A People’s History of India 3: The Vedic Age

Irfan Habib & Vijay Kumar Thakur


(First published 2003)


viii + 100 pages

9.5 x 6.25 inches

ISBN: 978-81-89487-35-5

Rs 150

All rights available

The Vedic Age completes the first set of three monographs in the People’s History of India series. It deals with the period c.1500 to c. 700 bc, during which it sets the Rigveda and the subsequent Vedic corpus. It explores aspects of geography, migrations, technology, economy,society, religion, and philosophy. It draws on these texts to reconstruct the life of the ordinary people, with special attention paid to class as well as gender. In a separate chapter, the major regional cultures as revealed by archaeological evidence are carefully described. Much space is devoted to the coming of iron, for the dawn of the Iron Age –though not the Iron Age itself – lay within the period this volume studies. There are special notes on Historical Geography, the caste system (whose beginnings lay in this period) and the question of Epic Archaeology. A special feature of this monograph is the inclusion of seven substantive extracts from different sources, which should give the reader a taste of what these texts are like.

Irfan Habib, formerly Professor of History, Aligarh Muslim University, is author of The Agrarian System of Mughal India,1556–1707 (1963; 2nd rev. edn, 1999), An Atlas of the Mughal Empire (1982), and Essays in Indian History: Towards a Marxist Perception (1995). He has also authored Prehistory (2001), The Indus Civilization (2002) and Indian Economy, 1858–1914 (2006), and co-authored Mauryan India (2004) in the People’s History of India series.

Vijay Kumar Thakur, Professor of History, Patna University, is author of Urbanisation in Ancient India (1981) and Historiography of Indian Feudalism (1989).


…Habib and Thakur have drawn the most reasonable inferences about the origins of our civilization.

– The Statesman