By Daud Ali

Representing the 1st full-length examine of courtly tradition in classical India, this booklet explores the expansion of royal families and the improvement of a courtly worldview within the Gupta interval (c. 350-750) and its aftermath. utilizing either literary assets and inscriptions as much as 1200, the publication establishes the association, body of workers and protocol of the royal family because the historical past for a sustained exam of courtly ethics, notions of attractiveness, and theories of erotic love.

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51 This accumulation of titles, which became ever grander toward the end of the Gupta empire, signals an important dimension of courtly life, reflected in two processes. First, subjugated kings and princes who attended court were sometimes required to or willingly took up service functions within their overlord's household. In some cases these titles were probably considered ceremonial honours, and did not require permanent residence in the overlord's household. Nevertheless, major imperial houses seem to have kept a large body of retainers who hailed from subordinate royal families.

497. For illuminating studies of early medieval cosmetics and perfumery, see Gode, Studies in Indian Cultural History, vol. I, pp. 3-112. 6 Material culture of the court. The fragment of a limestone make-up palette (left), seventh century CE, Deccan, and sealring (right) with identifying royal inscription, western India (Punjab) end of fourth century CE. The seal reads 'the king (mahdrdjd) Mahesvaranaga, son of Nagabhatta'. 122 The fineness and colours of silk clothing are nearly always described in sumptuous detail in sources between the fifth and seventh centuries.

106 The people of the court Courtly Culture in Early Medieval India 59 instructed by Kautilya to dismiss him after feigning a quarrel and rule independently, which the king, unaware of his counsellor's strategy to suggest an apparent rift between the two to Raksasa's spies, is reluctant to do. The subject of the counsellor and his intrigue was eminently suited for the stage. 109 In a sense every courtier strove to gain mastery of their own and others' affairs in the manner of the minister. The whole science of polity was oriented to this end, and though it often purported to be directed to the king, it was typically the men around him who interpreted and implemented this knowledge for him.

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