A Rāṣṭrakūṭa King in the Kathmandu Valley Reassessing Late Licchavi History in the Light of a Newly Deciphered Eighth-Century Inscription
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This article presents newly discovered data that provides new insights into eighth- century Nepalese history. The data is based on a stone inscription dated to Licchavi Saṃvat 173 (748 ce), here edited and translated for the first time. The inscription not only attests to the continuity of Licchavi dynastic rule through to the middle of the eighth century CE, but additionally reveals a matrimonial and military alliance between the Licchavis and a dynasty called Rāṣṭrakūṭa, possibly the Rāṣṭrakūṭa family attested in the Indragaḍh inscription dated Vikrama Saṃvat 767 (710–11 CE). In contextualizing the historical data that can be extracted from the surviving portions of the inscription, we examine and reassess some of the strategies used by the Licchavi Kingdom to negotiate its position in the tumultuous political landscape of greater North India during the seventh and early eighth centuries. In the introduction and annotations, the article also provides observations on the inscription text’s literary style and script, as well as on certain aspects of Licchavi- period religious culture as reflected in it.