollution. Caste difference, according to this classification, goes beyond class differences into this other realm of ritual purity and pollution. The Brahmins are the highest and purest varna, and the Dalits are the lowest, in that they are outside varna and are impure altogether. The other varnas rank in between. Pollution occurs in different ways. It occurs through bodily contact of one sort or another, with menstrual cycles, through birth and death, through emissions such as faeces, urine and saliva, and through contact with night-soil, dirty clothes, unswept rooms and so on. Thus marriage and sex have to function within the correct set of jatis in the correct varna. Polluting jobs such as laundering and sweeping are done by people of lower castes so that the blood of people of higher castes can remain ‘pure’. Equally menstrual activity among older women makes them more ‘impure’ than men or pre-menstrual virgins, and therefore women are more polluting than men. They will thus often live semi-separately while menstruating, during which time they will also avoid going to the temple and therefore ‘polluting’ the gods. Furthermore, untouchable Dalits were prohibited from entering many temples before the post-Independence freedom-of-temple-entry legislation and even now they are kept out of some temples in many villages. [...] It is also true to say that Dumont’s thesis suffers from exaggeration and other matters are important in discussing caste. Nevertheless, there is at least an element of truth in the notion that purity and pollution has relevance in any discussion of caste.” [131]
♠ production of public goods ♣ suspected unknown ♥ absent/present/unknown. Public Goods refer to anything that incurs cost to an individual or group of individuals, but that can be used or enjoyed by others who did not incur any of the cost, namely the public at large. They are non-excludable and non-rivalrous goods. Examples are roads, public drinking fountains, public parks or theatres, temples open to the public, etc.

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣ absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣ absent ♥

These data were reviewed by expert advisors and consultants. For a detailed description of these data, refer to the relevant Analytic Narratives, reference tables, and acknowledgements page. [132] [133] [134]

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