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Women In The Sacred Laws
Kulapati's Preface The Author
Foreword Prologue
The Dharma Sutras Contemporary Evidence
The Manu - Samhita The Later Law-Books
Digest On Hindu Law Espirit Des Lois
Major Sections

THE COMMENTARIES AND DIGESTS ON HINDU

The creative period of law codes was followed by the great age of commentaries and digests in the field of law. The new authors confined themselves to exploring and investigating the essence of Smrti and determining Smrti in theory and practice. The authors, instead of attempting to frame new laws and codes, took their stand on the injunctions of their pre- decessors and tried to determine the scope of their application and fix their meaning according to the needs of their times.

These commentaries thus form the basis of the various schools of law of modern times the Banaras, Mithila, Bengal, Dravida, and Maharashtra schools. The earliest of these commentaries is the Asahaya Bhashya on the Nard Smrti, its date being later than the 5th century A.D. Other commentaries of considerable importance are Medhatithi, Mitakshara, Vivadachintamani, Viramitrodaya, Smrti-Chandrika, Madhaviya, Sarasvativilasa, Vaijayanti, Balambhatta Nandapandita and the rest.

As Manu was considered the highest authority on law, a host of commentaries on his laws, evidently as expositions of the inner meaning of his rules, came to be written. Their main aim was to determine the scope of the application of the laws of Mann. The earliest of these commentaries is that of Medhatithi. Medhatithi was a South Indian, and he is quoted by such early South Indian authors as Vijnanesvara, who flourished in the 12th century, and Devannabhatta, an author of the 13th century and Hemadri, who belongs either the 12th or 13th century.1

The earliest authors the Bengal school, as Jimutavahana and Raghunandana, do not refer to the writings of Medhatithi, though they allude to and quote from the other commentators of Manu. King Madanapala, a ruler of North India, preserved the writings of Medhatithi. The influence of Medhatithi on jurisprudence must have been Considerable; for the more recent works, beginning with the Mitakshara, refer to the opinions of Medhatithi and Asahaya Bhashya frequently.  His date has been determined by scholars to be between the 8th and 9th centuries.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Commentaries And Digests On Hindu
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