The dependence of Manu's seventh chapter on Kautilya's Arthas̈a¯stra

Mark McClish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Indeterminacy in dating and elusive modes of intertextuality often confound attempts to establish reliable relative chronologies for classical South Asian texts. Occasionally, however, the relationship between two texts clearly reveals the dependence of one upon the other. Such is the case for the Arthas̈a¯stra of Kautilya and the Ma¯nava Dharmas̈a¯stra, arguably the two most important classical treaties on law and statecraft Close reading of the two reveals a direct relationship wherein the seventh adhya¯ya ("chapter") of the Ma¯nava Dharmas̈a¯stra took its general structure and most of its material from the Arthas̈a¯stra.The clarification of this general relationship makes possible an appreciation of the manner in which Manu appropriated material from Kautilya's treatise and allows us to draw new conclusions and raise new questions about the intellectual and cultural history of the period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-262
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the American Oriental Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • General Arts and Humanities


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