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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

WOMEN IN THE SACRED LAWS PROLOGUE

III. The Period Covered By Law-Books.

It is difficult to locate exactly these books at their accurate periods in these centuries. Even the biographical materials relating to the authors are very rare. Hence conflicting are the opinions of scholars regarding the dates of these books. But roughly speaking the entire Hindu literature covers a period of 6,000 years, from 4,000 B.C. the time of the Vedas to the present times.

The period or the Dharmasutras begins from the seventh century B.C. The age of the Smritis begins with Manu who is assigned to the second century B.C. Yajnavalkya, is assigned to the first century A.D. Narada and Vishnu lived in the fourth century. The period of the commentaries commences with Medhatithi, the earliest of commentators, who lived and wrote in the tenth century.

Mitakshara is assigned to the eleventh century and Jimutavahana, the author of Dayabhaga lived and wrote in the next century. The period of the ‘Digests‘ commences after a lapse of three centuries. Nandapandita wrote his digest between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Nirnayasindhu and Vyavahara mayukha flourished in the seventeenth century.

Dharma sindhu lived in the eighteenth century. After the earliest of the lawgivers, Gautama, the birth and influence of Buddhism and the high ethical standards of the new religion had their influence in the later Smriti. The period of the commentaries saw the advent of a new religion and culture- Mohammedanism. This had its influence in narrowing the scope of the laws.

The digests were composed under the influence of Mohammedan rulers, which accounts for the introduction of the secular side of law. But it is remarkable that Hindu society clung fast to its old culture through these centuries of devastation and change of kings and emperors and the Hindu Law remained almost the same; and Mayne hit the nail right on the head when he remarked that "it has the oldest pedigree of any known system of jurisprudence and even now it shows no signs of decrepitude." (Mayne-Hindu Law, 1st Edition).

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About Prologue
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.1
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.2
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.3
How Dharma Came Into Existence Pg.4
The Meaning And Scope of Dharma Pg.1
The Meaning And Scope of Dharma Pg.2
You are Here! The Period Covered By Law-Books Pg.1
The Buddhist Law Pg.1
The Buddhist Law Pg.2
Law and Religion in Hindu Culture Pg.1
Law and Religion in Hindu Culture Pg.2
Law and Religion in Hindu Culture Pg.3

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