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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 LATER LAW - BOOKS

Indian legislation reached its climax in Manu and all subsequent work was a mere recapitulation of his laws. The line of lawgivers who succeeded Manu based their treatises in most cases on his laws, and religiously adhered to his precepts. But in spite of their faithful ness to their inspirer, changes, probably caused by the pressing needs of the time, are discernible, and throw a flood of light on the trend of the society of their times.

Professor Stenzler enumerates forty-six distinct Dharma-Sastras. 1 Some of these, if they exist even in manuscript form, are not known widely. The 'Una-Vimsa Samhita has popularized the works of nineteen later lawgivers. It is not certain if these treatises comprise the complete works of these legislators; for many of the verses found even in the commentaries are absent in these books, which shows that the original treatises were more comprehensive than these.

Some of these may have been definitely framed to supplement the more authoritative law-books, such as the Laws of Manu and Parasara, and hence these later lawgivers have confined their treatises to those topics that are not dealt with by the more authoritative law-books.

The most important of these later lawgivers are Yajnavalkya and Parasara. With Parasara and the lawgivers of his type we are on the threshold of the fourth age. As a legislator, Parasara has been upheld by some to be the highest authority of the fourth age. The Laws of Manu and of Yajnavalkya have been considered by them to be antiquated, and hence are thought to be insufficient for the growing needs of their times.

The law-book of Yajnavalkya is the oldest of these, his period being near to that of Manu; he has had great influence in certain schools of Law. He is the leading authority of the Mithila School. Parasara 'confines him self to two aspects of Hindu Law, viz., Achara and Prayaschitta. His account of household life is meagre. His references to home life occur only by way of, allusions in connection with ceremonies or penances.

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Women In The Sacred Laws
About The Later Law Books
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