Jayati Bhagavāñ Jinendraḥ! Jainism and Royal Representation in the Kadamba Plates of Palāśikā

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Peter C. Bisschop
Elizabeth A. Cecil

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Abstract




In the fifth–sixth century CE the rulers of the Kadamba dynasty claimed the town of Halsi (ancient Palāśikā) in modern Karnataka as the northern capital of their expanding polity. Their investments in this locale are recorded in a corpus of copper-plate inscriptions spanning four generation of kings. The plates record the growth of a thriving Jain community at Palāśikā and are revelatory of their relationships with the Kadamba rulers and their agents. This study of the donative and political processes converging in Palāśikā shows that the use of Sanskrit inscriptions as media for royal representation and public self-fashioning was highly developed in the Kadamba polity, where idioms and trends developed independent of the Gupta royal model. Moreover, the evidence from Halsi is indicative of the centrality of Jain religious communities, ideologies, and institutions in the administration of the Kadamba polity and the expression of a lineage identity.




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